Japanese Soft Serve

Posted August 12th, 2010 in Food | 8 Comments »

 

Soft serve, called “soft cream” in Japan, is everyone’s favorite treat!  In Japan we have so many flavors and some of them are only available at local area only.

Here, people usually go to Hungry Jack, Macdonald’s or maybe IKEA to get soft serve. :p  In Japan, if you go traveling around, you will see sign boards or flag with soft serve illustration at many shops across Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa.  Most of them are individual shops, but other are convenience stores such as Mini Stop, and franchise shops such as Sugakiya.

Each prefecture seems to use its specialty food for soft serve. It could be fun to plan a trip to Japan and enjoy each area’s specialty food in soft serve 😀

(Actually, overall many shops try to have unique flavors and now you can find any flavor of soft serve almost anywhere.)

Green Tea Soft Serve

 

I want to list down the flavors I found interesting … 🙂

<Fruits>

• White Peach

• Grape

• Strawberry

• Blood Orange

• Melon

• Apple

• Sweet Potato

• Purple Sweet Potato

• Blueberry

• Sakura (Cherry)

• Yuzu

• Ume Plum

• Avocado

• Walnuts

• Peanuts

• Chest Nuts

• Black Sesame

• Sweet Soy Powder with Black Sugar Syrup

• Mont Blanc

• Honey

• Maple

• Caramel

• Dark Sugar

•  Belgian Chocolate

• Maccha Green Tea

• Black Bean Tea

• Espresso

• Wasabi

• Curry

• Rice

• Sake (liquor)

• Red Wine

• Konbu Seaweed

• Rare Cheese

• Cheese Cake

• Pudding

 

Does any flavor interest you?  I personally love swirl of vanilla and chocolate, green tea and sweet potato, but I definitely want to try Mont Blanc and Black Bean Tea!  I’m not sure about wasabi and curry though…

 

aa


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.

Anyway…

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.

aaa


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

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” ? 🙂


Kit Kat in Japan 3

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

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

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

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

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

Strawberry Cheese Cake

Wasabi


Cheese Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am so hungry!


A Mochi Maker

Posted April 10th, 2010 in Food | 7 Comments »

I have been making mochi – Japanese sticky rice cakes  since I came back from Japan.  I bought this SEGA toy called “kururin-mocchi” which is a mochi making toy for kids.

When I was little, my grandma used to make mochi with a big mochi machine (proper one) at home on New Years Eve, and we ate fresh made mochi on the morning of New Years day every year.  The machine we had was automatic, so we didn’t do the traditional mochi making method (with huge wooden equipments) but dividing hot mochi rice into small pieces and shaping them were such hard job to do.  

Now, here in Perth, I’m making mochi again :p  Since this Sega machine is pretty small, I can only make small portion at once.  But, it’s enough for two of us 😀

I looooove fresh mochi with vanilla ice cream!  I normally make mochi in bulk, and portion them in plastic wrap so that I just need to heat up one in the microwave whenever I want to eat.  Warm mochi and melty vanilla ice cream … yummy!

You can make mochi without this Sega toy, and it is pretty cheap to make 🙂  You can also enjoy mochi in azuki bean porridge.

Cooking azuki beans from scratch does take time, but it worths when making a big portion.  Buying tinned azuki paste is pretty expensive here.

<Mochi>

  • 140 g mochi rice (sticky rice)
  • 150 cc water
 

  1. Wash rice, and soak in water for 30 minutes.  Cook rice in the same way you cook normal rice.  (I cook in the microwave as this is such a small amount of rice)
  2. Pound steamed rice into a piece of sticky cake while the rice is hot.  It should be smooth, and very sticky. 
  3. With hands dusted with corn flour, divide the mochi into small balls.  
  

You can keep them in the room temperature (covered).  If you keep in the fridge, the mochi will become hard.  You can microwave them before eating to make softer.

       
    <Azuki Bean Porridge>
    • 1 cup azuki beans, uncooked
    • 1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar)
    • a pinch of salt
      
    1. Wash azuki beans.  Place beans to a large pot filled with water.  Bring to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Discard the water, and fill up with water again.  Bring to the boil, and discard the water.  Repeat this for 3~4 times.
    2. When the beans are soft enough to squash with two fingers, drain the beans and place in a clean pot with sugar and salt.  Turn on the heat, stir constantly,  and cook until the sugar dissolves.  Turn the heat to very low and cook, stir constantly, until most of the liquid is gone.  Turn off the heat.
    3. Pour azuki beans in a serving bowl, and add hot water to make it soupy.  (adjust the water amount to your liking)  Enjoy with mochi.
      

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Ice Cream

    Posted April 7th, 2010 in Perth WA | No Comments »

    The other day my friends and I went to Hillary Boat Harbour.  It’s been such a long time since my last visit to this place.  I think that it was around 2 years ago…  Now you know how often I go out :p

    It was a fine day, and many people were swimming around the shore. As my friends wanted to go to AQWA, my husband and I sat down at a fish & chips shop and had a snack.  Then, wondered around while eating a scoop of ice cream.

    When it comes to ice cream, my favorite flavor has been choco mint since I was a junior high school student, followed by green tea, coffee flavor, chocolate,  macadamia, pistachio, and Rum and raisin.  Some people ask me “why choco mint?!  Why not caramel or cookie n cream ?” (especially my husband’s siblings). 

    Actually, before I tried choco mint ice cream the first time at Baskin Robin in Japan, I always thought I would never enjoy the flavor.  I don’t really like mint, and also I didn’t think that it’d go with sweet chocolate.  What made me want to try the weird flavor was actually my favorite book I was reading.  In the story, main character girl also didn’t think choco mint ice cream would be good, but her friend made her try and she liked it.  On the next day, I went to a Baskin Robin shop and tried choco mint ice cream like the girl in the book did.  SInce then, choco mint has been my favorite flavor 🙂

    At the Hillary Harbour, I ordered choco mint, but I still like the one from Baskin Robin.   

     

    I also can’t resist HäagenDazs® green tea ice cream!  My favorites are green tea, and cookie n green tea.  Yum!

    By the way, here is a link to a blog I found interesting… ☟

    Frightening Ice Cream Flavors


    Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs

    Posted March 30th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

    Beard Papa has been franchising in foreign countries (it may be in your home country too) for a while.  There used to be one Beard Papa’s shop in Centro Galleria in Perth few years ago, but it closed its door. Shame! 🙁

    Being famous with the Yellow Signage and Papa’s face, Beard Papa is now known as the bakery of the “World’s Best Cream Puffs”.
    Each day we bake choux pastry shells that are made up of two special layers. The inner layer is a choux pastry shell and the outer layer is a pie crust. This unique structure creates a light, crunchy shell.  They use handpicked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and their whipped custard cream takes 2 hours to prepare.

    Once you are around the shop you can already smell the sweet custard 🙂

    This is one of my favorite sweet in the world!  They’re selling sakura flavor for a limited time only.  Matcha and caramel are also nice 🙂


    C 15 Applecross

    Posted March 2nd, 2010 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

    This cafe is one of my favorite.  The food is nice, friendly staff and the atmosphere is good 🙂  Today was little cooler compared with the last few days, and my friends and I sit back and enjoyed the food at this cafe on this weekend.

    Our favorite food there is .. pancake! Big volume, soft and fluffy and I love the sauce!

    They, of course, make food on order and you will be so spoiled with this freshly made pancake..  Dusted cinnamon sugar and juicy blueberry compote is a great match.  2 of my friends ordered this pancake and one asked the staff to serve the blueberry sauce separately.  

    I, on the other hand, ordered French toast this time.

    This is also dusted with cinnamon.  It was so good, sweet, juicy and pretty filling 🙂

    My friend really loved the freshly squeezed orange juice.  You can choose between 100% bottled juice, or hand-squeezed one. She chose hand-squeezed juice and it was delicious ♪

    Ummm, what a perfect brunch 🙂  

    We sometimes need a treat for ourselves, and for me this was it.

    C15 Espresso.

    15 Riseley St Applecross WA 6153      (08) 9316 4242


    Cupcakes

    Posted February 25th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

    It’s little late, but… my husband and nephew made cupcakes for me for my birthday. 🙂

    They followed my recipe Moist and Fluffy Cupcake Recipe.

    They found it’s difficult to pipe out the butter icing on the top of the cupcakes.  (by the way I was the one who prepared the icing in a piping bag for them so that they could just play around with it)

    Well, they look good enough, and very delicious 🙂  Thank you guys!


    Pancakes for Breakfast

    Posted February 6th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

    I get cravings for pancakes once in a while ..   feel like eating fluffy pancakes with syrup, whipped cream and ice cream!  Of course I feel guilty after eating this high-calorie sweet, but my body sometimes need a really sweet treat.

    This morning I made up a tower of pancakes, and prepared some fruits and whipped cream as accompaniments.    (recipe)

       

    I can’t resist the sweet maple syrup – but I also love honey with some fresg banana and cinnamon sugar.

    And, berry sauce with cream –

    When you make pancakes:

     

    • rest the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking 
    • always use clean, teflon coated frying pan
    • heat up the pan, then spray oil.  Remove the pan from the heat and cool down the bottom of the pan slightly with damped towel or under running water (the outer side of the pan, don’t make the inside get wet)  Over low heat, pour a ladle of the pancake mixture and cook both side.
    • keep pancakes covered with damped kitchen paper or towel until served
     
      

    Cherry and Coconut Slice

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

    It’s the same recipe as Coconut Slice, and I add dried cherries in stead of jam.

    I love dried cherries, they are juicy and nice to be added to baked sweets.  I usually buy them from Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge ( website ) or Kakulas Sisters in Fremantle.  I like these shops as you can buy ingredients as much (or little) as you want.

    They sell various types of flour, dried fruits, nuts, beans, coffee, seeds, cheese, olives etc etc.  You can scoop those food into plastic bags and buy at the counter (like a self-service grocery shop).  It’s good if you want to just try out the food (even if just 10 g of spicy Macadamia nuts, you can)

    They also sell some exotic snacks from Europe, Asia (including Japan) and elsewhere.  At Kakulas Sisters in Fremantle, they sell home-made cakes such as cheese cake and poppy seed rolls too 🙂

    These retail shops opened just a year ago or so, but they’ve been doing wholesale service for more than 30 years.

    Kakulas Brothers in Northbridge started selling freshly brewed take-away coffee since few month ago.  You can also purchase the coffee beans from there, and there is a grinding machine if you want to grind the beans.

      

    <Kakulas Brothers>  

    183 William Street, Northbridge, WA 6003  :  08 9328 5285

    <Kakulas Sisters>  

    29-31 Market St., Fremantle, WA 6160  :   08 9430 4445

    90 Hillsborough Drive Nollamara WA 6061  :  08 9440 6642


    Christmas in Japan

    Posted December 10th, 2009 in Japan | No Comments »

    Christmas season is just around the corner! This season must be the busiest time for shopping malls and department stores around the world. In Japan, although we (well, most of us) are not Christian we still cerebrate Christmas by decorating a Christmas tree, eating cakes and spending time together with loved one.

    As we don’t have the tradition to eat turkey in Japan, the main item on Christmas is the cake. You can order your Christmas cake from any bakeries, cake shops, convenience stores, and department stores. There are so many choices and they all look so delicious…

    In department stores such as Takashimaya, Isetan, and Seibu, they sell special cakes which are only available from the store. Each shop has different flavors and kinds, and you can order it before Christmas day so that you can just pick it up on the day. The popular ones would be sponge cake filled with fresh cream and strawberries, chocolate cake, bûche de Noël、mont blanc aux marrons …. My favorite is still a standard cake – sponge with fresh cream and strawberries!! Japanese cake is soooooooo delicious.

    … Well, actually many people eat cake on Christmas Eve in Japan. Eve (24th December) is considered as “a day to spend with loved one” in Japan, and everywhere is filled with romantic mood. 🙂


    Grand Opening of Esther’s

    Posted October 28th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

    Again, another good news!  Esther’s, a Chinese style bakery shop in Northbridge, is opening its second shop in Winthrop Shopping Village this Friday October 30.  Esther’s in Northbridge has been there for about 1 year or so (I think) and the bread and cakes are popular among Japanese people too.  

    On the opening day, you can buy the first 3 items including buns, tarts, cake slices for $1.00 each.  Sweet bread, pandan cake, savoury buns…  $1.00 each is a really good deal!  The normal retail price applies from the third item.  

    This special offer is available only in the shop in Withrop village on Friday October 30.  

    Shop 25 Winthrop Shopping Village (cnr Somerville Boulevard &Jackson Avenue)

    OPEN 7 days, 8:30am ~ 6:00pm


    Gather up for Free Donuts!

    Posted October 27th, 2009 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

    I was browsing today’s community paper just now, and I saw a ad of Dreamy Donuts (I wrote about the donuts in here) saying that they are giving away donuts for FREE!!

    On October 24 the first Dreamy Donuts store in Booragoon opened its doors, and they are cerebrating by giving away free donuts for 5 minutes every hour on the hour between 10am and 2pm this Saturday, October 31!  This “Free for Five” promotion is only available in Booragoon store in Garden City shopping centre (near Wendy’s, T2 area).  

    If you live somewhere around Perth, why don’t you take advantage of this offer?  Free glazed donuts … remember, it limits one donut per person.  The family with lots of kids must go to Garden City this Saturday. 🙂


    Dreamy Donuts

    Posted September 30th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | No Comments »

    Dreamy Donuts was started in Australia and New Zealand, and currently there are 16 shops within Australia.  The shop in Carousel shopping centre (WA) opened just few months ago.  When I saw the sign of this shop in Carousel shopping centre before it’s opened, I actually thought “hmm just another donut shop”.  I didn’t really think that I would want to try them.  

    After the shop opened I passed the shop and I noticed that they’re pretty busy.  All the donuts in showcase looked delicious and cute!  

    I didn’t still buy donuts from them that time ( :p), but yesterday my sister-in-law bought a dozen of Dreamy donuts and I tried one.  It was really fluffy, soft and moist.  Yes it was delicious, almost like a cake. 🙂   Look at the photo!

    I will buy them in the future for sure!  If the price was little cheaper it’d be great though … but I guess it’s the standard price for donuts in Perth 🙁


    Fremantle Chocolate Factory

    Posted August 26th, 2009 in Perth WA | 1 Comment »

    When my partner and I were riding around Fremantle the other day, we decided to drop by this factory and have a look around.  Although this place opens 7 days a week, and has been advertising on one of Japanese news magazines in Perth, it was my first time going there.  

    While we were parking our vespa, I saw few Japanese people (I could tell!) going towards this factory.   Hmm seems that the advertising on the Japanese magazine is really effective, otherwise this place is hard to be found and no one would realize there is a chocolate factory in Fremantle – especially tourists. (‘x’)

    As we entered the factory I saw Japanese news magazines on a rack, and a sign board on the wall written in Japanese!  Wow lots of Japanese people must come here often.

    They sell chocolate with a wide variety of flavors, and the packaging has a logo of “Chocolate Factory Fremantle”, so they make great souvenirs.  There are free tasting chocolate (milk, dark and white), and I tasted white chocolate buttons.  They are pretty sweet.

    What I found interesting is that they also sells some molded chocolate : shaped into some animals, gift basket etc.  I thought they are really cute, and I almost bought a treasure box shaped chocolate.  Then I realized “wait, who am I gonna give this to??  I can’t bring it to Japan as it might melt (as it is hot in Japan), and partner’s parents can’t have lots of sugar.”  It would be a good gift if you have someone who loves chocolate.

    They also sell some handmade fudge delivered from Margaret River Fudge Factory as well as Morish Nuts products.

    You can see inside of factory through windows.

     

    Fremantle Chocolate Factory
    312 South Terrace (cnr Lefroy St) South Fremantle WA 6162
    08 9335 5529
    website

    Kit Kat in Japan-2

    Posted August 17th, 2009 in Food, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

    I’ve wrote about Kit Kat long time ago (here) featuring the unique flavors of Japanese Kit Kat, and recently I had a chance to try few of them. A couple, friends of mine, just came back from Japan last week and brought me some Kit Kat as a souvenir. 🙂

    Lemon Vinegar / Soy Sauce / Ramune

    (yellow: Lemon Vinegar . purple: Soy Sauce . Blue: Ramune)
    I knew about this “soy sauce” flavor, but not these “lemon vinegar” and “ramune” flavors. They must be new! Japan’s Nestle keeps producing new flavors…
    I’ve read someone describing the soy sauce Kit Kat before, he was saying “it tastes like caramel”. I guess it’s because the sugar in soy sauce somehow produced “caramelized” flavor. …
    Soy Sauce Kit Kat was coated with white chocolate, and it smelled very sweet.  It actually smelled like caramel puddings!  The guy was right (‘x’).  It was really milky and sweet.
    Now, Ramune Kit Kat.  Look at the color!  It’s blue :p  As soon as I opened the package I could smell “ramune”!   … well it was more like a bubble-gum-like smell, actually.   I hesitated a little…  wow it’s weird, it’s chocolate but smells like a bubble gum.  (>0<)  But, when I put it in my mouth the smell was gone and I could simply taste the chocolate.  Ummm …
    The Lemon Vinegar flavor .. very weird for chocolate, isn’t it.  Fortunately there’s no smell of vinegar much, and it tasted fine actually.  The taste was like chocolate with lemon.  (citrusy chocolate)
    Overall, every flavor Kit Kat was pretty sweet.  I mean, really sweet..
    Well, it was fun to try those unique flavors though,
    I still like Sakura flavor, Maccha green tea flavor and strawberry cheesecake flavor! 🙂

    San Churro Fremantle

    Posted August 16th, 2009 in Eat out in Perth | 2 Comments »

    I’ve wanted to try their freshly made churros and chocolate menu since my friend recommended me this place. San Churro is located on Market Street in Fremantle, just a step away from cappuccino street. Even though it was early morning on Sunday there’re already few customers sitting on relaxing chairs and enjoying freshly brewed coffees and teas.

    This cafe is named after the head monk, San Churro, in Spain who was a leader of monks manufacturing chocolate for the Spanish aristocracy. I didn’t know until today that churros was actually a Spanish food. I used to eat churros at Mister Donuts, and sometimes from convenience stores in Japan 🙂

    At San Churros, you can enjoy freshly fried churros and some sweets with a wide range of drinks such as milk shakes, coffee and chocolate. My friends ordered iced chocolate and chocolate vanilla milk shake, and I ordered Spanish latte.

    For churros, you can chose a dipping from 4 kinds of chocolate: dark, milk, white and caramel. I had dark, and my friend had caramel. Apparently a dipping chocolate comes with any cakes too, not only for churros. Another friend ordered a ricotta dark-berry cake with white chocolate dipping.

    The dipping was very nice. Caramel dipping was little thick, and dark and white chocolate dippings were really creamy. Churros were also nice, crunchy and really chewy 🙂 According to this friend, who is from El Salvador, churros in his country are little chunkier and longer, but those churros at San Churro were just right size for me. Spanish latte was little too sweet for me though, but I guess that’s how it should taste. I could taste sweet syrup in the latte.

    At the cafe they sell gift-wrapped chocolate products and some sweets as well. You can find out more about this place from San Churro website.

    Chocolateria San Churro Fremantle (08) 9336 7557

    91 Market Street Fremantle

    Sun-Thu : 8:30am ~ 10:00 pm

    Fri-Sat:    8:30am ~ 11:00 pm

     


    Meiji

    Posted August 13th, 2009 in Food, Japan, Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

    Meiji co. has been one of the big sweets/snack/dairy products company in Japan since 1916.  I’m sure you’ve seen some of their products before :_)

       

      

      

     

    Everyone tells me that the packaging for Japanese food is very colorful and cute.  I agree…

    Checking up Japan’s food companies’ websites is fun.:)   Even Mcdonald’s, Starbucks, Miter Donuts websites…  make me feel hungry!  I get excited by just looking at delicious food, and sometimes I find interesting campaign there.

    Collaboration products with Meiji Yoghuret x Pokka drink…

       x   

    Meiji chocolate mirror…

     x 

      

    Meiji Xylish gum “Iki-pan-2” campaign…

     x 

    I like this Xylish gams (lime flavor).  I’ll buy few of those and hopefully I win one of these panties :p (actually those are men’s underwear though.. but I don’t mind wearing as a room- wear 🙂 )

     


    Mister Donut

    Posted June 22nd, 2009 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

    Mister Donut is my favorite donut shop in Japan.  I just love their whole concept : their characters, color theme, variety of food…

    They don’t only serve donuts, but also rich shakes, puddings, ramen noodle, yam cha food, pies, muffins etc.  You get point every time you purchase some items, and you can exchange the points to receive character goods.  The round lion (Pon De Lion) is Mister Donut’s main character, and he (she?) is so cute!  I’ve collected its mug, plate, bath towel and aprons so far.

    One reason I like Mister Donut is their price.  Very reasonable.  And, you can easily download coupons through their website.  They often do campaign too – ¥100 for the regular donuts.  Cheap and delicious.

     

        

    Their new menu is so exciting!  “Donut Burger” and “Pote-Do” are on my things-to-eat list for Japan trip.  Donut Burger is sweet – consisting donut, chocolate pate and sweet sauces.  

      

    It’s summer in Japan now, and they are doing summer noodle fare.  Everything is ¥399.


    Birthday Cake

    Posted May 25th, 2009 in Food | 4 Comments »

    I like making cakes.  At my house in Japan we didn’t have proper oven, but I was using rice cooker to bake sponge every time.  Japanese rice cooker sure is a multi-skilled machine!

    One of my favorite cake is strawberry short cake.  This cake is very standard yet popular in Japan.  That is why, when my friend asked me last week to make a cake for his daughter’s birthday party, I straightaway decided to make a cake similar to the strawberry short cake. 🙂 

    Unfortunately strawberries are out of season and very expensive, so I just used one packet and add other fruits.  Because there’re going to be about 25 kids in the party, I made the cake pretty big.  Lightly baked vanilla sponge cake layered with fresh cream and fruits inside.  I decorated the top with cream and fruits, and “happy birthday” message.  The letters on message doesn’t look nice, I think I made the hole little too big for the piping bag with dark chocolate,  that’s why it was bit difficult to squeeze into letters when I was piping. :p

     Anyway, they were happy with this cake, so I’m glad.


    Chocolate Cake

    Posted April 19th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

    Crunchy roasted nuts are a great accent on this mild creamy chocolate cake.

    <Chocolate Cake>

    -sponge-

    • 2 Eggs
    • 60g Granulated Sugar
    • 50g Plain Flour
    • 10g Cocoa Powder
    • 20g Unsalted Butter (melted)

    -ganache-

    • 100g Dark Chocolate
    • 100g Fresh Cream
    • Orange Liqueur (eg: Cointreau)

    -syrup-

    • 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
    • 2/1 cup water

    -garnish-

    • Roasted nuts (eg: peanuts, almond etc)

    * Heat up oven to 170

    * Line up a cake tin (16cm)

    1. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl.  Over warm water bath, whip the egg  till ribbon stage.
    2. Fold in shifted flour and cocoa powder.  Add melted butter, and fold in.  (don’t over mix)
    3. Pour into lined tin and bake in the oven for 25min or till the sponge is cooked.  Let it cool down.
    4. Boil water with sugar in a small pan till sugar dissolves.  Let it cool down.
    5. Break down dark chocolate and place in a clean bowl.  Boil cream, and add into the chocolate.  Mix till smooth.
    6. Halve the cooled sponge and brush syrup on the surface of each slices.  Spread ganache on one slice (syrup side) and place another slice on top.  Spread ganashe on the surface and side.
    7. Decorate the side of cake with crushed roasted nuts.  Garnish with ganache, nuts and melted white chocolate.

    Elmo Themed Party

    Posted December 6th, 2008 in Perth WA | 2 Comments »

    Today was my nephew-in-law’s birthday party.  He turned 2  🙂

    Last year his first birthday was Ratatouille (Pixar + Walt Disney Picture)-themed, and everything was that mouse!  And this year, it was Elmo 🙂

    His mum (my sister-in-law) told me that there were going to be about 50 adults and 20 kids, and she asked me to make Elmo cupcakes for kids.  

    …. Do they look like Elmo??  Ummm maybe not, but kids loved them! 🙂  Just in case nobody touches that Elmo cupcakes, I made some more cupcakes and mini muffins as spare.  And there were some more food…

    Sister-in-law hired a jumping castle for kids.  It was really fun!  Even we enjoyed it 🙂  It was a lovely day♪ Now I can just relax and start packing up my suitcase for the holiday (^0^)

    To see more picture, click here.


    Kit Kat in Japan

    Posted November 19th, 2008 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 14 Comments »

    One thing I noticed about Japan since I came to Perth is that Japan has lots of products, food and… everything!  I was amazed when I read the article about Kit Kat chocolate in Japan.  There are so many flavor of Kit Kat in Japan which you cannot find in other countries! :p

    Here are some examples…

    Which flavor tempts you??  Personally I really wanna try this “Soy Sauce Kit Kat”!! 🙂

    And there are actually regional Kit Kat too!  Like Tokyo Kit Kat, Kansai Kit Kat…  The Kansai and Kyushyu Kit Kat flavor sounds really interesting 🙂