When I was a teenager, my family partly lived in Kuala Lumpur. My father was sent by his company to Malaysia and our family shuttled in and out of that country. Living for a time in Malaysia opened my world to a different world of flavor. Suddenly, my father and I were experimenting with new cooking techniques and spices. There are some dishes which I am yet to recreate but with Malaysia so far away and with Malaysian food in Wollongong limited, I can’t help but recreate some dishes at home.
I’ve always dreamt of ekiben journeys ever since I read it in Sakurai Kan and Hayase Jun’s Ekiben Hitoritabi, a manga about a guy’s journey around Japan one ekiben at a time. Ekiben’s a portmanteau for eki (station) and bentou (boxed lunch) and some stations in Japan would have special ekiben featuring either the specialty of that city or region. Specialties can range from culinary techniques to ingredients available to that region.
Now, I won’t bore you with the intricacies of Ekiben. There’s a Beginning Japanology episode for that. So go watch it and perhaps get on board with me as I share my first ekiben experience.
Alright. Alright. You’ve outgrown the ‘men’ pun. But I’ll be honest in saying that I do love ‘men’, the noodle kind. Tsukemenya Yasubee in particular came at such a perfect time in my life. I was out and about with my friend N in Akihabara and at this point I was exhausted from doujinshi shopping. My rule of thumb when I travel is to find a nice place that looks suspiciously good. Tsukemenya Yasubee was definitely suspiciously good.
A lot has happened in a year. I can’t believe that I’ve been here in Australia for almost two years although technically I’ve actually been shuttling around here and there for the past year. 2014 was a particularly busy year for me that there was hardly any time for me to sit down and write something that’s related to this blog.
Okay. I lied there for a bit. I did write a 30++k fanfic last year and it was crazy. Feels happened. Ships happened.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m living quite comfortably in a new place, this time with a roommate who has benefitted from my experiments with food over the last six months. She has asked me time and time to put up the recipe here and it always slips my mind until I realised a year has passed since I’ve written anything. Hence, here I am again, trying to start anew.
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~!
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.
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.