Archive for the 'Daitaoha Loves Perth' Category

Hangout Bar N Cafe @ Como, Jun@ Hay Street, Perth

A break from my holiday posts with some local content.

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We had Sunday brunch at Hangout Bar N Cafe in Como a few weekends back. Even though it was busy, we managed to snag a table pretty quick without a booking. The cafe was surprisingly cozy with a fireplace, unfortunately we were seated near the door which meant chilly blasts of wind when patrons came in and out the cafe.

They have a wide range of coffees and flavoured hot chocolates ranging from tiramisu latte to green tea latte. I liked their fancy glasses.

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Their Big and Tall ($20) breakfast which comes with a glass of fruit juice. This is one for the hungry and was a pretty good all rounder big breakfast.

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Eggs benedict ($17), HC said all was tasty.

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Jo’s honey glazed 1 inch bacon which came with poached eggs, avocado and habanero sauce ($17). The bacon was lovely but I’m not sure that the habanero sauce added to the dish.

Overall we enjoyed our brunch and will definitely return some day. They take bookings so that’s convenient too.

Hangout Bar N Cafe
20 Preston Street
Como, WA 6152
Tel: 08 9474 1914

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Jason is back in town! Only for a short three weeks ūüė¶ but beggars can’t be choosers. We only have him for another week before he returns to London. So tonight we met up with him for dinner at Jun. I’ve heard great things about Jun so was glad we finally got to go. The restaurant is hidden underground in a little alley, but word has gone out so it’s no longer a secret in the CBD and is always packed at lunch time.

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I can never resist ordering zaru soba ($10) even though it’s a bit mad to have cold soba on a winter night. I had the yummy soba with a side of croquette ($8), very crunchy texture and I was suitably pleased with my choices.

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R’s soba in soup ($10) he immediately regretted his choice after trying my zaru soba. It tasted alright but the texture of soba was lost in the hot soup.

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The rest of the guys had set meals. This was Jason’s katsu chicken meal ($28) which came with side dishes, salad, pickles and miso. He let me try some of this chicken with was very crunchy and well fried.
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Jo had the Jun yakitori set ($30). Jun is most well known for its yakitori and it was easy to see why because they were all very well done, grilled to perfection, moist and tasty.

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HC’s teriyaki beef set ($28), he is a huge teriyaki beef bowl fan and really liked the beef here. I liked their side dishes of simmered pork stew, just something different from the normal salad.

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Side dish of baby squid in butter soy sauce ($8), R thought it was great with just the right texture and I liked their butter and soy sauce which had the right amount of sticky sweetness.

While Jun’s prices are perhaps on the slightly higher end, I do admire their wide variety of authentic Japanese dishes on the menu, everything was faultless (except if perhaps the waitress was a bit more frequent with her green tea serving) and we had a fun winter night.

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Baby Tristan really liked Jason and couldn’t stop smiling all night. Sigh, can’t blame the baby, I love being around Jason too. It always feels so comforting and familiar whenever Jaso is here and we always have such a nice time whether it’s squabbling with each other or having one of our D&Ms (an abbreviation taught by Jaso haha, it means deep and meaningful *face palm*).

Jun
568 Hay St
Perth, WA 6000
Tel : 08 9221 3339
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The different colours of the Perth Council House at night. I doubt Perth will ever become a cosmopolitan city like London, Paris or even Sydney and Melbourne, but the gradual growth of Perth suits the boring ol’ me and it’s becoming more and more like home especially with the arrival of Jan and family. Looking forward to the rest of 2013 and beyond.

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My favourite coffees in the CBD

The weekend started great this morning with a coffee at 868 Gourmet which is just a hop, skip and jump away from home.

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The coffee was quite strong and a little too hot but I still enjoyed it.

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They use 5 senses beans at 868 which is my preferred roaster.

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Before working in the city, my favourite beverage in the world would probably be the Hongkong style milk tea. Actually, I still love my milk teas and chinese teas , but¬†coffee is a firm¬†favourite as well. ¬†There’s lots I miss about being in the city, sometimes it is dicovering a quiet, empty lane hidden in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

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The mix of old and new buildings.

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Checking out the latest restaurants, cafes and shops popping up all over the city. This new coffee shop Basilica¬†opened up¬†during my last week at work in the city along with other shops all located in close vicinity to the impressive BHP Billiton skyscraper. I did try Basilica coffee before I left but it wasn’t fantastic.

I knew that I wanted to do a post on my favourite coffees in the city before leaving. So with Jo’s borrowed camera in hand, ¬†I had a coffee every day for the entire week!

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Tartine was my most frequented coffee joint in the city  since it opened up right below my office building about a year ago. This place not only serves consistently good coffee (they use 5 senses) but have lovely belgian hot chocolates too. The tarts and pastries here are also delectable, with our favourite being their white chocolate and macadamia muffins plus their light brownies.

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The team at¬† Tartine are always cheery and passionate about their coffee as you can tell by their handwritten smileys on the takeaway cup. Everytime a coffee spills over the top, the barista will say ‘the coffee’s excited to see you!’ The only downside to Tartine, the prices are on the higher side with a¬†large coffee going for $5.50, but to be fair, their large coffees are really quite large!

Tartine
72 St Georges Tce
Perth

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I’ve blogged many times about Velvet and how much I love the coffees at this place. This cafe is what started my love affair with coffee. I still remember my then manager saying ‘there’s this lovely little cafe nearby…’ . Velvet is so popular with the office crowd that the downside is the¬†long wait (around 10 – 15 mins) during rush hour. A normal sight in the morning along King Street is the line of patient caffeine loving folks queing out of the cafe. But trust me, it is worth the wait.

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No matter how busy they are, I can’t really remember a coffee that I’ve had here¬†which hasn’t been good, velvety (pun intended) with gorgeous chocolate notes (they use 5 senses too) at the end. Every time I forget how good a nicely made coffee is, I have a hit of Velvet and my mind just goes ‘ahhh… now I remember’. The coffee prices here have been slowly creeping up too (as is the whole of Perth) with a regular (which is actually quite a small cup) going for $4.20. The service is not particularly friendly but quick and¬†efficient. I only wished they were open on weekends SIGH.

Velvet Espresso
172 St Georges Ter Shop 5
Perth, WA 6000

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Before Tartine opened up, this was also one of my usual haunts. The guys at Ristretto Espresso take their coffee very very seriously., they source and roast their own beans. ¬†Located in the alley of a small arcade, this place is really a ‘hole in the wall’ and not one for a cafe ambience. They have their own fans as well (another branch in Howard Street) and it can be a little wait during peak hours.

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Their coffee prices are also on the higher side but at least you won’t be getting burnt milk here, coffees are strong, smooth and best of all, consistent.

Ristretto Espresso
160 Central Arcade
160 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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Greenhouse created a stir in Perth when it opened a few years ago. It was lauded for its innovative design, recycling greenhouse theme. Not to mention the up and coming chef Matt Stone with his award winning menu. But that was back in its hey day, nowadays I hear Greenhouse is still largely popular but the service standards has dropped incredibly.

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Luckily, the coffees here ($4 for regular if I remember correcly) are still consistently good (they use Fiori beans hence a more intense, stronger flavour) and I found myself trekking to Greenhouse quite often despite it being further down the Terrace from my workplace.They also have nice looking savoury muffins and tarts on offer during breakfast and best of all, remains open during the weekends, woohoo!

Greenhouse
100 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

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I left the best for the last (^____^). The one and only Lowdown. I have to admit, I er.. kinda prefer Velvet coffees *small voice* over Lowdown coffees only because Lowdown uses Fiori beans and I’ve always been partial towards 5 senses which are more mild on my tastebuds. BUT… Lowdown makes the best Fiori coffees in town because their coffees are always excellent, strong and creamy (and the boys make gorgeous latte art too).

When¬†my workplace¬†moved further down the Terrace, my first thought was ‘oh no,further away from Lowdown’. When I was contemplating going back to my old workplace, my first thought was ‘yes! daily Lowdown coffees!’ So why do I love this place so much? It’s the groovy barista brothers whom are not overly cheery but friendly,polite and just so charming. They make the effort of remember every customer’s name, call out ‘thank you xxx’ before handing the customer their coffee with a gentle smile. Good service goes such a long way.

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It’s also their affordable prices, despite being so popular ( downside is the long wait but hey, at least they pump out lovely music over their radio), their prices have never gone up and a regular coffee is $3.50. And such good coffee too SIGH. Plus, their baked muffins are a treat, I love it that they don’t serve the normal apple and cinnamon, but have¬†lovely combinations like lemon and ricotta muffins, dark chocolate and pear muffins. their muffins are always served warm (why don’t Perth¬†cafes do that nowadays?) and have a slight crunch on the exterior but are moist and light on the inside.

Just thinking of Lowdown makes me feel so sad that I’m no longer in the CBD. If only they opened a branch in East Perth or even on the weekends, I would willingly trek into the city every weekend for a Lowdown hit. I’m just glad I was there to witness the arrival and the rise of Lowdown, they deserve the accolades. This is quality coffee and quality service at its best.

Lowdown Espresso
Shop 16a Cloisters Arcade
865 Hay Street

WA Day long weekend and R’s birthday

We have to wait till October for the next long weekend (T________T). I really do think that the WA government should spread out the public holidays a bit better throughout the year, a grey, gloomy and extra wet winter is bad enough without having any public holidays to look forward too. SIGH.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the WA Day long weekend which also happened to be R’s birthday, such good timing.

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I did quite a bit of cooking over the weekend, these were my mini vegetarian pohpiahs.
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Sio baos for my farewell morning tea at work. My colleagues liked them but the pregnant Jo loved them. I even had to ‘dapao’ some from my morning tea to take home for her even though I had packed her half a dozen a few days earlier.

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Hippo Creek Meat and Wine was R’s birthday dinner venue. Actually we had many birthday meals throughout the weekend. Any reason for a feast ūüôā

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This is called the Lion’s Kill. Can you guess why? Under the slab of bbq ribs was 350 gm of Black Angus sirloin steak. The restaurant was loud and festive, not a romantic place for two but great for a crowd of friends. The food was pretty good too.

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Long weekends aren’t complete without Freo outings. I don’t think we predicted that we would be heading back so soon when Shirley and her friends came to town!

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For HC, a long weekend means fishing solitude by the Sardine jetty. Well, not really solitude since we were all there being pests and generally doing everything but fishing.

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It was¬†a beautiful day, a complete contrast from the crappy weather that we’ve been facing for the past couple of weeks.

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Can’t end a birthday post without a picture of the birthday boy with his birthday cake. It was a good birthday and a nice long weekend.

Queen Bday long weekend

It was the long awaited long weekend. Happily,it was as glorious as anticipated, only as usual, it blew by in a flash, SIGH. I can’t believe it’s all over. Now it’s the long countdown to Christmas (T___T)

lemon cupcakes

During the week, we had a morning tea to raise funds for guide dogs for the blind. I promised to bake a batch of ‘pupcakes’ for the morning tea, so lemon cupcakes it was.
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I had lots of lemons leftover, so baked a batch of lemon ricotta muffins for home consumption.

ramen

Back to the long weekend, Saturday was our Freo fishing day. It started with ramen at Dosukoi in the Fremantle markets, also known as the first ramen that I really liked in Perth. Back in those days, Dosukoi was not well known and it was easy to get seats any time of the day. But nowadays, even though we were there early, we still had to wait half an hour for seats in this little ramen gem. But it was worth the wait (^___^).

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Then it was time to indulge in HC’s favourite past time, fishing! The weather was gorgeous, the ocean was beautiful, in fact, the only thing lacking was err.. the fish.

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The serious fishermen. You can always spot the serious fishers.

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Real fishermen come fully geared with caps, hats, proper shoes (for climbing around the rocks), have all the fishing gear including rods, buckets, bait and the most importantly, a giant tub of sunscreen.
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Whereas the not serious fishers can be seen clambering around the rocks, taking silly pictures, splashing around the water, looking for crabs, clams, abalone, everything but fish. Hahahaha.

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Introducing … the not serious fishermen.

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Gerry and his little crab. Don’t worry, we put the crab back in the waters.

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It was interesting witnessing HC’s love for fishing. He was so patient with all of us the whole day, helping us fools to cast our rods, hook the bait and teaching us different fishing techniques. We had a lovely time, driving to different locations around Fremantle,¬† basking in the sun, enjoying the gorgeous view and each other’s company.

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Hooray for the ultimate fisher HC.
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The three stooges by the pier.

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Cooking our catch of the day at the end of the night.

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All of us had our own dishes, HC with his yummy lemon chicken, Gerry’s tom yum soup, signature garlic prawns and clams, Richard’s pan fried herring, I dealt with the easy dishes of scrambled tomato omelette and braised kailan. It was the perfect seafood dinner to end the day.

It was a fantastic fishing day and long weekend ūüôā

Hom’s 3 day tour of Perth

Gerry’s good friend and fellow hometown-er Hom flew in from Brisbane for a whirlwind visit to Perth. He stayed at our place over the weekend and we thoroughly enjoyed his lovely company. What happens when you drop in for a short weekend?

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A bbq party is called at very short notice, thanks to Wendy and Jason for being great hosts and Calv for being the main chef of the night (^__^).

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Richard gets to show off his kungfu moves on Wii. Notice Xinchen laughing in the corner? His poor opponent was Ah Tim who didn’t know what hit him.

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Group photo, notice Fabie the poodle¬† between Jason and Wendy? The cute puppy is Wendy’s new baby.

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We woke up early enough to make it to Freo. It was a beautiful day, clear skies and sunny. I like all these pictures, Hom and Gerry look so happy and truly, we did have a great time.

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No weekend is complete without coffee, or iced mochas for the boys.

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We didn’t stop there, no Freo trip is complete without fish and chips, this time we skipped the famous (but in my opinion not so great) Cicerello’s and had Kailis Brother fish and chips instead.

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We stopped by the beautiful Cottlesloe beach for some picture taking. This is Hom’s favourite pose, it was such a sunny day that he had to shade his eyes for lots of photos.

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We joked that our eyes were too small, so the guys tried to pry their eyes open with their fingers, don’t think it helped much (^__^).

kings park

I don’t know how we managed to squeeze in King’s Park but we did, it’s a must go in any Perth visit to admire Perth’s city skyline and the river views.

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We found a cute green frog lying amongst the grass in King’s Park. It seemed to be enjoying the late evening sun.

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Gerry says except for planes in the sky and vehicles on the roads, China men eat anything with two legs in the sky and four legs on the ground. So he ate the frog (T____T).

roast chicken

After a long day, we were all tired and not keen to head out again for dinner. Instead we roasted chickens and vegetables in the oven and  tossed up a prawn, crab and avocado salad. It was nice and simple, I predict lots of roast dinners in the future.

the garden

Last night in Perth was dinner at The Garden, the fairly new pub in Leederville which Gerry has been pestering us to go to for the longest time. It was very quiet because it was a Monday night but the pub was gorgeous and the menu was interesting. You would think that after a day in Swan Valley the boys would be sick of wine but no, we had a bottle of red which was quite lovely.

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See how happy Gerry is that we went to The Garden? It was such a fun dinner with lots of laughter and silly conversation, sigh, I hope Hom comes back to Perth sometime soon.

pizza

A hop and skip away to the famous Little Caesar’s pizzeria for the Sam Caramello dessert pizza with bananas,caramel sauce and macadamias. Then it was time to go home and bid Hom goodbye. I want to visit Gerry and Hom’s hometown in Guangzhou now, I reckon it would be very very fun.

prawns

Back to dreary and boring homecooked dinners but at least my cooking mojo is back! This week’s theme is called ‘using up the leftover ingredients from the barbeque’. This was stir fried sweet chilli prawns on an omelette.

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My first attempt at Terung Balado (Indonesian spicy eggplant dish with belacan) which we always eat at Manise, not quite the same but tasty all the same. And I finally used the belacan that I brought all the way back from Kuching! My whole house smells of belacan(shrimp paste) now, but I like it.

Ok, hopefully the rest of the week flies by and it’s the weekend again.

Laksa Easter

Today it was back at work after a glorious long and lazy Easter break.

Easter started with candles, homecooked steak, cute bunnies (came with my Easter egg from Jo!) and creme caramel desserts.

There’s always room for more slow cooked soup, this time it was pork ribs soup with crunchy lotus roots, honey dates and red dates.

A sudden craving for Sarawak laksa meant foraging into my precious store of laksa paste packs brought all the way from Kuching.

Our favourite chicken butcher. There’s another photo of him holding up the cleaver with a maniacal grin, but I found it a litle bit too convincing and scary.

While he chopped and butchered, I helped out with the condiments such as the making of very important egg omelette strips.I like lots of egg in my laksa. Meanwhile, the prawn and chicken stock simmered away on the stove. I was sad to use up my treasured stock of prawn shells, I’m all out after this laksa spree, so friends reading this, please save up your prawn shells and heads for me!

Empty bowls of laksa condiments, the beehoon, egg strips, shredded chicken, beansprouts and prawns waiting to be drenched in yummy laksa stock.

All ready! Jo and HC get ready to tuck in to their Sarawak laksas.

Verdict? Not bad, enough to satisfy our craving for laksa but definitely room for improvement. We readjusted the leftover stock the next day and it was much better. Laksa for dinner and laksa for breakfast, such a Kuching Easter.

Having friends (i.e. Gerry) that work part time in Maccas has its perks. Best of all, lots and lots of burgers. To this day, I still think of the three layer fillet o fish that Gerry made for me 4 years ago during the World Cup final. Do you hear that Gerry? That was FOUR years ago!! Time for a repeat …. Being bored, I decided to have a battle of the cheeseburgers, Hungry Jacks v.s. Mcdonalds.

Hungry Jacks definitely beats Maccas when it comes to size and ingredients. But what it makes up with quantity it lacks in quality. The Mcdonalds cheeseburger was tastier, the bun softer, beef patty and onions all round nicer.

Rounding off the last of the Easter break with an evening walk around the neighbourhood. The last of the spring flowers were out in full bloom.Soon the trees and bushes will be stripped bare and it will be winter. I love winter.

Bougainvilleas remind me of my home in Kuching where we used to have bougainvilleas in the garden, mostly pink and orange though. These white ones were pretty too.

It was a lovely Easter break but short lived. Never mind, I have another holiday to look forward to, 5 days and counting, I can’t believe it. We’re finally going to Japan and the land of Chibi marukochan.

Learning how to ‘bou tong’

Bou tong meaning slow cook soup or boil soup in Cantonese. I really love Cantonese soups which require hours (ok maybe just 2 hours) of boiling then simmering and reboiling again. I’ve never been very good at it but I’m getting the hang of it now and discovering new ingredients and soups along the way.

Slow boiled chicken soup with carrots, sweet corn, huai shan and dang gui. Herbally flavour but not too strong or bitter with the sweetness of sweet corn and carrots coming through.

Pear, apple, water chestnuts and white fungus soup which could pass for ‘tong sui’ or sweet soup if I added sugar instead of salt. I really like fruit based slow cooked soup and am trying to figure out my favourite combination. So far I like chicken, pear and sweet corn, very nice.

Slow cooked soups are fun and interesting, I have about three different cookbooks just based on soups, so I have lots more to try and discover.

Ok not a soup but also a first timer recipe for me, vegetable croquette which I didn’t deep fry but shallow fried instead, I made them with mashed potato and onions. Drizzled with tonkatsu sauce.

Yesterday’s lunch bento was basil garlic fried rice, ‘yuan’ style pan fried fish fillets with ponzu sauce, tofu steaks (lightly seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and a dusting of plain flour) and fried eggs with tomato. Why so many things? It was my weekend get rid of stuff in fridge mode.

There was a freak storm in Perth today and it was seriously very scary. Didn’t help that my bus broke down in front of a bus stop so we watched the storm catch up to us and lightning flash and thunder rumble before our eyes. Luckily everyone made it safe ok.

Unfortunately my room wasn’t so lucky. A half shut window meant my room was half flooded and HC greeted me with a mop at the front door and cheerily said ‘bad news! bedroom flooded!’ , Jo’s thunderstorm blown hair was cute though and I couldn’t resist taking a photo.

More thunderstorms predicted tomorrow mornings. Ahh well … every cloud has a silver lining right? Cold weather means more soups!


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