Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Piggy bank

Only in Japan!

In all the devastating news about the global financial melting down time I reckon we need to spend wisely and start saving more money. Giving your kids a piggy bank could encourage them to save some coins from their pocket money, but don't give them any of these... :-)

I found this 'most unique' Piggy bank from rakuten, a famous online shopping web in Japan. The 'couple' on the top will start humping  without censor when you insert coin into it. You can order this piggy bank for 1,980 yen plus shipping.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kogashi cheese Ramen

I have been a regular customer of this favorite noodle bar for couple years but I just noticed they got cheese ramen on the list, so I assumed it's a new menu then.

It's a Tonkotsu ramen topped with lots of melted mozzarella cheese, boiled bean sprout, menma (dried bamboo), and sesame. The rich broth tastes a bit salty with the melted cheese on the noodle but it's just perfect for a cheese lover like me. I will come back for this cheesy one for sure. Actually this cheese ramen supposed to be spicy but if you don't like spicy one you can ask them to make it without the chili.

My Kogashi-cheese ramen

Menya Noodle Bar, this best place to slurp your ramen had opened the second shop on market street in the city but never been there though, so I guess it would be my next weekend lunch!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Natsu Matsuri

It's time for Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival), a time when you can mingle with Japanese people and see the girls dressed up in Yukatas (summer kimono). Indeed it wasn't as big as the ones in Japan where thousands of folk having a great time out with friends and enjoying spectacular fireworks when the sun sets.
There were some booths selling tempting Japanese food including takoyaki and daifuku (mochi), where I got my Ichigo Daifuku. Despite the drizles, the folks did enjoy some performaces like Taiko drum, duo claps (the world yoyo champions from Japan), traditional Japanese bon-dance, Soran dance, Hip Hop dance by Dancekool Studio, Noriko Tadano playing tsugaru shamisen (Japanese banjo) and singing folk song, and the list still goes on. Unfortunately I didn't manage to stay till 9 pm when the final soran and bon dance closed the great festival.

Here some photos from Natsu Matsuri at Harbourside Amphitheatre, Darling Harbour Sydney presented by Japan Club of Sydney last week

Soran danc

Japanase traditional bon-dance

Sunday, February 15, 2009


A blogger friend in Tokyo just celebrated her birthday and she got ichigo daifuku from her co-workers, since I love daifuku too she promised to send me one and yesterday I got the daifuku in Sydney, thanks May-chan... joudan! ha.. ha..joking.. :-)

I got the daifuku from Natsu Matsuri (Japanese Summer Festival) in Sydney yesterday, there was a food stall from Fuji Japanese Bakery selling some mochi daifuku. I bought some ichigo daifuku (daifuku stuffed with strawberry) and the assorted ones which comprises a normal mochi daifuku, roasted daifuku, and green tea daifuku.

Daifuku, literally means"great luck", is a Japanese mochi (glutinous rice cake) stuffed with some sweet read bean paste but nowadays it varies from green tea paste to strawberry. Normally most of daifuku are covered with corn or taro starch to make them not sticky

Ichigo Daifuku (stuffed with read bean and strawberry)

Assorted Daifuku

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Ox

Only in Japan...

I got this from Yahoo News,

Nineteen-day-old ox 'Heart,' born with a heart-shaped marking on his forehead, relaxes at Yamakun farm in Fujisawa, near Tokyo, Japan, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009. Kazunori Yamazaki, 51-year-old farm owner, said, 'Good timing for Valentine's Day.'

(Source: AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

Happy Valentine guys... enjoy your Valentine's weekend with your 'special ones'.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sushi Suma

Back to Sydney, back to my favorite Japanese eateries in town! Last weekend despite the heating up weather we went to one of local’s favorite Japanese restaurants in Surry Hills.

Sushi Suma is a well-known Japanese resto for its fresh and outstanding sushi yet has an affordable price. This relatively small and normally packed dining room has opened a new waiting room upstairs to cope with the lining up folks. We tried to book the table by phone but unfortunately they don’t take reservation anymore, somehow we managed to get there before 6.30 to avoid the 30 minutes queuing as normally happened between 6.30-8.00 on the weekend.

We ordered a mix of Sushi and Tempura set for $16.50 and a Teriyaki set with the same price. Most of the menus come with a delicious agedashi tofu, a really soft tofu that melts inside your mouth.

My Sushi set served with a small bowl of soy sauce and, of course, the nostril-hitter wasabi on the side. I don’t take much wasabi though but never missed this horseradish mustard mixed with soy sauce to make my sushi just perfect!

The tempura set was so crunchy yet not too greasy so you won’t get the guilty feeling for eating that deep fried menu ;-)

Last menu served was Teriyaki set, the very tender and juicy beef sautéed in a rich teriyaki sauce. If you are Teriyaki lovers, you will be back to this restaurant for sure.

My sushi set

Tempura set

The superb Teriyaki!
Friday, February 6, 2009

Heat wave

It's gonna be a hot weekend!

After last week heat wave hit Adelaide and Melbourne for almost the whole week, a records of 40 plus temperature in South Australia and Victoria have set up a new record for the hottest days in 75 years, now the heat wave is approaching Sydney! Warning of scorching heat for Sunday with the top of 44 C in the city's west, so I will definitely be staying indoor for this weekend.

"However this may be mild compared to the state's west which could bake under 47C, according to The Daily Telegraph, the hottest place on the planet".

Still in 'heat wave' topic, a friend emailed me these pictures of a little Koala looking for a bit of heat relief.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Omiyage is a Japanese word for souvenir but I'd rather use 'purezento' which comes from 'present' in English.

During my holiday last month, I was just hanging around some happening malls in town when I came across this small counter selling 'purezento'. They are just some small stuff like key ring, fridge-magnet, wall clock etc.. but I am always fascinated about Japanese-cute-things! so I just couldn't hold myself to buy some small purezento for friends.

even a pair of sandals for myself :-)