Saturday, May 30, 2009

My favorite restaurants

I often got these questions:
What is your favorite restaurant? or what is your favorite dish?

I'd say: Menya, Makoto, Kura, Emon.. wait.. isn't favorite supposed to be only one? well not for me. I have favorite places for each dish and occasion, so if you ask me about ramen I'd say Menya, for sushi I'd go to Makoto, talking about teriyaki? Sakae is my favorite one, or just want to have an affordable lunch set like katsu don? Kura is on my first list, or if I would take a friend to a nice restaurant with a great range of premium sushi and seafood I would book the table at Masuya, and as my craving for Okonomiyaki this weekend, we went to Emon for the yummiest okonomiyaki in town! 
We ordered one seafood Okonomiyaki and a glass of umeshu, while reading the menu I found wagyu beef on the list as well and couldn't stand my self to try. The wagyu steak was served in a simple way with some cherry tomatoes and haricot beans yet the taste was superb, it melts on your tonque! and yes this place has become my favorite one for wagyu beef beside their okonomiyaki.

Wagyu beef steak

Seafood Okonomiyaki

Those I mentioned above only the first page of my Sydney's favorites list :)  I also consider myself as an adventurous foodie, so when I have no plan for particular food, I'd opt for the one I have heard about but have yet to visit.
Thursday, May 28, 2009

Glow in the dark monkey

I got this from yahoo news: Japanese researches have genetically engineered the world's first 'glow in the dark' monkeys. The monkeys have hair roots, skin and blood glow green under a special light. The breakthrough could lead to new research in neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, despite ethical concerns issue among some scientists. 

Five transgenic marmosets were made from eggs that had been modified using a fluorescent jellyfish gene. Professor Hideyuki Okana from Keio University of School Medicine says monkeys make better models for studying human diseases than mice or rats.

(photos courtessy of
Sunday, May 24, 2009

Deep fried fish

It's a nice Sunday! 
The weather has been unfriendly over the past few days with gusty wind and heavy rain all week causing disaster in some of northern region, but today is a nice break. I didn't have any plan for this weekend apart from my weekly shopping and cooking, and today's lunch special was deep fried fish in sweet and sour sauce from my own kitchen.

Deep fried fish in sweet & sour sauce

My favorite fish for home cooking especially deep fried is Burumundi but today just couldn't find the right size, all the burumundi was about 2 kilos at least, just way too big.. so I tried Talapia, and it's not bad though.
Friday, May 22, 2009

Crispy ramen salad

I often get this sort of question,  ' do you have to eat Japanese food everywhere you go?' ..or  'do you eat Japanese food every weekend?'  That's called passion! You can call me A Japanese food weekender since my craving for this food every weekend :)  And for this week, my weekly dine out was at Menya.

I am a regular customer at Menya Noodle Bar in Chinatown but it was my very first time having dinner at Menya Noodle Bar in the city, they opened their second shop on Market street last year. We ordered Spicy shoft-shell crab ramen for $15 while normal ramen starts from $9, a set of gyoza and Crispy ramen salad for $7.

The crispy ramen salad basically just a normal salad but comes with a deep fried crispy ramen. This cripsy ramen brings back my childhood memory. When I was kid I like to eat a noodle snack, it's more like an instan noodle, but you can eat the the noodle without boiling it first just pour the seasoning into the noodle and shake them all together in the packaging, then you'll have the crispy - salty noodle  snack ready. Back to the salad, for you who loves healthy salad yet a crispy snack lover then you can try the combination in this Crispy salad ramen.

Crispy ramen salad

spicy soft-shell crab in shoyu ramen

my set of gyoza

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love Land

Love Land in Chongqing, China's first-ever sex theme park has been torn down by the government.  I copy this article  from yahoo news

"Love Land, set to open in October in the southwestern city of Chongqing , featured exhibits on sexual history and how-to workshops, the China Daily newspaper reported last week. A picture of the park entrance showed a signboard with the park's name straddled by a giant pair of women's legs topped by a red thong.But the plans left Chongqing officials red-faced. They ordered the park torn down over the weekend, the China Daily reported."

(Photo courtesy of AFP)

This news reminds me about Jeju Love Land, I happened to visit this unique sex-theme park in the beautiful Jeju island, South Korea, in Christmas 2006. It was really an unforgetable experience visiting an island full of beautiful nature, sweet tangerine, yummy seafood and friendly local people.

I got a  post  Jeju Love Land  and actualy this post has been quite popular over the past few days with more than 400 hits a day, it's really a surprising number for me and it's my record hits in a day so far. I haven't got a clue why so many people searching for Jeju Love Land on the web lately and some of them ended up on my post. Sure I am very happy with the hits even my post actually is far from a cool post, it's a short post with poor quality pictures since I didn't manage to get good pictures with my old pocket camera at that time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fish market

It's been a while since the last time I went to fish market and this morning a friend asked me to have lunch together at fish market, so I gave it a go and it was quite fun walking around the seafood market and enjoy the view of the harbour and enticing aroma of grilled seafood.

Sydney Fish Market is claimed to be the world's second largest seafood market in term of variety outside of Japan. How about the biggest one? it's not hard to guess , yes! The world's biggest Fish market is in Japan,  it's Tsukiji Fish Market located in Central Tokyo.
If you are looking for a widest variety of seafood in Australia, Sydney Fish Market in Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont, on the foreshore of Sydney harbour,  sells more than 100 species of seafood, ready to take home or cooked to satisfy your craving for seafood while enjoy the view of the wharf and harbour, just be carefull with the seagulls flying around trying to snatch your food away!

a range of fresh fish 

The popular lobster mornay (half lobster) with chips and salad priced at $17 and a prawn skewer for $3 were more than enough to satisfy my craving for seafood today.

half of lobster mornay

prawn skewer

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Only Aussies

Got this email from a friend, just wanna share the joke..
If you are planning to visit Australia, this might be useful for your trip plan :)


Being Australian
is about driving in a German car
to an Irish pub
for A Belgian beer,
then on the way home, grabbing an Indian curry
or A Turkish kebab,
to sit on Swedish furniture and
watch American shows
on a Japanese TV.

Oh and....
Only in Australia ...
can a pizza get to your house faster
than an

Only in Australia ...
do supermarkets make
sick people walk all the way
to the back of the shop
to get their prescriptions
while healthy people
can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in Australia ...
do people order double cheeseburgers,
large fries and
a DIET coke.

Only in Australia ...
do banks leave both doors wide open
and chain the pens to the counters.

Only in Australia ...
do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars
in the driveway and

lock our junk and cheap lawn mower
in the garage.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The best job in the world

The best job in the world campaign has had people from all corners of the world talking since its launch in January  and even crashed the website of Tourism Queensland with 34,000 people submitted application for the dream job in Australia. The 16 finalists from 15 countries, including Mieko Kobayashi from Japan,  were flown to Hamilton island earlier this week where they will get pampered.

A British charity fundraiser, Ben Southall, has been announced as the winner of the competition yesterday, he will spend six months swimming, snorkeling and sailing around the tourist paradise of Hamilton Island, and will earn 150,000 dollars for blogging about his experience on the island. He will also get a free home on the island, free access to surrounding recreational facilities, transport on the island, free return airfare, computer and camera gear and travel to the other islands in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. 

Hamilton island
(Picture courtesy of Tourism Queensland)

The Tourism Queensland estimates the campaign has been worth $150 million in global tourism promotion. Hamilton island which is located among Whitsunday islands in northeastern Queensland, offers beautiful beaches, tropical weather, amazing coral reefs, and daily tours to The Great Barrier Reef.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ryo's Noodle House

I made it to this Japanese noodle house located in Crows Nest yesterday, 10 minutes away from the CBD. Ryo's noodle house is very famous for Ramen lovers in Sydney, located in a relatively quiet area yet people come all the way from around Sydney to slurp one of the best ramen in town. 
As soon as I walked through the noren I knew that I'm in love with this restaurant. The paper scrolls on the wall displaying the menu in Japanese script just makes this place looks so authentic and traditional. Ramen starts from $9 and $12 for the house special ramen.
Normally I love the tonkotsu ramen (pork soup) but this time I picked a Tokyo style soy sauce ramen and a salty ramen with prawn meatballs. The Tokyo ramen comes in chicken stock soup with pork, egg, bamboo shoot and a big square nori (seaweed). 
Even better for big eaters! If a big bowl of ramen is just not enough for you, just say 'kaedama', and the staff will refill your bowl with extra noodle for only $3, make sure you leave enough amount of the soup for the second serve of the noodle.

Prawn meatball ramen in salty soup

Tokyo soy sauce ramen

a range of toppings you can choose from

Is it really a good place for ramen? well.. you can tell from the queue snaking into the street 

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It's my third post about Okonomiyaki, well I do love this 'Osaka soul' food, and this morning I cooked my own Okonomiyaki for brunch.
I called it Kansai style Okonomiyaki minus aonori (seaweed flakes) and katsuobushi (fish flakes) since I run out of those ingredients. It's prepared much like a pancake, using the pancake flour, grilled on both side then put some shredded cabbage, bacon, egg and topped with the okonomiyaki sauce and Japanese mayonaise.

My plain Okonomiyaki..