Hyde Park noms and GAYTMs.

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While I was on my way to some awesome yaoi and yuri tiems at Room801, I passed by Hyde Park from the station and lo and behold they had another pop-up foodie event. I’ve been fortunate, no, VERY fortunate that the times I go to Sydney I always cross some big food event at Hyde Park. Last time, it was the Night Noodle market. This time, it’s the Sydney Cellar Door, a food and wine festival.

I know that Australia’s a big wine country so I wasn’t exactly surprised to see such an event like this. There were over 50 stalls offering grub and wine. The best part is the wine is free for tasting! *A*) All the awesome wines~!

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Early evening eats in Sydney’s Night Noodle Markets

One day, I was invited to view a theatre short all the way to Penrith. I thought it was a perfect excuse to go around the city. Not that Sydney and Penrith are entirely close (Penrith is close to the mountains), but it was a good stop over before heading up.

Fortunately, that weekend, Sydney seemed to have something up its sleeve. The annual Sydney Night Noodle Market was up and how could I not resist eating some of the best Asian hawker-style grub around New South Wales, right? So I went up to Hyde Park and gave it a go.

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Noodle #4: Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu Ramen

When your noodle sounds like a manga hero (and I think it rightfully is) it’s bound to be awesome.

It’s been a long while since I touched this instant noodle section of my blog. I’m just… well I’m busy but I’ve also been quite absentminded when I eat my instant ramen. I just eat it, basically. And then I realized “Ah! I could have blogged about that!” Hence this is the 4th of supposedly weekly adventure into ramen that just didn’t happen. Well, I’ll try to make 52. Hopefully, I do!

My good friend Yuecchi sent me a care package of what has become one of my most favorite instant ramen. I’m not a big shoyu ramen fan but this one has knocked me off my feet. Nissin’s Raoh Shoyu flavor ramen is possibly one of the smoothest and unctuous ramen I’ve ever tasted. Just… looking at the picture above is bringing back flavors in my mouth.

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Harry’s Tiger

When I arrived in Australia, I noticed that rather than hotdogs, people here have meatpies at every corner. I haven’t tasted a meatpie at all so I was curious what kind of mystery meat concoction this was.

Now, I remember my Bourdain episodes well. I particularly remember that every time he visited Sydney, he always visited Harry’s. Harry’s has been around Sydney since 1945 and possibly the most notable ‘food truck’ Sydney has. ‘Food Truck’ because Harry’s doesn’t exactly move around as it used to, but it’s still physically truck-ish in nature. Harry’s has a pop-up diner feel to it. In fact, apart from the meat pies, they have the usual fare of hotdogs and rolls. But I suppose meat pies is much more loved in Australia hence it’s the specialty of Harry’s. In this case, their specialty was Harry’s Tiger.

Harry’s Tiger is a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and peas. On top of this, they create a well where they pour in some gravy so that you can have a bit of everything in a mouthful. If Bourdain would feature this on every Sydney show, then it must be something awesome, if not, at least something interesting. I love mystery meats and fast food so I gave this Sydney institution a shot and ordered myself a Tiger.

It is surprisingly large than what I had expected. In fact, I didn’t expect to even finish it but it was so good that it did. I don’t bloody know what meat I ate but I love the flavors of the peas and potatoes sucking the juices from the gravy and the mystery meat pie. At the very least, I can say it’s a beefy flavor and is probably close to a stew. It wasn’t a completely awesome experience but it was a filling and enjoyable meal that I don’t mind eating this again should I be in Sydney. Next time, I’ll probably try the curry meat pie!

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It’s a mapo rice kind of day

I think one of the things that annoys me the most about living abroad is the fact that I live alone and I eat alone.

It’s actually annoying to plan meals for one person. Sure, Jami Oliver can cook up 15 minute meals but I don’t have a processor and all his food gadgets and at the end of the day, I’m cooking just for myself. I was telling a friend that even cooking rice is a pain since if I cook a cup of rice, it’ll last me a week or three days. Sometimes, I even forget I had rice so it tends to spoil. On other days, I want to dish up something fancy only to find that the grocery sells things at cheaper prices if you buy it in bulk.

I think the last six months was a learning process on how to make the most out of my food and how to make dishes without overspending or cooking unhealthy all the time. One solution I have is to make a large batch of food which I reheat throughout the week. I usually make two dishes in big batches so that I don’t get tired of it and I cook it on the weekends so that I don’t get spent. Usually, one dish can be made for soups or salads, another is a dish I can easily mix with rice or pasta.

In this case, I had some left over rice and left over mapo tofu. Mapo tofu essentially follows the same recipe as my mapo beans. In this case, rather than beans, I used zucchini and some other veggies. I stir-fried the lot and was quite pleased with the result. In fact, I even burnt it a little to make this awesome crunchy okoge. Sorry Kimutaku, every girl just loves her okoge.

Usually, mapo tofu’s the kind that folks love rather saucy over rice but this stir-fried kind was kinda awesome as well.

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