Add some fun this Christmas from Santa!

Posted December 7th, 2014 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

It’s almost that time of year again…  Christmas and New Year is coming up!  How’s your 2014?  Mine was…. busy, yet I had new addition of happiness to my family it was overall a wonderful year.

Excitement for festive season won’t fade even you grow up…  I’m excited about Christmas trees, festive music, events and of course presents!!  I also like to shop for presents to give to my special people.  My 3 years-old son knows what he wants from Santa this year, and I successfully found out what it is.  I can’t wait to see his face when he opens up his present on Christmas day.

Have you heard of Portable North Pole? If you are looking for something extra this Christmas, there’s an idea of creating a message from Santa and sending to your loved one.

PNP

There’s a free version of message that you can create as well.  You can personalise the video with name & photo.

PNP2

I’m sure my 3 year-old will be surprised and excited when I show him the personalised santa video I created! :-)

Now I’m off to take a family photo with Santa!

 

 


Happy Union Chinese Restaurant

Posted November 28th, 2014 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

At my son’s Japanese kindy, mums have been talking about how good Fish Head Noodle Soup is at Happy Union restaurant. I don’t know who started this “boom” in Japanese mums’ community, but now even some mums at my son’s Japanese playgroup talk about the noodle there.  The Japanese kindy is located just behind the restaurant and around lunch time very nice smell wonders around the kindy backyard where mums chat with cups of coffee while kids are inside the classroom (It’s not a proper kindergarten – we call it “Japanese kindy” but parent or guardian have to stay at the premise while kids lean and play inside the classroom), so I think someone went there for lunch one day and discovered Fish Head Noodle Soup… – maybe that’s how all started. :-D

I like Fish Head Noodle Soup and I normally get it from Bateman Chinese Restaurant in Bateman. I like having a choice between Mi Hoon (clear soup noodle) and laksa.  Today I had a chance going to Happy Union Restaurant for lunch (with mums at Japanese playgroup) so I tried the noodle.

Fish Head Noodle

I had Fish Head Mi Hoon (clear soup) as I wanted to share with my son.  It was $10.80 for lunch, and came with 3 pieces of deep-fried fish pieces.

The soup tasted different to the one at Bateman Chinese Restaurant.  Clear soup with preserved vegetables and tomatoes – it’s same, but this one had a taste of ginger (which I liked!).  The fish was very crispy, fresh, and I actually preferred them to the ones at Bateman.  My son loved the fish too.  Another thing I liked about is that this place is much bigger than Bateman Chinese so it was easy going inside with a baby pram.

It was nice discovering another nice food :)  I will definitely come back here again for Fish Head and other dishes.

Happy Union Restaurant
Shop 1, Somerville Shopping Centre
Cnr Le Souef & McMahon Way
Kardinya WA 6163
(08) 9337 8332
Open for lunch & dinner (closed on Mondays)

They also have Chinese Roast Meat (combination) but you’ll need to pre-book it 1 day before.


Miso-Marinated Pork

Posted September 13th, 2014 in Food | No Comments »

buta-misozuke

 

Meat is not my most favorite food, but I do get a craving for yakiniku (Japanese version of BBQ- it literary means “grilled meat”) sometimes.  Usually I go for thinly sliced beef if having yakiniku at home here in Perth, but marinated chicken thigh or pork fillets are actually great alternatives.

Marinating in miso based marinade gives meat tender and full of flavour.  I bet you’ll love it with freshly cooked steamed rice and some shredded cabbage!  Yummmm…  So does other marinated meat, this one gets burned easily when cooking so make sure you keep an eye on it while grilling.  Searing the meat in a hot pan gives great flavour of caramelised sweet miso paste to the meat.    You can cook this in a yakiniku plate and eat as you cook in the table, or cook in a pan and serve with shredded cabbage and hot steamed rice.  You can also make it in a donburi style by arranging the meat and cabbage on a bed of steamed rice in a serving bowl.

This pork is also great to have with somen noodle in summer.  Chilled somen noodle with dipping sauce sometimes doesn’t satisfy your hunger, but serving that with this freshly grilled pork and some summer salad makes a great treat for a hot day!

<Miso-Marinated Pork> serves 2~3 people

  • Pork fillet 300g (I used pork loin fillet)
  • Miso paste 3 tablespoon (I used red miso paste)
  • Mirin (sweet cooking wine) 1 tablespoon
  • Sake (cooking wine) 1 tablespoon
  • Honey 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic & ginger, grated, around 1 teaspoon each

 

  1. Mix all the ingredients except pork.
  2. Place pork fillets in a ziplock bag with the mixed sauce.  Marinate half-day or overnight.
  3. Remove pork from the marinade.  Cut into 1~2cm width.
  4. Heat a frying pan and spray oil.  When the pan is really really hot, add the meat and quickly move around the pan to sear the meat.  Be cautious not to burn the meat.
  5. Serve with rice while hot.

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Boundary Fence Issue…

Posted September 10th, 2014 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

fence

Sigh….  It’s been a troublesome winter for me this year as the boundary fence in the yard had been giving me a headache for almost few months.

Part of the fence broke few months ago because of stormy wind.  There’re 2 neighbours who share the fence with us, and one of them approached me saying they’d organise everything including finding a cheap fencing company and book for a service.  They said they will even get a quote to fix another neighbour’s part for me.  Such a nice couple.  They called up fencing companies and the earliest service we could get was 2 weeks away.  Apparently our boundary fence wasn’t the only one which got broken by those wind.  So waited, waited… for 2 weeks.

Because another neighbour was tenanted and the owner resides overseas, I tried contacting their real estate agent about the boundary fence.  The agent wasn’t helpful and he kept saying he can’t do anything because he can’t be in touch with the property owner.  That’s weird.  I thought taking care of these things’re their job.  I tried calling him everyday like a stalker.  I also mentioned that in order to fix the fence they first have to cut down the tree which was growing towards our yard.

The part of the fence with friendly neighbour was fixed after 2 weeks.  Still no news from another neighbour.  The agent kept telling me to wait until he gets information of house insurance.

… few weeks (more than a month) passed.  One day when I called the agent, he said he’s not the person to call anymore.  The owner of the house changed the real estate agent and I had to call another real estate company.  Gosh, can things get more complicated?!  But when I called up a new agent, I was surprised how friendly and helpful she was and I was relieved when she said she will organise everything including forwarding the quote to their insurance company and cutting the tree branches.   Things seemed so easy!  I’m not surprised that the original agent was sucked.

It felt forever until I saw the branch was being cut and trimmed.  Ok, things are looking good. I called up fencing company to book for a service.  Again, we had to wait for another 2 weeks as they’re very busy at the time.

Unluckily, during the 2 weeks there was another storm, and because the tree was removed and there’s nothing to support the fence, another part of the fence (connected to the part which had already been broken) had broken down!!!  It seemed endless, and I felt like I was to deal with boundary fence forever.  I got a quote for newly broken part and claimed to the insurance company.  Had to pay excess twice… sigh.

The last part of the fence got fixed up pretty quickly and now my mind is at peace.

A guy from fencing company gave me a great tip.  Next time, if part of the fence is broken and other part of the fence seem to be affected as well, kick the fence and knock everything down so insurance will pay all at once. Thanks!


Saving, saving, saving…

Posted September 9th, 2014 in Ume's Thought | No Comments »

Ume in Perth

Life has been hectic for the last few months around me, but now things seem to be settling ok and I’m now little excited about what to come next…

My husband and I had the biggest shopping in our life recently, and we are now trying to stay on top of our budget each month.  We’ve created an excel sheet to record our spendings so we can keep an eye on what we spend and what we save on each month.  I actually like saving money – I’d say it’s a kind of my hobby.  When I started working in Japan, I was 15 years old who had several jobs and worked almost 7 days a week & went to a correspondence high school.  All I did in my last teens was saving money.  I didn’t really spend money on fashion and beauty.  I was quite different from my friends and other high school girls in Japan at that time who’s major interests were putting cute make-ups and buying trendy clothes.  My early childhood environment (family issue) was the biggest reason why I kept saving money, but also I had a dream to live overseas, especially in Australia in future, so I kept saving, saving, saving… till I graduated college in Osaka and flew to Perth.

After arriving Perth, I was more a spender than a saver as I was a student and only worked few hours a week at a Japanese restaurant.  There’s not particular reason to save money any more at that time as my goal had been achieved, but I also didn’t go nuts buying clothes and trendy stuff (well, it was rather difficult to do so in Perth anyway…)  Old habit of saving stayed in my vein!

So now, I’m trying to save each month again.  It’s bit hard now as I’m not the only person who is involved in this “saving”.  There are 3 other people (my family) and 2 of them are under 4 years old!   Any tips?  There are things I can’t save any further (e.g. council rate etc) so I’m focusing on food expenses, petrol, gas and electricity bills…  I wish I could get a day job to boost an income, but at the same time I also want to be there for my kids especially while they’re young.  Getting a part-time job will probably happen when they start going to pre-primary, and until then my job is to stay on top of our budget and also do a bit of baking for Bagelier… :p (bagels, anyone?)