Friday, January 30, 2009

45.1 degrees and a hot pot.

Yesterday was a little torturous, as the house hadn't had a chance to air out. But at least living in the CBD grid, out power wasn't turned off.

My parents had always toted the fact that when it is hot that you should eat hot foods, spicy foods, as to "sweat out" any impurities and ward away illness. Not that I ever think this in the heat, I think it has somehow ingrained itself into my psyche.
So, last night, I ventured out into one of my almost forgotten places Han Guuk Guan, for Korean. It is this little hidden hut-looking place on the fringe of the city and the Carlton Gardens, in an offshoot, surrounded by orifice buildings.
They actually serve a combination of Chinese and Korean food, but I have never even bothered with the Chinese menu.
They serve everything with the pickles on the side, and their menu is extensive as to go from appetisers, cold dishes, hot pots, shared dishes, rice dishes, soups and Korean barbecue.

We started with the steamed Mandoo, filled with pork and served with a chili vinegar. $8.

The pickles, free with every meal.

This is my spicy hot pot of tofu, mushrooms and fish egg sack in action. It comes with a bowl of rice, as do all the individual hot pots. $13

Not pictured is my dining partner's pork marrow and spare rib hot pot with egg and potato noodles. $11

Very tasty and with many vegetarian options. When I first came here, the upstairs could be booked out for karaoke and they have a giant plasma TV up there, which is distracting when you're just dining for fun.

The kitchen closes at 9:30 and is run by a Korean grandmother which ensures that nothing is bastardised and you can make requests or alterations to your meal at will.

Han Guuk Guan
13A Victoria St, Melbourne
03 9639 1747

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In an act of desperation

What I have never understood is how people have recipes for fried rice. It is just the Asian version of using up leftovers.
It's like bubble and squeak,
a fritatta,
a toasted sandwich.

And I know that you're probably thinking that a toasted sandwich isn't that, but I have had friends put leftover pasta from the night before in a toastie with cheese.
Or maybe that is just freakish eating.

The thing is here is that this is kind of me using up leftover rice, and also being too piss-weak to wander to the markets today in the heat, despite my determination.
That dissipated when I went to the gym for two hours this morning and decided I had become mildly insane, and if it were not for the Amnesty International people giving me ice in the street, I would probably still be sweating.

So, I scrounged this together and now, I definitely have to go to the market tomorrow.

Fried Rice
Yes, I do know that I am hypocritically putting up a recipe, but really, it isn't like I cooked the rice and let it cool on the bench and sit in the fridge for the day for this purpose.

1 onion, diced
1 chili, finely diced
as much ginger as you like, grated and finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
leftover brown rice that has been in the fridge for at least a day (yes, I used brown, it is tasty and also what I had left. so...ner)
light soy sauce (My Cantonese background makes me loyal to the Lee Kum Kee brand)
dark soy sauce (As with above)
1/2 a bunch of garlic chives, chopped

Heat oil in a wok and throw in the onion, chili and ginger with a pinch of salt. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes, or till fragrant. Throw in the egg and break it up in the wok while it cooks and then add the cold rice, mushing it down, to let the heat and flavours penetrate. Add a glug of light soy and a dash of dark (for colour) and a pinch or two of sugar as well as salt to taste.
When the rice has heated through, add the garlic chives and toss till evenly distributed.
Eat with chopsticks or you'll just end up inhaling it.

This is the only thing I condone eating with Sriracha chili sauce as opposed to my big evil chili that gives other people ass-burn.
Obviously you can add what you want, like left over roast pork, chinese sausage, fresh peas, bacon, roast duck, xo sauce, bean shoots, spring onion, tofu (and that is a fine line) etc.

I swear to god, if you add anything freakish like corn, pineapple, carrot, tempeh or something stupid like that, I will really have to take my mad Asian skills out on your ass!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I would like to say

that things have been more inspired, but as with my mood, things have been a little bleak.

I made a dinner tonight that could only be described as weird. I am having an off day.

You know, those days where you find yourself walking into everything, mispelling, falling off chairs, dropping glass bowls on your own head or being incapable of properly dressing yourself.

I haven't really been taking photos of things that I have been cooking, eating or anything really. I don't really see the point.

It would be a lot easier with some real routine or motivation in my life, but as pointed out by a very driven woman; having worked for the last six years and finally being set free can not only interrupt the psyche of someone not entirely stable, but shake confidence.

The sad thing is that right now I don't feel capable of writing, despite setting aside time and I know that once I start work I will wish for this silence and stillness that I am currently finding frustrating.

Perhaps contentment is a synonym for distraction or only something the privileged can pretend to achieve through purchasing it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More hilarity.

This is Ray and Davina, our friends. You may have remembered this if you watched television or something of the like.

We got a call on the Thursday telling us that they did this and we couldn't stop laughing. I don't own a TV,but I am sure this photo is one of them taking a photo of themselves on television and emailing it to everyone.

Basically, they had an intruder and Davina hit him with a pepper grinder.

Hey...give me a break, there is a pepper grinder in the story.

Wait a sec...


Just a bit of hilarity.

This image is lifted directly from

I would have screen dumped, but then you would know where I live, and we can't have that.

We heard hammering at eight in the morning, and they put up a for lease sign. That was obviously after they took the photo.

The point of this is that you should look at the house to the left of 108 and see how much we still praise John Candy and how he is still a fixture in our house after the party.

And if you're curious, it's $700 for a 5 bedroom house in Carlton. I actually went inside the day after the party and jumped from their balcony to ours because our lounge room door locked from the inside and Nek left his toothbrush in there. Their house is the exact inverse of ours, but it has been done up.

How sad.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hours, ours; the rest of them.

Yeah, don't think that you got out of the Bittern adventure ahead of time. There is still breakfast and shenanigans to go.

So, after sleeping with another person in a single bed, being raped by a mosquito net, knowing that your good friend BB had touched himself while growing up in your resting place, there wasn't much resting. In fact, it is a good thing you hardly slept, because your sister turned up as his mother (owner of the property we took over) entered the kitchen.

So, as ten people took off to fish again and to for a swim with the two vegetarians at seven in the morning, you saw that you now had fifteen mouths to feed.

Okay, I will now change to a first person narration, I believe that will be less confusing because I'm blogging. Oh, the wonders of blogging, bad grammar and non-continuation.

I do have to say, that we did use up all of this in our time there.

Sorry B's.

So, what was breakfast? Mr DaVa and I did this in the kitchen as the remainders watched us converse over sharing space and why we did and didn't want to do things. Unfortunately, they said it was like watching a really funny cooking show with a couple of clowns.
Better than them noticing that it would have been Gargamel and a Smurf cooking the night before.

Breakfast for 15:

Scrambled eggs with unnecessary garnish. But, when you're on holiday, as someone stated, "Why the hell not?"

6 eggs
half their volume in soy milk/milk/cream

whisk together the eggs and soy/non soy choice. Season and cook in a heavy based pan over a low heat, stirring continuously until they are almost set. Transfer to a plate for serving and add some "Why the hell not."

Honey tofu with garlic and peanuts.(DaVa)

1 block of firm tofu, sliced
lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 "Why the hell nots?", sliced

Marinade the tofu in honey, to taste with salt, pepper, soy, lemon juice, garlic and some oil. Heat so oil in a pan and add the tofu, cooking over a high heat until done. Transfer to plate and add the peanuts. Fry off the "Why the hell nots?" and throw over the top with the peanuts.

Sliced cucumber and sauteed spinach.

I assume sliced cucmber is self-explanatory.

Spinach was sauteed with a shitload of finely sliced garlic in a hot pan and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Leftover Special

All the leftover potato salad from the night before
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 bunch of parsley stalks, chopped
1/4 bunch of parsley leaves, coarsley chopped
1 handful of sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large tomato, halved and sliced
5 eggs
2 handfuls of grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Heat a generous glug of oil to a heavy based, oven safe pan over high heat. Fry off the parsley stalks and then turn the heat down to medium. Add the garlic and then followed by all the left over potato salad. Turn the heat back up on high, and flatten all the potato to one layer and try to fit it tightly, and fry till you have a crisp base. Season and then add the sundried tomatoes and parsley leaves.
Whisk the eggs and half the volume of them in milk, and season with salt and pepper.
Pour over the top of the mixture in the pan and then arrange the fresh tomato slices over the top. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat and then sprinkle the cheese over the top and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes.

It is ready when it is golden, puffy and the egg parts no longer wobble. Allow to stand for a few minutes before slicing.

I also cut up half a pineapple, Asian papa style and fried off the remaining sausages.

We also threw pita bread over the burners so they were warmed. That is a DaVa brainstorm.

DaVa and El Pablo, waiting for coffee. I had already had quite a few gin and tonics at this point. My first one of the day was nabbed by BB, though, as he thought it was just tonic water and skulled over half of it. The conversation went a little like this:

Me- did you just drink from my glass?
BB- was there gin in there?
Me- Yes!
BB- Bloody hell, I thought I just discovered poor man's gin and tonic!

And at some stage, one of our party lost their key to the car. She also had a steering wheel lock. After scaling the property with everyone lined up staring at the ground in one metre increments, we decided that the only logical thing to do would be to hot wire the car and take out the steering wheel and unlock it, manually.

And if anyone could do it, it would be BB.

El Pablo steering, like a good old man. He is actually the Zen could have been possible.

The token shot of mint slice. Courtesy of Mattathias, who proclaimed that if his parents were fed chargrilled cardboard he wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Yes, he is American, and explained the concept, in full detail with sugar content, franks and beans.

Mattathias destroying some kids' sand castle. This is actually what he does normally. For him it is an every day activity, not cruelty.

And the adequately placed tree. I thought it was fitting after I had a migrane and was driven to the beach, betting motion sickness on top of that and experiencing "sea air" like it was just a vat of sick.

24 Hour Party People.

Actually, it was more like 35.

When it was 41 degrees, three cars drove to Bittern and we all discovered the wonderment of the Eastern Link. Although, if you are going to do that drive, notice how every toll is actually for you to pay to see art work?

And that giant Hotel, the boys were convinced it was an automatic hotle, Dolphin-style of Murakami.

I voted art.

The girls decided to stop by on the way back, knock it about a bit before going dumpster diving and tell us that, "Yes, it is just an awesome piece of art."

But, back to the business. There was fishing and an amazing Austrian who managed to catch almost all of the fish except for the useless Barracuda. We ended up with the aforementioned fish, three red snapper and two king john dorys.

Can you say hell yeah?
Can you also say the Gingold and Cheese special? Although, as fish is what Gingold is the king of, he did most of them, and he did a damn fine job.

Although, by the time dinner was ready, we did a head count and realised that we had to feed fourteen people. So, DaVa was on barbecue duty and threw on a few sausages and made vegetarian kebabs for El Pablo and Gray. Although this is what we call both of the vegetarians, they are coincidentally not their real names.

So, this was what we did with the fish.

Snapper 1: Lemon in cavity with oil
Snapper 2: Tomatoes and olives with a herby lemon oil
Snapper 3: (crazy fish) tomato, lemons, chili, olives, parsley, oil, capers

King John Dory 1: Lemon and Parsley
King John Dory 2: Lemon, Parsley and chili

These fish were baked.

And then to placate Mattathias, aka- the midget that fucked us, we took the Barracuda that he caught and just put lemon in it and threw it on the barbecue. That freaked out the vegetarians, so, obviously the evil midget man was happy about that.

I then made two potato salads, one with a vinaigrette and the other with a mayo that I whipped up (literally) with the three kilos of potatoes that were boiled up.

Outrageous, I made breakfast with the leftovers.

from what was in the cupboard

2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
A few splashes of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
Parsley, coarsely chopped
1 handful capers, rinsed and finely chopped

whisk all together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over hot, quartered potatoes with finely sliced spanish onion.


2 yolks and 1 whole egg
juice from half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tsp whole seeded mustard
1/2 cup of oil
2 handfuls of finely chopped capers
1/2 bunch of finely chopped parsley leaves

Whisk/blend/Bamix-i-fy theh eggs, lemon juice, garlic and mustard and add the oil, while still whisk/blend/ba-mix-ify ing in a steady stream until it resembles a mayo. Season with salt and pepper and add the capers and parsley. Stir into quarted potatoes with spanish onion.

And this is just us feasting.

Name the two people on the left and you will get endless praise and ovation. Or, you will be revealed to be a collector of restored objects, mainly medical equipment.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When in heat

it means you are human. Strangely enough, when people complain that their cats are in heat and they have to deal with that eight times a year, I remind them that we are people, and thus have to deal with it 365 days a year.

I am not here to share a secret with you, because you have probably discovered it. I can only conclude that because every time I go to Dan Murphy's, these little guys are sold out. They're not just good drinking for the heat, they're just good drinking.

And hell, when I go to the Night Market, they are good to smuggle in and open without having to fish for that bottle opener.

It's 35 degrees and that cactus is not intentional, but it is fitting. As previously stated, the house is that of "phallic cacti" fame, although the one pictured is a poor example. That photo was only taken seconds after sitting outside and you can see how nice and frosty the can has gotten.

The big awesomeness with these is that they hold the same volume as the bottles and are only three dollars each...or when you compare them in cases, $53 as opposed to the $75 for the bottles.

As I was discussing this with the friendly, local stock-boy at Dan's, we did get onto the point that these are not actually made in Japan, but packed and etc in Thailand, so, if you're going for authentico, you still have to go to J-pan.

So, there you go.
There is my secret of booze for the Summer to you.

But what I will keep dear to my heart are the delivery times of these babies. That, you don't get.

One question though, why the hell is it taking so long for my bottle of Hendricks to arrive??? It has been three months.


A hawker style cafe has opened up behind my house and their thing is that you play board games while you eat there.

The chick who owns/runs the place is very cute and I want her as my girlfriend...or pet. I haven't decided.

But, I walked past the other day and


Ahem. Anyone want to teach me (yes, that is right, I can't play chess)? Also, totally kicks ass over the permanent one at the corner of Swanston and Little Collins in the city.

This type of cutesy Asian weirdness I definitely approve of.

Oh, and the food here is a lot better than you expect and better hawker crap that you get around here. Makes me miss Darwin...or the aunties.

122 Lygon Street
Carlton 3053

Desperation is sweet.

Being poor is okay in my books.

Funnily enough, this meal was calculated by my dining companion to have only cost four dollars to feed the both of us.

Ridicerous...yeah, I still get organic eggs, bitches.

Go team economic crisis and being casualties of the recession!

And funnily enough, the best thing I have eaten all week.

Steamed Chinese sausage, sliced up. Check out those little pools of saturated fat spilling on the chopping board.

Choi Sum stir fried in oyster sauce

The spread, banquet style. Soy and chili hidden on the side


Poor Man Linner
Serves 2-3 people

Medium grain rice, washed
small handful of dried shittake mushrooms
2 tsp of dried shrimp
1 1/2 chinese sausages

3 eggs
1/2 bunch of garlic chives, roughly chopped
white pepper

1/2 bunch of choi sum
soy sauce
oyster sauce

chili and soy sauce to serve

Put the rice , mushrooms and shrimp into the rice cooker with the right amount of water. Place the Chinese sausage over the top, in the water to allow to steam while the rice cooks.
When the rice is ready, remoe the sausage, slice and set aside. Fluff the rice and allow to sit for 10 minutes while you cook off the rest of the meal.

Whip the eggs in a bowl till you break the yolks and add the chives. Stir till thorough and add salt and pepper to taste. Fry off in a heavy based pan or a wok on high heat till cooked, trying to keep it in a thickish slab, around 1/2-1cm thick.

Wash and dry the choi sum, sectioning it into edible lengths. Heat oil in a wok or heavy based pan over high heat and add the vegetables with a dash of soy. Cover with the lid for 30-60 seconds and allow to steam till it has cooked. Add the oyster sauce to taste, turn off the heat and stir.

Serve with the dishes separated and allow people to help themselves to what/how much they want on top of their rice. Dig out that hidden beer.

It's ok, I'll feed you.

My family and I made Joong (or as the Chinese call, Zongzi) a while ago and I had a hungry boy turn up to visit me.

So, I fed him this and bok choi in oyster sauce. And unlike what Kylie Kwong tells you, choi does no mean green, it means vegetable. Damn 6th Generation....

I won't give you the steps on how to make Joong, as it will be too involved and you won't want to make it anyways.

Plus, it will make you cry.

Bok Choi in Oyster Sauce

5 large segments of Bok choi, segmented and leaves sliced
Rice bran oil
oyster sauce

Steam the stems first till almost translucent and then add the leaves till they slightly wilt. Drain and lightly salt.
Heat oil in a very hot pan and add the vegies, shake oyster sauce over to taste, moving around the pan very quickly to distribute and prevent burning. Serve.

I kicked your ass, BB

and I didn't cheat...unlike you and the Gray.

Tsk tsk tsk.

As you can see, there are the scores for a card game with me finishing after everyone "died" for getting scored over 1000 and me finishing on a 630.

Yes, I like gloating.

But then, you also get why I don't draw. That thing that looks like an alligator is actually a Mr Squiggle-styled collaboration between 4 nuts, crank calling Fish and Gray after a dinner party, attempting to bring "Warren" to life.

Warren is a worm...but we will leave that explanation.

To top the childishness, we caused anxiety with a fish at 4 in the morning enough for him to drive to Gray's house, freak her out, call the Gingold's number, with me answering as "Dial a Vagina," and telling him that we don't have an enquiries line.

Can you believe I am the youngest one in the group?

Can you also believe that we ended up resorting to such desperate times as to drink Campari straight after having run out of ice cubes and then realising that we had Scotch?

Oh, and there was drunken hairdressing with the BB.

We also resurrected Burnie (the burn victim) which is usually a hideous creation only worn by BB through the Christobel.

It was weird.

But we did make a kickass roast beef with potatoes, green beans and a pumpkin mash.

The amazing Narti Pants brought Honey and Cinnamon King Island Dairy yogurt along with tinned peaches and Spacalaa Dutch Spice cookies, which we layered and crushed the cookies on top of.

Total omnomnom.

Erm, racism anyone?

In no particular order

because I am one without order. The days are all the same when you're jobless, although, I completely bombed a trial due to a cancellation of more than twenty for a booking on a Saturday night and standing, polishing cutlery, pretending not to over service the sixteen which actually came in between the three FOH staff on for the evening.

*shakes head*

And that is why I partied till some obscure hour at yet another awkward party where I simulated passive-aggressive sex on an American midget for "fucking us" and being part of the crew that "broke the table."

Oh, and both those things didn't happen at the same time and are completely independent events.

So, on the Saturday day, there was a lot of cleaning. For the not-so-breakfast of champions, I made fried rice that Kylie Kwong (without her bullshit between stories) would have approved of due to the oh-so-authentic nature.
Alas, no photo, cos we all know how fried rice goes.

Then, a rooftop was cleaned and a 4:30pm lunch was made.

This is just the set up, after having washed that disgusting floor.

Hmm, cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese.

And cos I am one classy broad, I brought out sunglasses for everyone. It was, erm...sunny.

We don't have cruets here. I love how the pepper is actually ground in an old-school coffee grinder. You know, where you wind a lever by hand.

It is THE SEX.

Our lunch.

And the unfortunate one setting for the Gingold who ran out to buy the BB bolts. Too late, son.

DaVa Special
serves 4

olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
5 anchovies, diced
3 handfuls of mixed olives, roughly chopped
5 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

Rigatoni for 4

Cook the rigatoni according to packet instructions. Instead of putting the lid on, put the pan you will be cooking everything on over the top and allow the steam to heat the pan. Add the olive oil when it is hot and then the garlic and anchovies. When the garlic is translucent, add the olives and tomatoes and cooked till they are warm and add the parsley, stirring just to wilt slightly. Season with salt and pepper, adding the cooked pasta to the pan.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So, this is what After is. Yes, After; the noun, not the preposition.

The performance on the Saturday, a happening if you will, at CentrePlace in Melbourne for the Streets of Melbourne festival.You know, one of the performances that weren't assholes on bikes, jugglers or people with purple spandex bodysuits on (maybe the only one).

Well, maybe not.

Basically, five men in suits (none of them will attempt to convert you into being a Mormon) sit, bounce energy and have their hearts explode.

Yeah, they're all strapping young lads.

who carry

and tango

and nuzzle the dead

and die on the dead

reanimate and drink coffee

and die on a Zebra crozzing on Flinders Lane (and be told off for running into a yellow car before doing so).

After After. Note the blood splatter on the floor/walls.

Who knew bike pump kits and Cottee's strawberry syrup would work so well?

Funnily enough, they mixed the skiz with enough detergent so it didn't stain.

But, they forgot about the coffee.