Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Domo Diaries : Mobile Blogging!

Annyeong! Long time no see everyone. I've been feeling super guilty as Cookie has been the only one blogging. I've been soooooooo lazy to transfer the photos to my lappy :/ BUT IN MY DEFENSE, when I tried to transfer my pics the phone wouldn't connect to my pc...

On a whim today, I decided to search for the blogger app and here I am! I'm not very sure as to how it works yet... This is basically a trial post along with a fotd for some content lollol. I don't even know how to add in pictures!!! .___. Okay I do but I don't know how to position them but it's just my face. No harm in it being randomly placed!
Re-positioned it with chrome browser!

If this works out you can expect to see a looooooot more posts on Domokie just because blogging has gotten more convenient!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

App Review: My Favorite Free Android Camera Apps

I've been downloading and playing with quite a few android camera applications these days, and these are the few that I really enjoyed. They're relatively popular so you might have had downloaded it before already, but if you haven't, I think they're worth a shot.

Selfie App: MeituPic

link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mt.mtxx.mtxx&hl=en

The first photo was taken with the front camera so pardon the blurriness. MeituPic, better known as 美图秀秀 is an application that works specifically well for selfies. It has dozens of filters, the ability to sharpen and crop an image, as well as selfie-specific functions such as manually removing acne (similar to Photoshop healing brush), eyebags, enlarging eyes and a tool similar to Photoshop liquify.

There's also special effects such as bokeh and sparkle brushes as well, but you can't adjust the brush size like the rest of the tools so it's easy to overdo the effect like I have below.

My only complaint about the app is that it downsizes the photo when it's edited and every round of editing saves another copy of the image in the folder. Those who are familiar with jpegs would know that how the image quality would drop after many rounds of compression, so I wouldn't recommend this for people who want high-res quality photos. The Meitu FX camera isn't all that great compared to the default camera software provided in my phone either.

Film photography experience: VSCO Cam®

link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vsco.cam&hl=en 

Unfortunately, my phone is fairly old and lacks the technology to fully utilize the camera app. Mine doesn't even have white balance adjustment and the ability to select object for exposure settings. The UI of the app is wonderfully sleek and appeals to my graphic design aesthetics. Upon starting up, the app will automatically calibrate its settings to suit your phone model, and has geotagging function as well. It has its own publishing platform like instagram does, but is more popular with photographers: http://grid.vsco.co/.

The filters are all modeled after traditional film photography look, and are more subtle. It would work well for scenery and objects more than portraits I think, but they do provide a free downloadable tool preset for adjusting skin hue. I think this app works better with cameras that have better specs, but the filters alone is worth the download.

Stamps/ Purikura: DECOPIC

link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cfinc.decopic&hl=en

❤ Domokie ❤ · Post

I personally don't really use stamps as much because they can be slightly tacky, but I think the decorations in DECOPIC is pretty cute. It resembles what you'll find in a purikura machine, perhaps even better. You can earn candies simply by logging in daily, and buy prettier decorations, but some of the best ones like the sanrio series can only be bought by cash.

However, like a game, they reward you with various decorations every time you complete certain 'tasks', and it's a rather fulfilling feeling. I'm not too sure how much storage this app would take up after a long while though, it does seem slow in loading compared to other apps. But it's worth a try if you like purikura.

Signing off,

Friday, 27 June 2014

Food Recipe: Bacon Caborana & Ebi Zosui

Hi all, Cookie here, it's been a while since I've last posted. Honestly, my skincare regime is woefully basic these days so I'm afraid I don't have much products to review. I've been sticking to dermatologist's products and a basic eye cream + sunscreen, and that seems to work alright for me.

So instead, as a self-proclaimed social recluse who cooks all the time, I'll be sharing two basic recipes for lazy people like me -- with as little preparation and cleaning up as possible.

Time: 15 - 20 mins

Ingredients (for one):
Spaghetti (a bunch < one inch in diameter would do/ 60 - 80g)
Cream cheese (a tablespoon dollop, add heavy cream if you want a creamier texture)
Miso paste (a teaspoon -- I use this to replace salt and get a slight umami taste)
Garlic (2 - 3 cloves)
Bacon (1 - 2 slices, try to get fresh from a delicatessen in cold storage for example )
Herbs/ Spices (To taste. I like Italian herb mix + a teeny bit of tarragon but parsley and oregano is great too)
Asparagus (a bunch)
Egg (1)

1. Boil a medium/ large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt in it. (Use an electronic kettle if you are in a rush.)
2. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the aspharagus, garlic and bacon (in that order).
3. Fry the egg sunny side up with a bit of olive oil.
4. Cook the spaghetti until al dente, according to package instructions. (4 - 6 mins)
5. Blanch the asparagus with the pasta during the last few minutes.
6. With the same frying pan you fried your egg, cook bacon and saute garlic until lightly brown.
7. While doing the above, drain the pasta until a tiny amount of water remains. Separate the pasta from water and asparagus.
8. Mix miso paste and cream cheese into the pasta water until dissolved. Mix the pasta with the garlic, olive oil and bacon mix (if there's too much oil, get rid of some first).
9. Pour the pasta onto a plate, and place asparagus and cream cheese + miso 'gravy' on top. (Mine was at the bottom).
10. It should be salted just enough from the bacon and miso, but add extra salt and pepper if needed.

This tastes like a creamy carbonara with a slight Japanese twinge to it.  Make sure the bacon isn't too salty (as prepackaged bacon tends to be). If it is, blanch it first. Make sure not to use too much olive oil or bacon oil.

Time: 30 mins

Ingredients (for one):
half a cup of Japanese short grain rice
leftover vegetables (from nabe, for eg) like carrots, mushrooms, onions, napa cabbage, japanese cucumbers
japanese silken tofu (I recommend unicurd)
peeled small prawns (4 - 5)
miso paste w dashi or dashi and chicken stock (to taste)
seaweed furikake (sprinkle to taste)
salt, umeboshi (to taste)

Traditional zosui is usually leftover cooked rice and nabe vegetables cooked in nabe broth, but you can cook it from scratch using a claypot and save up on cleaning.

1. Pour half a cup of rice into the claypot and wash the rice till clear.
2. Measure one cup of water for rice and cook the rice with a lid on.
3. While cooking, cut all the tofu and vegetables.
4. Put hard vegetables like carrots into claypot. Put more water in claypot when needed.
5. Keep layering different vegetables in order of how long they need to be cooked.
6. Add in chicken/ miso w dashi stock.
7. Add in prawns and be careful not to overcook.
8. Add in tofu and vegetables like cucumbers last.
9. Sprinkle furikake, salt and chopped umeboshi to taste.

I find seaweed furikake to be the binding component of the dish. If you can't find or don't like the sour + saltiness of umeboshi, you can skip it. I find that it adds a special kick to zosui.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Food Review : Tenkaichi [Wagyu Beef Buffet]

I haven't touched this blog in awhile. But every once in awhile, I feel the need to EXPOSE certain things to the public so they can stop getting scammed. I'd have to say beforehand though that although I'm not a professional food blogger, I am human. I eat. I love good food. What do I love even more than good food? Cheap AND good food! Who doesn't like a cheap deal?

And so I learnt a lesson from this. On my birthday, my bf brought me to Gyu Kaku to have some of the finest beef I've ever tasted. We had both wagyu and normal beef that day and it was so very good. The feeling of the perfect combination of meat and fat melting away on your tongue. It was heavenly. So was the bill (lol). It's affordable but nonetheless still rather expensive, something that you wouldn't be able to eat all the time unless you're damn rich. If you are, good for you.

We both got "addicted" and craved for the beef... Naturally we searched for more wagyu beef restaurants that are hopefully just as good and more friendly on the wallet. That's when my bf stumbled upon Tenkaichi, previously known as Daidomon. It had a wagyu beef buffet promotion going on for $59.90++ per person for dinner. It SEEMED to have good reviews. So we went for it with a group of friends.

Allow me to show you the power of promotional pictures vs reality.

Please click HERE for photos from Tenkaichi. Take note of how they had to specify that pictures are for ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES only. (They didn't use to do that till our comments about the beef pictures.)

In case they edit their posts, here's an example of how they usually do it.

Here's the food that we were served.

A messy pile of dull looking meat. How appealing.

Gyu tan, or ox tongue. Just as dull.

The sushi was alright, but how wrong can you go with sashimi?! The butter fish is nothing special either. It's just tuna. It was neither significantly buttery or fragrant.

Last but not least, here is a comparison of the "wagyu beef" they serve vs the wagyu beef we ate at Gyu Kaku.


Above is from Tenkaichi and the pic below is from Gyu Kaku

I'm sure that even without my comments, the difference is obvious. Just look at the color!!! Both pictures are taken with the same camera okay. Tenkaichi's wagyu was just... The fats overwhelmed the meat and the meat had no taste anyway lol. It was just... Meat. There was no melting, no heavenly feeling nor any sense of satisfaction. 

We thought we were smart. We thought we found a good deal. But we were outsmarted. We paid more than $60 for something that isn't even worth half the amount. I'd rather eat steak at a coffeeshop or something. but you know, bad experiences happen in life. We simply left feeling disappointed. 

A while later, my bf commented on their facebook page about the photos taken by a regular consumer in comparison to the pictures they upload. (That's why they started adding those disclaimers lol)

I don't think a simple comment on how the meat looks different warrants such a sarcastic reply from their supposed boss? Or moderator or something. And very obviously, He realized his mistake after. The coward deleted his comments but not before we took some screenshots. Our comments are still there on the facebook page but his isn't. You can check there to verify.

In conclusion, this post is meant to express my displease towards Tenkaichi AND expose their attitude + poor quality beef. If you want to eat nice beef but you have a small budget, go to Gyu Kaku and try their normal beef. Their non-wagyu tastes even better than this shop's wagyu. Don't waste your money or your time travelling to this restaurant. You can score a better deal somewhere else.


Disclaimer : This review is based on my first hand experience with Tenkaichi and I am in no way related to them or Gyu Kaku. Should you feel displeased with my review or if you beg to differ, you can always close your browser :)
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