Kit Kat in Japan 3

Posted May 31st, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Beauty + chocolate?  It’s like… every girl’s dream coming true! I

Kit Kat in Japan is now selling special collaborative items – with TBC : one of the most popular beauty salons in Japan.

The flavors of the “Kit Kat x TBC” are Aloe Yoghurt and Bitter Almond.  Sounds delicious!

And, there are new flavors in Japan’s Kit Kat in addition to my previous posts Kit Kat in Japan and Kit Kat in Japan 2.

Strawberry Cheese Cake


Japan’s Robotics Invention

Posted May 30th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Using technology originally developed for ASIMO the robot, Honda produced a personal mobility device U3-X.  Housed within the large wheel are a series of smaller wheels that can rotate independently, allowing the awkwardly perched user to go forward, backward, side-to-side or diagonally.

I always get overwhelmed by Japanese technology…  I mean, there are similar products such as Segway and Winglet, but Honda keens to point out that this U3-X is portable (less than 10 kg) and easy to use, with fold away footrests and seat cushions.


Honda U3-X

Maybe we will see elderlies using this compact U3-X around the house in near future 🙂


At Friend’s House

Posted May 29th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Last night I was invited to my friend’s house for dinner. The couple (and one kid) is leaving Australia for good, and going to live in their hometown, Tokyo.  I miss them, and I must say I’m a little envious.  They are going back to the place where their families and friends are.  I could feel they’re excited 🙂

Other friends were also invited to the dinner, and this couple made Pupusa – El Salvador’s version of the tortilla – with cheese and zucchini for us.  It was my first time to eat Pupusa, and I really loved it!  Grated zucchini and cheese are wrapped inside the cornflour dough, then flatten and shape, and grill with butter until crispy.  I would definitely want to try making this dish at home.  This was served with tomato salsa, and it matched with melty cheese… It was delicious.

This friend was married to a guy from El Salvador, and she told me that she makes pupusa everyday for the husband.  Although Pupusa is a delicious dish, we wondered if he is ever going to be bored with eating pupusa everyday, but then realized that this dish is like steamed rice to him.  We, Japanese, won’t get bored with eating rice everyday.  It’s a same thing 😀

The host (the couple leaving Australia) made several foods, including potato salad with avocado and aioli sauce, rice noodle salad (Japanese style), chicken nanban with homemade tartar sauce, and! simmered Go-ya salad with dried bonito flakes. She is an amazing cook.

On the other hand, I just brought Fish Head Mee Fun. :p  My husband assumed that they won’t be able to eat this Malay Chinese dish in Japan (I agree), so we bought one normal one with clear soup, and one in laksa.  I hope they enjoyed it.

We ate so much….. I felt heart-burn when I woke up this morning. (><)

…  today’s bagels.

It’s getting cold and difficult to manage the yeast-proofing timing.  (although summer has the same problem as the temperature is too high: around 40°, and the dough proof very quickly.

I’m off to go now!

Cheese Cake

Posted May 28th, 2010 in Food | 10 Comments »

I’m sure cheese cake is one of the popular cakes among all countries.  Perth too, I see cheese cakes at most of the cake shops and even in the supermarkets here.  But, most of them are too sweet to me.  That’s why I don’t usually buy cakes from shops here, and try to make by myself.

The other day I baked Souffle Cheese Cake and gave the half piece to my sister in-law.   I told her “it’s souffle cheese cake”, then she asked me “is it same as the one they sell at the shops here?”.  I wasn’t quite sure if there’re any shops selling souffle cheese cake in Perth, so I told her “I’m not sure, but this is not a baked cheese cake.”

I was surprised that she didn’t know the difference between “baked” cheese cake, “souffle” cheese cake, and “raw” cheese cake.  She thought all the cheese cakes are baked in the oven.  I was surprised, because she is the type of person who goes out very often and eat out at many nice restaurants.  She likes food, and knows many kinds of famous franchise shops around the world.  So, I assumed that she would know the differences in different types of cakes.

Anyway, after the conversation, I realised that cheese cakes sold here are called just “cheese cakes”.  In Japan we have several types of cheese cakes, and the main three types are “baked”, “souffle” and “raw”.  Raw cheese cake is the one which the filling is set using gelatin, and served chilled.

I’ve been making cheese cakes with different recipes lately, and one question came up to me.

What do people in Perth look for in cheese cakes?  Is it the rich cheese-y taste?  Is it the moist texture?  Or, would people like fluffy sponge-like cheese cake?

But, I think, people here prefer the cheese cake with rich, melty texture.  Can anyone give me any advice??

Autumn Food in Perth

Posted May 27th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

It’s really getting cold in Perth ~….  (do I say this too much? :p )

I really miss kotatsu: which is a wooden table with electric heater built in, and covered by a heavy blanket.  People in Japan spend most of the day around this kotatsu.  We don’t stay inside of the blanket, as it’ll get really hot, but we keep out legs and sometimes half the body inside the blanket and watch tv.  Most of the case we fell asleep after few hours…

I like winter, love the cold air and the snow.  It was snowing heavily when I was born, my mum says.  I was born in February, and the road was frozen when my mum had to rush into the hospital.  It was very early morning, around 2am, and the outside was pure white because of the snow.

One thing I don’t like about winter is the short daytime.  The sun shows up late, and sun goes down early.  It starts to get dark around 5pm these days.  So, if I want to take some pictures I need to do it before 3~4 pm and it is quite a rush to me.

In this cold weather, what I miss is the hearty Japanese winter food.  You can enjoy some of them, including sukiyaki and oden at some Japanese restaurants.  Or, you can simple make them by yourself!  Check out delicious Japanese beef curry recipe from here , or add tomato and arrange it into a soupy Japanese curry like this recipe here.  I also recommend white stew (in Japan we call it “cream stew”) in winter.  Check the recipe here.  Making them are very easy.  You can buy a packet of roux from grocery shops, and you’ll just need to add some vegetables and meat.  Leave it overnight for deeper, developed flavor.

If you want to make oden, the best place to go for shopping is Emma’s Seafood grocery store in Northbridge, I think.  They sell many Japanese products including oden seasoning, and also fish cakes for oden are available inside the store.  I sometimes buy 1 kg of them and do oden party here 😀  You’ll also need konnyaku, daikon radish, firm tofu and boiled eggs etc for oden.  The best thing to add is gyu-suji (bits of beef tendon) if you can find!  Great with warm sake.

Okinawan Food

Posted May 25th, 2010 in Japan | 4 Comments »

While I was in Japan few months ago, there was a tv show featuring the healthy diet taken by Miss Universe candidates.  Erica Angyal, who is from Sydney Australia, is a nutritionist who works for Miss Universe Japan as a health consultant, and on the tv show she flew to Okinawa to discover what is so good about Okinawan food and why people in Okinawa live longer than anyone else in the world.

Okinawa is one of Japan’s southern prefectures, and consists of hundreds of islands in a chain over 1,000 km long.

It was only 100 years ago that the kingdom of Okinawa was incorporated into Japan, and the southern islands still maintain their own distinctive culture, language and cuisine. Okinawan cooking tends toward stronger and spicier flavors than Japanese food, and is more heavily influenced by Chinese cooking styles.

I’d say Okinawa has the strongest accent in their language as Japanese among all the prefectures in Japan.  Osaka people speak Osaka dialect, and Fukuoka people speak Fukuoka dialect.  Some of them are very difficult to listen to, but still understandable.  But, Okinawan language is very different!  That’s what makes this place to be a popular tourist destination for other Japanese people.  Different culture, different life style, and different food.  But, still the same country.

The food you see in Okinawa often contain pork and seafood.  Pork is a very important ingredient there, and every part of the pig is used: including feet, ears to tripes.  And, because Okinawa has a tropical climate and is surrounded by ocean, many local seafoods and seaweeds are used in cooking, and some of them are not available in Japan’s main island.

Other foods that are commonly used in Okinawan cuisine are black sugar, tropical fruits and vegetables, brawn rice, and awamori, which is an Okinawan brandy-like liquor made from rice.  Okinawan people are known as big drinkers! (awamori is very strong alcohol drink)

The reason why Okinawan people are the most long-lived on earth is not only these food.  It’s because of HOW people eat them everyday.  Their everyday meal contains rice, soup, and few side dishes.  There are many vegetables, seaweed and seafood used, and the common cooking method is stir-frying.  They use olive oil very often too.  Eating many kinds of food everyday is very ideal thing in order to take different nutritions.  Besides, most of the food they eat are very healthy – seaweeds are good for skin and hair, brown rice is more nutritious than white rice, and seafood gives you Omega-3 which can help to lower the amount of cholesterol in the body.

I’ve been to Okinawa twice in my life:  the first time was to join the home-stay program at American family in Okinawa vase.  I was 17 years old, and I organised everything by myself …  all  my family was so worried, but I wasn’t.  I had a big interest in foreign country (English) and wanted to experience something unique.  The second time was to get scuba diving licence in Okinawa.  I organised this by myself too, I even bought some equipments for the trip including dry suit and an under-water camera. :p

While in Okinawa, I enjoyed Okinawan food everyday.  There are few small restaurants around the hotel I stayed, and these restaurants served home-style Okinawan food.   Very delicious!   Typical Okinawan food such as chanpuru dishes including tofu chanpuru and go-ya chanpuru, and rafuti (pork stewed in miso, soy sauce, sugar and awamori).

If you get a chance to visit this “health paradise”, here are the list of Okinawan food I recommend! :

Tofu chanpuru – stir-fried tofu dish

Go-ya chanpuru – stir-fried go-ya (bitter melon) dish

Rafuti – slow cooked, stewed pork

Taco rice – basically a taco that uses rice instead of a taco shell.

Mimigaa – pig’s ear in vinegar

Saataa andagi – Okinawan doughnuts

(photos from Kinki Tourist and Okinawa Council websites)

Eating All Day

Posted May 24th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It was a weekend with lots of food for me…  wake up, eat bagel, get Happy Meal from McDonald’s, have a muffin + black coffee at Fast Eddy, then dinner at South Ocean …  I really wonder where this appetite comes from.

Reading the paper is a thing that keeps me connecting to the world: although some of them are not pleasant news such as government mining tax (it affects the value of Australian dollars) and Rick Harts bankruptcy (because I still have a gift voucher).  I seldom get to watch/read news on tv and internet (I really should do that), so going to the cafes and browsing the paper while sipping the coffee is kind of a good chance to educate myself.  It’s good that McDonalds breakfast McValue Meal comes with a copy of The West Australian (only for limited time though)

By the way, my brother’s birthday is coming up!  I buy a birthday cake online and get it sent to the house every year for him 😀   I’m still choosing what cake I should buy this year…  ummm,  I would make one for him if I was in Japan!

The Raw Food and Smoothie Bar

Posted May 23rd, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

After reading the reviews of The Raw Kitchen, I was excited to try out their food at Raw Food and Smoothie Bar in Fremantle Markets.  All the food they serve there are raw (uncooked), including sweet nuts and chocolate balls and delicious pizza.

When I arrived the stall, the owner couple (I believe) looked so busy as there was a line of people waiting to order.  The hand-written menu board, the showcase of ready-made food and the cook books of healthy food arranged on the top of the counter.. although the shop is small, everything around there looked so simple and natural.

As my turn came, I ordered one of their “raw” smoothie, Bananarama, which contains fresh banana, almond milk etc.  He opened the fridge and put a couple of banana and some ingredient into a blender, and few seconds later my smoothie was done!

Wow..  it looked so thick!  Freshly made with real banana…

I loved the taste, I must say.  Especially, knowing that there is no “unwanted” or “additional” ingredients used, I’m glad that I tried.

The pizza looked so nice too, but my stomach was pretty full from the lunch I had just few minutes ago and I only had a space for 1 glass of smoothie then.  I’d like to try out their food and sweet on my next visit.

I love their concept, being eco and animal friendly.  The owners have a strong passion for raw food, and they believe that health can be achievable by eating nourishing food.  Their greatest passion is for the education of kids, and they offer a variety of workshops and information classes where people can learn what’s so good about eating raw food.

This is the place where you can enjoy the real healthy food made by people who care.

Celebrating PacMan’s 30th Birthday

Posted May 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

You may have played this Pac-man game before, an arcade game developed by Namco.  Or you may at least have heard the name before.  This game was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.  Which means…. it is Pac-Man’s 30th birthday today!

If you go to today, you can enjoy Pac-Man game for free!


If you double click the “Insert Coin” button, you will get …

Ms. PacMan joined to the game. 😀

You can also play the game after today by finding the logo here in Google’s logo archives. Just look it up in the 2010 April-June section. That’s where it will be filed, in the future.

Pom Poko – Ghibli

Posted May 20th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

It sounds like I’ve been watching Japanese cartoon at home almost everyday, as I’ve just wrote about Tales of Earthsea, but I do enjoy watching cartoon quite often.  I rented this Ghibli film “Pom Poko” (1994) just recently and I must say I did enjoyed the whole story.

Well, I’ve already watched this film few times in the past, but watching it again here in Perth reminded me of all the feelings about Japan and made me to rethink about the cohabitation of humans and animals.

The story is about tanuki, Japanese raccoon dogs, trying to survive the late 1960s.  A gigantic and ongoing suburban development near Tokyo, Japan, threatens a group of wild tanuki.  As the development is cutting into their forest habitat, tanuki had to think what they should do to protect their land from humans.

In this film, you can enjoy listening to lots of old Japanese songs including antagata-dokosa (a traditional warabe uta of Kumamoto prefecture) , and the appearance of famous Japanese monsters and mythological creatures.  In Japanese folklore tanuki has supernatural shape-shifting powers to trick humans. In this film tanuki transform themselves into Japanese monsters and mythological creatures to scare people: such as rokurokubi, noppera-bo and fujin raijin.

The film ends on something of a bittersweet note for the tanuki.  Throughout the film there is a lot of comedy as well as ecological messages.  The film reminds me of old Japan, especially the time I was a kid.  Japan has changed a lot, I think.  No one would believe that I was climbing on trees, catching zarigani (crawfish), fighting with wild monkeys and playing with beautiful medaka (killifish) just 10 years ago near my house!

(Pom Poko Characters )

Joy Cafe in Northbridge

Posted May 19th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

It has been cold weather in Perth, especially the mornings and the nights.  I’ve went to Perth international airport just recently to drop off my friend who was going back to Jakarta.  It was around midnight and the air was freezing cold.  Inside the airport wasn’t that bad, but I still couldn’t take off my jacket.  On the other hand, the friend seemed to be ok with it and took off his jacket and put it into his check-in luggage.  If it was me, I would keep wearing it or at least keep in a cabin luggage in case it becomes cold in the plain.  I sometimes have to ask for an extra blanket to a cabin attendant.

It often takes some time for me to decide what to wear when getting on a plain.  Mostly, the countries I’ve been flying from Perth is either Japan or Indonesia.  The climate in Indonesia is always hot and humid.  The seasons in Japan and Australia are totally opposite.  So, whenever I fry, I always have to think about the climate and the season of the destination.  If I fly to Japan in February, I have to bring a thick coat or jacket with me on the plain, otherwise I’d be freezing from the snowing weather.  But I wouldn’t be able to wear even a long sleeve clothes to Perth airport as the temperature would be around 40 degree in February here.

Anyway, he was flying to Jakarta, a place where you start sweating right after getting off the plain, so he was just wearing half sleeve shirt until the boarding time.  The reason for him taking off his jacket could be also the sweet ginger dish that we ate at Joy Cafe in Northbridge before going to the airport.  As he was flying with Jetstar, and it was his last night in Perth, we all had dinner together at this Chinese restaurant.

We ordered a banquet for 4 which comes with today’s soup, choice of 4 main dishes, steamed rice and Chinese tea for four.  It was $62.00, so we thought it’s a pretty good deal.  It was only three of us when we got to the restaurant, but we were expecting three more people to join us.  In the end, two canceled and one showed up with full stomach, so three of us had to finish up the four dishes. :p  We ordered stewed beef brisket, honey king prawn, spinach with two kinds of egg, and Peking pork ribs with mayo.

The food was good, but what surprised me was the speed of their service.  It may be because of the time we arrived the restaurant (late night), but they served the soup and 4 main dishes within 5 minutes we ordered. All the ingredients were ready to be cooked, I guess.

You can’t imagine how full we were!  But, unbelievably, my husband and the friend ordered dessert (#0#).  They ordered peanut balls in warm ginger syrup soup, and Chinese pancake with sweet red beans and vanilla ice cream….  and we also finished them up too.

With warmed-up body, he flew back to his home. 😀

MOSMANS Restaurant

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

My husband and I attended our friend’s wedding at Mosmans in Mosmon Park.  It was my first time to go to this restaurant, and my first impression for this place was “wow so beautiful”.  The location is perfect, it’s situated right on the Swan River, with glass walls where customers can enjoy the beautiful views across the bay.

It was such a nice day.

The bride and the groom showed up by a boat!  (there is a jetty connected to the restaurant)  It was really entertaining 😀

The food was great too.  The entree was salmon souffle, and for main we had a choice of rib eye steak or red emperor.  I had red emperor.

Starting with white wine, then champaign for a toast…  With those great food, it was a great dining experience.

I know wedding day is one of the wonderful, important day of a lifetime, but tiring at the same time for the bride and the groom.  Planning the wedding, booking the venue, picking up relatives and friends from the airport…  But, I believe this day was perfect for the couple and they enjoyed their special day.  So did we!

Congrats, and thanks for the great time 🙂

Seoul Buffet

Posted May 17th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Again, Korean food!  Seoul Buffet is a buffet style Korean restaurant located in Victoria Park.  I was so hungry that night, so I took a full plate of meat, seafood, salad and some Korean side dishes as soon as I went inside of the restaurant.

At the buffet, they had beef tongue, thinly sliced meat, marinated pork/beef/squid, etc for BBQ, and tofu, some vegetables, seafood and mushrooms for steam boat. Some hot dishes such as grilled dumplings and cooked chicken dishes were also available as well as some salads and side dishes.

I like eating those Korean salads.  Seaweed (wakame) salad, beansprout namuru, simmered potatoes, kimuchi, topokki….

We started with BBQ first.  I love grilled beef tongue with lemon juice.  Yum!  There are several types of dipping sauces to chose from: including Gochujang, salty sesame oil and chili oil.

I wished they had some chicken meats.

For steamboat, I put lots of vegetables: Chinese cabbage, bean shoots, mushrooms, and seafood, jellyfish, tofu etc.  You could choose the soup from chicken or beef, and they are also available at the buffet counter.  You get what you want to eat.

I was so full!  One thing (very small thing) if I have to say is that I was kind of hoping to eat the crunchy bean thing (a condiment for steamed rice) there, but they didn’t have it.  Hana BBQ has the bean on their buffet counter, and I love eating it with steamed rice.

Good thing about this Seoul Buffet is that coffee/tea and some dessert are also included in the buffet.  I was so full after enjoying the bbq and steamboat, but I have to get a cup of coffee after each meal.  Their coffee machine is an automatic one, and I actually wanted to get black coffee but the machine only had cappuccino, latte and milk coffee buttons. (or maybe I just didn’t see “black coffee” button)   It didn’t taste as good as fresh brewed coffee, of course, but it’s free anyway.

The dessert menu was actually just 3 flavours of ice cream and sago.  Hana BBQ or Shimizu Floreat has more variety of dessert menu.  But, it was ok to me as I couldn’t eat much for dessert anyway.  I had a bowl of strawberry ice cream and a cup of cappuccino.  Yes I have 2 stomachs.

Overall I pretty much enjoyed the food, and their service.  Nice place to hung around with friends.

Seoul Buffet

08 9470 1133

425 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park WA 6100

Open 7 days

Lunch : 12:00pm – 3:00pm  Saturday – Sunday

Dinner : 6:00pm – 10:00pm  Monday – Sunday

Ume’s 一日カフェ 〜Part 3〜

Posted May 16th, 2010 in にほんご, UME's 一日カフェ | No Comments »


カップケーキ w クリームチーズのアイシングをお届けしました☆








A: 英語の勉強と、Aged Care の勉強をするためです。Student visa で渡豪しました。英語学校には約10ヶ月ほど通い、その後は結局 Nursing のコースを取り、大学を卒業しました。

Q:日本でもAged Care やNursing関係のお仕事を?



A: オーストラリアでの看護士の国家資格 (Registered Nurse) を取得し、今はパース内のプライベートホスピタルでナースをしています。それで永住権も取りました。去年出産をしたので、今はmaternity leave 中ですケド。


A: 勉強…!ですね。特に大学で、看護の具体的な内容を専門用語+英語で学び、宿題も多くあり、とにかく本当に毎日勉強勉強でした。それが5年くらい続きました。なので、大学のホリデー中はギリギリまで日本に帰って、実家でノンビリしていました。


A: 青い空。キレイな海。ゆっくり、のんびりした時間。










Took Begi Restaurant

Posted May 15th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 1 Comment »

Korean food is one of my favorite!  Well, I can eat almost anything, but I really think that Korean food and Japanese food are very similar.  (except for being spicy)

I had lunch with my friend at Took Begi Korean restaurant last week.  Normally this place is always full (one of the reason is that the place is small and not many tables inside) and I had to give up eating there few times in the past as I had no time to wait that time.  Last week, there was no available table for us when we arrived, but we decided to wait.  We both had a craving for spicy Korean food 😀

The staff was very friendly, and spoke some Japanese to us, such as “konnichiwa”.  We ordered Gochujang Topokki (rice cake with spicy sauce), Kimuchi Bibimbap, and Haemul Joen (thin, savory Korean pancake with seafood).

For Joen (savory pancake), actually we were expecting it to be thin and crispy, but the one at Took Begi was little thick and soft.  But, we did enjoy the taste, and also the chewy texture of topokki… 😀

Next time I want to try their dumplings and also bul-kogi menu.

Took Begi Restaurant

(08) 9225 4557

Shop 6, 542 Hay St, Perth WA 6000


Posted May 14th, 2010 in Perth WA | 3 Comments »

The other day I was talking to my friends that we are so outdated.  A friend has been using her mobile phone for over 7 years now, and it’s so old… no camera, small screen, limited capacity, etc.   Back in Japan she used to use Japan’s mobile phones (of course) , but look at her now!  It’s so time to up-grade things here.  My case, I have been actually using my husband’s computer since I came to Perth!  I never had my own computer in my life :p  I really thought it is the time to have my own, and here is my first computer.

Yey~ .  I’m excited!  Now I don’t need to ask my husband every time I want to use computer, and can bring it anywhere: bedroom, garden, toilet…

For mobile phone, my friends and I decided to buy new iPhone which should be coming out around June/July.  And, I’m thinking to buy a new car to replace my current one.   … I’m going to spend a lot of money this year…!

I just need to work harder and harder to cover up the expense. :p

This month has been pretty busy, which is a good thing, but I’m not still feeling perfect.  It is really getting cold (especially today) and now my toes are freezing.  I’m waiting for my husband to come home and pick me up for dinner…  We are attending his friend’s wedding tomorrow, and their classmates and other friends are visiting Perth.  We are having dinner with them tonight… I wonder where we are going.

I am so hungry!

Tales of Earthsea

Posted May 13th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

The other day I rented a DVD of Tales of Earthsea (Japanese name ”ゲド戦記” Ged’s War Chronicles) from one of the video shop, and I quite enjoyed it.  It is a Japanese anime film which was first released in Japan by Studio Ghibli on July 29, 2006 and is set to be released on August 13, 2010 in the US by Walt Disney Pictures.

This film is loosely based on a combination of plots and characters from the books written by JRR Tolkien (who also is an author of famous books such as Lord of the Ring) (wiki) and is directed by Goro Miyazaki, the eldest son of Hayao Miyazaki.

I love the drawing of the film: colors, images etc.  I love all Ghibli anime.  And I enjoyed watching this Tales of Earthsea by knowing that this film is directed by a son of Hayako Miyazaki as his first work as a film director. (and he also drew this poster shown above)

“Nausicca”, “LAPUTA”, “Grave of the Fireflies“,  “Totoro”, “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, “Porco Posso”, “Only Yesterday”, “Pom Poko”, “Whisper of the Heart”, “Princess Mononoke”, “Spirited Away”, “The Cat Returns”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” etc…

Which one is your favorite? 🙂

Hearty Tofu Dish (Tofu An-kake)

Posted May 11th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Tofu has been one of my favorite food since I was little.  I remember my 10th birthday, my grandma was asking me

“ume, what do you want to eat today?”

then I answered “tofu miso soup!  I want to pour it over steamed rice!”

Everyone was shocked and laughed, as they were expecting to hear some food that kids normally like, such as sushi or ebi-fry (prawn katsu).

“Tofu miso soup is so easy and cheap to make.  Don’t you want something special today?” My mum said.  But the tofu miso soup was what I wanted to eat that day 😀

I make tofu dish quite often here in Perth too.  The simple one is miso soup.  It’s easy to make and very hearty.  In summer I make tofu salad and hiya-yakko (chilled silken tofu eaten with some condiments and soy sauce/ponzu sauce) very often.  Low in calories, high in protein, and it contains some nutritious stuff such as isoflavone : which can act as estrogens in the body and have protective functions.  Good for women!

Yesterday I had a craving for the warm tofu dish that I ate at a sushi bar back in Japan.  This sushi bar is owned by my friend’s mother, and she knows me very well since I was a baby 🙂  At the sushi bar, they have different menus everyday.  All the menus are decided depending on what items they got from the fish market on each morning.  Other than sushi, they also serve some izakaya type of menu.

She served me this warm hearty tofu dish with ginger-sauce.  I loved it!  The crunchy texture of diced carrots and broccoli matched with silky tofu.  I think some people wouldn’t like this as its taste is little bold, but I don’t mind eating this everyday.  A nice supper dish.

< recipe > serves 4

  • 600g silken tofu
  • 100g broccoli florets (about 6 pieces)
  • 1 carrot, small
  • 100g chicken mince
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs sake
  • 5 g ginger
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 tsp corn flour + water
  1. Dice carrot into small pieces.  Chop ginger.  Cut broccoli florets into pieces.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat sesame oil and stir-fry chicken mince.  Add ginger, carrot and broccoli and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add water and sake, and bring to the gentle boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Season with salt (and 1 tsp of soy sauce if needed), and bring to the boil again.  Pour the corn flour + water mixture, stirring, and keep the gentle simmer until the soup thickens.

By the way, I read an article about tofu sold in Perth.  The person who wrote the article (Japanese) used to live in Perth with his wife, and the wife started to have a heavy allergy reaction each time she eats tofu here.  It never happened to her back in Japan, he wrote.  I don’t know what is the reason: maybe the tofu here is made in different way from what they do in Japan, or there is some additional ingredient in the tofu she ate…  but what they assumed is that there may be genetically modified soybeans used in the tofu.

Most of soybean products sold in Japan, including miso paste, abura-age, natto and soy milk, state “genetically modified soybeans are not used in this products” on their packages.  I’m not sure if it is all true (I hope so) as 85% of soybean products around the world seem to be actually using genetically modified soybeans.  Anyway, thinking that the tofu I eat here may contain genetically modified beans makes me feel not good, but I have no problem with the tofu in Perth so far and I will probably continue eating them as usual.

Happy Mothers Day

Posted May 8th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Happy Mother’s Day!  I made some chocolate cupcakes for my mum (in-law) .  I love the combination of chocolate and strawberries 😀  Since my mum lives in Japan she won’t be able to taste my cake, but I will give her a call with heaps of love!

It’s been quite busy weeks for me and I have little headache..  I guess the weather and the season could be the reason too.  

No day-off this week, but I will keep up!  I don’t normally take medicine even though I’m sick: I normally eat well, sleep well and wear warm clothes when I feel little tired.  Today I made miso soup with sliced onion, burdock roots, wakame seaweed and chopped spring onion and drunk 2 cups!  Now my body feels warm and I feel better 🙂

Take care everyone.

Petit Baguette

Posted May 8th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »


Baguettes?  … no, they are actually cookies !  Tiny baguette-looking cookies seem to be too cute to eat, but its size and the texture are perfect for munching.

It could be a great gift too.  Just wrap them up with brown paper and now they look exactly like real French baguettes.


<Baguette Cookies> makes about 30 


  • 75g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 60g sugar
  • 1/2 egg (L size) (at room temperature)
  • 130g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
* oven 180 ℃    
  1. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until white and fluffy.  
  2. Lightly beat egg in another bowl, and add to the creamed butter little by little, mixing well at each addition.
  3. Shift in the flour and cocoa, and mix with spatula.  Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Weigh the dough into 10~15 g, and roll them into 5~7 cm length.  Score few lines on the surface using a butter knife.
  5. Arrange on lined oven tray, and bake for around 10 minutes, or until they are cooked. 

Japanese Food to Try

Posted May 6th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | No Comments »

Although there are not many Japanese restaurants that I go to in Perth, some of the restaurants are doing some campaign and serve interesting food.  Here are some of them :


< Jaws Sushi East Perth>

Jaws Sushi East Perth is doing a campaign for Nigiri Sushi tasting plate (with miso soup) for $15.00.  I don’t go to Jaws, but if you like sushi at Jaws it may be a deal.  This is only available at Jaws East Perth.  (vsit Jaws website for more info)



<Edo Shiki>

I found some interesting flavor of sushi at Edo Shiki (Perth CBD).  They occasionally serve rolled sushi with banana, strawberries and mango on their kaiten sushi train.  I tried the banana sushi.  At first I thought it was a really weird combination, but it did taste quite nice 😀  They fry the banana first (like banana fritters) and then roll in the sushi rice.  Personally, I like it without dipping in wasabi+soy sauce.






Arigataya gives customers extra noodle for free on their ramen menu (exclude udon and soba noodle) .  You can request for the free noodle once you finish with your ramen/tsuke-men.  You can browse their menu from their website.  Although they started as “ramen shop” they now serve Japanese curry, donburi, inari sushi and other side dishes (such as gyoza and takoyaki).  The location is good 🙂

Open 7 days

Mon – Sat 11:30〜14:30、17:30〜21:32
Sun   11:00 ~ 19:00

62 Roe Street Northbridge WA 6003
TEL : (08) 9227 7901



<Toraya Sushi>


Toraya Sushi in Subiaco is serving Wagyu Sukiyaki as their seasonal menu.  You will need to make a booking for this dish.  Why not try the delicious melty wagyu this winter?  It sounds yummy…  And their pudding is also quite popular.

Shop 8, Subiaco Square

29 Station St Subiaco WA 6008
TEL:  (08) 9382 4433

Lunch :  Mon – Sat 11am-3pm

Dinner :  Wed – Sun 6pm – 9:30pm

Close on public holidays



<Wasabi & Green Tea>

Wasabi & Green Tea is not a restaurant, but they do delivery service across Bunbury and Perth metropolitan area.  You can purchase rare wasabi stem and leaves, organic tea leaves and also some meal packages such as “Beef Teriyaki Dinner Pack”, “Organic Fruits and Vegetables Pack” and “Sushi Starter Pack”.  Online shopping is available from secured website (government owned).  You can also purchase from the shop directly.  

Shop 4, 9-12 Albany Hwy East Victoria Park WA  
TEL:  (08) 9470 5213

Open: 13:00 ~ 18:002   
Close on Sundays and public holidays

Chocolate Season

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