Archive for February, 2011

New ramen find! Kai @ Bullcreek

I’m always interested when I find a Japanese restaurant in Perth that serves ramen and it is almost always a must order for Richard the Ramen King.

I am still hard pressed to find a really good Japanese restaurant in Perth, maybe someday I’ll try the big restaurants like Ha-Lu or Satsuki which I’ve heard good things about, but so far, the places that I keep returning to are the little Japanese restaurants that seat about 20 patrons max e.g. Sushi Fuji Station (I think it has closed down! so sad ), Kanta etc. I like the intimacy and authenticity of these little shops where the cooking is usually a one man show.


Kai is another such place and my newly discovered Japanese ‘little restaurant’. They don’t take bookings and possibly have around 5 tables in the entire space. Their menu listed the usual favourites, the teriyaki dishes, beef tataki, unagi, agedashi tofu etc. Best of all, Kai serves ramen! And not just plain soy or miso ramen, they serve tonkatsu ramen too, how exciting. For less than $10, this big bowl of tonkatsu ramen was great for Perth standards, the pork broth was flavourful, they made a pretty good attempt at a half boiled egg, there was sliced pork (pity it wasn’t fatty pork but lean pork) pickled ginger and fungus strips in the broth and the ramen was real ramen (we had been fobbed off with instant noodles disguising themselves as ramen in the past). Not bad at all, now I’m going to return to try their miso and soy based ramen.


Maggie had the unadon which was not bad and not too sweet. I like unagi so much that I usually like most unadons.

I was wondering whether to try the more exciting things on the menu like grilled mackerel or octopus, but couldn’t go past the teriyaki fish set (came with miso soup and rice). When you cook lots of teriyaki dishes yourself, you get really curious how other ppl make their teriyaki sauce. This fish set came with a giant side salad which was nice and refreshing, the fish itself was freshly fried thus making it warm and crispy on the outside, flaky and oily on the inside, yums.I think I still prefer the teriyaki sauce at Kanta’s, but this one was not bad at all.


The california sushi that we ordered to share wasn’t cut very prettily, but was tasty, the sushi rice was nicely seasoned with a nice not too sticky bouncy texture.

Overall we had a really nice dining experience at Kai and will definitely return to try more ramen and other dishes :).

Shop 4/110 Parry Avenue, Bull Creek
Bull Creek, 6149

Texting sisters

It’s finally Friday !!! But I can’t complain because I actually haven’t been to work for the past two days *cough cough*. Despite being sick, I must admit I really enjoyed not going to work.

It was my director’s retirement function today. I was happy because  it meant going home early unnoticed since everyone else would be heading to the farewell sundowner. Unfortunately, I met my director in the lift holding her farewell flower bouquet. I made small talk in the lift and admired her flowers, but we both knew I wasn’t going to her farewell, how mortifying. Oh well *shrug*

I am loving this whole phone technology thing, while I have yet to master the Samsung Galaxy S (and never will), my sister introduced me to this app thingy that let’s us sms and send each other picture msgs internationally for free!! So this morning I sent her a picture of my train station while going to work, and she sent me a picture of gloomy UK on her way to work. Now we can talk all day long and send each other pictures all day for free, this is GENIUS!! *I know I sound like a country bumpkin*

I always thought that Jan and I (actually it’s probably Darren) were the cheapskates of the family UNTIL Jan texted ‘how come Jo isn’t in on this? I told her about it already’. So I texted Jo to tell her to download the app. She replied ‘It costs $1.99 after one year’. (=-_________-=).I replied ‘then worry about it one year later!!’

Later when Jo downloaded the app she said ‘are you sure this is free? Later they charge me’. HAHAHAHA. So Jo is the cheapskate of the family!!


Filler picture of the day, my new Hoisin Chilli stirfried tofu chicken dish which I think is simple and tasty with white rice.

Now all we need is for my mother to get onto this phone technology bandwagon and life would be perfect. I think Ah Ma, it’s time to get an i-phone. Happy Friday 🙂 !


It’s been a while since I’ve done a brekkie review (or any review actually). But for the past two weekends I’ve had breakfast at my old haunt The Imp in Victoria Park and then Cranked@Leederville and the contrast couldn’t be greater.

When The Imp had just opened, I raved about the food and coffee there. Back then, the food was affordable, tasty, was served in generous portions and they had pretty good coffee. But now, not only have the prices gone up, but the portions have reduced drastically. It’s almost hilarious to look back at my old picture of the Mushroom and Toast and realise that the whole mushrooms that were once served, have reduced to stems and chopped pieces of mushrooms. Inflation? I’m not sure.

Cranked on the other hand was introduced to us by Sandra and has a nice bright and open atmosphere to it. The waitresses were friendly and obliging, offering to help us take group photos when they saw me handling the camera.

This Crank-a-licious ($17.00) was an open toasted bagel ( I love bagels) with a large field mushroom, wilted spinach, soft poached eggs and topped with a very crispy pancetta. Simple and nice.


Despite the crowd, the coffees came out fast and were smooth and not too hot.


This unassuming Tasty Fungus ($17.50) was a deep dish of garlic fried whole mushrooms with melted mozarella, wilted spinach, good poached eggs and New Norcia toasted bread.


The omelette ($16.00) was perhaps the most surprising dish, coming out with a dollop of tomato chutney with chunks of crab, avocado and cherry tomatoes served on a soft bagel. I’ve always liked the combination of crab and avocado, teamed with a chewy bagel and eggs, even better!

I’ve only been to Cranked once so I can’t judge on its consistency (unlike Crumpet which has been so disappointingly inconsistent) but I was pretty impressed with our first try, so I will return again 🙂

Shop 5, 106 Oxford Street, Leederville.
Opposite Leederville Train Station

Back to normal

It’s Sunday night again, sigh. Feels like life is back to normal, the holiday season is really over, I’m even starting school tomorrow. Life as a part time student/worker = not fun at all.


Speaking of school life, during the weekend I visited my food haunting ground during my uni days. If Fung and LL are reading this, remember Broadway center?


I used to come to this place almost everyday back in the last few years of uni when I lived only 5 minutes away.

chicken rice

They sell a pretty good chicken rice here. Not as good as the one in Spring though Jan.

chicken chop rice

But my old favourite chicken chop rice is still the best. I introduced this to Jo a few years ago and she loves it too. When you think about it, there’s nothing so special about this dish, but I think it’s the whole fried chicken, fried egg, fried rice and fried everything effect. Unhealthy stuff is always yummy.


Weekend coffees are still the best. I finally tried the famous Elixir coffee. It is really pretty good, but I am partial to Velvet coffee.


Sunset at South Perth.I’m glad that I live in a beautiful city.


I’m back to growing my pots of herbs and hoping they don’t die of me (so far, mortality rate has been pretty high). Daily lunch bento preparations are also back on again, daitaoha returns to the kitchen :).

I ♥ Kuching food

There’s a lot I miss about Kuching since I’ve been back. Our house. Kenyalang. The Spring :). But most of all, I really miss Kuching food.

This morning we had breakfast at the Imp, I had coffee and a muffin. If I had a choice, I would rather have

soft eggs

this, for breakfast. Soft boiled eggs and kaya toast with kopi for breakfast. So nice… We had this at the Singapore Changi airport, it was lovely.

roti canai

And then there is Jan’s favourite form of breakfast, or lunch or dinner in Kuching. Roti canai with curry. This is my sister’s newly discovered must-eat in Kuching, we had it twice while we were back. Can’t describe the oily, slighty crispy, chewiness of the roti canai which when dipped in the yummy curry sauce is just so delicious you just keep returning for seconds.

teh tarik

Washed down with a nicely pulled frothy, sweet mug of teh tarik, this is one of the best breakfasts available in Kuching.

soft cone

The Spring is well known for it’s tall soft cones, my favourite sort of ice cream.  I remember Jan muttering ‘hurry up, so embarrassing’ when I took this photo, hehe.


Our last breakfast in Kuching prior to going to the airport was traditional Foochow Kampua mee. Jo loves this but it’s still a bit too oily for me. Also a favourite of Richard’s.


Can’t end a blog on Kuching food without a shot of the famous Kolo Mee! I’m going to try making kolo mee at home in future, wish me luck! Never know, there might be some Kuching food in Perth in the near future :).

Bygone days

My family members commented that I was too scrawny when I went back for the holidays. So I ate lots during CNY, not to put on weight but just because Kuching food is delicious!!


Good ol’ Laksa. It’s interesting to eat real Kuching laksa especially when Richard and I had a go of selling our own laksa. While he made a really good version, nothing beats the original and the best.

kueh chap

Jo’s no.1 must-eat in Kuching, the heavenly Kueh Chap with all porkie goodies. I should have eaten more of this when I was back, it’s too late now (T__T).

At least the dreaded 1st day back at work is over. It was worse than I imagined, I didn’t even bother hiding it to my colleagues ‘I had a great holiday and now I’m back and really depressed’ I told everyone. Oh well.

Now I shall drown in my sorrows and watch How I Met Your Mother to cheer myself up. 2 more days to the weekend … Aargh, I can’t believe I’m back to counting down to the weekends AGAIN!

The day after

The last day in Kuching is not the worst. It’s the day after landing in Perth, when you have ample time to walk around the empty house aimlesly, when reality finally sinks in that your holiday is really over and you don’t know when you’ll see your family again.

The day after is when depression sinks in. I’m almost looking forward to going to work just so I can stop moping. At the moment  my heart is so heavy and I just wish I could sleep the rest of the day away.


Sian (-___-)

It’s the fourth day of Chinese New Year but already the festive mood is fading and everyone is starting to trickle back to work. Sigh. Which also means my holiday is almost over.


A picture of my brother Darren attempting to carry the newest addition to the family during the first day of Chinese New Year.Sigh.. good things never last. We’ve just returned from sending Dar off to the airport where he’s doing the grown up thing and going off to work in KL.

Tomorrow Jo, Hc and I are traveling back to Perth together. Then the day after it will be Jan’s turn at the airport, and soon my parents will be alone again. Last night, after a week of blissful dreamless sleeps, I started dreaming about work again. It kinda really really sucks that my holiday is over when it feels like it has hardly begun. I already miss Kuching, miss my home and miss my family.

CNY eve

I wish there was some way to bring Kuching food back to Perth.


We’ve been eating out a lot, so much that we had to take a break yesterday and stayed at home with maggi mee  and sausages for lunch. I’ve had two kolo mees to date, still good.


My favourite is kolo mee straight ‘bang ang’ (added char siew sauce). Can’t really describe the springiness of the noodles, the slightly sweet, salty, garlicky oil mixture.

char kueh

Had my first char kueh today, it was very nice. There’s usually a choice of sweet or salty char kueh, I had the salty one today, very yums.


One of Jo’s cravings ticked off the list, she’s been wanting to eat really good satay for ages and the ones at Hui Sing are always very good.


My sister Jan is busy counting out money for the angpows she has to give the little ones this year. It’s the first year that she’s giving out angpows. She says that she’s going to start a new trend and start greeting everyone with ‘Happy CNY’ as in ‘happy cee nee‘. I think it might turn out to be the catchphrase of the season.


You know Chinese New Year is here when pretty pots of flowers start appearing around the house.


Our mini pot of mandarin oranges which I think is much cuter than the big plants.


Traditional chinese wall decals are making a comeback, I love them.  We’ve been sticking them all around the house.


Our little lion with his little mandarin. All the decorations are up, we’ve given the house a spring cleaning, the cars are washed and waxed and our new year clothes are ironed and hung up. I can hear firecrackers banging in the background. I think we’re reading for Chinese New Year 2011.

Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai folks!

February 2011