Food I Eat and Don’t Eat in Perth

Posted October 31st, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | 4 Comments »

It seems that I keep going to the same restaurants over and over here.  When I go to a Japanese restaurant to eat out in Perth, deciding “where to go” is based on the price – not the food itself anymore.  The reasons are because the food (Japanese food) is very pricy here, I’m not a fussy eater, and I know I can get better food at cheaper price in Japan.

Some Japanese restaurants serve food at the price which I don’t think it matches with its food.  For example, I wouldn’t pay $9.00 or $10.00 (around ¥700~¥800) in Japan on a donburi with just a few meat and no garnish etc.  To me, the food looks like the one you can just get from a chilled section in a convenience store at ¥298 (around AUD$3.80)

So, if my friends or in-laws wants to eat Japanese food in Perth, we end up going to the Japanese restaurants at the reasonable pricing – so that we can still have fun without spending hundreds.

The food I like eating in Perth is Asian food (except Japanese and Korean).  Malaysian, Singapore, Thai, Vietnamese etc… those are the food I can’t eat when I’m in Japan.  There are many Asian restaurants in Japan, but most of them converted the menu to suit Japanese people’s tongues.  As there are many Asian people living in Perth, the foods are similar to the ones in their country.  (I’m sure the food in the country of origin tastes much much better and cheaper though)

Shiki Group (Zushi Bento and Edo Shiki), Matsu Sushi, O’Ba-san, Taka’s Kitchen, etc.  They are all low-priced Japanese restaurants, and they have at least 3 shops across Perth.  The business seem to be going well, so it means that many people actually prefer going to have a casual dining experience at inexpensive restaurants more often.  Of course people may like going to an expensive restaurant to enjoy the atmosphere and the food occasionally, but we can’t do that all the time (unless you have lots of money to spare).

I’m the type of person who can survive with cheap foods (of course there is a limit!).  Oh, but the Japanese people who live here temporary (business people) tends to like Ha-Lu, Satsuki and Restaurant Jun.  I do like the food there too, the chefs are Japanese and the foods are much similar to our normal Japanese food.


(laksa photo from Google)

Petit Parfait and Baby Book

Posted October 29th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 2 Comments »

I had lots of leftover fruits and cream from the big birthday cake I made (post), so when my friends came to the house I made this petit parfait using those leftover.

The components are all the same: sponge cake, cream and fruits (minus the glaze).  The cream had been whipped to the decoration stage (quite hard) already, so I just squeezed out through my piping bag. 

In the afternoon, I started to work on my project: making a baby book!

Actually I was going to buy one from a shop and looked through Myer, Kiki-k, Newsagency etc including online shops, but they all sell similar looking ones with similar contents.  And, they contain some pages which I won’t use (such as “what was the news headline when the baby was born”).  I prefer putting lots of ultrasound photos, and write down little notes of what I felt, did and what the baby did each day.

So, I bought a scrap book album so that I could put photos and memo anywhere I want in the page.   It’s easy to arrange, and I can make it a whole page with just photos, or one page with a photo and the memo describing the photo.

Little notes in both English and Japanese….


Cheap Flight

Posted October 28th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I’m subscribed to many airline newsletters and sometimes receive very cheap flight deals.  It’s very exciting when you find a very cheap airfare and start to plan your holiday!

My friend recently booked a return flight from Perth to Haneda, Tokyo.  Haneda Airport has been the main domestic airport for Tokyo, however, it completed a new runway and international terminal building in October 2010 and started handling an increased number of international flights. (an interesting blog about Haneda’s New International Terminal →

A flight from Eastern states to Japan is much cheaper than from Perth to Japan.  And, as my house is in Western side of Japan (near Kyoto), the closest airport is Kansai (KIX) or Centrair (NGO) but there is no direct flight from Perth to neither KIX nor NGO.  So, I need to transit somewhere on the way.

Perth → Another City in Australia → Osaka

Perth → Another Country → Osaka

Perth → Tokyo → Osaka

The cheapest option is great, but I also don’t want to transit many times, especially with a bub.  I don’t know if it’s better to fly to Tokyo first then take a Shinkansen (a bullet train) to my house. (transit in Japan)  Actually, Shinkansen stops at the train station near my house (just 10 minutes by car) so my family doesn’t need to drive for 2 hours to KIX (even though they enjoy the drive) to pick us up.  I feel safer transiting in my own country too.  However, I don’t want to imagine the crowd in Tokyo and the travel from airport to Tokyo JR station to catch a Shinkansen…

Hmmm, I will need to search more to find out which way is the easiest and the cheap option for us to travel.  


Daiso is Here!

Posted October 27th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 12 Comments »

Daiso, the multi-billion dollar Japanese Phenomenon, has arrived in Australia.  Last year the chain was declared the 10th fastest growing retailer in the world.

<I wrote about Daiso at here (Japan), here (Jakarta), and here (Japan)>

From potholders to pencils, lollies to locks, there are so many variety of items sold at Daiso.  I’m sure many of you have been to Daiso if you live or have been to one of the countries which has Daiso shop.  There are 24 countries which have already embraced Daiso, and Australia is number 25!  The first city to host this latest overseas raider is Melbourne.

Daiso is known as the 100 yen store in Japan, but in Melbourne every item is priced the same – just $2.80.

“Eyeliners, mascaras – they’ve won an award in Japan, the mascara, so that’s how good the quality is,” Store Director, Ms Hii said. (from Today Tonight)

The chain is set to snap up retail space all over the country and is determined to become a household name.  I really hope they open up a shop in Perth sometime soon (really soon!!).

The Australia’s first Daiso store in Melbourne open this Thursday, at 9AM.

Shop 23 313 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
[email protected] or visit


What is Booming in Japan Now?

Posted October 26th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

It’s almost the end of October…  If you don’t carefully watch the calender every day, you’ll be surprised how fast the time flies.  

October –  November is middle of Autumn in Japan.  What comes to your head when you hear the words “Autumn” and “Japan”?   Beautiful trees dressed in red, orange and yellow leaves?  Cold air that you feel on your cheeks? In my case, it is food that comes first to my head.

There are so many Autumn food in Japan to list, but the king of Autumn food would be this: Matsutake mushroom.  Matsutake mushroom are harvested between the end of September and the end of October, and they are quite pricy.  (especially the ones harvested within Japan)

The Matsutake harvested within Japan costs around 5000 yen each.  Others (those imported from China or Korea) costs around 1000 yen each. Why are they so expensive compared with other mushrooms?  It’s because they are difficult to be cultivated by human hands.  How Matsutake grows (how they get the nutrition) is different from other mushrooms.

Autumns is called “eating season” in Japan.  You will see many fliers and advertisements of foods at train stations, streets, on tv etc.  People head to grape, nashi pear, chestnut and sweet potato farms to get all-you-can eat harvesting experience (customer pays around $2000 per head and harvest the fruits from the farm as much as you can, and eat them at the farm), and travel around Japan to enjoy the remote area’s speciality food.  Short trip and day trip are the boom around this season. The purpose of the trip is, of course, to eat delicious food at ryokan (Japanese style hotel) or restaurants.

The most popular food people seek is a course menu of Matsutake mushroom.

Grilled, row (as sashimi), deep-fried (tempura), steamed (with rice as Matsutake rice), and poached (in chawan-muchi) are the common dishes in a course menu.  My dad emailed me the other day saying that he went to Shigaraki (a town in Shiga, famous for Shigaraki Ware) to eat all-you-can-eat Matsutake food!!  All-you-can-eat….  I’m sure I can eat at least 50 Matsutake!  (I’ve never eaten Matsutake before, I think) Dad said the place does the all-you-can-eat Matsutake each year around this time.  It’s another reason to go back to Japan next Autumn!  😀

Baby Goods, Markets and Popcorn

Posted October 25th, 2010 in Perth WA | 4 Comments »

Ummm I’m little exhausted… Exhausted from searching all the information related to the baby, and also making a list of what I need to prepare before the birth.  I think these things are never too early to be sorted out.  (and if I don’t do it now I may forget to do it later)

Luckily, my sister-in-low was about to give away or sell all the baby goods (eg: changing table, baby wraps, bottle sterilizer, un-opened box of breast pads, heaps of towels etc) that had been in her shed for 3 years, so I could take whatever I think we need for our Jr.  This helps us a lot!

When I went to her house to pick up the stuff (only what I could fit in my car), she gave me a half a bag of popcorn that she got from Canning Vale Market …  

She was telling me about this popcorn the other day.  She said it tastes salty and sweet at the same time, and very delicious.  When I munched on it, it was so nice that I couldn’t stop eating.   It’s very addictive.  It does taste salty, and sweet!

On the same day, we headed to Spud Shed in Jandakot.  It’s newly opened, and open 7 days, from 7am to 9pm!

Oh my gosh… there were soooo many people (maybe because it was Sunday afternoon).  And, the shopping cart was so huge (I couldn’t reach the bottom of the cart as it was too deep) :p

As I had heard, things were pretty cheap.  For example, potatoes ¢29/kg, carrot  ¢68/kg, Chinese vegetables ¢70 (?)/each, apple ¢99/kg, chicken breast $9.00/kg, frozen corn ¢99/kg etc etc.  It’s like a supermarket (one building) and they also sell other things such as snacks, drinks, ice cream, frozen seafood etc.  

Many people were gathering around the meat section.  You can buy a big chunk of meat (the size of those used in the restaurants) at cheap rate.

This place is not too far from my house, so I will be going back there often, I think.

630 Karel Avenue, Jandakot (Airport)

Green Beans in Sesame Dressing (Ingen Goma Ae)

Posted October 23rd, 2010 in Food | 5 Comments »

One of my favorite side dish.  The aroma of roasted sesame seeds are so tempting.  

If you have a suribachi (a Japanese grinding-bowl) it’s best to grind the sesame seeds.  I used normal mortar and pestle.  Or, you can simply use a blender to do the job 🙂

Mix with other sauce together.  The oil from the sesame seeds has the distinctive nutty smell.

When you blanch the beans, make sure you don’t overcook them.  Leave the crunchy texture to the beans and you can enjoy the juicy crisp beans in sesame dressing.

<Ingen Goma Ae> serves 4 as an entree


  • 200g green beans
  • 30g white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp sake (cooking wine)
  1. Heat a clean dry frying pan over medium heat.  Add sesame seeds and shake the pan so that they spread to form a even layer.
  2. Cook until they become light brown color and produce the nutty smell.  Shake the pan or stir with a wooden spoon to avoid them from burning as you cook.  Remove from the heat, and place the seeds in a mortar.
  3. While the seeds are hot, grind to form a paste.  You don’t need to grind finely if you want to enjoy the texture of the seeds.
  4. Add miso, sugar, soy sauce and sake, and mix together.
  5. Boil a medium pan of water to a boil.  Blanch beans for 30 seconds, or until just cooked but still crunchy.
  6. Drain, and add to the sesame sauce.  Combine together.

You can also use other vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli.


Ultrasound Screening

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 6 Comments »

Although I can feel the baby’s movement, I still get nervous before the ultrasound screening.  Is he really ok?  Maybe the movement I felt was just a movement of my own belly…

I hear some horrible news about still birth.  I know I worry too much (my mum say that too), but I can’t help it (><)

At the ultrasound screening, however, Jr shows his healthy appearance.  Then I feel relieved.

At my recent ultrasound, I could hear the heart beating and observe the long legs and arms.  The Sonographer tried to take a clear picture of the baby’s face, but he kept hiding it with two hands!  As if he was too shy to show the face to the camera.

Other than the face I could see his hands and legs very clearly.  He was showing his hand to the camera as if he was saying “Stop! Stop trying to take photo of my face!”.


Happy 55th Birthday!

Posted October 21st, 2010 in Bagelier Bagel | 10 Comments »

This week I received an order for a big birthday cake.  I like decorating a cake, but it’s always gives me a stress…  I worry too many things – the fruits may become soggy (although I dry the fruits very well before arranging on the cake), I may fell down the stairs and the cake gets ruined, etc.  Yes, I had a nightmare the day before delivery date.  A dream about a ruined cake.

I set alarm at 6 am in the morning, even though the delivery time was around 12 pm.  I just didn’t want to oversleep because this cake was for someone’s birthday.  The person who placed the order was a Japanese lady, and she said she wanted to surprise her husband with a Japanese-style fruits cake and celebrate his 55th birthday at his office in the city.

I baked a sponge cake the day before, and decorated just before delivery.  I wanted to add some fresh blueberries too, but the shop I went to didn’t have blueberries.  I only had 1 day notice for this order, so it was quite a rush…

I used lots of strawberries, kiwis, oranges, peaches and cherries. There is a layer of fruits in the centre too, and the bottom of the cake is covered with roasted almonds.

In the end cake was delivered to the lady safely.  Thank god….!

Delivering a cake is such difficult job.  I just have to hold onto the box while driving.  I wonder how people deliver the huge wedding cake…


Broccoli Aemono (Dressed Side Dish)

Posted October 20th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

When you want something to add to your main meal when you are having Japanese food, this broccoli aemono is an option. Aemono simply means “mixed with seasoning”, and it is usually served as a side dish.

This is simply dressed with bonito flakes and soy sauce.  You can of course use other vegetables, such as spinach, green beans, bean shoots, and okura.

<Broccoli Aemono> serves 4 as a side

  • 8~10 florets broccoli
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 5g katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
  • 1 tbs roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Trim stems from the broccoli.  Cut the florets into small uniform pieces.
  2. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water.
  3. Blanch the broccoli florets for 30 seconds, or until just tender but still crunchy.  Quickly transfer to the ice water to refresh.  Once they are cooled, remove from the water and drain well.
  4. Place broccoli in a bowl and add soy sauce, bonito flakes and sesame seeds.  Mix through.
  5. Evenly divide the dressed broccoli into 4 small plates.

Unagi Donburi

Posted October 19th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Unagi donburi on a hot day!  Unagi gives you stamina, and contains some essential vitamins and iron.

I have never made unagi kabayaki by myself.  Even in Japan people normally just go to a supermarket or some special shop to buy it.  I have made a resemble dish with sardine before, and it was not bad.  Fresh eel is such difficult to get. Besides, they look like snake, so I don’t think I can handle cooking them!

So, when I make unagi donburi I normally buy the ready-made unagi kabayaki from Asian grocery shops.  Most of the time it comes with a pack of sauce, but if not I buy a bottle of sauce unagi-kabayaki-no-tare separately.

Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Place a pack of unagi (unopened) into the water and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the plastic packaging, cut the unagi meat, and then arrange on top of steamed rice.

I like red ginger as an accompaniment to unagi.  The ginger kills the smell of unagi, and also it makes the after-taste refreshing.

Sento – Japan’s Public Bath

Posted October 18th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

What I really missed this weekend was sento and onsen. I’d been wanting to wash my car (as it was already dusty when I picked it up from the dealer) and I finally had the chance to do it on Sunday.  I didn’t have any plan going out, so stayed home doing some cooking and cleaning.  Then, I spent my whole afternoon washing my car (and in-law’s car) in the yard.

It was pretty hot day and the sun beam was strong.  After washing and waxing the two cars, I was exhausted and sweating – all I could think of was taking a bath!

If I was in Japan, I would fill up the bath tub in the house and enjoy the early bath time, or head to the nearest sento. I used to go to sento often with my friends and stay there for hours.  (Read my last sento experience in Japan → sento)

Usually sento has several types of baths, including indoor and outdoor, jet bath, separated bath with different types of water, and also a bath of cold water to refresh.  My friend and I usually start with normal baths, then go outside to cool down a bit, enjoy the bath outside, then go back inside and enjoy another bath, then go to sauna room to sweat out, and take another bath before leaving.

After drying the body and getting dressed, we normally proceed to either relaxing room or dining room.

Most sento has massage chairs, and possibly napping room.  The floor of the room is tatami-matted, and people can just lye down and relax, cool down the body after taking hot baths.

The dining place inside sento is usually like izakaya.  It’s because people normally want to drink alcohol after taking bath.  The place is cozy, and anyone including family with kids can enjoy the food there.

It’s the best if your house is very close to the sento, as you will feel so sleepy after taking hot bath and eating the delicious food.

I do miss Yufuin onsen…  I wish I could go back to the quiet ryokan surrounded by only the nature.

(Read my trip to Yufuin in Kyushu Island, Japan in 2009 → 1, 2, 3, 4)


My Appetite and a Parcel from Japan

Posted October 15th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

Around Week 16, the morning sickness started to disappear and my big appetite came back.  Well, I didn’t have heavy morning sickness anyway.  It was more like “night sickness” as most of the bad stuff (tiredness, nausea, excessive sleepiness, etc) hit me after evening.

From Week 16, I could start enjoying the food again.  I often thought about what to eat for dinner during the day (yes, I really love eating), and I could eat out for almost anything.  But, around Week 18 I started to feel sick again and didn’t feel like eating anything.  All I could do in the evening was lying down on the sofa and stay still.  Is this normal?  Does morning sickness sometimes come back during the second and third trimester?

Anyway, I felt really sick until yesterday, but today I feel pretty good.  When I feel good, what I do is eat….  You will be surprised if you hear how much I eat now!  … 2 serves of Indian curry, and I still felt hungry so I had another bowl of rice with Japanese tinned fish and simmered vegetables. Afterwards I was munching on crackers until lunch.  … yes, it was my breakfast.

Another day, my husband and I bought fried chicken and chips (I know it’s not a healthy food but I had a craving for the fried stuff), and I finished mine very quickly and wasn’t satisfied at all.  I think I can eat a whole bird myself now.  

I really think it’s too much food to eat.  Should I try to control myself?  My weight, however, seems to be steady and I just put on 2 kg compared to when I was not pregnant.  

Oh, the tinned fish I mentioned above, it was from my mum!  I just received a parcel from my brother few days ago 🙂

I bought some maternity stuff from Japanese online shops, and I asked mum to put some food into the parcel and send here together.

These tinned fish are pretty expensive if you buy from Asian grocery shop here.  I personally like saba no misoni (simmered mackerel in miso) 😀

Some maternity pants, belts and bra.  Things are much cheaper to buy in Japan..


Canapes with Miso Jam (Torimiso)

Posted October 14th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

Grilled vegetables, boiled eggs, and fresh silken tofu topped with miso jam with chicken mince.

It is a great party item or as a accompaniment to any alcohol!  It also goes with hot steamed rice. 😀

Today I used zucchini, boiled eggs and tofu, but you can basically use any vegetables, such as broccoli, daikon radish, or even Chinese cabbage leaves.  Anything goes with this tori-miso jam.

<Torimiso with Vegetables and Tofu> serves 2~4

  • 100g chicken mince
  • 50g red miso paste
  • 30g sugar
  • 1.5 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pack silken tofu (around 300~500g)
  • sesame seeds and spring onion to garnish
  1. Place chicken mince and sake in a small sauce pan, and turn on the heat.  Over low heat, cook chicken while stirling with silicon spatula.  Add sugar and miso paste, and stir until the miso mixture starts to look shiny and smooth.  Be careful, miso easily gets burned.   Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. Make boiled eggs.  Slice into half, or quoter.
  3. Slice zucchini, and grill until just cooked through.
  4. Cut tofu into bite size.
  5. Arrange zucchini, eggs and tofu on a serving plate.  Top with miso mixture, and garnish with chopped spring onion or sesame seeds.

Bento and Antique Shopping

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

Last week I packed a o-bento and headed to a park with my husband.


We didn’t really make destination, but ended up going to Lake Mongar area.  It was such a beautiful day, and we sat down on the grass and enjoyed the view of the lake and many birds.

I didn’t have any ingredient for bento at home, so I just made onigiri (rice balls), dashimaki (omelet), horenso-ohitashi (seasoned spinach), naruto (fish cake), and hijiki-no-nimono (seasoned hijiki seaweed).  If I had more time, I wanted to make some meat dish for my husband (karaage or meatballs) and other food.   🙁

After lunch, we went to Mt Lawley area to shop at antique shops we saw from the car the other day.  There’re few antique shops on Beaufort street.

There’re some interesting things at the shops, but some of them are quite pricy.  But, at one shop, we found some antique gadget at reasonable prices.  They are plates, kitchenware, and some ornaments.  I bought one little vase at $2.00 (it was made in Japan!), and my husband bought an antique Kodak camera.

It was pretty dusty when we bought it, but he cleaned it up and polished the leather area.  This camera was made in 1960s (?) and no longer works, but it looks good as an ornament.  


Photos from Shiga -2-

Posted October 12th, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

I received some delicious photos from Shiga, Japan again.  I know there are millions of restaurants across Japan, and some people may wonder why I bother posting those photos from such a small restaurant in Shiga.  I just had to show these photos here, as I love this type of small individual restaurants serving natural, delicious, home-cooking style of food.  The restaurant is located in the hill, in Northern Shiga around the mountains.  During winter people from other prefectures gather around to this area for skiing.

A small “pit-stop” looking restaurant (shokudo).

The curry is made from various fruits and vegetables, and it has a distinct sweetness with spiciness from the hidden spices.  The rice is a blend of black rice, red rice, green rice and some other ancient rice which are locally harvested each year in Shiga.  It has the different texture and taste from those in normal white rice.  A set of curry, rice and salad is 700 yen.

Nishin Soba – soba noodle in hearty warm soup with nishin (a kind of fish).  Is this a Shiga’s speciality food?  I see this dish everywhere in Shiga.

A set of soba noodle (cold) with dipping sauce and crispy tempura.

The five kinds of rice they use for their menu contain more vitamins and minerals than white rice or brown rice.  I would like to try it out someday 🙂


Baking, Window Shopping, and Reading

Posted October 11th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

It was another relaxing weekend for me.  The Saturday was hot, I didn’t need to wear a jacket and I saw many people enjoying the marine sports at the Swan River from freeway.

I had many banana left which were starting to have black spots, so I used them all up to bake banana bread.  It turned out to be good, I could smell the delicious cinnamon from the oven while baking.

Just after I took it out from the oven, one of my sister-in-low and her husband visited our house.  They just came back from Dubai and gave me this souvenir from Daiso which I’ve asked them to buy for me.

Wood clips.  I actually wanted a simple one (like the one Kiki-K sells), but they said that’s all they could find at Daiso.  

The left wooden clip got a motif of chef, because they know I like cooking 🙂  and, I can probably take of the rings from the wooden clips (centre on the photo) to use for papers and notebooks.

I gave them a half of the banana bread as a “thank you”, and I brought another half to another sister-in-low.  Last week she gave us tuna bake for dinner (she said she cooked too much) and it was delicious.  This banana cake was a “thank you” for the tuna bake.

Then, we headed to Subiaco.  There wasn’t anything particularly we wanted to do in Subi, but just wanted to walk around and do window-shopping.

We walked into Henry Hiccup – a toy shops for kids.  We loved the image of the shop and the product range.  

We sat down at Oriel cafe to have a cup of drink.

It was a pretty windy day, so we sat down on a couch inside.  He ordered flat white, I had fresh OJ, and a pecan tartlet to share.

At the cafe we talked about many things – this is one of the reason why we go out for a cup of coffee sometimes.  We can talk more things outside compared to when we stay at home.

After the pit-stop, we went to Borders to get inspiration from the books, and stayed there until late.   In the end of the day I was tired, but it was a good day.

Miso Hamburg Steak

Posted October 9th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

One day I was thinking about hamburg family restaurants in Japan – Big Boy, Bikkuri Donkey, etc…  Although I’m not really a meat person, I sometime got a craving for a juicy delicious hamburg steak.  Besides, family restaurant was like my nest when I was a teen. 😀

If you want to try Japanese hamburg steak restaurant, try Bikkuri Donkey!  I love the food, and also the atmosphere there.

The other day, I wanted to eat like the hamburg steak plate that you can get from family restaurants.  Hamburg steak, rice, salad, all in one plate.

I mixed miso paste to the mince mixture to add extra flavor.  The patty was soft and fluffy, and it smelled delicious.

With fried egg and special sauce.  Add a cup of soup to make it a perfect “hamburg steak lunch plate”!

<Miso Hamburg Steak> serves 2

  • 300g mince (I used 50% beef and 50% pork)
  • 1 onion, medium
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2tbs breadcrumb
  • 1 tbs miso
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 100cc white wine
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1tbs tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Chop onion finely.  In a mixing bowl, mix the mince, onion, egg, nutmeg, breadcrumb, miso and milk together until well combined.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into an uniformed-size balls, and flatten the centre to make them into patties.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan.  Place the patties and cook over medium-high heat until the bottom side is nicely colored.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat, and pour the white wine around.  Flip the patties, and place a lid.  Cook until the patties are cooked.
  4. Mix the ingredients from “sauce”.
  5. Serve the hamburg on a plate along with the sauce.

My Thought about Japan and Australia – Pregnancy

Posted October 8th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 4 Comments »

I think my belly is getting bigger and bigger.  All my college don’t know that I am pregnant, so they must be thinking “oh… she put on lots of weight!”.  As it’s getting warmer here, I’m wearing just 3/4 sleeve T-shirt and it shows my body shape too well.  I’m wrapping my thin hoodie around my belly, but is it time to tell them that I am pregnant?  Or maybe I just wait until they figure out…

I read many articles and magazines about pregnancy, both Australian (Western) and Japanese.   Some of the things they say are the same, but some are totally different.  I also found that the treatment you get at hospital (or by doctor ) here in Australia is different from what you get in Japan.

Japanese pregnant women seems to be super careful about their pregnancy – if they notice something different they run to the doctor immediately to seek the advice and treatment.  But here in Perth, pregnant women seems to be more self-controlled and prepared.  The doctor here seems to be doing less compared to the doctors in Japan – this doesn’t mean that the doctors here is not as good as those in Japan.  I agree that we shouldn’t be totally depend on the doctors.  

But, I have something that keeps staying in my head for almost 1 year.  When I started bleeding during my first pregnancy, I run to an emergency hospital near my house.  I waited for a doctor for 12 hours there (true story), and when doctor came to me she just said “I’m sorry, but you seem to be having a miscarriage”.  The doctor didn’t even touch my body – she just asked me a couple of questions, “are you still bleeding?” “How badly are you bleeding?”.  That’s it, and I left the hospital.  

No advice, no medicine were given.  Maybe there was nothing they could do to stop the bleeding.  But, I had no idea what I should be doing: the doctor said that I’m having miscarriage, so is it over?  Or do I still have a chance?  I didn’t know, and  I went back to work on next day – still bleeding.

If it was in Japan, the doctor would have said “stay in the bed, and don’t move around.”.  Some pregnant women bleed, and it is not a good sign.  In Japan you’ll be forced to stay laying down on the bed (only get up when you go to toilet or take shower) and wait for doctor’s next advice.  Some pregnant women get out from the danger of having miscarriage after the doctor’s treatment.

I didn’t know about it that time.  I had to go get blood test, ultrasound, and go back to the hospital few times. At the hospital nurses just kept asking me “are you still bleeding?”.  Few days later (bleeding everyday and working everyday), my miscarriage was confirmed. 

So, to think about it, my first pregnancy could be saved..?  I don’t know if I should be thinking about it now as I’m carrying another baby here, but it just keeps staying in my head.  If I was in Japan, would she/he be saved?

Now, here is the ultrasound photo taken at my 11th week (the first ultrasound screening).  I like this photo because the baby is kicking the leg to the air and I can see the tiny leg.  🙂

I saw the baby in 3D at the second ultrasound screening, and at the third screening my baby was looking much bigger.   According to the baby watcher app, the baby is about the size of a sweet potato at the moment !

Ghost Street, Kyoto Japan

Posted October 7th, 2010 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

This is one of my favorite Japanese old story.  In Heian era, there were many reports of ghost appearances, especially in Kyoto.  (Kyoto used to be the capital city of Japan that time)  

Some people saw ghosts and monsters walking on the street at night, and there are many drawing of these scenes still remain in Japan.  So, in Heian era, people were scared to walk outside at night, especially on this day called “yakou-bi 夜行日”.  This day is considered to be the day ghosts comes out from their world.  When people had to travel at night, they talked to On-myoji 陰陽師 (person with gift) to get advice and a protection (a piece of paper filled with spell written by On-myoji 陰陽師).  There are few Japanese films about On-myoji 陰陽師, if you are interested in.  They are very interesting.

Why I’m writing this is because, there is a street called “Ghost Street” in Kyoto.  

In 2005, a small shopping square in Kyoto started this project to get more customers to this area, and named ichijo-dori street as “Ghost Street”.  This area of Kyoto still remains its historical image of ancient Japan, and the Japanese ghost stories and this area are a great match, I think.  In fact, this area really used to be capital area in Heian era.

This street is now a famous tourist attraction.  There’re not only those scary (and interesting) events all year around, but also many shops selling Japanese ghosts-related products.  

Food, clothes, accessories, and fashion goods…

This Yokai Croquette (ghost croquette) looks like ugly monster or ghost, but is made from Maccha green tea for the inside and bamboo charcoal powder for the coating – very healthy.  Yokai ramen also looks interesting too.  Purple noodle and black soup!!

If you have the guts, or like this type of things, or even, just have a plan to travel to Kyoto sometime soon, why not step into this ” “Japanese ghost” town in Kyoto?  

I’m sure you will enjoy the experience…


All I Can Think of Is…

Posted October 6th, 2010 in Japan | 6 Comments »

Food….  I really really can’t wait going back to Japan next year! (><)

My friend (mother of my former student) from Hokkaido sent me some photos.

Wow, look at the size of soft serve placed on top of the Hokkaido melon…  

On her email she said that she traveled to Furano and Sapporo (cities in Hokkaido) during summer (She lives in Hakodate, Hokkaido), and told me that she enjoyed sanma (saury) sashimi and buta-don (teriyaki-style pork donburi).

As I can’t eat sushi and sashimi now (or any raw food) now, and it makes me want to eat even more!  Especially after hearing her story…  I really miss sushi and sashimi in Japan.  

I wonder if pregnant women eat raw fish in Japan.  My doctor says what you can/can’t eat during pregnancy just relates to the risk of food poisoning – if the food is fresh enough (and your immunity level is ok enough) you can basically eat anything.  I wouldn’t eat raw fish in Perth as I can’t trust the freshness.  And, I think it’s best to avoid some seafood due to the Mercury content.  But, I don’t think my mum avoided eating sushi and sashimi while she was pregnant with me…

Anyway, I’m thinking going back around Autumn next year.  It’s just because the food is so delicious in Autumn in Japan and I want to enjoy it 😀

Umm… to think about it, it’s another 1 year away! (it’s Autumn in Japan now)   Hayaku~…



Have You Been to Toraja, Indonesia?

Posted October 5th, 2010 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

If you know a lot about Indonesia,

……………… Is this true???

” In some parts of Indonesia, a corpse is usually being carried up to the grave, but in Toraja, the corpse is woken up letting it to walk to its grave (is rarely performed anymore)

The corpse is woken up using black magic. This is done because in Toraja the graves/cemetries is placed above limestones mountains.

The corpse walks by itself, and its guided by an expert in black magic behind it. But there is one prohibition, the corpse shouldn’t be appointed, once pointed, the corpse falls down and isn’t able to walk again. ”



Sapporo Japanese Restaurant

Posted October 4th, 2010 in Eat Out in Perth - Japanese Food - | 4 Comments »

Yesterday I went to Sapporo Japanese restaurant in Carlisle for lunch with a friend.  It was my first time to go to this place, but I knew I was going to enjoy the food as I’d heard many nice reviews from my friends about the food and the owner of this restaurant.

The place was, as I was told before, pretty small.  That’s one of the thing I liked.  The inside looks like the eating place where I used to go with my family in Japan.  While I was dining there, I felt like I was in Japan!

When I arrived this place, my friend was already there.  She was talking to the owner lady at the counter, and told me “Ume, they are actually closed today”.

“Really?”  … I must have got the wrong info from a website.  But, the owner lady said “No, it’s ok, it’s ok.  I can cook for you.”  She insisted with a smile, so we decided to sit down at the table and order some food.

We ordered Hiyayakko and Agedashi Tofu to share.  I had tofu in the morning too, but still wanted to eat it.  Tofu is one of my favorite food ♪

I ordered oyako donburi.  My another favorite food.  I can eat oyako donburi and tamago udon even when I’m sick.

My friend ordered katsu don.  Both looks similar 🙂

Everything was delicious.  The home-style looking food was cooked behind the counter, and although there was only one owner lady cooking, we didn’t wait more than 15 minutes until all the foods were served.  She brought up all the food at the same time, which is an important thing when you are dining with someone.

Hiyayakko tofu was fresh.  The soup of agedashi tofu was mild and delicious.  And, also I wasn’t that hungry I finished the oyako donburi all up.  Seasoning was just perfect.

The owner lady brought us cups of hot green tea, and we talked for a quite long time.  She is a really good listener!  Very kind, friendly, and great food and pricing.  I definitely recommend this place, and come back sometime near future.  I loved the lemon tree near the toilet at the back too.  It felt like home.


Address: 186 Rutland Avenue, Carlisle 6101
Phone: (08) 9470 1473

Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner until late


パースでの妊娠 Part 1

Posted October 3rd, 2010 in にほんご | No Comments »


今、ちょうど妊娠4ヶ月目に入ったところです。下の情報は、Private Hospital(私立病院)で出産する私の体験によるものです。:)






<Public Hospital かPrivate Hospital>

Private Insuranceに入っていない人でも、MedicareからのサポートでPublic Hospitalにて無料で出産する事ができます。(自然分泌の場合)

私はPrivate Insuranceに入ってたので、Private Hospitalでの出産を決めていました。




こちらでは、obstetrician (産科医)に会うにはGPからの紹介状が要るのです。


何らかの理由でGPを何度か訪れる場合もあります。GPに行くと、尿検査、体重測定、血圧検査を毎回行います。また、GPから『pregnancy book』という小さな本をもらいます。(日本でいう母子手帳のようなモノです)




  • 10〜14週の間: dating scan(出産予定日を確定する為の超音波検査)
  • 12週目:    nuchal scan(ダウン症の確率を検査する超音波検査。同時期に行う血液検査の結果と照らし合わせて、ダウン症の確率を割り出します)この時3Dの赤ちゃんの画像も見せてもらえました。写真を全部DVDに入れて貰えました。



Private insuranceで出産費用はカバーされますが、それ以外の費用(毎月の診察費など)はPrivate insuranceではカバーされません。Medicareで少々お金は帰ってきますが、出産までの40週間で、だいたい合計$3000.00を”out of pocket”として自分で支払います。

妊娠16週目頃に、希望のPrivate Hospitalへ”Maternity Admission Information Form”を郵送します。その後ホスピタルから、院内のツアー予約についての情報等が送られてきます。出産予定日の部屋の予約もします。


Lawson Obento

Posted October 2nd, 2010 in Japan | No Comments »

My favorite convenience store was Seven Eleven, but I often go to Lawson while I’m in Japan as the closest convenience store to my house is Lawson.

I was browsing the list of “websites of good design” online, and Lawson’s website was on the list.  I was looking through it and all the foods made me hungry!

When I go to convenience stores, I normally buy onigiri (rice balls), sushi, bread, or just drink.  I didn’t normally buy bento (which I don’t know why now) or pasta dishes from there.  When I was a high school student, I used to stop at a convenience store on the way to school and grabbed just a drink, or some snack which was easy to eat in the car while driving.  On the other hand, my brothers loved buying hot snack foods such as karaage and nikuman from convenience stores.




etc etc….   Everything looks so good.

But, my favorites are the very simple ones.

Mini Snack Sandwiches.  The fillings are normally just strawberry jam, peanut butter, or chocolate cream.  I loved the soft bread since I was a kid.

Simple flavored onigiri.  I love maze-gohan (seasoned rice).

Ummmm….  I’m so hungry now.


News from Ume

Posted October 1st, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 12 Comments »
I know some of the Umeboss viewers know about this already, but I would like to announce it here officially….
… I am pregnant …!!  (•˙∆˚)¬¬¬¬
It may be a natural thing to happen to a couple who have been together for more than 7 years, but I still can’t believe it.  I mean, we are absolutely happy about it, but we didn’t really plan it and I still feel that I’m just a girl. (^o^;)>
I wasn’t really sure if it was true – until I got my first ultrasound screen at my 11th week.  There it was!  A tiny fetus, around 6 cm.  S/he was  kicking up the leg, and was jumping around inside my tummy.  Very active…  And, on the second screening, the baby started to wave at us (˙∆˚)!!  … No, I think s/he was just stretching the arm.
It’s amazing.  Did we create a life?
I actually had miscarriage last year, and it was really a devastating experience to me, so I hope this one will be ok. (” v “)
Some Japanese people who live in Perth go back to Japan to give birth, as they can get all the supports from their family and friends.  It is also more comfortable to do such “big event of the life” in their own country.
Me?  I’m going to be giving birth here in Perth.  I really really want my family to be here too, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen!  But, it’s ok, I can’t think about it now.
If everything goes well, I will fly back to Japan afterwards and stay there for few months.  (^^)  It is my plan!!  I also can’t wait to eat sushi and sashimi over there too…