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The feast before the wedding…

As some of you know, my brother got married over the weekend. We have had loads of visitors, mainly from Indonesia for the big event. The past few days I have eaten so much food that could probably feed a whole army, maybe more.

Day 1, we all went to hurricanes, 24 of us – just family. We all rocked up at the Hurricanes in Bondi Beach – a place I haven’t visited for such a long time ever since the Darling Harbour branch opened. As much I love going to Bondi, parking is a nightmare. However, that day, four cars all made it to Bondi safely to enjoy the feast.

We ordered about 14 racks of full pork ribs – yes, that’s right, you heard me, 14! I was going to take a photo of all the 14 plates of full rack ribs on the table, unfortunately, they all came at different times, and everyone was hungry and before I could say wait, they were all digging in!

This place really doesn’t require any introduction. It has been around for such a long time, it is a must try for those who has never been. We take all our visitors here, and they even ask to go back. Hurricanes are famous for their ribs, pork, beef or lamb. Believe it or not, I have only tried the pork ribs!

The ribs that night I thought was a little on the ‘lean’ side. It wasn’t as meaty as my last visit. However, the sauce, is still simply outstanding! I love the smoky, charcoal flavour and even though the ribs were on the ‘lean’ side, it was still tender, and succulent. I was definitely in pork ribs heaven – ooo how I have missed you pork ribs! It was absolutely satisfying!

The Mediterranean Salad is something I get occasionally, served with kalamata olives, feta cheese, capsicum and their Mediterranean dressing. It’s deliciously refreshing, the feta cheese is soft and cheesy, a great addition to the salad.

Another salad I do like is the char-grilled chicken salad, served with honey soaked walnuts and honey vinaigrette dressing. The char-grilled chicken I thought was a little on the tough and dry side. The honey soaked walnuts, however, were just to die for! Dad and I were fighting for these delicious, crunchy, chewy, walnuts – I will need to buy a jar of these!

It is still one of the best ribs I have had. If you are not a huge fan of ribs, they do have steaks, seafood, and burgers. Not a lot of options for Vegetarians though, a veggie burger and a vegetarian platter.

We didn’t have dessert at Hurricanes, my cousin, W, planted the idea of deep fried mars bars in our heads. I have not had one in such a long time that I too couldn’t get the thought out of my head!

So we went on a hunt, and saw this outside one of the seafood stores ‘world famous deep fried mars bars’. I remember when I first heard of these, I HAD to have one, so made my brother drive me. I can’t believe ‘The Mother’ has never had one before!

For those who haven’t eaten a deep fried mars bar, it is just an ordinary mars bars which is lightly battered, then deep fried and then sprinkled with sugar.

The batter was beautifully light, crispy and sealed the chocolate so none of it oozed out. That first bitte is truly magical – a lovely mix of savoury and sweet. The mars bar doesn’t melt but the inside, the caramel melts and it’s deliciously chewy like a marshmallow. It is sickly sweet, I felt like my arteries were about to burst and cholesterol sky rocket but it was good! Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish a whole deep fried mars bar on my own. ‘The Mother’ loved it, and managed to finish one!

Day 2: the night before my baby bro’s big day, we had a feast at my parents (in Indonesian it’s called ‘syukuran’) and believe me when I say it was a feast! Check out the photo below.

Meet pigsy, poor pig – mum didn’t make this, we bought it from our local Chinese bbq place in Eastwood. There is an old wife’s tale that if you eat the pig’s tail you will find a partner to marry. Apparently, at my ‘syukuran’ F ate the pig’s tail and three years later, he got married! We made my sister-in-law’s brother eat it, as they want him to get married.

Back to piggy – the suckling pig was incredible! Delicious, thin and crispy skin with a slitter of fat. The meat itself was tender and succulent, I couldn’t help but get a generous serving of this on my plate, it was THAT good! But then again, I am a sucker for pork! Here is what happened to piggy after it was cut and chopped! It was scrumptiously good. Please note the below is NOT what I had on my plate! I am not that greedy!

Lemper ayam – glutinous chicken was as good as those from Indonesia. My mother’s friend made these, and they were superb. The rice was gooey, and the chicken boiled, sweet and a little on the salty nice. The flavours of sweet and salty was just perfect.

Perkedel – potato croquette, which consist of potatoes, spam, and deep fried. This is one of my weakness, I love perkedel, especially when they are warm. Unfortunately mum didn’t make these, her perkedel tastes SO much better! I will make them one day so I can post recipe up.

Nasi kuning an Indonesian rice dish, in a cone called tumpeng and is eaten during special events. The rice had a nice coconut and turmeric flavouring. It was tasty, especially eaten with perkedel – talk about carb overload!

The fried noodles – for long life and prosperity – were delicious. The noodles were tender and the chicken, prawns, beef were a great complement.

Traditional Indonesian soup – sop merah. It is basically a tomato-based soup with any meat you want, in this case, we used sausages, spam, chicken and corned beef plus potatoes, celery, carrots, onions and garlic. I like my sop merah a little on the sour side, however, not many people do, so this was a little on the sweet side. The soup burst with flavours, especially the combination of all the meat. I grew up with this soup when I was a child, so absolutely love it! Again, a must make one day, especially in winter.

Sambal goreng kentang – spicy potato crisps. A very spicy side-dish or snack made from potatoes, mixed with onion, garlic, beef and prawns. Can also be made with chicken liver but this one is beef and prawns. It was delectably spicy, enough that it didn’t burn your mouth.

My favourite, mum’s beef rendang. Fantastic as always – tender, succulent, juicy beef with a kick of spiciness.

Bakso goreng – deep fried pork balls, which were purchased from Pinanggsia Noodle Restaurant in Kingsford was a hit! It was gone within minutes. They were crispy, meaty, and frigging awesome! I really could have eaten three on my own. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of this, it was a HIT!

Last but not least, chicken wings marinated in honey and soy sauce. The chicken wings were succulent and too easy to eat and to stop at just one.

It really isn’t an Indonesian wedding or get together without the famous tehbotol, jasmine tea. This is one of my favourite drinks, it’s SOOOO refreshing! I do prefer to drink it out of a bottle though, the box is just not the same.

Of course there were wine and beers, we ate and drank the night away. I can’t believe that it was three years ago that I had my own syukuran, and now it’s my baby bros!! I love family gatherings, and weddings – so much food and love by all!

Hurricanes Bar and Grill

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

130 Roscoe Street

Bondi, 2026

Ph: +61 2 9130 7101

Hurricane's Grill on Urbanspoon

Baby shower plus loads of laughters….

A dear friend of mine, whom I met and was lucky enough to get to know quite well, whilst I was in Hong Kong is due to give birth to a baby boy. I’m not sure how customary it is to have a baby shower. I know in Indonesia it’s not a very common thing, but in Australia, it is. I have been to a few baby showers now, and suggested R that she should have one. Not only that, but it was an excuse for us to get together and try her delicious cooking!

R is a great chef, she makes cooking so SO simple! I don’t know where she comes up with the ideas but believe me, I struggle to cook each night and with no oven in Hong Kong, it made my cooking very limited to stir fry’s, soups and anything with a saucepan or wok!

R claims she is lazy but I don’t think she is. She cooks dinner more often than anyone I know, and like I said, her cooking is simple but yet deliciously tasty. She came up with a theme for the baby shower ‘canned food’. So everything she cooked had to involve some sort of canned food. With the help of her Sous Chef, she made, corn kennels with bacon and corriander, pineapple spam, Indonesian home style sop ayam (clear chicken soup), pekedel (Indonesian potatoes cakes), fruit salad, and dessert which was lychee, logan, rambutan and grapes all mixed together to form a delicious drink. For each of the recipes, please read her blog here.

Corn kennels with bacon and corriander was light and tasty. The corn was incredibly sweet and the saltiness of the bacon gave it a really nice flaovour.

Baked spam with pineapple, in teriyaki sauce. I love spam and pineapple so the combination of them both was absolutely delicious! Its such a simple dish but yet satisfying.

Indonesian home style sop ayam (clear chicken soup), this reminds me so much of the red sausage soup that mum makes, the only difference is that R’s soup was not tomato base, like Mum’s. Still, this was absolutely delicious.

Perkedel (potato pancakes), one of my favourite Indonesian snacks. High in carbs but high in flavour!

Dessert, an easy Indonesian dish: logans, lychees, rambutans and grapes – and believe it or not, ALL CANNED! It was deliciously sweet and refreshing. The canned grapes were a little weird but everything else was incredibly tasty. It reminded me of my childhood in Indonesia!

We didn’t play any baby games, but we did have a good chat and lots of laughter. I am going to miss the catch ups and the laughter’s, that’s for sure.

R, you are a wonderful chef and I enjoyed your meal, can’t wait to try your meal again soon!

Indonesian feast @ Mums

Prior to coming to Sydney, I have kindly asked mum if she could make some of my favourite Indonesian dishes, one being sate ayam! You can never get good sate ayam unless I go back to Indonesia or at mums. So one weekend, we organized a get together with friends and family and mum made some of our favourite meals including sate ayam, beef rendang, wontons, spring rolls, bakso goreng and nasi kunning!

Let’s start with the sate ayam, chicken sate. Mum and dad specifically made these the night before, well, they put all the chicken on the stick and on the day we put them on the bbq with charcoal so you get that charcoal smelling flavour. The chicken sate was tender, succulent and absolutely fantastic! It truly did hit the spot! Dad made about 140 sates, I know for a fact, that my friend J, ate 18 sticks! My brother, F, ate about the same, I think I only ate 10! Disappointing but I was seriously stuffed!

The peanut sauce accompanied with the sate ayam was delicious!

Nasi kuning – Indonesian rich dish, rice cooked with coconut milk and turmeric. I love mum’s nasi kuning – I have tried making this dish but every single time, FAIL! She has given me the recipe and I have tried but something is always missing. The nasi kuning was full of flavour and the aroma…. Absolutely fantastic!

Deep fried wontons and spring rolls, I didn’t have too many of these, I really wanted to leave room for all the other fantastic dishes.

Mum’s famous beef rendang – she definitely made this with lots and lots of love! It was just wonderful! I know how long it takes to make the beef rendang, it was incredibly tender, full of flavour and had a hint of chili which was just fantastic! No one does beef rendang like mum that’s for sure!

Bakso goreng, deep fried pork balls. We bought these, the day before from an Indonesian restaurant in Kingsford, Pinanggsia. I absolutely love their bakso goreng. Mum was going to make her special bakso goreng but ran out of time, so bought some – which was just as good! They were HUGE, hence she cut them in halves.

And who can forget all the condiments that goes with the food? Two types of Sambal goreng; sambal goreng with tempeh, sambal goreng with fried fish, and coconut with peanuts. All can be eaten on its own or with the nasi kunning.

We had dessert – it wasn’t your typical Indonesian dessert, but still it was good. Chocolate mud cake, J and N bought this and I have to say, it was fantastic! It was light and rich, but not sickly rich. It was a perfect way to end the meal.

The Indonesian feast was just phenomenal, it was exactly what I wanted and craved for. It truly hit the spot! I could have eaten the sate and rendang with nasi kuning day in and day out! I really do miss the family / friends get together!

Home cooked meal @ Manly with Mr P

Most of you have heard about P, the guy who came up with the name of this blog! We met a while back at soccer, a good 5 – 6 years now. He now lives in Manly, with his wife, C and child, T. C also loves her food. Both P and C used to live in Hong Kong, for a good 1.5 years and have the low down on places to eat.

I didn’t get to see P the last time I was in Sydney, we were both too busy and couldn’t find time. This time though, I was keen to see them and catch up and see T again.

We had dinner at their new place in Manly, caught a ferry there. I was a little worried, as I get motion sickness, however, the ride was short enough, 15 mins to be exact so I didn’t get sick. Whilst waiting for P, I managed to take a photo of the Sydney Harbour at night…

Their house – one word – AMAZING! It could be my ‘dream house’, they have my dream kitchen that’s for sure, an island in the middle of the kitchen where you can prepare your food or it could even turn into casual eating area. Their house is big enough for the three of them, plus more, it’s overlooking the harbor, which would be fantastic for New Years Eve. It was just incredible!

Now, baby T, he has grown! Last time I saw him was in Chicago last year, he was still a baby, he is no longer baby anymore – he is a grown up boy! Cute, adorable and extremely talkative, well baby talk that is!

P and C decided to cook dinner for me, which was seriously very kind of them! They made Moroccan chicken with couscous and it was sensational. The Moroccan Chicken was tender, succulent, full of flavour. It had a nice sweetness flavour from the sultana and a nice tang from the lemon and yogurt. It was definitely yummy. Even T enjoyed the chicken!

The couscous was a great compliment, it was soft and delicious.

It was a fantastic meal with two of my dearest friends, P and C. They are indeed fantastic chef. We ended the meal with creamy vanilla ice cream and strawberries. It was light and definitely tasty.

I don’t get to see P and C very often now that I am in Hong Kong. I am looking forward to seeing all three of them in Hong Kong soon! C, I think we should do a couple of high teas whilst you are there. I do look forward to it!

P wanted me to rate his cooking and P, it was the best meal that week! It was cooked with lots of love! As much as I enjoy dining out, nothing beats a nice home cooked meal with friends!

It was great catching up with you both, and I do look forward to seeing you next week and in Hong Kong!

I am sure Hubby would have enjoyed dinner!