Korean Ice Cream

Posted February 28th, 2011 in Food, Perth WA | 9 Comments »

I know I say this too much, but can I say it again?  …..  It’s soooooo HOT!!! (><)

People say that pregnant women feel hotter than normal people do.  I’m originally weak against hot & humid climate, so I’ve been staying in air-coned room all day.  It was rather depressing to see the glaring sunshine and feel the hot air at 7:30 AM.  …  Yeah, this might be the pregnancy thing –

The other day I got some Korean ice-cream from Hi Mart, one of Korean grocery chains.  They were selling some individual packs of ice-cream for “any three packs for $5.00” (my memory may be wrong – it may be $6.00?).  Cheap!  There’re 6~7 kinds of ice-cream in the showcase, and all of them looked so familiar – very similar to Japanese ice-cream!

This vanilla ice-cream sandwich with crunchy chocolate bits : This is my favorite!  It’s like Morinaga Choco-Monaka-Jumbo ice-cream , but more chocolate inside.  The texture of crispy chocolate and soft wafers are the best match.

I used to eat this Morinaga Choco-Monaka-Jumbo ice-cream quite often during summer in Japan.

Taiyaki-shaped (taiyaki = a Japanese fish-shaped cake) coated with thin crisp wafers.  The inside contains vanilla ice-cream and azuki bean paste.  We have few Taiyaki-shaped ice-cream sold in Japan, and I guess this is the Korean version of it.  I thought the amount of azuki bean paste was too little compared to the amount of vanilla ice-cream.

The original Taiyaki-shaped ice-cream in Japan is Imuraya brand.  They have black (dark sugar) and pink (strawberry) versions.

This is cookie n cream sandwich ice-cream.  The ice-cream was quite sweet, and the thin layer of sponge cake was soft and fluffy.  I preferred the above two to this one, as it is too sweet to me, and there was no texture in the ice-cream.

I want to find more delicious ice-cream!

Upcoming Japanese Movie

Posted February 25th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Grave of the Fireflies, one of my favorite Ghibli movie, will be on tv again!

Tune in to the SBS TWO channel, on Monday, February 28th at 10:30 PM WST 🙂

This movie always makes me cry… and remind me of the terror of war.

Orange Mousse

Posted February 24th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I made this orange mousse on the BBQ (post is here), and everyone loved it.  I had made cheese cake as dessert already, but in the morning I thought I would make one more dessert.

This mousse is such easy to make, and you can actually use bottled orange juice you have in your fridge – if you don’t have any fresh oranges.  That’s what I used, and it tasted as good.

<Orange Mousse> makes about 2L

  • 200ml water
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 13g gelatine (powder) + 2tbs water
  • 240ml orange juice (100%)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 30ml cointreau (optional)
  • 340ml fresh cream
  1. Soak gelatine in 2 tbs water.  Whip the cream to the soft peak.
  2. Place water and sugar in a sauce pan, and simmer over medium-low heat, while stirring with a silicon spatula, till the sugar dissolves.  Turn off the heat, and add the gelatine.  Stir well to blend.
  3. Transfer the gelatine mixture into a mixing bowl.  Add orange juice, lemon juice and cointreau, and mix.
  4. Place the bowl over iced water.  Stir until the mixture become slightly thicken (but not until the gelatine sets).
  5. Mix the whipped cream to the mixture.  Blend well.
  6. Pour the mixture into a mould, and keep in the fridge until it sets.

It’s a perfect dessert in summer.  Enjoy with orange coulis, whipped cream, or fresh fruits!

Stone Hunting and Acacia Bowl

Posted February 23rd, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

The other day, D suddenly told me that he wanted to buy some stones for his bonsai – he had searched and found some shops selling rocks for aquariums and interior decoration.  To me, stones aren’t something to buy, they are something to find near the creek/river side, mountains, parks, house yard… anywhere.  So, I suggested to go somewhere to find the stones/rocks he wanted.

But, I realized that I’ve never actually seen stones and rocks near the water around Perth.  Not around the beaches, not around the parks and not in the house yards.  Ummm…  I know what kind of stones he is looking for, and I know we can get these from the river and lake bank near my house in Japan.  Ummm where can we find some rocks in Perth?

We googled parks with pond/creek around our house, and headed there with a plastic bag.

According to the satellite photo there’s a pond in centre of the park, but it was very dry – actually no water at all!  We could still see some rocks around the pond(used-to-be) so we picked up few and headed home.  It was another hot day and couldn’t walk around much.

While D was busy treating the rocks in the yard, I started to make some snacks.  I really love the acacia bowl that I bought from Freedom outlet shop. (it was $3.00!)  I thought it would be a good bowl to fill edamame or some nuts, but bagel would probably go well on it too.

I like eating the fresh one just like that – without any spread.  A glass of milk or cafe au lait with it would be nice!

Oh, I spent a relaxing birthday yesterday, by the way.  Nothing special, but nothing to complain about!  Mother-in-law made mee goreng for me in the morning.  “Noodle = long life” they eat noodle on the birthday to wish for long life.  Is this a Chinese thing?  The idea sounds similar to toshikoshi-soba (Japanese people eat soba noodle at 0:00AM on the New Year’s day to wish for long life).

D and I had something to buy at IKEA, and had a pit-stop at the cafe eating a princess cake 🙂

Yesterday wasn’t a great day for people in New Zealand.  I wish all those affected a quick recovery back to normal life…

Hot and Humid Summer

Posted February 21st, 2011 in Ume's Pregnancy | 5 Comments »

This summer has been quite humid in Perth, don’t you think? The summer in Perth should be dry and hot… I don’t like humidity. (>_<)

Today was my Week37’s OB appointment. On Week 34 my baby’s head was engaged, but on my last visit last week (Week36) OB told me that the head wasn’t in my pelvis anymore – lifted up again. So, today I was little bit nervous to know if the head was engaged again . …. It was!!! The head is now perfectly in my pelvis :). It’s a relief.

D and I attended a Parenting Class at the hospital on Saturday. It was a fast truck course and from 9am to 3:30pm. I was bit surprised to know that there’re quite a few number of pregnant women who’s due dates are close to mine at the same hospital and with the same OB! Everyone looked uncomfortable… but happy 🙂

When I watched the video of virginal/cesarean birth the first time, it was really scary…  but now I don’t feel scared anymore.  I’ve watched few child birth video and they are quite educational.   Yeah I still feel little anxious, but not much. I’m surprised with this feeling, actually. If I was younger I’d be freaked out.

Today I was practicing filling up the form for Japanese birth registry. I had to go to Jap embassy to obtain the form (they don’t allow people to download online, which is, to me, too troublesome). The form is very tricky and I even didn’t understand the description of “how to write” in Japanese. I had to phone the embassy to ask. After the bub is born I need to go there to submit the form, and then we can apply for his Japanese passport. Applying Australian passport seems to be much easier to me. You can download the form online, and can submit it throu post office.
He is going to have two nationalities (Japan and Australia) temporary and he will have to chose one before he turns 22years old.

Hey, by the way tomorrow is my birthday! Totally forgot about that… No plan so far, I guess I will just relax (which I have been doing since my last day at work) and watch DVD or go shopping 🙂

Breakfast Buffet at Atrium in Burswood

Posted February 18th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Atrium is one of the places where my in-laws often have breakfast at.  Since I’m not working anymore, they took me to have breakfast buffet there during the weekday.

It was such a hot day – the sunbeam was quite strong even at 7 AM.  There’s a construction going on at Burswood complex when we went.

At Atrium.  Compared to weekends, there’re less people (of course) and the place was quiet.  We sat down, and waited for the coffee and tea to come around.  We arrived there around 9am, and I was starving…  ready to devour!

etc etc.

It just so confuses me what to eat when there’re many kinds of food around.  I felt like eating bread, egg and mushroom (normal breakfast items) and coffee (decaffeinated), so I did.  I wanted to have one more bun, but I thought I should eat something else, so I tried bit of everything…

There was a showcase of desserts at the bread counter, and I asked the chef if I could have one of the cake.  He said those cakes are actually for display only.  I guess they don’t serve cakes in the morning.

I could ask for fresh-made juice at the counter, and also fresh-made eggs and French toast.  I’m not as fussy as before (around the first trimester), but I still don’t want to have freshly-squeezed juice (as they might be bacteria on the fruits/vegetables) in the public.  I also didn’t ask for well-done scrambled eggs and well-done poached eggs, as I know the soft-cooked eggs are the best.  Probably next time.

Sundays Everyday in Myaree

Posted February 16th, 2011 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

43 Hulme Court, Myaree WA 6154

(08) 9330 2911

Mon-Sat 07:30am – 02:30pm

Located in Humle Court in Myaree, this small take-away Japanese food shop has been very popular -especially among the workers in Melville area.

They open from 7:30 in the morning, so customers go there to grab a cup of fresh brewed coffee and a pack of fresh made sandwiches before they go to work (or school).  I’d say their business style is great as they know what their target market is.  At first, it may sound strange to see a coffee machine next to the show case filled with takeaway teriyaki-chiken and katsu-curry.  But, it makes perfect sense – I’d want to have a cup of coffee after having lunch!

Their sandwiches are Japanese style – I mean, they use Japanese mayonnaise for the fillings (e.g. egg sandwiches), and there are teriyaki chicken sandwiches etc.  I’ve wrote about this place before saying that their serving portion is really big, and it can be said for the sandwiches –  the fillings are big too.  There are about 4~5 slices of ham in a ham sandwich!

When you go to Sundays Everyday, try to go there as early as possible – there may be a queue to order around lunch time, but if you go there late (around 2pm) the chances are you will be only getting the left-over takeaway food in the showcase.  The kitchen usually closes around 2:10PM (they said), but they may close around 1:50PM if the business is quiet.  That’s what happened to me this time…  I arrived there just before 2PM, and there’re about 6 people dining there.  I was browsing the menu board, and a waitstaff said “sorry, the kitchen is closed”.

That’s a shame!  I really wanted to try their ramen this time.  The daily lunch menu looked good too.  But, probably next time…  I could see from the counter the kitchen staff working hard cleaning the floor and the bench.  D and I picked a teriyaki-fish to share from the showcase.

All the donburi-styled takeaway food was $8.50 each.  To me, the rice was little too soft, but it may be because it was from the showcase.

There are some Japanese magazines (and Australian magazines and newspapers) to read inside the shop.  When I was eating and reading, I realised it’s actually a nice place to sit down and have lunch or even a cup of coffee.  I felt cozy.

People kept coming to order some food until we left the shop.  I wish they open little longer!  But, this is Australia, I’m sure the owner (a Japanese guy) enjoys his private life after 2:30PM – the busy business each day.  The reason he moved to Perth permanently could be to enjoy his life like it’s a Sunday every day.

Japanese Seasoned Steamed Rice (Takikomi Gohan)

Posted February 15th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

This is what we call Takikomi Gohan, meaning that the rice is cooked in dashi broth and soy sauce along with other ingredients such as mushroom, chicken and root vegetables.  The variety is endless, and you can add any ingredients you like – seafood, beans, sweet potato, shellfish, etc.

The very standard ingredients for takikomi gohan are chicken thigh, carrot, shiiitake mushroom, konnyaku and abura-age (fried bean-curd).  I like adding roots vegetables such as burdock roots for the texture.

When cooking takikomi gohan, you will get dark-colored rice left in the bottom of the rice cooker.  This part is called “okoge” meaning “burned rice”, and is considered to be the best part to eat!

<Takikomi Gohan> serves 5~8

  • 3 cups rice (short or medium grain)
  • 100g chicken
  • 1 tsp dashi powder
  • 3~4 shiitake mushrooms (5~6 if using frozen shiitake mushrooms)
  • 100g burdock roots, shredded (frozen)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks of chikuwa fish cake (optional)
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 3 cm ginger
  1. Cut chicken into small pieces.  Peel and slice the carrot.  Slice chikuwa into 5mm thick.  Slice shiitake into 2 mm thick.
  2. Place 2 cups of water, dashi powder, soy sauce, sake, chicken, carrot and burdock roots in a sauce pan.  Bring to the boil, and add chikuwa.  Place a lid, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Cool slightly.
  3. Wash rice until the running water is almost clear.
  4. Place the rice in the rice cooker along with 1.5~2 cups of dashi soup from the sauce pan (#1 above).  Add extra 3.5 cups of water.  Level the surface of rice, and spread the chicken ingredients on top.  Level the surface.
  5. Slice ginger, and place on top of the rice ingredients in the rice cooker.  Turn on the cooker.
  6. Once cooked, enjoy with fresh made miso soup !
I can just eat it every day!  I miss my grand-ma’s simple takikomi-gohan with just shiitake and carrots.

BBQ (Baby Shower?)

Posted February 14th, 2011 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

Since I thought I wouldn’t have a chance to throw a little home party after the baby is born, I invited my friends to come over to my house to enjoy bbq and catch up with them.   …. and it turned out to be a little baby shower party!

Two of my friends came to my house 1 hour early with balloons, and decorated the house with them!

I prepared some foods – sandwiches, veggie sticks, dips and some salads – as there’d be more girls and I knew they’d prefer eating vegetables (their liking for foods are similar to mine). I also prepared many vegetables to grills too.

But!  In the morning, D and I found out the bbq grill was broken (>0<).  The fire kept dying (we just got new gas from Bunnings)….  so, we decided to grill the meats and veggies with our small in-door grill, George Foreman!

It was a hot day and everyone stayed inside chatting (although all the balloons were decorated in the garden).  Thanks to this super fast-heating grill, barbecuing was done in 20 minutes!  Meanwhile I insisted everyone to gather around the table (they were everywhere – sitting on the sofa, exploring the house, playing in-door soccer etc) and start eating.

I wasn’t sure if the foods were going to be enough (as I wasn’t sure if everyone was coming, and how much kids would eat), but they were just fine.  They liked my buttered mushroom the best 🙂  Oh, I totally forgot that I also made chicken kebabs (skewered, marinated chicken pieces with capsicums and onions), but when I realised it everyone was already full, going back to the sofa and started chatting again.

I always prepare some desserts when I invite my friends to come over.  This time, I made cheese cake, fruits platter, and orange mousse.  Actually I thought the cheese cake was failure – so I covered it up with whipped cream and blueberry jam on top :p  But, surprisingly, it turned out to be the hit. They even asked me for the recipe!

I made this orange mousse in the morning as I thought the dessert wouldn’t be enough too. Actually the food was more than enough and when I brought this mousse up to the table everyone was screaming “enough~” “so full~”.  But they ate it anyway!  I used 100% orange juice (not real orange as I didn’t have time!)  to make it, and it was very easy.  I will post the recipe later.

Oh, they gave me some gifts for the baby.  Baby clothes, baby’s photo album (as they know I take lots of photos), hand-print making kit (from Japan), and toys.  Everything was beautiful, and I had such a great time!

Han’s Cafe in Carousel

Posted February 10th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Han’s Cafe is a casual dining restaurant chain that you can find across Perth WA.  They serve Asian cuisine – mostly Malaysian, Singapore, and Vietnamese.

Actually, Han’s Cafe was the place where I had my first date with D!  It was Han’s Cafe Northbridge, and it was my first time to eat something Malay/Singapore/Vietnamese in Perth.  I remember we both ordered broken rice with pork chop. (I just ordered what he ordered as I had no idea what the food were like on the menu)  I could barely speak English at that time.

Despite the sweet memory, I have to say that not all the Han’s Cafe restaurants serve the same level of food…  I really don’t like the one in Willetton – every single visit I made in the past, I regret that I spent money on the food there.

Although Han’s Cafe is not really in my favorite restaurant list, I do go there sometimes when I feel like something Asian (non Japanese/Korean/Chinese).  Among over 20 locations across Perth, my favorite one is the one in Carousel shopping centre.

It’s just because of the atmosphere.  The place has many tables inside, and there are sofa seats with screen where you can place and check your order without leaving the seat.

On my last visit, I had pad thai and D had char kway teow.  The place wasn’t busy at that time, so the food came out really quickly.

The foods there are not really special, but it fills me up when I want an easy, quick, reasonably-priced food.