Saturday, 17 May 2008

introducing the new bbq

BBQs are quite a thing in my family. We've gone from the good old (not red) but black Weber, to one of those big outdoor BBQs, to the funky gas-powered Weber and now finally, a slick black outdoor BBQ (and this one really does top the cake!) Dad happened to find this one on sale at Myer; bought even cheaper because it was the last one on the floor.

The new bbq with way too many accessories (dad went on a bit of a shopping spree). But as you can see, dad still likes the good old Weber (BBQ HK style with the forks) and he insisted on having both on that night.
J&I had been at the fish markets and came home with oysters and salmon sashimi. My gosh, I am never going to buy oysters or salmon sashimi from anywhere else - it's so much fresher (and might I add cheaper bought direct from the fish markets).
The first burgers came off the BBQ and into the mouthes of my cousins. Tops to Andrew! You are quite the budding chef!
My attempt at garlic and butter big-headed prawns. Not bad at all!
Food for two BBQs + more. There was so much food left over that we had another BBQ the next week. Admittedly, we all got a tad excited about the new BBQ joining the family.
And well, now we've definitely got way too many BBQs at home - it almost seems like we're starting a collection of them! I agree with Dad though, and I probably still prefer the old Weber and HK style of bbqing with the forks - a lot more flavour to the food and food that gets enjoyed over time. With the new BBQ, food gets cooked up in a flash and in some cases, temperature is also hard to control. Might I add, the new one is definitely a bummer to clean.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

doyles @ sydney fish markets

The background to this post in a nutshell- Dad bought a kick arse new barbeque and J&I thought we'd head to the fish markets to grab some seafood for a family gathering. The choice of Doyles came about as J discussed with me (in all seriousness) how expensive the parking was. Admittedly, I baulked too, $2 for the first hour (reasonable) but then $5 for every half hour?? We made decision then and there that we may as well treat ourselves to a nice meal and settled for Doyles.

Perusing the menu, I was incredibly tempted to go for the Seafood Platter (and seeing it delivered to a table nearby, it was definitely my No. 1 choice). Then I was kindly reminded by J that a) There were only two of us, b) The table with the Seafood Platter were sharing it amongst 4 and c) We were going to buy seafood anyway for cooking that night. Fine...

Sitting outside at Doyles.
Bread to start the meal. Assorted Starters: Jumbo Prawns, Salt & Pepper Calamari and BBQ Baby Octopus. Whilst the Jumbo Prawns weren't quite as jumbo as I thought they would be, they were delicious and I'm still trying to work out what was in that dipping sauce.
Doyles Famous Fish and Chips. Admittedly, a gigantic serving!
J&I @ Doyles!
To be honest, whilst it was nice to have a nice and relaxing lunch (with waiters in attendance, clean cutlery, clean plates, and the last bit of sunlight for the day high up in the sky), I think I actually prefer mingling in with the crowds when it comes to eating at the fish markets. After lunch, we were pushing our way through the various fish stalls to find all our seafood and it was great to see people with their seafood platters piled high; scrambling to get a seat and dig in. And well, it is a lot cheaper! Man, the oysters and salmon sashimi we bought for home were sooooo good!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

5 years: hukuya @ eastwood

I'm a bit behind in my blogging but a handful of weeks ago, J&I celebrated our 5 years. It was a rather low key event with us deciding to grab dinner locally at one of our favourites, Hukuya on the other side of Eastwood Station. J had asked earlier whether I wanted to do anything special but when I had a good thing about it, all I wanted was something casual and simple. Hukuya was definitely the place to go.

J&I - together for 5 years now.
Our dinner: Sushi Deluxe (great value for money!), Yagedashi Tofu (not particularly good that night), and Spicy Yakiniku (delicious!). Something new on the menu - Teriyaki Oysters. These were so good I actually had my share of them (usually I palm oysters off to J cause he likes them more than I do).

It's really hard to put in words what the last 5 years has been like. At times it's like a roller coaster (usually my stubbornness being the cause of it although J has his moments too) but for the good part, it's perfect and I can't ask for anything more. J- Thanks for sticking by me through thick and thin, making me laugh, reminding me not to take laugh too seriously, being so on top of everything (you pull me out of each hole I dig myself into), trying to learn the difference between all the different cake types and really, for everything that you do! *HUG*

Monday, 5 May 2008

totoya @ military road, neutral bay

It seems like I'm eating a whole lot of Jap food these days - though I have to admit, I do prefer eating Jap over the other cuisines that are out there. There's something about the lightness, flavours and variety in Jap foods which keep me going back. I pretty much eat everything although not the biggest fan of octopus sushi, egg sushi (too boring) and fish roe (the texture of it makes me cringe and the fact that I'm eating baby fish eggs...urgh!).

A couple of weeks back, a friend suggested eating Jap in Neutral Bay. For those unfamiliar to the area, Neutral Bay is your haven of Japanese restaurants. I've only been to a handful but have heard enough about the remaining to be enticed to make the trip out when I have my cravings for Jap (unfortunately J thinks otherwise and we usually settle for something closer to home).

My friend A took charge and ordered for the group (I think he was hitting onto the waitress!) From memory, this was beef/ox tongue.
Unagi with Rice. Awesome with a generous serve of wasabi tossed through - the wasabi really gives this dish its bite!
A helping me get my photo. Can't remember the name of this one but definitely chicken.
Sashimi & Sushi Boat. I wish it had more pieces to go around the table.The start of the skewers (you should have seen the length of our bill when they punched it through the till!! It was definitely a good half metre long!!). A pretty much ordered all the skewers on the menu with the exception of the ones containing innards.
More skewers.Even more skewers. Vegetarian skewers.My favourite skewer was probably the Chicken Skin Skewer (fatty...yes I know) but man, it was so tasty and didn't taste the least bit fatty. I'm usually quite grossed out just eating chicken skin but seriously, this is a must try! Anyway, after all the skewers, the guys decided they were still hungry and ordered a Hot Pot. Look at that pile of noodles!!
It ended up being quite a silly night - the guys challenged each other to squash the big empty cans of Asahi with one hand (I think J won that one hand's down much to my annoyance). The conversation occasionally veered to girls and at one point, the whole table stood up/moved a metre out so that my friend T wouldn't splash them with hot water when he was grabbing noodles from the pot. More noteworthy is that the waitress came to the table with our hot pot sitting on the stove and the stove turned on - skill or insanity; I'm not to sure. Dinner was about $35-40pp which I thought was quite reasonable. Worth a try!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

kura @ ultimo road, haymarket

Our last time at Kura (the little Jap restaurant on the corner across from Market City) was probably a whole year ago - it's one of my favourites which I would love to visit more often and always look forward to when the opportunity arises. On this particular occasion, J&I had been looking forward to grabbing a quick meal before the Chinese Spectacular which we were seeing at the Entertainment Centre that happened a couple weeks back.

Having managed to score the last 2 seats in the restaurant (the restaurant probably sits about a dozen in total), we were admittedly a little surprised to find that all the prices had gone up since our last visit. In the past, you could've easily gotten away with change for a $10 note; now you're looking at close to $15 for a meal which to be honest isn't going to break your wallet but given the same thing was cheaper before, it is a little annoying.

J's Karage Chicken (I swear he always get this) . In one word... delicious!Teriyaki Chicken which turned out to be a tad disappointing. The teriyaki sauce was great but the chicken was dry and tasteless.
First time eating dessert at Kura. Green tea ice cream which came with 2 little fish waffles stuffed with red bean paste - all accompanied by a cup of hot green tea. Again...delicious!
Getting seated at the Entertainment Centre for the show.
After the show: a sundae from Lindt Cafe (enjoyed sitting on the wooden planks with our legs dangling over the harbour). The queue at Lindt was massive and we hardly stood a chance at getting a table.
And so the night ended with my belly filled to the brim :P

Thanks Kelly for the invite to the show - apologies that we didn't really get the chance to catch up properly (must do soon!)