Enoki mushrooms post

You know the ones?

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On Saturday Chris T and I lunched at Fujiyama in Wollongong. At another location it was known as Fuku. Now it has shiny new premises. The food is still excellent and quite often different. There is an extensive hot and spicy Hunan menu these days, in addition to many old favourites, though sadly not ramen.

Chairman Mao Zedong, who hailed from spice-loving Hunan province, once said, “You can’t be a revolutionary if you don’t eat chilies.” The Hunanese food writer Liu Guochu says Mao loved spice so much he sprinkled ground chilies on slices of watermelon.

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The surprise dish was a fried garlic and mushroom dish that looked a little like the following, but much darker. Yes, it was hot and spicy, but delicious.

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Lunar New Year

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M, originally from Shanghai,  is in northern Vietnam at the moment. He has posted on Facebook:

Had very interesting lunar New Years in Vietnam with hotel’s manager and owner’s family, first time I went to temples for a Chinese New Year. Never prayed in my life but I did this time. I felt my ancestors’ roots ,customs and traditions!!! Vietnam’s people are very different to China but both are very a proud people!

This is the New Year feast:

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Here in Wollongong Chris T and I will be lunching at Taste of Xian. See Taste of Xi’an Wollongong.

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Update: Chris T at Taste of Xi’an today.

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Recent excursions and events, Sydney and Wollongong

First was this:

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Helen, nee Christison, is my cousin. See also Christmas snippetsSELRES_8d6fe2a9-ce01-4673-a6a2-e64ec2c4fd0eSELRES_b76d63f3-9187-468d-be70-81f364309127SELRES_1d83624b-0146-499c-b430-c81f28033597SELRES_1d83624b-0146-499c-b430-c81f28033597SELRES_b76d63f3-9187-468d-be70-81f364309127SELRES_8d6fe2a9-ce01-4673-a6a2-e64ec2c4fd0e. It was a delightful day. There were some there that I had not seen since that wedding in Caringbah in 1968!

Yesterday to Sydney for Yum Cha with M and Nicholas Jose. M is off to Shanghai then S-E Asia at the end of this month. He will be away for two months.

Yum Cha was at Zilver:

To Chinatown and back

Great day yesterday, complicated only by Chris T just missing the 9.47 express to Sydney which departed with me aboard spot on 9.47. Chris T was in the lift descending to the platform at that moment, but he caught the next an hour  later and eventually found us in Zilver.

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On The Brewery again

As I said in the last post, I ventured into The Illawarra Brewery again on Friday last. Here are a couple of earlier visits:

Wollongong turns it on — 1

Yesterday began in the lower register – damp and coldish. A shame, as one of M’s housemates, Max, was coming down to Wollongong from Sydney. I had at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills a few weeks back sold him on the “best Chinese food this side of Sichuan” at the Red Dragon in the Steelers Club and on the wonder that is Illawarra Brewery.

Max’s train arrived and fortuitously a Shellharbour bus was waiting at Wollongong Station, accelerating our progress down Burelli Street at far as IPAC – appropriate given Max is an actor. Then at Steelers Chris T, my usual Wednesday lunch companion, joined us.

Red Dragon lived up to its reputation. The two-for-one deal meant we could have four dishes and we did: Sichuan spicy lamb chopsMao Family pork 毛氏红烧肉; Kung Pao chicken, and a garlicky/sesame oil stirfry vegetables to balance the heat of especially the lamb, which is very hot. All for just $12 a head….

Then on to Illawarra Brewery, the weather having improved, where we partook of the medal-winning craft beer Apocalypso.

The Illawarra Brewing Company’s beers have picked up more accolades, winning three medals at the recent Australian International Beer Awards.

Held in Melbourne [in May] during Good Beer Week, the AIBA judges beers from all over the world.

Illawarra Brewing Company’s Dave McGrath said they sent down four beers to be judged, three of which received medals.

They won a bronze for their porter and kolsch and the Apocalypso IPA picked up a silver…

We spent the afternoon in conversation and also wonder at the nature and light show going on before our eyes. As you may see…

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Alas, the Red Dragon has long gone…

Called in at The Illawarra Brewery — 2

Before being interrupted by the bushfire posts I was telling you about last Wednesday

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Always a nice place to sit. Rather funny, given the grimmer predictions about today – and yes it is hot already – what they have called the seasonal beer.

The barman also gave me a taste of the current seasonal: Apocalypso. “It is made from the pale malt and new Hop varietals from the east and west coast of the USA. Calypso, Mosaic and El Dorado are added the whole way through the brew process, with the Calypso shining through presenting tangerine citrus and lychee on the nose and palette.”  Now that was very good indeed! Next time I’ll have that one.

Did I mention I saw whales? And no, they really were out there. I only had two halves of beer.

One good reason to take Apocalypso in half-pints is that it is 7%!

 

Food, glorious food…

Saturday with Chris T: returned to Taste of Xi’an: see Taste of Xi’an Wollongong and A week of multicultural yums. New item that pleased Chris was a spicy beef dish — very hot!

Then we checked out Wollongong’s latest offering, opened just last Thursday: Bon Appetit: David Jones turns to food halls to spice up sales. Well, it was certainly working last Saturday! The place was packed.

Upmarket department store chain David Jones has thrown open the doors to its next generation site at GPT Group’s Wollongong Central, featuring a new David Jones Food concept, which will be rolled out across the country.

Customers started queuing at 2am to be first in the store, which has a mix of local and international brands across fashion, beauty, accessories, home and kids. It includes 25 new brands, many of which are exclusive to David Jones in the Illawarra.

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