Perth Kimchi

Posted December 29th, 2009 in Perth WA | 5 Comments »

This kimchi shop opened its door just one month ago in Myaree.  Although the shop is new, customers keep coming back to buy the fresh delicious home-made kimchi.

Kimchi is traditional Korean pickled dishes made of vegetables with varied seasonings.  The most common kimchi is the spicy Chinese cabbage variety.  Cucumber and daikon radish are also popular kinds.  Kimchi is eaten as it is as a side dish to steamed rice, but is also used as an ingredient to make some of the delicious Korean dishes, such as kimchi friend rice, kimchi jigae (kimchi soup/ steam board), topping on bibinba or Korean cold noodle.  

I love kimchi, it’s a great accompaniment to a beer 🙂  

She gave me a free sample, and I really loved her kimchi!  Very fresh, unlike those packaged kimchi you see in grocery shops.  There are some unique kimuchi such as squid kimuchi as well.  (see my dinner photo)  She, the owner, is from Busan, South Korea, and she makes her kimchi everyday at the shop.  No wonder the kimchi is so fresh.

Plus, Korean BBQ dish, Bulgogi (beef and pork) is also available there.  You may need to go there in the morning as this item is very popular 🙂

This shop opens 6days a week, from Monday to Saturday, 9:00 to 18:00.  If you like this spicy Korean pickles why not try some?

37 Hulme Court, Myaree WA 6154 /  (08) 9317 8688

Post Christmas Shopping

Posted December 28th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Almost everyone who stayed in Perth this Christmas must have went post-Christmas shopping!  Many shops are doing huge sale…  I bought a suitcase, cordless phone, some stationery stuff and toys.  After shopping my husband and I phoned up his aunty/uncle to say “Merry Christmas”, then they asked us to come over to their house.

They welcomed us with coffees and some sweets.  They had Christmas party the other night and there’re many left over food at their house : fruit mince pies, chocolate, fruits…    They kept saying “do you want another drink?” “I have watermelon in the fridge” “why don’t you take home this blueberries”.   In the end they gave us so many things!  Chocolates, tomatoes, cactus, aloe, seedlings, turkish bread and steak… 

That night I cooked the steak, and I made avocado dip for Turkish bread.

<Avocado Dip>

  • 1 avocado
  • lemon juice
  • 1 tbs whipped cream
  • salt and pepper 
  1. Cut avocado half and scoop out the fresh into a bowl.  Squeeze lemon juice onto avocado, and mash up until smooth.  Add cream, and season well.
The steak was delicious!  Aunty said they always get this marinated steak from a butcher.  I should have asked which butcher they get this steak meat from.  The meat is tender and I think it goes with steamed rice too.

Three Color Pavlova

Posted December 27th, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

When I was told that I was in charge of dessert for the Christmas dinner, I asked sister what I should be making.  If it was in Japan, I would be making simple strawberry cake with vanilla sponge and fresh cream, but I didn’t know if Australian (in-laws) would like it.  Sister said that Australian traditional Christmas dessert is either pavlova, or trifle.  As sister finished her sentence with “trifle may be bit heavy”, I decided to make pavlova.

It was actually my first time to make pavlova.  Umm, actually I may have made it before at TAFE, but I think it would have been a small, individual size.  

I made family size pavlova with three colors: white, pink and chocolate.  Looked like Napoleon ice cream :p  I decorated with whipped cream, some fresh fruits and roasted nuts.  It was pretty good. 



  • 6 egg white
  • 1+1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs corn flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • tiny drop of red coloring
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbs condensed milk
  • cherry, kiwi, peach
  • roasted nuts ( I used Almond praline)
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.  Line baking paper on an oven tray, and dust 1tsp of corn flour.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons cornflour with the last tablespoon of sugar. Fold through vanilla and vinegar.
  3. Take 2~3 tbs of meringue into another bowl. Shift in cocoa powder and mix through.  Take another 2~3 tbs meringue into another bowl and add tiny drop of red coloring, mix through.
  4. Spoon half of white meringue onto baking paper, shaping into about 24cm (diameter) circle.  Pour pink and brown meringue into the white meringue bowl.  Do not mix.
  5. Spoon the three colors meringue on top of white meringue on oven tray.  Gently spread into circle shape, with a slightly higher edge and a low centre. Make three colors marbled.
  6. Reduce oven to 100°C.   Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until dry and crisp. 
  7. Turn off oven and open oven door. Cool completely in oven (pavlova may sink during cooling).
Please be careful when you are moving the pavlova into a serving plate.  Gently slide the pavlova onto a plate, or it will be like this … (T_T)  ↓↓↓
We still enjoyed this pavlova, even though it was cracked…
  • Crush Almond, and roast in a pan (without oil).  Be careful not to burn.
  • Place whipping cream and condensed milk in a bowl and whip until soft peak.  
  • Spread cream on top of pavlova, and arrange cut fruits and sprinkle roasted nuts.

Christmas 2009

Posted December 25th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

This is my 6th time to spend Christmas in Perth.  Last year I was in Jakarta and then flew to Japan to spend Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Still, I prefer Christmas in winter…  (do I say this every year?)  My family says it’s really cold now, about 8℃ max, and they got heavy snow last week.  My house was surrounded by white world… My brother says it was terrible, couldn’t see his car, covered with snow, and had to dig it out in cold morning.. but I miss these things.

Today every shop closes, even some petrol stations and McDonalds, so yesterday was the last shopping day before Christmas for everyone.  Even a small shopping mall near my house was full of people, and couldn’t find a parking spot.  I had to circle around few times.  I just wanted to deposit one cheque at the bank :p

This morning I went to a church for Christmas mass.  The road was quiet.  When I came home, sister_in_law had prepared breakfast for us!  I said to everyone “Merry Christmas” 🙂

Everyone kept saying “stop taking photos, it just a breakfast and nothing special! Just eat! “, but I couldn’t help 😛  


After having breakfast, I prepared for tonight dinner: whipping cream and cutting some fruits for pavlova.  AAAA I forgot to buy strawberries (T_T)  Now it’s too late, all the shops are closed. …. Well, the pavlova is kind of broken anyway, it’s for family dinner, we can still eat it :p

Merry Christmas to everyone from Ume !!

Christmas Eve!

Posted December 24th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Today is the last day of work before Christmas!  According to the radio, it’s gonna be a fine and hot weekend.  Very classic 🙂

As I’m in charge of dessert for family Christmas dinner, I prepared pavlova last night …  Pavlova with 3 colors – white, pink and brown.  Look like Napoleon :p  But!!  Sadly I accidentally broke it when I was lifting ! (T0T)  … I hope it should be ok!
What is your plan for Christmas day??  Are you away from your home, or spending a relaxing time with your family?  
Tonight, Christmas Eve is considered as an very important day for couples in Japan –  everywhere you look, you will see couples who are joined at the hip!  There must be so many people everywhere, and the Christmas mood is at climax.
I have to go now!  I’m having dinner with my hubby tonight 🙂  

Fukada Kyoko

Posted December 22nd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

If you have watched any Japanese films or drama, you may have seen this actress Kyoko Fukada.  She is about the same age as me (or older) and I’ve seen many of her dramas/films while in Japan.  Although some says bad things about her, I kind of like her.  She is cute, and I like her hair style and make-up 🙂

It was really a coincidence, but I was at Yuko‘s place to get hair cut today, and I saw a photo of Kyoko on the cover page of a Japanese fashion magazine.   Now she has short hair!



According to the magazine, this is the shortest hair that Kyoko has been with.  My image for her always had been “long hair” “brown, light color” “cute”, but now she looks like a lady.  I really love her current new looks. 🙂   Unfortunately I have no guts to cut my hair this short, but my hair is now short too.  It’s not because I saw her hair style on the magazine, I had been thinking to cut my hair to medium bob since few weeks ago.  

I love my hair style now, it’s nice and short, and easy to shampoo 🙂  I colored hair brown with few low-lights.  It’s summer!   

By the way Kyoko’s skin is so beautiful…  what does she use??

Quick Risotto

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

Risotto was a dish that my host family made for me on the first night I came to Perth.  It was a tomato risotto, and she cooked it in the oven.  I was amazed to find how easy it is to make risotto, just place risotto rice and chicken stock in an oven dish with other ingredients and bake in the oven.  It turned out delicious.  

The other day I felt like risotto, so I made chicken, mushroom and spinach risotto –  a very typical flavor.  

Personally I prefer not to use too much cream, (even though it tastes nice, I worry about its high calories) so I add cheese right after cooking and mix it through.  It gives richer flavor.

<Chicken, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto> for two

  •  1/2 Chicken breast
  • 4~5 mushroom
  • 1/2 cup risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • spinach leaves
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs white wine
  • 1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 50 ml cream (optional)
  • olive oil
  1. Slice chicken breast and mushroom.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan, and saute onion and garlic.  Add chicken, and cook briefly both sides.  Add mushroom.  Stir in white wine.
  3. Add risotto rice and stir.  Pour 1/2 of chicken stock, and simmer over low heat, stir constantly.  Add the rest of chicken stock once all the liquid evaporates.  Stir in spinach leaves.  Simmer until rice is just cooked (al dente).  Season.  Add more water if needed.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in grated cheese.  If you are adding cream, pour over cream and simmer, then turn off the heat.
  5. Serve with additional Parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Quick tips:  You can pre-cook risotto rice!  Cook rice with chicken stock first.  Saute onion, garlic, chicken and mushroom and stir in white wine.  Add cooked rice and pour chicken stock (water).  Simmer, then season.  Stir in cheese and cream.

Chat and Eat and Watch

Posted December 20th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

On Saturday my friends came over to my house for a small gathering. (bounen-kai ?)  We brought up some foods and drinks to share.  I knew we weren’t gonna eat much, we’d rather talk what we are up to, so I just made a platter of sandwiches and baked tomato pasta.

Friends brought some drinks, cajun crusted prawn salad, and salmon carpaccio.  The dressing for the salmon carpaccio was Japanese style.  Here is the recipe 🙂

  • Slice white onion very thin, and place in a bowl of cold water.  Drain.
  • On a serving plate, arrange thin slices of salmon on a bed of onion.  Drizzle virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.  Drop capers, and season with salt and black pepper.
  • For a dressing (dipping sauce), mix 2 tbs of mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp wasabi paste and few drops of soy sauce.

You can adjust the amount of wasabi and soy sauce for your taste!

I prepared some desserts as well because I knew girls need something sweet after a meal. 🙂

As I thought, we were so busy talking… We talked about jobs, boyfriends, traveling, etc…   It’s so nice to have this type of gathering to catch up with friends.

After awhile we started to watch a film, “The Mist” by Stephen King.  I don’t know why, but every time we have a gathering at my house we watch some movies.  Last time we watched “Blindness“, and the time before we watched “When A Stranger Calls“.

Oh yes, on the same day my new fridge came to the house!  I really needed a fridge for myself…  I have lots of stuff for Bagelier.

I’m buying some household stuff little by little so that I don’t need to spend a lot at once when I move into a new house in the future.  I hope it’s gonna happen soon 🙂

Roxby Thai Cafe Restaurant

Posted December 19th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

On Friday night my family and I went to Roxby Thai Cafe Restaurant in O’connor for sister-in-law’s birthday dinner 🙂

I knew this place since it opened its door just one or two years ago, but I’d never actually been there…  The atmosphere of the restaurant seemed to be something that I wouldn’t like: drinking and noisy place.  But, when I went to this restaurant I realized that it was all wrong –  the place wasn’t bad at all.

We started with Green Papaya Salad (one of my favorite food) and Stuffed Chicken Wings.  The salad was nice and spicy 🙂

We shared main meals: Hot Seafood Plate, Thai Style Fish, Grilled Tangy Prawn, Green Curry and Pad Thai Noodle.  Eating noodle in their birthday is Indonesian thing?  Chinese thing?  This family always eat noodle on someone’s birthday.   Anyway, out of those 5 dishes my favorite was Thai style fish.  Sweet and sour, plus spicy. 🙂

The food was great, seafood was nicely cooked and seasoned.  The service was friendly as well.  Plus, the place wasn’t noisy at all.  There’s a bar where you can relax and hung out after having dinner.  They also serve steaks and ribs.  I will definitely come back here sometimes.


398 South St, O’connor  (08) 9314 2444


1 Yampi Way, Willetton  (08) 9457 0072

Seoul Mart Korean Grocery Shop

Posted December 18th, 2009 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

The second largest Korean grocery shop, after Hi Mart, in Perth is Seoul Mart, I think.  Seoul Mart started its original shop in Perth few years ago, and now there is one in Myaree, and one in Southlands shopping centre.

I’ve been to all of them, but I didn’t like the Perth shop.  When I went there the staffs were very rude!  On the other hand, Myaree and Southlands shop staffs are very polite and friendly.  I’m not sure if those 3 shops are owned by a same owner, or different, but I really don’t feel like going back to the Perth shop.  (but Perth shop does monthly special sale and things are cheap!)

The owner (I think) at Myaree shop is a very very nice guy.  He serves customer with smile and try to answer any questions customer may have- most of the items are written in Korean, so non-Korean customers need some assistance !  At Myaree shop, they do vcd/dvd rental service of Korean drama / film as well.

Out of those three, I think Southland Seoul Mart is the biggest one.  They sell not only food but also some household stuff such as rice cooker, grilling plate (for Korean BBQ) and stationery.  The staff at Southland are friendly too.  The shop is next to Reject Shop in Southland Shopping Centre.

Seoul Mart City (open 7 days)

Shop 4-5, 544 Hay St (on Pier St) (08) 9221 0322

Seoul Mart Myaree

Shop7, North Lake shopping Centre, 67 North Lake Road Myaree WA

Seoul Mart Southlands

Shop76, Southlands Shopping Centre Willetton WA

What Japanese People Do in December

Posted December 17th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 3 Comments »

Like other countries, December is the busiest month in a year in Japan.  New Year’s Day is the biggest event, followed by New Year’s Eve and Christmas.  On December, school kids start to get excited for the winter holiday, couples get excited for the romantic Christmas dates, and families get excited for a gathering with all the relatives and family.   

We have several things to get done before New Year’s Day in Japan.  One is cleaning!  We clean our houses, offices, gardens, and even public toilets.  This cleaning is called “Nenmatsu- Oh-souji” (the end of the year cleaning).  When I was a kid all my family get busy… wipe tatami mats, clean light bulbs, change paper on shoji (window made with Japanese paper and wood) , wash doggy’s house etc.  The idea of this “Nenmatsu- Oh-souji” is that we clean up all the mess we made in the year and welcome a New Year with clean and new atmosphere –  a new life.

Another one is … parties!  We do “bounen-kai” , “shinnen-kai” and sometimes Christmas party with colleagues, friends, and family.  “Bounen-kai” is a party (mostly drinking at Izakaya) before New Year’s Day, and it’s for “to forget about this year”.  Whatever you did, any mistakes and regrets in the year,  you have to forget after attending this party.  On the other hand, “Shinnen-kai” is a party after New Year’s Day.  This is just a party to welcome New Year.  Sometimes you get to attend those parties almost everyday in December, for example, with friends from high school, with friends from college, with friends from office, with office members, with kid’s play group members etc.  Very busy!  But fun 🙂

My mum emailed me saying that her company was having “Bounen-kai” lastnight, and everyone was working super fast and finished 2 hours early!  So funny…  They are so ready to drink some beer and sho-chu!

I’m having a small gathering party (kind of “Bounen-kai”) with my friends this Saturday.  This’s organised by my friend and we are gonna just relax and do nothing but eat & drink!  Can’t wait!

My Lunch and Weird Japanese Food

Posted December 16th, 2009 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

I’ve been wanting to post some of my junky, fast food lunch on Umeboss, and now here they are 🙂 :

All of the above does not look nice at all !  (^^;)  Food made by men! 

Today I had raw shell fish on steamed rice with seaweed salad. The other day I had vinegar-pickled mackerel on steamed rice. I’m sure that this sounds really really gross… and looks gross, yes. That’s one of the food that Japanese people eat in this fish country :p

By the way, I’ve found something funny about Japanese people’s food. I mean, people from different area have different way to eat food. According to the magazine I read, people in Aomori prefecture eat manju tempura … Manju is a Japanese sweet (rice cake with stuffing) and they deep-fry it with tempura batter?? They also eat fresh tomatoes with sugar. Is it true!? And, people from Shiga eat takuwan (pickled radish) and mayonnaise sandwich… Well, I’m from Shiga but I’ve actually never seen such food in my life! I think it’s not true… but apparently this item has been eaten for more than 50 years and I saw a photo of the takuwan (pickled radish) and mayonnaise sandwich on the magazine, and the name of the sandwich was “salad roll”. Takuwan and mayonnaise.. it’s not salad!

The funny thing is, in Yamagata prefecture, elementary school students have to bring up miso soup from their home one a year and submit it to the school. The school analyze the contents and ingredients of the miso soup.. I don’t know what that for though :p

Other versions of Bijin

Posted December 15th, 2009 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 1 Comment »

As I mentioned on my previous post here and here, bijin tokei is getting more attention across the world – 240000000 viewers a month!  They’ve made Osaka version of bijin-tokei (kiss x bijin-tokei),and now here are some new versions:

circuit tokei.

The difference between this circuit-tokei and normal bijin-tokei is that girls in circuit-tokei are all race queens!


A guy version of bijin-tokei!


…. I don’t know what to say about this!  Apparently this av-tokei is run by different company.  After the success of original bijin-tokei, everyone is trying to copy the system.   For example, Korean version bijin-tokei (Mi-in sigye)  was created by a Korean company after Japan started its original bijin-tokei.  I guess there are going to be more versions …

Kids Birthday Party

Posted December 14th, 2009 in Perth WA | 4 Comments »

Last Sunday we had my nephew’s 3rd birthday party!  Sister-in-law does a big birthday party for him each year, and this time it was a party at a kids gym.  He had a huge Dora birthday cake …  He loves Dora :p

Sister asked me to cater some bagel sandwiches for the party, so I made them up fresh in the morning 🙂

“Making bagels very soft” was sister’s request (as Australian people prefer soft and light bagels), so I made them as she said.  I made few varieties : ham & cheese, ham & avocado & lettuce, chicken & avocado & mayo, chicken & cheese & semi-dried tomato, tuna & mayo & lettuce, and cheese & semi-dried tomato.

Seems that people enjoyed my bagels sandwiches, and I’m very happy 🙂

My bagels sandwiches were supposed to be just a snack, as kids and parents were playing in the gym from 9:30 till 12:00.  We had the sandwiched and birthday cake around 11:00, then go back to playing, then after 12:00 we all headed to Sizzler for lunch.

Hyogo Cultural Christmas Party

Posted December 13th, 2009 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

Today I went to Hyogo Prefecture Government Cultural Centre in City Beach to attend their Christmas party. It was my first time to sell my bagels and sweets in public and it was fun!

When I arrived this place everyone was so kind and speaking Japanese.  It was a nice cozy atmosphere.  People started to gather up around 3pm, including kids wearing yukata.  They enjoyed chatting and playing with Japanese toys until the special guest Camellia Cha (aka Anne Norman) started to play shakuhachi.  The sound of shakuhachi was so beautiful that everyone shut their mouths and listen to its music.


After the shakuhachi, she started to read her book, “Curiosi-tea”.  I was amazed by her story, about teas around the world, history of Japan..  It was really interesting.  She used to stay in Hyogo 23 years ago and then visited around the famous tea factories and tea field throughout Japan, includes Uji in Kyoto and Shizuoka.  She speaks Japanese very well too.  

I brought some bagels, New York style cheese cake, green tea cake, almond fingers and macadamia cantuccini.  I was with Chigusa, from Wasabi & Green Tea, and she sold many kinds of tea, including sakura black tea, kamairi-cha (pan-roasted tea), and ginseng tea.  She was doing free tasting as well, and everyone enjoyed it very much.  I really loved the kamairi-cha, which the tea leaf is made in Japan by a Japanese person, in Chinese-tea way.  Hearing about all the good stuff about tea, I really thought I should drink tea regularly! 

I sold out all the bagels (because it was a Japanese event, green tea flavor sold very quickly) and more than half of the sweets I brought.  I should have brought more bagels!  Thank you very much and I enjoyed this event from the beginning to the end 🙂

Awabi (Abalone)

Posted December 12th, 2009 in Food, Perth WA | 2 Comments »

My friend bought a license for abalone catching this year.  According to WA government website, the immensely popular Perth metropolitan season is limited to 9 hours per year, and this year it’s operated on each Sunday from 3rd of November to 8th of December, between 7am-8.30am within 800m of the shoreline.  

He went down to the beach on every Sunday and brought fresh abalone home.  His wife’s blog was filled with delicious looking abalone photos…  And one day he kindly dropped off a few abalone at my house!  

Abalone is very expensive in Japan and is considered as one of the high class food.  If you go to a Chinese restaurant in Japan you’ll probably have to pay more than 20000 yen for one.  (about AUD$200.00)

When I got those abalone, they were still alive!  As friend told me, I inserted a knife into the thinest side of the meat and cut it off from the shell.  Then, wash the meat with salt.  If you wash with salt, the meat retains its nice texture.  If you wash with sugar, the meat becomes softer.  My friend prefer soft texture, but I love the hard abalone texture, so I washed with salt 🙂

That night we had abalone steak with butter and soy sauce..  

Heat a frying pan and drop 1 table spoon of butter.  Add sliced abalone meat and sear.  Drizzle few drops of soy sauce and turn off the heat.  Serve immediately!  That’s it.  It was so nice 😛

Chilled Udon with Bean Curd and Salad

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

Summer food!  This cold udon noodle chills you out…  Enjoy with lots of ice cubes 🙂

<Chilled Salad Udon>

  • 1 pack udon noodle
  • 5 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs dashi powder (fish stock)
  • 1~2 inari sushi skin
  • salad (lettuce, tomatoes etc)
  • Shredded nori (kizami nori)
  1. Prepare tsuyu sauce – Bring 400cc water, soy sauce, mirin and dashi powder to boil in a sauce pan.  Stir, and simmer for 1,2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.  You can keep this sauce in the fridge until needed.
  2. <Frozen udon> Boil frozen udon in a sauce pan.  Drain into a bowl of cold water.  Drain the noodle.  <Dry udon> Boil water in a sauce pan.  Drop dry udon noodle into the water, and cook until the noodle is done.  Stir consistently. Drain into a bowl of cold water. Drain the noodle.
  3. Prepare salad – Shred lettuce, slice tomatoes ..   Shred inari skin.
  4. In a serving bowl, arrange drained noodle, salad and inari skin. Drop few ice cubes and top with shredded nori.  You can pour tsuyu sauce over, or serve separately as a dipping sauce.

Christmas in Japan

Posted December 10th, 2009 in Japan | No Comments »

Christmas season is just around the corner! This season must be the busiest time for shopping malls and department stores around the world. In Japan, although we (well, most of us) are not Christian we still cerebrate Christmas by decorating a Christmas tree, eating cakes and spending time together with loved one.

As we don’t have the tradition to eat turkey in Japan, the main item on Christmas is the cake. You can order your Christmas cake from any bakeries, cake shops, convenience stores, and department stores. There are so many choices and they all look so delicious…

In department stores such as Takashimaya, Isetan, and Seibu, they sell special cakes which are only available from the store. Each shop has different flavors and kinds, and you can order it before Christmas day so that you can just pick it up on the day. The popular ones would be sponge cake filled with fresh cream and strawberries, chocolate cake, bûche de Noël、mont blanc aux marrons …. My favorite is still a standard cake – sponge with fresh cream and strawberries!! Japanese cake is soooooooo delicious.

… Well, actually many people eat cake on Christmas Eve in Japan. Eve (24th December) is considered as “a day to spend with loved one” in Japan, and everywhere is filled with romantic mood. 🙂

Tea Party for Tea Lovers

Posted December 8th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Do you like tea?  Do you like chatting with strangers? Are you interested in something Japanese?  If so, you may be interested in joining this Christmas tea party at Hyogo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre on 12th December, Saturday.  

Apparently Hyogo Prefecture and Western Australia have been sister states since 1981!  Hyogo is very close to Shiga, and the capital city of Hyogo is Kobe city – a famous for its international port, and being expensive and high class city.  Now I feel that Perth and I are closer 🙂 

“Chatterbox Christmas Par-tea” – a tea party is held at 3pm to 5pm at the cultural centre.  There are going to be a writer, Anne Norman, reading her book, and someone playing shakuhachi – a Japanese musical instrument.  Not only that, but also a demonstration of Japanese tea ceremony, free tasting etc.  If you like tea and want to know more about Japan / Japanese tea, this gathering may be interesting to you.

And!  I’m going to be there with a lady who is planning to do a simple tea party.  Actually I’m interested to see how to prepare Japanese tea.  I don’t think I know the proper way to do…  I will be displaying some Bagelier food there as well, and of course people can buy those 🙂

Fine Weekend

Posted December 7th, 2009 in Perth WA | 11 Comments »

It’s been hot, dry and now I can feel it’s summer finally!  This weekend I could do many things listed on my to-do-list and I feel great 🙂  I could wash my car ( I was dying to wash it for few months already), finish shopping for Christmas, etc.

Oh, one thing I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t done –  I’ve been wanting to go to this new ramen noodle shop “Arigataya” in Northbridge for one month, but no time to go!   This shop is owned by Japanese people who used to own a ramen shop in Tokyo, Japan.  According to my friends who tried the noodle in Arigataya, this shop currently has just few menu such as “Sho-yu (soy sauce)”, “Shio (salt)”, and “Tsuke-men (noodle to be eaten with dipping sauce)”.  The chef is trying to add more menu at the moment.  Has anyone been there already?  If so, let me know how if you like their ramen 🙂

Another thing, there are delicious Bagelier sweets available at Wasabi & Green Tea!  Macadamia Cantuccini –  three colored (plain, green tea and chocolate) crisp biscuit with heaps of Macadamia nuts, and Almond Fingers – moist  finger size cookie with  almond meal and almond slices.

Camels vs Monkeys

Posted December 6th, 2009 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Well this may be an old news, but 6,000 wild camels have invaded a small Australian town in search for water last month.  This town of Docker River, population 350, is in a drought area, which encouraged thirty camels to come into the town searching for water. (from  Australian authorities planed to kill those camels by gun for trampling fences, smashing tanks and contaminating supplies… I can’t agree with their decision, but I guess they had to.  In Japan sometimes wild boar attacks a small town and people have to kill it.

It seems that this news is broadcasted outside of Australia too.  My mum emailed me saying “hey are you ok?  Are camels around you?” That’s actually how I knew about this news :p

To tell the truth, I have a similar experience…  not camels, but monkeys!  It was a long time ago, when I was an elementary school student.  My school was surrounded by mountains and rice fields ( writing this makes Shiga sound like a really country side :p ) , and one day lots of monkeys started to gather up around the school!  

Because it was close to 4pm and students were about to go home, teachers told all students to remain inside of the building.  I remember seeing many monkeys in the athletic ground of the school from class room.  I didn’t feel scared at all, I rather felt excited :p  I like animals… well, of course I will be screaming if some wild monkeys come close to me though.

All students had to wait until all monkeys were gone.  I don’t remember what teachers did, but I think they called police or something.

Oh, and I also remember one day we had a dog strolled into our school.  The dog was huge (I think it was a German shepherd) and running around the school hallway vigorously.  It was scary! 

<Photos ref: Camel, monkey)

Climate in Singapore and Perth

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

The other day I had a visitor from Singapore.  He came to Perth on business, and said that the weather in Perth is totally opposite to Singapore’s.  What I remember about Singapore was also the humid climate.  He says it’s about 70~80% humidity… oh my gosh.  No wonder I felt my body heavier over there!

It must be terrible climate to wash clothes… he says the clothes don’t get dry for few days after washing.  In Perth it all get dried in 10 minutes in summer because of the super dry climate.  (someone said to me before that humidity in Perth during summer is 0~5%! Is it true??)  

I always loved having four seasons in a year in Japan, being able to experience many things in different seasons, and thought that I couldn’t do much of those in Perth compared with Japan.  But, according to this visitor, Singapore is worse.  Because there is no season in Singapore (always hot and humid, like other Asian countries) it’s hard to remember what he did in when and where.  I mean, for example, if you lost your passport long time ago and remember wearing half sleeve Tshirt on the day, you can at least guess that it was around summer time when you lost the passport.  If you bought a cat and there’s sakura tree in your memory, you know it was spring.  In Singapore you can’t have such sense of time, because there is nothing to compare to.  Umm I see..  I don’t think I will like living in a place which has only one season.

Happy Birthday

Posted December 4th, 2009 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday!  As he requested, we had tacos party at home.

I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since we met. Time flies.. It was really hard for me to be with someone who has totally different background, culture and speak different language for the first few years. Well, it must have been same to him as well, because I couldn’t speak English before. Still now, my English is not perfect. :p

We argue and fight with violence sometimes ( :p ) . I think I should be more lady-like. Someone teach me how! 🙂

A cute birthday cake from his sister 🙂

I also made a rare cheese cake for him.  We will have many sweets in the fridge for a while!

It turned out pretty thin cake because I used a tart mold.  Tastes ok, I will post the recipe some other time.


Bagelier Bagels

Posted December 3rd, 2009 in Ume's Interests | 13 Comments »

It’s been more than one year since Bagelier started its business.  Actually it wasn’t easy for the first few months…  I was surprised to know that people here don’t really like hard, dense, crusty bagels.  They prefer it soft and light. In my opinion it’s not a bagel though…  

Because of that, I had to change my recipe to match their needs.  The bagels at Bagelier were first very dense and heavy, but now they are lighter.  It’s almost impossible to make all the people love my bagels because everyone has different taste!  Ummm..  I’m happy to receive any comments or feedback of Bagelier’s bagels so that I can know the current recipe is good or bad.

Oh by the way, Wasabi & Green Tea in Victoria Park started to sell Bagelier bagels in store 🙂  If someone just wants to try out few bagels, you can buy from this shop.  I think they sell bagels frozen though… but there is no problem as bagels can be kept frozen for 3 months.  You just need to defrost, and either heat up in the microwave or toast.

Well, anyway I think I’m going to start promoting Bagelier products here on this blog.  So, please don’t feel annoyed :p

Spotlight on Black Animals

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

It’s been a while since vampire themed stories hit the market.  Now everywhere you turn there are vampire movies, television shows, and books.  I believe Twilight movie started this vampire boom, and it seems that many people (especially girls) are in love with this series.  Thanks to this (?), these is a merit on a cute yet poor little creature – black cats.  

At animal shelters, black cats were less likely to be chosen than their multi-coloured mates, vanishing into the shadows to become invisible to potential adopters. And sadly, during kitten season, when shelters are full, black cats are often the first to be euthanased.  

But with the release of the new Twilight movie “New Moon”, black cats started to gather up an attention of people who wants to bring a little bit of the dark into their life. Black cats, with their radiant eyes and shiny black coats not only help you get in touch with your mysterious side, but pack a punch in the perfect pet stakes, making great pets for apartment dwellers or people looking for a loving, no fuss companion.

No matter the reason, I think it’s good that this poor animal is getting an attention.  However, I strongly wish that people take care of animals very good until they leave this world.  No matter the fur color is white or black, they are still living creature and all same animals.

What a Surprise!

Posted December 1st, 2009 in Japan | 2 Comments »

I received a phone call from my husband during the day, ” hey Ume, you received a parcel from Japan.”

First I thought it was from my mum, but actually it was from my college friends from Osaka.  In the parcel, there’re few letters from them along with some cute presents …

So cute … !!  I love the kitchen mitten set and bento boxes…  And I just wanted to buy those silicon cups!

They’re a wedding gift for me.  It was a surprise because no one didn’t mention me anything! Actually one of them contacted me few weeks ago asking for my address and phone numbers, but she said it was because she wanted to send me an invitation card for her wedding in Japan. Their plan must have been to surprise me, and they succeeded!

Away from my country, I sometimes feel being left out from the world that I used to live in, but this present made me realized that they still remember about me, and it makes me so happy 🙂

THANK YOU SO MUCH, Haru, Yukie, Mio 🙂