Honey Oyster Pork Ribs

Posted November 30th, 2009 in Food | 1 Comment »

Although I have just few friends here in Perth, they’ve been a great motivation and support for me to stay here being away from my family. Most of my friends are older than me, (5 ~ 20 years older) but we’re close and are good friends. Because they have more life experience than I do, their words and advices are such valuable and I really appreciate that.

Some of them have their own business here, and some of them have bought their own home and settled themselves in this state. They all work so hard and I want to be same as them! And, I have a few friends who are mothers and they also give me a good advice on cooking too 🙂

I’ve got this recipe from one of my friends who has moved from Cairns to Perth 2 years ago and is a mother of 1 year old boy. I love this recipe and so does my family here 🙂

<Honey Oyster Pork Ribs>

  • 500 g pork ribs – boned
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
<some vegetables to accompany pork ribs>
I used cabbage and bean shoots. You can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.
  • cabbage – roughly chopped
  • bean shoots
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  1. Cut ribs into 2~3 cm thick.
  2. Heat frying pan without oil, and grill ribs over medium heat until it’s golden on both sides. The idea of doing this is to take away unwanted fat from pork as much as possible.
  3. Remove ribs from pan, and set aside. Throw out the fat from pork.
  4. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper roughly, and heat sesame oil. Stir-fry cabbage and bean shoots until they’re soft. Drizzle soy sauce and turn off the heat.
  5. In another pan, place oyster sauce, soy sauce and honey. Turn on the heat, stir consistently until it starts to boil. Add ribs and stir, until ribs are caramelized and sticky.
  6. Arrange ribs on a bed of stir-fried vegetables.

I had it as dinner with chirashi-zushi (scattered sushi rice with pickled vegetables) and o-suimono (Japanese clear broth). It was delicious!

Massage at Home

Posted November 29th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Who doesn’t like getting massage? … well, actually I know someone. – My husband. He loves getting massage by me, but none else. :p So he doesn’t go to spa or massage places even though we have a voucher! What’s a shame..

Well, anyway… I love getting massage like other girls! My body and muscle get tired easily and are always stiff. I don’t mind getting massage every day, but of course it costs a lot here. I’ve only been to spas/massage places just 3 times since I came to Perth, I think.

Just to save little money, I normally get massage at home when I disparately need massage. There’re a few Japanese people who do mobile massage service, but I usually ask this lady (S-san) to come over to my house.

Personally I don’t like getting massage by men, nor strangers. I don’t feel comfortable… I know S-san for awhile, and she has a good skill and nice personality. She also don’t take any job from strangers either. It’s just for a security reason.

Having a skill is good, I think. You can work anywhere. One of my friend who is into beauty therapy stuff wants to start home business as well. She has already prepared massage bed, face steamer (from Japan) and other goods. I got free trial by her few times, and it was good! My face was totally different after the treatment. I hope she can officially start her own business soon. 🙂

Skewered and Grilled Chicken Mince (Tsukune)

Posted November 28th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Tsukune is a Japanese chicken meat balls most often cooked yakitori style (skewered).  Sometimes tsukune can be fried, and served without skewers.  You can also add it to steam board as well.

This can be eaten with rice or noodle, or just to accompany beer.  Add chili powder if you like it spicy!

<Chicken Tsukune> 4 skewers

  • 200 g chicken mince
  • 1 cup chopped spring onion
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sake
  • 1.5 tbs sugar
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tsp garlic -minced
  1. Mix chopped spring onion and chicken mince in a bowl. Lightly season with a sprinkle of salt.
  2. Cover bamboo skewers with meat mixture.
  3. In another small sauce pan, bring all the ingredients from (a) and turn off the heat.
  4. Heat up sesame oil in another grilling pan. Sear skewered chicken both side.
  5. Brush the sauce from (3) on skewered chicken. Grill over low heat until it has glossy looking.

A Touching heartwarming Japanese Song

Posted November 27th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I was in a souvenir shop in Yufuin the first time I heard this song.  I straight away fell in love with the depth of emotion in her voice, Angela Aki.  After I came back to Perth I noticed that my husband had downloaded the song to his iMac and listens to it when he works.  

  The title of this song is “手紙 ~拝啓 十五の君へ~” (A letter to me at 15 years old).  The song (lyrics) brings out the pain of a 15-year-old student struggling with life who writes a letter to his/her future self to ask for guidance.  In this lyrics there’s a letter written from a 15-year-old, and  letter written back from the future him/herself.  And, at the end of the song wishes everyone happiness.

  She wrote a letter to herself in twenty years when she was 15 years old, so this song is based on her true story.  Angela spent her teen years with an inferiority complex for being a mix of Japanese and Italian-American.  This song (and her character) captures hearts of teenagers in Japan, and gives courage and dream to the kids.

  This song heals my stress away.


 “手紙 ~拝啓 十五の君へ~”  (A letter to me at 15 years old).  

Dear you,

I wonder where you are and what you do at the time you read this letter.  As I’m just a 15-year-old I am anxious about lots of things in my life and future, but I can’t talk about it with anyone.  I’m writing this letter to myself in future because that’s the only person I could tell everything and can trust.  I feel like crying, I feel like I’m a looser, I don’t know who I should believe and trust to move on with my life.  My heart is broken and hurt, but I’m still living.

Dear you,

Thank you for your letter.  I have something that I want to tell you, a 15-year-old.   You will start to see what you are and where you should be going if you continue asking to yourself.  The seas of youth may be rough, but keep rowing your boat of dream towards the shores of tomorrow.  Don’t cry, don’t lose yourself, even when you are seemingly about to disappear. Just believe in your own voice.  Even as an adult I get hurt sometimes and have sleepless nights, but I’m still living this sweet/bitter life.

Everything you do and see, there is a meaning.  That creates your life.  So, please don’t be afraid, don’t cry, and grow your dream.  Keep on believing.

Everyone experiences sadness in their life, and you can’t avoid that.  So, keep smiling and keep going.  

Dear you,

Whoever reading this letter, I wish you are happy.

Wondering Around Northbridge

Posted November 26th, 2009 in Perth WA | 5 Comments »

The other day I was wondering around Northbridge after visiting one of my friend from TAFE. It was a fine day, and I thought “hmm maybe I feel like Vietnamese”. I go to Tra Vinh often, but the restaurant was full of people waiting outside, so I just went to Vinh Hong which in on William St. I come here sometimes too, love eating fresh bean shoots with some kind of sweet miso-like paste.

I had rice noodle with braised beef, and my husband had pork chop rice (as usual :p) The rice noodle was delicious. It came with sour chili sauce, and I didn’t know how to eat … so I dipped the noodle in the sauce to eat. It was fine, but in the end I just poured over the sauce on noodle and enjoyed it all :p

After lunch we started walking around the area. I had nothing I wanted to buy, but all the fruits market (?.. small shop), Asian butcher and grocery shops were fun to look around.

On Brisbane St, I found a cute cake shop and a stylish zakka shop.

The cake shop sells pretty small cakes and bakes sweets with its own brand. There is a wide table and chairs inside too, I’m guessing customers can also enjoy cakes in store. When I was browsing around, some customers were talking with staff about cakes or something. Maybe the shop can make custom-made cake? They have an up-coming website, so better check it out.

http://rochelleadonis.com/ …. 193 Brisbane St, Northbridge

Next door is a zakka shop which sells unique/antique tick homeware and stationary. I love the atmosphere !

“Life Edition” is a brand from WA, and note books and albums are so pretty and stylish. You may find a perfect gift here for Christmas! 🙂

Your Dream House?

Posted November 25th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Have you ever dreamed of your future house?  I was little surprised by the fact that many people in Perth buy their own houses.  In Japan we (especially people at my age) don’t usually buy a house.  We rent an apartment room and it’s normal.    

When I was little I liked changing the interior of my room, and started to buy my own furniture at age 16.  Although I didn’t dream of a house, I dreamed of a room or some spaces for my own and wanted it to be perfect.

Now, my sister-in-law is building a house with her husband and it’s nearly finished.  I think they are going to move in there next month.  They’ve bought lots of furniture for the house, and they look so happy!  Plus they just bought a new car and also a puppy, which is going to arrive their house on Christmas day.  They have already prepared a doggy bed, water bowl and also nail foils.  I can’t also wait to play with the puppy 🙂

Seeing them been so excited makes me also want to have a house here.  I wish I had more money! (>0<)  I want to decorate my own space and pick furniture I like, but I can’t do that with this house I’m living.  I’m not sure if I can buy a house next year, but if I could, it’s like one of my dream coming true.  … I think I will start planning how I want my house to look like.  I like planning, and also it’s fun to dream about things. 🙂

Chicken & Tomato Curry

Posted November 24th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Is it only Japanese culture to eat hot food in summer?  In hot days we cook steaming udon noodle soup, hot and spicy curry, and grill yakitoki (skewered chicken dish) etc.  We, of course, eat cold food too such as cold soba noodle, so-men noodle, and cold pasta dishes, but you get to see tv ad of curry a lot during summer in Japan, and it’s one of the thing that tells you “hey, summer is just around the corner”.

Therefore I like eating curry in summer.  I add lots of summer vegetables and make it as “summer curry”.  In winter, I would add some winter vegetables such as lotus roots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. 

Try this refreshing tomato curry at home!  It’s not that heavy thanks to this red summer fruit.

<Chicken & Tomato Curry>

  • 400g chicken mince
  • 1 medium onion
  • 400g tomato tin – chopped
  • 100g Japanese curry roux
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 bunch spinach
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Wash spinach well, and drain. Chop roughly. Slice onion thinly.
  2. Season chicken mince with curry powder. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan and stir-fry mince.
  3. Add sliced onion. Cook over medium heat until onion is transparent.
  4. Pour chopped tomato into the pan. Fill up 1/2 the tin with water, and add to the pan. Add bay leaf. Turn up the heat to high to bring to boil.
  5. Once it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and add curry roux. Stir through until the roux melts.
  6. Simmer for 5~10 minutes. Stir in spinach and turn off the heat.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.

St James Hair Studio

Posted November 23rd, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 12 Comments »

I was very excited to try this hair salon in Northbridge.  One reason is that I was dying to get hair cut, and another is that I wanted to meet this stylist “Kazu”.  I made a booking with Kazu and had a chance to chat with him on Sunday.

Kazu has been working at this St James Hair Studio for 10 years now. He was also a hair stylist in Japan, worked in Tokyo for 9 years, then moved to Perth.  Along with his job at this salon, he goes back to Japan annually to update his skill and knowledge by attending on seminars and catching up with his friends who are also hair stylists.

At the salon, I showed Kazu a sample photo of a hair style and told him how I want my hair to look like, then moved to another chair to get shampoo.  He put a steamed towel on my neck and massaged my head, it was so good.  He told me my muscle is tense – I didn’t know that there’s muscle on the head!  And, he could tell right after touching my head that my body is tired.  He is a pro!

He gave me lots of tips as well.  I asked him how I should dry my hair, naturally or by drier?  How to use hair iron and curler?  He gave me an advice on all the questions I asked, by demonstrating!  He showed me how to dry my hair: wear heat-proof conditioner on the hair first then blow dry completely with strong hair drier.  Then straighten up my fringe with iron, and curl the bottom of my hair with curler.  Wow my hair looks so different…

If you are seeking some tips or answers regards to hair, he is the one 🙂  He has many patrons here, including Japanese, Malaysian, Singapore, Australian etc.  I recommend you to book him at least 1 week in advance…  oh and he is going on holiday from 04/Jan till 24/Jan next year.

St James Hair Studio

Shop 2/218 James St, Northbridge WA 6003

Tel: 08 9228 3339

Grilled Beef with Japanese BBQ Sauce (Yakiniku)

Posted November 21st, 2009 in Food | 4 Comments »
I had a craving for beef the other day, so I run to an Asian supermarket near my house and bought a pack of thinly sliced beef. This recipe is very easy and quick to make, and so delicious!
Thinly sliced meat are available at Asian supermarkets or Asian butchers, and it’s often used in Asian cuisine, including Japanese. (eg: sukiyaki, shabu shabu, yakiniku, beef bowl, etc) Usually the thinly sliced meat is either pork or beef.
At the Asian supermarket I saw some thinly sliced beef tongue too! I love beef tongue… it might sound gross, but it really tastes great if you lightly grill (yakiniku) with seasoning (salt&pepper) and eat with lemon juice. I will buy it next time 🙂
<Beef Yakiniku Donburi>
  • 200g thinly sliced beef
  • steamed rice
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 2.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  1. Mix all the ingredients from <a>.
  2. Marinade beef in <1> for 10 mins.
  3. Remove the beef from the marinade and sear in a lightly oiled hot pan for a few minutes on each side or until done to your likeness.
  4. Arrange beef and steamed rice in a bowl, and enjoy !

My Hospital Experiences

Posted November 20th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

After busy schedule and traveling around between 3 countries, my body finally gave up… I’ve been sick since I came back from Jakarta :p Not only me, my husband too. Coughing, running nose, fever, etc. I had to go to GP and then hospital few times, and took blood test. It seems that many people around me are also sick. My friends and co-workers.

You realize how important the health is when you get sick. I always think “meh, it’s fine” even though I have symptom of sickness, and don’t really do much about it. I don’t like taking medicine, so I try to recover by eating lots of fruits and nutritious food, and take a good sleep. Sometimes it’s ok, but sometimes the things go worse and I end up going to hospital..

When I was just about to graduate cookery course in TAFE, 2005, I was so looking forward to going back to my home and stay in Japan for awhile. The course was pretty hard and I had to work night time along with the classes, plus teachers were really strict there. When I finished my last exam I was so happy thinking “I’m finally free!”. I had booked my tickets to Osaka already and was counting the day to come. … Just few days before the flight, I started to feel strange – my body felt tired all the time, headache… I thought I just had caught cold or something. At that time my oversea travel insurance had been expired already ( I didn’t renew because I was going back to Japan in few weeks and I didn’t use insurance for the whole 2 years before then) so I was going to see doctor in Japan.

Just 5 days from the flight, my face started to have something – puffy things. Plus fever, huge headache and body ache. I couldn’t even walk, and because the puffy things on my face (only on the right side of my face) was kind of covering up my right eye, I couldn’t see things properly either. I should had gone to see doctor earlier! Now things had gone worse. My husband (boyfriend that time) took me to Medical Centre and doctor immediately sent me to Royal Perth Hospital. In the end I was having “shingles” and had to stay in hospital for 4 nights.

I had to change my flight date, but the worst thing was that my visa had expired while I was in the hospital! I couldn’t get out from the hospital so my boyfriend (my husband) had to go to immigration centre for me to extend my visa. Of course it was hard and he came back to hospital few times to get some documents from the nurses. Hospital staff kindly helped us calling immigration centre to explain what happened to me as well. But still, immigration didn’t give us any good news. In the end, right after I got out the hospital I had to go to immigration centre by myself to show this terrible face with a trace of shingles. We had a chat with an officer in a private room, and he gave me a temporary visa straight away after seeing my face.

Oh, another bad news was a bill from the hospital. Because I didn’t have any insurance (no travel insurance, no Medicare – because I was just a student-) I had to pay full amount. It was a BIG number… Been covered by insurance is really important!

This time I have Medicare and also private insurance, so things went smooth. I’m feeling getting better, but I really should have gone to see doctor when I first felt something wrong with my body. Sooner is better. By the way I had to go 3 times to get blood test, and on the third time nurse couldn’t find my vein (because it was too tiny and flat) she stung me 6 times on my both arms. She still couldn’t get any flow so she moved the needle around inside of my vein… it was painful 🙁 Well, the pain is nothing compared with getting a huge bill, and also getting sick.

Crispy Bacon & Green Salad

Posted November 19th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Branched greens and crispy bacon salad.

  • 2 rushes bacon
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tbs corn
  • fresh lemon juice or orange juice
  1. Boil water in a large sauce pan.(you can add salt to the water when you put the pan on the stove) While waiting for the water to boil, cut broccoli and asparagus into 2~3cm long.
  2. Branch broccoli in the boiling water, then scoop out and drop into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain. Repeat with asparagus. Never leave broccoli and asparagus in the cold water.
  3. Slice bacon into 1cm wide. Place bacon on a frying pan (no oil) and turn on the heat. Cook over low to medium low until bacon is golden and crispy.
  4. Turn off the heat. Wipe off any excess fat, and turn on the heat again, to high. Add broccoli, asparagus and corn, then stir through.
  5. Turn off the heat. Squeeze lemon juice (or orange juice) over, and season well with salt and black pepper.
  6. Serve immediately.

Angus Beef in Hungry Jack’s & McDonald’s

Posted November 17th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

Whilst McDonald’s started its Angus Burger awhile ago, Hungry Jack’s launched Angry Angus Burger today with two varieties –  Angry Angus Single and Double.

Hungry Jack’s sure is for meat lovers!  I mean, my image for Hungry Jack’s has been “meat” “men” “muscle” etc… and this burger again reminds me of the fact.  

Angry Angus Burger contains angus beef patty, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Angry Onions – it’s like onion rings.  Angry Angus Double Burger comes with 2 layers of Angus beef patties.

I can’t say which one is good – McDonald’s or Hungry Jack’s, but it seems that men are more excited about Hungry Jack’s Angus.  Is it because of the fried onions?  or brand image?

Rice Cooker

Posted November 16th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

While in Jakarta we tried to buy a rice cooker.  You must think “can you buy it in Perth?”, but what we’re looking for was a Japanese microcomputer rice cooker with a screen, and with some functions.  

Most of rice cookers I see in shops in Perth are very simple ones, which have just 1 button.  Moving the button upward = “cook rice”, and downward = “keep warm”. We wanted more functions on our rice cooker!  Like the one I was using in my house in Japan.  I know there’re microcomputer rice cookers available in some shops around Perth, but the model is very limited.  So we thought we could buy one from Jakarta.  If we could buy from Japan it’d be easy, but the problem is the voltage: Japan is 110W, and Australia is 240W.  We chose to shop in Jakarta because the voltage is same there (240W).

As I mentioned before there are many Japanese products available in Jakarta, so it was not difficult to find Japanese rice cookers at electronic shops.  Zojirushi, Hitachi, Panasonic …  The prices were ok, and we were so excited to buy one of those…. until we talked to a sales person!

After going to several electronic shops around Jakarta and considering all the functions and prices, we decided to buy either Panasonic or Philips from Best Denki (an electronic shop) in a mall.  Philips is not a Japanese brand, but the rice cooker is microcomputer built and the price was cheap.  We walked between these rice cookers many times thinking which one we should buy.  Panasonic is Japanese and well-known brand, but little too big (18L) for us.  Philips is not Japanese brand and I don’t know if it’s as good as Panasonic, but the size was perfect.  

We asked a sales person all the questions we had, (meanwhile she kept pushing us to buy more expensive rice cooker) and in the end we decided to buy Philips.  Then, suddenly the staff told us that they only have the display one – no more stock!  We didn’t want to buy a display because it looked dirty.  The logo of “Philips” was almost faded. :p  She kept talking and told us there’s no Panasonic either!  Whatttttt!!  She knew we were considering between those two for few hours, she could mention it to us earlier.

Then, she said Zojirushi and Hitachi is 15 % off at the time.  We didn’t even consider those two brand before because they’re expensive.  We knew she was just trying to get us buy an expensive one.  But, well, Panasonic and Philips are not available, so might as well why don’t we have a look at those expensive ones.  

She told us she can give us another 5% off (total 20% off) on Hitachi if we pay by cash.  We calculated it, and the price was not too bad after all!  We started to excite again.  We can’t buy Zojirushi and Hitachi brand in Perth, and they got nice features and functions.  And, the size was perfect.  

When she saw our face, she brought up a new large size Hitachi rice cooker from the back.  She opened up the box and showed us inside.  We told her we want to buy it, but in smaller size. (the cheapest one in the brand)  Then, she told us ” sorry we do not have the small one in stock.  Only the display one.  Why don’t you buy this big one, we have this in stock.”

We were so disappointed, and so angry!  Obviously she was just trying to get a bigger sales. We didn’t want to buy anything anymore, and left the shop…

Excuse me for writing so long story, it’s just a story of me getting a doggy service 🙁


Posted November 14th, 2009 in にほんご | 4 Comments »






旦那のお姉さんの結婚式の時にcelebrant をした、priestに頼む事に。私達と同じくらいの年齢の、若いpriestです。私達の式をお願いしに会いに行き、快く了承してくれました。式の本番まで数ヶ月あったので、それまで5回ほど私達はそのpriestに会いに行き色んな話や勉強をしてもらいました。全然堅苦しくない、明るいpriestさんです。:)



カトリックの式を挙げるにして、私達は”together forever”という、政府が行うコースを受けなければなりませんでした。パースでは結婚する人がかなり多いのか、そのコースの予約は数週間前にしなければならず、すぐに人数がいっぱいで予約締め切りになったりしてました。私達は1日で終わらせたかったので、土曜の朝9時から夕方4時までのコースを受けました。他の16カップルとグループになって色々話し合ったりして、ちょっと疲れたけど、内容的にはすんごい勉強に!!カトリックというだけではなくて、「喧嘩した時の対処策」等々、私達の人生にもプラスになる内容がぎっしりで、このコースはこれから結婚する皆が受けるべきだと思いました。友達にも勧めてます(^^)





























Japanese Style Pasta in Jakarta

Posted November 13th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | 2 Comments »

Again, back to my Jakarta trip..  it was my third visit to Jakarta, and I’ve discovered another side of this city.  On my last couple of visits, I’ve seen poor people on the street, dirty toilets, huge traffic jam etc, and I never thought I’d be able to live here.  However, during this trip a friend of my husband took us to a complex of shopping buildings in Jakarta CBD and I had a totally new experience there!  My husband said this place is too fancy (because of many brand shops and expensive stores) but it reminded me of Japan!  

There are three or four of shopping building next to each other, and each building got many shops and restaurants inside, including some Japanese shops such as MUJI.  

The thing which excited me the most was Japanese food there.  When the friend asked us what we wanted to eat, I told him “no Japanese please” because I thought the Japanese food there wouldn’t be so nice.  But, as I explore each floor I found so many nice Japanese restaurants.  In the end, we decided to go to this wafu (Japanese style) pasta restaurant for dinner.

We eat many unique flavor pasta in Japan, and this restaurant had those.  I was happy to have dinner here because pasta is one of my favorite food and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat this type of food back in Perth.  

Chicken Teriyaki, Squid Ink, Chicken Katsu with Egg Sauce etc…  if I was very hungry I’d wanted to try either sukiyaki pasta or seafood curry soup pasta, but I decided to have scallop & mushroom soup pasta.  Eel & Unagi (Una-Tama) sounded interesting too.  There are also pizzas, teishoku menu as well as entrees such as edamame (branched and salted green bean in pods) and hiya-yakko (chilled tofu).  Friend had squid, prawn and cod roe pasta, and my husband had creamy crab carbonara.  It was delicious.

After dinner we walked around few buildings (apparently this area is safe enough to walk around few metres) for window shopping.  Then, we stopped at a Japanese cafe to have some sweets.  Actually it wasn’t a cafe, it was an Izakaya.  This Izakaya serves Okinawa food, such as mimigaa (dried pig ear), andangii (deep-fried Okinawa sweet), etc.  … shame, we just had dinner! (><)  I didn’t notice there’re a few Japanese business men near our table, and I was talking loudly “hey it’s Okinawa food!”.  I think they heard me, thinking “… a Japanese tourist??”  

We had this honey toast as dessert.  It was really nice, crusty outside, sweet vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce …  I will try making it at home sometime soon 🙂

Sigh, I wish I could go there everyday to eat these Japanese food like those Japanese business men I saw at the Izakaya..

Thai Style Grilled Chicken

Posted November 11th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »
The aroma of tangy lime and sweet chili really whips the appetite!  Enjoy with steamed rice and some vegetables.
  • 2 fillets chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • chopped coriander leaves
  1. Slice chicken.  Combine all the sauce.
  2. Heat oil in a frying-pan, and place chicken fillets.  Grill over low to medium-low heat.  
  3. Once the bottom of the meat got nice color, turn it around and cook another side.  Meanwhile, Pour some of the sauce on the chicken and spread with wooden spoon.  Repeat with another side of meat.
  4. Grill until it’s shinny and little sticky.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Dr Fish

Posted November 10th, 2009 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

While in Jakarta I had a chance to experience fish spa therapy.  Fish spa is a therapy by dipping your feet into a pool of “Dr Fish” and let these little healing creatures clean your feet and nibble away your dead skin, leaving your skin glow in health.  This fish spa treatments are growing in parts of Asia such as Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  Most of there spas employ Dr Fish species which originate from Turkey, called Garra Rufa.

Garra Rufa is a special fish with natural healing properties.  It started in Kangal, Turkey: where people discovered the fish’s ability to cure skin diseases.  Garra Rufa is a fresh water fish, and their usual habitat is in hot springs, where these fishes can withstand temperatures ranging from 0 degree Celcius up to 43 degree Celcius.  They are also known as Dr Fish, feeds only on dead and problematic areas of the skin.

 The benefits of this are natural exfoliation of dead skin, smoother and healthy blowing skin, promote blood circulation, lightning of minor scars, etc etc.

I did this just for the curiosity, but as I proceeded to the fish pool I was having a second thought.  I really didn’t want to dip my feet into those vigorously moving little fish…  Looked gross. :p  But, we have already paid for 30 mins, so no choice!  I sat down on the bench and dipped my feet slowly into the water.  !!!

Those little creatures were really really tickling for the first few minutes, and I was screaming..  but as I tried to calm down myself and ignore the fact that there are thousands of fish nibbling on my skin, I felt ok.  I dipped my feet in a pool of small fish first, and then moved to the pool of larger size fish.  Lager fish has bigger suction but less aggressive compared with the little ones.

After the therapy, my feet were very smooth, soft and moist!  I couldn’t help but touch my feet in the car on the way home 🙂  It was an interesting experience..

Food in Jakarta

Posted November 9th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta | No Comments »

<Bakmi Ayam>

We had bakmi (noodle soup) many times during this stay.  Bakmi is not really a special food, and people eat it quite often over there.  (it’s like “ramen” in Japan)  The photo is Bakmi Ayam (chicken noodle soup) at Grand Kelinci.


<Gado Gado>

We had this gad-gado at the food court in Kelapa Gading Mall.  It was supposed to be my snack, but the portion was pretty big and it came with rice. (you could chose either nasi (steamed rice) or lontong (sticky rice cubes)  I told the shop staff not to add too much chili, but it was quite spicy…


<Hainan and Roasted Chicken Rice>

My brother-in-low took us to Plaza Senayan (a mall in CBD area) and we had lunch at a Singapore restaurant there.  I had Hainan Chicken Rice, and brother-in-low had roasted chicken rice.

<Kwe Tiau>

At the Singapore restaurant my husband had stir-fried kwe tiau.


<Satay Ikan Bali>

I had this satay ikan Bali (Bali style fish satay dish) at a food court “Food Connection” in Kelapa Gading Mall.  The fish was spicy, and nicely crusted.  Very nice!


<Satay Ayam>

Satay is one of my favorite Indonesian side dish!  Satay actually can be a main meal when you order it with nasi (steamed rice) or lontong (sticky rice cubes).  My husband likes satay kambing (lamb satay) but I prefer satay ayam (chicken satay).

Wedding Party in Jakarta

Posted November 8th, 2009 in Jakarta | No Comments »


  We had our final wedding event here in  Jakarta, and I must tell you it was all  fun!!   Not the party itself, but I experienced many funny things on this day… :p

  Around 12 pm a hair&make-up stylist came to  the house.  I was the first one to get hair and  make-up done…  I don’t speak Indonesian, so  mother and sister-in-low and my husband are  all in my room to help me out in case I want     to say something to him (stylist).  

  Right after I sat down on a chair, suddenly he  started to rub ice cubes on  my face! … it was a shock, but I knew he was going to do some weird thing  to me!  Then I saw him cutting skin-colored tape into small pieces… I knew  it was for my eye lids.  I asked everyone in the room to tell him “don’t tape my eye lids so that my eyes look like Chinese!”   I had to watch every move he does.. otherwise I had no idea how my face  is going to turn out! (>0<)  I told everyone that I don’t really want to wear fake eyelashes, but he did it anyway…  Now, my face became something that I’d never be able to walk in Japan with.  Thick, shinny, big eyes and lips.  Oh my gosh, it sure is a once-in-a-life-time experience.

After my hair and make-up was done I had to wear a wedding dress, and video and camera clues started to interview us asking “how we met” “any words for parents” etc.  We didn’t know about this interview thing and didn’t prepare anything, so I wonder how the video is going to turn out..

By the way wedding dress was really really tight!!!  Yes I have put on weight! 🙁  I couldn’t breeze, but I had to wear it until 7pm – the party starts.  It was hot and humid, and the dress was heavy, tight, I was sweating…  it was really uncomfortable.  My husband and I got in a wedding car around 4:30pm to go to a Chinese restaurant -where the party will be held.  We had quick dinner with just family first there.  The food was wonderful, but I couldn’t eat much because of this stupid dress!!  

Soon a wedding planner arrived and told us what we had to do.  Walk slowly to the alter, cut fake wedding cake, feed cake to parents, pour champagne into a tower of glass etc etc…  I was like ‘ok ok’  I just wanted the things done quickly so that I could get out from this super tight dress.  Then, when we were practicing to cut a fake wedding cake, I noticed the cake knife was samurai sword..!!  Isn’t is supposed to be an elegant looking silver cake knife or something??  The knife we were holding was long and rusty samurai sword!  It was ridiculous..  Then I found a tarantula in a champagne glass.  Oh my gosh…  everyone started to panic , and it was all fun ! 🙂

The party finished around 10pm, and then I was finally free.

Jakarta Trip

Posted November 6th, 2009 in Eat out in Jakarta, Jakarta | 2 Comments »

This time, again, our trip to Jakarta ended up to be a shopping-trip …  There are many shopping malls in Jakarta, and we did shopping everyday except for the day of our wedding party.  The weather was good throughout our stay, so it was good.  

On the day we arrived Jakarta, we went to parents’ house to rest first, then headed to a mall called “Artha Gading”.  Now I regret going there because Artha Gading Mall has Daiso (Japanese 100 yen shop) inside and we shopped there A LOT…  Besides we just came back from Japan few weeks ago and have already bought a suitcase-full of 100 yen goods from Japan.  In Jakarta, the goods in Daiso are RP 22000 (about AUD$3.00)!  We promised to each other not to go there anymore during this trip :p

After one hour of shopping at Daiso, we took a cab to parents’ apartment room to take a shower.  The apartment is actually just few hundred meters away from Artha Gading, but we wouldn’t be able to walk there.. it’s Jakarta.  

There is another huge shopping mall called “MOI (Mall of Indonesia)” right in front of the apartment.  This mall is pretty new, it was still under construction last time we were in Jakarta.  MOI is an entertainment mall for family, so it’s got many kids attractions, rides, and game centres inside as well as individual shops , cafes and restaurants.  

After refreshing in the apartment, we went to Es Teller 77 in MOI to grab a bite.  We had shoumai Ikan (shoumai with fish) (you can see the photo of shoumai at Es Teller in here , 5th from the top in “Food” section on the right side) – shoumai here is very different from the one I know.  Very chewy, and eaten with peanut chili sauce and ketchup manis (sweet thick dark color sauce).  After a while, everyone gathered up to this mall and had dinner together at a Chinese restaurant.  

I really love food in Jakarta!  Very cheap, so many kinds, and delicious!!  I ate lots of Indonesian type of food during this trip, but I never get enough!

How to Cook Soba Noodle

Posted November 4th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

I often cook cold soba noodle for dinner during summer.  It’s very easy, and refreshing to eat in a hot day.

Here is a proper way to cook soba noodle:


  1. Boil sufficient amount of water in a pot.
  2. Place soba noodle (dry) into the boiling water.  Stir often with chopsticks until the water start to boil again.  (Do not leave the pot at this point)
  3. Once the water start to raise and reach the top of the pot, pour 1/2 cups of cold water into it.  Water will then go back to steady.
  4. Keep stirling, and once the water start to reach the top of the pan again, turn off the heat.
  5. Drain soba in a colander, and rinse under running cold water.  Drain well.
  6. Serve with your favorite condiments.
Tempura, fresh seaweed, and sansai are great to be eaten with cold soba noodle.  Ummm writing this post makes me feel hungry…

iPhone App – Japanese

Posted November 2nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here are some of my favorite apps for iPhone.

<Kiss X Bijin Tokei> website


“Kiss” is the Osaka version of bijin-tokei “the beautiful woman clock” (I wrote about it before in here ) ranked the first place of the entertainment section at the “Kiss FM Kobe” release first day supported in Kansai area around Kobe by many listers.  Like original bijin-tokei, this “Kiss” is one of the popular apps for iphone.


<Wa Kingyo>


“Wa” means “Japanese” “Japan style”, and “Kingyo” means goldfish.

Pretty goldfishes drawn on the Japanese style of painting swim elegantly.  You will be surprised by their cute movement.  This is similar to “Koi Pond” (I wrote about it here )  Enjoy relaxing time…. 🙂  This app is created by a Japanese.



… ummm, this is one of those crazy Japanese stuff.  In this app, you blow into your iphone or rub the screen with fingers, then the skirt of the pretty girl in the picture goes into an upskirt.   There are a few different girls on the screen to choose from and they all wear different clothes, such as yukata (Japanese casual summer kimono) and office lady type of clothes.  To me, I think it’s an obsession and I don’t like it, but this app is ranked in the top 10 and it seems many people around the world is enjoying it.  If you want to have this app on your iphone/touch, please make sure not to show to your girl!