Christmas break means I don’t get hassled by my workmate to exercise and there is way too much food everywhere. However, my friend didn’t let me go free of exercise just yet. He sent me the ‘300 exercise‘ series, which is apparently famous for being the workout which made the bodies of the actors in the movie 300. As I am not yet at the level of being able to do the 300 exercise, my friend gave me the 150 set.
I thought it was a nice day so I’d go for a bit of a jog to the local exercise equipment place… (what do you call these things?)
15 x body weight rows (lie down and pull yourself up using a bar etc.)
25 x body weight squats
15 x push ups
50 x jumping jacks
20 x mountain climbers (push up position and bring your knees to your opposite chest)
10 x close grip push up
15 x body weight row
The jog to the local exercise area was about 3 km so by the time I got there I was already hot and tired….. as I was trying the body weight rows my arms didn’t want to go through it. So i ended up only doing 10 of them, and skipping at the end.
Hopefully I can do them better as I am planning on continuing during the Christmas break.
All in all, including a 5km jog back and forth, I think i deserved that cupcake I had! 😉
Japanese food seems to be the flavour of the month as I end up visiting Japanese restaurants when I meet up with friends. Today I ventured into a not so often visited territory of Hawthorn to visit Izakaya Jiro.
I went there as my friend mentioned our high school friend was the manager. Fancy that! I love it when I catch up with random high school friends I haven’t caught up with. Everyone ends up so different to each other! Anyway, putting my friend hat aside…
The place is not difficult to find being at the northern end of glenferrie road Near barkers road. Quite bustling during the lunch hour I visited. The interior is neat and tidy with enough space to make you feel comfortable and homey but not squishy.
The food is quite neat and nice, as you’d want Japanese food to be. The chef is the owner and is Japanese, which probably shows in the food itself. At lunch time you can get the Teishoku, which is a small set menu with miso soup and salad as well as rice.
We ordered the agedashi tofu and okonomiyaki as starters as we wanted a taste of the small eats, and had a teishoku each. The teriyaki beef was nice and tender, while not overpowered by the sauce. The grilled swordfish was quite nice, with enough firm texture and also not totally dry and flaky.
The starters definitely had the right kick as both my friend and I couldn’t stop eating.
Price is average ranging $10-$20 for lunch, but at dinner you can also get the barbecue meat.
Without being biased as a friend, I do have to say this is one of the better Japanese restaurants in Melbourne that I have been to, without having to break my back to pay for it.
Lunch is open from 12-3 and dinner from 6 to 10:30pm. Highly recommended.
It’s Christmas and full of parties. My housemates have an annual Christmas party that I used to join long before I started living with them. However, this year I feel like part of the host. So I decided to whip up something nice for people to enjoy.
My housemate is gluten and lactose intolerant so I looked up this recipe on taste.com.au as I’ve never really baked anything gluten free.
Icing: (Not lactose free)
200 g white chocolate
150ml light thickened cream
Leave butter outside to drop to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Line 12 muffin trays with cupcake shells.
Beat the butter and caster sugar until a slightly creamy texture.
Beat in two eggs until soft and bouncy (egg whites have a lot of protein that makes the mixture frothy and bouncy, so try to make it as frothy before adding the flour) FOLD(mix with spoon/spatula gently) in the flour and almonds without whipping it too hardly so you keep a bit of the bouncy frothiness in the mixture.
Mix the lime juice and grind (i forgot the grind.. oops..)
Now, I had a workmate who told me about a cupcake pen which I bought a year ago and never used. So I thought this was perfect opportunity to use it.
Getting the cupcake mixture into the cupcake pen was quite difficult as any other task of filling a small tube. However I finally managed but the task of squeezing the mixture out of the pan was excrutiatingly hard. I think it was worth a whole arm workout!! Maybe this wasn’t the right cupcake mixture to use it as the gluten free and almond mixture was quite dense.
Finally managed to fill the cupcake shells and put in oven for 30 minutes, turning the tray around midway as I had fan forced on.
While the cupcakes are cooking start heating the cream in a saucepan at low heat.
Although I am no professional or anything close to adequate in cooking I have a love for chocolate and did attend a chocolate making class. And I vaguely remember sonething called ‘ganache’ as being something similar of this kind. Anyway, once the cream is heated, drop little bits of your chocolate and melt it in the cream. You can take it off the heat as the cream should have enough heat to melt the chocolate.
Remember to continue to mix!!! Keep in the fridge for an hour or overnight (I did as I made these yesterday and will be serving them tonight).
Once the cupcakes are done, cool them in the muffin tray and then on a rack once you can take them out.
If all is cool and nice, top the cupcakes with the icing (whip it up once more if you want).
I think personally, my icing wasn’t great, and I should’ve whipped it more to create that sense of tall cupcake icing… maybe next time I will look up an icing instruction to make better icing on these cupcakes.
I did end up doing one taste test, and it seems a bit dense, but that is expected from gluten free recipes as per my friends. Maybe if I manage more icing per cupcake it might be better too… (as the icing started melting and I couldn’t top them up more… need for whipping to make the cream stiffer maybe…)
Anyway, courtesy of cupcake shells and decorations bought at ALDI, it at least looks semi presentable. 😉
I always complain that Melbourne doesnt have enough street food. On a corner of collins street and flinders street in Melbourne, there stands a stall selling crepes! Maybe the menu is not as exotic as the creperies with a full kitchen, but for a quick bite or dessert on your way to and from home/office, i think it’s a great idea.
Ok, so to be perfectly honest the crepes aren’t perfect. However, they are thin and crispy to a point where it feels like I am having a French crepe, not a Japanese one. The price is affordable ranging from $4.00 ~ $6.00 but the menu is very simple. Chocolate, lemon and sugar, sugar and butter, nutella, salted caramel etc.
I had the one with fig and Ginger jam, but I think it wasn’t as good as a plain chocolate one. My own seemed to taste a bit doughy and soggy. Maybe next time they will make it better, maybe i should look less touristy when going and trying these places!
Melbourne is lucky that it is cladded with nice restaurants. Almost anywhere you go, you will get a decent experience and quality food.
Then what makes one shine above the other? Probably the atmosphere and venue. Yu-U is tucked away in a near impossible to find door.
Walking past it is very easy, the address ‘137 flinders lane‘ being the only sign to try to find the entrance. The door is nearest the corner where the address is pictured.
When you walk down the steps into the restaurant it feels like one of those Japanese restaurants that will serve some puffer fish on a naked lady. (I dont know why, probably some old movie I have seen before). The food is quite interesting with the menu choice being a selection of small dishes. The tempura is quite nice, light and crispy instead of old and soggy.
The yakitori is quite interesting and nice, and the deep fried chicken cartilage something definitely different.
The price is more on the upside, and maybe not an everyday eat. Pre theatre diners get kicked out by 7:30 but if you aren’t on that list it’s a minimum $30 per head.