Sweet Pumpkin Doughnuts

Posted August 29th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »
This morning I woke up early and was wondering around the kitchen.  I like having coffee in the morning so I made a cup of black coffee, and opened the fridge if there’s anything to munch on.  I was kind of half asleep, and sipping hot coffee and walking around thinking whether I should turn on tv or just enjoy this quite moment … if someone sees me in the morning I must look weird, but that’s me :p
When I was looking inside of the fridge I found a small piece of pumpkin.  It’s just a leftover from roasted pumpkin I made the other night.  Then I thought ” hey maybe I make some doughnuts using the pumpkin.”
I used to make many kinds of doughnuts when I was back in Japan, such as sweet potato doughnuts, carrot doughnuts,  kinako (soy bean powder) coated doughnuts, doughnuts with vanilla ice cream and azuki an (chunky azuki paste), etc.  I love doughnuts with carrot, sweet potato or pumpkin as they are not too sweet and high in nutrition.  Good for kids 🙂
Here is the recipe :
<Pumpkin Doughnuts>
  • 100 g pumpkin
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • vanilla essence
  1. Cut pumpkin and peel the skin off.  Steam or microwave until it’s soft.  Drain well, an  mash up until smooth.
  2. In a bowl, place mashed pumpkin, egg yolk, sugar and few drops of vanilla essence.  Mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula.
  3. Shift in flour and baking powder and mix well.  (* at this point add 1 tbs of water into the dough if the mixture is too tough.  If the dough is already soft, there is no need to add water.)
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and rest for 20 mins in the fridge.
  5. Heat up oil to 160~170 ℃.  Using two table spoons, slowly drop half table spoon of dough into oil, one at a time, and deep-fry until it’s golden.
  6. Drain, and serve on a plate.  Dust with icing sugar.
As I mentioned earlier this doughnut is not too sweet, so if you want to add more sweetness you can either:
drop into a tray of cinnamon sugar while it’s hot.
you can dip into melted chocolate,
enjoy with some icing.  🙂
You can also make them in different shapes such as rings and sticks.
Ring : cut baking paper into appx 10cm square, and pipe out the mixture into ring shape onto the baking paper.  Slowly drop the paper (with the mixture on) into 160~170 ℃ oil, facing the doughnuts side down, and deep-fry.  The paper will come off itself.
Stick : Drop a tiny amount of oil on your hands, and shape the dough into a stick, then quickly drop into heated oil.  Be careful not to burn yourself!
Now, if you excuse me I need to go back to the kitchen and finish up my doughnut while it’s hot. 🙂

Milk and Honey

Posted August 28th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »
I found a nice-looking cafe in Northbridge, called “Milk and Honey”.  The naming is cute, and I like the shop : looks clean and tidy.  The logo of a cow in yellow and white color is adorable. (‘v’)
Unfortunately, the shop was closed when I walked pass, but I had a chance to have a quick chat with the owner couple : they’re so friendly and kind.  (I think the husband is from somewhere around Europe?)  
I think this place is perfect for someone who wants to have a nice breakfast, or a relaxing coffee time in the afternoon.   I found that the menu at Milk and Honey sounds pretty good 🙂  I was always thinking that lots of cafes around Perth have very similar menus, very basic ones (bacon + egg, eggs benedict etc) but I feel like eating something different sometimes!  According to the menu at Milk and Honey, they have some basic menus such as Bacon and Egg, Croissants and Big Brekkie (at Milk and Honey it’s called “The Big One”) as well as .. ↓↓↓ 
Salmon Twist – Smoked salmon and poached eggs on a bed of rocket, and drizzled with basil EVO oil.
Spanish BK – Spicy scrambled free-range eggs with grilled chorizo, roasted Roman tomatoes and rocket. 
All day breakfast salad – Bacon, poached eggs, grilled tomato and mixed greens.
And, their roll menu is tempting too: I like Beef and Veg roll – Real roast beef, marinated & grilled vegetables, avocado spread, herb mayo and mixed greens!
They only open on weekdays from 7 am ~ 4 pm at the moment, but they are planning to open on weekends as well from sometime in September.  And, as an opening promotion their coffee (limited items) is $2.00, and coffee + muffin is $5.00.  I can’t go there on weekdays (as I have to stay in the office :p ) but I would like to have breakfast or lunch there when they open on weekends.
82 James St
Northbridge, 6003 
(08) 9227 0500   

Fremantle Chocolate Factory

Posted August 26th, 2009 in Perth WA | 1 Comment »

When my partner and I were riding around Fremantle the other day, we decided to drop by this factory and have a look around.  Although this place opens 7 days a week, and has been advertising on one of Japanese news magazines in Perth, it was my first time going there.  

While we were parking our vespa, I saw few Japanese people (I could tell!) going towards this factory.   Hmm seems that the advertising on the Japanese magazine is really effective, otherwise this place is hard to be found and no one would realize there is a chocolate factory in Fremantle – especially tourists. (‘x’)

As we entered the factory I saw Japanese news magazines on a rack, and a sign board on the wall written in Japanese!  Wow lots of Japanese people must come here often.

They sell chocolate with a wide variety of flavors, and the packaging has a logo of “Chocolate Factory Fremantle”, so they make great souvenirs.  There are free tasting chocolate (milk, dark and white), and I tasted white chocolate buttons.  They are pretty sweet.

What I found interesting is that they also sells some molded chocolate : shaped into some animals, gift basket etc.  I thought they are really cute, and I almost bought a treasure box shaped chocolate.  Then I realized “wait, who am I gonna give this to??  I can’t bring it to Japan as it might melt (as it is hot in Japan), and partner’s parents can’t have lots of sugar.”  It would be a good gift if you have someone who loves chocolate.

They also sell some handmade fudge delivered from Margaret River Fudge Factory as well as Morish Nuts products.

You can see inside of factory through windows.


Fremantle Chocolate Factory
312 South Terrace (cnr Lefroy St) South Fremantle WA 6162
08 9335 5529

Home Made Asian Sweets

Posted August 25th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

My mother-in-law (M) cooks everyday.  She sometimes cook Indonesian sweets for us and they are really nice.  Since the parents came to Perth I haven’t cooked any food at home. :p   She is always in the kitchen doing something, so there is no space for me!

Here are some of Indonesian sweets she made…

<Ketan Hitam>

Ketan = glutinous rice, hitam = black in Indonesian (according to M)

If you browse on internet you’ll see various forms of this dish, but M always make like this ↓↓↓

Like porridge.

On the photo it looks like azuki beans, but the texture is totally different.  This black rice is very chewy and juicy.  I love the texture!


  • 400g black glutinous rice
  • 1300ml water
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • 125ml palm sugar syrup (dissolve palm sugar with hot water)

You can buy a small packet of black glutinous rice from Asian grocery shops.

  1. Wash rice.  Soak the rice in water for few hours (to soften up).
  2. Place rice in a sauce pan with water and pandan leaves.  Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to low.  Cook for about 40 minutes.  You’ll need to stir constantly.
  3. Add palm sugar syrup, and stir until the liquid almost evaporates.  Add a pinch of salt.
  4. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.

They usually eat this Ketan Hitam with coconut milk.

<Biji Salak>

This is also a chewy sweet ♪

  • sweet potatoes
  • tapioca flour
  • palm sugar syrup
  1. Steam (or microwave) sweet potatoes.  (as much as you like)  Mash up.
  2. Add tapioca flour, 1 tbs at a time, and mix well.  Continue until you can roll up the mixture into a long stick shape.  Chop up  into 2~3 cm length.
  3. Boil water in a sauce pan, and add the sweet potato dumplings.  (not too much at a time)  Once the dumplings float to the surface, scoop them out.
  4. Serve with palm sugar syrup.  (and coconut milk)


They are very easy to make, but to me they are “foreign food”.  In Japan we don’t eat coconut milk/cream (now maybe they do) as well as palm sugar, tapioca flour etc.  These food are all foreign things in Japan, and the food contained these ingredients are called “Asian food”.  Japanese food is pretty different from other “Asian” food.  🙂

News From Japan

Posted August 24th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I talked to my brother over skype on Saturday night asking how the things are going and what’s new in Japan.  Then, he told me about the climate…

Japan has 4 seasons: spring (Mar~May), summer (June~Aug), autumn (Sep~Nov), and winter (Dec~Feb).  Usually June is the rainy season, and after it finish summer comes.  Around August the winds start to get cool and there’re typhoons around September. (typhoons indicate “it’s the end of summer)  And, around October the trees and mountains start to change its color to yellow, orange and red.  (autumn)  You get to see dragonflies, and hear some autumn insects singing.  Around the end of November ~ December the air gets cold and cold, and some places have snow.  March, you can see some buds on the ground and notice the sky is getting blue.  That’s what I know about a whole year in Japan.

So, in September I was expecting to see beautiful autumn color mountains and eat lots and lots of autumn food…  until I talked to my brother (>0<)

My bro told me that this year has been really weird.  The rainy season just finished few weeks ago (usually it’s supposed to finish around June~July) and now it is the middle of summer!  So, it’s like one month behind…  Oh no, when we go there it’s gonna be really hot and humid 🙁  I asked him if we need some jackets or coats just in case, and he said “are you crazy?” :p

… I hope I can still eat nice food there.  I’m sure I’ll be eating lots of soft serves and snow cones!  Maybe I can just wear yukata (casual kimono-like summer wear) and walk around the lake and rivers 🙂

And, a bad news (T_T).  I sent an inquiry email to Softbank (a Japanese mobile company) asking if I could rent a 3G SIM card and use it on iphone/3GS.  (I wrote about this on here.)  They said that 3G SIM card rental service for iphones is only available at Narita airport (Tokyo) at the moment…   Whaaat (>0<)  So, I can’t get SIM card rental service at Kansai airport!  Hmm…  

Now I’m thinking to buy a pre-paid mobile in Japan.  Having a pre-paid mobile in Japan is really unusual thing…  My friend, who also had a same issue as me, went back to Japan to stay for just 3 months.  She needed a mobile, but didn’t want to buy on contract.  (in Japan mobiles are usually sold on contact bases)  She went to Softbank to buy a prepaid mobile, then the shop staff asked her many times “are you sure you want to get a pre-paid mobile?!  We have a low cost plan here.”  …

These days prepaid mobiles are only available from limited companies.   Even Docomo stopped selling prepaid mobiles in 2005.  Prepaid mobiles are not popular in Japan, but i guess I will need to buy one (phone itself costs about 5000 yen).  It is really really inconvenient being in Japan without a mobile.

Night Out in Northbridge

Posted August 22nd, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

My fiance and I went to Northbridge last night.  It was just because 1: we wanted to have time away from his parents (:p), 2: my fiance’s friend and his girlfriend flew from Singapore/Malaysia 2 days ago and staying in Perth for 5 days, so maybe we could catch up with them.  Though we weren’t so hungry we were just wondering around to find a place where we can sit down and call the friends what they’re doing. As we enter the centre of Northbridge I noticed there are lots of racing-type cars and many people were gathering around them. …wow what’s going on? :p


My fiance told me that maybe they just finish a race somewhere and were having dinner. The road was closed and these cars were parked on James St.

Then we proceeded to find a place to sit down!  We didn’t feel like eating “proper dinner food”, so we decided to munch on a kebab.

We went to Alto’s Kebab House on 39 Lake St. I had a chicken kebab with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. It’s nice that you can choose as many kinds of sauces as you want. ( I only got 2 sauces anyway though)

The bread (pitta?) was not that thin but not too thick, and kinda chewy. I remember I had a kebab in somewhere Margaret River and the bread was like 1.5 cm thick, and I didn’t like it :p I liked this chewy texture on Alto’s bread, but I also don’t mind if it was little thinner and crispy texture. 🙂

In the end we found out that friends were watching movie at Garden City, so we just headed to il gelato and I had a scoop of chocolate cinnamon – flavor of the month. My fiance had a scoop of pistachio at Gelare.

While we were eating dessert, all the racers started to drive away. .. with a extreme noise. :p   That recalled a memory of a Tokyo trip when I was 15.  It was a school trip to Tokyo Disneyland and the surrounding area, and we were staying at Tokyo Bay hotel.  That night, as it was almost 1 am and I was so tired after a whole day at Tokyo Disneyland, I was in the bed about to sleep.  Then, suddenly I heard a huge noise thru the window.  A noise of cars or motorbikes!  Some people must had been enjoying their night race or something… but it was toooo noisy! (>0<)  I couldn’t sleep.  After a while the noise stopped, (I think someone called polices maybe) but I was really pissed that night..   Watching car race is fun!  but not when you want to sleep .. 🙁



Soy Sauce

Posted August 21st, 2009 in Food | No Comments »



There are numbers of ingredients which are essential in Japanese cuisine.  The most important one is soy sauce, I believe.  Some people think that all Japanese food is seasoned with soy sauce (which is not true :p ) Some Japanese people do carry a small bottle of soy sauce when travel around the world.   Now, what is soy sauce anyway?  Soy sauce is called “Shouyu” in Japanese, and there are variety of flavors.  Standard soy sauce is a fermented sauce made from soy beans, roasted wheat, salt and water.  From what I have read the roasted wheat gives the aroma to the soy sauce.

Here are 8 popular types used in Japan (and in other world too).


This is the “standard” of Japanese soy sauce.  It is made from equal amounts of soy beans and wheat.


This is a light Japanese soy sauce. It is used regularly in cooking. Even though its name means “light seasoned”and “Thin Taste”, Usukuchi soy sauce actually contains more salt than the standard Koikuchi sauce.  This soy sauce has lighter color than normal soy sauces, so it doens’t overwhelm the color of food.  Therefore people chose to use this soy sauce when they want to retain the color of ingredients in the dish.  (eg: Osuimono (clear soup)


This sauce is made mainly from soy beans. There is only a small amount of wheat added. The flavor is richer than Koikuchi Shoyu.


Meaning “white shouyu”, this soy sauce has a similar looking to starch syrup.  Shiro-jouyu contains high % of sugar than other soy sauces.  This soy sauce is also used to retain the color of ingredient in the dish. (eg: udon soup, clear soup, steam board)


This is a soy sauce mainly served with sashimi.  As this is a kind of Tamari soy sauce, it has dark looking color and rich flavor.  Other than sashimi, this soy sauce is also used to produce dark red color for teriyaki dish and simmered fish dish.


This salt reduced soy sauce contains 50% less salt than normal soy sauces.


This salt reduced soy sauce contains 80% less salt than normal soy sauces.  



These days..

Posted August 20th, 2009 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

It’s been rainy days …   I found that the roads in Perth tend to have lots of small puddles when it rains.  These puddles really scare me off … when I drive in the rain my car floats on the water, and I think “aah, this is the end of my life ..” :p  Never had such experience before I came to Perth..  I think the road condition or drain system is not really good here.

By the way Matsuri Japanese restaurant opened it’s second shop today.  The new place is not a restaurant, it’s a takeaway shop, so I think they open only for lunch time selling bento or donburi type of food.  It’s in the city, near the new Woolworth on St George Tce.

Seems that there are few Japanese restaurants opening around Perth.  Hana Gozen, a Japanese takeaway food shop was opened nearly one month ago in the city.  This shop is owned by Indonesian, and I like how they named their shop.  When I went to Jakarta last time I noticed that Japanese restaurants there had very Japane-like names.  (eg: Hanamasa)  I don’t think they can speak or know Japanese words, and wonder how they came up with these names..  If I’m thinking to open up an Italian restaurant and thinking to decide the name, what I can think of is just simple Italian words such as “grazie” “Ciao” etc..   Did those Indonesian people asked some Japanese to make up a name, or they searched on dictionary ??  But I don’t see how they came up with “Hanagozen” Tokinowa” etc  Sugoi!
I heard that there’ll be a new Japanese restaurant in the city, and their menu and prices are similar to Taka’s Kitchen’s.  And, a Japanese restaurant Bonsai Restaurant & Cafe Lounge will open in Northbridge next month (September).  There’ll be up to 100 seats inside, and the Japanese head chef seems to have lots of experiences serving high quality food.
I’m not sure about this but I also heard that Ohnamiya in Applecross will open its second shop in Nedland.  
I’m actually waiting for someone opening an inexpensive Izakaya restaurant in Perth :_)  Or, something like family restaurants such as Denny’s or Big Boy.. just a place where I can hang around with cheap/casual food.  Can anyone?? :p

Next Cafe

Posted August 18th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 12 Comments »

Next Cafe, a newly opened car themed cafe is located on Ardross street in Applecross. Although the size of the cafe is not that big, I was pretty impressed by their service and menu.

As I entered the cafe a lady (staff) gave me a big smile and kindly showed us their menu. I had to sit down and think what to have… they have a wide range of drink menu.

They have normal cappuccino and also some unique flavored coffees such as Iced Strawberry Espresso with Soda and Hawaiian Coffee, as well as Iced Red Bean and Iced Fruit Punch. One of their menu “Passion Me” is often consumed in Italy in summer, as the combination of passion fruit juice and coffee gives very sweet and refreshing taste. “Alpes Coffe” is named after its looking – a white snow (thick milk froth) topped on a double espresso and hazelnut syrup.

After browsing the menu for few minutes, my fiance and I decided to have orange latte and coconut cappuccino.

The staff asked me if I needed some sugar with coffee. I told her “no” as I don’t usually put sugar to my coffee. Then she said “this coffee is already pretty sweet.” I tasted orange latte, and it was, yes, really sweet! Ummm it was too sweet to me but I’m sure lots of people will like this type of sweet coffee. Then I tried coconut cappuccino; it smelled coconut syrup, but didn’t really taste coconut. :p Well, I loved nicely brewed coffee and fluffy milk froth very much though. The decoration on the milk froth was really cute, and I could feel that these coffee were made with care. 🙂

i will definitely come back here to try other drinks. Currently they are doing “$2.00 coffee on Tuesday” and “$3.50 cake on Thursday”.

Oh, and, I loved their interior too 🙂


Kit Kat in Japan-2

Posted August 17th, 2009 in Food, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

I’ve wrote about Kit Kat long time ago (here) featuring the unique flavors of Japanese Kit Kat, and recently I had a chance to try few of them. A couple, friends of mine, just came back from Japan last week and brought me some Kit Kat as a souvenir. 🙂

Lemon Vinegar / Soy Sauce / Ramune

(yellow: Lemon Vinegar . purple: Soy Sauce . Blue: Ramune)
I knew about this “soy sauce” flavor, but not these “lemon vinegar” and “ramune” flavors. They must be new! Japan’s Nestle keeps producing new flavors…
I’ve read someone describing the soy sauce Kit Kat before, he was saying “it tastes like caramel”. I guess it’s because the sugar in soy sauce somehow produced “caramelized” flavor. …
Soy Sauce Kit Kat was coated with white chocolate, and it smelled very sweet.  It actually smelled like caramel puddings!  The guy was right (‘x’).  It was really milky and sweet.
Now, Ramune Kit Kat.  Look at the color!  It’s blue :p  As soon as I opened the package I could smell “ramune”!   … well it was more like a bubble-gum-like smell, actually.   I hesitated a little…  wow it’s weird, it’s chocolate but smells like a bubble gum.  (>0<)  But, when I put it in my mouth the smell was gone and I could simply taste the chocolate.  Ummm …
The Lemon Vinegar flavor .. very weird for chocolate, isn’t it.  Fortunately there’s no smell of vinegar much, and it tasted fine actually.  The taste was like chocolate with lemon.  (citrusy chocolate)
Overall, every flavor Kit Kat was pretty sweet.  I mean, really sweet..
Well, it was fun to try those unique flavors though,
I still like Sakura flavor, Maccha green tea flavor and strawberry cheesecake flavor! 🙂

San Churro Fremantle

Posted August 16th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

I’ve wanted to try their freshly made churros and chocolate menu since my friend recommended me this place. San Churro is located on Market Street in Fremantle, just a step away from cappuccino street. Even though it was early morning on Sunday there’re already few customers sitting on relaxing chairs and enjoying freshly brewed coffees and teas.

This cafe is named after the head monk, San Churro, in Spain who was a leader of monks manufacturing chocolate for the Spanish aristocracy. I didn’t know until today that churros was actually a Spanish food. I used to eat churros at Mister Donuts, and sometimes from convenience stores in Japan 🙂

At San Churros, you can enjoy freshly fried churros and some sweets with a wide range of drinks such as milk shakes, coffee and chocolate. My friends ordered iced chocolate and chocolate vanilla milk shake, and I ordered Spanish latte.

For churros, you can chose a dipping from 4 kinds of chocolate: dark, milk, white and caramel. I had dark, and my friend had caramel. Apparently a dipping chocolate comes with any cakes too, not only for churros. Another friend ordered a ricotta dark-berry cake with white chocolate dipping.

The dipping was very nice. Caramel dipping was little thick, and dark and white chocolate dippings were really creamy. Churros were also nice, crunchy and really chewy 🙂 According to this friend, who is from El Salvador, churros in his country are little chunkier and longer, but those churros at San Churro were just right size for me. Spanish latte was little too sweet for me though, but I guess that’s how it should taste. I could taste sweet syrup in the latte.

At the cafe they sell gift-wrapped chocolate products and some sweets as well. You can find out more about this place from San Churro website.

Chocolateria San Churro Fremantle (08) 9336 7557

91 Market Street Fremantle

Sun-Thu : 8:30am ~ 10:00 pm

Fri-Sat:    8:30am ~ 11:00 pm


Just Bad Timing..

Posted August 15th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 9 Comments »

After Bishonencam-san left me a comment on my previous post telling me about a newly opened restaurant in Northbridge, I was really curious to try their food. 🙂  (thanks Bishonencam)

This restaurant Sizzle Mania is located on William Street in Northbridge, close to Icey Snow.  I went there recently with my camera so that I could shoot some photos and post on Umeboss.  Then I found out that they don’t take eftpos, and I didn’t have any cash with me, so I walked around N/B to look for an ATM.  After withdrawing some cash I went back to the place, but unfortunately they had just closed the door (>0<)  Oh no…  it was opened few minutes ago…  Well, if they closed, it’s closed.  It was shame that I couldn’t try their food this time.  I really should carry some cash every time I go out!

I took some photos from outside :

As a grand opening promotion, all the food items are 20% OFF until 24th of August!  If you want to try some of their food I’d say go for it.

Sizzle Mania

Unit 1 / 305 William St, Northbridge WA

*** see my new post about this place here!***

Which Japanese Restaurant To Go

Posted August 13th, 2009 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | 7 Comments »

Other day I was chatting with my Japanese friends “which Japanese restaurants in Perth do you go to?”. If it was few months ago Samurai would be in their answers, I think :p After talking with friends I realized the restaurants men chose are different from what women chose. My boy friends take the volume of food, the quantity of meat, and the prices into account. On the other hand my girl friends take different things into account such as how the food is presented, the atmosphere of the place and the taste of food.

What most men look for is the food value and the volume… I don’t say all the men are like that, but I agree with what my friends say, actually. Top 3 Japanese restaurants my boy friends chose are :

  • Banzai Sushi & Noodle Bar
  • Sundays Everyday
  • Kanta Japanese Kitchen and Sushi Bar
According to them, food at Banzai are really nice. The popular ones are ramen noodle dish, and they come with gyoza, karaage.. whatever the food guys like are on top of ramen.
Food at Sundays Everyday are really really big in volume! That’s what everyone says :p Even a guy who is starving can’t finish Sunday’s donburi dish. One of them said he even felt heartburn after eating their croquette bento. I’m sure they taste ok though, just the volume is very big. This could be the reason why they are busy at lunch time with local workers. (men)
They also like food at Kanta because they taste good, and the prices are reasonable.
photo from http://yourrestaurants.com.au

photo from http://yourrestaurants.com.au

On the other hand, my girl friends chose:

  • Taka’s Kitchen
  • Shimizu Grand in Floreat
Taka’s Kitchen are actually chosen by my boy friends too. Their prices are reasonable and food are ok, and the location is good too. The cheapest dish is su-udon (plain udon noodle soup) which is $3.00. The popular dish is teriyaki chicken @ $7.90. If you want to try their sushi I recommend Shaft Lane shop. There are 2 sushi chefs working at Shaft Lane, one is from Japan and another is from Melbourne. Both are Japanese and have experience working as sushi chef. I don’t really like Taka’s in Fremantle food court (Old Shanghai) though. Their sushi rolls were really bad :p I wouldn’t call them “sushi” :p
I like Shimizu Floreat too, their atmosphere is good for a meet-up with friends. This place does buffet, but you can also order a la carte menu without extra charge such as takoyaki, beef teriyaki (which actually was like beef steak cubes with garlic and teriyaki sauce) etc. Last time I went there it was about $48.50 per head (pricy!) but if you target on eating tempura, sashimi and sushi, it’s worth the value I think.


Posted August 13th, 2009 in Food, Japan, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Meiji co. has been one of the big sweets/snack/dairy products company in Japan since 1916.  I’m sure you’ve seen some of their products before :_)





Everyone tells me that the packaging for Japanese food is very colorful and cute.  I agree…

Checking up Japan’s food companies’ websites is fun.:)   Even Mcdonald’s, Starbucks, Miter Donuts websites…  make me feel hungry!  I get excited by just looking at delicious food, and sometimes I find interesting campaign there.

Collaboration products with Meiji Yoghuret x Pokka drink…


Meiji chocolate mirror…



Meiji Xylish gum “Iki-pan-2” campaign…


I like this Xylish gams (lime flavor).  I’ll buy few of those and hopefully I win one of these panties :p (actually those are men’s underwear though.. but I don’t mind wearing as a room- wear 🙂 )


Freo Market

Posted August 12th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth, Food, Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s been a while since I visited Fremantle Market last time.  I don’t usually go out on weekends now…  even though Fremantle is so close to my house.  It’s not that I don’t like going out, I’m originally outside-person. :p

There’re some new shops I found in the Fremantle market.  Those shops may have been there for quite a while and I just didn’t know, maybe.  Here are some food stalls I found near the fruits and veggies corner.

<Tornado Potato>

The deep-fried potato snack is cooked right in front of you.  The golden color shows its crispy texture.  They cut potatoes curly and stick on a skewer, so it looks like “tornado” shape.  It looks yummy!  

It must get very hot in summer.. they have to deep-fry food using hot oil, and it’s in the centre of market with lots of people crowded.

<Organic Doughnuts>

Those donuts are pretty huge!  It’s almost same size as a kid’s face.  They also deep-fry those donuts inside.  Very fresh, and looks sweets. 

<Thai Coconut Balls>


What captured my eyes was the grill they are using!  It’s Takoyaki machine :p 

The signboard says “traditional Thai sweets”.  They’ looked like round white dumplings.  I didn’t eat them, but I’m curious how they taste…  It seemed bit difficult to make them at once though, this lady was turning around the each coconut ball carefully…  

By the way real takoyaki shop in Japan don’t use these takoyaki machine.  They use a big grill table with takoyaki holes.

And, there are some savory snack stalls as well.  I love this type of food ↓↓↓

Crispy flat tortilla type of thing.  

Foods at my friend’s BD party

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

Here are the recipes of the food my friends and I made for birthday dinner.  I thought I should write it down here in case someone is planning to have a Japanese food party 😉  

< Chirashi-Sushi>

You can decorate this rice with shredded egg crepes (kinshi-tamago), some salmon roes (ikura), shredded nori sheet (kizami nori), blanched prawns etc…  if you want to serve to some guests.  (like Salmon Chirashi Sushi)  We didn’t decorate this rice on this birthday dinner as we were so hungry and wanted to dig in :p  

  • 3 cups short grain rice
  • 100 ml sushi vinegar 
  • 1 small carrot
  • 4 dried shiitake mushroom
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
* Soak dried shiitake in water for overnight (or you can soak in water and microwave it just before cooking).  Keep the water.
  1. Wash rice and cook.
  2. Slice shiitake mushroom and carrot thinly (jullienne)  
  3. Place shiitake and carrot in a sauce pan.  Add soy sauce, mirin, sugar and the shiitake-soaked water until shiitake and carrot are completely covered with liquid.  Bring to boil, and simmer for 15 min ~20 min.  Set aside.
  4. Once rice is cooked, spread on a wide bowl or plate and mix sushi vinegar using a spatula.  Try not to move the spatula around too much as it will break and crush each rice.  Let rice cool down.
  5. Mix seasoned shiitake & carrot with rice.
* You can use “chirashi-sushi mix” which is available at Asian grocery shops and some supermarkets like Woolworth.  Using this packet is much easier, you’ll just need rice to make chirashi-sushi.
* Sushi vinegar is a seasoned vinegar.  It already contains salt and sugar so you can just mix with cooked rice to make sushi rice.  
* Decorate this rice with kinshi tamago.
  1.  Beat one egg with few drops of water and a sprinkle of salt.  
  2. Heat up a frying pan and pour the egg mixture.  Move around the pan so that the egg mixture spread.  Make a thin omelet.
  3. Thinly slice the omelet.
<Asian Style Moyashi Salad>
  • bean shoots 
  • cucumber 
  • ham or bacon
  • boiled eggs
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  1. Blanch bean shoots.  Slice up cucumber and ham (or cooked bacon)
  2. Mix sauces, ginger and garlic in a bowl.  Add 1 and mix well.
  3. Arrange on a plate, and top with boiled eggs.  
You can use Tempura flour which is available at grocery shops and supermarkets.
Just mix the Tempura flour with water.  Make sure the oil is at the right temperature, 180 ℃ = drop a tiny amount of tempura mixture into oil, and if the drop floats up to the surface within 2 seconds, then it’s the perfect timing to start frying tempura.
We made tempura with Japanese pumpkins, sweet potatoes, onions, snake beans and prawns.  You need to slice pumpkins and sweet potatoes quite thin as it doesn’t get cooked through easily.  For snake beans, don’t cook in the oil too long as we want crispy texture. 🙂
<Oven Grilled Karaage>
… well it’s not “karaage” if it’s not deep-fried (as “age” means deep-fry in Japanese) :p, so it’s more like grilled teriyaki flavored chicken.
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs sake
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  1. Cut chicken into cubes.  Marinate in sauces overnight.
  2. Cook in oven at 180 ~ 200 ℃.
If you want to add some texture, you can coat with bread crumbs and them cook in the oven.

Japanese Cars

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

I’m dreaming…. to buy a new car!

Well, I’ve been driving my current car for just 3 years, so maybe I should keep this car for a little longer.. but I really wanna buy another Japanese car (>_<)! All my friends in Japan drive very cute/cool cars.

When I was 18~20 I was a student, and also working at Izakaya, convenience store and some Yakiniku restaurant near my house. Most of the staff there were at my age and we became close friends. We used to go out a lot 🙂 They sometimes pick me up from my house and went to karaoke, Izakaya or just for driving around Biwa-ko Lake at night. One of them had a black Odyssey, and she took all the back seats away and line with some far carpet on the floor. When my friends and I got in the car we just sit at the back area and play… it was roomy 🙂

At that time lots of my friends had “Suzuki Wagon-R” “Mitsubishi eK-wagon” “Honda Life” “Daihatsu Move” “Nissan Moco” “Suzuki Alto”… small, boxy looking car. (small cars are called “kei-car” in Japan) Those type of cars were so popular among Japanese girls, and I think they still are.  Targeting on young ~ 30th women.

I really like Nissan CUBE and Toyota BB… so cute (>v<) I like the new model Cube cubic. I wish they are available in Perth to… but unfortunately lots of Japanese cars are not sold here 🙁 I thought about importing Nissan CUBE before, but everyone said “what! It’s just CUBE, ume. You don’t wanna spend lots of money on this car just because you want to drive it in Perth.” … that’s true, it’s not worth importing it considering all the trouble I have to go through :p

Cars in Japan are very cheap compared with the prices in Perth. Ahh… I can’t believe I had to pay almost double to buy my current car here (>0<). And there are more cute cars in Japan which cost less than AUD$10000.00. Well I live here now and I know I have to accept it, but every time I go back to Japan and see my friends’ cars with cool parts and some accessories I wish I could own one of them in Perth.

While I was in Japan last year I saw lots of hybrid cars on the street: Toyota Prius, Harrier, Estima, Lexus, Honda Civic… If I live in Japan maybe I could afford hybrid Harrier too 🙂 … maybe!

Hair Style

Posted August 7th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 16 Comments »

One of the thing I think about while living in Perth is “where can I get hair-cut?”

In Perth there are only a few Japanese-owned hair salons, so there’s not much choice for me.  I’m sure there are lots more Japanese-owned salons in Eastern states, but not in Perth at the moment 🙁

I know there are hair salons owned by Chinese or some Asians, but I only want to have hair-cut by Japanese hair stylists now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are not good.  It’s just easier for me to explain the details : how I want may hair to be cut etc.  And, I had some bad experiences with non-Japanese hair stylists in the past. :p  It’s easier to get hair cut, colored and permed by Japanese because they know how Japanese girls want to look like… kind of “same point of view” “common sense” that only same nationality people understand 🙂

Now, because I live in Perth I actually don’t really care about my hair style 😛  I just have hair cut only once a half year…. wow :p  So, every time I go back to Japan I realize “oh my gosh how can I be in Japan by looking like this (>0<)”.  When I see Japanese girls on tv or internet I realize how cute and tidy they maintain themselves.  Ummm…  I panic, and think that maybe I should go to hair salon before I go back to Japan, but then I realize it’s much cheaper to go to hair salon in Japan than here.  So, going to a hair salon is the first thing to do in Japan every time I fly to Japan.

Birthday Dinner

Posted August 6th, 2009 in Food, Perth WA | No Comments »

Oh boy, these few days have been pretty busy. I had to prepare all the documents for my fiance and his parents so that they can go to Japanese consulate to apply for their visa to Japan. I also had to do some research about Japanese websites as my fiance and I are planning to build a website for Japanese people. Then, I bought some more things online and got delivered to my house in Japan so that I can just collect and bring them back here when I come back to Perth.

I also met Angie for the first time!  We went to C15 in Applecross and had a chat for 1.5 hours over one cup of drink 🙂  It was really nice meeting her.

On Tuesday night I made a birthday cake for my friend’s partner. My friend said she was planning a surprise party for him. I like surprise party! 🙂 I made a Japanese style birthday cake – sponge, cream and some fresh fruits.

I went to her house after work to deliver the cake. It was so scary.. worried if the cake was still holding up its shape. I tried to drive very very very slowly and carefully! Fortunately I arrived her house with a perfect looking cake. As I entered her house I noticed that she hadn’t finished cooking any food 🙁 She even hadn’t washed rice, hadn’t marinated chicken and cut vegetables yet! Oh my gosh, I thought this was a surprise party… and her partner’s coming back home in one hour (>0<)

She asked for my help, so I started cutting some vegetables. I told her to cook rice first as she was planning to make chirashi-sushi from scratch. To make chirashi-sushi you need to mix vinegar mixture and some seasoned vegetables into rice while it’s hot, then the rice has to be cooled down before serving.

… Anyway, another friend arrived and we all helped cooking 5 dishes. Buta-jiru (pork miso soup with various kinds of vegetables and tofu), Chirashi-sushi, Asian style moyashi (bean shoots) salad, oven-grilled Karaage and Tempura.

It was a miracle that we could finish preparing all the dish in just one hour.  Right after everything was set, her partner open the door… then we surprised with a party cracker!  Yey

Now we were ready to devour! With beer and some Shōchū (Japanese liquor – weaker than whisky or standard-strength volka but stronger than wine and sake), we ate up all. Delicious ♪

Even though we were pretty full, never forgot about the birthday cake. We all had a big slice.

That night I slept well 🙂  Tired, but it was a nice day.

Japan’s Unique Mascots

Posted August 5th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

Besides those famous mascots such as Hello Kitty, Doraemon and Pokemon etc, there are hundreds of others in Japan!  It seems that many companies in Japan tend to create their own mascots/characters for marketing purposes as lots of Japanese people (especially kids and women) like cute characters …
Here is few of the popular characters from some Japanese companies…

<Kewpie (QP)>

QP mayonnaise is the biggest mayonnaise brand in Japan, and its brand image character “QP-chan” has been a popular mascot in Japan for years now.  There are many different QP-chan figures in Japan… in different costumes such as student, baby, doctor, Japanese kimono dress etc, and also in famous cartoon/character costumes such as Doragon Balls, Mickey Mouse etc.


<Mister Donut>

As I wrote in my previous post, I love Pon De Lion !!  So cute…  You can collect Pon De Lion’s plates, mugs, aprons, bath towels etc by buying donuts and gaining points at Mister Donut.


<Soft Bank>

So cute doggie!!  This white dog “Otosan” (means “dad” in Japanese) is the mascot of Soft Bank mobile JP, and he is so popular among people in Japan since they started using this dog as their image mascot!  There’re figures, biography and photograph books of him out there and they are selling like pancakes.  He looks like Shiba, but actually Hokkaido-ken (Hokkaido dog). Lovely ~

<Morinaga Choco Ball>

This is one of the long-selller chocolate snack in Japan (I remember eating it a lot since I was a kid) from Morinaga Co.  The reason of being one of the popular snack in Japan is not only its cute character “Kyoro-chan”, but also their long-time promotion; if you find gold or silver angel mark on the beak of the box, you can get a tresure box!  You need to collect either one gold angel or 5 silver angels to get this tresure box, and it is very rare to see the angel mark on the box.  In fact I’ve never got gold angel in my life!  Just one silver… so never seen what’s inside of the tresure box.  I can’t believe Morinaga is still doing this promotion.  It’s been going on at least for 20 years.  


<Kansai TV>

This is very local, but I love the character of Kansai TV, “Kantere”.  You can buy its collectible figures in Kansai TV studio, Kansai airport (KIX) and some shops in Kansai area.  I just love its face…  I used to use Kantere’s pen in high school :p  And, I got Kantere’s cup when I went back to Japan last time.  (can u find the blue plastic mug?) 🙂


Grilled Miso-mayo Salmon

Posted August 3rd, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

If you get bored with teriyaki salmon, why not try this creamy miso flavored grilled salmon?  It’s as easy as toasting a slice of bread.  Simply spread the mixture on the salmon and grill it.  Enjoy with steamed rice and a cup of miso soup  🙂

<Miso-mayo Salmon>

  • salmon fillet, skin free
  • miso paste
  • Japanese mayonnais
  1. Mix 2 tsp of Japanese mayonnaise and 1 tsp of miso paste.  You can use either red or white miso depending on your taste.

2.  Spread the miso paste on salmon (skin side).  Grill under Salamander or in the oven until cooked.

If the miso paste starts to get colored but the salmon is not quite cooked through, cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent it from burning.

Japanese people often use Japanese mayonnaise in cooking.  Some people really LOVES mayonnaise, and they eat it with anything… my mum is one of them.  She even eats pickles, nimono (simmered dish, mostly vegetables), grilled fish, meat, natto, noodle .. anything with mayonnaise.  I don’t usually eat mayonnaise except when eating okonomi-yaki or tako-yaki, so I always get surprised how quickly my family finish one bottle of mayonnaise at home :p

Some of the recipes using Japanese mayonnaise are little weird to me, and some of them are actually delicious.  I wouldn’t like stir-fried rice with mayonnaise (:p) or mayonnaise pan-cake (supposed to be eaten with maple syrup… eww) but I would eat mayonnaise omelet or mayonnaise hamburg.  …  who knows, maybe they’d all taste pretty good.  It’ll be high cholesterol for sure though.

Shopping Day

Posted August 2nd, 2009 in Food, Perth WA, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

This morning my mother-in-law and I went out to buy a rangehood – an exhaust fan for the kitchen. Every time I go to Harvey Norman, Good Guys, Retravision or Bunnings etc on Saturday I get tempted by those sizzling hot dogs… it’s almost impossible to just ignore the smell and walk pass ! (><) I tried to be calm and run into the store before I open my purse to get some coins. As I walk around the kitchen section I realized that I haven’t used my coffee machine for a while. About a year ago my hubby (to-be) and I bought a coffee machine (Saeco) and used everyday for few weeks, but now it’s just sitting on the kitchen bench without being used! What a waste… I love coffee, but I try not to drink more than 2 cups a day (get hurt-burn easily these days… getting old? 🙁 ) and I usually drink 2 cups while in the office, so I don’t get to drink it in the night time at home. I thought I should make a nice coffee for myself after I finish this shopping, and make something similar to hot dog but nicer.

Right after I get home I toasted 2 slices of bread, and sandwiched whatever I had in the fridge. 🙂

Scrambled eggs with tasty cheese and lots of herbs (thyme, basil, etc), 2 slices of ham, lettuce and a slice of Jarlsberg cheese. Oh my gosh it was so nice… I wish I had an avocado to spread on the toast.

After munching on this sandwich with a nice cup of coffee, I went shopping again for some clothes. Tomorrow we are doing a pre-shoot with our wedding photographer and I thought I should wear some nice clothes… we are going to get the photo printed out so I want to look “nice” in the picture :p

I also wanted to buy a tiara for my wedding (I know, I haven’t bought it yet 🙁 ) but I forgot! What am I gonna do.. I really need to push myself out for shopping one day to just look for a tiara!

Tiara is not a necessary thing, but I like tiara and want to wear it on church ceremony, on dinner with my friends after wedding, in Japan (maybe!) and in the party in Jakarta. You don’t get to wear it often in your life, hehe.