Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Birthday Boy and A 'Fishful' Day

Today is my dad's 76th birthday: "Bah, Happy Birthday and wishing you the very best of health!!". My dad (and my Hubby) came over to Melbourne for a visit last month and we took the opportunity to throw an early birthday celebration for him.
DadBirthday

I arranged for a family outing on our day off and since I have been wanting to do some fishing, we headed to the Australian Rainbow Trout Farm in Macclesfield which is situated in the Dandenong Ranges. The entry fee ($6 for adults and $4.50 for children 4 - 14 y.o) covers park facilities, fishing rods and baits. Fish caught must be purchased and is charged according to weight. There is a fishing lake for those who wish to spend a day trying their luck but the worker told us that the lake is 'lightly stock'. We plan to have a fishy picnic lunch here hence we gave this challenging lake a miss.
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We were hungry and we wanted fish for lunch. And so, we headed to the 'heavily-stocked' pond instead. There are a number of ponds stocked with different sizes of rainbow trouts, and of course, the prices varies as well.
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Honeslty, I wasn't too keen on catching Rainbow Trout because this is what I had in mind...ATLANTIC SALMON!!
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Within seconds, I caught this 2kgs+ beauty!
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While I was still jumping around with joy, my bro-in-law and nephew also managed to catch a salmon each! My bro-in-law's catch weighed 4kgs!!! 5

Although we wish to continue to fish, we decided to stop since we already have an accumulated 10kgs salmon for lunch! And ahem, price at $24 per kilos, we ended up spending over $200 for the fish plus extra for filleting and sashimi fee. 6

The lady worker told us that the best time to catch Atlantic Salmon is around May/June before the salmon release its orange eggs. That is why our catch is paler in colour as compared to what we usually had. We took note of that and decided to drop by again in May next year for sure!
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While waiting for our lunch to be cleaned, Hubby and Nathan went to the Rainbow Trout pond to fish.
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There are ample of BBQ pits at the park for those who wish to grill their catch on the spot. Without wasting anymore time, we digged into our Atlantic Salmon Sashimi. The freshest sashimi I ever had in my life!
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Though it wasn't as sweet and flavourful as expected (due to the salmon just released its egg), we were quite surprised with the firmness and 'bounciness' of the texture. Not bad at all.10

Nathan requested for the sashimi slices to be grilled and surprise surprise, it was so tasty that the adults immediately stood around the BBQ pit with chopsticks in hand all ready to dig in! My nephew ended up sitting at the picnic table enjoying his lunch alone. Hehe!11

Our family's MASTERCHEF !!
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Nathan's Rainbow Trout was super awesome!! Aiyooo...we really regretted being overly excited with the salmon pond because the Rainbow Trout tasted even better and way way way sweeter! Next trip, we shall just catch ONE salmon for sashimi and focus on Rainbow Trout. Yummy...I could easily finish off one whole fish myself, ok make it 2!
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Grilled salmon fish head lightly sprinkled with salt....yummy!!!! Omega-3 overdosed!!!

Nathan with his satisfying smile. He really look forward to fish again.
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Hubby didn't manage to fish but it's ok, wait till May next year.
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The handsome Birthday Boy with a big smile on his face. Needless to say, he enjoyed the outing too!
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Australia Rainbow Trout Farm is located at:
26 Mulhalls Road
Macclesfield
Victoria, Australia
Melway Ref 125 J3
Phone/Fax: (03) 5968 4711
Opens daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Christmas day

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SYDNEY FISH MARKET

Where was my 2nd destination in Sydney?
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Sydney Fish Market, of course! A seafood paradise for seafood lovers! According to their website, it claims to be the world's second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan! Apart from supplying seafood to the wholesale and retail market, the market also conducts weekday wholesale auction as well as cooking classes! Not only that, "Behind-the-scene-tour" is available on weekday (booking is required). Sadly due to my short stay in Sydney, we decided to give it a miss. Otherwise, it would be really interesting to witness the auction process, sashimi pavillion (slurps!), as well as a visit to the crab and lobster pen!
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Seafood seafood EVERYWHERE!! There are a number of retailers and restaurants at the market, making you feel a little bit lost because you just don't know where to start!
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Spotted these very tempting blanched King Crab legs waving at me (I was still in a daze from all the excitement). I am not a fan of cold seafood, otherwise, they would be mine, mine, mine!
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Oysters shuck on the spot, nothing gets fresher than this!
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Hubby and I started off with one dozen each! I was a little more excited than usual because this was my first dozen of Sydney Rock Oysters!
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Two words....EXTREMELY GOOD! Though we didn't go for the highest grade, I was very satisfied with these. It was so rich and milky in flavour, I had 'oyster breath' for the next couple of hours. I am serious about the 'oyster breath'!!

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Surprise surprise, I spotted Coffin Bay (South Australia) oysters too! Coincidently, I have just finished watching a HK food program raving how good they were. Since I don't foresee myself having the luxury for a short holiday to South Australia in any near future, I decided to have a go for it.

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Time for cooked seafood to fill up our tummies. There are so many restaurants inside the market to choose from and everything looked so good! Spotted every tables having seafood platter, I decided to go for it as well, can't go wrong since everyone is having it right? WRONG!! My mind wasn't working right with all the excitement. I should have known pre-fried seafood cooked in batched and then placed in a bain-marie is a big NO-NO!! What was I thinking???
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I couldn't remember how much I paid for this Lobster platter for 2 but definitely not cheap. Lots of chips hidden underneath and the seafood were nothing memorable at all. Ahem, some were even cold! I was so upset with myself for wasting our tummy space quota.
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Luckily I bought a pack of fresh Sea Urchin earlier from one the fish stall for only $12.99!
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Though it wasn't as sweet and flavourful as those
hand-carried back from Japan, I was still very happy with it.
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Hubby knew I was very disappointed and upset with myself over the disastrous meal. He suggested to have another meal before we go. We headed over to Peter's Fish Market and bought a raw barramundi as well as half dozen of green-lipped mussels. We pay a little bit extra for cooking charges (they charge according to the weight of your raw seafood) to have them grilled. When Hubby came back with the food, I was so surprised. The fish was wonderfully crispy on the outside while the flesh still juicy and sweet. I don't really fancy mussels but I was hooked. It was so fresh and sweet, so different from those I had before. If only I had tummy space, I will definitely go for more! Thanks Hubby, next time you do the ordering ok?
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For more information such as trading hours and how to get to the Sydney Fish Market, check out their website HERE.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Harry's Cafe de Wheels @ Sydney

I first heard of Harry's Cafe de Wheels many year ago while watching Anthony Bourdain on TV savouring away a very "mouth-watering-looking" pie topped with mashed pea and potato. I told myself back then if I ever happen to visit Sydney, this would be in the top of my must-try list. Fast forward to June 2011, Hubby came for a short visit and I grabbed the opportunity to make a short trip to Sydney. Keeping firmly to my promise, Harry's was our first stop after dropping off our luggages at the hotel.

Founded in the late 1930s, the first Harry's Cafe de Wheels operated in a caravan at Woolloomooloo dockyard. It became so successful, today it has expanded to 7 outlets throughout Sydney. For more of Harry's history, click HERE. We visited the Haymarket outlet since it is the nearest to our hotel.
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What's in Harry's menu? PIE PIE PIE AND MORE PIES! But I knew what I wanted....I want the exact pie that Anthony Bourdain had!!! So here it is....Harry's Tiger!!!2

As the name suggests, Harry's Tiger is their signature pie consisting of lean beef pie served with mushy pea and buttered mashed potato drizzled with tasty brown gravy. The mushy pea and mash potato was simply marvelous! Fluffly yet smooth and creamy. Delicious! However the beef pie was quite a let down, simply nothing special to brag about. I wonder if it was because I had high expectation or did the mushy pea and mash potato stole all the limelight? Overall, I still enjoyed it very much.
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Being a fan of Hot Dog, Hubby had the Hot Dog de Wheels which is also the house special. The smoked Viennese frankfurt was served with mushy peas as wel as chilli con carne, cheese sauce and chilli sauce. It was HUGE! Not recommended to messy eater, ahem...like me!
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Hubby was not impressed with the Hot Dog as he had better ones in Melbourne.
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I don't mind returning to Harry's just for the mushy pea and mash potatoes. YUMMY! After our first meal, we hurried off to our second MUST-GO destination in Sydney. Wanna take a guess where we went? Well, next post I promise.

For the location and operating hours of Harry's Cafe de Wheels outlets, you can visit this
LINK.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

FIRST DAY OF SPRING 2011

Yay! My favourite season is here again! Flowers flowers blooming everywhere. Even Hubby's dwarf nectarine and peach tree is flowering. They are just ooo-sooo-pretty!!!!
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Honestly, I thought the trees were dead since it has been dried up for months and left with only twigs. Surprise surprise, they survived the cold winter and I am proud to show off to Hubby that I didn't kill his beloved trees afterall. *phew*
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Hubby blueberry tree has grown quite a lot for the past one year. I am expecting lots of harvest this year. One thing for sure, it's gonna be the
best best blueberries that money can't buy!
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Bunches and bunches of blueberry blossoms. So pretty!! That reminds me to get some netting to cover them as I heard birds love them too!
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Another surprising discovery!! Remember the
pink tulips I planted last year? I thought I got rid of them after it wilted but somehow, the bulbs were still left inside the ground. So I will be expecting another batch of pretty bloom this year. This time, I will not pull them out and hopefully they will regrow every year. 5

My veggie patch is all ready for some serious planting. However bro-in-law said for this year, the veggie patch will be his because he already have a big project in mind. He said he gonna plant lots and lots of chili trees to supply to our restaurant business. Well, how could I object to that?
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Since I have to give up my veggie patch, this year I will only embark on two small projects. First, I am going to try planting artichoke since the instruction says that I could plant it in a pot. It will be interesting to see how it will turn out to be. Definitely will snap some photos and update on the progress here.
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My second project is to grow one of my all-time favourite flower....lavender! Spotted this Lavender growing mix at a Reject Shop for only $6!
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I wonder how long it gonna takes to harvest my first bunch of lavenders?
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This September is very special to me because it also marks my 2nd year stay in Australia. Yes, it means I have fulfilled my residency requirement. Time flies, isnt it? Another good news is, Hubby already bought his one way ticket to join me here in March 2012. As for my two precious boys, of course they will be coming over too, hopefully the same time or even earlier than Hubby. I really look forward to being with my boys again.... *so miss them*

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Authentic Malay Food @ Selera Singapore Asli, Forest Hill

It's about time to put up a blogpost after a 3-month hiatus from the blogosphere. I have to stop making excuses that my business is taking too much of my time when the real reason is because I have been too hooked up with games (both in Facebook and iPhone). I predict my addiction will only get worse when I get my ipad2 in October (yay!). Anyway, today is my off day and I decided to bring my camera with me to my lunch destination, a place that I have been visiting 3 WEEKS IN A ROW!

I have heard numerous ravings from my Malaysian customers about this Malay restaurant selling very authentic Nasi Lemak Bungkus which is located in Forest Hill, just 10 minutes away from my place. And so, on a raining Wednesday morning three weeks ago...."I WENT, I TRIED AND I AM HOOKED"!!! The restaurant is run by a Mak Cik (it means "auntie" in Malay) originated from Batu Pahat, Malaysia and true enough, the nasi lemak bungkus wrapped with banana leaf is really authentic. Honestly, I find it way better than most nasi lemak bungkus I have tried in Malaysia. Priced at A$5.50, it came with a big portion of coconut-pandan fragrant rice, heaps of crispy peanuts and ikan bilis, cucumber, a slice of omelet and generous amount of the spicy sambal. I find the sambal a little bit lack of sweetness and I thought adding just a little bit of sugar would be perfect. Nevertheless, am very contented with this rare find.
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Today, my bro-in-law decided to tag along since I have been raving about this place on and on and on. Of course, the nasi lemak is a MUST!
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Apart from Nasi Lemak, this restaurant also offers other Malay dishes such as Nasi Campur, Nasi Sambal Goreng, Lontong, Mee Rebus, Mee Goreng, Mee Siam, Nasi Briyani, Rojak , Sate and even Kuih and a number of sweet Bubur. Mak Cik told me some are only available during weekends as the crowd is not as good during weekdays. Having no idea how Malay Laksa is like, Bro-in-law decided to give it a go. It was rich and flavourful, tangy too. I am a very loyal person, so I shall stick to the nasi lemak till am sick of it.
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We also managed to try a few dishes from the bain-marie and my favourite has got to be the fried chicken marinated with turmeric and spices. Bro-in-law was really impressed with the fried chicken that he even had an extra piece before we went off.
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Curry Chicken was a big disappointment as it lack in taste and the gravy is too watery.
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The beef rendang is pretty decent too!

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Sambal Sotong.....one word....SPICY!!!!! No, make it two words....VERY SPICY!!!!
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Another favourite of mine, Sambal Ikan Bilis with Kacang (Anchovies and Peanuts) at A$5.00 a tub. Seriously addictive and perfect with rice or eaten as snack. Sadly, they don't have any today.
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Seems like I will be hanging around at this restaurant every Wednesday till I am sick of it, but how could one say "NO" to a good plate of Nasi Lemak, agree?

Selera Singapore Asli is located at:
334 Springvale Rd
Forest Hill, 3131
Victoria, Australia
Tel: (03) 9878 0310
Opening Hours: Wed - Sun (9 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
Mon - Tues (closed)




 

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