Simmered Tofu Broth

Posted May 17th, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

After continuous eating-out at Chinese restaurants, a steak house and a smorgasbord restaurant, I really really needed to rest my stomach with some hearty Japanese food.  In traditional Japanese cuisine we don’t use much oil, fat and meat.  That’s why Japanese food’s known as healthy, good diet among the world.

Some people think they are too bland and plain.  Even some Japanese people (especially men) prefer Western style food such as pizza, burgers and chips to the traditional Japanese food.  Nowadays, however, Japanese diet has been changed and we don’t get to see traditional Japanese food at the dinning table anymore.  We eat more Youshoku – Japanized Western dish everyday.  Some of the dish you know, such as Japanese curry, omu-rice, gyoza are not traditional Japanese food.  In Japan, gyoza, fried rice, ramen and char siu pows etc are considered as Chinese food, not Japanese food.  In Perth there are some Japanrese restaurants which sell sushi and dim sums together.  For me, the combination is really weird!  Dim sums are not supposed to be Japanese :p

Japanese cuisine doesn’t use garlic either.  They are really natural, plain flavor.  And, I love the bland food.  🙂

Tonight I cooked a broth with Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushroom and tofu.  I wanted to add enoki and shimeji mushroom but they are really expensive in Perth…  I love mushroom!

< Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom Broth >

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp dashi powder (powdered fish stock)
  • 2 shiitake mushroom
  • 80g tofu
  • 1~2 leaves Chinese cabbage
  • 1 tbs sake
  • 1~2 tsp soy sauce
  • salt
  1. Bring the water to boil.  Add dashi powder and stir.  Add sake, soy sauce and salt.
  2. Place cut tofu, Chinese cabbage and mushroom to the pan.  Simmer for 10~15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle ichimi-togarashi (one spiced chilli powder) if you like.

If the soup is really bland, you can add more soy sauce or salt. Or, you can use ponzu as dipping sauce.  Ponzu is commonly used for Japanese steamboard dish and simmered broth.

Japanese TV Commercial

Posted May 15th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

As some people know, Japanese tv shows are quite different from other countries’.  There are many comedy shows everyday, and the way they produce the shows is very comical (and sometimes I feel that’s too much :p)

Japanese joke is the most funniest, yet sometimes little cruel (that’s what I think).  You know, in Japanese comedy shows, comedians have to use their body to get the laugh (by getting hit, punched, etc) … :p  And I sometimes think that it’s too much.  Especially nowadays…. some of the jokes are not funny at all!

… anyway, when my hubby first visited Japan, he seemed to enjoy Japanese tv shows even though he doesn’t understand any words.  He said that Japanese tv shows, even tv commercials, are very funny.

Here are some of the funny/over reacting tv commercials…

Kurakon TV commercial

Fanta Drinks TV commercial

Kincho TV commercial

UFO Noodle TV commercial

Sapporo Beer TV commercial

Nisshin Cup Noodle TV commercial


Tony Roma’s

Posted May 14th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 4 Comments »

This American franchise restaurant – Tony Roma\’s was first started in North Miami in 1972.  It now has more than 200 restaurants in 27 countries, and there are 2 Tony Roma’s in Australia; one in Sydney and one in Perth.

I like the atmosphere of this restaurant.  This restaurant is famous for its Ribs, Seafood and Steaks, and I had a family dinner there tonight.

I ordered Rib Combo – BBQ chicken and half slab of pork ribs with a choice of two side dishes.  The meat was so tender that I didn’t even need to use my knife.

Aunt had Bayou Chicken Salad – spicy red hot BBQ chicken breast on greens, tomatoes, cheese and bacon.  It looked really yummy!  I will try this on my next visit… 🙂

This rib dish is St. Louis Sampler; which comes in 4 sauces – Original, Carolina Honey, Red Hats and Blue Ridge Smokies.  Yes you can enjoy four different flavors in one dish.

We didn’t have any entree this time, but Onion Loaf and Potato Skins are really nice.

They also do take-away!


Posted May 13th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Located at the centre of Northbridge, I’m sure that lots of people know this restaurant.  Saigon is a city in Vietnam, and as this name indicates this restaurant serves Vietnamese/Chinese food.

I was still learning English at TAFE (Technical and Further Education institute) when I first tried this place. (6 years ago!)  My classmate (who had been in Perth for few years) recommended a dish called “Saigon chicken rice” to me, and since then I order this dish every time I go to this restaurant, even now.

Besides the taste, the price was also another big factor why I kept eating this dish.  Back then it was just $4.50!  Now, however, it’s about $7? $8?  I’m not sure…  Price’s been gone up.

I usually order fresh spring rolls as entree.  I love the sauce!  shredded carrot and crushed peanuts…

Then, Saigon Chicken Rice…

The sauce is kind of sweet, and you can eat lots and lots of rice with just this sauce.  (which is not a good thing if considering the calorie, actually :p)  The chicken is roasted or fried first, so it’s crispy outside.   This one dish really fill me up, I think men will like this dish.

Ramune drinks

Posted May 12th, 2009 in Food, Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 3 Comments »

Ramune is a carbonated soft drink which you can find in Japan. Ramune is one of the symbols of summer in Japan and you’ll see this drink during warm festival days and nights.

Ramune’s bottle is known for its very distinctive design: they are made of glass and sealed with a marble.  The marble is held on the narrowest part of the bottle to keep pressure of the carbon in the drink. To open the bottle, a device to push the marble inward is provided with the bottle. The marble is pushed inside the neck of the bottle where it rattles around while drinking.

The flavor of Ramune I know is sweet, it’s almost like sprite.  It’s transparent but it looks like it’s blue color because of the blue colored bottle.  That’s the original Ramune which I used to drink when I was little.

…. now, I found these!

Left: Curry Flavored Ramune

Middle: Wasabi Flavored Ramune

Right: Almond Jelly Flavored Ramune

They are genuinely made in Japan, by the way.

… Would you drink them?  I mean, curry flavored soda drinks?!  Wasabi?  … Almond Jelly may be fine, but other two are not really tempting.

I’m curious though, how it tastes like…

In Perth they are available in some places…  if you wanna try those.

Yum Cha

Posted May 11th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Do you like Dim Sum?  In Perth you can get them pretty cheap as compared as in Japan.

Which Dim Sum dish do you like?  My favorites are…

Fried Squid (everyone’s favorite!), Steamed Prawn Dumplings, Prawn in Rice Flour Rolls, Chicken Feet, GInger Tripe, and mango pudding.

Those dishes are what I order every time I go out for yam cha.  I know some people don’t like chicken feet, tripe etc, but I love those offal (if it’s cooked nicely!)

Yes, looks little gross… :p

By the way do you know why this dining experience (eating small servings of different foods) is called “Yam Cha”?  Yam Cha in Chinese character (飲茶) means “drinking tea”, which means that you need to drink lots of tea while having those food as the foods are usually oily and high in fat.  Drinking Chinese tea helps digesting those oily food.  That’s why you need to order Chinese tea at Yam Cha restaurants!

Easy Oven Roasted Spare Ribs

Posted May 10th, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

Very easy!  Just marinate and cook in the oven.  You won’t even need to marinate meat for hours.

< Oven Roasted Spare Ribs >

  • 7~9 spare ribs
  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbs tomato sauce
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs marmalade jam
  • 1 tbs white wine or sake
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp grated garlic

– Heat up oven to 200

  1. Season ribs with salt and pepper.  Mix all the ingredients in a heat-proof bowl.  Marinate ribs in the sauce and glad wrap, then heat up in the microwave for about 5 minutes.
  2. Place ribs on an oven tray with sauce.  Cook for about 30minuts or until meat is cooked.

* If the meat starts to burn on surface, cover with aluminum foil and let it cook through.

Mother’s Day

Posted May 9th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Tomorrow is mother’s day!  What’s your plan?

There’re so many things you can get for your mam from shopping centre, florist, book shops etc…  I got this massage thing for mother_in_law (to be).  I didn’t have any other ideas what to get for her.. :p

My mam is in Japan, so it’s not easy to organize something for her from here 🙁  I know my mam wouldn’t care, but I thought it’d be nice if I do something..

I usually buy something online and send it to mam’s house.  This time, I chose to send flower to her 🙂

This shop does FREE delivery on Mother’s day.  I hope she’ll like it!

By the way the name of this shop is “Flower for Mother’s Day”.  This means the shop only gets customers on this day?  I wonder how they can get profit…..  In Perth I see “Christmas shop” which sells only Christmas goods.  I understand this business as Christmas is a big day of the year.

…. I think I should have written this post in Japanese as this flower shop is in Japan :p


Iced Coffee

Posted May 7th, 2009 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

If you are familier with iced coffee with ice cream and fresh cream, you will be surprised when you see Japanese iced coffee.  In Japan iced coffee is just iced black coffee.  It usually comes with syrup and cold milk on side, but coffee itself is not sweet.

I like black coffee and usually don’t put any sugar or milk.  In summer I drink iced coffee (black), and in winter I drink hot coffee (black).  You can easily get iced/hot coffees (and other beverages) from vending machines and convenience stores 24/7.

Since I came to Perth, however, I started adding milk and sweetener to my coffee.  I don’t know why I like sweet coffee now.  Age?…  but the strange thing is that I only drink black coffee whilst in Japan still now.  While I’m in Perth I drink sweet coffee; iced coffee, affogato etc.

By the way, coffee jelly is one of my favorite dessert in Japan.  It’s just black coffee jelly, normally served with cream syrup.  Sometimes with whipped fresh cream.

Very simple, but the bitterness of coffee and sweetness of syrup really matches. Great for summer!

And you can get that from convenience stores too!

Singapore Hawker Chinese Food

Posted May 6th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

Collins Plaza is a place where few restaurants are gathered and I sometimes go there for lunch and dinner.  There is one Japanese restaurant “Yuki Japanese”, and few Chinese restaurants.  Korean grocery shop “Hi Mart” is there too.  I see Korean people hanging around this area often.

I’ve went to Yuki few times and their food is nice.  The owner is not a Japanese but the interior is well presented and staff are friendly.  One of the Chinese place at this Collins Plaza is Bamboo (I think there is Bamboo restaurant in Northbridge or somewhere too), and their lunch menu was delicious!  I had curry laksa and other dishes looked very nice too. I was little disappointed when I went to this place for dinner though.  The dishes were not as nice as lunch menu 🙁  I don’t know why: different chefs, maybe.  Especially, crispy chicken.  The sauce was too buttery and it was not to my taste :p

The another Chinese place I’ve been to is Singapore Hawkers Chinese food.  Even though this place is small as compared with Bamboo, their food was very nice.  For lunch I had Nasi Lemak, and the price was cheap too.

The other day I tried this place for dinner.  We ordered stir-fried Kan Kun (Chinese vegetable) with sambal, fried duck with plam sauce, sizzling seafood combination plate, and sambal squid.

Personally, I thought they put  little too much vegetables on each plate; for example, Sambal Squid dish got tomato, carrot, onion, and okura.  I think they don’t need to put any veggies as this dish is called “Sambal Squid”, but you know how much I love vegetables.  I really enjoyed it.

Sizzling seafood plate (with cauliflower, capsicum and onion) was little different from what I expected, but my family was enjoying it very much.

Four dishes and steamed rice, it was less than 60 dollars!  Really cheap.  No wonder they’re very busy and many people kept coming for take away.