Archive for the 'Chinese' Category

2015 Year of the Sheep

Gong Xi Fa Cai! I just realised that I’ve had this blog since 2009, that’s like going on 7 years!! It’s pretty amazing when you think my 2nd blog post talked about how I wished my siblings were there to join us for dinner ‘if only if only’ and now it’s only Darren that’s missing from the picture! It took a long time but we’re getting there 🙂
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Our reunion dinner, it’s so much more fun and loud now that the kids are here and Jan’s family has joined us in Perth. I remember in the old days Jo and I had to join Calv’s family for reunion dinner and became the token ‘Wong’ family members. It was really nice of them to us join them come to think of it. I should really bake a cake for Mama Wong some day.

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Andy is our ‘fish’ master, I love the fishes that he steams haha. My sharksfin soup was a fail I reckon, next year I’m going to leave it to R. But at least the braised abalone went well! I’m going to do this as a treat in the future.

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R and his abalone lollipop haha.

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Lou hei. I love this dish I’m not sure why. I think it’s the combination of flavours and texture. Hopefully the year of the Sheep will be a great one for our family and friends, lots of good luck, good health and good fortune please (not greedy at all haha!).

We had our traditional Chinese New Year morning tea at work (3 years running now). As per usual, I shared my colleagues’ zodiac fortunes for the year, explained some Chinese New Year customs and introduced my colleagues to some CNY treats. I really enjoy these annual sessions because I’m proud of our Chinese culture and customs and it’s great to be able to share some of this knowledge.

It’s been a week of feasting and lack of exercise though so I’m hoping to be better next week. Hmm… have to start planning for Chap Goh Meh dinner, maybe steamboat? So much for being good …

Chinese New Year in Perth and turning another year older

As one grows older wiser, you tend to appreciate your birthdays even more (because you know it means you are gradually on your way to fossil status). My birthdays over the past few years have been absolutely fabulous but this year’s birthday was extra special because it fell on the first day of Chinese New Year!

Quite a few colleagues asked why I didn’t take the day off, but I really didn’t see the need to. I have to admit that lately I’ve been a bit of a work freak but I oddly enough, do genuinely enjoy my work most of the time so I guess I’m pretty lucky. It helps that I have very sweet workmates who thoroughly spoilt me and I received lots of presents, flowers and birthday wishes. It was all a bit embarrassing but I was very touched.
_DSC2087 (Large)Haven’t cooked meicaikourou (belly pork with pickled mustard) for a while. Clogging the arteries sinful fatty stuff which also makes you feel happy.
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Ok, I haven’t been doing too well with the whole work life/balance thing. I meant to get off work early to go grocery shopping with Jo and cook up a storm for reunion dinner. Instead I left work late and could only whip up a few simple dishes. It was still very nice having dinner together as a small family, I can’t wait till Jan and family arrive, reunion dinners will be so much bigger then, woohoo!

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Jo surprised me with homecooked birthday long life noodles in chicken abalone soup for dinner on my birthday. It was such a nice surprise and a very tasty one to boot. Usually not a fan of long life noodles, I finished every last drop of my bowl because it was 1) very nice 2) cooked by Jo! (T___T).
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Wendy’s parents are in town and invited us over for a Chinese New Year banquet all cooked by Wendy’s mum! Seriously, the whole table was laden with delicious, spicy and traditional Chinese dishes. I don’t think we did any justice to Wendy’s mum’s great cooking but we definitely tried our best.

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My favourite dish cooked by Wendy’s mum, this braised beef dish which was so good that I couldn’t stop eating it. I have to ask them for the recipe.
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The baby approved too.
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It was a fun afternoon of good food and good company. Thank you for being such hospitable hosts and for inviting us Jason and Wendy! It truly felt like Chinese New Year .
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Can’t be Chinese New Year without the traditional pineapple tarts.
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I suspect my nephew is going to be a little foodie when he grows up.
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He was quite upset with me when I didn’t share my pineapple tarts and pointed his finger indignantly at the red box.
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His serious face while sampling a tart.
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I’m going to have so much fun with this boy when he grows up.
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Definitely takes after his da yee who is a huge pineapple tart fan.

Another wonderful birthday surrounded by the best family and friends who as usual make me feel lucky and privileged to have them in my life. A different sort of Chinese New Year, I’m not sure I missed Kuching that much but I did miss my parents and the excitement of getting ready for Chinese New Year. It will be lovely when we’re all together again.

It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk so Gerry did

I was just thinking that Perth’s summer has been pretty mild this year when the temperature hit 44 degrees today! And it’s still going to be 41 tomorrow (T____T). Arrgh, I hate summer.

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Gerry shared  pictures of him frying an egg on the sidewalk :(. It took him an hour but he had a pretty good sunny side up to show for it.

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Soup when it’s already boiling hot?! Actually it’s ok to have soup as long as the aircon is on full blast. This was a pork rib, white fungus and carrot soup.

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Chicken, mushroom and lap cheong bowl.

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Peking spareribs drizzled with mayo. Very sinful but lots of flavour.

So how is everyone else surviving the summer? The only good thing about summer, I don’t feel guilty about having the aircon on while baking and it’s so much more comfy baking in a cool kitchen!

The ugliest macarons

My first and epic fail at baking macarons.
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These were ugly looking passionfruit macarons. I am actually not a fan of macarons finding them too sweet, but I am tempted to give it another go just because I want to get picture perfect macarons.

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It was a week of firsts. You would think with so many roast chicken dinners I would have roasted beef at some point but this was my first time too.

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Braised pork belly with red rice, from my 2013 must cook list.

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Gerry left bags of rice flour at my house which inspired Tuesday night chwee kueh steaming. Singapore chwee kueh is so much better but beggars can’t be choosers 😉

Mother’s Day

Apologies for being M.I.A. for so long. Sometimes I forget that I have a blog (T___T). But I still love blogging very much, so not giving up anytime soon :).

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This was a couple of weekends back when we stopped by Cranked in Leederville for some lunch. The mocha wasn’t fantastic.

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But the the South American spiced chicken and tomato jam  quesadilla with a side of guacamole was yummy with a nice hint of chilli.

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A friend mentioned that he remembers my Loh Bak fondly last night (^___^). I didn’t tell him that my loh bak tastes slightly different each time because I never use the same amount of ingredients. For this lunch bento, I used galanghal instead of ginger as taught by my ah ma and I thought it was much tastier.

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Sometimes you just need a honey chicken with fried rice. This one was from Wang’s Asian Cuisine. It’s also Mother’s Day today. If my ah ma and Jan were in Perth, I reckon we would be having Japanese for dinner.  So here’s wishing all the mothers in my family, a very happy and well deserved special Mother’s Day, I hope all the kids are specially good today 🙂

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Bonus picture of Tristan, I think he was wanting to try the honey chicken too!

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!

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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!

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?


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