Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daiei Watermelon

Hokuei, a town of Tottori Prefecture in Japan is not only home to Detective Conan but also the famous Daiei watermelon or also called as Tottori watermelon. Madoka Ueno, the Tourism Ambassador for Tottori Prefecture described Daiei watermelon as being 'large, sweet and crisp' at the Mainichi Newspaper, promoting this famous watermelon of this year's harvest as it shipped across the country.

(Picture courtesy of Tottori Tourism)

Tottori watermelons have not been limited to Japan, either, making appearances overseas in Taiwan and Russia, and in June of 2008, being shipped to Dubai for the first time, where they sold for around 30,000 yen a piece (in Japan, a typical size Tottori watermelon sells for about 3,800 yen).

Talking about Tottori, the prefecture is also famous for Nijisseiki Pear, the king of all Japanese pears. Tottori Prefecture is the largest producer and exporter of these pears. While the Daiei watermelon is in season from late June to early August, the Nijisseiki Pear is in season from late August to September.
Sunday, June 20, 2010


Masaharu Morimoto is my favorite chef from Fuji TV's show Iron Chef. I was so surprised when I found one particular cooking book on the shelf of Sydney library, a book called "Morimoto - The New Art of Japanese cooking" published by DK publishing New York. It's really a great cooking book full of inspiration about Japanese fusion recipes and useful tips by Morimoto-san, the Iron Chef Japanese.

Almost 25 years before Morimoto became an Iron Chef, before he owned four widely acclaimed restaurants and released his own award-winning beers and splendid sake, he washed dishes at Ichiban sushi, a small restaurant in Hiroshima run by Ikuo Oyama, a kind but demanding chef who prepared a wide range of food, including sushi, sashimi, udon and Japanese curry rice.

At 25, he opened his own cafe in downtown Hiroshima. It was a tiny place with a few tables that dealt mainly in delivery to nearby medical offices and a police station. At night, he labored as a sushi chef in another restaurant, delivered newspaper and worked as an insurance agent at Morimoto agency, a makeshift outfit that he alone operated.

Morimoto and his wife landed in New York in March, 1985. He picked up more or less where he had left off in Japan, working afternoons at one sushi restaurant and nights at another. After six years of being underpaid and overworked, he began the search for new opportunities, and eventually worked as sushi chef at the Sony Club, an exclusive dining room that catered to Sony's executives and talents. Fortuitously, he got a position at Nobu Restaurant in New York where he was there from the beginning, surrounded by new flavors and working under a mandate not to be limited by the strictures of tradition.

Morimoto's big break came during a trip to Japan to see his friends and family. A Japanese customer at Nobu who adored his food had invited him to cook for a group of her friends in Tokyo. Although he didn't know it then, this group included a judge and a producer from Fuji TV's popular show "Iron Chef". Several months later, he got a call from someone from the show asking him to be Iron Chef Japanese. At first, he declined the offer but a number of his colleagues started lobbying him and a week later Morimoto reconsidered and signed on. Morimoto flew to Japan every month until the show ended, about a year after he started.

(Source and courtesy of: Morimoto, The New Art of Japanese Cooking)
Monday, June 14, 2010


It was 7pm when I wandered around The Rock's market on the weekend and came across a Belgian waffle stand, when you are freezing and find a hot food with tantalizing aroma you wouldn't just walk pass without getting one. The chocolate Belgian waffle is so nice and it just reminds me of a waffle craze in Japan few years back then. The waffle craze in Japan didn't stop there, Sanyei Co. invented a moffle makers which set another trend of new kind of rice snack in Japan, moffle.

Moffle (mochi + waffle) has the waffle shape and while the outside is toasted and crispy, the inside contains a thin layer of glutinous mochi. Making a moffle is quite simple, just open the lid of the moffle maker, which looks very similar to a waffle iron, place the mochi inside and close the lid. After several minutes, a toasted waffle-looking mochi is ready. You can use instant mochi blocks available at supermarket.

It is also possible to make moffle sandwiches by combining ingredients with the mochi before cooking, alternatively you can add sweet or salty toppings as the plain taste of mochi goes well with either.
(Source: Japan Times)

(My chocolate waffle)

I haven't found any shop selling moffle in Sydney so far, and when I find one I'll update this post
Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence

Wanna win a meal for two at Tetsuya's ? Check this out!

Tetsuya Wakuda is one of the world's most famous chefs and his restaurant in Sydney is consistently rated as one of the top 50 in the world. To celebrate Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence, SBS is giving one lucky viewer the chance to win a meal for two at his famous restaurant.

For your chance to win this unique experience, watch Tetsuya's Pursuit of Excellence at 7.30pm on Thursday, 17 June 2010 on SBS One.
(Source: SBS)
Thursday, June 10, 2010

St Mary's

Still in the mood of Vivid Sydney, I joined the folks enjoying a dazzling light spectacle at St Mary's Cathedral Sydney last night, illuminated in beautiful lights, adding a bit of warmth to the chilling winter night.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mochi dumpling

I've got a few posts about Shu Shin Bou's products including the God's fruit and daifuku, and this morning I just dropped by their shop in the the world square complex to try their new product, Mochi dumpling, priced at $2 each.
Well, it's more like mochi than dumpling, it's not that kind of dumpling you'd find when you have yum cha and it's not like an ordinary mochi in small ball shape with cornstarch dusting. This mochi dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves just like Chimaki (Japanese glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves or also known as Chinese rice dumpling or called bah-chang in my hometown).

(Mochi dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves)

(Mochi dumpling with kiwi fruit and cranberries filling)

Definitely it doesn't taste like bah-chang :) The transparent texture is chewy just like normal mochi and the filling is more like ice cream, overall it tastes good and fresh as a desert, especially for one who loves mochi like me. They come with 4 different fillings: taro, red bean, kiwi fruit and cranberries, next time I am gonna try the taro and red bean ones.
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vivid Sydney

It was a clear day yesterday, after rainy and wet days over the past couple weeks the city deserved a nice break, so I decided to walk down the harbour in the evening to enjoy Vivid Sydney! A festival of light from May 27 to June 21 where some landmarks across the city lit up by beautiful lights plus some music performances down the streets.

Here some of my shots, HarbourBridge and Opera House lit up by colorful lights