Showing posts from February, 2012

A Monday Morning

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages" (William Shakespeare)

On the Monday morning here in eastern Australia when a political challenge was being held in Canberra, the 84th Oscars ceremony was concurrently being held on the west coast of the USA in Tinsel town Hollywood.

Both events shared common themes of drama,expression and reaching out to the public as observers. Both events exuded emotion, use of media and had lead-ups to the actual function. One involved the complexity of politics and the other rode on the magic of movies. Both events involved individuals who took the most personal risks in career and self-belief, or had endured much in arriving at where they are today socially, financially and professionally.

There were many amongst people I know who could not have cared for the outcomes of either event, but I did spend…

Crown Chef Chinese - Wollongong NSW

This restaurant has since closed. I have been unable to locate an authentic Chinese restaurant for several years in Wollongong CBD. What I usually find are blends of East and South-east Asian cooking, perhaps due to the practicalities and realities of the market here. The underlying penchant for Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, Indonesian and Cantonese cuisine from the mainstream market's perception of "Asian food" somehow has resulted in a fusion of all these styles in a typical Asian cafe or restaurant in the Australia outside the capital cities. I do recognise that food is an evolving development in order to thrive, to be relevant and to attract. Based on that, I still have to make trips to Hurstville, Sydney CBD Chinatown, Eastwood, Ashfield, Parramatta and Chatswood in the greater Sydney region to have a taste of real food from China. So I am delighted recently to be introduced to a close authentic outlet ten minutes from my home in a relaxed, informal and modern setting…

Cho Express, Hurstville

In the Sydney suburbs, I had never expected to find several retail outlets around a train station, but I did at Hurstville, south of Sydney CBD. There were supermarkets, bakeries, noodle outlets, herbal medicine shops and more. What caught my attention was the constant queue at a small take away cookery, a branch of Cho Express. The service was methodical but fast. Staff mostly spoke in Mandarin, but they had big display photos to make it easy to order. Most dishes available were under Aud10 each, and what was also interesting were the various combinations of salads, some pickled, mostly cut in thin slices, one with mayonnaise, some with tofu and many with chilis. (picture above) Marta and I ordered savoury dishes to take back to Wollongong - I could not resist the stewed pork and prawns with onions, whilst Marta had seaweed salad and sweet potato balls. I also noted that the staff mentioned to us how long it took, in minutes, to deliver our food orders.
Taiwanese food is a blen…

Jonga Jip Korean Restaurant, Eastwood - Sydney

Jonga Jip fashions itself on offering Korean fusion food and is located along Rowe Street in the Asian-dominated suburb of Eastwood, 20km to the north-west of Sydney"s Harbour Bridge. Servings are generous and the food is tasty. I am always fond of the entrees served in Korean meals before the main dishes actually ordered arrive. They remind me of Spanish tapas or Chinese yum cha, but usually involve pickling, sesame oil, cabbage, radish, lettuce, garlic, chilies and bite-sized variety. Such entrees are provided like bottomless jugs at Hungry Jacks - Jonga Jip staff ask if you want more of the entrees after you finish them.

The salad dressing used in Korean cuisine can be innovative and different from other Asian practices. The penchant by Koreans for corn, wheat and potatoes reflect their geographical location and climate in north-eastern Asia. Above, the delicious potato noodles, stir-fried with black fungus, chili slices, sesame seeds and crunchy vegetables.

Contrasts in t…

Festivity - Biscuits and Fruits

The Lunar New Year is a time for reunions, gatherings, reflections and replenishment. To accentuate meanings, joy and good omens, snacks are selected that provide an atmosphere of positive vibes and mention of good words. Above, my traditional family ribbon twist, peppered with sesame seeds, that has been made for beyond a hundred years. They are particularly addictive and go well with beer. Below, the mish-mesh of salmon slices, crunchy bits and thinly sliced vegetables, including carrots, white radish or daikon, red pickled ginger, turnips, pomelo, chopped peanuts, pepper, jellyfish and chili. A dressing mix (made up of of plum sauce, kumquat juice, rice vinegar and sesame oil) is then poured into all the ingredients just before eating. This dish heralds positive luck, prosperity and growth, when every diner at a ten seat round table can dive in to collectively stir with their clean chopsticks - an act referred to in Cantonese as "lo hei" or symbolically stirring up …