Archive for month: February, 2013

Ten-Ichi Ginza, Nihonbashimuromachi, Tokyo, Japan

27 Feb
February 27, 2013

It was only after returning back to Sydney that I discovered that a little restaurant Dad and I stumbled across in Nihonbashi, was in fact, ‘world famous’ for their tempura.  The main flagship restaurant is, as the name states, located in Ginza.  We had come across their Nihonbashi branch which is one of eight dotted around Tokyo.

It was the last day of a very quick business trip to Tokyo, and the morning has been shopping for my usual stash of supplies to take home with me.  Dad had joined me on the shopping spree and has since decided against doing that in future.  Arms laden with bags we call in to a building of restaurants near where we were staying in Nihonbashi.  On level 3 we eventually find somewhere to eat we both agreed on. Read more →


Teriyaki Chicken Wings & Cooking Sake Explained

24 Feb
February 24, 2013

I don’t think my love for Japan, it’s people and especially the food is a secret.  Many years ago when I started to pursue my love of Japanese food, by learning how to prepare it for myself at home, it was a struggle to find the appropriate ingredients.  Luckily, there are now many Japanese grocery shops around Sydney and many basic staples are available in your local supermarket.  How far we have come.

Many years ago when I would originally see the word ‘sake’ in the ingredient list of recipes, I would run out and try and source a bottle of drinking sake (Nihonshu).  Then one day, in my lounge room, Tetsuya Wakuda shared something with me.  “This is cooking sake, you don’t use the sake you drink when cooking’.   Maeve O’Meara then turned to him, nodded her head, and said she didn’t realise there was a difference.  I do love Food Safari.   Like Maeve, I had no idea there was a difference until that moment either.

Ryorishu is the Japanese word for cooking sake and literally means ‘cuisine alcohol’.  You generally don’t drink ryorishu straight, it isn’t enjoyable as a drink.  It is milled differently to drinking sake, there is a lower milling rate of around  80-90%.  Milling removes fats, proteins and amino acids that lead to unwanted flavours and aromas in the brewing process.  A lower milling rate means it isn’t as refined in taste as a drinking sake, but the bolder flavour lends itself much better to cooking.  It doesn’t get lost amongst other ingredients like soy sauce, sugar etc.  Ryorishu does have an alcohol content, the one in my cupboard is rated at  14-15% alcohol.  Therefore salt is added to the ryorishu (usually about 2% to render it just undrinkable), which allows supermarkets to sell it. Read more →

Just Pure Bistro, Swissôtel Sydney

21 Feb
February 21, 2013

Just Pure Bistro, or just Jpb for those in the know, is Swissôtel Sydney’s signature restaurant.  Executive Chef Tseng has created something a little special in the heart of Sydney.  A restaurant that is both sustainable and reasonably priced.  Well, I think that’s special for a ‘hotel’ restaurant.

Tseng has a ‘straight from the farm to hotel’ attitude with his menu.  Ingredients are organic, locally grown and sourced in NSW as much as possible.  Pork from Byron Bay, extra virgin olive oil for the Megalong Valley and organic honey straight from their roof top.

Honey from the roof top?  Yes, Swissôtel Sydney has their own bee hives, which they lovingly call ‘The Buzz Factory’.  There are four hives which are home to 200,000 bees.  The bees spend Spring and Summer feeding on the nectar and pollen in Sydney’s Hyde Park.  To ensure the bees don’t go without, bee-friendly plants such as lavender, rosemary and basil are positioned close the hives at other times of the year.  The honey produced is used in daily in the food and beverage menu, breakfast, honey inspired desserts and cocktails. Read more →

Recipe: Green Tea Financier Hearts

12 Feb
February 12, 2013

I will admit I am not into the commercialism of Valentine’s Day.  If you want to buy me roses, then please do any other day of the year, don’t waste your money on the 14th February.  Even though I don’t celebrate in a commercial way, in other words, paying big bucks for flowers, chocolates etc, I do like to play with the ‘Valentine’ concept in the kitchen.

Last year I made Robots bearing hearts biscuits.  So cute and quirky, who doesn’t love a robot with a love heart, all together now, aawwwwe.

This year I wanted to play with my new small love hearts cake tin.  Very cute and picked up at a steal.  With a nice supply of green tea powder from a recent visit to Tokyo Mart, left over almond meal from Christmas baking, financiers (or friands) seemed a logical baking move on my part. Read more →

Back to School/Work Lunch Ideas + Win a Year Supply of GLAD Products

08 Feb
February 8, 2013

{Competition Closed}
When I received an invite from GLAD to attend a sandwich masterclass with my ‘little one’, I initially thought ‘but my little one isn’t so little!’.  Then amusing visions of my 6’2″ ‘little one’ attending a sandwich masterclass with hip high kids filled my head.  The thought appealed to me no end, so much so I put it out there on my private Facebook profile to see what friends thought of the idea.  I received many a ‘LOL’ and ‘Do It!’ responses.  Which resulted in a ‘yes’ RSVP to GLAD’s kind invitation.

This is how my ‘little one’, Josh, and I ended up at Food, Wine & Dine surrounded by real little ones and a bunch of mummy bloggers.  Actually a first time experience for me with mummy bloggers and I was quite glad to have my 6’2″ security blanket with me for company, they all seemed to know each other, we were definitely the odd ones out. Read more →

Zucchini Loaf Recipe

06 Feb
February 6, 2013

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables.  Actually, even though you will find the humble zucchini in the vegetable department of your green grocer, it is indeed a fruit.  Such a versatile fruit it is too.  It lends itself so easily to both savoury and sweet dishes.  Is used perfectly in a range of cuisines and you can even use the flowers.

I cook with zucchini quite a bit in my kitchen.  It always seems to make its way into a stir-fry, my green curry wouldn’t be the same without it and flowers are stuffed with cheeses or crab then deep fried.  Zucchini fitters with tzatziki and salad are the perfect summer dish.  I love them even just simply steamed.

I recently came across some old home economic notes from back in high school.  A big smile crossed my face when I spied the recipe for my first baking effort in class.  It was also the first time I had used a ‘vegetable’ in a sweet capacity.  The other dish being cooked on the day was carrot cake, but I wanted to do something I had never attempted before and chose the zucchini loaf. Read more →