Happy Halloween~!

Posted October 31st, 2011 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It’s so hot today again….  Not over 40 degrees yet, but I’m sweating with just a T-shirt.

I thought today is the chance to put jinbei on Hiro.  My friend gave it to us for him to wear this summer, but we will be in Japan soon anyway and he won’t be able to wear it.  Hmmmm, does he look like Japanese?

Jinbei is a kind of traditional Japanese clothing worn by men, women, boys, and even babies during the summer.  Women’s jinbei have started to become popular in recent years.  I used to see only men’s and boy’s at the shops before.  Just like yukata, jinbei is often worn on summer festival day, but also as a form of nightwear or house wear.  It’s very light and comfortable to wear.  I thought it’ll be fun to wear it here on Halloween too. 🙂

Happy Halloween to everyone!

Indonesian Foods

Posted October 30th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

It’s gado gado season again. Sunny and hot weather makes me want to eat lots of salad.

Gado gado gives a different taste and texture to other salads which are just green leaves and cold summer vegetables. D eats it with steamed rice and prawn crackers, but I just enjoy it with the rich peanut sauce and crunchy fried shallots.

Parents-in-laws are here, and I’ve been eating lots of Indonesian foods.  They always bring lots of foods from Jakarta and pile them up in the kitchen.  Seeing these foods, including Krispy Kreme donuts and Roti Boy bread, reminds me that they are here.

I love Indonesian foods….  ahhh I miss the food in Jakarta!  Lots of peanuts, chilli and deep-fried foods though. (it might be because of D’s family)  And, delicious Chinese food.  And, Japanese food.  There are so many nice restaurants and fast food places, with inexpensive prices.

I can’t believe we will be in Japan in few weeks, enjoying the cool Autumn weather.  Here in Perth, we’ve been playing with water in the garden.  Soon we will be playing with snow outside my house in Japan.   Well, Japan is my favourite destination, of course, and I will be enjoying lots of Japanese foods over there too!


Canning Vale Indian Grocery Shop

Posted October 28th, 2011 in Eat out in Perth | 1 Comment »

There is an Indian grocery shop at Market City in Canning Vale, just at the corner of Ranford road and Bannister road.  This shop opens 7 days a week, along with other retail shops in Market City.

The price of items in this shop is competitive, and people travel there to buy some Indian and Asian groceries, but there is one more reason why this place is filled with people ; especially on weekends.

They sell some ready-made foods, including some Indian sweets and meals such as Nasi Lemak.  I often see people there in early morning wearing pajamas who look for take-away breakfast!

There is an Indian restaurant (it’s more like small take-away type shop) next door.  It’s also popular and I see many Indian people eating breakfast and lunch there.


Make Your Own Pillow

Posted October 26th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here is an unique Christmas gift idea.  Upload a photo and make your own pillow!

PillowMob makes your custom pillow and ship worldwide.  You can also chose to buy featured designs such as animal and people.

It’s $30.00 each, and it includes shipping fee!  I think it’s very reasonable price.  There are two options for the size : oval and circle.  Whichever you chose, I’m sure it will be a great gift to surprise your friends or families!


Japanese Cafe ULARA

Posted October 24th, 2011 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

It’s been a month a so since this small shop called “ULARA” took over the business from Super Fuji in Victoria Park. It is located in the same address where Super Fuji used to be, at the end of Albany hwy.

The new shop ULARA has a big sign board at the front, and the logo on the windows outside looks good. But once you step inside, the place is more like a deli, I thought. Super Fuji was like this as well (plain white wall, small space). Urara continues the rental service for Japanese books and DVDs at the premise.

This place also sells Japanese foods, but not so many. The owner told me that he just sell what customers request. So, what is the main business of this shop? DVD rental service? Retail of Japanese groceries? Well, it’s actually takeaway of Japanese foods.

“It’s been just a preparation period to setup the kitchen and a whole process of takeaway business”, the owner says. Urara starts selling Japanese takeaway  food from today (24, Oct). The owner’s previous business, Banzai  Sushi & Noodle Bar in Leederville was such success and he had many fans. He sold the business to Matsu Sushi last year, and since then he’d been hunting for a new place to start new business. I’m not sure what Urara has on its takeaway menu, but I’m sure they will all taste good considering the foods he was serving at Banzai.  ULARA has few tables and chairs inside for dine-in too.  They are plastic ones, so it’s more like a place for busy working people who want quick lunch rather than for couples who seek for romantic dining experiences.

245 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park 6100
Mon – Sat 9:00 ~ 18:00
08 9355 0882

Yaki Somen (stir-fried somen noodles)

Posted October 23rd, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Somen noodles are usually eaten cold with dipping sauce, or warm in soy sauce based soup.  Cold somen with dipping sauce and condiments is a popular dish in summer, and nagashi somen (I wrote about it here) is one of popular activity at summer festivals.

The first time I ate stir-fried somen was in Okinawa, when I stayed there for one week to get scuba diving licence.  I was 17 years old.  Okinawa has unique foods and drinks compared to other parts of Japan (I wrote about it here) due to its history.  Stir-fried somen is called “somen champul (= stir-fried somen)” in Okinawan language.  I ate it at an izakaya along with other unique Okinawan dishes, and they were all delicious!!

I made this with seafoods, but you can use meat such as pork, beef and chicken instead.  This recipe is not like the one I ate in Okinawa (they use pork), and it doesn’t taste like typical Japanese food.  I guess it’s because of oyster sauce and fish sauce I added.

The key to make this dish is to wash the somen noodles very well then drain before adding to the frying pan.

<Yaki Somen>  serves 2

  • 50g dry somen noodles
  • 6 prawns
  • 3 squids, small
  • 1 crab stick
  • 2~3 leaves cabbage
  • 1 carrot, small
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbs chopped spring onion
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  1. Boil water in a deep pan, and cook somen noodle to al dente.
  2. meanwhile, cut the ingredients: cut cabbage into 3cm cubes, cut carrot into 4cm-long thin batons.  Chop garlic. Slice prawns into half.  Slice crab sticks and squids.
  3. Once the somen noodles are cooked, place into a strainer to drain.  Wash the noodle by rubbing them with hands under running cold water until the slimy gluten is gone.  Drain well.
  4. Place garlic and 1 tbs of oil in a frying pan, and turn on the heat.  Once aromatic, add ginger, prawn and squid. Stir-fry for 1 minutes.  Then, add carrot, cabbage and crab stick.  Stir-fry for 1 minutes, and pour soy sauce, sake and oyster sauce.
  5. Add somen noodle to the pan, and stir quickly.  Drizzle sesame oil and fish sauce over, and scatter spring onions.  Turn off the heat.  Serve immediately.


Snail Soaps

Posted October 22nd, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

If you are a regular Umeboss reader, you may probably know how much I’m afraid of snails….  They are the reason why I can’t go out for a walk in winter.  My house gets a LOT of snails during winter.  Everywhere.  Even on the wall, in the mail box, and on top of my strawberry seedlings.

That’s why I freaked out when I knew that soaps made with snail extracts are getting popular in Japan.  I mean, extract from snails.  I do not want to rub that on my body….

There are many beauty products across the world which are made with extracts, shells, and bodies/organs of living creatures.  But, this one really shocked me.  I know French people eat snails, and maybe it’s not a big deal that people use snails to moisturize their bodies, but I can’t even imagine about it in my head (><)

And, it’s not only one company selling this snail soaps.  There are many.

Does it really work?  … I don’t care.  Even if it works like a magic, I don’t think I’d ever want to use it on my body…

Nippon Food Subiaco October2011

Posted October 20th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

It seems like Nippon Food Supplies in Subiaco is the major grocery shop in Perth which carries mainly Japanese foods and drinks (post) now.  There are few more (I will write about these places later), but I think Nippon Food is the only one who does monthly sale on their products.  I’ve decided to write down their monthly specials here in Umeboss from now on.  October is almost over, but they haven’t created November catalogue yet, so the below is this month’s sale items at Nippon Food in Subiaco.

Monthly Special 01 ~ 31 October 2011

• Mirin 1L (brand: Takara)  $12.80 → $10.20

• Snack (salty) 30 pieces (product name: umain-bou) $9.00 → $7.20

• Green tea soba noodles dry 200g (brand: itoen) $3.20 → $2.60

• Barley tea packs 10 pieces (brand: hakubaku) $4.80 → $3.80

• Snack (sweet) 8 pieces (brand: Bourbon) $3.70 → $3.00

• Instant miso soup, red miso, 4 pieces (brand: nagatanien) $2.80 → $2.20

Featured Dish October : Sukiyaki

< Recipe >  serves 2

  • 200g thinly sliced beef
  • 200g firm tofu
  • 500g spring onion
  • 1 pack kuzukiri
  • mushrooms
  • 150ml Sukiyaki seasoning sauce
  1. Cut spring onion into lengths of about 5cm.  Cut tofu into 4cm cubes.
  2. Pour sukiyaki sauce into a deep pan, and bring to simmer.  Add beef, then tofu.  Once beef is nearly cooked, add all the remaining ingredients.

Sukiyaki Seasoning Sauce

Prices at Nippon Food Subiaco

Sukiyaki seasoning sauce 500ml $8.00

Firm tofu 600g $2.70

Assorted mushrooms (fresh) $5.00

Thinly sliced beef (frozen) 500g $9.80 / 1kg $17.20

Kuzukiri 90g $3.50

***  For direction to use kuzukiri, please read instruction on the packaging, or ask staff at the shop ***

Chicken Katsu

Posted October 19th, 2011 in Food | 1 Comment »

Katsu is a Japanese dish of deep-fried food with breadcrumb.  It’s usually pork when you say “katsu”, but it also can be chicken, fish and prawn.  (pork = ton-katsu, prawn = ebi-katsu)  There is a popular dish called kushi-katsu too, which is skewered, breadcrumbed, deep-fried foods.  Kushi-katsu can be made with variety of foods.  Nowadays I can find very unique ones in Japan such as fresh fruits and ice-cream.

The standard katsu (ton-katsu) usually uses thick meat, and is served sliced with shredded cabbage.  In Nagoya in Japan is famous for miso katsu as it’s Nagoya’s speciality food.  If you have chance going there, try one of those!

I used chicken to make katsu this time, and I sliced the meat pretty thin.  I did it so that it cooks faster and makes it crispier.

This accompanied sauce is not miso based.  Few different sauces are blended.  You can buy ton-katsu sauce at Asian grocery shops too.

<Chicken Katsu>  serves 2

  • 1 fillet chicken thigh *(you may use chicken breast if you prefer)
  • plain flour, egg, breadcrumb to coat
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded


  • 1 tbs tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbs grated onion
  • 1 tsp iri-goma (coarsley ground roasted white sesame seeds) ← optional


  1. Slice chicken fillet into two thin pieces.  Duct with flour, then dip in egg wash, and coat evenly with breadcrumb.
  2. Deep-fry the chicken until golden.  Set aside.
  3. Mix all the ingredients from “sauce”.
  4. Shred cabbage.
  5. Slice katsu, and arrange on a plate.  Serve with cabbage and sauce.


McDonald’s Birthday Celebration

Posted October 18th, 2011 in Food | 1 Comment »

Along with Play I SPy, McFlurry, McFeast, Shaker Fries and $1 cheese burger, McDonald’s is celebrating its 40th birthday in Australia with this brekkie muffin – Birthday Muffin.

This muffin consistes of cheese, sausage patty, a rasher of bacon, egg, hash brown potatoes (Macca calls it potato rosti) and tasty sauce.  I love having breakfast at McDonald’s.  It recalls my memory of schooldays in Japan as I used to go to McDonald’s to get breakfast muffin and coffee before going to school.  They didn’t have this muffin in Japan though, of course, as it’s a special menu to celebrate McDonald’s birthday in Australia, so my usual order was bacon and egg muffin.  And, this birthday muffin…. yeah, it tastes delicious!

I know it’s not really a healthy choice, but I enjoyed it.  It made me full with these extras – hash brown and sausage patty.

I think this item is only for a limited time only.  I may grab it at least one more time before they stop selling this 😉