Archive for October, 2009

Holiday mood

It’s Friday and I’m typing by stealth in the office. I know I should be working (I can imagine my mum and Jaso shaking their heads and saying ‘Di, tan pok again?’, to be fair, I have finished all my work) but it’s Friday, the skies are blue, the spring weather is heavenly, everyone’s in jeans and looking cheery but most importantly, I have a skinny flat white on my desk.

Yes I know it’s a bit early to have my weekend coffee, but I’ve been so good the entire week. Wednesday I almost caved and actually walked out to buy a coffee when I realised I didn’t bring my wallet to work. I decided it was a sign from the heavens above to restrain from caffeine during the weekdays.

I’m only working for half a day and setting off for a road trip for the weekend. Then it’s the week of birthdays after that, Brio, Wui Hao and Jaso all have birthdays within the same week. Buzzing with exhilaration and anticipation is an understatement. My sis and brio-in-law are holidaying in Hawaii right now, can only imagine the fun they’re having right now, holidays and going away are the most glorious things don’t you think?

The excitement level for my December holidays is also kicking in. Tickets have been booked. Plans have been made (though not entirely, Jaso and Brio, you guys need to tell me what else you want to do in Kuching besides eating!).

So Kuchingnites reading this (I’m guessing only LL and Fung), I’m open to brekky/lunch/dinner invitations for the period of mid December to Christmas ok? And Shirley, I’m coming to Singapore! With my mum, which is doubly fun. So please put aside the weekend of Dec 12 – 13 for us alright?

Holiday mood in the air. Oh I love Fridays.

Homecooking 101: Project October Week 3

It’s the last week of Project October, I’m going to have to hold a meeting at the end of October and decide whether we’re going to continue Project November. Either way, it’s been lots of fun cooking for Project October,  but a little tiring and challenging to keep within the budget and yet cook something different everyday.

Monday I cooked the chicken two ways. My mum’s tomato sauce chicken  (I can never cook quite the way she does it) which is what I cook whenever I want us to eat a mixture of veges with chicken.Goes well with rice.

Lunch bento was stir fried chicken and cucumber, soy braised hard boiled egg and spinach.

For dessert I baked us banana cupcakes ( pre mix and 98% fat free!) which I topped with a sweet banana chip, it was so moist and yummy, who says pre mix cupcakes aren’t good? It was so easy to bake, I am going to be making more of these.

Tuesday Jo and HC cooked Indian style mamak mee goreng, I’ve never tried the real thing so I can’t judge the authenticity but it sure tasted very Malaysian and was tasty. There were lots of ingredients in it including tomato, potato, beancurd and chicken.

I was sick that day and didn’t go to work so I had time to bake some cupcakes. This time it was vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting , I topped some with hundred and thousands (messy things, not going to use next time but so colourful) and others with sliced fresh strawberries.

Wednesday was Jamie Oliver day since I used all of Jamie Oliver’s recipes. This was his French baked potatoes which include layers of parsley onions and potatoes. Somehow the texture didn’t turn out the way I expected it to be, I guess I was looking for something more baked and heavy, but it came out quite moist and tender and light. Are french baked potatoes supposed to be like this? I don’t know.

The potatoes were served as  the side with the Parmesan chicken and lemon chicken being the main. Quite easy recipe, not too heavy and fresh tasting with lemon and thyme.

Thursday was a quick prawns, basil and cherry tomatoes fettucine topped with toasted pinenuts and parmesan shavings. A light and quick pasta, I marinated the prawns beforehand with garlic and paprika for some spiciness.

No cooking for Friday because it was going out night which is truly the best night of the week. I should really cook something special to round up Project October but I’m not sure what, any suggestions anyone?

The Miami Bakehouse: Sometimes you just need a pie … or two

Jan, I wrote this post for you because I know you like pies! Last Sunday we drove down to Freo for a supposed ramen outing. But the idea of waiting for two hours for a bowl of ramen wasn’t too appealing, so I suggested that we stop by the Miami Bakehouse which is located on Canning Highway about 10 minutes from Fremantle.

Apparently it’s flagship bakery in Falcon (that’s near Mandurah) is the most awarded bakery in WA and a must stop for travellers going down South. I have a feeling the pies in the original bakery must be even better, but it’s convenient that we don’t have to travel all the way to Mandurah for a piece of the award winning gourmet pies.

Look at all their awards, I noticed that they’re constantly picking up awards for their seafood pie and also sweet lamb curry pie. Their pies are pretty pricey ranging around $5 – $8 for a pie (I guess since they’re gourmet pies), at $7.70 for a seafood pie,  I was hoping their pies were really really good.

Pies galore. It was a nice fine day so we sat outside with our pies to soak up the sun.

Jo mistook the Big Breakfast as a real big breakfast with eggs, tomatoes and the works. I think she was quite surprised when it turned out to be a big breakfast pie instead. It looked really yummy and cheesy.

Her big breakfast pie had beef chunks underneath a topping of egg, cheese and tomatoes (probably had bacon etc. as well) and was tasty, only it was really a big breakfast and on the heavy side, Jo had trouble finishing it in the end.

HC has the beef and guiness pie which was beef chunks in a Guiness flavoured sauce, I thought it was quite nice especially for those that like their pies with a beer-ish flavour to it. My only complaint would be that the beef could be even more tender.

Richard ordered the seafood platter pie which was prawns, fish, scallop, crab in a lemon pepper sauce.

I’m not sure I could detect the separate seafood in the pie as it was all mixed up together but it was yummy. The lemon pepper sauce was light, creamy and went great with the seafood chunks. Richard said he would return to bakehouse to try the other pies based on this pie.

I also bought an apple turnover (which apparently has won an award too) but it was only ordinary and nothing to shout about. We’re not really pie fanatics so I can’t really compare the Miami Bakehouse pies with other great pies. But… I will probably be visiting another famous pie shop quite soon so I’ll remember to do a comparison post then. I only hope the pies don’t cost an arm and leg!

So verdict on Miami Bakehouse is, the pies are pretty good and worth a visit if you’re travelling down to Freo and want something besides the norm fish and chips. Definitely drop by if you’re a pie lover just to say that you’ve eaten at the ‘most awarded bakery in WA’ ,they have a great variety of interesting pies like a lasagna pie, emu,kangaroo and camel pie which I want to try the next time I go (^__^).

MIAMI Bakehouse
8/369 Canning Highway
1300 655 729
Open 7am-7pm, daily

Home sick

This morning when I looked in the mirror, death stared back at me.

Determined not to do the ‘lie in bed and pass out’ sick mode, I tried to tidy myself (key word is tried, it didn’t work obviously) and put on my little miss sunshine happy jacket to cheer myself up. Really, I was more like ‘Little Miss Self Pity’ or ‘Little Miss Cough Germ’.

Couldn’t go out without my trusty pack of kleenex and also a handful of lozenges.

The weather outside was fantastic, blue skies, sunny, warm perfect Spring weather. Only weather like this also brings out the flowers and all those little things that trigger hay fever. So I sneezed and sniffled my way to the supermarket.

Jo’s and my favourite chemist, a.k.a. Voted Perth’s Cheapest Chemist as I proudly proclaim to all my friends and colleagues. I don’t know whether it’s really Perth’s cheapest chemist, but I’m always strangely drawn to the little neon flyers that scream ‘SALE’ ‘CHEAP’ ‘DISCOUNTED’, I believe them.

Came out with a pack of hayfever tablets, they won’t soothe the racking coughs but might help with the running nose and watery eyes.

Browsed around the supermarket and came home with this : Greens pink cupcakes mix for the breast cancer foundation. I like pink and for some reason, cupcakes seemed like a good idea ( I blame the headache and body aches).

Got out my cheap hand mixer, dunked in the mix with butter, eggs and milk and started mixing away. I don’t think my mixing bowl was a real mixing bowl and I ended up with flour all around the table. I was also starting to resemble a mini snowman, a coughing mini snowman.

All mixed up. Then there was the sugary pink frosting and I got to play with my new set of icing tools. I am not a baker like my mum and sister, so pre mix is as far as I can go I think. Maybe someday I’ll try making a tiramisu, just because i like to eat it, haha.

Final outcome? To be revealed in the next Project October post!

Homecooking 101: Project October 12/10/09 – 16/10/09

Project October is heading into week 3! I even baked muffins for dessert tonight (pre mix box mind you) and they were surprisingly nice and moist. But I’ve fallen ill at the start of spring, I don’t know whether it’s hayfever or just my usual seasonal flu and cough but it’s so maddening and annoying to be sneezing, sniffing and coughing, I feel like a giant walking germ (T______T).

Sunday breakfast bagels are such a luxury. I really like bagels, I’m not sure why, is it just the hole in the middle which is so convenient for melting cheese? I don’t know. I bought the bagels the day before from Lawleys bakery in Subiaco. With the plain bagel, I toasted it and topped it with smoked salmon, cream cheese and egg. The poppyseed bagel I grilled with ham, cheese and tomato.

I think this was Monday’s bento but I’m all mixed up now. Fried rice with honey five spiced leaned pork fillet. Drizzled with a bit of sriracha hot sauce for a bit of a kick.

My first attempt at lasagna after a long long time! I actually bought instant cheese sauce but couldn’t find the packet afterwards (daitaoha habits die hard) so I had to make my own cheese sauce. Luckily it turned out alright.

Served the lasagna with a side of avocado, tomato and lettuce salad with balsamic dressing.

Usually we just cook extra portions of dinner for our lunch bentos the next day. But when possible, I try to make different dishes for dinner and lunch with the same ingredients. Jo requested teriyaki hambagu which I turned into a burger with works for dinner. The hambagu patty was topped with balsamic onion relish, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and fried egg.

Lunch bento was teriyaki hambagu, tamagoyaki and a little salad of lettuce and tomato with rice.

Finale of the week was nasi lemak. I was too lazy didn’t have time to cook curry chicken to go with it so I cooked an easy ayam kecap manis to go with it instead. Usual condiments of sambal sotong, hard boiled eggs and cucumber. It was a cut corners nasi lemak but still pretty tasty all the same. Only problem was I ran out of basmati rice, why is basmatic rice so expensive??

Ok I’m going to lie down now and hope this stupid flu/cough goes away doubly quick *fingers crossed*

The Grey Hoodie Boy Part 11 : Dinner at Festive Kitchen

The title is misleading because it’s not really a Grey Hoodie Boy post, more of a review of Yao Yat Jam a.k.a. Festive Kitchen restaurant. I  thought I had better blog about our dinner there before  he the dinner completely slips out of my mind.

This time it was my turn to bring him to dinner and I wanted to let him try Hongkong style Chinese. Festive Kitchen is the new kid on the block in terms of Hongkong style cafes, I was tossing between Festive Kitchen and Red Teapot but since I’d been to FK several times and really liked the food, Festive Kitchen it was.

We started off with an entree of Deep Fried Chilli Salt Squid, the Westerner must order at every Chinese kitchen. This one was crispy and tasty but a little bit too salty for my liking. GHB liked it I think.

Since it was only two of us, we couldn’t order many dishes. Our meat dish was my normal order at Hongkong style cafes, the Peking Sparerib with Mayo. Festive Kitchen does a really nice version of this dish, the pork is tender on the inside and yet has a crispy coating, not overly sweet, tangy and creamy mayo. Yums.

Our vege dish was the eggplant claypot. GHB mentioned that he really liked claypot dishes so we thought we would order at least one claypot dish. This is one of my favourites ways of eating claypot, spicy salty eggplant, minced pork, piping hot in a claypot, great  with rice.

GHB and I didn’t order this dish but I had this dish when we went to FK for Gerry’s graduation. It was highly recommended by Ming Sian and is one of their Chef’s Special, the japanese style beef fillet which was drizzled with a wasabi mayo sauce. Just a hint of wasabi, not overly thick mayo and tender beef fillet. Cold pickled vegetables to soothe the palate afterwards.Very nice. Festive Kitchen is fast becoming my favourite Hongkong style restaurant in town, the prices are on the high side (in comparison to other similar restaurants), but the food is really quite delicious.

GHB and I only ordered two mains and an entree but it was still too much for both of us and we had loads of leftovers which really bothered GHB because he was taught by him mum not to waste food , hehe. We walked over to Tea Fusion for bubble tea afterwards where he greeted friends at almost every corner. That boy is a social butterfly. I showed this picture to Gill (he is a lot cuter in real life) and she said ‘I know him!’ Perth is a small world.

Lots of laughter and chatting, it was a nice night with Grey Hoodie Boy. After this dinner, we saw each other frequently on the bus and he asked me out a few times but our schedules kept clashing. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen GHB for close to a week except for yesterday when he couldn’t catch the bus again *slaps forehead*

I’m not sure whether they will be any more Grey Hoodie Boy posts in the future, but I’m glad we had these couple of dinners and got to know each other a little better.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food : 7/10

Service: 6/10

Festive Kitchen
Shop 1/297 William St Northbridge
Perth, 6000
Tel: 9328 3899

$10 steaks @ Llama Bar

The other day I was telling T my buddy at work about going to Llama Bar for their Wednesday $10 steak night specials, another colleague overheard me talking and said ‘Diana, how do you know about all these specials???’

(=^___^=) So paiseh, I am getting famous in the office for all my foodie adventures and news, the colleagues were a very appreciative bunch and most impressed when I organised their C restaurant dinner. I have a feeling they are secretly campaigning for me to take up the ‘social club’ president post, yikes.

Jason was back from Sydney but could only join us for coffee afterwards. Sandra cancelled as well, so our party of 7 was more like a party of five.

I should mention that the steaks are $10 if you order a drink, but we’ve ordered cheap drinks like lemon lime bitters before and the cashiers were ok with that, still, it’s nice to have a glass of wine with your steak. Sides like chips are $8 and garden salads are $4. We enjoyed their simple garden salads drizzled with nice balsamic vinegar dressing.

The infamous $10 steaks which come with a choice of pepper, mushroom and bernaise sauce. I had mine with mushroom sauce which was very nice, I especially liked the mushrooms and the tasty deep fried sweet potato crisps.

This was the bernaise sauce, it was nice too but we all preferred the mushroom sauce. The boys really liked the bed of mash as well.  Some of us had bigger and smaller portions of steak (poor HC had a tiny one) and the ‘doneness’ of the steak wasn’t really consistent (most of us ordered it medium rare) but we all agreed that Llama steaks are definitely great value for money, plus the live music atmosphere is pretty great to boot.

The cute couple Jason and Wendy are on holidays in Malaysia (so envious but it will be my turn soon, hehe) but here’s another cute couple, Jo and HC.

We headed to Oriel’s for coffee and cake afterwards (Baileys cheesecake pictured above which the guys said was good). It’s such a pity that Oriel’s has changed management, it used to be a university student staple, but now the service is atrocious. I must keep reminding myself never to return. But that’s a blog for another day (when I feel like ranting), Llama Bar Wednesday steak nights are definitely a ‘must-go’ in town if you like good deals so visit if you haven’t been.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food : 6.5/10 daitaohas (mostly rating on it’s value for money)

Service: 6/10 daitaohas

Llama Bar
1/464 Hay St
Subiaco WA 6008
Tel: 9388 0222

Homecooking 101 : Project October 06/10/09 – 09/10/09

My weekend is almost over (T___________T). But I have many many other weekends to look forward to, so very happy lah (^___^). Project October is also moving into its 2nd week. This first week has been a blast, cooking different dishes everyday and packing lunch bentos has been fun too. I hope I don’t get tired of this before October ends.

Wednesday lunch bento was Jo and HC’s spaghetti bolognese. It was HC’s first pasta effort and it was very good indeed, good effort HC!

Thursday lunch bento was mei chai kou rou, otherwise known as belly pork with preserved mustard, I finally got rid of all the belly pork in the fridge, so we won’t be eating belly pork for a long long while.

Friday bento was nestum chicken with mixed stir fried vegetables. Ok, I’m going out to enjoy the last of the weekend, adios!


I’ve booked my tickets back home.

This Christmas, Jo, HiengChiong, Bryan and Jason (hopefully Gerry too) will be in Kuching with me and my family! I am so going to enjoy showing them around and stuffing their faces with Kuching delicacies.

It’s going to be sooo exciting.

I’m also considering a stopover in Singapore except no one will be joining me there. Boo. But perhaps Shirley will spare me a weekend??

So exciting.

Homecooking 101 : Project October 05.10.09

It’ll be Jo and HC’s turn to cook tomorrow, hehe, I am looking forward to blogging about someone else’s cooking for a change (^__^), I think we’re getting pasta.

Lunch bento tomorrow is braised beef brisket with carrots and radish, mapo tofu and kailan with steamed rice. I’ll be surprised if they don’t feel sleepy after eating this tomorrow…

October 2009