Friday, January 28, 2005


We went to Newtown for a walk and some window shopping right after our quick picnic with our favourite chicken roll. It's been probably a year since we last went there. Talk about speed of time! We didn't even realise we hadn't visited Newtown for a little more than a year.

Newtown is the place for Thai food. You will find a long trail of Thai restaurants along King Street though we have also spotted other gems: Thanh Binh on King (Vietnamese, love their roll your own viet rolls!), Burgerlicious (love their build your own burgers!), Green Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant and not to mention coffee to die for at Varga Bar Espresso! We would describe Newtown as an alternative suburb with its vintage shops, unique yet homey cafes and a suburb full of blossoming Australia designers.

It's been such a long while since we last visited, we were very delighted to find a new gelato shop. I was overly excited and couldn't even wait for the red lights before we crossed the street, just so I won't waste any second to drool at all those yummilicious gelato. Yes..we j-walked *sweatdrop*

♥ tabeshimashita @ Gelatomassi on 26Jan2005 - Australia Day!
♥ Gelatomassi
In my excitement I didn't even notice the name of the shop. I just dived straight in there and look at all the gelato on offered. The first thing we saw was this high stack of Gelato Baskets (A$1 extra). It looked so tempting.

Many Different Gelato Flavours
♥ So many different flavours
And now look at the many different gelato flavours! The one that caught my sight was the dark pink one with a roundish thingie sitting on top. It was fresh fig. Definitely a must try! There are way too many sorbet and gelato flavours for us to remember!

Gelatomassi Man
♥ Gelatomassi Man
Again, in my over or hyper-excitement, I started snapping photos of the gelatos and the shop (it has a cool blue interior. Very sleek and comfy.) before noticing the management of the shop wasn't too happy about me snapping photos. *Oops* My apologies. I guess I should have asked before I took photos.

Anyhow, this gentleman was very energetic and I could tell he loves his gelato! He also mentioned he won't mind me taking his photos instead of the shop. Very nice way of letting me know that photos of the shops and interior aren't that alright but photos of people inside the shops are ok. You can tell from the many photos of their custormers that they have posted on their walls.

Silky Gelato
♥ Almond, Lime and Fresh Figs Gelato
We opted for 3 flavours in a cup (A$5.80). There were just so many flavours that it was so hard for us to decide. I picked fresh figs and ShinChan decided to try out lime. Gelatomassi Man recommended some cream-based gelato: mascarpone, almond and panna cotta. We opted for almond.

The almond gelato was smooth and velvety. Just very mellow. The lime sorbet was citric and light, very refreshing for a hot day. We did find it a little too soury especially after we had the sweet almond gelato. We couldn't find a word to describe fresh figs. It's a little gooey when compared to the lime but it has a nectareous flavour. Just very smooth and palatable. We'll definitely come back for more!

Gelato Cakes
♥ Gelato Cakes
While we were there we noticed they also had Gelato Cakes and for Valentine's special too. The Valentine's Special (A$8.50) is a pink heart-shaped cake, chocolate-coated with rich white chocolate gelato inside. Sorry no photos here. I think I might have touched on copyright issues here....Their other gelato cakes looked just like the one on the posters with price starting from A$35.

262 King St
Newtown NSW 2042
tel. +61 2 9516 0655
fax. +61 2 9516 0755
Continue Reading Gelatomassi


Thursday, January 27, 2005

HongHa Hot Bread

We decided to grab a cheap lunch while we were in the Eastern Suburbs.

♥ tabeshimashita @ HongHa Hot Bread on 26 Jan 2005 - Australia Day!
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♥ HongHa Hot Bread
So we headed to Mascot for our favourite Vietnamese Chicken Roll. Usually, there would be a really long queue emerging from the shop. There wasn't anyone inside the bakery at all when we got there which was not at all that strange because it was already 3pm. Lunchtime was long over! In fact, the bakery has already started cleaning up.

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♥ The Menu
In we went to the strangely deserted shop and to our horror, oh hm I mean surprise, HongHa had decided to increase their price. Everything up by 50c! So our favourite chicken roll has gone from A$3 to A$3.50! My favourite salad and cheese roll (A$2.50 to A$3) with extra cheese (A$0.50 for any extra fillings)would now be A$3.50 instead of A$3. *sigh*

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♥ Lady filling up our rolls
It was a rather hot day and pinkcocoa didn't have much appetite so we decided to grab just a chicken roll without chilli since the two of us had sorethroat.

On a normal day, there would be at least 3-4 persons at work behind the counter at HongHa. There was only 1 lady when we were there yesterday and the clear glass counter had already been cleaned. Clearly, the bakery was preparing to close soon.

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♥ Chicken Roll A$3.50
Here's the chicken roll that would have the two of us drool most if ever we were to leave Sydney.
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♥ Revealing our fav: Chicken Roll
Inside the chicken roll are shredded pickled carrots (it tasted a little soury and very appertising), cucumbers, corianders, tomatoes and of course shredded chicken with some mysterious seasoning and mayo.

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♥ Crusty Spongy Bread Roll
We just love the crunchy crust and the soft spongy bread roll. My favourite of the chicken roll would be the carrots. It's slightly pickled so it's very more-ish. I also love the combination of cheese with salad in the bread roll. ShinChan had to pick out the shredded chicken for me when we shared this chicken roll. (Have I ever mentioned that I am half-vegetarian with a weak spot for sausages.......)

We have not tried their meatball rolls or pork roll yet. Somehow we always ended up buying chicken roll, and salad & cheese roll even though we were determined to try their meatball rolls and pork roll. Weird huh? Maybe next time.......

HongHa Hot Bread
1151 Botany Road
Mascot NSW 2020
tel. +61 2 9667 2069
fax. +61 2 9667 0557
Continue Reading HongHa Hot Bread


Australia Day!

It was Australia Day yesterday. We were thinking about joining the crowds in the city for some Aussie celebrations. Afterall, it's my first Australia Day in Australia. Er... This sentence sounds a little weird. What I mean is I have never been around in Australia when it's Australia Day.

Anyhow, the two of us came down with a cold last week so the idea was scraped. Instead we stayed home (beside heading out for lunch and gelato! post to come next) and pigged ourselves out. *burp*

♥ tabeshimashita on 26jan2005 Australia Day!
Mango Okara Pancake
♥ Tropical Okara Pancake
To start the day, we had okara pancake topped with lemon butter from Blue M Food Co. purchased at the Northside Produce Market and some diced fresh mangoes! The breakfast was very much like a yummilicious dessert. Great treats to start the day!

We bought some dinner ingredients on our way home from window-shopping.

♥ Aussie-inspired Salad
I guess I am lacking the black colour here to represent the Aboriginal Flag. This was a quick salad. I put together shredded cabbage, carrots, cucumber, beetroot and tomatoes and dressed with a mixture of honey, plum vinegar and olive oil. I shouldn't have included the lemon there because I didn't realise the plum vinegar was already sour and salty! I had to add extra sugars to balance out the acidity and saltiness. I should really tasted the vinegar before I use it. :p

Beetroot Papperdelle in Bacon Sour Cream Sauce with Thai Beef Burger
♥ Aussie-inspired Dinner
Here we had beetroot papperdelle from Pastabilities (purchased from Northside Produce Market) in a bacon and sour cream sauce. The lady at Pastabilities told me the papperdelle is delicious with sour cream so I gave it a go. I cooked the beetroot papperdelle salted boiling water with a few slices of beetroot: an advice from Pastabilities so the pasta would retain a beautiful redish colour.

As for the sauce, I panfried diced bacon until fragance then added a tub of sour cream (lite of course). To my horror, the sour cream turned into liquid the moment it hit the hot frying pan! I tried adding some cheese but it was still liquidy. So in the end, I had to resort to some liquid thickening agent: cornstarch and water. And yes! It worked. The sauce thicken quickly. So in went the pasta.

We grabbed the Thai beef burger pattie on our way home. So for dinner, we had some strange Aussie images compiled all on one plate. Somehow, I just couldn't shake off the idea of beetroot and bacon in burgers. Thus the beetroot papperdelle with bacon. The BBQ beef burger reminded me of my first ever Oz barbie. It was in an emu farm! ;-)

The papperdelle was very light and so easily to overeat! The sour cream brings a soury taste to the sweet beetroot papperdelle, creating a wonderful palatable combination that prompts you to have more, more and more!

♥ Divine Dessert
Seriously, I think we should pigged out on lamingtons and pavlova for Australia Day. But these two grabbed our attention when we were buying our desserts.

Caramel Kisses
♥ Caramel Kisses A$2.50
The caramel kisses was a tad too hard to bite on when it was just out from the fridge. We had quite a good right arm exercise to get out first bite. We should have left it return to room temperature first before digging in. :p

It has a soft chewy coconut shortbread-like crust with a soft & sweet caramel centre. The caramel centre was chewy too. This caramel kisses is indeed a hard dessert to bite off. It requires a bit of an effort from your mouth before the dessert came apart from its main body. I guess this kissing-like action is what gives its name!

Sour Cherry Tart
♥ Sour Cherry Tart A$3
Sorry about the blur photo here. I was in a hurry to go enjoy my dessert before it's all gone. The sour cherry is very..hmm..sour. Very appertizing I must say and went along very well with the sweet custard. The tart is light and a little crunchy. I suspect much of the crunchiness came from the chocolate court on the inside of the tart.

We had a rather relaxing Australia Day. Too bad about our cold else we would have loved to join the crowd for some fireworks!
Continue Reading Australia Day!


Monday, January 24, 2005

IMBB11 - Soy Milk

This is a follow up to my IMBB11 - Mr Bean Breakfast post. I thought it would be good to post about how I went about making my own soy milk at home from scratch. This is just a series of photos snapped during the soy milk making process. Not much typing involved in this post, I guess. I will, again, let the photos do the talking.

...alright...I admit I am lazy to type.....*blush*

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 23 Jan 2005
Soy milk is a great alternative to animal's milk. I have always enjoyed soy milk as a kid. My favourite soy milk would be pandan (screwpine or pandanus leaves) flavoured soy milk which comes in a light green colour. But then at some point, I started to dislike soy milk and my breakfast passion began to shift towards the Western-style: cereals with milk or toast with milk.

As I grew older, I found myself missing traditional home food more and more. I have even started to enjoy hot savoury soy milk which I despised a few years back when I was at the rebellious age.

This recipe is for making Asian-style soy milk which is most diluted and watery than the soy milk found in the milk section at the supermarket.

♥ Asian-style Basic Soy Milk Recipes
1c soya beans
6c water
water, extra for soaking
sugar, to taste

Basic ratio of soya milk is
soya bean : water = 1 : 6

Soy Beans
♥ Soya Beans
I used organic soy beans (A$4 per kg). Give it a quick rinse in water.

Soaking The Beans
♥ Soak in water
Soak soya beans in water overnight. Here's a rough guide to how long you should soak the beans: about 8 hours in a hot weather (summer) and roughly 20hours in winter. When the weather is hot, you might find the need to soak your beans overnight in the fridge or else with the high temperature, the beans would sprout easily.

This is just a rough guide. Just soak until the beans are double its original size.

After soaking for 12 hours
♥ After about 12 hours
I soaked mine in room temperature for round about 12 hours given the cool weather we were having. Once the beans have double in size, drain the liquids off.

Original size and blown-up size
♥ Before and After!
Here you see the beans swelling up (right) to more than double the original size (left).

Beans in Blender
♥ Blending in a blender
Place beans in blender together with 4 cups of water. Blend or puree until you get a smooth watery mixture.

Now, there are two different methods of making soy milk from here.
Method #1
Pasterising the milk
♥ Boiling soy milk
Bring the remaining 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan (non-stick would be good). You must be wondering why I did not blend all 6 cups of water together with the beans in the blender and instead bringing to boil 2 cups in a saucepan. This extra step actually helps prevent the ground soy in the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burn. So to speak, you still have to sti the mixture occasionally to ensure it is not sticking to the bottom.

Pour in ground soy mixture into the boiling water and stir gently. Using small-medium heat, bring the soy milk to an almost boiling point. Making sure you stir every now and then. Cook and stir for about 5 - 8 minutes. When almost done, add sugar to taste. Or if you prefer unsweeten soy milk, leave this step. You can always sweeten your unsweetened soy milk later.

Remove from stove and let cool. Once cool, place a large piece of muslin cloth (or tea towel) over a strainer. Drain the soy milk mixture.

* Add a knot of pandan leaves at this step, and you get pandan flavoured soy milk!
**I found a lot of foam forming on my soy milk mixture. I just skim them off. You might also find a thin film forming on the surface of your soy milk. Do not discard this. Simply leave it out and let dry on a plate for 10min and you get yuba (fresh soybean sheet)! It's delicious with soysauce.

Squeezing up the last drop
Okara - leftover ground soy
This is what you get after straining the soy milk mixture: okara.

okara - remnants of soymilk
♥ Dry Okara
What you want is a dry ground soy to use in cooking. So now a strong pair of hands come in handy. You need to squeeze and squeeze the ground soy wrapped in muslin cloth until all excess liquid is rid. (The excess liquid is of course soy milk!)

Raw Soy Milk
♥ Pinkcocoa's Homemade Soy Milk
taaaa-daaaaaa~ Here's my version of soy milk.

Method #2
There is also another method which probably looks easier although the steps are similar, except that it takes less time.

After blending, place a piece muslin cloth over a strainer. Strain the raw soy milk mixture. What you get is raw soy milk. All you have to do now is to bring the soy milk to boil and you can enjoy instant hot soy milk!

I personally prefer soy milk using method #1. I found the soy milk to be thicker, richer and very flavourful. Soy milk using method #2, on the other hand, gives a store quality soy milk ie. a little bit more diluted and less flavourful.

There are so many things you can do with unsweetened soya milk. One of my favourite is the hot savoury soy milk (xian dou jiang - savoury soy milk) from Taiwan. Hot unsweetened soy milk is seasoned with salt and sesame oil then onto it a generous sprinkle of chopped spring onions and deep fried nion shallots. On standing, you will find the soy milk started to form curd. So it tasted a little like having a hot savoury soup with tofu.

I am still wanting to get my hand on a soy milk hot pot but I guess I will wait until the cooler weather arrives. ;-)
Continue Reading IMBB11 - Soy Milk


Sunday, January 23, 2005

IMBB 11 - Mr Bean Breakfast

Mr Bean Breakfast
♥ Mr Bean Breakfast
This is my first IMBB participation. It is the 11th edition hosted by Cath of My Little Kitchen and she has picked an interesting theme: Beans! I have always watched with great admiration the creative recipes everyone has come up for every IMBB. My recipes aren't at all creative. IMBB 11 has come in the right time, I would say because I have just started making my own soy milk and slowly venture into experimenting with various recipes using the leftover ground soy from making soy milk.

The Chinese has been cultivating and using soya bean in many different ways for thousands of years. In China, soya bean is considered as one of the 5 holy crops, along sides rice, wheat, barley and millet. Soya bean is very versatile and is consumed in many different ways: soy sauce, tofu (beancurd), tempeh (fermented beans), soya sprouts, miso and soy milk.

I have always preferred soy milk to cow's milk, mainly because I found cow's milk gives me a bloated tummy. Besides, soy milk is said to be a lady's beauty drink. It is rich in isoflavone and a rich source of proteins for a vegan. It also helps in lowering blood pressure, assist with diabetes and most importantly it has no cholestrol. And for those on a weight management diet, drinking a small glass of soy milk before bed is said to help speed up your metabolic rate so you burn more fats when you sleep. Soy milk is definitely a magical staple for the ladies!

♥ tabeshimashita @ pinkcocoa's kitchen on 23 Jan 2005
Okara Pancake
Okara Pancake
Okara is the leftover ground soy from making soy milk. Usually this is deemed useless and thrown away. This was what I did before I found out its nutritional value. Okara is very rich in isoflavone and a very good source of fibre. I have used it to thicken sauces, added to dumpling fillings and mixed with mashed firm tofu and chopped veggies to make tofu patties. You can even stirfry it with a little bit of oil, soysauce until it is dry and fluffy and you get instant vegan pork-floss! If you don't fancy cooking the leftover ground soy then use it as fertilisers to your plants. It's just so rich in nutritions and very versatile, so don't throw them away but start up your creative engine and try and do something with it!

Our breakfast today is totally very soya beany so we named it after our favourite funny man: Mr. Bean. The recipe uses Asian style soy milk which is more diluted than the usual soy milk available in supermarket.

Okara Pancake
recipes from Happy Kitchen Magazine (Taiwanese Mag)
60g cake flour*
1tsp baking powder*
2 eggs, beaten
150g okara**
300cc soy milk (original flavour)***
1tbsp honey
25g butter, melted

1. Stir together cake flour and baking powder until well mixed. Then sift once.
2. In a large bowl, mix beaten egg with okara. Then slowly stir through soy milk until well combined.
3. Sift in flour mixture and mix. Stir in honey, followed by melted butter.
4. Let sit for 30 minutes.
5. Heat up a non-stick frying pan or skillet and spray a thin layer of oil or butter over. Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of the pancake mixture into the pan.
6. Flip the pancake over when bubbles started to appear on the surface. Cook for a further 30second to 1 minute.
7. Serve with honey or maple syrup.

* You can substitute self-raising flour and it works well. I used wholemeal SR flour.
** Make sure the okara is well rid of liquid. This is important in using okara in cooking else you might have a soggy dish. However, whether the okara is well dried or not isn't that critical in this pancake recipe. Just make sure you have a reasonably dry ground soy is good enough.
*** You can also use unsweetened soy milk. Simply add 3 heaped tbsp icing sugar to the mixture before step 3. Or you can omit the honey and use the mixture to make a savoury pancake by mixing chopped veggies like corns, capsicum etc and a pinch of salt with the pancake mixture just before you are about to make the pancake.

Okara Pancake with honey
Okara Pancake with honey
The pancake is soft, smooth and silky. It kinda resembles McDonald's breakfast pancake except that this is a healthier version with hidden fibre inside. We couldn't really taste the ground soy in the pancake. ShinChan (my kitchen lab guinea pig) was surprised when I told him after breakfast that the pancake was indeed made of soy milk and the leftover ground soy. He thought it was ordinary pancake I was serving him.

Served together with a warm or cold soy milk, this breakfast is indeed very beany!

Chocolate Okara Pancake
♥ Chocolate Okara Pancake
I have not forgotten fellow chocoholics out there. I have also made a chocolate version of the okara pancake by adding a couple spoonfuls of cocoa powder (you can even use Milo) to the pancake mixture. Just another great excuses to start my day with a luxurious yet healthy chocolicious meal!
Continue Reading IMBB 11 - Mr Bean Breakfast


Friday, January 21, 2005

Northside Produce Market

♥ Tabeshimashita @ Northside Produce Market on 15 Jan 2005
Northside Produce Market
I headed to the Northside Produce Market last Saturday since there was no Pyrmont Grower's Market in January. Needed to stock up my pantry with goodies so I decided to head to the Northside Produce Market held every third Saturday just outside the North Sydney Council.

Not much of writing this time. I will just let the photos do all the talking! I have snapped up quite a few photos while I was there. ;-)

Fresh Vegetables from the Market
♥ super fresh green vegetables straight from the farmers!
This was the first stall that greeted me. Minding the stalls were a few young Asians in their early 20s. Veggies weren't exceptionally cheap at the market but they are so fresh, it's hard to not buy them!

Wagyu Beef
♥ Wagyu Beef
Very expensive beef. Haven't yet tried them. Have any of you tried them?

Goat Cheese
♥ Goat Cheeses
There are so many different types but I didn't try them. I am a little scared of the special smell!

Goodness Fruits & Nuts
Honest to Goodness Organic and Natural Foods
Honest to Goodness offers organic and natural dried fruits and nuts at a very reasonable price. Just look at the long queue. It was truely a test of patience for pinkcocoa. I waited there for probably about 15minutes and a man jump-queued by rudely budging in right in front of me. He had been waiting for about 3 min I would say and he was already losing his patience. When he budged in, he slamped his shopping trolley on the ground almost hitting my left foot!

Italian WoodFired Oven Bread
♥ Italian Woodfire Oven Bread
I was tempted to grab a few of this home, especially the pizza bases. Hmmm, maybe I should have done so and I would enjoying a slice of pizza right now as I am typing this.

Mozarella Cheese & Canoli
♥ Italian Gourmets!
Lots of people were seen buying the canoli and the mozzarella rolls for an instant breakfast!

Blue M Food Co
♥ Blue M Food Co.
Have I ever told you I am hooked with their lemon & mango butter (A$7 ea)? I have their lime butter, lemon butter and mango butter in my fridge. It's really yummy on yogurt or ice-cream! Perfect for an instant dessert!

♥ Berries Products
Lovely blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries. It's cute berries heaven at this stall. Assorted berries jams and dessert sauces were also spotted here.

Apple Pie
♥ Homemade Country Apple Pie
This reminds me of having a picnic in the woods (think Enid Blyton!). :p

Fresh Peaches
♥ Fresh Juicy Peaches
These were a bargain. I think it was $5 for a box but I am not sure. There were many stalls selling peaches that day since they are in season right now.

Fresh Nectarines
♥ Succulent Nectarines
I like nectarines better than peaches but I don't mind either. I love stone fruits especially white nectarines and white peaches! Oh, apricots are yummies too.

Nectarine Tart
♥ Homemade Pies from A$10 - A$18
The peaches and nectarines stall also had homemade pies with different fillings: apple, nectarines, currants, and apricots.

Fresh Summer Fruits
♥ Summer Fruits
Mangoes, passionfruits and lychees make perfect summer fruit salad. Topped with a large scoop of ice-cream. It's heavenly!

Whisk and Pin
♥ Whisk & Pin
I heard Whisk and Pin has the best muesli in Sydney! Grab them at gourmet delis and David Jones. Didn't spot the Rocky Road Muesli as seen at Grab Your Fork.

Sweets from Whisk and Pin
♥ Yummies Goodies from Whisk and Pin
Did I tell you how good the mueli cookies (A$3 ea) were?

Picnic Braekfast
♥ Relaxing....
Relax with a good cup of coffee and danishes on the greens after a quick round of shopping.

♥ now...what pinkcocoa bought:
♥ organic bacon rounds
Can't remember the correct name for this bacon but the pork is organic, free range, free of chemicals and antibiotics etc....

Fresh Figs
♥ Fresh figs
Couldn't believe myself for grabbing a bargain here. A$0.50 for one fig! I bought 6 but now I wish I bought a box!

Kangaroo Pasta
♥ Kangaroo shaped pasta A$6
Too cute to miss.

♥ Pastabilities
I am in love with their tomato & chili jam. They have magnificent ravioli!

Fresh Vegetables
♥ Assorted very fresh veggies
Carrots A$2.50 a bag; beans A$2.50 a bag; lemongrass A$1 per stalk and baby spinach A$4 a bag.

♥ Northside Produce Market
Every 3rd Saturday of the Month at:
200 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW 2060
ph. 02 9922 2299
Continue Reading Northside Produce Market