Fine Winter Day

Posted June 30th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

JAPAN LOST !! (>0<)

It was a long game against Paraguay yesterday, and the first penalty shootout of the 2010 World Cup was carried out.  Japan lost in the end, but I think they did their best and I’m proud of them for coming this far as a only Asian team.


It was my favorite climate during the day yesterday!  Not too cold, but not hot, little windy and I could feel the air moving around me.  I like looking up the sky and watch the cloud moving.  At a glance it seems to be stopped, but if you watch it carefully the cloud moves pretty fast sometimes.  It’s my thing: I used to look up the sky and think “Australia could be under that cloud!” “I wonder what people are doing right now under that cloud over there…”  Then I felt that the world is such big and my little trouble seemed to be a tiny thing.

I was feeling little down over the last few weeks, as things happened around me and I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  But now, I realized something important after talking to friends and also reading some books.  Now I’m feeling pretty good 🙂

One thing that I still feel sad about is my cat.  She passed away just few days ago in my house in Japan.  Actually there’s a little weird story behind this cat, and I loved her so much.

Puu, a cat with mixed colors of black, grey and white, came to my house when I was around 17 ~ 18, I think.  I don’t remember how we started to have Puu, but she was already an adult cat (♀) by the time she joined my family.  She was a little strange cat!  Every night when I was taking bath, she called me “meow” behind the smoky glass in the bath room, and comes inside the bathroom and sit on top of the bathtub (I used to take bath while covering half the bathtub with plastic tub-cover to keep water hot, and she sat on the cover and slept!).  And, every night she called “meow” at the door of my room, then came inside the room and slept on my bed next to me, in my futon.  I had never seen cat that likes taking bath…

She was so smart too, and I felt some connection between her 🙂  But, one of her weird hobby – she liked jumping to the tray of kei-truck every time she sees any kei-truck – caused a trouble.  One day, she suddenly disappeared.  We think that she jumped on the tray of a kei-truck which was stopping around my house, and the truck started to move and Puu couldn’t get off the car.  I was so sad, and hoped she would come back soon.  But she didn’t.

After few months, mum told me an unbelievable story.  When my mum went to Lawson, a convenience store, one cat jumped inside her car and sat on the seat as if she was waiting my mum to drive home quickly.  My mum came home with the cat.  The thing we felt so weird was that the cat looked exact same as Puu!  Same color, similar pattern, and same gender.  We really thought it was Puu, but something was little different. (to me) And, the tip bone of this cat’s tale was little broken.  Besides, this cat didn’t like taking bath and sleeping on my bed.  It was a different cat.

I couldn’t believe what just happened.  This cat already started to feel at home and sleeping in front of tv.  The personality of the cat was obviously different from missing Puu, but we started to love this cat too.  We named her “Puu”, the same name as the previous one.

“Puu Ⅱ” was pregnant when she jumped in my mum’s car, and gave birth to 6 beautiful kittens.  She was really like a normal cat (very my-pace) but very adorable.

Since then she stayed with my family.  I really thought she had some kind of power, as she seemed to know everything!  For example, when I was walking towards my house from my friend’s house and started to see my house from the distance, “Puu Ⅱ” was already sitting in front of the house and looking at me.  And she looked at me with the look: like “hey you”.

“Puu Ⅱ” passed away because of the age.  I never knew how old she was, but she lived her long life like Mimi, my dog.  I hope she was very happy.


Grapefruit Semifreddo

Posted June 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

My neighbor left grapefruits outside their house with a memo saying “free grapefruits from the garden!”

I love grapefruits!  I thought it was a spring fruit :p  It’s refreshing, and great item to eat in the morning – healthy, and rich in vitamin.

I took 3 home, and ate 2 of them as they are.  The rest, I made semifreddo with it 🙂

Semifreddo is an Italian, meaning “half cold” “half frozen”.  As the name indicates, it is eaten as semi-frozen.

<Grapefruit Semifreddo>

for 1 x pound-cake tin

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g sugar
  1. Segment the grapefruit.  Cut into pieces.  Keep the juice.
  2. Whip cream with 1/2 sugar until  thick, but still able to drop off a spoon.
  3. In another bowl, place egg white and the rest of sugar, and whisk until fluffy (meringue).
  4. Add egg yolks, grapefruit pieces and 2 tbs grapefruit juice to the cream.  Mix.
  5. Fold in meringue.
  6. Line a pound-cake tin with cling wrap. Pour the mixture into the tin and freeze until frozen at the edges. Remove from freezer and stir. Return to freezer and re-freeze overnight. Remove from pan and cut into thick slices.
  7. Enjoy it while it’s half-frozen.

Crispy Chicken in Sweet and Tangy Sauce (Chicken Nanban)

Posted June 28th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

The dish Chicken Nanban was originally created in Kyushu island in Japan about 50 years ago.  Since then, this item has became very popular across Japan, and now you can find the dish in family restaurants, convenience stores, fast food chains and even pizza shops.

The original Chicken Nanban was a deep-fried chicken immersed in sweet/sour sauce.  Nowadays Chichen Nanban is served with tartar sauce poured over the chicken, and it is still one of the popular menu for any age group.

This is again another easy dish to cook, and it goes with both rice and noodle.


<Chicken Nanban with Somen Noodle> serves 4


  • 2 chicken breast fillets (about 400g)
  • 1 egg
  • plain flour to coat
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 5 tbs vinegar (preferably rice vinegar)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 200g somen noodle
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 capsicum
  • roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Bring the large pot of water to the boil, and cook somen noodle.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Halve each chicken fillets into even size.  You should have 4 slices.  Flatten the chicken meat by using the back of the knife.
  3. Place soy sauce, sugar and vinegar in a sauce pan, and bring to the gentle boil to dissolve the sugar.  Transfer the sauce to the wide plate or pan. (or you can use wide pan to boil the sauce).  Set aside.
  4. Coat the chicken with flour, and shake off any excess flour.  Beat the egg, and place in a shallow plate.
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan.  Dip the chicken fillets in the egg wash, and deep-fry both sides until golden.
  6. As soon as it’s removed from the oil, shake off any excess oil and immerse in the sauce.  Leave it for 30 seconds ~ few minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat sesame oil and garlic slices in a frying pan.  When it’s fragrant, add somen noodle and stir-fry.  Sprinkle sesame seeds, and arrange on serving plates (divide into four potions).
  8. In the same pan, stir-fry sliced capsicum. Remove from the heat and arrange on each bed of somen noodle on the serving plates.
  9. Remove the chicken from the sauce, and slice.  Place on top of the noodle + capsicum.  Drizzle over the sauce, and sprinkle sesame seeds.  Repeat with other fillets.
* you can use steamed vegetables instead of capsicum.

Apple Store in Perth

Posted June 26th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

The first Apple store in Perth was opened today, 26 June 2010 on Hay Street!

“The shop will open its door at 9 am, UME!”

It was what my husband said to me last week.  “Ok, then we can go there and get a free T-shirt, then head to McDonalds for brekkie”

It was our plan…..   but, as I thought, he couldn’t wake up early today >0<

He works at home and normally goes to bed in the early morning (he is a nocturnal person), and last night was not an exception…

His sleeping face was so peaceful that I couldn’t woke him up.  So, I headed there by myself to see what the shop looks like and then later I can tell him the story 🙂

It was again another freezing morning…  The radio said it was actually below 0° this morning!  WOW.

As I walked to the new Apple shop, I started to see people walking with small white boxes.  I knew straightaway that they were from Apple store, and the box contained the free T-shirt!  I had to hurry!  It took me 30 mins to park as I was stuck in the traffic (construction in the city… T_T), so it was already 9am past.

I was walking from East Perth direction, and when I reached to the traffic light on William street x Hay street, I started to doubt my eyes….  “am I seeing polices and security guards there?”

I was little overwhelmed, as there’re many people taking photos, and few security guards were standing at the door.  The shop was filled with people…

I didn’t stop walking, and headed to the store.  Then, two door men greeted to me and said,

“Good morning ma’am, thank you for visiting our new store.  I’m sorry but you will have to queue the line and wait.”

Then I finally realized there was a loooooooong queue of people waiting to get into the store!  Crazy!

After a short consideration in my head, I decided to queue.  I don’t normally do such thing (and I could come to this shop anytime in future) but I did.

I waited, waited…. and 10~20 minutes later, I was finally inside the store!  Cute girls in uniform were cheering and handed me a free T-shirt.

The shop looked great.  Many variety of goods, and many staff in blue T-shirts 😀  I played with those displays for few minutes, and had a quick chat with one of the staff, then left.   The atmosphere almost made me want to buy something!  phewwwww.

I didn’t think so many people would be here today.  I’m sure there’re some people waited before opening the door :p

This shop opens 7 days.  You can find info here →

Marinated Deep-fried Chicken (Tazta Age)

Posted June 26th, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

Tazta-age (tatsuta-age) is a kind of Kara-age.  Kara-age is a deep-fried chicken (usually chicken thigh) coated with katakuriko (a starch originally processed from the corm of katakuri) and plain flour after being marinated with garlic and some spices.  On the other hand, tazta-age is a deep-fried chicken (usually chicken thigh) coated with only katakuriko after being marinated with soy sauce and sweet mirin.  You can use corn starch (corn flour) instead of katakuriko.

The key to make juicy kara-age with crispy texture is the twice-deep-frying.  You deep-fry the meat in low-temperatured oil first, then deep-fry again in very hot oil to shake off any excess fat and to make it crispy.


<Tazta Age> serves 4

  • 400g chicken thigh
  • 20g soy sauce
  • 20g raw sugar
  • 15g sake (white wine)
  • 5g ginger (grated or sliced)
  • katakuriko (corn flour) to dust
  1. Cut chicken into pieces.  Trim chicken thigh into even thickness.
  2. Marinade in the sauce for 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the chicken.  Heat the oil in a pan to 160°.
  4. Coat the chicken with katakuriko, shake off any excess flour, and deep-fry both side until coloured.  Set aside.
  5. Heat up the oil to 180°.  Deep-fry the chicken pieces again both side until crispy.
The best way to eat tazta-age is with Japanese mayonnaise!  You can’t stop eating steamed rice with it.
or you can make Tazta Burger!  I remember MacDonalds’ Tazta Burger…  one of my favorite 😀

Sushi Plane

Posted June 25th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I heard on the radio today that Telstra is doing a competition, called “Sushi Plane”, to win a trip to Tokyo!

I know I shouldn’t enter to the competition, (as I’m Japanese and can go to Japan anytime…) but everything about Japan interests me!  So, I just visited the website and browsed what the sushi plane is about.

It seems that the winners of the competition fly from Sydney to Tokyo on 10 August 2010, and they have to compete each other to become a sushi plane champion…  by going through a series of funny games :p  All the details are kept mysterious until you win a seat on the plane!

There are two judging steps, and I really don’t think I will go through the telephone interview and all that, but I did try making myself into cartoon character on their website: MANGA-ME.  You just need to drag your photo to the app…

This cartoon is too cute to be me!  Anyway, I like this cartoon UME in pink kimono :p

Anyone who is interested in travelling to the busiest, craziest city in the world should apply!

(By they way, Tokyo really is the busiest city in the world ↓↓

Hot Spa

Posted June 24th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 6 Comments »

It is really cold … yesterday morning I noticed the grass on the ground was frozen!

I’ve been having a neck pain for the last couples of week… Not only neck, actually.  I have headache, backache and dizziness too! (>0<)  My neck and shoulder have been always pretty stiff since I was a kid, and I’m used to it already, but now I really feel there is something wrong ☆ I don’t have this much pain usually…  It could be because of the cold weather, my posture, playing with computer too much, thinking too many stuff, etc etc.  I gotta relax!!

Today during the day, what I thought was to take a hot bath tonight.  I couldn’t wait!  As soon as I finished baking a cake for tomorrow delivery, I filled the bath tub with hot water.  ….but, it didn’t turn out to be as nice as I expected.  The water wasn’t hot enough (it should be around 40° or over, always!!), and the bath tub was not made for keeping the water warm!  As soon as the hot water went into the tub, it started to cool down.  The whole bathroom was kinda cold too 🙁

In Japan, bath tubs are usually made with special material that keep the water warm.  And deeper!  I could swim in the tub when I was little.  The bath tub in my house is quite shallow, and I couldn’t warm up my shoulder ..  Oh well, it is Australia here, not Japan (><)

I miss Yufuin…  (my little honeymoon trip in Yufuin, in Japan → I wrote about it here, here, here, and here. ) Oh, and Yamashiro Onsen.

Oh, by the way, I heard that there is a ryokan (Japan style hotel) in Melbourne, called “Shizuka”.  Has anyone been there before? ( I found the website here :  It looks nice… but I bet it’s expensive :p

Where to Go This Winter

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

As winter comes, things make me miss down south.  I don’t know what the “things” are: maybe the cold air that makes me cuddle in a warm blanket,  the sound of the rain that erases all the noise outside…  All of them recall my memory of staying down south.

Winter makes me feel warm inside, in spite of the cold weather.  That’s the reason why I like winter.

I think many people prefer summer to winter, especially the people who live near the beautiful beaches, like Perth.  I’m sure some people are longing for the arrival of next spring/summer already.  I get to see many cheap deals at hotels and some travel packages around this time, eg Rottnest Island.  I understand why, as Rottnest Island is surrounded by beautiful ocean and there is pretty much nothing to do except for swimming and cycling.  But, I don’t mind going there in a cold day and watch the quiet beaches.

I actually went there couples of years ago with my husband and stayed for a night.  It was beautiful.  Although we had not much things to do, we enjoyed the slow time there.

I also like South.  I haven’t travelled much since I came to Perth and I’ve only been to Bunbury, Busselton, Pemberton and Margaret River, all of them were really beautiful towns.  As there’s nothing much to do and plenty of time, I could totally relax and day-dreamed about things – I couldn’t do such things while leading a busy days in Perth.  It’s really amazing that you could experience the different pace of time in just few hours drive!

It was about two years ago that we went to Pemberton.  We stayed in a farm lodge, and there’re horses, kangaroos, sheep, dogs etc wondering around right in front of our lodge. 😀

It started raining when we arrived the lodge, and it was very cold.  But, I couldn’t help going walking around the area.  Walking through the mountains, stepping on the leaves on the ground, avoiding huge tree roots…  there was no “road” or “path” that was created by human.  It was such a beautiful walk.

aaaaa, it makes me want to go there again (><)

Natto – One of the Healthy Food in Japan

Posted June 23rd, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

This could be one of the weird food you can find around the world…  Natto, fermented soy beans, is a traditional Japanese staple for more than 1,000 years.  Non Japanese people may think it’s a gross-looking food as it has a strong smell, flavor and slippery texture.  But, it is an ultimate health food as its medical benefits are widely recognized recently : some of its beneficial effects are prevention of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and intestinal disease caused by pathogens.

How did Japan discover this food??  I remember reading a story of it when I was little.  Long time ago, when samurais are still rolling Japan, a group of samurais were travelling quite a long distance.  They brought some food for the journey, and one of the food was soy beans.  The soy beans were carried in a bag made of some kind of plant.  As it was summer and the climate was pretty hot and humid, the soy beans started to ferment in the bag.  Around lunch time, samurais decided to take a break and they all opened up the food to enjoy.  Then they found out the all soy beans looked strange – smelly, and slimy!  They were so disappointed, but one samurai pinched one bean and put in his mouth.  It turned out to be edible.  “Oh well, we might not be able to make to the destination in this climate and not enough water.  We may die soon…  may as well eat these rotten soy beans.”  They ate up the rotten soy beans.  But, strangely, after eating the beans they felt their body full of energy and strong again.

That was the origin of natto, according to my memory 😀  Now we normally eat natto with tare (sauce), and dress up with Japanese mustard, bonito flakes, mayonnaise, seaweed etc etc.

I like eating natto in the morning – just with freshly cooked steamed rice and miso soup.  This morning I made colourful miso soup with few ingredients including carrot, wakame, konnyaku and tofu.  Can any other food beat this healthy combination?

Japanese Pancake with Sweet Red Bean (Dorayaki)

Posted June 22nd, 2010 in Food | 6 Comments »

A fluffy pancake sandwich with chunky azuki bean paste….

You may have seen Doraemon, a cat-shaped robot in Japanese cartoon, eating dorayaki.  Dorayaki is a Japanese sweet which consists of two small pancakes and a filling of anko (azuki bean paste).

I list 2 recipes below : ↓↓

It’s always the best to use an electric grill pan so that cakes turn evenly brown.  And, controlling the heat is the another key to make this moist pancake.
The standard dorayaki has a filling of azuki bean paste, but nowadays you can get with custard cream filling, white bean paste (shiro-an), whipped cream, etc in Japan.  I spread margarin to the pancakes, but normally you just add azuki bean paste.  I thought a filling of grated cheddar and condensed milk would be a nice match too.  (like Indonesian Martabak)
<Dorayaki> makes 4 (small batch)
  • 2 Eggs (M~L)
  • 4 tbs (60g) Sugar
  • 2 tbs Honey
  • 80g Plain flour
  • 20g Baking flour
  • 1/2 Baking soda
  • about 4 tbs Milk (to adjust)
  • 80g tsubu-an (chunky red bean paste) (recipe here and here)
  • margarin to spread (optional)
  1. Place egg, sugar, and honey in a bowl and whisk until fluffy.
  2. Shift in the dry ingredients.  Mix using a spatular quickly. (don’t mix too much)
  3. Add milk gradually.  Mix with spatular, but do not stir too much.  Move the spatular as if you are cutting the batter.
  4. Heat an skillet or hot plat, and spray oil lightly.  Using a small ladle, pour a scoop of the batter into the skillet and make a small pancake.
  5. Turn over when bubbles appear on the surface. Repeat this process with remaining batter to make 8 pancakes.  Cover the pancakes with plastic wraps to prevent from drying.
  6. Spread margarine on one side of pancakes, and sandwich a scoop of azuki bean paste.
I used this recipe when making dorayaki last night.  This recipe uses less ingredients, and still turned out to be delicious :))
<Dorayaki> makes 2~4aa
  • 1 Egg (L)
  • 30g Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • 50g Plain flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon Baking powder
  • Anko (red bean paste) (recipe here and here)
  1. Beat egg with sugar in a bowl.  Add honey, and mix until smooth.
  2. Shift in flour & baking powder, and mix with a spatula until the mixture is smooth and has shiny surface.  Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.  Take the pan off the stove and place the bottom of the pan on a wet towel to even the heat.  Place the pan back to the stove, over low heat, and spray oil lightly.  Pour the mixture (about 2 tablespoons) into the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.  Flip the pancake and cook another side.  Keep the cooked pancakes on a plate covered with plastic wrap to prevent from drying.  Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. Spread anko between 2 pancakes and press lightly to shape.

Another Shopping Day

Posted June 19th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

This morning I woke up earlier than usual, and went down to the post office.  I wanted to send a gift to my formal student who lives in Hakodate. (I wrote about him here)  His birthday is coming up, and I wanted to send something “Australia” to him 🙂  He’ll be 11 at the end of this month… so fast!  I only remember him as 6 years old.

I also picked up a package from the post office as no one was at home when a mail man delivered it yesterday.  It was a MacBook case that I bought online!  Yey♪  You can always find things at cheaper prices online … 😀

After that my whole family (in-laws) and I went to Retravision in Midland.  I always think that Midland Retravision has one of the friendliest services in Perth!  They even serve coffees, teas, cookies and cakes for free to customers 🙂  I was checking up the new mixer, and one staff came to me and asked “would you like coffee?”.  “Sure” I said, then she made a coffee for me using one of the coffee machine that they sell there.  All the staff are friendly…  and I bought a new mixer 🙂  The price was sooo cheap, as they’re doing one-day sale today.

Then all of us headed to Jimmy Deans Diner for lunch.

At this Hollywood style themed restaurant, we ordered chicken burgers, chilli beef burgers, nacho chips, beef nacho, fish n chips and steak burgers…. plus milk shakes etc.  There wasn’t much vegetable on the table and obviously the food was not healthy…  (nacho chips!  Deep-fried chips with cheese and nacho toppings)  but I like the atmosphere there 🙂  I used to go to Jimmy Deans Diner in Scarborough and have milk shakes with friends.

I couldn’t finish the chicken burger… so full.

I’m watching World Cup now…. Japan vs Nederland.  Japan is 1 goal behind so far (><)

I got World Cup glasses from McDonald, by the way.  My husband insisted that he wanted. ^^;  I actually want the green Shrek ears !  The staff was wearing it and it looks so cute 🙂  I should get a Ogre premium chicken burger sometime ..

World Cup and Buffet Dinner

Posted June 18th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Sign….  I was watching FIFA World Cup Argentina vs Korea last night.  It was really disappointing….   I mean, I was kind of Korean side but their performance was not so well against Argentina.  My husband told me that Argentina is pretty strong team, and their coach is Diego Maradona who is well-known as the “Hand of God” goal in 1986.  I didn’t know about him until last night (as I don’t really watch sports) but I’m sure many other people around the world do.  

Anyway, I was also watching the Japan game against Cameroon the other day.  I should have enjoyed watching it, but I became so emotive and couldn’t stand watching after Honda’s goal.  Next day I was told by friend that Japan won, and I was relieved. 🙂

By the way after I had dinner at Miss Maud in Murry Street the other night, I noticed that they’re doing $229 hotel specials for two people which includes one night stay and dinner + breakfast buffet for two people.  I knew about this since long time but I totally forgot about it.  I think it’s really a good deal, as I like breakfast buffet here.  I believe my dad and bro will enjoy the Miss Maud pastries and other food if they stay at the hotel.  But, I don’t think they’d enjoy the dinner buffet.  I know Japanese people and I don’t think they will like this type of food for dinner.  Some people may enjoy it, but not my dad. 🙁

(treat for two website)

I like the buffet at restaurants in Burswood complex.  Although my dad didn’t like the casino on his last visit, I think he will enjoy the atmosphere of the whole complex and the food at Atrium, Sirocco, the Emporium and Carvers.  Few years ago HIS (a Japanese travel agent in Perth) was doing a super cheap deal for stays at Burswood Hotel.  I don’t remember how much it was, but it was really cheap.  I hope they do the same deal for this year..  I may as well give them a call and ask!

Japanese Bagels

Posted June 17th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

The first bagel was baked by a Jewish baker in Vienna, Austria in 1683, and since then bagels have become a popular bread product in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom – especially in cities with large Jewish populations.  As each country has different ways of making bagels, Japan also.

A “Bagel” is dense, hard bread which is boiled then baked in hot oven.  Japan follows this method too, but they add something extra.  Although most normal bakeries sell only standard bagels such as plain, cinnamon raisin etc, but bagel speciality shops sell varieties of bagels in different flavours.  Some shops twist the dough to add more tough texture (so it’s not a ring-shape), some shops cover the bagel with mochi (mochi bagel), and some shops don’t shape the dough (it looks like a bun).


Of course there are normal-looking bagels too.


Please try Japanese bagels if you have a chance to go to Japan!  

By the way, I heard that Malaysian bagels are deep-fried..   Is it true?  I think it’s a donut, not a bagel :p


(photos from and google search)

Kids Meal

Posted June 15th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

If you go to family restaurants or some cafes in Japan, you will see kids menus like this…

• Omu-Rice

* Spaghetti

• Hangurg

• Chicken Nugget 


Or sometimes they combine all of above in one plate and offer as “kid’s plate” .

Kids menu spaghetti normally means Napoletana pasta, but it’s just a dish of stir-fried spaghetti with some ingredients (green capsicum, ham, onion etc) in tomato ketchup.  (easy to make!)

Omu-Rice was one of my favorite dish, and it still is 😀  Kids omu-rice is normally served with tomato ketchup on top, but now I like it with other sauces such as Demiglace sauce, white sauce, wafu dashi sauce etc.  

When I cook some food for my cuisines, they request omu-rice quite often too.  I sometimes wrap up spaghetti in egg omelet “omu-ghetti”, yakisoba in egg omelet “omu-soba”, and sometimes cover up curry & rice with egg omelet “omu-curry”  And draw a face with tomato ketchup, or write a short message  🙂   

These Japanese home-style food is really easy to make.  To make omu-rice, you just need to stir-fry :

  • cooked rice (one day old is better)
  • frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corns?)
  • diced onions
  • meat (hams, cubed chicken etc)
with tomato ketchup and Worcester sauce, then season with salt and pepper.
Kids spaghetti has the exact same ingredients, actually.  Just replace the rice to spaghetti :p
I like making these kids menu.  I may have kids party sometime soon 😀
By the way, here are some tempting kids menus from Mos Burger…
Mos burger with fluffy bun and mild curry sauce!  It comes with original toys …  cute!

And I want Mister Donut kids meal toys (><)  So cute.

Life with Pets

Posted June 14th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

People who had/have pets may understand this, but they are not just animals who stay in your house.  They become part of your family!

I used to have two Shiba (♀:sisters) in Japan, and we were always together as if we’re sisters.  Unfortunately one of them was killed by a car accident when I was 10, but the another one lived for 18 years in my house.  These two dogs looked so alike (as they share the same mother Shiba) and my parents tried to remember which one is which by the different colored collars.  But, I could totally tell which is Mimi and which is Lulu by their faces.  🙂  They had different personalities too.

After I left Japan I couldn’t be with Mimi much, but my family took care of her well.  She was so old, but loved going for a walk (like other normal dogs) until the day she died.  It was really hard news for me to bear, and I felt so sorry that I couldn’t be there with her.  But I believe she enjoyed her long life.

I love animals, but I’m not sure if I’m going to have a pet in Perth.  As Mimi was in my life since I was 6 years old, we had such strong bond and I still think she is the best.  It’s really fun to have a pet, but very hard at the same time when they die.  

Oh, but it’s really a good thing to know that there are few things I could do to be with animals without owning them.  Belmont Pet store, for example, is looking for Puppy Minders who can look after puppies from Saturday afternoon and take them back to the shop on Monday morning. They give you a carry cage, food, etc and you just need to be available to answer your phone on the Saturday to confirm.  😀

(08 9478 3993)

By the way I love this shop “Three Dog Cafe”.  It started from America as the world’s original bakery for dogs, and now there are many shops across America, Hong Kong and Japan.  Although their products are all for dogs, they look so cute and yummy!



They even sell bagels!  Oh my gosh..

Have you watched the movie “Hachi”??  This film is based on the true story of an Akita dog in Tokyo, Japan.  I don’t know how many times I cried after watching this…  You can find the statue of “Hachi” (called “hachi-koh”) in Shibuya, Tokyo.  The statue has been the symbol of Shibuya train station for a long time.

The Imp

Posted June 11th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

My friend invited me for a late lunch at The Imp in East Victoria Park.  It was my first time to have a meal at this cafe, and the cafe was very busy as I expected.

There’re people queueing waiting to order for take away coffee.  This cafe only has a few tables because of the size of the building…  but we were lucky enough to get this counter seats for three of us. 😀  The chair was actually difficult to sit and eat the food, as all of us are pretty short (I’m 155cm, other friends are 151cm and 158cm) and the stalls were quite high: but we managed it.

The staff are friendly, and the service was fast.  I also like the look of the exposed brick wall and the polished concrete counter.  It has the retro-looking.  It must feel nice staying here sipping hot coffee in winter.

We ordered smoked salmon baguette and feta baguette from the lunch menu, and croquette from the tapas menu.

The smoked salmon baguette contained cream cheese, baby spinach, red onion and capers.

The feta baguette came with roasted red capsicum, baby spinach and drizzled with balsamic glaze.  Both baguettes came with homemade tomato chutney.

I loved the baguette.  It was like short flute baguette, crusty but not too hard, and chewy!  The tomato chutney was tasty too.

I wanted to have another cup of coffee, but my friends kept talking and talking..  It was around 4 pm when we left the cafe.  … I thought the staff were little annoyed by us (as we stayed long without ordering another cups) but they were smiling.

It was a good afternoon 😀

Sleeping in

Posted June 10th, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

As I have a terrible low blood pressure, I sometimes have huge headache as I wake up.  Not only my head, but neck, shoulders….  Don’t tell me it’s because of my pillow :p

After taking hot shower it feels better.  Then I just sit down on a chair and think about stuff –  anything: thinking about my friend who just went back to Japan yesterday, about work, about food I’ve been eating, about a trip I’ve been planing, about my dad who is planning to visit Perth soon etc etc.

My friend is staying in Japan for 2 months!  Then she is flying to Malaysia for shopping, and to Phuket to get massage…  That’s the kind of holiday I need right now!

I had toasted health bagel this morning.  This bagel is new, and it contains poppy seeds, linseeds, azuki beans and walnuts.    I toasted well done, as usual, and spread fig jam on one side, and cream cheese on another side.

My husband, on the other hand, had one piece of garlic bread, two boiled eggs, and small serve of coleslaw salad.

It was pretty healthy breakfast for him.  He sometimes spend a day without eating any vegetables….  (>0<)

A shot of a bird that was resting its feet on our chilli seedlings.  I was so slow to grab my camera and shoot a photo, and a second later it flew away!

These days I’ve been having opportunity to do bit of my work (new project!) and it’s been pretty good so far.  I’m not sure if it’ll ever going to be shown to the public, but let’s see…

MillPoint Caffe Bookshop

Posted June 9th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

It was lazy afternoon for me…  I had to wake up very early to do some work.  Around noon I thought I should take a little nap, but didn’t feel like going back to bed.  Then I decided to surf the web for a bit, and I lost track of time!  When I shut the computer it was already around 3pm.

I had headache, but thought I should get out of the house.  Because it was Sunday I didn’t quite know where to go.  I was driving around Swan River, then popped into this book cafe in South Perth.

I knew about this cafe from before but it was my first time to go inside.  Once I stepped in, I realised it was an actual book shop where you can buy books.  I thought it was like a cafe where you share the books with other customers and read while sipping on coffee.  They had many kids books, novels and some other types.  I liked all the books they sell.

There’re a few tables near the book shelves, but all the seats were taken by customers.  I walked towards the back, and I found a cafe counter and tables in the terrace.

I felt like something warm, so I ordered flat white.  My husband ordered latte, and one apple & blueberry crumble to share.

We sat on a sofa, then realised we couldn’t take the book to read into the terrace.  We read the paper in stead, and shortly a waitstaff came to us with our order.  All the staff were very friendly!  And, the coffee was just how I wanted… perfect 😀

We could totally relax there.  I want to go back to this place, definitely.

<MillPoint Caffe Bookshop>

Address : 254 Mill Point Road, South Perth WA 6151
Phone : (08) 9367 4567
Open : 7 days

Ume’s 一日カフェ 〜Part 4〜

Posted June 8th, 2010 in UME's 一日カフェ | No Comments »

Ume’s 一日カフェ4回目のお客さんは、パースに住んで8年目のMichiko さんです。


名前:Michiko さん




Q: パースに来られたのはいつ頃ですか?

A: 2002年の10月です。


Q: パースに来られたきっかけは?

A: 実は、1998年にパースに来た事があるんです。それは私と主人のハネムーンだったんですけど、その時にパースという街がとても気に入ってしまい、東京に帰ってからも忘れられずに居ました。旦那も私と同じくパースを気に入って、いつか住みたいねと言っていました。



Q: 何かすごいですね!その、家族3人で渡豪された時は、何のビザで来られたんですか?

A: 私が Student Visa を取得しており、旦那と娘はそれに乗っかる感じで。


Q: 失礼ですけど、生活費とか仕事とかといった不安はなかったんですか?

A: ありました!でも、どうにかなるだろうと思ってました(笑)。



Q: スゴい!パースに来てすぐ歩いてレジュメ配るなんて…旦那さまは英語達者だったんですね!

A: いえ(笑)。でもやる気と特技は誰よりもありました!日本でも車関係の会社で働いていて、3年間BMWでメカニックをしていたし、その後もトラック会社で数年働いてました。だから、パースに来てレジュメを配った場所も車関係の会社で、片言の英語でレジュメを見せて「働かせください!」と尋ねて回ったみたいです。


Q: それで、お仕事は見つかったんですか?

A:  はい。有り難い事にコチラのトヨタのディーラーで仕事をもらい、今でも働いています。


Q: Michiko さんは、語学学校の後は何をされたんですか?

A: 語学学校を卒業した後はBakery のコースに通いました。その後は数年くらいパースのベーカリーでパンを焼いてました。^^ 



Q: 今でもそのベーカリーで?

A: いえ。今は、また学校に通っています。



Q: パースの好きなトコロはどこですか?

A: ズバリ、何も無いというトコロです。この何も無さ、スローライフ。5時過ぎてどの店も閉まっちゃうなんて、今時すごいですよね^^



Q: パースと日本、どちらが好きですか?

A: 住むならパースです。環境はすごく良いと思う。大人にも子供にも。






Burger Cafes

Posted June 6th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 4 Comments »

I like the idea of cafes and restaurants specialising in one type of food.  Examples are San ChurroThe Raw KitchenPancakes and Grill and Egg O Mania Omeleteers… serving only specialised items evokes curiosity and make people want to visit the places.  If I go somewhere for a holiday and there are two cafes near the hotel, one serves typical cafe menus including coffees, ready-made cakes and some light foods, and another specialise in homemade waffles and a few choices of drink menus, I would chose the second one.

Since few weeks ago I’ve been having a craving for a burger.  Not a sandwich, a burger!  I’ve been to few burger cafes around Perth and want to write about these places here.

Gourmet on Wray

Gourmet on Wray is a burger cafe located in Fremantle.  A little walk away from the heart of Fremantle city, this place offer relaxing atmosphere and friendly service.  I had vege lurve, and husband ordered simple simon.

Each burgers came with salad and garnished with rosemary, and soft sourdough buns were lightly grilled. Vege lurve is a burger with seasonal veggie patty with sauteed mushroom, avocado and chilli jam.  I must say, I really loved it.

Thanks to the chilli jam, this burger is quite spicy.  In contrast, the veggie patty was little sweet (mushed pumpkin or sweet potato was a part of the ingredient, I believe) and the spiciness and the sweetness was a great match.  Sauteed mushroom was perfectly seasoned and cooked, and, a chunky layer of avocado!

Simple simon is a burger with beef patty, grilled onion, tomato relish and lettuce.  It was nice too, but I preferred Vege lurve to this.

The another good part is the price. All the menus are around $10.00 ~ $14.00.  Very reasonable, and right portion size.   😀

They also serve wraps and snacks, and of course coffee menus.  I will try the chicken burger next time.

(20 Wray Ave, Fremantle)

Jus Burgers

Jus Burgers can be found at Leederville and Subiaco.  This place is always packed with people, and their burgers are simply delicious!

At this gourmet burger bar, they use meat from local supplier in WA, Turkish bread from Turkish bakery in Vic Park, and all other ingredients are also purchased locally.  I actually prefer the bun here to Gourmet on Wray.  This Turkish burger is lightly grilled, and then stacked with juicy patty and salad.  I like the presentation : steak knifes stabbed into the burgers.

I had a cheese burger.  ….it was huge!  You have to be quite hungry if you are going to this place, I think.

The meat tasted delicious, and I loved the bread.  I thought guys would love the burgers here.  Big portion, thick patty, and tasty sauce.  The sauce was bit garlicky to me, but I ate up all.

You can read about the owner Justin Bell here.  It’s interesting to know what he did in his life before opening this burger bar in Perth.

Fab Burgers

Same as Jus Burger, Fab Burgers offer burgers with ingredients that are mainly locally produced.  Wanneroo Burger (minced WA kangaroo steak with salad and relish) and Barra Burger (WA saltwater barramundi with salad and relish) are the examples.  There are two Fab Burgers restaurant: Subiaco and Hillarys, and I went to Subiaco this time.

We ordered a Chicken Burger with Brie and Cranberries, and a Wirrapanda Burger.  Wirrapanda Burger contains 100% Butterfield Beef patty, smokey barbecue sauce & salad.

I really loved the combination of chicken breast, brie cheese and juicy cranberries!  This burger also contained semi-dried tomato as well.  It was good.

The bun for burgers are like focaccia bread (at a glance it looked like a normal bun) and it was tasty.  The burgers were served on the plates with wooden skewers stabbed.  Presentation-wise, it didn’t look great compared with other two shops.

I don’t know which burger cafe I liked the best, but if someone asks me where to go, I would recommend Gourmet on Wray or Jus Burgers.

Edamame Stick

Posted June 4th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I used to eat this Edamame Stick at Izakaya in Japan.  Crunchy, and light snack that goes with any drinks inclduing beer 🙂

Edamame beans can be purchased at any Oriental Grocery shops, I think.  Refer here for the list of Oriental Grocery Shops around Perth that I usually shop.

This stick gets cooked very quickly, and go brown very quickly too.  So don’t just leave them in hot oil while cooking.

Enjoy while it’s hot and crispy!

<Edamame Age> serves 3~4

  • 200g edamame in pod, or 1 cup shelled edamame – frozen
  • 2 sheets spring roll paper (harumaki paper)
  • plain flour + water
  1. Shell edamame beans from pods.
  2. Cut a harumaki sheet horizontally into 4 strips.  With 2 sheet, you should have 8 strips.
  3. Line edamame beanss on the harumaki sheet.  Wet the edge of the sheet with flour+water mixture, and roll up.  Press the edge with finger so that it closes.  Repeat with the remaining edamame.
  4. Heat oil to 170 ℃.  Place harumaki roll, one at a time, into the oil while holding it straight.  Deep-fry both side.  Repeat with the remaining rolls.
  5. Serve immediately.  Sprinkle salt as you eat.

Grocery Shops in Perth

Posted June 3rd, 2010 in Perth WA | 28 Comments »

Due to the rapid foreign population growth of Perth, there are many Asian grocery shops around Perth and other surrounding suburbs.  There should be at least one shop near your house if you live within Metro area, although there are still only a few grocery shops down south: Mandurah Oriental Shop in Mandurah, Jacaranda Oriental Supermarket & Cynthia’s Asian Food Supply in Bunbury.

As I’m Japanese, I tend to go to grocery shops that sell many Japanese products.  Some Japanese products are made in Singapore, Taiwan, or elsewhere, but I try not to buy any Chinese-looking packaged foods even though the contents are Japanese food.  For example, “Japanese style mochi” but the package language is all Chinese and the production country is also China.  I’m still sensitive against China’s food safety (although China signed an agreement for establishing a cooperation mechanism on food safety (news))  … well, it’s almost impossible to not to buy any China products nowadays though.

Anyway, here are a list of Asian grocery shops that I often go to.

*** Updated here ***


<Emma’s Seafood YoungTofu>

They sell many varieties of Japanese food, including snacks, sweets, fish, icecream, condiments etc.  Ingredients for Oden can be bought from here.  It’s located in the heart of Northbridge, where other grocery shops and Asian butchers are gathered.

Address : 319 William St. Northbridge WA 6003
Phone : (08) 9228 8899
Open : 10:00 – 18:00 / 7 days
<Yee Seng Oriental Supermarket>
Well stocked up with fresh vegetables to canned varieties and frozen meats.  You can find basic Japanese food such as mirin, nori sheets, frozen burdock, frying fish roe, tofu etc etc as well as snacks and candies including dried cuttlefish to pickled plums candy.
Address : 36 Hulme Ct, Myaree WA 6154
Phone : (08) 9330 9096
Open : 7 days
<Hung Wei Supermart>
Varieties of food including vegetables and herbs.  The prices are reasonable.
Address : 3/333 Ranford Rd, Canning Vale, WA 6155
Phone : 08 9456 5080
Open : unknown
<Lion Oriental Food / Loi’s Eastern Supermarket>
Convenient locations : on Barrack street in Perth, and on Fitzgerald St, Northbridge.  Operated by the same owner, the Lion Oriental sells many Japanese food and liquor.
Address : 13 Fitzgerald Street, Northbridge Perth WA 6003
Phone : (08) 9228 9898
Open : 7 days
Address : 125 Barrack Street, Perth WA 6000
Phone : (08) 9325 2718
Open : 7 days
<Maruyu Perth>
A Japanese grocery and gadget shop.  All the staff are Japanese too.  As I walk inside the shop, I feel like I’m in Japan’s convenience store..   They sell snacks, Japanese food ingredients (curry roux etc), frozen vegetables and unagi, icecream, instant noodle, and some skin care and hair care products.  100 yen goods are also sold in store for $3.00 each.
Address : Shop 2-33 Barrack St, Perth WA 6000
Phone : (08) 9202 1764
Open : Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm
<Nippon Food Supplies Subiaco & Fremantle>
As an Japanese food importer, they sell lots of Japanese products in stores.  Fremantle shop sells some Japanese tableware including tea cup and chopsticks.
Address : 180 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco WA 6008
Phone : (08)9380-6783
Open : Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Sun: 11am-5pm
Address : 1/ 19 Collie St, Fremantle WA 6160
Phone : (08) 9336 6064
Open : 7 days
<Super Fuji>
A Japanese grocery shop in Victoria Park.  Friendly staff.  They do a rental service of Japanese drama/film DVD and Japanese song CDs in store as well.
They also operate a restaurant Sushi Station Fuji nearby.

Address :245 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park, WA 6100

Phone : (08) 9470 4402
Open : Monday – Saturday
*** Nippon Food Fremantle Shop and Super Fuji have been closed ***
*** Maruyu Perth is also closed for good ***

Cozy Afternoon

Posted June 2nd, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

Although the mornings and nights get really cold, the daytime is still pretty warm and I like hanging around at a cafe and having a little time for myself.

As I sat down at Fiorentina in Fremantle and ordered a glass of latte, I started to hear some Italian people talking.  Then  I remembered my friend’s blog writing about her trip to Europe last month.  She showed some photos of cafes there, and pastries and tartlets in a showcase looked so delicious.  I liked the atmosphere of those photos.

I like this cafe in Fremantle, although the sweets here are little too sweet to my taste, I enjoy the atmosphere.  I noticed their kitchen has been changed from my last visit.  There’re more staff working in the kitchen too.  I guess their business is well.

The other day I had lunch with friends at Vinh Hong in Northbridge. I was curious what’s Vietnamese coffee is, so I ordered one Vietnamese white coffee.

It was drip brew coffee mixed with condensed milk…  The taste was just like normal coffee with condensed milk.  I thought it has different aroma or some spiced added :p  Anyway, it was just as nice.

I didn’t like this Beef Brisket Noodle when I just came to Perth, but since sometime I realised how much I like beef.  I like the ethnic flavor of the soup and tender bits of beef.  It warms up chilled body 😀

By the way, I baked souffle cheese cake that I was talking at here.

It is very sponge-like, and very fluffy and soft.  Should I call it “cheese sponge” ? 🙂

Mr Hatoyama

Posted June 1st, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

Ummm… it seems that our Prime Minister is a little fashion icon in Japan!  I didn’t know Mr Hatoyama is such a fashionable man!

I’m sure his life isn’t that easy as a PM.  Wearing this colorful, vivid shirt gives me a positive, bright image of him, and Japan’s government somehow.

Shirtsmyway, an online shirt shop, has replicated the colourful shirt and named it “The Hatoyama Shirt”, and now offers US$500 apiece!  

“Prime Minister of Japan & Fashion Hero.”  According to the website, only 50 of the Special Limited Edition shirts will be made.