Archive for January, 2015

Sausage rolls, sake, passionfruit soufflé and chocolate raspberry macarons

Jaso is back in town and we caught up with him for dinner. One of his comments to me was ‘you don’t blog enough’ which is true. In my defence, I’ve been keeping up my new year resolution of keeping a journal (like a real paper based one haha) so there’s already too much daily writing.
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I know my subject title suggests a very odd meal but actually this is a mish mash blog post of past activities. Last Friday my sisters and I went out to watch Les Misérables and had our pre show lunch at Bistro Guillaume. It was a birthday treat from my sisters, hehe, I love musicals so it was great fun. We had cocktails to start off the fun afternoon.

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Our pre show lunch was nice, I enjoyed the passionfruit soufflé, I’m not sure why I like soufflés so much, maybe because they’re notorious for being difficult to bake. I must try making some one day.

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My own baking, sausage rolls which are a true and tried recipe. Mine feature lots of fennel and also apple and are a favourite in the office.

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Crumbed soft shell crab salad at Darlings Supper Club in Northbridge. This was a Friday evening after work when R and I headed into town. It was actually really tasty, the crumb was great (I think they used quinoa) and the salad which was Asian inspired tasted like som tum salad and was very appetizing.

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Pork belly and prawn vietnamese rolls which were very tasty too. Darlings Supper Club has great little share plates  which are perfect washed down with sake or beer.

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I babysat (even though she’s no longer a baby) Kaka today, my first attempt so I was a bit nervous but it was a breeze and she was such a delight. She spied my Christmas present of a Adriano Zumbo macaron kit back in December and kept asking whether she could bake macarons with me. So we finally baked them today. Isn’t she cute in her chef outfit?

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The macarons didn’t end up looking like macarons (more like pink cookies haha) but they tasted pretty yummy according to Kaka. She was very generous and allocated individual macarons for her mummy, daddy, mah-mah (that’s my mum), gun-gun, Tristan.. then she said ‘and one for my Daitaoha yee yee because I love you’ *heart melt into puddle* I could have easily bought her all the icecream in the world then. But she was very good and only ate one macaron as promised.

It promises to be a hot Australia Day long weekend, yeah, I love long weekends :).

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Sunday family dinners

I now have a bigger family to feed 🙂
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Monday lunch bentos of fried beehoon. Beehoon is great for bulk cooking hehe. Other dishes that I’ve tried include lasagne, what should we have for next week?

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Nasi lemak for Sunday family dinner. We source the satay which are great from Jo’s colleague. My nasi lemak however wasn’t great, rice too dry and my sambal sotong was a bit too watery. I’m going to ask my mum for her sambal recipe next time.

I wonder whether these Sunday family dinners will become a family tradition and when the kids grow up we will talk about ‘remember how Daitaoha yee yee and yee zhang used to come over every Sunday for dinner?’

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I snapped a picture of the evening sky just when we were about to leave Jo’s home. I love Perth’s pink skies. Sigh, and the weekend is over again. But woohoo, at least it’s a long weekend next week! Counting down again …

Singaporean breakfast @Sprolo

Still fighting post holiday blues… I noticed when one is missing home, then tend to veer towards comfort food or activities that they did during their holidays. For example, I’ve been watching TVB dramas and this weekend, asked Jan and family to join me for brunch at Sprolo (138 Canning Highway, South Perth), which I have been meaning to try because I knew they served Singaporean breakfast of kaya toast and soft boiled eggs.2015-01-11-22-58-20_deco

Ta-dah! The Singaporean breakfast ($12) complete with sous vide eggs. To be honest, the service at Sprolo was underwhelming, they were quite packed and busy and I noticed none of the waitstaff bothered to come up to ask whether we needed a table or offer assistance even though we were obviously standing at the entrance for quite a while looking perplexed. In the end we ended up grabbing our own table and pulling up our extra chairs.

The Singaporean breakfast looked a bit lackluster too, especially the unattractive hue of the kaya (coconut jam). I was expecting the worst but surprisingly, the kaya was pretty standard and tasty. There wasn’t even butter for three pieces of toast, but the eggs were done well and lovely with the normal condiments of soy sauce and pepper.

So that satisfied my curiosity, I won’t be returning to Sprolo any time soon. The service just wasn’t up to par.

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It was too hot for a coffee so I had an iced mocha instead. Notice Kaka in the background playing games on her mobile? This is definitely a generation of ‘dut dian wa’  (pressing phones), it still amazes me how tech savvy kids are nowadays, especially with all the slide finger action. I still remember when I had my first smartphone (it wasn’t even that long ago =^^=) and couldn’t figure out how to pick up a phonecall because I didn’t know the slide action *face palm*. To this day, I am still hopeless with any techy gadgets.
2015-01-11-23-04-49_decoBeing technically impaired was possibly one of the reasons why I’ve put off buying an e reader for so long even though I’ve heard so much about the wonders of an e reader and love reading books. R always jokes that I read way too fast and it’s a waste of money buying books for me because I devour them within a few hours.

But my dear brother bought me a Kindle for my birthday and I’m so delighted with it that I just have to blog about it! At the moment I have the whole Agatha Christie collection on my Kindle (I’ve spent years collecting my Agatha Christie book collection) and am now chuckling my way through Agatha Raisin books (a great recommendation from Jan). It’s such an amazing thought that I will be able to have all my favourite books in one place and have so many books just at my fingertips!

So sua-ku me. I sense that my Kindle and I will be spending many lovely days together in 2015 :).

 

The Kuching food post

I seriously wonder whether there is anywhere else in the world besides Malaysia that you can find the dish below, ju hu eng chye meaning cuttlefish and kangkong (water convolvulus).
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can be loosely described as a salad of some sort, with a pungent shrimp paste dressing though, it’s not exactly vegetarian.

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Western style (and yet so not Western) mixed grill dish from your local steakhouse stall in Petanak market.This is what you call a bit of everything.

You know I’m back in Perth when I start posting a myriad of Kuching food pictures. Sigh, it’s back to harsh work reality tomorrow but I’m indulging in one day of post holiday blues. In fact, I had indo mee and a kopi (instant Old Town pack sigh) for lunch to console myself and feel a little closer to home.

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My childhood Moonlight pandan icecream stall has closed in Kenyalang *sob* so had to make do with second best Sunny Hill pandan icecream which Darren’s friend kindly bought for us. I had a couple of scoops of this and it was sooo good. I would buy an icecream maker just to make pandan icecream if I could recreate the same texture and flavour.
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Even though I didn’t post up pictures of durians, it was durian season in Kuching and we pretty much had durian every day! We also had the local mangosteen, which is very sweet and picturesque with its purple hue and white flesh.
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Funnily enough, I remember always having to draw pictures of mangosteens for art class or tuition at school, but I hardly ever ate any mangosteens back then.
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A new discovery of good bbq meats and noodles, well not actually new because my parents told me they’ve been going to this kopitiam for ages, but new for me.
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I’ve never been much of a roast meat fan, but man, we really need good char siew like this in Perth. It was the perfect combination of crunchy charred bits, sweet charsiew sweetness and tender meat.
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No more Yi Ann kampua mee this year, instead I had the kampua at Sin Popo (another popular local kopitiam) which has its own fans. I think I might like it better than the one at Yi Ann.

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Another foochow hawker fare, this is a dryer version of ‘char ju mein’ which was noodles stir fried in fragrant foochow ‘red wine’ (ang chiew) and red wine residue. Speaking of red wine, we managed to bring back a bottle of ang chiew to Perth so I will be making red wine chicken soup in 2015. If I have time, I may attempt to make my own red wine again this year.
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This is a typical home cooked meal at R’s house. My father-in-law is a great cook and whips up these banquet meals in no time. I think R put on 6 kgs in two weeks!
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Speaking of home cooked meals,the ribs that Darren made turned out fork tender. We were probably a bit too heavy with the salt but the spice rub was very tasty, must attempt this at home.
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He’s not going to be happy I posted this (but luckily I don’t think he reads my blog) but this was the day Darren was discharged and returned home, woo hoo. I don’t know why I refer to him as the kid or that boy sometimes seeing he’s a grown man in his *gasp* late twenties, but I guess he will always be my little brother in my eyes. I will miss hanging out with him and wish desperately that we were all together in Perth. Maybe some day.

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Another local fruit the mighty star fruit which is not only pretty to look at but very refreshing. It’s a pity I didn’t get to eat jambu (bell shaped local fruit) this time.

Ok that ends my Kuching food post for the year, hopefully I’ll get to visit before the year ends and will be posting more pics of Kuching food soon. Meanwhile it’s back to the start of the working year for me, so hopefully I’ll successfully switch off my post holiday blues tomorrow. Wish me luck!

 

A timely rain is worth its weight in gold

So I didn’t expect my 2014 to end this way.

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It started benignly with a visit to Carpenter Street or Ah-tap Ke as the locals call it. A difficult and narrow street to maneuver. As kids, we never used to venture into the street unless we had to visit the goldsmiths which line the street. Or have a very good bowl of fishball noodles.

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The famed fishball noodle stall is located in a unique location where there is a temple inside and also a temple opposite. I remember the location being very stuffy and sweat rolling down our temples as we dug into a bowl of fishball noodles which always seemed so delicious probably due to the rarity of us venturing there for a meal. I’m told the family carries out the fishball making in secrecy and behind locked doors haha.

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Are the fishball noodles still good? Not bad to be honest. But also not as fantastic as I remember. I think I prefer the fishball noodles in Singapore.

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My brother’s next meal unfortunately, was in the hospital. And it wasn’t for many hours later when we were advised that emergency surgery wouldn’t be necessary (phew). Poor fella had to see in the new year in the hospital. My parents and I retired to bed early and there was no countdown to 2015, for me, it was due to a mixture of relief and nerves.

I’ve never had much experience being in the hospital (thank heaven) but I understand the anxiety, fear and apprehension that comes with a loved one being in hospital. I thought of those people on tv shows such as Fear factor where they’re terrified of spiders, or heights, that’s nothing compared to fear throbbing in your heart when your loved one is sick and you’re not sure what is wrong or how to fix it. The fear when you want him to rest but you’re afraid for him to close his eyes. I don’t believe I have, but this has taught me to never ever take my family for granted.

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On the bright side, my brother is home now and we’re having american style spareribs for dinner. He prepared the spice rub himself, it’s the first time that I’ve ever eaten anything that my brother has prepared so I have high expectations!

In 2014, I finally completed my decade long resolution of getting a driver’s license. So what’s next for 2015? I am going to keep a personal journal (this is something I picked up from my brother and will aid in self reflection and improvement) and I will lead a healthier lifestyle. I am also going to have much better work life balance and spend more time with my family and loved ones! I’ll report back in a year.

Happy New Year folks.


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