Take a wok on the wild side with me

Welcome to A Wok on the Wild Side.

Please join me in my adventures in the culinary world and all things gastronomic.

Food, travel, books, music and the arts are all close to my heart, not to mention my tastebuds!

I've enjoyed tasting and testing recipes since I was a child in primary school who insisted on helping Mum stir her cake batters and test her bread and butter puddings for afternoon tea.

Book review: Ghost Cities

Book review

Ghost Cities

By Siang Lu

RRP $32.99

“You may look like a Chinese person, but you cannot speak or read Mandarin.

“You are monolingual!

“The worst thing in this special context.”

With these words a young man, Xiang, is sacked from his job as a translator at Sydney's Chinese Consulate after his employers discovered that he doesn't speak a word of Chinese and has been depending on Google Translate for his work!

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

In just a few days the glorious scents of freshly cut grass and bursting blooms will permeate the air once again for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

This favourite event will be held at the beautiful heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens over five exciting days from March 20 to 24.

Featuring the best landscape and floral talent from Australia and around the world alongside an extensive array of garden retail products, the Show is a celebration of lifestyle and our great outdoors.

Chinese New Year 2024

Chinese New Year 2024

The Chinese Year of the Wood Dragon starts on Saturday, 10 February, and traditionally celebrations go on for 15 days, ending on February 24.

Most Chinese families have a big reunion meal on the eve of Chinese New Year and in China this usually involves some family members travelling long distances to return to their villages, if they have gone to the big cities to work, so the trains and buses are always very crowded.

Richard Frank: a tribute

On Tuesday, 2 January, I lost a very dear friend and mentor.

I met Richard Frank over 30 years ago when we were judges for the American Express Chinatown Food Festival.

Our pleasant task was to dine at various restaurants in Chinatown and award them with points for quality of food, presentation and service.

Richard was a veteran restaurateur himself and also the President of the Restaurant and Catering Association of Australia.

Christmas 2023

Christmas 2023

Remember all those Christmas movies we watched? Some of the famous lines in them are memorable because they are funny, poignant or memorable.

Or all three.

Here are some that I love.

“Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.” — Fred Gailey in Miracle on 34th Street.

“The thing about trains ... it doesn’t matter where they’re going. What matters is deciding to get on.” — Conductor in The Polar Express.

The 2023 Cunard British Film Festival

The 2023 Cunard British Film Festival presented by Palace cinemas showcases the finest British filmmaking, production and acting to Australia.

Now on until November 29, the festival features the acting talents of Britain’s most enduring and well-known faces, including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Spall, Olivia Colman, Sir Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren and more.

Recipe: prawn sambal for Marion

My nephew Lawrence Tan and his wife Marion who live in the UK had a bumper crop of chillies last summer and I promised to send them recipes using chillies. Here's one especially for Marion and I hope she cooks it for Lawrence soon.

Perhaps one day she'll cook it for me!

Prawn sambal for Marion

6-8 large raw prawns, remove feelers and rinse

½ large onion, sliced thickly

1 clove garlic crushed

1 ½ cups diced or crushed canned tomatoes

½ cup diced pineapple, fresh or canned (optional)

Book review. Frank Moorhouse: A Life

Book review.

Frank Moorhouse: A Life

By Catharine Lumby.

Published by Allen and Unwin.

A decade before his death in 2022, Frank Moorhouse asked well known journalist, writer and academic Catharine Lumby to write his biography.

Because of their many years of friendship and her close engagement with his with his writing, he said she “got'' him and his work, in a way few others did.

“Many writers fashion a career out of their writing. Some fashion brilliant careers.

Advertisement. Cafe for sale in North Melbourne.

Posting on behalf of a friend.

Cafe for sale in North Melbourne.

Situated in a popular location with lots of traffic, this spacious and stylish cafe seats 70, plus 20 more outdoors. Three toilets are available for customers. Reasonable rental. It would be ideal to turn it into a restaurant or run it as the existing cafe. Interested? Dm me for more information or email me at idachionh@gmail.com 



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