June 1, 2008 – 5:04 pm

Flew into Fiji last night. 747 into Nadi then a puddle-jumper into Suva. Much safer here than I expected. The personal safety habits acquired in the Caribbean are overkill. Still, better safe than sorry.

air pacific domestic baggage claim, SuvaHotel view, Suva


May 4, 2008 – 9:28 pm

Chika’s gyoza is awesome. All fresh ingredients, pork and cabbage minced up in the food processor. Her folding skill comes from making them since she was a kid.

Buon Ricordo

April 25, 2008 – 8:31 pm


We went to Buon Ricordo last night. I’ve been meaning to go for ages, but never got round to it.

I went with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed. The atmosphere is casual and a little noisy. The decor is all red tiles and wooden ceilings and floral print cloth.  It could so easily be tacky and cheesy but manages not to be.  Service is top notch. As good as any three hat’ed restaurant. The food was the best of all, as I expected.  A nice touch was the way they brought out two half serves for all the dishes we said we would be sharing. I’ve never seen that before. As a result we were able to try four different dishes and still have room for dessert.

The famous “Fettuccine al tartufovo” lived up to the hype.  Simply divine.  Do a search for it. People have been blogging and photographing it for years.

If you haven’t been, and you love food, go! go now!


March 5, 2008 – 10:18 pm

It’s next to impossible to find Shiso leaves to buy in Sydney. Sashimi just isnt the same without it. A little while ago we found an online shop that had Shiso seeds. After a lot of trial and error we’ve managed to get some to sprout. Hurry up and grow!

Tips when visiting Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo

March 2, 2008 – 5:17 pm


From Kateigaho 2007 Summer edition

Fishing again

February 24, 2008 – 4:07 pm

We went fishing again today, with four friends. It wasn’t a great day for it, the fish weren’t biting as well as in the past. However with some concerted effort changing rigs, bait and location, we managed a decent haul that will feed us tonight.

23 Yellowtail (yakka), 4 Mackerel (slimy/blue) and 7 Snapper.




February 10, 2008 – 11:05 pm

Friends came around today for a yakiniku party. One is a sushi chef and he brought some Chu-toro (medium fatty tuna). Woohoo!

In my opinion, Chu-toro is the best cut of Tuna. Otoro is the most prized and most expensive, but I find it too oily. The normal red tuna is called Maguro or Akami. Chu-toro combines the lighter but deep, slightly bitter flavor of an akami with the sweet tenderness of an otoro. Sometimes you will find a cut of chu-toro with a gradation of red from the deep red to pink (lean to fatty). Lucky!

R/C car nostalgia

January 21, 2008 – 7:30 pm


When I was a kid Tamiya R/C cars were all the rage; The Hornet, The Frog, The Grasshopper and the top of the line 4WD Hotshot. My memory is that only rich kids had them. The one I craved most was The Hornet.

Well recently I discovered that Tamiya have released a range of smaller scale retro “expert built” cars. Awesome! Completely assembled, all the parts you need included. Just charge the batteries and away you go! Someone has done an excellent review of The Frog, which is mechanically identical to The Hornet.

Hobbyco in the QVB was sold out so I went searching. I found an ebay seller in the states that was selling The Hornet; cheaper too, even with FedEx shipping. The box arrived this morning. I opened the box, stuck the battery pack on the charger and headed off to work.

Mucking around with the car this evening, I’ve found that our apartment block’s underground parking area is perfect for racing. The pillars make a great obstacle course.


Lilianfels, Katoomba

January 20, 2008 – 6:16 pm


We stayed at Lilianfels at Echo Point Katoomba this weekend. Dinner was at their famous Darley’s restaurant and again there for brunch the next day. I was very impressed with the whole experience and that doesn’t happen often. I’ve been spoiled in my travels. It’s the closest thing I’ve experienced in Australia to a stay at a good Ryokan in Japan [1] [2].


As usual we forgot to take pictures until after the food was mostly eaten. I have no idea how proper food bloggers do it. When good food arrives, all thought of photography is gone!

I didn’t take my proper camera gear as i thought it would be a bit cumbersome. Looking at the pics on the computer back home, its clear that small compact cameras, even with high megapixel sensors, just aren’t as good. Ah well, cant have it all.


January 7, 2008 – 11:35 am

We went fishing yesterday, and overdid it a bit. 8:30am till 7pm. The hat, shirt and sunscreen weren’t enough, I still got a bit cooked.

The upside was that we caught a variety of fish, sadly none very big. We got lots of Yellowtail, two Tailor, and one each of Leatherjacket, Pike, Trevally (some kind), Whiting, Bream and Tarwhine. We were continuously catching and throwing back tiny Bream and Tarwhine, some too small to even fit the whole hook in their mouths. Greedy little buggers.

We ate one or two of each, some as sashimi, some fried whole. The standouts were the whole shallow fried Tailor and the Trevally sashimi. You can tell that Trevally is in the same family as Yellowtail Kingfish. The meat has a similar texture and taste. The Leatherjacket is destined for hotpot tonight!

People seem to be hesitant to eat fish they catch raw.  All you have to do is make an effort to keep the fish in good condition. Fish should be kept at about 0°C because the protein fibers are shorter than in meat, making it easier for microorganisms to propagate. We take an esky full of ice along with us, the caught fish goes straight into the ice/water slurry. The fish die quickly and painlessly (in theory).

When preparing the fish, carefully remove all of the scales and inner organs. Cleaning the fish properly is even more important than true freshness. This part can be done wet. The next step, filleting, should be done dry. Water can ruin the texture of the meat. When cutting and cleaning the fish, keep your knives, the knife handles, the cutting board and your hands as clean as possible. Small fish, especially those with shiny bluish backs, like sardines, tend to bruise easily, and even the Japanese will not eat them raw unless they are super fresh.

A technique I hope to learn someday is ikejime. As soon as the fish is taken out of the sea, a special hooked tool is used to crush its hindbrain. The heart keeps beating and pumping blood. The idea is to get the fish to pump out its own blood by cutting arteries in the gills and tail. You have to remove the blood because otherwise the fish will retain an unpleasant fishy smell. And you have to restrain the fish because otherwise it will flap about, making the flesh less tasty. A fish restrained the ikejime way is only brain dead—it is so fresh that the muscles still move a little.