Posts Tagged “Japan”

The Food and Cooking of Japan and Korea by Emi Kazuko – review

The Food and Cooking of Japan and Korea by Emi Kazuko – review

A few years ago our culinary ethnic horizons extended to a Friday night curry and perhaps the occasional Chinese dinner of sweet and sour pork. Often made at home from decent cookbooks, but not often pushing geographic food boundaries. But how about Japan and Korea? These days we are exposed to many more restaurants and…

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Okinawa and Awamori – the spirit of the islands – travel review

Okinawa and Awamori – the spirit of the islands – travel review

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 – travel review

Sake in situ – the overlooked tourist attraction in Japan – travel review

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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Roka Brunch, Aldwych – restaurant review

Roka Brunch, Aldwych – restaurant review

Brunch is perhaps my favourite meal of the week. It isn’t a big, indigestible breakfast with the prospect of needing a nap by 10.30 (although I can be tempted by an English fry-up at almost any time). It’s not a dinner, when one might be exhausted from the exertions of the day and much prefer…

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OKA Japanese Restaurant, Kingly Court – review

OKA Japanese Restaurant, Kingly Court – review

Kingly Court is tucked away between Carnaby Street and Regent Street. It’s an area famed for smart boutiques and cosy eateries and for its ‘swinging‘ reputation of the 60s when the air was filled with the heady aroma of joss sticks and other kinds of smoke and the streets were filled with chanting Hari Krishna…

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Learn Japanese with Eurotalk – travel review

Learn Japanese with Eurotalk – travel review

Most of us might have learnt a little French or German at school, although in the 60s when I was treading the corridors of wisdom acquisition, there were few prospects of leaving these shores. These days we can easily travel the globe as independent explorers. But to be an adventurous and also a confident voyager…

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Shoryu Ramen, Soho – restaurant review

Shoryu Ramen, Soho – restaurant review

Shoryu Ramen launched in November 2012 and has already been recommended in the Michelin Guide of 2014 and 2015. It has fast become a small but reputable London chain. They specialise in, well, ramen of the Hakata tonkotsu style originating in Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan’s southern island. Hakata tonkotsu broth is a classic thick and rich…

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Kanada-Ya (or how I found my noodle) – restaurant review

Kanada-Ya (or how I found my noodle) – restaurant review

I have wanted to visit for a while. No, this isn’t a Michelin-starred restaurant. No, one isn’t dazzled by drifts of white linen tablecloths or the shine of silverware. It’s a café, or at least a café of the Japanese kind. Kanada-Ya is a ramen bar. There is quite a bit of choice if one…

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Romantic Takayama – travel review

Romantic Takayama – travel review

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 – travel review

WSET Japan Tour Winter 2014 – travel review

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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Discover Japanese Sake with Discovery Channel – travel review

Discover Japanese Sake with Discovery Channel – travel review

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?’ …and Discovery Channel? Sam Harrop, Master of Wine, is a leading consultant winemaker with clients all over Europe. He is also co-chair of the…

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Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado – interview

Hisashi Taoka of Kiku – Fish aficionado – interview

Kiku is a Japanese restaurant conveniently located near Green Park station in Mayfair, and at the top of Half Moon Street. It’s one of the quieter thoroughfares, but popular with ‘them in the know’ as it’s the home of this exceptional eatery. I wonder why it isn’t more celebrated, but perhaps those regulars have the…

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Koichi Saura – Samurai for Sake – interview

Koichi Saura – Samurai for Sake – interview

We, at least in London, are becoming more familiar with Japan’s iconic national beverage. We are tempted to take our first sips in the increasingly numerous Japanese restaurants in the capital. Sake is new to us but it’s been around for a couple of thousand years in some form or other, and there are families…

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Washoku – Japanese cuisine recognised by UNESCO – travel review

Washoku – Japanese cuisine recognised by UNESCO – travel review

We in the West might consider that we know all about Japanese food and indeed all about Japan. It is, I guess, a consequence of globalisation. We see Japanese tourists on our streets, sushi fast food cafés are now common, and there are more Japanese restaurants in our larger cities. Yes, we know all about…

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Toshie Hiraide, Sake Samurai Japan – interview

Toshie Hiraide, Sake Samurai Japan – interview

Japan has many icons. Sumo, sushi, kimonos are among the first that spring to the non-Japanese mind …along with sake! Japanese food and sake are becoming more common all over the world and London has a growing list of good restaurants serving sake to an increasingly knowledgeable audience. Toshie Hiraide is the Japanese Sake Samurai…

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Sake in London? It’s an education – drinks review

Sake in London? It’s an education – drinks review

Half a decade ago one could find Japanese Sake in London. Yes, of course one could. The ordering of such a beverage would usually elicit a three-word response from the server – those three little words that will likely turn any native Japanese to despair. The short question directed back to the curious prospective drinker…

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The Saké Handbook by John Gauntner – review

The Saké Handbook by John Gauntner – review

Saké has become more popular than ever in both restaurants and bars. One can find good quality saké by the bottle and made into cocktails, but there are surprisingly few books in English on the subject of saké and its production. John Gauntner is considered an authority and has penned The Saké Handbook which is…

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Dozo Japanese Restaurant, Soho – review

Dozo Japanese Restaurant, Soho – review

This is a relatively new kid on the block although Dozo in Old Brompton Road has been around for a while. This new Soho branch enjoys a spot on Old Compton Street. That’s not the touristy side of Shaftesbury Avenue but the more eclectic streets to the north of that thoroughfare and away from Chinatown…

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Kaiseki Yoshiyuki – Singapore – restaurant review

Kaiseki Yoshiyuki – Singapore – restaurant review

Ignatius Chan is unique, a quiet and gentle man who is sparked into animation when talking about food and drink. He is celebrated and respected in Asia but not as a chef: he is Asia’s sommelier. Singapore is considered by many (this writer included) as one of the finest of food capitals, not just in…

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The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh – review

The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh – review

It’s a bento cookbook. But I know for a fact that not everyone in Europe will know exactly what bento is. Most people would have heard the word and will remember that it has something or other to do with Japanese food. Bento isn’t an ingredient, it does not have to be Japanese, and it…

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