After absolutely abandoning this space for well over a year, I plan to continue blogging from here on.
To wrap up the last year of eating and potting along in life, here are just a few of my many delicious encounters.
At home, I cooked many new things, especially during heavy study periods to escape the insanity that assignment work and exam preparation brings.
I was given some home-grown white / yellow peppers from my mum's friend so I had a go at making Töltött paprika.
I came across "ube" flavour liquid in Braybook which is very hard to find here in Australia. "Ube" is a type of purple yam that is commonly used in ice cream flavouring, cakes and other sweet dishes in The Philippines.
When I visit The Phillippines I love to eat anything that is ube flavour, especially the ice cream so I did a cheat version by just adding the flavour to a plain vanilla ice cream.
My cheat version ube ice cream!
And for most Filipinos the obvious answer to an ube ice cream is halo-halo which basically translates to "mix mix". Halo-halo is a shaved ice dessert which is topped with various toppings which generally includes ice cream (ube flavour), coloured nata de coco (coconut gel), leche flan (creme caramel), coloured kaong (palm seed), sweet beans and many other endless options.
My version of halo-halo with ube ice cream, leche flan, nata, jackfruit and kaong.
Shaved ice desserts are very popular throughout South East Asia with the Malaysian version ais kacang, Indonesia's version es campur and Vietnam's 3 colour dessert / drink.
As for eating out we devoured some of the delicious offerings at Dead Man Espresso..
Dead man espresso - http://www.deadmanespresso.com.au/
Our absolute favourite place for a soul soothing bowl of Pho at I Love Pho 264 in Richmond..
Small beef pho
And celebrated another year of life at the flawless Kenzan (inside Sofitel).
Kenzan Sushi and Sashimi Set (medium)
Kenzan Tatsuta Age, Tempura Vegetables and Prawn and Shiitake Tempura.
This was the fourth time I had visited Kenzan and every time the food and service is consistently at a very high standard. I am always astounded at the impeccable freshness and preparation of their sashimi and the lightness of their Tempura. Will definitely be back for more.
However, I have vowed to not eat any Japanese food until October, which is when N and I are heading off to Tokyo!
With a decent tax return, a very determined saver, a Jetstar sale (which coincidentally fell on the time that I will complete my degree) and off we are to the land of sashimi, perfection deep frying, sake, magnificent landscapes and all things that make Japan such a mysterious and intriguing north corner of Asia.
I am absolutely beside myself with excitement and really hope that I don't burn all my friend's and colleague's ears off about the every-single-detail of plans in the upcoming months (apologies in advance!).
**note: unfortunately, something is wrong with the comment thread and I cannot reply to comments. Ube flavoring essence can be bought from Quiapo food store on Churchill Ave in Braybrook on the same block as Masarap Bakery. Hope that helps Kat. Nina :)