Archive for April, 2013

A Political Post

If you’re Malaysian, you will know that the General Election will be held on 5 May and it’s promising to be a hell of an election (and a very dirty one too).

With all the videos, facebook posts and news going on about the Election, it felt right that I had at least one post about the upcoming GE.

My mum shared this piece of political news with Jo tonight:

Ah pa’s friends say that BN’s (that’s the much hated ruling party Barisan National ) promotional flags are very good. It’s made of good quality cloth like silk.

So they took it down and used it to wash their windows.

My reaction to Jo :

Ask ah ma to get me a flag so we can cut up for dishcloth.

Ah ma’s reply:

Cannot lah.

We’re very political our family. LOL.

Harvest Espresso brunch and good ol’ Taka’s

The perpetual Saturday morning question ‘Where should we go for brunch?’

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This time I introduced Jo and HC to Harvest Espresso which I’ve frequented a few times and enjoyed tremendously. As usual, the little cafe was buzzing but the nice and friendly waitress was able to get us a table pretty quick.

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It’s always nice to start a weekend with a coffee. I tried to lie to myself that I wasn’t having a coffee by ordering a mocha. Trying to cut down on coffee is proving pretty difficult. Sometimes when I haven’t had a coffee at work,  I find myself making a coffee (instant some more!) at night (^__^)”. My nervous stomach is obviously not getting any better.

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Jo had the mushroom omelette which she really loved, the omelette was creamy yet light, very tasty.

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HC’s pulled pork sandwich which they both said was very nice. He also had a side of sourdough toast with strawberry jam which he was lovely. It was a nice brunch and I’m so glad that this little cafe is still doing really well, food wise and service wise.

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Eating in on Saturday night. Sei soong yaat tong, four dishes and one soup, Cantonese style hehe.

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New dish, prawns in creamy butter garlic sauce on an omelette. Very rich and sinful dish, I think it was just lacking a bit of chilli for a bit of oomph.

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Chicken teriyaki slices with stir fried beansprouts.

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Our soup of the night was bak kut teh (pork rib soup) which I made with soft pork ribs and also belly pork. Also added tofu puffs and pork balls for a bit of variety.

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I took this picture for my mother because I wanted to let her know that we returned to Taka for Sunday lunch! Ah ma remembers Taka fondly because it was the only Japanese place I brought her to eat back in the old days when I was a cheap uni student. Taka is not so ‘cheap’ anymore, but it’s still very affordable and always tasty. This is Jo’s teriyaki fish combo.
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My chicken karaage combo which was very good. The chicken pieces were still piping hot while still tender and juicy. I reckon many high end Japanese restaurants around Perth wouldn’t be able to serve such a good chicken karaage.

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Sunday roasts seem to be have become the norm. This chicken was pre marinated and came with a  cous cous stuffing, not sure about the stuffing but the chicken itself was nice.

Next Saturday should be fun, we’re going to a fancy dress party! Maybe I should go as a big head prawn.

Jo and HC’s birthday weekend @ Freo

Every year I’m never quite sure what to get HC for his birthday. Usually it always ends up being something fishing related like a boring BCF (that’s boats, camping and fishing haha) gift voucher. But this year I  bought him a fishing weekend by putting him up in the Esplanade hotel in Fremantle for a Saturday night.

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Tristan likes hotel beds a lot haha. He was so tiny and lost in the big bed.

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This is his sweet ‘yes yee yee?’ look. Sigh, melts my heart. I will be giving this kid everything he wants when he grows up. ‘KFC yee yee?’ ‘Yes Tristan.’ ‘More sweets yee yee?’ ‘Yes Tristan’. Kaka’s sunny smile has the same effect on me, sigh.

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After checking in, we went to Cicerello’s for fish and chips.

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Seafood basket to share.

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Seafood chowder which wasn’t fantastic but it was a slightly chilly day so we felt like something warm and creamy.

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After that HC went off for an afternoon of fishing while Jo, Tristan and I shopped and trekked around Freo. It was a fun and relaxing afternoon. I love these coffee topper biscuits which I discovered in London, the London ones are soo much better, just the right thickness half melted by the hot coffee with caramel oozing from the middle. Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.

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Mummy and Tristan all dressed up and ready to go for dinner at Char Char Bull.

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With so many good restaurants located in Freo, we were really spoilt for choice as to where to go for Jo and HC’s birthday dinner. In the end we settled with Char Char Bull which has a famous reputation for excellent steaks. Sigh, unfortunately, it was a poor choice as the steaks were no where magnificent let alone passable as normal pub food. This was our sirloin steak that came with cognac and mushroom sauce and mash. There wasn’t enough sauce which wasn’t good because the mash itself was already rather dry. The steak was overcooked (we asked for medium rare) and tough, I also disliked the charred bitter bits on the steak, there’s a difference between the smokiness of a chargrilled steak and burnt steak, I think mine was more on the burnt side.

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Jo’s scotch fillet with Sarawak peppercorn sauce and mash. Yes, Sarawak pepper sauce! We were thrilled to see that on the menu, but the pepper didn’t come out overly strong which is a pity. Jo’s steak was the opposite of ours, she had asked for it medium rare too but it came out rare. For around $40 for a steak, we were sorely disappointed. We noticed that the elderly couple next to us weren’t enjoying their steaks too and had a tough time chewing through their steak, he had to order a glass of wine to wash it down even though he already had a beer. Yikes.

On the bright side, the service was very good and staff were very obliging and friendly. Too bad they were let down by the kitchen staff. Sigh, why does it always have to be one or the other in Perth restaurants?

Char Char Bull
44b Mews Road
Fremantle WA
Ph: (08) 9335 7666

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But… despite the not so nice good, we still managed to have a good time!


Walking along the Fremantle jetty at night.

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We didn’t dare to try the desserts at Char Char Bull and dropped by one of the cafes instead. The cakes looked nice but they weren’t good. It was a poor foodie night :(.

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Sunday night lamb roast dinner with roasted vegs and yorkshire puddings. My first go at roast lamb and yorkshire puddings. I was inspired by my sister Jan’s cooking, she cooked a beautiful lamb roast, unfortunately, mine wasn’t as good and my lamb was a bit too rare. Better luck next time. I would also like to have a fluffier and crispier yorkshire pudding next time. We had some lovely purple sweet potatoes (with white flesh) which are so so much better than the gold sweet potatoes when roasted.

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Pretty white chocolate and orange birthday cake. Surely the best part of birthdays haha.

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Another birthday dinner, this time on the day of their real birthdays. Jo requested pineapple fried rice, we ordered some yummy takeaway, R made sharksfin soup and I also made some eggplant parmigiana. An unusual mix but delicious nonetheless.


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Jo and HC’s first birthday celebrated with baby Tristan! I hope it was a doubly special and happy one with baby with many many more happy memories and wonderful adventures  to come. Happy birthday Jo and HC!

Brunch @ The Precinct

I’m never quite sure why I keep returning to The Precinct even though the food is a bit hit and miss.

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It could be the wide and somehow cozy, spacious interior.

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Or the cool murals.

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The scrambled eggs with toast ($10) was tasty , my friends were delighted with the custardy texture of the scrambled eggs.

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Chickpeas with slow eggs were yummy too. We also had the baked beans with toast which were a bit too tart  for our liking.

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I love watching Jade grow up! She is such a good and pretty little girl with her honey blonde locks.

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Tristan making friends with Jade. Hehe, so cute.

The Precinct
834 Albany Highway
East Victoria Park

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Our new favourite Malaysian restaurant, Wang’s Asian Cuisine ( 28a, Chapman Rd, St James) which is next to Buen. They make a pretty good assam laksa.

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Combination rice with chicken and roast pork.

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Hainan chicken rice.


Bak kut teh with steamed rice. I like it that they come with yeow char kwai, deep fried crullers,

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The view from my window. It’s isn’t so bad working during weekends when you get to look at at leafy, relaxing surroundings like that.  Ok time to prepare our Sunday dinner.

Sap ha sap ha

It’s been a bit difficult getting into cooking mode since my parents have left. I will start revisiting my 30 must cook list soon, double ginger cake with lime frosting sounds delish :p

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A while ago we had a lasagne weekend. Big tray which made several lunch bentos.

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Jo’s request for a laksa weekend. Sadly I am down to my last pack of laksa paste so we will have to limit our laksa weekends until I get a fresh supply.

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This weekend our theme was ‘sap ha sap ha’ steamboat weekend. We had a simple chicken herbal soup base with wolfberries, red dates and dang gui. What should our theme be for the next cooking weekend?

Ah pa and ah ma visit Perth 2013

I can’t believe that the Easter holidays are practically over and that it will my parents’ last full day in Perth tomorrow. Already I know that Jo and I will be in deep depression come Wednesday, who am I kidding, we’re probably half way there right now (T__T).
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It wasn’t even about the massive dinners or bringing them around town. I know Jo and I will be missing our parent’s company so much. Jo said that she hasn’t felt so relaxed in a long time.

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The last time both my parents visited Perth was probably in 2005 -06, that’s 6 or 7 years ago. Perth has changed a lot since, but my parents haven’t changed much. They are still the most generous, caring and the funniest parents around. We are an emotional, crazy bunch and we have our ups and downs as a family, but there’s no denying that we have lots of fun and wonderful times together.

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I will miss the homecooked meals terribly. The jokes in the kitchen, helping taste test my mum’s dishes, making hilarious ‘cooking’ videos (should be titled ‘how not to cook assam prawns accurately’) and just gathering around the table and digging into my mum’s wonderful cooking.

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The eating is always the best part for most, but personally, I really enjoy the cooking and the prep with ah ma  too.

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Again, it was heartwarming witnessing how much my parents love being grandparents, first with Kaka in Kuching, and now with Tristan in Perth. How I wish the grandkids could grow up with their grandparents being around them everyday, although I shudder at the thought of how spoilt the babies would be. I hope it won’t be another 6 years before my parents visit Perth again, they haven’t left yet but Jo and I are feeling lonely already.  I am, however, comforting myself by thinking that we’ll all get to be together again in September. Bring on September already …

April 2013