Archive For The “Far Eastern Travel” Category

Japanese Curry – traditionally cubed

Japanese Curry – traditionally cubed

We might think that Japanese curry is a new invention. Perhaps Japanese tourists discovered the recipe for curry on recent trips to the Subcontinent. But, no! It’s a tradition adopted from the British Navy and has been popular for a century or so. If one visits Japan and has the opportunity to stroll around a…

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Bali with Montigo Resorts

Bali with Montigo Resorts

Bali is a destination known more by Australians than Europeans, but it’s more accessible these days with convenient flight connections via Singapore Airlines from London’s Heathrow and worldwide. The trip will start as soon as you hit the airport. If you fly from Heathrow Airport then head for T2B close to gate B36, for Singapore…

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Montigo in Batam Indonesia

Montigo in Batam Indonesia

The name Batam refers to both an island and a municipality, the largest city in the Riau Islands, a province of Indonesia. You might not think you know where this is but if you have travelled to Singapore you would perhaps have already seen it: Batam is found across the Strait of Singapore. It is…

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Bali – more than a beach

Bali – more than a beach

Sure, Bali is something of a tropical paradise. It was once only visited by Australians but these days, with regular flights with Singapore Airlines and their subsidiaries, Bali is open to the whole world. The very name ‘Bali’ conjures visions of palm trees, azure sea lapping on golden sands (words like poetry, aren’t they?). But…

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Batam and Bali via Singapore Lounge Heathrow

Batam and Bali via Singapore Lounge Heathrow

These are destinations known more by Australians than Europeans, but they are more accessible to us now, with convenient flight connections via Singapore Airlines from London’s Heathrow. Any vacation should start as soon as the head of the household is safely lodged in the cattery, the central heating is set to just ticking over, you…

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Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

Umami Kelp and Wasabi – an introduction

London’s Icetank Studio was the venue for an informative and friendly seminar on Umami hosted by the Japanese Culinary Academy UK and supported by JETRO London (Japan External Trade Organisation). It showcased some of the exhibitors from the Japan Pavilion at this year’s Speciality Food Fair and they gave demonstrations to illustrate the significance of…

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Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

Sake Cups – or perhaps a glass

Or natural wood, lacquered wood, glass or even plastic For those of us who love the delicious complexity of sake, the vessel from which we drink is often something of an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be. A sake set is a generic term for the collection of items used for serving sake. It usually comprises…

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Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries

Sake: The History, Stories and Craft of Japan’s Artisanal Breweries

I was told to expect a book. I was told to expect a big book. I was told to expect a coffee-table book. What I got was a book the size of a coffee table but one which will hold my attention long after the furniture would have lost its purely functional appeal. Sake: The…

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Taruzake Sake – cedar difference

Taruzake Sake – cedar difference

Aged in casks or barrels Sure, the world of sake is new and mysterious to most of us. Japan’s national beverage is made of few ingredients but there are many styles and each one has its own history and its own character. We are being offered a wider range of sake in Japanese restaurants but…

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Food Sake Tokyo

Food Sake Tokyo

A culinary adventure Tokyo is a vibrant modern city but tradition is still evident. We might be looking for the latest technology in Akihabara or fashion and pop culture in Takeshitadori but we all need food and many of us need sake and that’s found all around this sprawling town if you know where to…

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Okinawa and Awamori – the spirit of the islands

Okinawa and Awamori – the spirit of the islands

Awamori is the celebrated spirit originating in and unique to the Ryukyu Islands (Nansei Islands in Japanese) of Okinawa. It is made from long-grain Thai rice, which historically has been used in this region. The Ryukyu Kingdom was independent and ruled most of these islands from the 15th to the 19th century. The name Okinawa…

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Sake in situ – the overlooked tourist attraction in Japan

Sake in situ – the overlooked tourist attraction in Japan

A dream came true for me recently and it was courtesy of the Japanese Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). That might sound unlikely when one’s dreams are often woven around the acquisition of something small and sparkling, a new 3D TV, or designer shoes. MAFF invited me on my first trip to Japan for…

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Introducing Langkawi, Malaysia

Introducing Langkawi, Malaysia

Langkawi, or to give its official title, Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah – in Malay Langkawi Permata Kedah – is indeed a tropical paradise. Yes, that’s an oft-used term but an apt description of this floating gem. Langkawi is, in fact, an archipelago of more than 100 islands in the Andaman Sea, 30 km off…

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Sake – a Japanese History

Sake – a Japanese History

We in the West are becoming more familiar with Sake. There are now many more Japanese restaurants in our cities and all of them will have a drinks menu that will include a sake or two. It’s the Japanese national alcoholic beverage and most people already know that it’s made of rice. Yes, it’s called…

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Hop-On Hop-Off – Day and Night Tour in Kuala Lumpur

Hop-On Hop-Off – Day and Night Tour in Kuala Lumpur

This city makes an ideal stop-over for long-haul passengers heading for Australia or New Zealand, although Malaysia has enough to delight, tempt and inspire those who want a longer visit. Malaysia does indeed have those tropical beaches, but it offers more. One can miss so much without a guide, but walking tours take time and…

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World Street Food Congress 2015

World Street Food Congress 2015

I have been fortunate enough to have been able to spend time in Singapore, in fact every year for the past 3 years. I am an unashamed supporter of this my favourite country. I adore the weather, even the humidity which I find more tolerable than that of London, which tends to be vertical and…

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Romantic Takayama

Romantic Takayama

I admit it. I am now an unashamed Japan evangelist. I had always wanted to go and as a much younger person I had a mission to read every book on Japan on which I could lay my hands. My Japanese language skills, however, extend only to the few words learnt from watching Richard Chamberlain…

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WSET Japan Tour Winter 2014

WSET Japan Tour Winter 2014

Sake is more popular than ever outside Japan. There is a growing body of beverage professionals who are now turning their attention to Japan’s iconic national drink and they are proving their sommelier credentials via the WSET® Level 3 Award in Sake. Winter 2014 presented a group of enthusiastic future-Sake Educators with the unique opportunity…

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Art on the Plate – Styling Traditional Punjabi Food

Art on the Plate – Styling Traditional Punjabi Food

I am, at first sight, overwhelmingly English. Yes, well, no, not quite. I have a family connection to India which is distant yet strong. That little bit of sub-continental exotica manifests itself in the guise of a passion for Indian food. One might assume that I have spent endless time in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai….

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Discover Japanese Sake – with Discovery Channel

Discover Japanese Sake – with Discovery Channel

We are invited to ‘Travel with Sam to Japan and uncover the secrets of sake’. But the first questions are likely to be ‘Who is Sam?’ … and ‘What is sake?’ Sam Harrop, Master of Wine, is a leading consultant winemaker with clients all over Europe. He is also co-chair of the International Wine Challenge,…

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