Library Cafe in Cottesloe WA

Posted August 31st, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

The other day Hiro and I drove to Cottelsoe to meet my friend.  Gosh, I hadn’t seen her for such a long time…  We used to work at a cafe in Applecross 3 years ago.  She is a barista and makes great coffee.

The place she chose for a meet-up was a newly opened cafe inside Cottesloe library, just off Stirling Hwy. There is a underground parking underneath the library, and I went up with a lift.  The door between the carpark and lift/stairs area is automatic and it was very easy access with a big stroller.

The library looked so beautiful and stylish – Apple Mac desktops are available for use, free wifi, furnished with unique chairs and desks… even beanbag covers are made of denim.

I loved the cafe too.  Lovely flooring, modern and contemporary tables and chairs/sofas, and, of course, great coffee.

I ordered decaf latte.  Beautiful crema.

I couldn’t take photos, but they also had range of home-made cakes at the counter.  They all looked so fresh and delicious.  I will definitely try them out on next visit.

My friend is so good at kids/babies.  Hiro was smiling and enjoying her cuddle for 1 hour.  We talked about many things – about families, other friends, etc.  The weather was beautiful, the area is quiet and peaceful, and it was a lovely morning 🙂


Snow Ice, Crepe…. and Oden

Posted August 30th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

I remembered I had a $10.00 worth voucher for use at Icey Ice Perth City that I bought from Scoopon long time ago, and it was nearly expired, so I took D and Hiro to the shop to get some sweets.

I’d never been to the city one (I’ve been to Northbridge shop before), and I found that it’s a pretty small shop.  There’re only 3 tables inside, and all of them were full.  We had a big stroller, so thought we’d better get take-away instead of eating there…. then, one group of customer left the table, so we decided to sit down.

I didn’t really feel like snow ice and was browsing the menu board…. then, noticed that they sell oden in the shop.  Not “oden-snow ice” or “oden crepe”, just oden.  … Oden?

I found it’s very funny as I’d never thought a shop selling snow ice and crepe would have oden on the menu.  It says “Japanese Hot Pot ~ Kansai-style Oden”, and the oden was being cooked next to the snow-ice machine.

I was very curious, but didn’t want to buy it.  Then, one lady started ordering oden next to me…  So, someone does buy oden at a sweet shop! :p

She asked for chilli sauce over oden…  Obviously she is not Japanese.  And I’m surprised that the shop had chilli sauce.

We ordered normall items – crepe and drink.  He ordered crispy crepe with condensed milk and oreo (sweet tooth…), and I ordered green tea chiller with sago.  Sago was extra charge, but I believe there was no sago in the drink – they forgot!  I realized it after we left the shop :p

I thought Icey Ice in Northbridge is much better… bigger space, many tables to sit down, and more variety of products.  I liked crepe in Northbridge shop better because they put more fillings (well, at least the last one we ate had lots of fillings).  At city shop, D had to eat almost half the crepe to reach condensed milk and oreo.

Hmmm anyway, I like this shop as being a snow ice/crepe shop selling oden. hehe 🙂


Addicted to Coffee

Posted August 28th, 2011 in Food | 5 Comments »

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee… again. I love coffee, and always had at least one cup a day – since I was a teenager. It may be because of my dad. He loves coffee too, and drinks few cups a day. He goes to a cafe very often, and if he can’t got o a cafe, he gets a can of black coffee from a vending machine which is in front of my house. Vending machines can be found everywhere in Japan, so he is always in the environment where he can get coffee easily.
Oh, he makes instant coffee by himself at home too, sometimes. But I don’t remember seeing him drinking instant coffee as much as seeing him drinking a can if black coffee

I love black coffee (I mentioned about this long time ago on this blog). No sugar nor milk. I love drinking black coffee in the morning, after each meal, with some sweet, and before bed time.

Strangely my passion for coffee stopped while I was pregnant with Hiro. I could drink decaf if I wanted, but I didn’t even want to smell coffee. I was surprised about it because I remember how much I loved the smell of coffee every time I walked pass a cafe.

Now, however, I’m addicted to coffee again.  Just want to say it’s decaf coffee I drink now… because I’m still breastfeeding.  It’s strange, isn’t it? Usually, people can’t stop drinking coffee because they need caffeine fix, or are addicted to it. Decaf coffee doesn’t contain caffeine, but I can’t stop drinking it. Caffeine is not the thing my body is after? Maybe I just like black colored water? :p

Ummm, It will be hard in Japan because they don’t have “decaf” coffee at normal cafes or available from vending machines. They sell only standard coffee with caffeine. I guess I can drink a cup a day, or get non-caffeine coffee or tea from special shops.  I want to try “tampopo (dandelion) coffee” – this is non caffeine drink made from roots of dandelion.  It’s called “coffee”, but it’s not made from coffee beans.  Pregnant women, breastfeeding mums, and people who are into healthy stuff drink this, and I’m curious how it tastes like.  I’m looking at photos on google, but it really looks like coffee.

Talking about coffee – it’s only 6am but I already had a cup of black… with pancakes.

Eating sweets like this makes me long for hot black coffee.  To me, black coffee is the best accompaniment to sweets!


Baby Massage

Posted August 27th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

It’s been warm lately and I see black hairy worms in the yard and garage…  Definitely spring is here.

I decided not to touch computer or iPhone in front of Hiro while he is awake as I tend to concentrate on those things too much. Checking emails is kinda important but Hiro is my priority at the moment. He seems to know I’m not watching him when I use computer. So, I guess Umeboss won’t be updated everyday anymore… :p

My friend who is a remedial massage therapist leant the technique of baby massage at King Edward, and she said she would lecture me how to do it so I visited her house with Hiro.  It took 3 ~ 4 days to complete the class, she said.  I was excited because I’ve actually never done massage on Hiro.  I always thought he would catch cold if he stays naked after taking bath, but apparently baby shouldn’t be getting massage right before or after bath time.  Anytime when he is relaxed and calm – and so are you –  is the best time to do.

She told me to bring a towel because boys normally wee during the massage.  There’re other 2 moms and 2 baby girls at my friend’s house who were also keen on learning how to massage babies.  One of the baby girl was bit cranky and didn’t even want to lie down on the floor, so she just observed the session instead of actually getting the massage.

Oh my god….  Hiro was very naughty.  As soon as I put him on the floor, he started moving around and attacking other babies.  Other babies were first smiling, but seemed to be scared of Hiro after awhile…

(the one attaching is Hiro…)

He was also the biggest baby among 4.

Hiro seemed not to care about the massage.  He didn’t stay lying down – keep rolling around and wanted to be on tummy.  So, I didn’t really get to do massage – instead, I was holding him to keep other babies safe.

When he is relaxed and in good mood I will try massaging him at home, I think.  Thanks M, for lecturing us.


Winter Warmer

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

When I wake up in early morning and can’t go back to sleep, I sometimes spend time in the kitchen – cooking.  It’s just because I can’t do cooking during daytime while Hiro is awake, and also I like the quiet environment.  I do some daydreaming while peeling carrots and stirring the stew.

The other day I made quite a large amount of oden.  The kitchen smelled like Japanese convenience stores in winter. :p  I cooked it for a long time – so all the flavour was in each food and it was very delicious.  I kept eating it day and night for few days.  Some people can’t stand the smell of oden, I heard, but the smell actually tempt me to eat them!

I simmered daikon radish and potatoes first, because they take longer to go tender and absorb the broth than soft food like tofu.  I like all the flavour from the broth to be absorbed in each food.  Next, konnyaku and boiled eggs are added, then nerimono (Japanese fishcakes).  It’s best to have gyu-suji (beef shank/ beef gristle / fibrous beef), but I couldn’t bother going to buy them.

Another night I made warm somen noodle soup with teriyaki squid. (recipe is here)  Warm somen noodle soup is easy to digest, and is one of my favourite midnight snack in winter.  Sweet and salty teriyaki squid matches with this.

Umm I think I eat quite a lot these days.  Especially at night.  It’s not good….  but I look for food when I’m awake, and try to eat something before Hiro wakes up.  I’m sometimes not hungry, but eat full portion of meal.  The weather is getting better, so I think I will do some exercise outside.  Walking with Hiro, probably.


Getting Away to JK

Posted August 23rd, 2011 in Jakarta, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

It’s almost the end of August!  These days I can’t tell what date it is everyday :p
About 1 month to go before our trip to Jakarta. Hmmm, to think about it, it will be about 1.5 years since my last holiday outside Australia. I haven’t left Perth since I found out I was pregnant, and I didn’t want to go back to Japan while Hiro was small because I was worried that he might get sick and also about radiation in Japan.
1.5 yeas is not really a long time, but I really feel like I need to go somewhere for a change. I’m glad that I decided to fly to Jakarta this time.

I’m the type of person who sometimes wait and wait what I want to do…. until it explodes. For example, I don’t normally shop for cloths or bags, but one day it explodes and I buy many things. So, I don’t buy any cloths, bags, or shoes in Perth – just wait until I go back to Japan. In Japan, I shop like I’d never shopped before… Everyday is shopping day. I’m afraid this Jakarta trip will be the same. I hope I don’t buy too many crap over there.

One thing I’m looking for is getting massage.  Another is FOOD.  I love Indonesian food….  Probably not everyday, but I definitely enjoy eating it once in a while.  I also love the convenience of things and variety of food they have over there, as well as the price.  I miss the chewy shaomai with peanut sauce!

It’s been since my weeding in 2009 to go to Jakarta.  It’s about time to miss those delicious food.

Since we will be there for only 1 week, I think we will be just eating and getting massage most of the time.  I hope Hiro will be ok there.  Although it’s D’s hometown, I’m still not 100% comfortable being there.  Bit scary about people and also hygiene.

I will plan what to buy and to do in Jakarta which I can’t do or buy in Japan – and, I want to buy some souvenir to my family too 🙂  They’ve never been to Indonesia.

Sparkling Drink

Posted August 21st, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

Many people would probably long for soda drink when they are thirsty.  Coke, pepsi, Mountain Due, Fanta… there are so many kinds in the market.  But, did you know there’re more unique sparkling drinks sold in Japan?

Coffee, tea, chocolate, fruit juice….  you can find them in sparkling version in Japan.  I wonder how they taste like….  I’m sure some of them are not great.  For example, when I’m thirsty I wouldn’t want to drink sweet chocolate.  I would definitely go for a can of coke or soda water.

Kirin, one of the largest beverage company in Japan, started selling this sparkling green tea in their Nama-Cha range few months ago.  This sparkling green tea is lightly fragranced with yuzu juice.  As being a green-tea-lover, I wouldn’t mind drinking this!  It’s not sweet like chocolate.  Well, it’s green tea, so it should be healthier than other soda drinks, right?

Oh, in Japan, ocha (green tea / Japanese tea) is not sweet.  There is nothing added – just tea leaf and hot water.  I really hate sweet tea….  I don’t mean those English tea like earl grey, I mean some sweet Asian tea like Jasmine Green Tea….  Pokka used to sell (or, maybe they are still selling) genmaicha, oolong tea and mint green tea with SUGAR here in Perth.  They are too sweet.  It’s not tea to me!

So, if you think Japanese people drink those sweet tea like Jasmine green tea everyday, you are wrong….  We drink unsweetened tea daily.  Personally I can’t drink sweet beverage with rice and miso soup.

I remember D told me the other day that there’re supermarkets in America selling only soda drinks.  Then I told him “well, I’m not surprised.  If you go to Japan you will see lots and lots of kinds of tea sold there.”.  Even at a convenience store, you will find many kinds of tera drinks, both cold and hot.

I’m sure it’s not only in Japan.  South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries may be the same.  In fact, there are so many kinds of Chinese tea in Japan and they are very popular.

Ummm  I sometimes miss the convenience of living in Japan.  When you are thirsty just look for a vending machine or convenience store, and grab a bottle of dink with one coin.



Posted August 20th, 2011 in Food, Japan | 8 Comments »

Rice is something I need to eat at least 6 times a week.  It’s just because I’m Japanese and rice is the source of everyday power… My grand parents and parents used to tell me “if you don’t eat rice, you have no energy to do anything.”  Because I was raised with rice (2~3 times a day for 365 days), my body really became like that – I get no energy if I don’t eat rice for 2 days.

The typical breakfast at my house was rice and miso soup.  When I woke up, rice was always in a rice cooker – freshly cooked each morning.  Although my dad enjoys eating toast and coffee in the morning at cafe these days, he used to only eat rice while I was a teenager and that’s why my mum cooked this “Japanese style breakfast” everyday.  Leftover from last night’s dinner was usual side dishes, plus some pickles and seasoned nori (seaweed) or furikake (rice seasoning).

I was surprised to know how expensive rice was in Perth since I came here.  I mean, short grain rice.  I’d never paid money for rice as my family own rice fields and grow rice by ourselves – so rice was always in our kitchen.  Lots of them.  Here, I need to “buy” rice from stores and I felt it’s bit strange at first.

I had never eaten long grain rice while I was in Japan, but I like it pretty much now.  I like the little dryness of long grain rice when eating with something soupy such as curry.  They are cheaper than short grain rice (or Sushi rice) too.  But, when making sushi, onigiri or zosui, I need short grain (or medium grain) rice.  The stickiness is very important when making those Japanese food.

Some of the short grain or medium grain rice sold here are from USA, Taiwan, Korean and elsewhere.  As long as the rice was grown in water like Japanese rice, they taste pretty alike.  In some countries, rice is grown in soil and it tastes different.

Rice imported from Japan is always expensive, but the price of rice (short/medium) from USA and other countries had suddenly increased few years ago because of drought.  Now, the price had dropped little bit, but I still feel they are expensive…  I found Korean rice is cheaper and is very good quality.  Japanese rice, such as Akitakomachi, Akitaotome, and Koshihikari, are very expensive – even in Japan.  They are like brand. Omi-mai is the rice my family grows, and they are very good too.  Oooo I just miss eating it.  I think my dad should consider exporting his rice to Australia.

When buying rice here, you should be careful that some rice is more than few years old….  Rice should be eaten within one year after harvest.  At my house, we replace old rice with new rice after harvest season each year.  New rice (shin-mai) tastes so juicy and fresh.  You need less water to cook as they are so soft and fresh.  When preparing some rice sold here, if you think they are pretty old, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking (or add more water when cooking) so they become softer.

Ummmm  I feel like having wafu breakfast for a change.  I need to be away from peanut butter toast!



Posted August 19th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

I’m not sure what’s the reason…..   but my milk doesn’t come out!  (>0<)

Usually I get to express a lot of milk (compared to daytime) during the night, but last night was different.  I felt my breasts were full, but nothing came out. (sorry, boys…)

Is it because my body is too cold?  Or is it because I eat lots of sweets?  I’ve been eating a slice of bread with peanut butter few times a day….  And some chocolate buns.  And biscuits.  I had beef casserole for dinner and I’ve read that beef clogs breast duct – could the beef be the reason?

Hmmm I guess I just need to relax a bit.  Hiro drinks a lot of milk these days and I keep thinking that my milk supply is not enough.  Maybe it has became stress somehow.

Sleeping from 7am until 2 ~ 3am has been his regular sleep pattern at night.  It’s great because I get to have lots of sleep too.  I still go to bed at the same time he does (7am! yes, I’m like a grandma), and after he wakes me up at 2am I’m not sleepy anymore.  I’ve been doing lots of stuff in this early morning; mostly cooking.  I cooked beef casserole 2 nights ago, and made oden just now.  My kitchen smells like convenience stores in winter in Japan, hehe.

I don’t have time to cook during the day (that’s why I’ve been eating a slice of bread with peanut butter!) because Hiro doesn’t take nap much (maximum 30 minutes), and he cries if I’m not there.  He is such a crying baby.

That’s ok.  I want to cuddle you as much as I can while I still can. I won’t be able to do this when you are older. 🙂



Posted August 18th, 2011 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

Donuts are definitely one of my tea-time favourite.  I was just browsing some Japanese donuts websites and they all look so yummy…. !

I love going to MisterDonut because they have many shops across Japan, even near my house, but there are other donut shops in Japan includes franchised and private-owned.  Here are some of them.

DoughnutPlant is one of popular franchise shops originally from New York.  They don’t only sell bakery donuts and sweet donuts but also bagels and donut cookies.

Their products don’t contain eggs.  Their sweet donuts (cake donuts) contain kanten (agar), and it tastes like fluffy sponge cake.


Canezees Doughnut are hand-made and fried in rice oil.  Their donuts don’t contain eggs, and use dark sugar instead of white.

They have unique flavours such as Black Sesame Kinako (soy powder) and Yuzu Lemon.  They re-use the oil which has been used to fry donuts as fuel on their van!


Zen Donut are baked, not fried. Zen donut uses Japanese products in their donuts, and the flavours are very unique.  Soy Milk Sesame, Ho-ji-cha Tea, Bamboo Charcoal, and Warabi-mochi are some examples.

They also sell karinto, one of my favourite Japanese snacks!


Floresta sells donuts made from only natural ingredients, called ‘nature doughnuts’.  The owner started selling donuts from a stall inside shopping malls in Nara prefecture, but now they have 30 shops across Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

They sell seasonal donut desserts as well.  Now, during summer, they are selling donut and ice cream sundae.  Sounds yummmm…


Hara Donuts use soy milk and tofu extract (okara) in their donuts.  Their hand-made fresh donuts are naturally delicious and so healthy!

Again, their flavours are unique – spinach, carrot, sweet potato, kiwi, passionfruit, lemon tea, sakura , etc.  They use fresh fruits and vegetables in their products.  By that, you can know what they are trying to tell you – the simple, natural ingredients are the best.

They also sell donut ice cream.  Bitter chocolate, purple sweet potato, and pumpkin etc etc…  You won’t  get bored with these unique flavours.


Miel Donut is another shop selling baked donuts, not fried.  Although they only have 8 flavours, all of them look delicious~! Baked Sweet Potato and Rum Raisin sound good. 🙂

As their donuts are baked, the texture is soft – just like butter cake.  The best way to enjoy a baked donut is to lightly warm it up in an oven toaster.  This way, you can create the contrast of fluffy interior and crispy outside.


Chocolate Cake no Fruits

Posted August 16th, 2011 in Food, Perth WA | 2 Comments »

Yesterday was another stormy day…  Very windy with strong rain during the day and night.  I couldn’t sleep with one blanket because it was too cold.  Still now, it’s freezing inside my house and I just grabbed my thick cardigan from my room.  I saw a black hairy worm in the garage the other day and I thought it’s already spring, but now I feel like we are back to winter again.

I made a chocolate cake without fruits this time.  I hate delivering a decoration cake… so scary.  I keep thinking I may drop it and ruin the whole cake on the way.  Especially in a windy day like yesterday, I just had to drive super slow.

This cake doesn’t have any fruits or nuts, just Italian ganache, cocoa sponge, and cocoa cream – all chocolate!  I feel like eating like this chocolatey sweet once in awhile too.  Especially when I’m tired!

Today seems to be stormy too.  Everyone, drive safe – ☆


Cinnamon Sticks

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

In a cold afternoon, drinking hot milk tea and feeling something to snack on….. Could it be only me?  Or, you just don’t want to throw away the bread crust – the left over from making sandwiches the other day?  Now here is the way to make delicious snack out of it.

This golden crisp cinnamon stick is a great accompaniment to your morning or afternoon tea (of coffee!).  And, is very simple to make too.

<Cinnamon Sticks>

  • 8 pieces bread crust (from 2 slices of bread)
  • cinnamon sugar
  • oil to deep-fry


  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Deep-fry the bread crust until golden.
  3. Drain the oil well, then coat with cinnamon sugar.


You can also make it without deep-frying.  Toast in the oven, or in a frying pan (without oil) until golden crispy.  Keep them  in an air-tight container after cooled down.a


PBC Expo and Pizza with The Lot

Posted August 13th, 2011 in Food, Perth WA | 2 Comments »

PBC Expo (Perth Pregnancy Babies & Children’s Expo) started yesterday, and D, Hiro and I headed to Claremont Showgrounds Exhibition Centre in the morning.  We assumed there’ll be more people on weekends.

It was around 12am when we arrived there, and the parking was full!  So many people with prams, as expected…  We wanted walk around fast, so we carried Hiro.  It was my first time going there, and I didn’t really search what’s there and how big the expo was.  I think I should have done it at least to check what exhibitors would be there.

Many exhibitors were offering free samples and discounts on their products.  At the entrance of the expo you can get a pamphlet of vouchers you can use at the stalls within the expo.  I didn’t even know these things and was wondering why people were handing those piece of paper to the exhibitors.  Soon I found out I had to tear the coupon out of the pamphlet and pass to the exhibitors in order to get the free samples.  I see I see…

I got so many free stuff and pamper bags.  I also bought some Curash bath-time moisturiser ($4.00), Heinz’s disposable bibs (5 for $1.00), and Sistema’s  set of baby feeding utensils and containers ($10.00).

We didn’t stay there for long (I think it was less than 1 hour) but many people seemed to enjoy the free stuff, talk to some experts (breastfeeding, postnatal depression, children’s health insurance etc), and the foods.  It could be fun going with mom friends.

At home, I wanted to clean up the fridge and decided to make pizza for dinner.  D likes eating salad rolls and keeps few containers of vegetables (say; tomato, red onion, lettuce, cucumber, etc) in the fridge, but once he runs out buns he doesn’t touch these containers and all the vegetables go bad 🙁  I hate wasting food, so I cut these left-over up and used as toppings for pizza.  I picked few leaves of basil from the garden and used it too.

Ummmm I think I put too much food on the pizza :p  Yes, I am a piggy…  But I like it with lots and lots of ingredients.  I added chopped bacon for D too (as he loves meaty one).  It was great – tasty, and the fridge is now clean!


Cauliflower Karaage

Posted August 12th, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

There are many winter vegetables available in the supermarkets – and cauliflower is one of them!  Foods in season are very cheap to buy, and also are flavourful and nutritious.  (Seasonal Food Guide)

When you have cauliflower in the fridge, what do you want to cook with it?  Cauliflower cheese? Cauliflower soup?  Or add to usual stir-fry dish?  Ummmm  all of them sound so yummy….  but how about making karaage with it?  It sounds very different – because karaage usually use chicken thigh.  But, this dish is really flavoursome and rally easy to make.

The batter is seasoned so you may not need any sauce to eat with it, but you can also enjoy it with ponzu or Japanese mayonnaise.

Eat while hot and crunchy!

<Cauliflower Karaage>

  • 1/4 cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs  soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sause
  • 3 tbs corn flour


  1. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
  2. Beat the egg in a mixing bowl.  Add sauces and flour, then mix together.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  4. Coat cauliflower florets in the batter, then deep-fry until golden.


Japan Now

Posted August 11th, 2011 in Japan | No Comments »

Time flies… It’s already mid-August, and winter is almost over according to the calendar. I feel that we had a lot of rain this winter – just like it’s supposed to be.

In Japan it’s the end of summer according to the calendar, but people are struggling in the hot heat. It recorded the highest temperature of the year yesterday, and many people are getting sick from sunstroke. In Japan it sometimes stays hot until Sep to Oct. I remember hating the practice of Autumn carnival at the school around Sep because it was so hot. I could feel the sky was getting high (sign of Autumn) but the air was still hot.  Drinking cold barley tea on the break was HEAVEN.

Today, it’s been just 5 months since Japan’s huge earthquake.  5 months already…  People seem to be still struggling over there, although things are getting better.  As it’s almost Obon (a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the deceased spirits of one’s ancestors), many people will be visiting cemeteries to pray and offer foods to their ancestors.  We believe that spirits come back to our world on this day – so we don’t kill any insects during Obon season.  Even a spider – because it could be our ancestor’s spirit.  It is a time to honor, welcome, and free ancestral spirits.

During Obon it is one of the short holiday period, like Golden Week in May, and people go back to their homes (just like Christmas) and spend time together with families.  There are usually big jam on freeways and rains stations and airports are packed with people.  My dad says his work’s been very busy and it will continue like this until Obon holiday.  I hope he can relax during the holiday 🙂


Grocery Expense

Posted August 10th, 2011 in Perth WA | 8 Comments »

I started to record how much I spend on grocery each month, because I thought I might be spending too much for just 2 (& a half) people. When I look at the bank statement I sometimes wonder what I spent so much on, and so often (EFTPOS). I realized I go to Coles, WoolWorth and IGA few times a week… To think about it, we (just 2people) don’t need so much food in a week, and going grocery shopping few times a week is just too much!

I don’t know how much people normally spend for food each month, but I set a limit of $100 for August to see.  Now, it’s 10th of August and I already spent $180… :_(   ….  Maybe $100 for 2 people in a month was bit too tight, but it made me be more sensitive about spending money!  Since I’m not employed anymore I’ve gotta save as much as I can on everyday expenses…

Spud Shed isn’t really a place where you can buy “fresh” food, but things are very cheap. I just had to buy vegetables (because I can’t live without them), so I headed there to stock up my fridge. Some of the products weren’t something I wanted to buy (e.g. pre-packed vegetables : gone very soft, mandarins : obviously had been frozen) but some were ok. One whole Chinese cabbage for 99cents, a net of garlic for 99cents, iceberg lettuce for 99cents, a head of cauliflower for 29cents etc.  You’ve just gotta dig out the better quality one from the box (if there’s any).

We bought quite a lot, so I believe I won’t need to go grocery shopping for vegetables for awhile… The cart-full of food for $63!

By the way…..  About Japanese grocery shops in Perth.  What happened??   Nippon Food in Fremantle has closed, Super Fuji in Victoria Park has closed, and now Maruyu in Perth has closed for good. 🙁  Hmmmm, there is only one shop left (Nippon Food in Subiaco) which mainly sells Japanese goods and owned by a Japanese company in Perth.

I guess importing foods and goods from Japan is too expensive, and is not a good business?  There are so many similar products at Chinese or Korean shops anyway, and they are much cheaper.  They don’t have everything though, of course…    But I’m surprised to hear 3 shops closed all together around the same time.

Chocolate Bagel with Cocoa Cheese Cream

Posted August 8th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

If you feel like something sweet, this chocolaty snack could be an option. 🙂

Toasted chocolate bagel with cocoa cream cheese topping….  The combination of a bagel and cream cheese is still the best for me.

Adding whipped cream to the cream cheese adds milder texture and taste.  If you are not a big fun of cream cheese, more cream can be added –

I don’t add sugar to the mixture because I wanted to enjoy the taste of cream cheese and bitterness of cocoa.  You can add sugar if you are after sweet stuff.  Few drops of choc bits give a crunchy sweet contrast.

<Chocolate bagel with cocoa cheese cream>

  • 1 chocolate bagel
  • 2 tbs cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 tbs whipped cream
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa
  • few drops of choc bits


  1. Halve the bagel and toast.
  2. Place the soft cream cheese and cocoa in a mixing bowl.  Add whipped cream, and mix together.
  3. Spread the cream mixture on top of each slice of bagel, and sprinkle choco bits.


I Did Not Shave!

Posted August 7th, 2011 in Ume and Baby | No Comments »

Hmmmm….  When I posted some of Hiro’s photos on Mixi (one of several social networking websites in Japan), many people asked me if I’ve shaved his head!!!  No, I didn’t!

To think about it, his hair is very thin and soft.  But, both D and I have black, thick hair…  My friends’ babies have long thick hair and look very different from Hiro’s.  He had dry itchy rash on his head and kept scratching it, and his pillow is always covered with hair when he wakes up…  I was thinking he’s losing hair and going bold, but I’ve read that some babies have thin hair (some are nearly bold!) and will eventually grow lots of hair, so I just hope Hiro will have more hair as he grows!

He is 5month old now and tries to eat everything – it started to be very dangerous to leave him on the floor.  I fed him apple juice with spoon few times to have him get used to a spoon.  He did quite well!  He was already curious about food (watches us when we eat), so when I moved a spoon to his lips he naturally opened his mouth.

Now he can’t wait to eat more food.  I’m giving him rice cereal from next week.  I can’t believe he is “eating” something already…  Soon he will be eating sushi and tempura – who knows!



Posted August 4th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

“Chikyu-Bin” (YTV, Japanese TV station) broadcast heartwarming stories of the relationship between Japanese people who live in other countries and their families in Japan.  The main thing of this program is; bringing something from parents (Japan) to their daughter/son who lives out of Japan to strengthen family bonds.

Guess what!  My friend in America is going to be on this show this Sunday, August 7.  (in Western Japan “Yomiuri TV)  😀

As being its 160th story, the tv program shows my friend, Sae, who works as a service dog trainer in Santa Rosa, CA.

She and I are both from Shiga prefecture in Japan, and went to the same college in Osaka to study about animals.  Our dream was to go overseas to study about animals – she had the particular interest in service dog training and did some volunteer work in guide dog institution while studying at the college.  After graduation, I came to Perth Australia and she went to California.  She studied at Bergin Universtiy of Canine Studies for 2 years, and since then has been working as a service dog trainer and an instructor.

She accomplished her dream!!  And, I really love her personality….  She is always smiling, with “happy, happier, happiest everyday” attitude 😀  She just love what she is doing in her life.  And, she is still studying but the school fee is free because she works as an instructor at the school, and her accommodation at shared-house is free because she offered to do all the houseworks!  I just admire her…

If you happen to be in Kansai area, watch her happy smile and everyday-life on August 7, Sunday.  (Yomiuri TV, 10:25am ~ 10:55am)


Chocolate Cake with Fresh Fruits

Posted August 2nd, 2011 in Food | 4 Comments »

I usually make decoration-cake with vanilla flavour – vanilla sponge cake, whipped cream and fresh fruits.  But, this time, I was asked to make it chocolate flavour.

I know chocolate and strawberries go very well, so strawberries were the first thing I put on the shopping list.  Some fruits wont’ go with chocolate, so I sticked with just few fruits to decorate this cake.

It’s a layered cake with chocolate sponge, strawberries, cocoa cream, and thin layer of rich Italian style chocolate cake and ganache.  Not much sugar it used, so this cake is not too sweet.

The side of the cake is covered with dark chocolate.  It will keep the cake moist, and has a good eye-appeal.

I was asked to make this cake for around 15 people, but I think I made it too big :p

Finished with piped cream, strawberries, peaches, apples and mints from our garden. 🙂

The smell of chocolate and strawberries was so irresistible…..  I nearly poked my finger into the cake!

Sushi at Royal, East Perth

Posted August 1st, 2011 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

There is a small Japanese take-away food shop on Royal street in East Perth.  I happened to go there the other day just past 12PM, and I was very surprised….  Not only to see that so many people keep coming in and making a long queue to grab take-away sushi and typical Japanese meals, but also the speed of their service.

I stayed there for about 15 minutes – until Hiro started crying loud and realising eating at home would be better for us and also other diners.  While the 15 minutes, the line of people didn’t break.

Most of the customers must be office workers around this area, wanting to grab fast and easy food to take-out during their limited lunch time.  These people must be this shop’s target as well – considering the opening hours of 11:00 to 16:30, Monday to Friday.

There are lots of drinks to chose from the fridge.

There is a counter full of packed sushi to go.  You can also order meals such as teriyaki, katsu, donburi, curry, udon and soba noodle, agedashi, burgers, etc.  The owner must be Indonesian or Malaysian because there is “beef rendang” on the menu :p

I was curious to try their teriyaki burger ($7.50), but decided to order Fish Katsu-Don ($10.50).D ordered Teriyaki Chicken ($10.50).

I was assuming that it would take at least 5 minutes to make our foods, but it showed up within 2 minutes.  Very very fast.  That’s why there’re not many people waiting for their food besides the number of people queueing. They get their ordered meal in a flash.  This must be one of the reason why this shop is so busy.

The katsu was not like Japanese katsu – it was more like Western-style (like those for parmigiana).  The meat of teriyaki chicken was chopped, and it was chicken breast (no skin).  I guess these “katsu” and “teriyaki chicken” are prepared for burgers and sushi rolls too. That’s why they are in funny shape.

The quality of the food is very average, but I am, again, very impressed by their fast service.  The staff are very friendly and kind too.  When I asked them if I could take-home our half-eaten food  (because of Hiro) they quickly brought me plastic lids and a carry bag with a smile.  I was surprised to see the speed of the staff’s movement as well.

Monday to Friday during lunch time only, serving variety of food, very fast service.  I like their concept.  Very good business.

(08) 9225 7911