Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Worst Japanese Restaurant Ever : Nijyu Maru at Cuppage Plaza, Singapore

The restaurant was empty, or rather, “not crowded” as this word, “empty” made the shop owner mad.

There were lots of vacant tables there, so I picked a 4 seater table.
Then LadyA came and said, “This is for 4 person. Sit there.”
She pointed at this small table at the very corner of the restaurant.

I said, “Well, the shop is empty, why can’t we sit at the bigger table?”
The lady said” We are doing business here! Can not sit here, sit there!”

Ok, firstly I must clearly state here that she was not Japanese, of course. Japanese will never speak to customers like this. This is very rude.

I found it upsetting, but we (2 of us) seated at the small table at the corner.
Then, a couple came into the restaurant. They also tried to sit at 4 seater table, but LadyB came out and told them that they can’t.
“This is for 4, so please sit there.”
The lady pointed at even smaller table at the other corner of the shop.

Everything was ok, until another couple came in.

When they came in, they were told to sit at the counter seats because there were no more small tables. Then, the couple asked LadyC if they can sit at the 4 seater table.
LadyC said, "Ok."

Instantly, I asked the ladyC, “How come they can sit there, but we can't?”
She said, “For this seat, you can sit but must leave within 1 hour because there are booked by other customers. “
I said, “The other lady didn’t tell me that. We can finish our meal within 1 hour, so can we move there too now?”

The ladyC went to check with other ladies and came back to me and said,
“Sorry, customers are coming soon, so can not.”

We were not satisfied with this answer, but decided to continue with our meals on the small table.

Then, ladyA came back and asked, “You don’t wanna eat in this table?”
I answered, “Well, because it’s small.”
“Small?! What?! Small?!”

I said, “Yes? It is small right?”

Then, she shouted, “You don’t have to eat anymore! Just go! Leave now!”

and suddenly, she started clearing our dishes.

Me: “What?!”

LadyA: “Go now! I am doing business here! We are lending this table! Go! Leave!”

Me: “What kind of attitude is this? This is a Japanese shop, you can’t treat customers like this?”

Lady A “Leave now!”

Me: “Don’t point at me! You are so rude and crazy! You leave”!

Lady A: “I am the owner ! This is my shop! You leave leave leave leave!”
Then she spilt soya sauce on my dress.

I shouted, “You spilt sauce on my dress! You! Pay for the cleaning!”

Lady A: “Ok! Send me the bill! Then I will pay! I will not run away! Nijyumaru is here! You give me your address and bills! then I will pay!”

Me: “What? Give you my address? You pay now!”

Lady A: “Then take off your clothes now!”

Me: “What?! In public? In the shop?!”

Lady A: “Yes!”

Me: “You are crazy!!!”

Lady A: “You told me to pay now, then take off now!”

Oh my god. I had never experienced something like this before.
I asked her to write me a paper to promise that she will pay for my cleaning.
But she refused. She doesn’t want to promise anything or leave any evidence.
She is CRAZY and such a liar. And it is disgraceful that she is running a Japanese restaurant.

I hope the shop closes down!!! I really do, from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Few weeks back: Lagnaa Cooking Class

Few weeks ago, in early November,
I went to an Indian restaurant called Lagnaa for the first time.
It is located somewhat 10 mins walk from Little India MRT (train) station.
Once you see foot prints on the ground, you know that Lagnaa is nearby.
As you follow the foot prints...

You will see a huge Indian guy standing in front of the shop.

Here we are!

There should be 8 of us but I was the first to arrive.

So I ordered mango lassi while waiting for others to arrive.

A friendly master chef started off his cooking lesson by introducing various India spices.
I was facinated by the varieties of spices which I had never seen before
and so I forgot to take pictures.
There were a French couple,
an Australian & American Japanese couple & her mother,
an Australian man who had lived in Japan for 15 years,
a Japanese lady who had lived in Singapore for years,
and Me.
They all knew so well about Indian spices!
They guessed the spices by smelling and tasting them.
It was amazing! I had no idea what they were.

Ingredients for my favourite butter chicken

Cooking is in progress....
Half way through, the chef asked us,
"What do you think are the common mistakes people tend to do while cooking butter chicken?"
Someone said
"Putting too much salt?"
They the chef said
"Ok, then pelase put it"
We were like,
"What?! NO!"
Well, but he insisted.
I thought people usually go for cooking lessons
to prevent those "common mistakes".
But the chef wanted us to perform common mistakes!
He promised us that he would fix it no matter how badly we turn our butter chicken into...
(Well, at the end, he couldn't save one of our butter chicken and the person who trusted the chef had to eat this super salty butter chicken...)
My butter chicken was safe beause I didn't trust the chef haha
I added extra water in stead of salt.
I knew how to save my butter chicken from too much water.
 Just boil it longer.
Anyway, this was a rather unusual cooking class...
Isn't this more like an experiment...

My butter chicken!

They served our own butter chicken together with naan, rice,
and one more dish we chose from the restaurant menu.

I still think that my butter chicken was the best
among all the other dishes we ordered from the menu.
Others also agreed
(that their butter chicken was the best among all the other dishes,
except for the salty one in which the chef failed to save!)
I shared my thoughts with the chef. :p
He just laughed.
It was really fun meeting new people,
talk and chill out over my delicious butter chicken (and the rest of the food).
BUT I must say that I was quit disapointed with the cooking class.
Not just because he broke his promise and failed to save one of our butter chicken,
but all he taught us was to use a butter chicken paste to cook our delicious butter chicken.
The paste is made in the restaurant and they sell it for $30 plus? for a small jar.
I didn't buy it but many of them did.
I don't think we should call it a cooking class.
If I don't make something from scratch,
I don't call it cooking.
Since the cooking class itself already costed $70 plus,
they should have taught me propper cooking.
So, I had a good time but with quite A LOT of disapointment.
Maybe I should do some more experiment
and find my own butter chicken recipe, hey?

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Friend's visit in Singapore and Japanese souveniers

Last week, I caught up with my Japanese friend after 3 years of not seeing each other.
We first met in Melbourne through some Japanese students gatherings,
and soon became friends as we found out that her homestay family was the same as my ex-homestay family!
She moved in after I had left my homestay house, so we have never lived together,
but it was really amazing to meet someone who had the same homestay experience with the same awesome homestay family.
At that time, I lost contact with my ex-homestay mum and was wondering how she was.
Through my friend, I found out that she moved house and that was why I lost her contact.
 My friend helped me talk to the homestay mother and found out that she still remebered me.
After that, I visited my friend and homestay mother few times during my stay in Melbourne.  

It was  my room back then

Anyway, it was quite funny that I caught up with my friend in Singapore.
We used to hang out in Melbourne all the time, but after she had left Melbourne, we hardly had opportunities to meet up.
It was because my hometown was different from hers.
In fact, we only caught up once in Japan.
So this was the second time meeting her outside of Australia.
It's been a while, but I didn't fee like it at all.
Straight after I met her, I felt like we were back in Melbourne.
We both remember that our life in Melbourne was not always fun.
We used to complain the strange weather, feel sad about staying far away from home,
struggle through cultural differences, find it hard to catch up with local students in uni etc etc...
But there were a lot of good times as well as bad times and
somehow, when we talk about our life back then, we only remember all the good stuff.
We talked till late at night then she went back to Japan on the next day.
It was a short time, but was really nice catching up with her.
She left me with lots of delicious Japanese souveniers.

Sushi mix, miso soup, tarako pasta sauce, chicken kama meshi paste,
Taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes with red bean paste) and some sore throat candies.
 So, on the next day, I made chicken kama meshi using the paste she gave me.


It was delicious :)


*Chicken Kama meshi
*Veggie and chicken meat ball milk stew
*Carrots and Enoki cooked in sweet sauce

I hope to see her again soon
and hopefully both of us can visit our awesome homestay mum again in Melbourne!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Happy Birtday Cookie!

My dog's 15th birthday today.
I always love you!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ginger Tuna Steak Dinner

Saturday Dinner

*Ginger Tuna Steak
*Eggplant cooked in Sweet Ginger Sauce
*Rolled Egg Stuffed with Tofu Curry

Tofu is coming out of the egg ;p

Ta-da-! A very cute hand made bowl from my mum!
It's from Turkey! Thank you so much, mum!
Ginger Tuna Steak Recipe

Marinate a piece of tuna with
*2 table spoons of soya sauce,
*1 table spoon of Mirin
*1 table spoon of shaved ginger
Then put flour around the steak and fry it with 2 to 3 table spoons of oil.
The outside of the steak will be crunchy and the inside will be soft :)

Ciabatta Sandwitch Saturday Lunch

Saturday Brunch
Ciabatta Bread Sandwitch
with bacons, grilled eggplants, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.
I used to see Ciabatta bread all the time in bakeries and cafes in Melbourne.
But I hadn't seen any in Singapore till I found this in Peck, one of the bakeries in Takashimaya!
It was the first Ciabata loaf I saw in Singapore and so I had to buy one! 
YUM !! :D 
Then I spent the sat afternoon sewing pouches.
I hadn't done sewing for a long time but now I remembered how fun it was.
I concentrated on it so hard that I had almost forgotten to eat dinner! :o
Well rested, very productive and stuffed - with - good food day!
Happy Saturday!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Tofu, Tomatoes and Enoki Curry Lunch

Lunch from last weekend!
*Tofu, Tomatoes and Enoki Curry
*Pickled Cabbage with Tuna and Pickled Plum
*Seaweed Salad

Happy November!

There are only 2 monthes left for 2012.
This means that it has almost been 1 year since I moved to Singapore!!
Time flies!
What have I learnt this past year at work?
Have I achieved some of my goals?
Am I moving step by step towards my dream?
There are lots of things to think about.
But for now, I feel very fortunate that I gained the opportuniy to work in Singapore,
and I appreciate the fact that I met so many nice people through work. :)
In order to enhance my life in Singapore,
and to make my cooking life happier,

I decided to pick up some cooking lessons!

(Many thanks to my dear, awesome colleague/boss for this awesome suggestion!)
My very first cooking lesson is going to be on...

Indian cuisine :D

I'm going to learn my favourite Indiah dish - Butter Chicken!!
The first lesson is on next saturday and I can't wait! :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Halloween and Garlic Pork Salad Dinner

October's main events are  my dad's birthday and Halloween!

I went to Breadsociety and they had cute halloween decorations, all made of bread!

I bought this little pumpkin guy pastry called "Trick or Treat".
Banana is stuffed inside of the pastry and the face part is made of pumpkin cream.
On Thursday, we had a small halloween party at work too :)
We all dressed up in costumes which are made of newspapers!- environmentally friendly costumes.
It was all so fun!
And this is what I ate for Friday dinner,

A bed of lettuce, and on top of that, tomatoes, onions, garlic pork, tuna and egg.

I had a huge plate of pasta for lunch, so I decided to eat salad for dinner.
(Well, the salad still looks like a lot, doesn't it. Yes, I know that.)

I ate it with Japanese sesame dressing! YUM.
I know that sesame dressing is high in calories...
Is that why there is no calories mentioned in the bottle of my sesame dressing?
I know my other dressings like pickled plum dressing clearly states it only has 3 calories..

I wonder how high the sesame dressing calories are... :O

I'd rather not find out.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Buta no Shogayaki Dinner

Thursday Dinner
*Buta no Shogayaki
*Spinach in Japanese sauce
*Cheesy soya renkon (lotus roots)
*Okura Mis soup

Buta no Shoga yaki (ginger pork)
Previous post on Shoga yaki is here
Last time when I wrote this post, I was in Melbourne.
I couldn't buy thin sliced meat in local supermarkets and
I had to either go to Asian grocery shops or Korean supermarkets in city.
 So what I really used in the previous Shoga yaki post is not really thin sliced pork..
Compared to that, everything is so easy  in Singapore.
I can get real thin sliced meat in local supermarket!
What is more, there is a huge Japanese supermarket called Meidiya too.
Anyway, so I made ginger pork with truely thinly sliced pork this time
and you know what, IT TASTES BETTER :)
 Ginger pork Serves 1
Thinly sliced pork 150g
Ginger one piece/block
Soya sauce 2
Mirin 2
1. Slice the onion thinly. Peel the skin off from ginger, then shave it.
2. Heat up a pan with some oil. Cook the pork and onion till both change colours.
3. Add the soya sauce, mirin and ginger. Stir well and cook for a bit more.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Highly Recommended Japanese Movies!

I watched 2 Japanese movies over the weekend.

One is called Bokuno Hatsukoi Wo Kimini Sasagu/ 僕の初恋を君に捧ぐ
This movie was really good! It made me think a lot about life, love and family and life again!

I cried a lot and then couldn't sleep after that!!!!
It is highly recommended - I instantly had to email my brother and asked him to watch!
Has anyone seen this movie yet?? I just want to share this feelings with someone!

I am so tempted to watch this again!! Tonight!!!
Ah but tomorrow is monday. Better sleep early...so maybe not.
(My habit is to watch the same movies over and over again once I like it so much).

Very Sad, yet very sweet.
I loooove this movie!

The other one I watched today is called Tsurega Utsu Ni Narimashite/ツレがうつになりまして
I have been wanting to watch this movie ever since its ad came out!!
But at that time I couldn't watch it cos I was not in Japan when the movie actually came out!

Today I finally got to watch it! :)
I cried again for this movie, but this time, it was more like happy tears.
And and I loooved the lizard in the show!! So cute!!
I wanna keep one at home too!!!!!

I cried sooooo much over the weekend watching good movies that I am feeling really tired now. haha
Tomorrow is monday! Better sleep early and get good sleep!

Happy weekend :)
また一週間 がんばろー

Japanese Style Bibimbap Dinner

Saturday Dinner * Japanese style Bibimbap

Singapore is a tropical country and its weather is hot throughout the year.
But recently it rains a lot and it is not as hot as it used to be.
It is kinda cold at night too.
It is considered as "autumn" in Singapore? 
Hot miso soup and Japanese style bibimbap dinner for a rather "cold", autumn saturday
Ingredients for Bibimbap.
*Thin sliced pork cooked in Japanese BBQ sauce
*Unohana (Okara)
*Okura (Lady's fingers)
*White rice
Instead of eating this up with Korean sauce, I used Yuzu Kosho.
Both the ingredients and the sauce are Japanese style!
I also used Okura in the miso soup.
The combination of Okura and fried beancurd in miso soup is
what my sister taught me in Yamaguchi. I love the stickiness of okura in my miso soup! 
Just to enhance this autumn season in Singapore, I ate my dinner with an autumn dinner place mat!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Cooking Craze

Wednesday Dinner
Beef hamburger steak with veggies cooked in tomato soup

Thursday Dinner

Unohana /Okara with carrots and fried beancurd
Okura (lady's fingers) with Summer orange soya sauce

Chicken Karaage sandwich with Carrot bread
The carrot bread is from my new favourite bakery called Bread Society in IION Orchard!

Friday Dinner
Friday at 5!
We had some dumplings and meat buns at work :)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Taco Rice Lunch & Chicken Karaage dinner


*Sunday Lunch*

Taco Rice
Ingredients: Minced beef
Taco chilli powder
Salsa sauce
Instructions: 1. Heat up a pan with minced beef. Stir fry it with taco chilli powder.
(I found beef quite oily so I usually don't put any oil at all)
2. Cook sunny side egg.
3. Cut tomatoes, onions and lettuce in eatable sizes
4. Serve miced beef on top of rice and a bed of lettus, tomatoes and onions.
Place the egg on top. Eat with salsa sauce and some cheese.
*Today's Dinner*
*Chicken Karaage
*Spinach egg rolls from the day before yesterday

Ingredients: Chicken thigh 200g
 Soya sauce 4 table spoons
Mirin 2 table spoons
Shaved Garlic or ginger 1 tea spoon
(ginger is better if you are eating this in school or at work)
Potato starch half a cup
Marinate the chicken in soya sauce, mirin and garlic or ginger and leave it for a while.
Coat the marinated chicken with potato starch and deep fry them with good quality oil.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Yamaguchi Trip Day3 Last day

Last day in Yamaguchi :(
Just like yesterday, when I woke up, there was already delicious breakfast ready on the table.
Thank you, sinster :)

 Today's breakfast was Japanese style!
Okura & fried beancurd miso soup was super delicious!
I had Soumen Uri for the first time.
Soumen uri is a vegetable, which falls in the same category as cucumbers.
But when you boil it, it falls a part and becomes like soumen noodles!
It was very interesting and delicious at the same time!

We also had egg plant & garlic pickles!
We got this from the very kind house owner yesterday.

Rice was Shin mai = freshly harvested rice.
So it was so soft, sweet and round and shiny like pearls.
It was simply delicious!

After breakfast, we packed our stuff and head to the airport.
We had to return the car at the airport by 4pm.
and it takes more than 2 hours to get there from the house
so we didn't have much time left for sightseeing on the last day.
 Yet, we stopped by at Public Onsen on our way!
It was not as big and fancy as the one we went on the first day,
but I felt so great to take a hot bath!
After Onsen, my sister took us to "Go jyuu no tou" = 5 story tower.
 I've seen 5 story tower like this in Nara before,
but didn't know that there were so many of this all over Japan.
Uguisu bari no Ishi datami

The floor just next to this sign board has special effect.
It is called Uguisu bari /Nightingale floor.
If you walk, jump, clap your hands on this floor, bird like sound echoes back to you.
I have read about this in one of my favourite books called
Tales Of The Otori
So I was so excited to experience the floor.

The book is highly recommended by the way.


Finally at the airport, we had delicious food again!

Deep fried Fugu!
I ate fugu for the first time.
It was very tasty!
Breakfast+Lunch is called Brunch.
Lunch + Dinner is...??
It was late lunch/early dinner for us.

My mum had Tenpura don + Udon set


My sister had some stewed fish and sashimi set

My brother and I had Kaisen don!
Sashimi Sashimi!

I tried Uni for the first time, but didn't really like it.
Thank you so much, my sister, for showing us around!
Thank you Yamaguchi for the beautiful scenery and food!
Thank you Yamaguchi people for your hospitality!  
My family and I had a great holiday :)
- The end of my Yamaguchi travel posts-

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Saba no Miso Ni dinner

Today's Dinner
I am half way through the Yamaguchi trip posts, yes I know that,
but here is my Today's dinner. 

Saba no Miso ni with lots of ginger

Spinach rolled egg

 Seaweed and tomato salad with pickled plum dressing

Spinach egg before slicing

I went to Meidi-Ya, a Japanese supermarket in Singapore, today.
I hadn't been there for a while cos it is kinda far from where I live.
Whenever I go there, I buy a lot of things and end up carrying heavy stuff back home.
And it is really tiring when I have to walk to the station for 15 mins and take train, change lines, then walk for another 10 mins to the super market.
But today, I realized that there is a direct bus from my place to right outside of the supermarket!
It still took a while and was tiring, but it was great that I didn't have to carry heavy groceries and walk for more than 30 mins under really hot sun!
Today I bought fresh saba.
We can get frozen saba from local supermarkets
but I realized that they are very smelly and not tasty at all.
So Today I bought fresh ones from Meidi-ya and made Saba no Miso ni today.
I also bought veggies, okara, Japanese fish balls, chicken, etc...
I was so happy to see fresh veggies sold in small potions!
But then after I got home,,, I realized that asparagus I just bought from Meidi-ya today was


I had just claimed that veggies in Meidi-ya were fresh
and straight after that, I found out that it was not quite true...
How upsetting!
After travelling a long distance and purchasing a lot of things...
what I've got was mouldy asparagus...
I am not happy at all, Meidi-ya...!!!   :(
Oh well... Saba was fresh,
So I made a very tasty Saba no Miso ni.
Ssaba no Miso ni recipe
Ingredients: FRESH saba 2 pieces
Mirin 3 table spoons
Soya sauce 1 table spoon
Miso 3 table spoons
Water 1 cup
Ginger 1/4 cup (after slicing it thinly)
*Preparation1: Cut a cross on Saba so that Saba absorbs the sauce later
2: Boil the saba lightly and get rid of the water.
(*just to note that "water 1 cup" listed under the ingredients above is not for this preparation but for the sauce we cook later on.)
1. Place all the ingredience in a pan except for miso.
(When you place the saba  in a pan, make sure its skin is up).
2. Once the sauce started to boil, add miso in.
3 Place an alminium foil as Otoshi buta.
(Otoshi buta=dropped lid, is a lid which directly covers the ingredients placed inside of a pan or pod.
You can google search its pictures)
Cook till the saba absorbs most of the miso sauce.