Cool Music Video from Japan

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

Genki Sudo was a Japanese mixed martial artist and a kickboxer in Tokyo, Japan.  After his retirement in December 2006 he proceeded his career to the music industry.  Below are some of his works – the song, the music, and the calligraphy are created by him.  There’s some weird movement and dancing, but I think they are really cool!

Daikon and Carrot Pickles (Namasu)

Posted September 29th, 2010 in Food | 1 Comment »

This dish is one of the Japanese new year food, but it is so easy to make and can be eaten as side dish and a bento item as well.  A great hashiyasume (“chopstick rester”).

With very simple ingredients, you can make this marinade in less than 5 minutes.  Namasu can be made with any ingredients –  uncooked (“nama”) vegetables and/or seafood.  I also like cucumber namasu, but this daikon and carrot namasu is the very standard namasu eaten in Japan.

<Daikon and Carrot Namasu>  makes a bowlful

  • 1/3 daikon radish (around 300g)
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Slice carrot and daikon very thinly.  You can use the slicer if you have.
  2. Place daikon, carrot and lemon rinds in a bowl, and sprinkle with salt.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix vinegar and sugar in another bowl.
  4. Squeeze out the liquid from daikon mixture, and marinate in the vinegar mixture.  Sprinkle sesame seeds.
* You can eat them straight away, but it tastes better if you marinate little longer in the fridge.

How I spent my Long Weekend..

Posted September 28th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

I didn’t do much in this weekend, but I could totally relax.  On the second day the cousin and her son couldn’t visit our house again, so we headed to South Fremantle to walk around the beach.

It was a great exercise for both of us.  We should do that more often…

At home I made some steamed buns with pork soboro.

The dough is very chewy.  It’s called “mushi-pan” in Japanese, and it normally contains sweet fillings such as sweet beans and sweet potatoes.  I love the chewy texture on mushi-pan (I used to buy them from convenience stores a lot).  I had some pork, so I thought I could make savoury mushi-pan rather than the sweet ones.

It didn’t taste like those Chinese style cha siu buns.  First of all, the bun is chewy.  My husband seemed not like it much .. :p

I will update the recipe some other time!  If you want to try making those…

Thanks to the weather, our tomatoes are booming in the garden!

Chilled tomatoes taste so great.  It cools down the hot body in summer.  Chilled tomato (hiyashi-tomato) is a typical Izakaya menu in Japan, it’s just sliced chilled tomato served with salt, but it’s just a great hashi-yasume ( “chopstick resters”).


Long Weekend – Lazy Day

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

It is a beautiful long weekend for Perth people!  The weather is perfect.  Is it summer already?  So warm and sunny.

I did lots of washing yesterday.  It’s time to put back our thick coats and jackets in the closet and pull out the summer clothes.

When I stepped outside, I realised the weed grew so fast in the last couple of days.  Our yard looks so … bushy.  I started weeding, but I couldn’t keep it up under this sun.  I almost got sunstroke.  There’re still some worms around my house so I didn’t want to go too deep into the garden.

Yesterday my husband’s cousin and her son from Hong Kong were supposed to come to our house, so I was tidying up the house whole morning.  I made cherry and walnut cake too, just in case they want to eat some snack.  But, she texted us that her son didn’t feel good and they went to hospital instead of visiting us.

I was kind of tired from the weeding and cleaning, so I laid down on the sofa until 2 pm, watching Sho-gun on tv.  It’s a long movie…  We decided to go outside a bit for shopping.

There were so many people gathering around the tv section at Myer watching the football final.  Even the shop staff.

His pitstop at Macdonald’s $2.00 burger.

That’s it.  It was my lazy day and I liked it.  I did almost nothing (except for those weeding and cleaning), and after we got home I laid down on the sofa again and started watching tv.  My husband cooked dinner for me – we had nacho night. 🙂


Tempura Soba

Posted September 25th, 2010 in Food | 7 Comments »

I sometimes get a craving for tempura soba.  The combination of crispy tempura and freshly boiled soba noodle in warm, sweet, soysauce-based dark soup.

In the area around my house (Shiga), we don’t eat soba much.  We eat udon more often.  In Japan, the type of food people eat is different depends on where you live.  For example, Western people (eg Kyoto) use white miso for miso soup, but Eastern people (eg Nagoya) use red miso.  Western people eat udon, but Eastern people eat soba.  It’s not always black and white, some Western people eat red miso and soba noodle too, of course, but it’s what we say in Japan.  In fact, my mum never cooked soba at home.  It was always udon.

But, in the New Year’s Eve, I sometimes felt like eating soba.  As we eat toshikoshi-soba (people in Japan eat soba noodle at midnight between New Years Eve and New Years Day), I sometimes asked my mum to prepare instant soba noodle.

I love this cup noodle soup…   It’s so shame that Australia doesn’t allow these noodle to be imported.  I just have to eat it in Japan.

Anyway, I made tempura soba the other day and it was really nice.

You can follow the recipe for crispy tempura here.

I made kakiage – tempura of mixed shredded vegetables.  It’s so easy to make!

Thinly slice onion and carrot (and chopped spring onion or shredded burdock roots if you want).  Coat with tempura batter, and drop into hot oil using two spoon to make a round shape.  Make it flat, so that the tempura get cooked through and crispy.

To see how to cook soba noodle, refer here.


  • 1.5cup water
  • 1 handful bonito flakes (about 10g)
  • 1 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
– how to make –
  1. Place water and bonito flakes in a small sauce pan.  Bring to the gentle simmer, and turn down the heat to low.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the bonito flake and keep the soup.  Return the soup to the pan, and add mirin and soy sauce.  Bring to the gentle simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
The oil from the crispy tempura gives the nice flavor to the soup (^-^).

Dinner Menu for Another 1 Week

Posted September 24th, 2010 in Food | 1 Comment »

I like cooking, and like thinking what to cook for dinner tonight.  I sometimes decide the dinner menu for the next few days in advance.  I may as well make a whole month of menu, print it out, and put in the fridge like my elementary school 🙂

If I write down the menu I can see the nutrition balance at glance, and can save some time thinking in front of the fridge what to cook tonight.  When I know what to cook I can start cooking straight away after coming home.

I had oden last night.  I started cooking the oden the other night and have been simmering in the slow cooker so that all the ingredients soak up the soup.  Dishes like this is a great way to clean up the left overs in the fridge.

I need to clean up the fridge within one week, as parents-in-laws are coming back to Perth soon.  While they are here, mum cooks everyday and there is no space for me to be in the kitchen.  She buys lots of grocery and cook everyday, so the fridge has to be almost empty :p

But I don’t worry.  I’ve made up a menu for the next 7 days already. 8)

Tonight, to clean up the cabbage I am making okonomiyaki!


Mail Delivery Failure

Posted September 23rd, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

It was two days ago that happened.  Suddenly I couldn’t send emails to my mum from my email account.  I could receive her emails saying “are you ok!?!?!?” “I have lost contact with you” “I’m going to Docomo now to get my mobile checked” etc, but the emails I sent all returned to me as “undelivered”!

I never had this problem before.  Yahoo Japan is weird.  There was no problem between my email account and other people including dad, bro and grandma, but just my mum couldn’t receive my emails.  (my grandma uses Docomo too, I think)

I sent an email from my gmail, and it was ok.  It must have had some kind or error between my Yahoo email account and her Docomo account?  We never know..

By the way I was alone last night.  My husband left home for a business meeting after picking me up from the work.  I knew he was going to come home late (he did come home late, around 1am), so I was going to enjoy my time alone.

I normally like spending time alone.  It’s the time I can totally relax and don’t need to worry about others.  I was going to relax, probably take shower then do some facial massage and wear facial mask, and look for a new hair style on the internet.  But, I thought I could do some food preparation for the dinner tomorrow, and started cooking.

First I made tuna sushi roll for his snack.  He’s been eating hosomaki (thin sushi rolls) with just cucumber or shredded carrot lately.  It’s a really unique thing because he used to hate vegetables before.  Last night, I made tuna rolls instead of cucumber or carrot so that he won’t get bored with the sushi rolls I make. 🙂

I wasn’t actually hungry last night, but when I was mixing the tuna with Japanese mayonnaise and a dash of soy sauce, the smell made me wants to eat tuna.  I decided to eat tuna salad.  I added mayonnaise to my salad – I didn’t eat mayonnaise often before, but now I’m concerned about my vitamin-D level and trying to eat fatty food a little.

Then, I made some Japanese style steamed cake in the oven.  And, cooked oden.

By the time the daikon, boiled eggs, tofu and potatoes started to look soft and all tasty, I realised it was already 9pm.  I was so tired…

I decided to stop cooking and take shower.  I sat down on the sofa in front of tv and then fell asleep…

It was my time alone.  I don’t think I could relax, but I could do some stuff that I can’t do while he is here (he doesn’t like me standing in the kitchen for too long at night) so I guess it was ok.


Hikone Castle Road

Posted September 22nd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

These are the photos I took while I was in Japan.  (I think it’s last year)

This city is Hikone, just next to my city in Shiga.  There are many historical buildings remain across Japan and you will find many temples and other buildings everywhere.  Hikone is one of the city which tries to remain the historical parts.

There is a road called “castle road” near the Hikone Castle, and all the buildings, including police station, and lights around the road are designed “old-looking”.  White wall and black roof.  Very famous tourist attraction place.

There are many shops including restaurants (where you can enjoy Ohmi wagu beef and other Shiga food), souvenir shops, cafes, and art shops on the Castle Road.  I heard that there is a new shop opened just recently – called “Mask Elementary School”.

What interests me is that the second floor of this shop is a cafe where they serve kyushoku-like food.  (I wrote about kyushoku here)  I love this type of places (>v<)!




The bread (above photo) is age-kinako-pan.  It’s a deep-fried bun, coated with kinako (sweet soy powder).  I know how high calorie it is, but It was my favorite kyushoku item. 🙂  They seem to have different coatings (including maccha and cocoa), and there are menu for age-kinako-pan parfait for 350 yen.  I will definitely try this place out on my next homecoming!

My Weekend

Posted September 20th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

I’ve been not to try to make any plan ahead for the weekends lately – just do whatever I feel like on the day, and I think it’s the best way to spend a relaxing weekend.

On Saturday we started the car engine around noon.  I bought a set of new quilt, pillows and sheet from Target the other day but I forgot to buy the quilt cover, so we headed to IKEA to buy a cover for the quilt.  

When we arrived at IKEA we noticed that they’re doing something near the entrance escalator.  $2.00 donation and you can get a copy of IKEA catalog with your photo!

Here is our 2010 IKEA catalog! 🙂  

After shopping, we headed to Scarborough beach.  We sat down at the stairs and watched the big waves.  At the beach the wind was little cold, but there’re people playing with water. I saw many lady bugs there.  I wanted to play with it (I can touch lady bugs) but they just ignored me and kept walking… 

My husband had a hotdog at IKEA, but we went to Jimmy Deans Diner in Scarborough to have burgers again.

A tall burger stacked with 150g beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo and tomato sauce.  

He ate with lots of extra sauce…  Mixture of BBQ sauce, chili sauce and American mustard.  I need to do something about his “sauce” addiction.  Too much is not good! 🙁

I like mustard, so I added heaps to my burger and ate it all up.  

… I didn’t have dinner on the day.  The big burger stayed in my tummy until Sunday morning.


My Wafu Breakfast

Posted September 19th, 2010 in Food | 1 Comment »

This morning I had wafu (Japanese style) breakfast!  Eating them slowly, while thinking what to do today, is my relaxing morning time 🙂

I love yukari rice. Yukari is a condiment to accompany hot plain steamed rice, made from salt pickled purple shiso leaves.  You can buy a packet of this from Asian Grocery shops (at the Japanese food section).  It tastes…  different from other furikake.  It’s kind of sour and salty.  I can just eat this rice everyday!  A combination of yukari rice and wakame (seaweed) soup was my everyday lunch at a yakiniku restaurant I used to work when I was a teenager in Japan.

Nimono – simmered vegetables dish – with daikon and Chinese cabbage.  Simmering in a soysauce-based soup.  The juice from daikon and Chinese cabbage makes the delicious broth.

Natto – Japanese fermented soybeans – is a typical dish for Japanese breakfast.  Eating it with a drop of minced ginger is my favorite these days.

And, miso soup.  It’s always good to have instant miso soup packets for whenever I don’t have time to cook 🙂

This is one of my favorite meal.  … To think about it, Japanese food is quite similar to a vegetarian diet.  None of them contain animal meat, and above is a common meal combination in Japan.  If you chose konbu-dashi (seaweed stock) for the miso soup and nimono, the above meal becomes vegan.

See, these foods are totally different from what you see at Japanese restaurants here.  We (Japanese) don’t eat teriyaki, donburi, tempura and sushi everyday.  These food I’m eating today is more like “home-cooking food” where you get to see when visiting grandma/pa house.  Young people like deep-fried food, meat, and Western style food, but I still like these grand-ma/pa type of food 🙂


Korean Style Nori Maki

Posted September 18th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I wanted to use up the brown rice that I had in the pantry, so I made Korean style rice rolls with nori sheet.  Korean cuisine is very similar to Japanese cuisine, but Korean nori maki doesn’t use vinegared rice – just normal steamed rice.  You can of course use white rice instead of brown rice.

What makes it Korean is also the ingredients – beef mince is a typical ingredient for Korean nori maki.  So are takuwan (yellow radish pickles), egg omelet, and burdock roots (gobo).  Normally, Korean seaweed (seasoned with salt) is used to roll the rice, but I used just normal Japanese nori sheet this time.

I seasoned the brown rice with sesame oil and salt, but you don’t need to do it if you prefer.

<Korean Nori Maki> makes 2 rolls

  • 2 nori sheet
  • 2 cups steamed rice
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 50g beef mince
  • 1/2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • white pepper to taste
  • 1/4 takuwan (yellow radish pickles (cut in lengthwise)
  • 1/4 cucumber (cut in lengthwise)
  • 2 tbs shredded carrot
  1. Heat a frying pan and cook beef mince without oil.  Season with soy sauce and sugar.  Cool down.  Set aside.
  2. Mix sesame oil and salt with the rice.
  3. Cut takuwan half in lengthwise.  Cut cucumber half in lengthwise.
  4. Spread 1 cup of rice into a nori sheet.  Arrange beef mince, takuwan, cucumber and shredded carrot.  Roll up.  Repeat.
  5. Cut, and serve immediately.
You can also add egg omelet, namul, kimche (Chinese cabbage), cheese etc etc as ingredients.  Create your own!
I like it spicy, so I dip it with gochujang 🙂

Friday ♪

Posted September 17th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

This morning I woke up with chicken porridge. (recipe)  Eating it with fried onion, lots of cut chili, and fresh celery leaves is my style 🙂  It would be better if I had more condiments, but I haven’t done grocery shopping lately…  Yap, I’m still waiting for my car.  

These days I haven’t been feeling like cooking.  I like cooking, but sometimes I feel lazy :p  Besides, my husband and I like totally different type of food!  I think I wrote about it before.

He loves meat, saucy food with strong seasoning (salt!).  I, on the other hand, like vegetables and seafood, very thin seasoning, and soupy food. I don’t like eating deep-fried stuff too much, and the food with too much sauce.

So, I sometimes cook two different food for dinner: one for me and one for him.  It‘s really troublesome (mendo-kusai) .

Today sister-in-low (the oldest one) is coming from Jakarta.  I’ve gotta go to the airport now!


Posted September 16th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »








Showcasing Japan’s Freshest Anime  

Posted September 14th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

Luna Palace in Leederville is screening 5 Japanese anime films for a limited 2 week season from 16/Sep/10 (Thu) ~ 29/Sep/10 (Wed).

“Reel Anime” is a anime festival held in Australia and New Zealand.  All the fils will be screening in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

These 5 films are:

Reel Anime 2010 has something for new and old fans of anime alike!
Luna Palace Leederville website / Coming Soon Films 
Reel Anime 2010 website

A Spring Day

Posted September 13th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

What a beautiful day!  I just went outside to check the mail, and realized the weather was my favorite one.  Sunny but not hot, and lovely spring breeze 🙂

Like this day, I used to go walking with my dog in Japan and sit down at the mountain, overlooking the hills.  I sometimes brought some snack and my drawing kit (I like drawing and painting).

It’s funny that people in Japan are saying it’s finally getting cool and they see dragonflies everywhere, and here in Perth I enjoy watching butterflies.

There is something I want to say out loud, but I don’t know…  Should I?  Some of the Umeboss viewers know about this already, but I actually haven’t told any of my friend yet!  

Delicious shots from Japan:

Miso ramen at Ramen Daigaku (one of the franchise ramen shops in Japan).  They use the miso from Hokkaido, and the locally grown pork to make char siu.  The cha siu is used in the cha-han (fried rice) too. Ummm looks delicious.

Funa zushi.  This sushi is one of the origins of sushi, and is a speciality food of Shiga!  Unlike other sushi, funa zushi is served anything but fresh.  The fish is fermented, and it smells like Roquefort cheese.  Very strong!  And, yes, it looks little gross…  the meat of funa (fresh water fish) is covered with white stuff.   But this food is considered as a gourmet food in Japan.  (although people in Shiga eat this sushi quite often, and is one of the food you see on the dining table at home).  Ha-Lu in  Mt Hawthorn used to have this funa zushi on their takeaway menu, but I don’t see it anymore so I guess they took it off the menu.

Bibimbap with Broccoli and Daikon

Posted September 12th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

My Korean friend gave me some  hund-made kimuche!  It tastes so fresh and delicious☆  I asked her for the recipe, and it sounds very simple.  Just need more ingredients than Japanese pickles.  I may try making different kinds of kimche at home sometime. 🙂

I made bibimbap with her kimche.

“Bibim” means “mix” in Korean, and as this name indicates this dish is eaten by mixing up all the ingredients.

There are basic ingredients to make bibimbap, but you can actually use any food.  I had broccoli and daikon in my fridge, so I added them to the bibimbap.  If you have some vegetables that have been sitting in the fridge and you want to use up, you can make bibimbap!

Adding bean shoots (as a standard ingredient) to bibimbap is my favorite, but I didn’t have bean shoot in the fridge.  If you are using bean shoot, refer my bean shoot, carrot and spring onion Namul recipe.

I used the leftover of hamburg , and made it chunky for the texture.  You can jut use minced beef for the recipe.  You can also use bulkogi for the topping of bibimbap.

<Bibimbap with broccoli and daikon> serves 2


  • around 200g beef mince
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • around 4 florets broccoli
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 pinch salt
  • around 10cm daikon radish
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • around 6 tbs kimche
  • 2 eggs
  • 400g steamed rice
  • gochujang (around 2 ~ 5 tbs)
  1. Beef: Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, and cook beef with garlic.  Season with sugar and soy sauce.  Set aside.
  2. Broccoli: Blanch broccoli and drop in a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process.  Drain well, and mix with garlic and salt.  Set aside.
  3. Daikon: Slice daikon 0.5 mm, then cut into 0.5 mm matchstick shape.  Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, and stir-fry daikon. Season with soy sauce.  Set aside.
  4. Fry egg to your liking.
  5. To serve: Divide rice into two serving bowls.  Top with beef, broccoli, daikon, kimche and fried egg.  Enjoy with gochujang!
More ingredients you add, tastier it becomes.  Spring onion and seaweed are great condiments for bibimbap too.

Ume’s Today

Posted September 11th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

This morning I went to see my doctor.  She called me up yesterday saying that she wanted to talk to me about my blood test.  I was so worried if something was wrong!

She said that Vitamin D level in my blood is quite low, and suggested I should take Vitamin D supplement.  The average level of Vitamin D level is 50 – 120, but mine was 40.  It’s not really a dangerous number, but if the number doesn’t change in future my body will have some problem, such as breakable bone.

You get Vitamin D from the Sunlight (natural Sunlight generates Vitamin D in your skin)  But, I don’t normally go outside in the Sun, especially in Perth, just to stay away from the UV and having skin problems.  If I do, I’d wear sunscreen or some jacket to cover the skin.  I actually haven’t been outside much since I started to work , around 15 years old.  That could be the reason..

After seeing doctor, we went to Emperor’s Kitchen in Leeming Shopping Forum to have Dim Sum.

There are things I always and only get when I go to have Dim Sum.  Fried squid, steamed prawn dumpling, chicken feet (if I’m with my husband), and ginger tripes (if I’m with my husband).  But this time, we were starving (probably from the worry I had since the doctor called me), so we ordered A LOT.  Perhaps we ate equal amount to what 4 or 5 people eat.  I ordered some vegetables too, just to help cleansing the oil in my body from those oily Dim Sum food.

The price was more expensive than the place we normally go to in Northbridge, but we were satisfied 🙂

Can you see this?  ….  maybe not :p  When we were at the house someone released tens of balloons to the sky!  There are many balloons … but by the time I grabbed the camera they’re too far already.

Happy weekend to everyone!

Japanese Rice Soup with Salmon (Salmon Zosui)

Posted September 9th, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

It’s stormy lately in Perth.  Very strong wind and cold rain.  Warm up your body with this Japanese rice soup with grilled salty salmon 🙂

Zosui is a Japanese rice soup made from pre-cooked rice and water.  There is a similar dish called okayu, but okayu is cooked from uncooked rice and to more watery consistency.

Grill the salmon first with seasonings.  The salmon looks so delicious at this point, but it will be added to the simmering rice soup.  Pre-cooked rice is simmered in dashi water with mushroom, then dried wakame, blanched spinach and chopped spring onion will be added.  Mushroom and wakame gives the flavor to the soup too.

<Salmon Zosui> serves 2


  • 200g salmon fillet (skinned and boned)
  • 1 tbs mirin and 1 pinch salt for seasoning salmon
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 5 cm konbu (dried seaweed sheet)
  • 2 dried shiitake mushroom
other ingredients:
  • 200g cooked rice, cold (I used brown rice)
  • 100g oyster mushroom
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 tbs dried cut wakame
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 ~ 1 tsp salt
  • chopped spring onion to garnish
  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt.  Line aluminium foil in a frying pan, and spray oil.  Heat the pan, and sear the salmon.  Brush with mirin both side while turning the salmon.
  2. Meanwhile, place water, konbu and shiitake in a heat-proof bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes.  Leave it for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the konbu and shiitake from dashi water.  Discard konbu.  Slice up shiitake mushroom.
  4. Place the dashi water in a cooking pot along with shiitake mushroom, oyster mushroom (stemmed, and roughly separated), sake and soy sauce.  Place on the stove and bring to the gentle boil.
  5. Add rice, and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Wash spinach and cut into 3 cm width.  Beat eggs in a bowl.  Roughly break the salmon meat.
  7. Add spinach, cut wakame, and salmon to the rice.  Season with salt.  Pour the egg mixture into the simmering rice soup.  Stir, and turn off the heat.
  8. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and serve with chilli powder (optional).

Birthday Dinner at Zushi Bento Ascot

Posted September 8th, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

Yesterday was my sister-in-law’s birthday!  We had a birthday cake on last Saturday night at her house, and went to Zushi Bento in Ascot for dinner last night.

I must say, I like the atmosphere of this place.  It’s an individual building, and it reminds me of family restaurants in Japan.  At the door several Japan-like stone statues welcomed us, and the interior of the restaurant was very tidy.  I loved the furniture and the water glass.  The space was wide, they’ve got around 13 tables, counters, and also ozashiki : tatami-matted room with horigotatsu (low, covered table placed over a hole in the floor of a Japanese-style room).  The toilets looked good too.

The food: we ordered Maki Delight (assorted rolled sushi), niku soba, and niku donburi.  Maki Delight contains 3 kinds of sushi rolls: robster, tuna and softshell crab.  They are all uramaki (nori sheet rolled inside)  

Robter roll was with avocado and little pieces of row robster meat mixed in mayonnaise, and the roll was covered with furikake (Japanese seasoning powder).  Tuna roll was tinned tuna mixed with mayonnaise.  This roll was topped with tenkasu (crunchy bits of deep fried flour-dough).  Softshell crab roll was deep-fried sofsshell crab, covered with tobiko (frying fish roe).

The beef on the niku soba and niku don was really tough.  And, the egg sauce on donburi was not enough: the dish was dry.  The soup of soba were little oily.  

Well, if I come here next time I will probably order just sushi.  I heard the dim sum is not nice too.  From the whole experience, the food was not great, but it was ok it’s average. The price was ok too.  The atmosphere of the place was great.

IKEA and Ho Fun

Posted September 7th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

We headed to IKEA last Saturday and had some light breakfast.  As IKEA’s hot breakfast is $1.95 at the moment, there was a long queue of people when we arrived.  This is “early bird” offer and only between 8 until 9 am on Saturdays.

On this year’s catalog, some products are cheaper than last year.  I bought a table and some little things for the house.  Oh, I bought a clock for the office. The one we had was around $40.00 from a stationery supplier and it broke after 1 week, but this $1.95 IKEA clock seems to be working fine.  

By the way I’m currently so into this game on my mobile and I can’t stop doing it.  I’m addicted..  Two nights ago I played this game in the bed for 5 hours!  My eyes… (>0<)  My eyesight became bad when I was little because of famicon, so I have to be careful!  I don’t want to get lasik again.

Like, the other day when I was waiting for my husband’s business meeting at their office, and I had nothing to do so started to playing game.  The meeting was going to be for no more than 30 minutes, but I ended up waiting for 2 hours.  My eyes were so tired!  And I was hungry.  We went to Vin Hong to have a quick lunch.

I had fried Ho Fun in egg gravy.  I love this dish, but I didn’t really like it at Vin Hong.  It tasted different from what I was looking for!  Where did I eat Ho Fun the first time?   I don’t remember, but it was so good and I loved it.  I had Ho Fun at Ten Ten Cafe the other night too, but it was little oily to me.  My ideal Ho Fun is not oily, and with lots of seafood and tasty, mild sauce.  Where is the best place to eat such Ho Fun dish in Perth?  I heard Penang in Northbridge was nice few years ago, but the owner seems to be changed and I don’t know now.

Fried Udon with Bacon, Broccoli and Mushroom (Yaki Udon)

Posted September 6th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

Yaki Udon (fried udon noodle) is normally cooked with thinly sliced pork, onion, carrot and bonito flake (similar to yakisoba), but I wanted to try something different.  The ingredient doesn’t have to be always same, right?

Crispy bacon and the garlicky sauce add unique flavor to the udon noodle.  Why not try making it tonight?

<Yaki Udon> serves 2

  • 200g udon noodle
  • 2 rashes of bacon
  • 1/2 onion, small
  • 4 florets broccoli
  • 100g oyster mushroom
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbs water
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • bonito flake (optional)
  1. Boil a pan of water and cook udon noodle.  Drain, and set aside.
  2. Slice onion and garlic.  Cut broccoli into small pieces.  Cut the stem from the mushroom and separate.  Trim bacon, and chop up.
  3. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a frying pan.  Fry bacon for 2 minutes.
  4. Add onion, garlic and mushroom.  Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli, then water to the pan.  Turn up the heat to high.  Loosen up the udon noodle under running water, drain, and add to the pan.
  6. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce.  Stir-fry until combined.
  7. Mix through the bonito flake, or garnish on top.
* Udon noodle sticks to the pan easily, so any liquid in the pan helps.

1 Year

Posted September 5th, 2010 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

Today is our wedding anniversary!  I can’t believe it’s been a year.

Although we didn’t plan what to do today much, it was going to be a great day for both of us.  …. “was”.   We were going to wake up at the same time, have breakfast together, and head to Down South for a drive and have a relaxing day.  I was also going to make cake yesterday, but I couldn’t.  We were out all day yesterday, and at night I can’t stay awake too long now.

The morning started as we planed.  We woke up together, and had breakfast and did bit of work at home.  We left home around late morning.

We head to Macadamia Nuts Farm in Rockingham first.   The weather was wonderful.

When we were driving to Mandurah, we started our argument.  It continued for few minutes, and then he stopped the car somewhere and went outside to smoke. Smoking is the only one thing that can calm him down.

After that he was little ok, but I wasn’t.  I was not angry, just didn’t want to talk.

We were already there anyway, so we went to the beach.

Just walked around a bit, and in the end we headed to home.

Umm….  we always have argument when we try to go somewhere.


Posted September 4th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Now I’ve seen many worms in the garden and garage in my house.  It sure is getting warmer!

Yet night time is still cold here and I can’t stand without blanket when watching tv.

Oh!  by the way, I finally received a new mobile (^0^).  I was using a mobile with cracked screen for over 1 month….

What happened??  … well, I dropped it. :p   Yes, I am a dropper.  This mobile was actually gift from my husband… I feel so guilty.  I was hiding it from him for few days, but he found out one night.

The reason why he bought this phone for me was because it’s supposed to have the strongest and shock-proof body.  He knew I was a dropper.   He showed me a YouTube video of a person who was explaining how strong the phone is.  She was demonstrating it by dropping the phone from 5m high, throwing it to the wall, and even trying to break with a hammer.   The phone didn’t break and there was noscratches.

Since he bought me this phone I actually have dropped it few times, but it didn’t break.   And, just few weeks ago I dropped it again then the screen panel cracked suddenly.  I guess it hit the weakest point…  I still feel sorry for my husband, I will keep this phone to remind myself for being such careless.

My new phone is, yes, iPhone 4.  I didn’t chose it because it’s popular.  I do like Apple products and I really think it’s very useful. Plus, I already know how to use it as I’ve been using my husband’s iPhone over a year.

It took about 2 weeks to get sent to me after placing an oder online.  Now I’m waiting for the free iPhone case to arrive.  (Apple iPhone case program)  I could only place the order for the case after receiving the phone.

There are 7 cases and bumper to chose from.

Now I just wait for my car to arrive.  (YES, I’M STILL WAITING.)


Baby Cosplay

Posted September 3rd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

Are you familiar with Japanese cartoon characters?  Bandai, a Japanese toy making and video game company as well as the producer of a large number of plastic model kits, is selling character featured baby rompers.

 ©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK   ©ダイナミック企画 ©バードスタジオ/集英社・フジテレビ・東映アニメーション

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK   ©ダイナミック企画 ©バードスタジオ/集英社・フジテレビ・東映アニメーション

From top left: Devil Man, Dorami chan, Doraemon, Ultra Seven, Ultra Man.  From bottom left: Dragon Ball, shocker, Kamen Rider, Go-ranger (red), and Go-ranger (pink).

They also sell baby bibs in Japanese characters.

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK

©石森プロ・東映 ©円谷プロ ©藤子プロ・小学館・テレビ朝日・シンエイ・ADK

So cute..!  I personally like Doraemon (>v<)

Fried Salmon in Dark Vinegar Glaze (Salmon Nanban)

Posted September 2nd, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I used to buy white fish Nanban (deep-fried white fish in Nanban sauce) from deli in supermarkets.  It’s vinegary sauce whips the appetite, and the sweetness of the sauce and the onion are best match with steamed rice.

I made this dish with salmon instead of white fish.  The white fish we eat in Japan are different from those in supermarkets here.  You can make this recipe with any white fish, but I thought I’d try it with salmon.  I’m sure you can get the fish (that we eat in Japan) from some shops here too, but I believe almost everyone loves salmon and it’s easy to get from anywhere.

<Salmon Nanban>  serves 2

  • 125g x 2 Salmon Fillet
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 red chili, small (optional)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 5 tbs vinegar
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tbs corn flour + 1/2 tbs plain flour to dust
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 1 tsp corn flour + 1 tsp water
  1. Slice onion and carrot thinly.  Chop chili.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, and fry onion and carrot.  Add chili.
  3. Add the sauces to the pan, and bring to boil.  Pour corn flour + water mixture into the pan, while stirring.  Simmer for 1 minutes, and remove from the heat.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  5. Slice salmon into 1 cm thick pieces.  Dust with corn flour + plain flour, shake off any excess.  Deep-fry until golden and crispy.
  6. Drain any excess oil, and immerse into the sauce (at stage 3)
  7. To serve: Arrange the salmon in a serving plate, and pour over the onion, carrot and sauce.  Best to be served with steamed rice.
* Check out Chicken Nanban recipe → here

Bra Recycle

Posted September 1st, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Bra has been a fashionable item across the world –  there are many cute looking bras in different shapes and different colours.  But, what can you do with your old bras when you are not wearing them?

Did you know that bras are actually the most highly sought after item for women in developing countries?  They are technically difficult to make in the developing world, therefore bras are valuable to women in those area.

There have been campaign for bra recycling in the past by Wacol or Oxfarm, but in the months of September and October, Berlei is setting up bra recycling bins in Myer stores Australia wide to give you the opportunity to help deserving women have access to a basic necessity.

If you have any unused bras at home, simply donate them at the  Berlei Recycle bins in Myer.  You will be helping to reduce landfill and create jobs in developing nations.  And, for every 10 bras recycled, $1 will be donated to BCNA (Breast Cancer Network Australia).