Photos from Japan

Posted February 28th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

These may be silly photos, but I just post them on Umeboss so that I can delete from my computer’s desktop :p 

You can watch NHK news on SBS every weekdays (early morning and night time), and I watch it sometimes.  Watching your country’s tv show make you feel home 🙂  I always thought this Otenki onesan, weather woman, on NHK news REALLY look likes my friend!  She is cute…

Some people who understands Japanese kana (a syllabic Japanese scripts) may be able to read what’s on th e weather board…  The sunny signs with orange color is creating two katakana  “エロ” = erotic….  What a coincidence..   

This photo was taken by my mum, on a subway.  This man fell asleep, and unluckily his wig fell down… :p  I wonder what he did when he woke up.  This photo has been my mum’s caller ID on my phone (^口^)


Posted February 25th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

It’s little late, but… my husband and nephew made cupcakes for me for my birthday. 🙂

They followed my recipe Moist and Fluffy Cupcake Recipe.

They found it’s difficult to pipe out the butter icing on the top of the cupcakes.  (by the way I was the one who prepared the icing in a piping bag for them so that they could just play around with it)

Well, they look good enough, and very delicious 🙂  Thank you guys!

High Tea at Duxton Hotel

Posted February 24th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 4 Comments »


The other day my friend and I went to Duxton Hotel for high tea.  We were actually thinking between Hilton and Hyatt, then we decided neither in the end and went to Duxton.

As the high tea hours at Duxton Hotel is for 3 hours, from 2pm to 5pm, my friend and I gathered at the lobby just before 2pm so that we could enjoy the whole 3 hours there.  I was driving and trying to find a parking spot in the city, then I noticed some of the parking spots are now not free until 6pm on Saturdays.  It used to be free after 12:30 on Saturdays before. 🙁  Anyway I could find a free spot just few meters away from Duxton, and ran to the lobby!

I guess we’re the first customer for high tea.  We sat down, and ordered chai tea and mixed fruits tea.

Although I was pretty hungry, I couldn’t finish the food.  It’s not only because we’re so busy talking, but also I found the food was very.. common.   I was little disappointed.  I felt like the tower of sweets and savories, except for the sandwiches, was just taken out from a box from suppliers.  And scone was little bit hard and dry.

I paid $28.00 for the food.  I don’t want to compare again, but you could enjoy dessert buffet at hotels in Japan with 1500 yen (about AUD$15~20.00) and it’s “all you can eat”.  $28.00 for a scone, tart, sandwich and a pot of tea was little too expensive, I thought.

<Duxton High Tea Menu>

Happy Birthday ♪

Posted February 23rd, 2010 in Eat out in Perth, Perth WA | 2 Comments »

My husband took me out for a walk last night (just because it was my birthday).  He asked me where I wanted to go to, but I had no particular place in my head.  I didn’t mind anywhere, really.

We ended up walking around Subiaco area.  As it was Monday night, the road and shops were very quiet.  We were just walking, chatting and sometimes screaming ( I talk loud when I’m excited :p )

Just to take a break, we sat down at San Churro which is located just in front of Wagamama restaurant.  (read my old post about San Churro in Fremantle)

Although the whole town was quiet, this shop was so busy!  Many people kept coming…  couples, groups of girl friends, and some families.  We ordered a kid’s churro with white chocolate dipping, a strawberry bizcocho, and a glass of chocolate mint milk-shake.  … yes we have sweet tooth.

The strawberry bizcocho was nice, it was served on a round glass and it contains chocolate sponge, chocolate, some white syrup (?), strawberries and some nuts (←I don’t remember as I was busy eating it)  Chocolate mint milk-shake was… ok, but my mouth was already sweet with the strawberry bizcocho, so I couldn’t drink it.  In the end “D” finished the milk-shake for me.

After that we walked around Bell Tower area at Barrack street in the city.  This area reminds me of my dad – he visited Perth few years ago and he nearly went missing around this area.  :p  Funny memory…

To think about it, it’s almost the end of February and the sign of Autumn has already started to appear.  I think the climate in Perth and Japan is almost same around this time.  I still should bring some jacket in case it gets cold in the night…  This time I’ll be around Kobe and Osaka to meet my friends 🙂

Grave of the Fireflies

Posted February 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

You can watch this film on SBS tonight, 12:20  (midnight) !!! (Perth time)

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓, Hotaru no Haka) is a 1988 animated film written and directed by Isao Takahata. This is the first film produced by Shinchosha, who hired Studio Ghibli to do the animation production work. (wiki)

I believe this is one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made.  The story is about a brother and a sister, Seita and Setsuko.  Their mother is caught in the air raid during World War ll, and dies from her burns. Having nowhere else to go, Setsuko and Seita move in with a distant aunt, but the aunt didn’t welcome them.  In the end they leave the house and move into an abandoned bomb shelter.  They’re so alone, and Seita (brother) tries to protect young Setsuko, but they have no food and no parents.  As time goes by, Setsuko suffer from hunger, and she passes away 7days after the war ends.

The story is very sad, and educational to people who don’t know about “war”.  I’ve seen this film many times at elementary school and home, and it told me that a war gives nothing but sadness to people who live normal lives.  This film makes me cry every time I watch.  One of my favorite film of Ghibli.

You can watch this film on SBS tonight, 12:20  (midnight) !!!

I am going back to Japan

Posted February 20th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Just for 2 weeks, I will be in Japan next month.  This trip was planned just recently and I am sorry for such short notice to Bagelier customers.

One of the purpose on this trip is staying with my family on my dad’s special birthday – he is turing 60, and we are planning a small family trip to onsen (hot spring) to celebrate his kanreki.   In Japan, turning 60 is a major big deal.   It’s when your life has come full circle, when the clock resets and you start a new cycle of life. Interestingly it’s usually only a major celebration for males—I guess women don’t want to celebrate turning 60, not so much.

And actually my mum’s birthday is also on March, so we are celebrating both of them on the onsen trip 🙂  By the way she is turing 51!  Yap, 9 years age gap.

It’s just a short holiday, but I’m so excited about this trip.  I think I won’t be able to go back to Japan for a long time after this trip, so I will try to enjoy Japan as much as I can.  🙂

I hope I can see sakura and ume over there.

To Bagelier customers:

I will be away from March 10, 2010 to March 30, 2010.  I am sorry for the inconvenience.  Please place orders by 8th of March 🙂

Funcy Japanese Drinks

Posted February 19th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

As you may know, there is a wide range of products available in Japan.  Some of the products, you don’t even imagine that exist in this world!  Although I was born and grew up in this country, these things surprise me every time I go back to Japan.

Because of many businesses running across Japan, there are so many competitions going on between those companies.  Drink is an example.  A company produces a pet bottle of green tea named “oishii ocha” (delicious tea) and another company produces green tea named “ureshii ocha” (happy tea).  Naming of drinks is also a war, as company B can’t use a name which has been already taken by company A.  So, you get to see drinks named “o~i ocha” (hey, tea), “kore ocha” (this is the tea” etc etc 🙂

A drink company, Sangaria sells some unique drinks.  Standard drinks such as tea, juice and soda …

and …


Beer for kids! 

… NO, of course this is just a soft drink (non-alcohol)  :p  Looks like beer, and the name is “kodomo no nomimono” (kid’s drink).

Sangaria’s popular drink, Osaka’s cafe style mix juice drink is now available as sake (Japanese alcohol drink).  Sangaria’s mix juice is one of my favorite, and now I’m curious to taste this sweet sake drink!



Love Food for Any Mood

Posted February 18th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »


As a promo for McDonald’s five new Value Lunch Deals, they started this “Mood of the Nation” site.  On this website you can see how the whole country is feeling right now and why.  By the way today’s Western Australia people are feeling…  “Peckish”  

It’s just a cheeky simulation thing, but $5.95 lunch set menu is a pretty good deal.  You can chose from 5 lunch deals : Filet-O-Fish, Big Mac, Seared sweet Chili Wrap, Seared Tandoori Wrap, and Quarter Pounder. 

They’re available Monday to Friday between 12 and 2PM at participating restaurants, but only for a limited time.  🙂

Sakura Sushi

Posted February 16th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

Sai Koh Sushi Japanese restaurant changed its owner few months ago, and now this place is called Sakura Sushi.  

The menu is quite similar to before, but there’re several new items listed on their current menu.  I haven’t got chance to go there and try the food yet, but I recently had a chance to have a little chat with the owner about the menu.

Some new items are Okonomiyaki as entree, which is savory Japanese pan cake, and Miso Katsu Don, which is chicken katsu served with tasty miso-dare sauce.  Miso Katsu is a kind of Nagoya food in Japan, and it’s very nice 🙂  I may want to try it on my first visit.

One thing I noticed on their menu is “Potato Cake”  I can’t imagine it as a Japanese food – well, we eat potato cakes in Japan, but I was curious to know why they put it on the menu as a Japanese food.  I asked the owner, and she said that it’s a kind of Japanese food which is a deep-fried dish with potato and vegetables.  …  croquette ??  Is it ??  I just noticed now :p

Sakura Roll Sushi ($7.00 for 5 pieces) contains raw salmon, tuna, crab stick, egg omelet and coated with tobiko (frying fish roe : they describe the frying fish roe as “caviar”).   It sounds nice 🙂  I wish they add avocado!  I love avocado.

The prices are fare, around $4.50 ~ $13.00 for entree and $9.50 ~ 24.00 for main.  The owner couple are very nice people and that’s one of my reason I would like to go there in near future 🙂


Shop 11, Ranford Shopping Centre

214 Campbell Rd, Canning Vale WA 6155
Phone: (08) 9456 1388
Open for Dinner Tuesday – Sunday  5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Closed on Mondays

Doraemon iPhone App

Posted February 15th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Yahoo! Japan released 16 free iPhone Apps simultaneously at Japanese iTunes Store. By locating each app on the screen correctly, like solving a number slider puzzle, you can depict a face of the most famous character in Japan, Doraemon.

5 out of 16 are practical function buttons, such as calculator, kitchen timer and clock.  Other 11 are actually Doraemon comic stories!  For example, if you press “Time Furoshiki” button, you can read the episode from original Doraemon comic book on iPhone screen.  (those comic stories are written in Japanese) 

I love Doraemon and I installed all of them right after I knew about this.  Reading those comic recall a memory of childhood. 🙂

And, just few days before knowing this Doraemon iPhone app, I was watching DVD of Doraemon movies.  In Japan, current Doraemon cartoon on tv had been changed a lot compared with the one I used to watch while I was a kid.  The voices of Doraemon, Nobita, Shizuka-chan, Jaian and Suneo all changed as well as illustration of the cartoon.  I liked the original voices, and watching DVD was really fun to me.  I remember watching those Doraemon cartoon on tv and cinema back in Japan.  🙂

There are many Doraemon movies, but my favorite is the very first movie episode :  Doraemon: Nobita\’s Dinosaur 2006.   (>v<)

Chinese New Year 2010

Posted February 14th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

As you may know, this Chinese New Year is the same date as Valentine’s Day.  We, Japanese, don’t celebrate Chinese New Year (as our New Year Day is the 1st of January), but I attended the dinner with in-laws last night at a Chinese restaurant in East Perth, called Han Palace.  The outside and interior of this restaurant is just about what I imagine of “China”  

We had a course meal, which contains 13 dishes.

Yu Sang – Prosperity Raw Fish Salad

Shark Fin and Crab Meat Soup

Ginger and Shallot Western Rock Lobster with Yee Meen

etc etc.

The food was …. to me, not really special.  Maybe it’s because those food are special New Year’s food, I don’t know.  Well, I did enjoyed the atmosphere though.  There was a big screen of tv showing a New Year’s event show, and we started the course meal by mixing up the Yu Sang together while yelling “Happy New Year”.

While we were about halfway through the course meal, it started … – dragon dance!  

Two dragon started to look for ang pows (red envelop with money) and all the customers in the restaurants were feeding ang pow to those dancing dragon.

Dragon must get the ang pows : a customer stood on a chair and held an ang pows in high position, and dragon also has to stand up and get the ang pows.

It was a fun night.  I didn’t eat much, but the service was great.

From Jakarta

Posted February 13th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Again… my house is filled with food from Indonesia. :p  They are all delicious and I sure like them.  But, if there’s a lot of food in the house, I just can’t stop eating!

Yesterday parents-in-law arrived Perth airport and we were having dinner all together.  The first thing they said to me was ” … did you put on weight?”

Yes I think I’ve been eating a lot lately, and was going to do some exercise, but I haven’t.  I was sick : I thought sick people usually lose weight instead of gaining.. (-_-)  

I know my body, and I always put on weight if I’m under stress.  Maybe I eat a lot when I feel stressed out?  When I was studying in Osaka few years ago I was living by myself in an apartment.  I was lonely, plus new school and new people, and I guess those things all became stress to me.  I wasn’t eating big amount of food, but I still gained weight.  :p

Ummm but I can’t resist this delicious layer cake!  It’s little too buttery, but rich and sweet.  Oh no, I hope someone else eat those food in this house before I do.

Grilled Chicken with Creamy Semi-dried Tomato

Posted February 11th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

One of my favorite dinner dish.  Full flavor of semi-dried tomato and cream cheese in a pocket of chicken breast fillet.  The key is to season the meat well before grilling.

  • 1 chicken breast fillet
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 4 semi-dried tomato
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  1. Chop semi-dried tomato, and combine with cream cheese.
  2. Halve the chicken breast in sideway to make two thin fillets.  Cut the centre of each fillet to make a “pocket”.
  3. Season the inside of the pocket with salt, and then spread the cream cheese mixture inside.  Arrange spinach on top and then close the hole by lightly pressing the top side of meat to the bottom.  You can use toothpick if needed.
  4. Heat 1 tbs of olive oil, and grill top side first.  When colored, flip it around and cook the other side over low heat.
  5. Once the meat is cooked through, remove from the pan and rest for a while before cutting.  Garnish with cracked black pepper.

Korean Marinated BBQ Beef (Bul Kogi)

Posted February 10th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

BBQ beef marinated in Korean style sauce.  Cooking the beef lightly is the key for juicy and tender Bul Kogi 🙂

  • 300g beef, thinly sliced
  • 5 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs tobanjan
  • 1 tbs roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Combine all the ingredient in a bowl except for the sesame seeds.  Marinate the beef for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying pan without oil.  Remove the beef from the marinade, reserving the sauce, and cook the beef for 2~3 minutes or until just cooked through.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Place the remaining marinade in the same pan and bring to the boil, stirring well, and simmer for 1 minutes.
  4. Arrange beef on a plate.  Spoon on the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.  Serve with steamed rice.

Summer Cold

Posted February 9th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

I think it’s just because of this season, but I’m sick …! I have headache, fever, my whole body feels so heavy….. but I haven’t taken medicine yet. I try not to take medicine until I’m really disparate, and I think I’m not quite there yet at this point. I just eat well and sleep well until I feel ok 🙂

Normally people tend to want to eat their countries’ food when they are sick. In my case it is udon noodle soup. My mum used to make tamago-toji udon (udon noodle soup with egg) and that’s what I feel like eating now. (although it may be too hot to eat in this hot day :p )

To me, I think that you should eat non-spicy food when you are sick, because sometimes throat is very sensitive. But, some Indonesian people I know eat spicy noodle soup, or porridge with cut chili. (#0#) Well I guess it’s the culture difference.

By the way, some sales person knocked my house door the other day. I opened the door, and the first word the guy said to me was “ni hao ma” (“hello” in Chinise?) I was really upset to hear that because I am not Chinese. (*_*) No offense, but how come some Western people think that all Asian looking people are from China?


I made udon-bake the other night and I liked it. It’s just similar to pasta bake, really. I just used kishimen (a kind of udon noodle, flat and wide.) instead of pasta. 🙂

Because of the shape of Kishimen , it was actually like lasagna.

Pancakes for Breakfast

Posted February 6th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I get cravings for pancakes once in a while ..   feel like eating fluffy pancakes with syrup, whipped cream and ice cream!  Of course I feel guilty after eating this high-calorie sweet, but my body sometimes need a really sweet treat.

This morning I made up a tower of pancakes, and prepared some fruits and whipped cream as accompaniments.    (recipe)


I can’t resist the sweet maple syrup – but I also love honey with some fresg banana and cinnamon sugar.

And, berry sauce with cream –

When you make pancakes:


  • rest the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking 
  • always use clean, teflon coated frying pan
  • heat up the pan, then spray oil.  Remove the pan from the heat and cool down the bottom of the pan slightly with damped towel or under running water (the outer side of the pan, don’t make the inside get wet)  Over low heat, pour a ladle of the pancake mixture and cook both side.
  • keep pancakes covered with damped kitchen paper or towel until served

Cherry and Coconut Slice

Posted February 5th, 2010 in Food, Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s the same recipe as Coconut Slice, and I add dried cherries in stead of jam.

I love dried cherries, they are juicy and nice to be added to baked sweets.  I usually buy them from Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge ( website ) or Kakulas Sisters in Fremantle.  I like these shops as you can buy ingredients as much (or little) as you want.

They sell various types of flour, dried fruits, nuts, beans, coffee, seeds, cheese, olives etc etc.  You can scoop those food into plastic bags and buy at the counter (like a self-service grocery shop).  It’s good if you want to just try out the food (even if just 10 g of spicy Macadamia nuts, you can)

They also sell some exotic snacks from Europe, Asia (including Japan) and elsewhere.  At Kakulas Sisters in Fremantle, they sell home-made cakes such as cheese cake and poppy seed rolls too 🙂

These retail shops opened just a year ago or so, but they’ve been doing wholesale service for more than 30 years.

Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge started selling freshly brewed take-away coffee since few month ago.  You can also purchase the coffee beans from there, and there is a grinding machine if you want to grind the beans.


<Kakulas Brothers>  

183 William Street, Northbridge, WA 6003  :  08 9328 5285

<Kakulas Sisters>  

29-31 Market St., Fremantle, WA 6160  :   08 9430 4445

90 Hillsborough Drive Nollamara WA 6061  :  08 9440 6642

Setsubun 節分

Posted February 3rd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Today 03/Feb is Setsubun in Japan.  Setsubun literally means “seasonal division”, and we do bean-throwing ceremony.  Yes, people in Japan throw beans on this day, since long long time ago (even before samurai era).

Temples, schools, city halls, families etc held this bean-throwing ceremony.  We use roasted soybeans, and these beans are edible. (yummy!)

If you do this ceremony at home, usually father wears an oni (demon or ogre) mask and other family members throw the beans towards the “oni” while chanting “Oni wa soto!  Fuku wa uchi!” which roughly translate to “Demons out! Luck in!”

The purpose of this ceremony is to cleanse away all the evil of the former year and drive away disease-bringing evil spirits for the year to come.  When I was little, however, I just enjoyed throwing beans away everywhere around the house, toilets, school and temples, screaming “Oni wa soto!  Fuku wa uchi!” 🙂

Then, as part of bringing luck in, it is customary to eat these beans, one for each year of one’s life for bringing good luck for the year to come.  If you are age 10, you will need to eat 10 beans.

Of course, the house gets very messy after this ceremony and needs to be cleaned up.  But cleaning is also fun part, try to find tiny beans around the house  🙂  If you have a pet it maybe easier.

And, on Setsubun, we eat a sushi roll called “Eho Maki”.  “Eho Maki” roughly means “lucky direction roll” and it contains 7 lucky ingredients including eel, dashi-maki (omelet) etc.  There are few rules to eat this sushi roll!

It has to be eaten without pause or chatter, while facing the auspicious direction of the year (the yearly lucky compass direction, determined by the zodiac symbol of that year)

Remember not to say “delicious” while eating. You have to eat all without speaking!  Oh, and one more thing.  You can’t slice the sushi roll.  You have to move the whole long piece into your mouth and eat just like that.  That’s why “Eho Maki” in convenience stores are all not cut.  Usually “Eho Maki” is thick roll, so you have to open your mouth very wide 🙂

Bagel and El Salvador

Posted February 3rd, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel, Ume's Interests | No Comments »


Happy anniversary~~!  

It’s been almost a year since Bagelier officially started.  I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to my customers and friends who have been supporting me for this small business 🙂

Oh, and, I would like to state here again that our bagel dough needs to be rested for more than 10 hours, slowly in the low temperature environment.  Therefore, all orders need to be placed at least 2 days prior to the required delivery date.  I know it’s not really convenient 🙁 but that’s how we develop the natural sweetness and flavor in the dough.  Sorry for the inconvenience…  I really appreciate your understanding!  🙂

Different subject, 

I received an email from my friend who is in El Salvador.  She flew there on Christmas day, and was so looking forward to meet her in-laws for the first time… but, it seems that she is not really enjoying this long holiday.

She is so angry that everyone over there doesn’t throw away rubbish in the bin even though there is a bin.  There’s garbage everywhere even in the bus.   Besides people don’t even care.

She was saying that “what goes around comes around”.  In Japan we say “if you spit towards the sky, the spit will drop on your face.”  People should take care of their own country.  


She had to compare El Salvador to Japan, and was giving me an example of Lotte Gum.  Each gum is wrapped in a paper with “Please dispose of your litter thoughtfully” message.  It is a kind of etiquette and also education to people.  This is just an very small example, but she realized that these small things have built the present Japan …  

The reason why this holiday hasn’t been great for her is not only the garbage issue, she has been a victim of pickpocket!  :p  It seems that it’s not unusual to have a pickpocket in this country, and police doesn’t even bother looking for her wallet…  Lucky she still has her passport and return ticket to Perth!  I hope she arrive here safely…  


Weekend in Fremantle

Posted February 1st, 2010 in Eat out in Perth, Perth WA | No Comments »

Going to Fremantle once a week has been a thing to do since I bought a nikon camera from camera house last year.  They were doing a campaign that anyone who buys a camera during the period gets 12 month free photo prints.  So, since then my husband and I go down to Fremantle every month to get the free print out.

While waiting for the photo print, we walked around the market as usual.  And, there was a person who was entertaining people in front of Fremantle Market, as usual.  I normally keep walking and don’t see the entertainment, but last Sunday the guy was really good!  It was so funny… 🙂

On the way back to camera house, we stopped at Pierre’s Kitchen cafe to try out one of their crape.  The price range was around $4.00 ~ $5.50.  Because it was a hot day, we ordered a cheese cake crape with ice cream.

I didn’t expect it coming in a tall glass, I thought it’d be served on a plate.  Well, actually it’s a clever idea, as ice cream kept melting and it was easy to scoop it out with long spoon.  I found that the crape was bit difficult to eat though.  I had to cut it into pieces with spoon each time.  But, the crape was nicely crunchy and it was a good dessert. 🙂

The crape cooled down my body.  I picked up my photos from camera house and headed to the car.  On the way, we stopped at REMEDY, one of my favorite zakka shop in Perth.  The goods sold in this shop are all cute and stylish!  Some of them are from Japan (eg Shinzi Katoh) 🙂  Yap I can’t wait to shop around in Japan for cute zakka stuff again.