Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Day Lunch

Is it too late to post another Christmas lunch post? I have a very good reason for posting so late though :p Photos were inside someone else's camera. I went to this Christmas lunch at my auntie's place. Cousin brought his 5DMKII along. Seeing his 5D with L macro lens, I didn't even bother taking my camera out of the bag :p Took some photos with his camera, but too scared to play it for too long because I won't be able to buy 1 for him if anything happens.   Anyway, so here are the photos from his camera. I think I took the asparagus photo, but I think cousin took everything else. 

Here's the antipasto plate that auntie prepared. Asparagus + stuffed peppers + sundried tomato (at the other side of the plate). By the way, this is another 1 of the "east meets west" Christmas lunch again :)  

Here's the "East" side of things. "lou sui' chicken wings and egg. Not sure of the proper name in English, but it's chicken and egg cook in this soy base sauce over mild fire for long time. There's only rough recipe for the sauce because from what I know, this sauce is use repeatedly over the years. Everytime my uncle take the sauce out, he'll add more things to it, cook the meat, then pour the sauce back to the jar and keep it in the fridge for next time. So all the flavouring and goodness are kept and accumulated for future use. 

Colourful looking sushi. When I asked my auntie who made these, she said her "Korean friend". Someone then finished the sentence with "at the Korean shop". So yeah, it's Korean sushi from Korean shop :) Taste different from Japanese sushi for sure. It's got pickle, ham, egg, carrot, cucumber. 

Now the "west" side of the party - the main focus of the day - our 11kg ham :) The skin was peeled off and made into crackling which I didn't manage to take a photo of. The crackling was soooo good but nobody dare to eat too much of it because we all know it's soooo bad :p 

Let's just say I "dropped their glasses" when I went to the party with this tray of fruit tarts. It was fun when people look at me with their disbelieve face :D Yes, I made them and this is the ONLY thing I can make. They all know that I don't cook and I can't cook. This is the only thing that I've learnt properly on how to make. The only motivation to learn is that I couldn't find the same type of fruit that that my auntie in M'sia used to make for me. So the only way to eat it in Australia is to learn how to make from her and then make them myself when I'm back in Sydney. This time I got carried away with the fruits too :D 

Boxing day was 1 of my auntie's birthday, so we had a tiramisu birthday cake for her :) 

Anyway, so there goes the silly season. I should start thinking what I want to do with Easter :) 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Outback Steakhouse

My work place is very very close to this restaurant. To me it's 1 of those places that I think "I can go anytime I want" because it's nearby, but I never really step in because there's always "we'll go next time since it's so close". So 1 day, we finally decided to step in when we were meeting up with some friends. This is 1 of their favourite restaurant because of the bottomless softdrinks :)

Entrée#1: Cheese Chips $12.95 - Chips topped with Aussie jack, Cheddar cheese, bits of fresh chopped bacon and served with a spicy ranch dressing. I always say when comes to food, the more unhealthy it is, the nicer they taste. This is 1 of those things for sure :D Taste really good, just a bit messy to eat because you either get a big chunk because the melted cheese just stick all the chips together, or you get the chips without the cheese and bacon. 

Entrée#2:Bloomin' Onion $9.95. Handcrafted onion cooked until golden and served with Outback's spicy signature bloom sauce. I like this entrée more for 2 reasons 1. can't get this anywhere else 2. it looks VERY PRETTY :) Of course it taste good too! Onion is sweet and a bit spicy itself, the sauce is creamy and little bit spicy too. Both entrée were really big, I was half way full by the end of it. 

I ordered the 285g Rockhampton Ribeye $27.95. All steaks come with a soup/salad and potato (mashed or baked). Here's my garden salad. It's a big plate of salad. I'm 3/4 full after finish my plate of salad. 

This is our bread and butter to share for the table. This is the 1 thing that I look forward to having everytime I visit this restaurant. I love this bread. It's crispy outside and very very warm and soft inside. They bake their own bread. It's little bit sweet, dark brown in colour, still warm when it got to our table. 

Here's Robin's pumpkin soup. He picked the soup while I picked my salad. The soup was very smooth and creamy, very nice with the croutons from my salad :D 

Can't remember which steak Robin was having, but here's the look of his steak with veggies :) He ordered medium rare and it was cooked just nice. Still pink and juicy inside. 

Here's my steak. Luckily I ordered the small steak. I was already full after 1/4 of the steak. I ordered mine medium, I think mine was cooked a little bit too long. All of us were almost full when our main arrived. We just sat there, chit chat and eventually still managed to finish everything :) 
If I remember correctly, I think our friend who really like the bottomless softdrink had like 5 of them. I really don't know how he could fit all the drinks and food in his stomach. Amazing. 

Level 1, 3 George Street
North Strathfield
NSW 2137 Australia

Telephone: +61 2 8756 5741 

Last meal of 2009

For the whole day of NYE, I was contemplating whether to go out to see fireworks. People who knows me know that I love my fireworks. I guess I'm getting old though, because I didn't go out to see fireworks this time. The thought of parking the car far away to walk to vantage point and the wait between 9pm and midnight with nothing to do (if I were to watch both sessions), just sounded too much work :p So, I ended up watching fireworks on TV. Not the same. Definitely not the same. Maybe next year. I'll go early, get a good spot and set my tripod up again :) 

Anyway, so that day I had BBQ at Robin's place with his family. Not the usual BBQ though, it's those hot plate BBQ like those they use in Korean restaurants. This is 1 of the more 'unusual' BBQ at home that I've been.  Here's our entree - homemade spring rolls and prawn crackers (with LOTS of REAL prawns made by my mum :p). 

Then there's the homemade variation of Hokkien Fried Rice. I've only learnt that fried rice with lots of gravy and seafood on top are called Hokkien Fried Rice after I came to Sydney. I've never seen this dish in Malaysia before, even though I am a Hokkien myself. 

Some stir fried greens with fermented tofu (腐乳) for the table. Don't think a lot of people can accept the taste of fermented tofu. It is an acquired taste I reckon. I really like them though. It's really good to go with stir fried vegs (lettuce is my favourite) or just that with plain white porridge (congee). 

Another homemade dish that usually served at Chinese restaurant - Shan-Dong chicken (山東雞). The whole chicken was roasted at home on that day. It was then left to cool before being cut up into pieces. Then the spring onion and tangy sauce were added to complete the dish. 
Now, so far still look pretty 'normal' for a Chinese dinner at home right? Here comes the more 'unusual' stuff! 

Here comes the gigantic prawns that were butterflied! They were MASSIVE. Every single one of them are longer than my palm. Thick white meat, bright orange sweet roe. They curled up slightly after being on the fire for a while. 

Now the even more 'unusual' stuff to be served at home - FRESH eel! How fresh you may ask? Swimming fresh! It was still swimming at the sink when I got there. No marinate, no sauce nothing. Sliced the meat up and straight to the BBQ. The freshness of the fish (I checked wiki, eels are an order of fish :p) is what you are eating. 
Here they are, ready to be served. 

Anyway, so here's my last meal of 2009. I'm sure there will be A LOT more good food to come in 2010 :)  

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Lunch

Holiday season is officially finish for me now. Until 2 weeks later then another long long break coming up :D Major backlog with posts though. Let's just do those more 'time critical' stuff first shall we? I don't think it's good to do Christmas lunch post during Easter break :p 
Had a lunch party on Boxing Day. It's not 1 of those traditional Christmas lunch though, as in no turkey or leg of ham or something like that. It's more an Asian style feast :D 

Here's a close up of a yummy snack you would normally find on the street in Hong Kong - Curry fishball. It's not just fishballs though, we had sotong (squid) ball, pig's skin, beef balls and the square tofu fish. 

Here's 1 of my favourite Chinese dessert - 豆腐花 ("tau fu fah" in Cantonese, "tou huay" in Hokkian, dou4 hua1 in Mandarin - no idea what's the name in English though, other than literrally it means tofu flower). This is homemade fresh though. Still warm when it got there. Normally I prefer it cold though. In Malaysia I used to buy them in tubs with gula Melaka (dark coconut sugar) in pasar malam (night markets). 

Here's some onigiri (Japanese rice ball) served with seaweed. There are 2 types, 1 with bonito in the centre, another with the purple flakey stuff - I think those are the sour plum flakes thingy, but not 100% sure. Need to check with the chef who made those again :) I'm very sure these are as authentic as they can be being made by a Japanese chef. 

As I was busy "taste testing" the curry fishballs and snapping away, someone has nicely stacked those prawns in a bowl. If it was me, I would just pour them out from the bag and straight to a plate. Some creative person actually managed to create a pyramid of prawns :) New things learnt - stack prawns in a bowl to make them more presentable and more inviting. 

This is what you get when you have a chef making gyoza (Japanese dumplings) at home. Even the way the gyoza being served is so artistic. New things learnt - arrange gyoza in a flower pattern while frying and flip them straight onto plate. Isn't it cool to have lunch with a family with 3 chefs? :D 

Yummy chrunchy salad - salad leaves with cashew nuts and Asian crunchy noodles and some balsemic dressing and sesame oil. Very refreshing and it's the only greens on the table to complement all the heavier stuff like rice and meat. 

Here's our table. We also had a whole roast duck and some Hainanese chicken and chicken rice. 

Here's our very nice looking Christmas Tree with lots of presents :)  Very satisfying lunch and we had lots of fun opening presents.