Oh no, I have been missing in action again! No, I have not forgotten about PonPeKo at all. I am still experimenting in my kitchen and trying out new cafes and restaurants. I just could not find time to write about them. Or… is it just an excuse for my lack of discipline?
I just did two gym classes and got back home hungry. I have a pack of pork mince and some baby capsicums in the fridge and sweet and sour meatballs suddenly came into my mind. It is easy to whip up and Mr. D will love it as it is a meat dish and it is deep fried too. This dish is sort of a simplified version of Ku Lo Yuk dish.
Address: 131 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
Opening hours: Lunch: Mon – Fri (from 12pm)
I think since about 4 years ago I’ve always wanted to visit Bergerac French restaurant but didn’t have the opportunity. I remember that I was reading food blogs, researching for places with tasty food. Then, I stumbled upon this restaurant. What’s so special about this restaurant you say? There were two items that caught my attention when I was browsing their online menu. My favorite Bouillabaisse and Bomb Alaska! Finally, on Easter Monday, my wish to dine in that restaurant has come true.
Gnocchi are considered to be a type of dumpling and they are extremely soft and light. I know nuts about them before I came over to Australia. Two years ago I was at an Italian restaurant at Lygon Street in Melbourne and decided to try the dish with the cute name called Gnocchi Gorgonzola. It was pleasantly tasty. The second time I tried gnocchi was at Sapore, a one hat restaurant at St. Kilda. The gnocchi was absolutely divine. They were lighter, fluffier and softer compared to the ones at the previous restaurant.
I enjoyed gnocchi so much that I decided to make it at home one day. At that time, I was too lazy to make the potato gnocchi myself so I bought the pre-made ones from the supermarket and mix it with my homemade sauce. It was clearly a bad choice as I barely touched the dish. The sauce was OK but the problem lay in the store bought pre-made gnocchi. They tasted appalling and due to the high flour content, they were super tough, gluey and tasteless.
Last weekend, I decided to re-visit my gnocchi dish and this time I did not take any shortcuts. I made everything from scratch and it was extremely fruitful and rewarding. Be careful not to add too much flour to prevent it from being too heavy and hard. The thick and dense tomato sauce combined with the melted cheese enveloped the pillowy soft gnocchi creating a silky smooth sensation in your mouth. The sauce is simply marvelous. Simple yet packed with flavor.
In Malaysia, fish heads are frequently used in curries and in stock for noodle soup. I know, some of you would probably feel squeamish about eating fish heads but according to the Chinese elderly, fish heads are actually very nutritious, especially the eyeballs. They believe that eating the fish eyeball will improve one’s vision. I’m not sure how true is that but it doesn’t matter to me. It being nutritious is not the reason I like it. I enjoy fish heads mainly because they are so flavorful. This is especially true for salmon fish head due to its high fat content. Malaysians love their fish head and this is why it is super expensive back home. Fortunately for us, not many people in Australia knows how to appreciate fish head and therefore it is quite cheap here.
Fish head bee hoon is a very comforting dish and it is great in cold weather. The soup is extremely appetizing with slight sourish taste from the pickled mustard green and tomato. The stock has a really nice aroma as the fish head pieces are deep fried first before they are boiled in the water.
I have not been updating PonPeKo ever since I started work in February. I truly wanted to keep PonPeKo alive but my tiredness and laziness got best of me. Truth be told, we still haven’t finish unpacking the boxes in our kitchen. Most of my baking utensils are still sitting in the boxes and hence I do not have any dessert materials to post lately. Moreover, since moving up here, it’s really easy to find places with excellent food and desserts which leads to more procrastination from my side. Hmm, I really need to stop procrastinating and get everything unpacked as soon as possible. Be more disciplined, Yang!
Today, I would like to share my favorite economy rice dish with you. If you’re not familiar with the term “economy rice”, it’s basically a food stall that sells a selection of dishes ranging from various meat, vegetables, fish, and curries. You can pick any dish and as many dishes as you like to have them as accompaniment to rice. Economy rice is very popular in Malaysia as it’s cheap and good. Ku Lo Yuk is one of the popular dish and it is sold in every economy rice stall. It’s not too difficult to make, just make sure that you don’t add in too much cornflour to avoid the coating of the pork becoming too floury. Try to avoid using canned pineapples in syrup as they are overly sweet. Canned pineapples in natural juices are better as they have the slight tanginess which complements the sauce in this dish.
Address: 135 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC 3141 Australia.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun (6pm – 10pm)
First of all, sorry for being absent from my blog for the past four weeks. I was extremely busy with my job and house hunting. It’s not easy to find a rental place in suburbs closer to Melbourne compared to regional areas like Geelong. It was a very frustrating experience as I found that most of the photos posted didn’t represent the current state of the house accurately when I went to inspect. It’s such a waste of my time. Anyways, fortunately now everything had been resolved and I can finally continue sharing my foodie stories with you.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a Japanese fusion restaurant called Gaijin. My friends Mei & Sheng brought me here for dinner and I had a ball at the restaurant. Our dinner started with seaweed salad and adegashi tofu. The seaweed salad is just my type of food, sourish and sweetish which is the perfect appetizer dish. This dish may look simple but contains great flavors and texture which made it my favorite dish of the night. Adegashi tofu was good as well with its crunchy skin and fragrant broth. The ahi tuna tartare (raw tuna cubes marinated in special sauce served with mango salsas and mango on nori tempura chips) was quite an interesting concept but somehow the taste was just average for me.
Jiaozi is a Chinese dumpling and it is a hot favorite among Chinese households. Jiaozi can be steamed, boiled, or pan fried. The pan fried version is known as guotie (pot stickers) or gyoza in Japan. As the name implies, the dumpling stuck slightly to the wok at the end of cooking but it could be easily removed by nudging it using a spatula.
While jiaozi filling commonly consists of meat and/or vegetables, there’s no limit to what you can add in it. You can make the filling with the ingredients you like/have on hand. Both taste and textures are very important in dumpling making. For me, I love to add shitake mushrooms, carrots, and wombok leaves together with the mince pork to produce different textures (bitey and crunchy). The filling smells and taste wonderful with the addition of seasonings such as sesame oil, shaoxing wine, good quality soy sauce, grated ginger, and garlic. The wrapper and wrapping style for guotie is different from deep fried wontons. Guotie wrappers are white in color, round-shaped, and thicker compared to wonton wrappers. My first jiaozi attempt which was 3 years ago was unsuccessful and I ended up with disintegrated dumplings as I did not seal the dumpling properly. Make sure you pinch the edges of the dumpling firmly so that they won’t break apart when cooking.
Crispy skin on the bottom and tenderly soft skin on the top.