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.

Meiji

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…

   x   

Meiji chocolate mirror…

 x 

  

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

 x 

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.  
   
<Tempura>
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?) 🙂