Monday, February 20, 2012

Dinner Date...

... with Rachael.

Food at Ace Wasabi was alright. Not the best Japanese food around, but the location was beautiful! Perhaps a little weird for a Japanese retaurant, probably more suited for high tea.

Plain Udon
Rainbow Roll
I think what disappointed me was the lack of variety in their fresh fish. Two?! I ordered the rainbow roll because like the sashimi, I was expecting more than two kinds of fish. sigh.  The udon was a bit chewy but had enough flavour.

Vegetarian Options
Rachael is vegetarian so she opted for the vegetarian teppanyaki set with agedashi tofu for starters. I think as a teppanyaki restaurant it may be decent (I will try one day) but as a sushi/sashimi restaurant it still has a long way to go. The sushi rolls may be fancy and pretty looking but lacks that... authenticity? Anyone can make sushi, but it takes many years of proper training to become a sushi chef and you can really taste the difference.

After dinner we went to Coffee Culture for a herbal tea to help digest dinner before heading off to my favourite dessert place Strawberry Fare.

Chef's Tasting Plate
Nice way to finish the night with a burnt raspberry creme brulee, cheesecake, mango sorbet and berries with cream. We both got the same thing, it was too hard not to get that. I want more :( I also need to work on my night photography skills on my iphone...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Basic Baked Bun

I kept them simple because sometimes people just want a plain ole bun. Baked, with a sweet syrupy coating and a few sprinkles of sesame seed just for the fun of it.

Buns... and tea?
Basic Baked Bun
(Makes approx. 20 mini buns)

1 cup of warm water
2 Tbsp of milk
1 egg
75g unsalted butter
500g bread flour
85g sugar
1 Tbsp instant dried yeast

Sesame seeds (optional)
Egg (for egg wash)

Sugary syrup
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp warm water

Pop all the dough ingredients in the order the bread machine requires you to do so and use the dough setting. Relax, chill for an hour and a half until it finishes... then relax more (an hour or two is good) because it likes to take time to rise. Remove dough from machine and on a lightly floured surface give it a bit of a punching. Divide into 20s or however small or big you want your buns and roll into balls.

Let balls of dough rest and they will rise to about double the size... It normally takes about an hour (an episode of American Idol).

Preheat oven to 180c. Grease (or line) baking tray and pop in the pre-buns. Sprinkle seeds if you like or anything fun you like that isn't ridiculous like a broccoli. Bake for about 25 minutes. My buns turned out a little browner because I used an egg wash too early. Nothing wrong with that... but to get a lighter finish, bake for about 10 minutes then brush buns with the egg wash. Another 10 minutes later brush the sugary syrup over the buns and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and probably let rest a bit (unless you have a super mouth that can handle heat) and then enjoy!

Lot's of buns!
Maybe I was lazy but I like the effect of pulling buns apart. It is a lot of yeast to use but there is a bit more sugar used in this recipe so it was necessary. Brushing with honey also works but I don't like honey (weirdo). They are still soft the next day (what??! you can't eat 20 at once?!) but taste amazing in the microwave for 10-20secs. These buns are great with fillings too!

Random animals

Snail and peaches.
Lantern festival last week was so much fun. Missed out on last year's due to earthquake (earthquake earthquake earthquake... sick of it yet?) but I loved the new location this year. More space to move around and it looked like a lot more stalls for food and junk... I love junk. I bought an awesome panda hat and wore it the whole festival because I'm not allowed to just buy things for the sake of buying things and actually need to use them (stupid Jack...).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I'm not that demanding. All I ask is for Jack to be romantic three times a year. Four, after we get married. Now, if we were to live another 80 years (107?!), at the moment, that's less than 320 times of romanticness a lifetime. Not too much to ask for right?!

Roses are red... and pink.
Strawberry Tart!
I saw on Yahagi's facebook status last night that they would have strawberry tarts today! I woke up late but at the same time I didn't want to turn up at their opening time looking too desperate. When I finally got my a** into g, I made it just in time to score the last two strawberry tarts (in your face person after me!). Lucky, so in hindsight, it's better to look deperate than miss out!

Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Anniversary Dinner

Last year for our anniversary dinner we went to Tatsumi as we do for every anniversary celebration. We really enjoyed dinner, but it would be the last time we would celebrate our anniversaries there because twelve days later everything changed. They have relocated to Auckland now and we will definitely go there when we are up, but like many things, it will never be the same.

This year we went to Buddha Stix for celebrations.

Riesling to accompany dinner
Combination Entree and Tom Yum Soup
Lamb Shank in Mussaman Curry and Larb Gai
The last time I was here for a leaving dinner, the group of us were decidedly upset with the service and food. However, (nearly) every restaurant deserves a second chance and Thai food is yummy!

Servings were very generous, and apart from entrees, rice and noodle dishes, every thing came with rice, even soup. Soup for me is a starter dish, but after it arrived I was pleasantly surprised by how full of ingredients this one had. It was a pretty decent version of tom yum too. Unfortunately had we known it really was a main, we would not have ordered two more mains to follow. Dinner was great, presentation was good, the only problems were the tables were too small for more than two dishes and because they were obviously trying to rush us, the food came very close together, before we had even finished so there was a lot of shoving food down throats and pouring into bowls to make room.

Many more years of this to follow...
I can't wait for next year. Special dinners are always awesome! Especially with special people.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Favourite meal of the day.

The other day we went to Kinji Restaurant for dinner. We ordered a lot of food, but the thing about this place is, once the food comes, you have to show a lot of restraint not to pig out straight away... I obviously don't have that restraint. The only reason there are pictures of the dessert is because I was already full by then...

Green Tea Tiramisu
Creme Brulee
If you've ever watched the movie Amelie, I've loved cracking creme brulee with my spoon and finding pleasure in it ever since...

Desserts were divine. Now I have to stop stuffing myself silly and save room for these babies. So hard.
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