Friday, May 14, 2004

Yakity Yak

© foodies date: 12May2004

maybe it is just me. i feel incredibly old these days. i am finding my thoughts and views is leaning more and more towards the older generation. friday night used to be out and have fun until we drop but now a perfect friday night is staying home, snuggled up on bed, reading a good book or watching a good dvd. gees. this sound so ah-mah like. omigosh. i m really getting old!! now now. where's my slab of rectinol-A cream.

2 nights ago i had a conversation with ah queen, jeff and meng. arent we living in the equal opportunity era? have a look at our conversation:

♥ episode 1: allen's new girlfriend
pinkcocoa: wat's the story with allen?
Ah queen: hey... spilll i really wanna know
Meng: yea what's the story
Meng:allen got engaged with this pretty girl
Meng: so who is she jeff?
dunno..met her once...she's one year our senior
Meng : u mean junior
Wolf10: senior
Meng: right..
Ah queen: meng... its 2004... men date woman older than them....haha
Meng: oh yea
pinkcocoa: it just shows us tat meng is the traditional kinda guy
Wolf10: yea!

♥ episode 2: cooking at home
topic started when the trio had the pleasure to view dolci & QQp foodies
Meng: man i am hungry now
Ah queen: next time i go visit in aus...shin better cook
Meng: exactly shin. u cook , we eat. that way u wasitline is saved
Wolf10: good idea!
pinkcocoa: i dun usually cook
Ah queen: i NEVER cook
Wolf10: women should know how to cook
Ah queen: im sure i can cook... it's just that i never got around to actully doing it
Wolf10: well get crackin wif it
Meng says:hmm. to be sure. just need to prove it. next time in KL
pinkcocoa: queenie when u visit me u gotta cook!
Wolf10: ah queen is cooking
Ah queen: i can offer u guys maggi... any flavour...take ur pick
Meng: yea ah queen is cooking with pink. we want lobster with cheese + avocado +tomato
Ah queen: huh... n wat r guys supposed to do
Wolf10: eat..then let u girls wash up while we discuss the next big money making idea
Ah queen: jeff... go back to ur cave
Wolf10: there is rational behind my comments
Ah queen: this is not age where guys knock girls on their heads with clubs n drag them back to the cave
pinkcocoa: tsk tsk tsk jeff is really the traditional sort
Ah queen: n u r not parading aroung with an animal skin loin cloth either
Wolf10: didnt i just say there is rational behind me comments
Wolf10: just figured...the rational didnt sound wonder i am single haha

♥ episode 3: men and cooking
Ah queen: another good place to meet woman... cooking class. that way... u can ensure that ur girl can cook
pinkcocoa: there is a men-only cooking school here
Wolf10: doesnt that make a guy look a bit camp?
Ah queen: noooooooooo
pinkcocoa: no way it's soooo hip for a guy to know how to cook
Ah queen:shin... i agree wit u ...its way cool if a guy can cook
Ah queen: i did plan to join a cooking class and pick up the most decent looking guy there hehehe....
Meng:careful he might just be 'gay'
Wolf10: well meng knows how to cook
(jeff is saying meng is gay?)
pinkcocoa: meng next time u r cooking
Meng: i dont know how to cook
(deny deny deny!)

that's only one conversation among the 4 of us. lawyer-jeff would be under scrutiny even more if cb, ping and kuifang have joined. ohhh i cant wait until the next chat...yakity-yuk!
Continue Reading Yakity Yak


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Who Am I?

As my fingers move across the keyboard i could not hesitate but repeatedly ask myself "who am i?" now that's an interesting concept because to many, i am "shinhaw" or "shin" or "pink" or "pinkcocoa" or "jingyi". yup. many nics or do you call that names? it really depends on the chronological order that one started to know me. now the word 'know' is interesting too because to what extent can you clasify as 'knowing' someone? does merely acquinting onto one's name falls under the 'knowing' definition? isnt all this concepts very philosophical?

anyway you must be wondering where i m getting to. i am on a quest in search of my identity is what i am getting at. more specifically, i am interested in finding out what kind of food personality i possess. oh yes. everything has just come back to my one and only hobby (beside sleep and shopping of course): food! i happened upon a few 'know-your-personality' quizzes online and tried them.

© foodies date: 13May2004

♥ What Candy Are You?

discover what candy you are @ quiz me

very true about the whinging bit i would say. not so sure about the sweet heart bit. the only times i have heard yours truly being called 'sweetheart' are when i chanced upon some nice old ladies that i have met either in the supermarket or local vinnies or libraries. oh yeah. i am one spoilt-brat!
seriously i have never tried a baby bottle pop before. maybe the next time i popped into the lollies store i will get one. i will be hiding in my closet suckling this pop though. it's rather embarrassing for an old soul like moi to suckle in front of you crowds.

♥ What Pie Flavour Are You?

find your inner PIE @

i love peach. it is my favourite summer food. this year i have been lucky enough to tried out white nectarine and white peaches. they are juicy, tender and tastes milder. the fragance and aroma of peach. yum. queen yellow peach is really nice too. i wish it is summer time once again.

pretty interesting tests arent they?
try it out and tell me your result and see how compatible we are
Continue Reading Who Am I?


Saturday, May 08, 2004

Chilling Out @ CoolBar on Anzac

© foodies date: 7May2004
i was walking along anzac parade on my home just the other day when i noticed the old optometry shop that has closed down for quite a while was being renovated. from first instance, it seemed to be an internet-cafe-like thingie. a few days later when i happened upon the same path home, the shop was almost done and i could see their menu bar already up. my heart skipped and eyes sparkled instantly on notice of the stuff on their menu. my new 2004 addiction: smoothies! yummy. i vowed that i shall keep this new spot called 'coolbar' in mind.

coolbar's 'pacman' logo
7may marked coolbar's opening. pinkcocoa, ShinChan and ken went for a drink on the night of their opening after we helped ken moved his stuff to his new place. our first impression was 'oh. another momo9.' for those of who dont know, momo9 is another modern and trendy cafe just down the road from unsw

the seating area of coolbar
their dining furnitures are quite unique in a sense. the style and quality is probably one of the first in kingsford. pity the plasma (is that a plasma, enlighten me please!) wasnt showing anything. maybe they still need time to set it up. hmmm only if they do weekly screening of movies. that would be nice. i am sure this would attract a lot of movie- enthusiats too!

here's a sneak shot of coolbar's menu. doesnt it look yummy?

coolbar offers a wide range of icecream from serendipity. just out of your interest, serendipity is a premium icecream manufacturer based in marrickville. they also make passionflower's lovely icecream. *yum* coolbar's icecream bar includes flavours in taro(yam), greentea, blacksesame, lychee sorbet and even durian! very passionflower-like icecream bar. o well. coolbar uses icecream from serendipity so that explains it.

ken: (pointing excitedly at the menu) let's try this. the galaxy*
shin: no wayyyyyyyy! (worried about her already thicken waistline)
peter: hmmm we are better off coming in after kendo with a large group of kendoka occupying the whole place and eating galaxy. after training you eat more too. (what a good tactic)
ken: ................(obviously disappointed)

* the galaxy is a compote of 16scoops of icecreams

♥ l: pinkcocoa's sweetdreams
♥ r: ken's green devil

sweet dreams
rambutan, lychee, apple juice, pineapple sorbet and ice.
green devil
kiwi fruits, green tea, sorbet and ice
coolbar also has bubble teas on their menu but on the more pricey side @ $4.90 which is the same as the smoothies. i would rather go for the smoothies since i know i can get cheaper bubble tea from across the road (tea inn). 'sweet dream' wasnt too bad. it's very light and refreshing. somehow i just couldnt stop comparing all smoothies to viva's. to be honest, i would rather have viva who has really thick and rich smoothies (at the same price but larger size too!)

♥ ShinChan's Chocolate Fudge Cake
the cake reminds me of dough's chocolate mudcake. i wonder if they actually order them from dough. other cakes on display are
- a nutty-looking tiramisu cake
- a rich coconut humming-bird cake
- a thick caramel cheesecake
- mini chocolate layered cake (cant remember the name)
besides the cakes, there are also steamed pork bun (pity the price is a tac too expensive @$3.90), waffles with icecreams and siumai.

coolbar is nice addition to the kingsford bit of anzac parade. it is one of the first in the area. hang on. there's still momo9 just down the road, across from BP. as for the smoothie bar, well coolbar is a later-comer than the smoothies bar at unsw. cant remember the name but their smoothies and juices are pretty good (@ a good price of $3.80 too) both cafes have good atmosphere, sadly their food isnt that bright and a tac on the pricey side too.

pinkcocoa's meta-rate is currently at her lowest at the moment *yawn* yet there is still no comments on coolbar's atmosphere and their cutlery etc. perhaps ShinChan, would you take on the honour and write me a commentary on coolbar? 3Q~

♥ Coolbar
470 Anzac Parade
Kingsford NSW 2032
(02) 9662 8788

♥ Serendipity Ice Cream
33 enmore Road
marrickville nsw 2204
tel (02) 9557 8986
fax (02) 9557 8990
Continue Reading Chilling Out @ CoolBar on Anzac


Thursday, May 06, 2004

A Green Passion: Salads

© foodies date: 6May2004 with salad assembled on 23April2004
i dumped my year2003 lover: 'icecream' aka 'gelato' this year (although we still have a few ONS once in a while) for my new profound love: 'salad'. sounds like pinkcocoa is switching channel to the healthier side of food, aye? too bad. it is not so true that all salads are healthy. take for example ceasar salad, one of my favourite. its dressing is one of the most fattening dressing in the dressing world. my passion turned from the more creamy fatty salads in the winter month to ligther and more refreshing salad once summer time hit. my favourite of all is the japanese wakame & sweetcorn salad.

recently i tried my hand on western-style salad. or more so, a sydney one when i spotted 'poached salmon with greenbean salad and tomato & anchovy dressing' in Bill Granger's Sydney Food.

♥ Bill Granger's Poached Salmon with Green-Bean Salad And Tomato & Anchovy Dressing
serves 4

2tbsp salt
1tsp white peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 baby fennel, finely sliced, top reserved
4 x 175g salmon fillet, skin off
300g green beans, steamed
200g sugarsnap peas, steamed

1. place the salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and fennel top in a large deep frying pan with 5cups of water and bring to the boil.
2. cook for 5min then remove from heat. add the salmon, cover and leave for 15min.
3. remove the fish from the stock and break into large pieces
4. serve on a bed of steamed green beans, sugarsnap peas and sliced fennel, with the tomato & anchovy dressing drizzled over the top.

♥ tomato & anchovy dressing
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
2 anchovies, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup basil, chopped

place all ingredient in a bowl and mix to combine.

i didnt exactly follow Bill's recipe. i substituted the beans with asparagus and added in avocado.the light & tangy dressing gives the salad a very strong and individual character so i guess it would be good with any sort of in-season vegies. it should be pretty good with chicken too. there are still a few recipes that i would like to get my hands on from Bill's book. if ever you could get hold of a copy, check it out. the recipes are very 'amateur-freely' and connects with our kitchen pantries. next in mind - 'blueberry topped butter cake'.....
Continue Reading A Green Passion: Salads


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Under The Sea

phew. the past 2 weeks have been tedious. i was swimming in the wonderful pool of exams and assignments that i am sure everyone has had a taste before. when will i ever get out of school and start swimming in the workforce? *sigh* enough of this crap. i would rather talking about swimming in food. seafood is the theme this time. it's a continuation from my fishy affair.

© foodies date: 23April2004
it's yet another gathering at katty's. we have been talking about doing "one fish four eats" for a while now. we did it about 2 years ago just before i headed back to brunei for a half year rest. the term "one fish four eats" is a direct translation from mandarin. it basically means cooking one whole fish in many different ways. in our case, it was one whole salmon and 4 type of dishes. yes. that includes sashimi too. we decided it was a good time to do it again when lawrence came for a holiday from hongkong.

we went to the sydney fish market in the morning hoping to get a big fat salmon. we werent disappointed by the size of the fish at the market. apparently it's salmon season now so the average size of salmon is between 30-40cm. a tact too big to our fancy.

big fat atlantic salmon at $14.99. we could have cooked 10 dishes out of this to feed 10 people!

instead of buying a whole salmon, we retreated to buying a long piece of salmon fillet and some salmon sashimi for the night. while we were there, we fell under the charm of live pippies, medium size green king prawns and western australia lobster (only $16.50 compared to the normal lobster $39.95) so we got a bit of those too.

yummy prawns. we bought green king prawns @ $17.95

WA lobsters @ $16.50ea. on the left is blue swimmer crab. on the note of crabs. mudcrab was only $14.95 when we were there.

we had a lot of work to do back in the kitchen in prepartion for the great seafood feast later tonight. clockwise from left:
1. in the blue plate are sliced onions, finely chopped garlic, finely sliced lemongrass and chopped ginger.
2. the salmon fillet is divided into 3 portions for 3 different dishes
3. pippies soaked in salted water
4. green king prawns marinated in pinkcocoa's experimental marinade as inspired by balinese sambal from a fish called coogee.
5. bay leaves for poaching salmon
6. seafood curry paste
7. wasabi for sashimi
not shown in the pic were sashimi and lobsters were hidden in the fridge in case some one nick it before we even have the chance of eating them.

♥ curry salmon
i was tempted to cook the curry from scratch when i found this easy recipe from cyberkuali. i happened upon malaysian seafood curry paste so decided to give it a try. the instructions were very simple and we had instant curry salmon in less than 5min! the curry paste we used was a little too spicy but everyone agreed that the leftover sauce would be very lovely with plain white bread and rice.

♥ lobster mornay
♥ salmon sashimi with wasabi
initially we didnt know wat to do with the lobster. the first thought was to eat it cold with tartare sauce. katty had better idea.
katty: let's grill it with heaps of cheese.
pinkcocoa: *drooling* ohhhh our own version of lobster mornay
katty then proceeded to putting cheese on top of the lobster
pinkcocoa was chopping up tomatoes and scooping out avocado for the salad
pinkcocoa: hey i have another idea. let's do it with a twist of italian.
katty: how about adding avocado to it too?

ta-daaaa! the final lobster mornay = tomatoes + avocado + basil + heaps of cheese

♥ balinese sambal prawns as inspired by a fish called coogee
ingredients in pinkcocoa's experimental marinade include:
- soysauce
- kecap manis (indonesian sweet soy sauce)
- lemongrass
- lemon & lime zest (i had both on hand so i used both)
- fresh chili
- fresh lime leaves
- honey
- sugar
- garlic
- ginger
chuck everything in and marinade the prawns for as long as you can. this is great on bbq too. we didnt have a bbq stove so we stirfried it. pinkcocoa stands proud at this stage because she could hear compliments from the table
basil: ohhh this is nice
katty: yeah
lawrence: ......slurp....(his mouth was too preoccupied to talk)

♥ poached salmon with asparagus salad and tomato & anchovy dressing
this is a modified version of the original 'poached salmon with green-bean salad and tomato & anchovy dressing' from Bill Granger's Sydney Food. i shall include the recipe in my next blog. this blog is getting too lengthy, i m sure your eyes must be pretty tired from reading now.

♥ pippies with basil done the taiwanese way - 'three cup pippies'
'three cup' refers to the ingredients used for this particular cooking technique. its philosophy is just like that of pound cake. we use equal part of rice wine, soy sauce and sugar in cooking the dish.
1. heat some sesame oil in wok
2. fried ginger until fragrance
3. add ingredient of your choice (chicken, squid, fish etc) and stirfried until brown
4. add in equal part of rice wine, soy sauce and sugar. stir
5. let simmer until the sauce is reduced to a thick caramelised texture
6. turn off gas. stir in a generous bunch of basil leaves and serve!

♥ the final dinner setting.
basil did up the table setting really nicely and we get to use katty & basil's exclusive dinner plates and cutlery. my guess is the dinner would be really nice with a bottle of white wine. but nope. none of us fancy drinking so we had plain water and coke instead. not described in great detail is katty's kobe jones inspired honey soy sauce salmon (first from left). my apology, katty dearest. the pic turned out bad) what katty had done was to seared the salmon on both sides until it's medium. she then poured some kecap manis and taiwanse sweet & spicy sauce over on top. it's just so simple and delicious!

leftover for dinner this time? we were such pigs *oink* we digged up everything except the curry salmon. there was only 1/4 of salmon left though. the night concluded with yet another serve of green tea and black sesame ice cream. ohhhhh what a perfect dinner. wish we could do it more often but reality does hit in - the waistline factor. so i guess this type of dinner will probably be once every season if we are lucky. hmmm i m thinking of mud crab right now.....

Continue Reading Under The Sea