Cooking Across 4 Generations

Using recipes collected from 4 generations of one family



Izakaya Yebisu – Regent Place Sydney

Recently while I was in the city, I developed a craving for a Japanese lunch. As I was near Town Hall there were many options, but my choice for the day was Izakaya Yebisu in Regent Place. Regent Place has many Asian dining choices and the way it has been designed and decorated gives you the feeling of being anywhere but Sydney. Being in the CBD it does tend to get a little busy at lunch time.

Izakaya Yebisu has a main restaurant area and also a bar running along the length of the glassed kitchen area. Menus in the bar area are on tablets so ordering is simple, select the menu course screen, press the item you want and then press order and presto the order is delivered straight to the kitchen or bar. If you need help there is a button to attract a wait person. I had a question about the types of Umeshu they had on offer and a waiter was there very quickly after pressing the “assistance” button. After ordering my Umeshu it was time to decide on my lunch choices.

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Umeshu and Gyoza

First course was Gyoza you have a choice of two sauces so I chose the classic ponzu.

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For my main I opted for Chicken Kara-age set which came with salad, miso soup, pickles and 2 slices of sashimi. The chicken was nice and crispy and served with Japanese mayo(possibly Kewpie brand) and rice was under the chicken.

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Chicken Kara-Age, salad, pickles and miso soup

There was also a sign for a discounted dessert for dinners who are members of Washoku Lovers Club, so I quickly joined online and ordered the Tempura ice cream. A generous serve of strawberry ice cream dipped in tempura batter and deep fried. Sort of like deep fried ice cream you get at a Chinese restaurant but battered instead of crumbed. The batter was light and crispy and the ice cream had hardly melted. Topped with chocolate sauce and served with cream and strawberry.

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Tempura ice cream ball

Another great find for a delicious Japanese lunch. Might have to head in another couple of times before my next trip to Tokyo later in the year.

Thanks for dropping by!

Taro’s Ramen – Brisbane

While I was on my flight to Brisbane, I decided to flip through the Qantas magazine. There was an article on the spicy food trend in Australia. Of particular interest was a review on Fire Tonkotsu Ramen at Taro’s Ramen and Cafe in Brisbane. It is always handy to have some dining suggestions before landing in a city.

After checking in to the hotel and relaxing a little it was time to head out and explore a little. On my way in to the CBD I happened across Taro’s Ramen and Cafe while walking down Edward Street. It was nearly 12 so definitely time for lunch.

I forgot to order the Fire Tontotsu Ramen and instead ordered Tonkotsu Ramen with extra soy neck charsiu (Bangalow pork). I also ordered a glass of Choya Umeshu, a Japanese alcoholic beverage which I have never tried before.

Tonkotsu ramen, Choya Umeshu
Tonkotsu ramen, Choya Umeshu

Both were delicious. The creamy looking soup base is cooked for 2 days using bones from Bangalow pork. The charsiu pork was tender and tasty. The noodles nicely firm and slurped down a treat. Perfect for the cool Brisbane day. The iced Umeshu was sweet but went well with the ramen.

Then it was time to head back out and explore Brisbane, a city I lived in for 10 months many moons ago, and see the changes that have happened in the past 25 years.

CRU Bar|Cellar

On my recent trip to Brisbane (AKA Brisvegas) I walked from the city to New Farm to have lunch. A pleasant walk that took about half an hour led to James Street, a lovely tree lined street that is the main shopping precinct of New Farm. Reminded me a bit of Double Bay in Sydney.

Upon reaching my destination the rain came down. Naturally I didn’t have an umbrella as I was taking the risk that it wouldn’t rain. So that meant it was time to eat rather than window shop.

There were several dining choices but I decided to try Cru Bar|Cellar. Located at the front of James St. Market it was a perfect spot to watch the world pass by while it rained.

Cru BAr|Cellar,  James Street New Farm
Cru BAr|Cellar, James Street New Farm

The word cellar in the name got me expecting a great wine list, which it definitely was. Such a huge range of wines by the glass including many great Bourdeaux’s and wines from Burgundy, the USA, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. I decided to kick off with a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne, one that you don’t see too often by the glass.

Louis Roederer Champagne
Louis Roederer Champagne

For lunch I chose pressed crispy skin pork belly, daikon, green apple and seeded mustard remoulade, soft potato, artichoke and crispy flat parsley. Truly delicious! The pork belly was so soft and tender, the skin crisp with a nice crunch, all the flavours were a great combination. Perfect choice for lunch while it rained.

Pressed crispy skin pork belly, daikon, green apple and seeded mustard remoulade, soft potato, artichoke and crispy flat parsley
Pressed crispy skin pork belly, daikon, green apple and seeded mustard remoulade, soft potato, artichoke and crispy flat parsley

Rather than dessert I chose the Charles Arnaud Comte (18months aged) cheese, served with lavosh, pide, Iranian figs and quince paste. I chose a glass of Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2014 to accompany my cheese.

Charles Arnaud Comte (18months aged) cheese, served with lavosh, pide, Iranian figs and quince paste
Charles Arnaud Comte (18months aged) cheese, served with lavosh, pide, Iranian figs and quince paste

As I finished my wine and cheese the rain stopped and the sun tried to make an appearance. It was safe to leave the dry environs of Cru Bar|Cellar and head back out to the shops, top of my list was Pottery Barn and West Elm. Behind Cru Bar|Cellar in the market were some great providores of ready to heat and eat meals, and greengrocer, butcher, fishmonger and deli.

After my look around it was time to head back to the hotel and rest after all the walking.

Boys And Girls

Until this year I did not realise that pumpkins had two types of flowers. yes I knew their cousin zucchini had 2 types but it never crossed my mind that pumpkins would too. This is my second year with pumpkins growing, last year I didn’t take a close look at the flowers, but this year I did.

I also planted Gramma which is another relative of pumpkin, mainly used for Gramma Pie. My other pumpkin vine is a butternut and one of those is almost ripe.

The first flowers I saw on my pumpkin were tall and upright on thin stems so I got excited and thought I would soon have pumpkins. I waited and waited and nothing happened, they just wilted and died.

Baby male flower, long thin stem, this one is about 5 cm in height
Male flower nearly ready to open up, this one is about 20cm high
Male flower opened

Then after about 5 weeks and the vines getting longer I noticed a flower low down with a swelling on the base and the flower closed. Pumpkin!! I promptly took a photo. The next day I went out to check it again and it had dropped off. But I found another one. So I scurried in to consult Aunty Google and discovered that the males always show up first. The females show up when the vine hits a certain length (about 3meters) the first one or two may abort. There are always more males than females and if you want to breed true to type only have one kind growing with in 2 km. Much like chillies they cross breed very easily.

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My very first Female, sadly no bees visited her and she died

I have to hand pollinate as bees are practically non existent in my neighbourhood. Over summer I think I may have seen about 5. I use a cotton swab and pretend like a bee, visit the boy then visit the girl.

Baby female flower not ready to open yet
Female flower opened
Larger female after hand pollination and closed, keeping an eye on her as I think she may be Gramma

I hope that the one in the photo above is a Gramma as it has been too long between Gramma pies. If I do have success with it I will do a post about Gramma Pie but it looks like it may be a little way off. The flower part has dropped off today and it looks a little bigger.


My first butternut probably has another three or four weeks of ripening to do before it will be ready to pick. Full size has been reached and the skin has started to change colour.

Almost there, it is about 22cm long and 13cm across

I have to thank one of my high school classmates, Julianne Turner, for supplying me with the Gramma Seeds.

Will post more from my garden in the future and will let you know how my pumpkins/gramma are going.

Thanks for dropping by!!

Been A While

Well it is time to get back blogging. There have been some changes in my life and I have been a bit down and off blogging. From now on my travels and dining will be predominantly solo. Although I have high hopes of dragging my mother to Tokyo for a week and introducing her to the delights and sights of that remarkable city.

Over the past few months my dining out has been a bit restricted. I have to say though that I have been enjoying a quick bite at the bar at Rockpool Est 1989 in Bridge Street.

My dalliances at Rockpool started after a wonderful exhibition at Charles Billich Gallery where I got to meet the fabulous artist and his lovely wife Christa. As it was still early I decided to treat myself to a little supper.

I sat at the bar which gives a fantastic view of the crew working their magic. I ordered Prawn and sesame toasted finger sandwich, a glass of Andre Jacquart ‘Experience’ Blanc de Blancs Champagne (from Vertus in France) followed by the cheese selection. So good that I have had the same three items a further 2 times as my pre Opera dinner ( yes I was gifted some tickets to the Opera and have thus far seen: The Pearlfishers, La Boheme and The Barber Of Seville).

The cheese selection also included honey and a wonderful white peach puree which was sublime with the softer cheeses. The chefs have also been very kind and sweet my last two visits and sent out a little extra of scrumptious chicken wings with Konbu butter, topped with caviar. So generous and SO delicious, if you know my feelings about fishy things, you might bes hocked that I actually enjoyed the caviar with the chicken wing, but this is a  sensational menu item.

So I will not be back in to Rockpool for a little while as my next Opera is not until June when I see Carmen. Might have to try something else on the bar menu. They still have the fabulous honey and spelt bread but sadly I am trying to cut back on my bread consumption. I wonder if it would be bad form to just order the bread and a glass of champagne? Yes/No?

Any way Life is getting back on track again and I hope to start posting a bit more regularly again.

Catch you soon!!

2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 35 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

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I would like to take the opportunity to wish all who have dropped by to read my blog in 2015, a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for a wonderful Happy New Year in 2016.

I hope you will drop by to see what I am up to next year.


Belated Merry Christmas!!

Wishing my readers a belated very Merry Christmas and all the best for a bright and happy year in 2015!!

We visited Mr. CA4G’s sister and her husband this year for Christmas. They live on the Central Coast of NSW and rather than join all the drivers heading off on holiday, we decided to take the train. It is a pleasant and very scenic journey once you leave the outskirts of Sydney. Lots of sandstone cliffs and mountains, sparkles glint off the water as the train snakes along parts of the Hawkesbury River, eucalypt forests and quaint little towns.

Christmas eve we have a semi traditional Czech dinner as they celebrate on Christmas eve more so than Christmas Day. Deep fried barramundi (traditionally it would be carp in the  Czech republic,and even though there is a lot of introduced carp in Australian waterways, most of it ends up as fertilizer or left on the river banks) served with Russian potato salad and red cabbage salad.

Christmas day breakfast we have a huge sugar hit, Stollen, Croissants with butter and jams, Swiss cake, panettone, fruit mince tarts and coffee.

My sister in law tries to get most of the cooking and prep done the day before so we can relax a little. For christmas day this year we had our lunch over 5 hours leaving a nice big space between course, We started with melon topped with blue cheese and wrappd in black forest ham and devils on horseback. For entree we had pork , veal and pistachio terrine that I made, with mango chutney. For mains we had turducken, glazed and roasted ham, roast beef, gravy, roast vegetables, Russian potato salad and red cabbage salad. Dessert we ended up having at dinner time, boozy trifle. My sister in law also made some reindeer poop as a bit of  gag sweet, chocolate and hazelnut clusters.

I hope you all had a wonderful day and were able to share it with your loved ones. Have a happy New Year and look forward to your company again next year!!

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year!!

To all my readers and followers, I wish you and all your families a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful year in 2014 filled with lots of love, adventure and good times.

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This Christmas I managed to make my first Christmas puddings in many years, one was split between two work colleagues and one will be going to my sister in law’s for the four of us tomorrow. Will post about it when things quieten down a little.

Have a safe and happy break and many thanks for stopping by to read my little blog!


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