This was a surprisingly excellent hit with the mister. We’re very particular with our after work weeknight dinners, because I’d like to think we work extra hard during the day at the office and at the gym, and therefore deserve a rewarding meal at night. This dish was also a complete pantry raid: bacon, parmesan cheese (eventhough it was the pre-grated packaged kind, it still did ithe job), sun dried tomatoes. Mixed with my most favourite pasta in the whole wide world Barilla (seriously, their pasta is outrageously delicious!) and this jar of Barilla’s Red Wine & Garlic pasta sauce in their new family favourites size.
I’m almost tempted to not call this a recipe. Bacon, garlic, onion, sun dried tomatoes, the pasta sauce, poured over a bowl of freshly cooked pasta. Easy peasy.
Picture this: my Japan trip, circa 2008. Our flight just arrived in Osaka from Australia. It was 5 degrees C outside, almost 9pm, raining cats and dogs, and we were starving. Starving I tell you (what do you expect from a 9 hour flight on a budget airline?)! Walked around the empty streets of Osaka, the sound of the pachinko machines echoing in the background, when we saw a stream of yellow light coming out of a narrow opened doorway. The smell of broth ushered us in, and we suddenly found ourselves inside a hole in a wall, 2 table ramen restaurant being manned by the happiest noodle-turning, broth bubbling ramen guy on this side of the planet. And the ramen? It was manna from heaven – tonkotsu broth, noodles, boiled egg, chashu (pork slices), nori (seaweed), shinachiku (seasoned bamboo shoots), sesame seeds, and a hint of garlic. H E A V E N.
Back home in Australia, my love for ramen continues and one of my favourite spots to get my ramen fix is Ippudo. Have you tried their ramen? And pork buns? And sake-based cocktails? No? Do yourself a favour – grab a spot now and order these three pronto. These are my go-to meal fix especially when I’m feeling nostalgic about my Japan trip. Thanks to Narisa from SD Marketing and Ippudo, I received a very generous invitation to try out their SHOJIN Vegetarian ramen – a lightly brothed soup with whole grain noodles, served with deep fried vegetable kakiage (fried vegetable bits – carrots, corn, etc) and soy protein wrapped in seaweed. A quick search on the Ippudo website showed me that:
The term “SHOJIN” is not just a vegetarian ramen, but one that adheres to strict Buddhist principles. Its aim is to bring out the original flavours of the ingredients and is a cuisine of devotion to details.
We were also treated to an array of Ippudo’s ‘bests’: Pork Bun, Unagi Gohan (grilled eel on rice), and the uber drinks Tokyo Sunrise (sake, grapefruit juice, lychee juice, grenadine), Ippudo Ginjo (Ippudo original house sake), and Ginrei Umeshu on the rocks (plum wine – YUM!).
Thanks to SD Marketing and Ippudo Sydney for the invitation and the warm welcome, dinner, and drinks. Sugarlace & guests dined as guests of Ippudo Sydney. Special thanks to the Ippudo crew especially Mark who looked after us (and our other little guest, baby Talya!).
I work long hours. Long hours involving intense mental and emotional work out, that when I walk out the building doors I’m usually drained out of juice. My stress release is exercise: I jog, do Body Attack, RPM or core work. 1 hour of pumping endorphins through my blood stream really does wonders to my physical and mental health. And then I go home.
Usually close to 8pm. Sometimes 9pm.
And I’ll be exhausted and hungry, and tired, and hungry. Did I mention hungry?
Thank goodness for the husband. He’s usually at home early, and when he knows I’m running late for dinner, he usually prepares a warm meal so all I have to do as soon as I crawl through our front door is to get changed and literally stuff my face with food, glorious food.
So when the awesome guys at Your Fork contacted me and invited me to try out the Your Fork service, I couldn’t say no. I think of it as the executive’s personal grocery shopper, plus some pretty tasty recipes all designed for novice cooks. Sometimes, simple really is better.
Similarly to ordering take away, Your Fork’s point of difference is you actually pick the meal of your choice, but they do the shopping for you and you cook it at home. This service is perfect for those who still prefer cooking their own meals as opposed to ordering already cooked food, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your food. One of the best things about my Your Fork experience is, they literally remove the thinking and guessing of the individual ingredients of your favourite dish. You just pick and choose the dish that you want, they shop and deliver it to your door; you cook, and voila!
Sugarlace had the Your Fork experience courtesy of Shanu and Roshan of Your Fork. Thank you for the generous invitation & and the awesome service!
So on this particular evening, I timed it.
4.30pm. Left the office quite early. Because I can.
4.45pm. Got home. Got changed to my exercise gear, started my jog around the bay.
5.10pm. Stopped at a park bench to watch the sun set. Played with a few random friendly dogs who were catching sticks for their humans.
5.18pm. Placed my order. Smokey BBQ grilled of course. I chose the “deliver within 1 hour” option which is only an extra $10. Oh did I mention I did this all from my mobile phone?
5.45pm. Went home to shower and got changed.
6pm. Doorbell rang. My order is here – hand delivered by the lovely Shanu! *waves*
6.15pm. Marinaded the meat, sliced my veggies for my salad, and chilled the drink in the freezer. A tray of chips in the oven PRONTO!
6.30pm. Popped the meat in the grill.
7pm. Meat’s done, salad is chopped, chips are cooked, drink is chilled, dinner served. Stress free.