Dinner: Yellow curry with Dory and Pineapple

Tonight's dinner!

I like fish. It cooks quick and seems to pick up flavours really well. Absolutely gorgeous. This particular recipes has been one that I have been looking forward to tryfor the last couple of years or so since I got this book Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape: 100 Recipes Inspired by Asia.

Also from the book, I used it to make the rice in Nasi Lemak, as I felt it would complement the curry very well – and it did!

However, neither of the recipes are true to the book as I had to adapt to my lack of some ingredients. The curry originally called for skinless cod – but they were out of cod today. They also asked for palm sugar, which I couldn’t find any. The rice required pandan leaves – there were none. Furthermore, they preferred basmati – I preferred not to buy a type of rice I wasn’t going to use often.

That said, the dinner turned out beautifully. The rich, fragrant coconut rice mixed with the aromatic spices in the fish curry, with tender, juicy fish pieces… it was wonderfully awesome! it’s filled up my entire apartment now and it makes me feel hungry mentally T_T

Recipe (adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Book):

Rice (used rice cooker for this)

However many cups of rice you need

4 parts water to

1 part coconut milk

shallots, peeled and sliced

a knob of ginger, peeled and sliced

1 Lemon grass stalk, trimmed and bashed

pinch of salt.

Fish Curry

Thai Yellow curry paste

4 pieces of cod

a couple splashes of oil

200mls of fish stock

200mls of coconut milk

2 tbsp of tamarind paste

1 lime, juiced

1 tbsp of fish sauce

150g of pineapple chunks

150g of sugar snap peas

5 cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp of fish sauce

Garnishing: Cucumber

First, bash the lemongrass. I had nothing in my kitchen to properly bashed it with so i used the handle of the wooden spoon.

Fill up the rice cooker with the uncooked rice and all the ingredients listed under it and cook it normally.

Next, wash and pat dry the fish and cut it into chunks.

Turn on the heat to about medium

heat up the oil in a hot pan, add 4 tablespoons of the curry paste and stir fry for 2-3 mins to “open up” the aroma.

Add coconut milk, fish stock, tamarind paste and stir to combine. Bring the liquid to a simmer then add lime juice and fish sauce. Then, add the pineapple, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes and cook for 5 more mins. Finally, add the fish pieces and poach gently for another 2-3 minutes until it’s perfectly cooked

Serve with some cucumber (it’s said to be refreshingly cooling. While I don’t really like cucumbers, I made it an exception today)

Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Rocky Marsiano - Love and happiness

Planning a trip

Recently, I was in Melbourne for, quite literally, a day and a half, just to watch ballet with my friend Rose. It was the Graeme Murphy’s version of Swan Lake, which I found was very fantabulous! Thoroughly enjoyed it! Can’t believe I took so long to watch it.
Melbourne in 24 hours!

Anyways, I genuinely like Melbourne but whenever I go down, I don’t often have the time to wander around, either due to work or because of work… Such as my body deciding to take a gigantic break and sleep in when I am down there -_-‘

However, with only a day and a bit to spare, I decided to plan this out a little bit. This is mostly because, other than Sydney, Melbourne has a large bunch of arty farty Japanese shops, as well as bountiful Japanese groceries stores to shop from. My only regret is not bringing my bigger luggage (of course, if I had done so, I would have splurged like a retard). Also, props to Qantas, Melbourne and Canberra airport baggage handlers this time. Chucked in plates/bowls and rice crackers, and none of them were broken!

I tend to plan trips when I am on a time constraint and want plenty of things done. It doesn’t matter whether I was familiar with the city or not – the key thing is whether they have good accessible public transport or not. This was especially applied to my Japan trip, because I wanted to see so much but I had only 17 days… Many days, too many things to do/see/buy.

Ekiben from Ueno Sta!

Japan’s trip took me about 8 months to plan. Mostly to whittle down the list of things I wanted to see. I ended up completely killing the Yokohama trip, for example, because there was just too much to see and I don’t want to try and squeeze it into one day. I sort of like to soak in the atmosphere, take my time to take photos and read things and then wander into places I wouldn’t have other wise found or see things I wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

Untitled

Such as school kids carrying randoseru, or wandering around a neighborhood to see the amazingly tiny apartments (and thusly getting lost in said neighborhood), or seeing shutters on shops that are painted with pictures from Tales of Genji. It was an amazing experience.

So, how do I plan such trips?

I am a person who likes lists. I might not follow them (in fact, I usually don’t), but it gives me a rough ball park of what to work with. For Melbourne and Japan trip, for example, I have set myself some goals. Melbourne’s trip was easy – I wanted to buy Japanese goods to tide me over, plus visit a couple of stores that has no online shopping presence. My list of things look some thing like this:

Visit Made in Japan

Visit Daiso

Visit Suzuran

Eat Ramen

Visit Tokyo Bike

Have a bathtub session

I have been so busy lately, I only had about bits and pieces of 5 days to plan it so I did at least get some snacks home! Particularly because I have been having some crazy Senbei cravings over the last 6 months!

Melbourne in 24 hours!

After the list, I then map out where each place is relevant to my hotel. My idea of walking distance is quite huge, so I was quite comfortable with chugging all the way to Lygon St or whatever, it didn’t matter. However, Suzuran and Tokyo Bike was a little aways, so I had to take all that into consideration.

After mapping things out, I then set myself a time limit. No matter what happens, besides dinner, I should do most of my sightseeing/shopping between 9-5 or the space of 8 hours maximum. One is so that I don’t feel overwhelmed, 2) to make sure I don’t empty my wallets and 3) that I have ample rest for the next day. Despite that, however, when I am on holidays, I largely end up sleeping less because I don’t sleep well without my bolster.

Finally, I set myself up to “win”. 1) know where the amenities/facilities are. Toilets, lockers (if I have checked out of hotel, where do bags go) and timing (how long to x and back, traffic included?). 2) what’s vital, what’s not? Sure, the list may have been whittled down, but I might be forced to give some stuff up so what can I afford to give up?

Goodies from Melbourne!Goodies from Melbourne!
Goodies from Melbourne!Goodies from Melbourne!

 

How did I fare? I missed out on ramen, couldn’t find a shop I was happy with plus I kept eating (LOLOLOL) everywhere, since I wanted to try bits and pieces of everything. I also missed out on visiting Tokyo Bike as I felt it was no longer worth it to go have a look. I know the price, and, contrary to my earlier thoughts, they do do delivery interstate, so I don’t have to worry about it either.

However, I think I actually fared better than what I started out with. Managed to find a few things I didn’t intend to find PLUS I get to taste the freshest Uni sushi (from Suzuran) I have tasted as yet (didn’t have any in Japan itself) and found the bestest tasting Senbei outside of Japan. I am glad I didn’t find any more things anyway – my bag was stuffed!

I was genuinely happy!

I am not the greatest planner on earth, but this works for me, and I think that somewhat planning trips, if you’re there for more than just lounging around, really helps efficiency :)

Current Mood: (tired) tired

Persona 4 Golden

"Me" in the game

“Me” in the game

I have been playing Persona 4 in the last few days while being held up feeling like crap at home or at work. Originally obtained late last November, I was held up with Disgaea, then Ragnarok Odyssey and other games (such as Totori), it took me a while to get around to Persona 4, despite hearing many good things about it.

The idea of teamwork is to punch someone up happily!

The idea of teamwork is to punch someone up happily!

I will be upfront about this: I have never played any other Persona. When I started playing the game, I have NO idea what this game was about besides being a JRPG, which means there could be multiple endings and it could be a long, possibly grindy, background story to the game. It turned out to be something horribly addictive that I can’t stop playing T_T

Hottie in Bikini... just don't ask her about her Persona...

Hottie in Bikini… just don’t ask her about her Persona…

This particular storyline follows a protagonist (me) who has moved to his uncle’s place in the country side for a year. There were some mysterious murders happening and then the protagonist and a couple of his friends discovered that they could enter a world in the televisions – and somehow these murders were related to the TV world!

Rise using her Persona to aid the Protagonist and his team

Rise using her Persona to aid the Protagonist and his team

In the TV world, other than the protagonist, everyone has to face up to their “Persona” – their inner selves, their “Shadows”, the “self” they are not ready to admit is a part of their very being. Once they did, these Personas also become a power that they can utilise to battle with. Over the course of the game, the protagonist is also able to collect and “fuse” all different Personas together to aid him in the fight.

I have no idea why he's on the toilet. but hey...

I have no idea why he’s on the toilet. but hey…

This is where it interests me the most. All the Personas in the game are…. legendary beings! Yay! I have always been interested in Mythological creatures, like Beliel, Izanami and Izanagi, angels and demons, etc. So, when I realised there’s a FULL compendium full of different beings, I was completely ecstatic >.> I sat there for a few hours and spending more than 2 million yen ingame just trying to see what I can obtain from different fusion, lol!

I have no idea why she's called a Harlot either...

I have no idea why she’s called a Harlot either…

Each Personas have their own characteristics, weaknesses and strengths that are elemental in kind. Within the compendium, there’s also a mini intro to where this particular mythological being came from. Personas are also further categorise into sets that are depicted by Tarot cards. However, I am still unable to really understand how each category is really sorted out as it’s not always clear.

Tell me that doesn't look like a tentacled penis

Tell me that doesn’t look like a tentacled penis

Then again, considering how there are some hilariously depicted Persona (like the one on the toilet, some that look like penises…) I am not sure if there really was a point any way.

Attempting to raise social links were a pain

Attempting to raise social links were a pain

The gameplay itself was quite intricate. While I love my JRPG, I didn’t used to play them that much so Totori itself was a shock to my system (what, crafting, killing, levelling wtf all at the same time!?!?!). This was probably worse, lol. To get somewhere in the game, you have to raise some social links – meaning you actually have to socialise with some characters in game. To be able to help the game play ease out, such as cheaper things for better heals/attacks, you SHOULD raise those social links. However, some social links cannot be accessed or raised unless you raise some of your PERSONALITY TRAITS. ~_~

one more picture for all of us :)

one more picture for all of us :)

You have limited time each day to raise either or choices of things. And some of those dates are completely untouchable as, being a high school student, your protagonist gets time out to go for camps, ski trips, onsen trips (lol), cultural festivals (LOL) or have to hold down a job (to help with cash flow AND your personality traits). And, not to mention, to get into the pants of various female characters.

turn-based and choose your own skills.

turn-based and choose your own skills.

Actual battles are turn base, although most bosses cheat and get 2 chances of bitch slapping you. However, if you were as hardworking as the other characters wish you to be, you could easily out level the mobs to the point of one shotting them by the second dungeon. Or, at least, I was. The main problem I faced was mostly a personal one. I like all the characters that I could use towards the end of the game, which was like 7 or 8 of the. But I could only actively pick 3 more characters beside my main one. As such, I had to rotate through them so I could level them and see them every now and then.

True End to this game

True End to this game

I have finished the game once now on Very Easy level so I could have a feel of the story line and what’s expected of me from the game. I really enjoyed myself, particularly with the Persona fusion function (lol). The good part is, if I wasn’t looking to get a platinum in achievements, I am not compelled to finish the game to check out x or y ending (there really isn’t much different endings. just good or bad).

Further more, there were many times in this game where some of the storyline was so sudden and crazy that I burst out laughing because it was all just so unexpectedly funny!

There were many parts of the game where I felt it was just completely lengthy and unnecessary and then when it matters the most, I felt I was being rushed :( Especially when it came to one of the characters’ social link, I really had no time to build that social link since I didn’t know that I had to try and build my personality traits before.

Neko Shogun! my Favourite Favourite, FAVOURITE persona! hahaha

Neko Shogun! my Favourite Favourite, FAVOURITE persona! hahaha

Still, I am going through a round 2, and possibly a couple more rounds, more of a challenge now to see what other social links I can obtain and what can come out of it (different fusionable godly creatures) hahaha!

 

Current Mood: (amused) amused
Current Music: Teshima Aoi - Sayonara No Natsu