Lemon Tree

Posted October 30th, 2008 in Food | 4 Comments »

In Perth people grow lots of trees in their garden.  Lemon, orange, mandarin, avocado, chili, etc…  Gardening is very very popular here.

I get to see many lemon trees around.  In my friends’ houses, in a park and in my neighbor’s yard…   I’ve never seen people actually raising it from a seed though… it must take years and years to grow.

I don’t have lemon tree in my garden, but my neighbor has.  The tree grows lots of fruits and one branch is growing towards my garden, so I sometimes pick them and use for cooking :p  I don’t think the neighbor can eat all…

The lemons I picked last week tasted very sweet:)  Not as sweet as melons or banana, of course, but I could just eat them like fruits!  I think the hot weather made them very sweet 🙂

Last night I used this lemon to make an accompaniment for steak.  The tangy citrus flavor was very refreshing and went well with beef 🙂

< Tomato Salsa with Avocado and Lemon Zest >

Chop up tomato (concace) and avocado.  Zest the lemon.  Add little amount of olive oil and mix them up  gently.  Crack black pepper over the plate and enjoy♪


Super Size

Posted October 29th, 2008 in Food, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

One thing that surprised me when I came to Perth is the size of the food.  Everything is so huge!  Watermelons, cucumbers and capsicums (in Japan we call green capsicums “piiman”)….  Perth’s baby cucumber is the same size as normal Japanese one :p

Big surprise was Perth’s eggplant.  They are unrealisticly huge (>x<)!!!  Japanese normal eggplants are just about same size as my hand, but Perth’s ones are bigger than my head!!  Are eggplants supposed to be in such huge size in other countries too??

They are not only veges/fruits that are big in Aus.  Chicken too…:p  When I was working in the kitchen at a restaurant I had to bone whole chickens, then I realized  “Japanese chickens weren’t this big!”.  Chicken thigh, breast and legs which you can find at local supermarkets are much bigger than ones in Japan too.

I was told that it’s because people inject some kind of hormone to chickens so that they grow much bigger than they are supposed to be.  Of course bigger the meat is more portion you can get for cooking.  …business… but it’s not natural, and now people are saying that our body also grows bigger by eating those chickens (>0<).  So scary.

You can of course get small size (natural) chickens here too, and they are more expensive…  but I always choose the natural size!  I don’t wanna get my face bigger :p


Pics from Japan

Posted October 28th, 2008 in Japan | 8 Comments »

My dad sent me photos from Japan…

It’s a shrine in Shiga, near my house.  There are few people around (unlike Kyoto and Nara) and very quiet.


Foods in Season

Posted October 27th, 2008 in Food | 2 Comments »

Here in Perth, the summer seems to be just around the corner.  The Daylight Saving started in WA state and the clocks went forward an hour, so the sun is up till 8pm now.  During the summer outside is still bright around 9pm – 10pm, so I sometimes get confused “is it night time now??”

Strawberries, blueberries, melons etc were very cheap till couple weeks ago.  They are spring fruits and I enjoyed them a lot 🙂  For strawberries and blueberries I bought them in bulk and froze them.  You can easily make nice fruit smoothies or some fruit sauce for pancakes at home:)

On the other hand, my dad told me that the autumn fruits are getting in their season in Japan and Nashi pears and Passimons are very tasty.  I love any fruits, but my favorite is Nashi pears.  They are not really sweet and have not so much  flavor, but that’s why I love them:)  I love watery food.

You can get Nashi pears in Perth, and my friend told me that they are available in America and Hawaii as well,  so I guess you can get them in any country now.  But of course the price is high :p  I still think Nashi in Japan is the best.


Izakaya

Posted October 25th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 7 Comments »
Izakaya Food

As my holiday to Jakarta/Japan is just around the corner, my friends are organising a gathering for my homecoming:)  The friends are my classmates from a college in Osaka, and most of them went to America to go to university after graduating the college.  Some of them, including myself, chose to come to Australia.  Everyone except me and one girl is now living in Japan and working happily 🙂

When they asked me “where do you want to go?”, I answered “Izakaya!” straight away.  Izakaya is a type of Japanese bar and they serve Izakaya foodIzakaya food is more substantial than that offered in normal bars and snack bars.  They have yakitori, salad, noodle, rice dish and some snack food to accompany the drinks.  They also has dessert menu.  Even though the place is supposed to be for drinking, people sometimes bring their children along as well.  I think Izakaya is kind of Family Restaurant + Drink Bar ÷ 2 .

The reason why I love Izakaya is the atmosphere, as well as the food and the price.  I don’t go to Izakaya by myself, but I always go there with a couple of friends.  We talk loudly, lough loudly and eat & drink!  All the stresses go away 🙂

Unfortunately there is no Izakaya In Perth:=(  …Correction, actually there are few, but the food and drinks are very very very expensive.  I have been to this Izakaya-like Japanese restaurant in Perth city once, and I was surprised by their price.  One small tiny salad ( the plate was smaller than my palm) costs A$8.90 (>0<).  In Japanese Izakaya this type of food is usually free (tsukidashi).

I know there are so many Izakaya (quite cheap) in Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.  But not in Perth 🙁  …Perth is pretty isolated city compared with Eastern states.  Is there Izakaya in other countries too?

Looking at the pictures makes me really really hungry! ↓↓↓

toho-kenbunroku

Murasaki

RIVER-JO

I love Chu-Hi 🙂

And cocktais.


McDonald’s in Australia and Japan

Posted October 23rd, 2008 in Food, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I believe that McDonald’s is the biggest fast food chain in Japan.  You can find McDonald’s everywhere, even in train stations and some sport gyms.  Apparently they have different menus in each country and there are few menus that I can’t have in Perth.

In Japan, their menu is magnificent!  Along with their standard menus, they have campaigns for new or seasonal items quite often and there are always something new/special.

Let’s talk about my favorite:)  I love their Chicken Tazta Burger!  The burger is only available in Japan (I assume so, as Tazta means a kind of karaage) The Chicken Tazta Burger is one of the standard menus and you can buy it anytime.  (There might be a possibility that they don’t sell Tazta anymore after I left Japan… :p)

They sell Teriyaki Burger as well.  Teriyaki is typical Japanese cuisine and other fast food chains like Mos Burger also sells Teriyaki Burger of their own recipe.

In Perth, we have few Mcdonald’s products which you can’t find in Japan.  They are trying to have “healthy image” on their products (I guess all McDonald’s over the world are same) and they sell Lean Beef Burger, Avocado and Tomato Mac Burger and Chicken Tandoori on Multigrain etc here.  They used to sell McOz which contains beetroots as well.  I love their concept, but the price at McDonald’s in Australia is unbelievably EXPENSIVE (>x<)

For example, I remember cheese burgers and hamburgers were less than 80 yen (about $1.20 now) in Japan.  Happy Meal was about 500 yen, I guess.  Also, you can easily download coupons from the website and get Regular French Fries, Mac Shake and more for just 100 yen each.  That was normal price in Japan.

However, here in Perth you have to pay about A$3.00 to get just a hamburger.  We rarely get a coupon or special price… actually, it’s never happened since I came here!  So we always pay at normal price :p  Since I know the price in Japan, I feel that McDonald’s products here are expensive…. although it maybe just because of the currency matter.

McDonald’s has McFlurry over the world and I’m a big consumer of it, but the variety is also different in Japan and Aus.  In Japan you can get McFlurry Caramel Macchiato (McFlurry Caramel Macchiato), McFlurry KitKat and McFlurry Oreo Cookies.  In Aus you can get McFlurry M&M’s Minis and McFlurry Oreo.  I don’t know about other countries… but I guess they have different flavors??

It’s actually interesting that you can try out the country’s specialty even at fast food chain.  I hear that there is Rendang (Indonesian Coconut Beef Curry Dish) Burger in Indonesia.  I’d love to try it out 🙂



McDonald’s in Australia and Japan

Posted October 23rd, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 9 Comments »

I believe that McDonald’s is the biggest fast food chain in Japan.  You can find McDonald’s everywhere, even in train stations and some sport gyms.  Apparently they have different menus in each country and there are few menus that I can’t have in Perth.

In Japan, their menu is magnificent!  Along with their standard menus, they have campaigns for new or seasonal items quite often and there are always something new/special.

Let’s talk about my favorite:)  I love their Chicken Tazta Burger!  The burger is only available in Japan (I assume so, as Tazta means a kind of karaage) The Chicken Tazta Burger is one of the standard menus and you can buy it anytime.  (There might be a possibility that they don’t sell Tazta anymore after I left Japan… :p)

They sell Teriyaki Burger as well.  Teriyaki is typical Japanese cuisine and other fast food chains like Mos Burger also sells Teriyaki Burger of their own recipe.

In Perth, we have few Mcdonald’s products which you can’t find in Japan.  They are trying to have “healthy image” on their products (I guess all McDonald’s over the world are same) and they sell Lean Beef Burger, Avocado and Tomato Mac Burger and Chicken Tandoori on Multigrain etc here.  They used to sell McOz which contains beetroots as well.  I love their concept, but the price at McDonald’s in Australia is unbelievably EXPENSIVE (>x<)

For example, I remember cheese burgers and hamburgers were less than 80 yen (about $1.20 now) in Japan.  Happy Meal was about 500 yen, I guess.  Also, you can easily download coupons from the website and get Regular French Fries, Mac Shake and more for just 100 yen each.  That was normal price in Japan.

However, here in Perth you have to pay about A$3.00 to get just a hamburger.  We rarely get a coupon or special price… actually, it’s never happened since I came here!  So we always pay at normal price :p  Since I know the price in Japan, I feel that McDonald’s products here are expensive…. although it maybe just because of the currency matter.

McDonald’s has McFlurry over the world and I’m a big consumer of it, but the variety is also different in Japan and Aus.  In Japan you can get McFlurry Caramel Macchiato (McFlurry Caramel Macchiato), McFlurry KitKat and McFlurry Oreo Cookies.  In Aus you can get McFlurry M&M’s Minis and McFlurry Oreo.  I don’t know about other countries… but I guess they have different flavors??

It’s actually interesting that you can try out the country’s specialty even at fast food chain.  I hear that there is Rendang (Indonesian Coconut Beef Curry Dish) Burger in Indonesia.  I’d love to try it out (^0^)/



Chicken Rice

Posted October 21st, 2008 in Eat out in Perth | 4 Comments »

When I first heard this dish Chicken Rice (Hainanese Chicken Rice) in Perth I thought it was something like  Japanese chicken rice.  In Japan, chicken rice refers stir-fried (or sometimes cooked in rice cooker) rice seasoned with tomato sauce (tomato ketchup).  We normally add pieces of chicken and veges, but could be chopped ham or sausages.  We still call them Chicken Rice:p

Actually, in Perth (and maybe other countries too) Chicken Rice is a dish with steamed chicken and rice.  Rice is normally cooked in chicken stock so the rice itself has chicken flavor.  Usually the dish comes with special chili sauce and simple chicken soup.

In Perth, Tak chee restaurant is pretty famous for their chicken rice.  I think many people have experiences eating chicken rice there.  I, on the other hand, usually go to Myaree Luncheon Forum in Myaree.  This place is nothing like a restaurant, looks like just a luncheon, but their chicken rice (Hainanese=steamed and Roasted) is quite popular to Malaysian, Chinese and Indonesian people here.  Every time I go to this place I encounter with people I know (friends, owner of other Chinese restaurants etc)

The chicken meat is very soft and tasty:)  You have to be a garlic lover to eat it as their chili sauce and rice are bit garlicy.

I also loves their Roasted Chicken Rice and Crispy Noodle too:)  In Japan we have crispy noodle as well (called kata yakisoba) and you can even order it in family restaurants and izakaya.  One of my favorite:)

Roasted Chicken Rice

Roasted Chicken Rice


Roasted Marinated Buffalo Wings

Posted October 17th, 2008 in Food | 4 Comments »

I buy chicken wings quite often:)  It’s because they are cheap, and also they are good for your skin.  Chicken wings contain lots of collagen which helps your skin stay younger.  I usually marinate them with herbs or spices (cajun, mixed herbs, curry powder…) and roast in the oven with potatoes and some veges.  It’s the easiest meal for midweek dinner:)

If you want to try them in Asian-like flavor, here is a variation.  You can enjoy these wings with rice 🙂

<Buffalo Wings>

  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp tobanjan
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

* Set the oven to 200 ~ 220.

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl.  Marinade buffalo wings in the sauce and leave it for 10~30 mins.
  2. Roast in the oven till cooked through.  So easy! 🙂

By the way, maybe it’s only me but I do eat chicken bone :p  I don’t know why, but I love them.  My partner always tells me to stop eating them but I can’t stop it :p  Is it only me??  In Japan we eat Nankotsu (cartilage) and I love them too!


Hot day…

Posted October 15th, 2008 in Perth WA | 18 Comments »

Wow is it already summer?? :p  It was more than 30 degree today.  So hot…  I heard on the radio that there was a bush fire in Hamilton Hill.  No wonder, I can feel the air is very dry…

Because of the heat I didn’t feel like eating anything for lunch today, so I just had apple and peach tea.  When I came home from work I was pretty hungry and had steak with some steamed veges.  By the way, during summer I can just eat watermelon for dinner everyday.  I like watery food and love watermelon:)  Japanese watermelon is round shape and sweeter than Perth’s.  Watermelon here is so huge and cheap!

During summer another thing I can’t stop eating is ice cream :p  I love haagen-dazs ice cream, especially green tea flavor!  Not too sweet, and the little bitter taste is perfect to ease the summer heat.

I also love this ice-cream “Viennetta” (>v<)/  In Japan it’s quite expensive compared with other normal ice-cream, but I still kept buying it.  The reason for that is not only the creamy taste, but also my memory.  My cousin sister always bought this ice-cream for me when I was little and for me the ice-cream reminds me the memory of her.  Apparently it’s also her favorite ice-cream.  Still now, I keep buying this:)