Posted July 9th, 2009 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

I’m not sure if all Japanese schools have Kyushoku system (schools supply lunch to students/teachers), but my kindergarden, elementary school, and junior high school did.  I loved Kyushoku menu!  There’re few ladies working at school who prepare Kyushoku for us and they gave us monthly menu in advance with illustration.  Because we could know what today’s lunch is, so everyone get excited when we’re having everyone’s favorite menu, such as curry or cakes.

I don’t really remember at kindergarten, but at elementary school and junior high school, we got milk everyday with main (rice, noodle or bread), side dish, sometimes soup and dessert.  Each week one group in each class becomes “Kyushoku group” and the group have to go to kitchen to collect a trolly with food for each class.  Then, they bring the trolly back to the class and serve to all the classmate including teacher.  Next week another group becomes Kyushoku group so that everyone get to do it.  At my school, the food was so delicious and I always ate up all!

I still remember my favorite Kyushoku food in my school.  There’re few typical combination of menu (such as; Oyako-donburi with crispy silver fish tempura and clear soup, fried sweet bread roll with coffee milk (decaf) and yogurt, etc), and I always loved the oyako-donburi menu and chewy udon in clear soup (egg, veggies and chicken).  I can’t eat the same udon soup anywhere else… miss it.

And, sometimes there is s special menu ; Christmas cake on Christmas day, Tanabata cake on Tanabata day, very simple plain food on the day we pray for the memory of WW (brown rice, miso soup and pickles), chocolate on Valentine’s day, etc.

Oh yeah, the day there’s Yukimi Daifuku on the menu was popular and no one was absent in the class :p

By the way I found this interesting blog site introducing Kyusyoku menu from around the world.

What\’s For School Lunch

Who have you adopted?

Posted July 8th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here are the stories from PetRescue about unwanted pets finding new home…

<Buzz’s Story>

Buzz was always smiling. That’s why he stood out to Pam who had a big empty space in her family and was looking for a new friend for her Golden Retriever, Tyson.

Although Buzz was once unwanted, after having his profile on PetRescue everyone wanted to take him home! And when Tyson met Pam he knew he’d found his perfect person…

<Cherub’s Story>


Cherub had been waiting patiently for someone to take her home but kept being overlooked. So when Sarah and Rajiv fell in love with her the first time they looked online, it was obviously meant to be!   

This gentle smoocher is now keeping their feet warm at night. Cherub’s sparkle is now so bright you might actually need your sunglasses…





<Matisse’s Story>

Matisse and her siblings came to stay with their foster carer Rebecca until they were big and strong enough to find new homes.

“I’m what you call a ‘failed foster carer!” says Rebecca. 

“Matisse captured my heart and we bonded instantly. She has the most amazing, easy going nature.”

What a clever puss to find the perfect forever home without even leaving her rescuer!

<Bindi’s Story>

Bindi and her brothers and sisters were found dumped in bushland and caring rescuers saved their lives and nursed them back to health.

When it came time to find the perfect forever families for them, PetRescue was the place! Within a few days all of the litter had fantastic new homes and Bindi was matched with the Cloustons who gave her a great new name after their hero, Steve Irwin. Bindi has proven to be a real ‘Aussie dog’ with a big heart. She is now looking forward to a happy future with her people.


If you are thinking to have a pet, why don’t you go to animal shelters.  Those animals are once unwanted, but looking for loving new owners and warm home.


Posted July 7th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Today is 07 July… it’s Tanabata in Japan!  Tanabata is Japanese star festival, takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the milky way, are able to meet.  

Tanabata story is very romantic.  According to those separated stars, the story is about two lovers, Orihime and Hikoboshi, are allowed to meet only once a year on this day.  The river separates these lovers is Milky Way, called “Amano-gawa” in Japan.  Amano-gawa means “river in Heaven”.  

Here is the story ..

Orihime (織姫 Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝 Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (天の川Milky Way, lit. “heavenly river). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星 Cow Herder Starwho lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if Orihime worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet. (wikipedia)

In Japanese custom, we celebrate this day by writing wishes on Tanzaku (small pieces of paper) and hung them on bamboo tree.  With Tanzaku and other decoration, the bamboo is set afloat on a river in the night time.  

Many areas in Japan have their own Tanabata customs, but this is what I did when I was a child.  Besides, there is a river named “Amano-gawa” near my house and this is the place my family and I set the bamboo tree afloat every year on this day.

Now, still, I write a wish on Tanzaku and hung on a tree in the garden although we don’t set the tree afloat in a river.  Just keeping up one of Japanese custom here :p

Some photos from Japan ↓↓↓


Web Catalogs

Posted July 5th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Nowadays we can do lots of things online: rent DVD, meet your friends/family, search jobs, transfer money, change your mobile status, business meeting, buy tickets etc… without leaving home.  Still, people sometimes prefer going out for meet-up or shopping of course, otherwise they become hermit crabs!

I like online shopping and mail shopping though, I can look at catalogs at home and enjoy shopping anytime.  But, sometimes things I order look different from what I saw on catalogs or web and it’s the demerit of online/mail shopping – you can’t touch the material, check color with our eyes, and try them on.

I’m browsing few Japanese online shops to buy some clothes and stuff so that I can receive them when I go back home, but I don’t wanna buy pants and shoes online anymore…  Last time I ordered 2 pairs of pants from UNIQLO web shop, and asked my dad to bring them over here (he was coming to Perth).  I was looking forward those pants but I couldn’t fit them, they’re little too tight and too long.  If I go to UNIQLO shop I can get adjusted the hem for free.  And, I can try them on before buying of course.

The site I’m checking out right now is what I was looking for, actually.  This site offers digital catalog online, so you can search each shop’s specials or sale items online.  With this site, I can check what to look for and buy when I get to Japan.

You can even check very local shops, such as Jusco or Joshin if they have any current catalogs out.  It’s good to know what products are on sale before you go shopping so that you can save time to look around.

In Australia there is also online web-catalog site called “Lasoo“, if you wanna check it out.

Ramen Restaurants

Posted July 3rd, 2009 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | 23 Comments »

Although I’m not a big fan of ramen noodle, I sometimes feel like eating them in this cold weather.  Ramen soup is usually pork, chicken or vegetable stock based and very tasty.  On the other hand, fish stock is used for udon and soba noodle soup.

Because animal stock is used for ramen soup, it is bit oily and that gives the soup tasty flavor.  There are thousands of ramen restaurants across Japan and each has their original recipe for the

Here in Perth has few ramen restaurants owned by Japanese.  I’m not sure if they make soup by themselves though.

Banzai Sushi & Noodle Bar
741 Newcastle Street Leederville WA 6007

Kai Japanese Dining & Takeaway
Shop4, 110 Parry Ave Bullcreek WA 6149

Stall7, Fremantle Market Fremantle WA 6160

Has anyone been to any of those restaurants?

I think it’s interesting that those restaurants have quite unique ramen menu.  I’ve never seen Fried Chicken Ramen or Gyoza Ramen in Japan :p  Fried Chicken Ramen has Karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) on ramen noodle, and Gyoza Ramen has deep-fried dumplings on ramen noodle.  Dosukoi’s simple Ramen is $6.50, it’s pretty cheap.  Kai Japanese just opened few months ago, and the owner used run another Japanese restaurant in Subiaco. (popular one)  At Banzai, you can enjoy ramen noodle with ranges of Japanese liquir such as chu-hi.  (white peach is my favorite)

If you want to enjoy other Japanese noodle menu, I recommend …

Ramen & Udon @ Taka’s Kitchen Shafto Lane, Perth
(Ramen noodle available only after 5pm on weekdays, and all day Saturday)

Udon @ Ohnamiya, Applecross

Udon @ Oceans, Fremantle

Udon @ Jaws restaurants, Perth

Udon @ Ninniku Jip, Victoria Park

Udon @ Sado Japanese, Claremont

Grilled Chicken on Rice (Chicken Donburi)

Posted July 1st, 2009 in Food | 4 Comments »

This is not really teriyaki, but taste similar.  The chicken is actually like yakitori, just without skewers.

I just dropped a soft poached yolk on the top so that it breaks once you mix with chopsticks and it actually become a kind of “sauce” to this donburi.  Japanese chili powder (ichimi, Shichimi) goes well with this.

  • 1 fillet chicken thigh wih skin
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 small onion
  • spring onion (white part)
  • 1 egg yolk
  1. Cut chicken into cubes.  Mix soy sauce, sake and ginger.  Marinate chicken in the sauce overnight.
  2. Slice onion, and cut spring onion into 5cm length.
  3. Heat little amount of oil in a pan, and grill spring onion.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same pan, grill chicken pieces over medium high heat.  When the bottom of the meat starts to get colored, turn it over and add onion in the pan.
  5. Once meat is cooked through remove from the pan.  (onions still stay in the pan)
  6. Add 1 tbs of water into the pan, and simmer for few minutes.
  7. Arrange chicken and spring onion on steamed rice.  Pour onion and sauce over.  Top with poached egg yolk.

You can arrange it as Oyako Donburi ↓↓↓

At stage 5, leave chicken in the pan and add 2 tbs of water.  Simmer.  Break 1 egg into a small bowl and beat.  Pour egg mixture into simmering water.