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Posts posted by Akiko

  1. I just got back from Dubai and I think my conclusions are that I've got to stop going to the restaurants inside of the hotels. They are consistently decent but no better than that.

    We went to Karam, Zheng He, Spectrum, and to the little Italian cafe in the Emirates Towers because Al Nafoora was closed due to an unforeseen emergency. All of them are decent to good none of them are great. I still think there's great food to be had in Dubai, I just now think its probably at a restaurant not linked to a hotel. Something more frequented by the locals... I'll try to find it next time.

    My favorite place for the mezze is still Chandelier.

    I have pictures of the food at all of these places... I'll try to post them when I get a chance.

    Oh, the dates from Bateel continue to be absolutely delicious. I just bought a box to take to America on a trip to visit family next week. They think they don't like dates, wait until they taste these.

  2. Thank you prasantrin, I guess the Kempinsky doesn't consider it inside the hotel. Instead its listed as one of the restaurants in the mall of the Emirates. I'm going to try and get there, I'll let you know what its like.

    Has anyone been to Zheng He's? I've been hearing good things.

  3. Hello

    The best of the best today is the new restaurant "Karam" at the Kempinsky and it is really the best Lebanese food in Dubai or the GCC for that matter.

    There is a new fish place with a Lebanese twist at the Dubai Marine called Flooka.

    Morrocan don't have a clear winner and the Royal Mirage is best for ambiance as food levels is very similar in the other places.

    For date jam and such, Bateel is good and don't forget to get the chocolate covered dates filled with almonds or hazelnuts and carry a large water bottle.

    You can find Bateel at the new Burjuman and go up to Hediard for a Blue Mountain coffee to exercice your credit card.

    Does Karam still exist? I'm looking at the Kempinsky website and I can't seem to find it? Has anyone else been recently? I'm thinking about visiting the restaurant, provided it still exists!

  4. Yes, Jellyfish. It is delicious. Cold julienned vegetable, pork, and various seafood, with Jellyfish. All tossed in hot mustard sauce.

    I've never seen it offerred at any other Korean restaurant but my Korean friends all recognize it at once so I'm assuming this is a Korean dish and not Chinese. Or a Chinese dish that is much more popular in Korea than it is for the Chinese (we usually have people of both nationalities when we go for dinner at Great Seas and the Koreans are the only ones familiar with it).

  5. In Chicago there is a place called Great Seas that does amazing gampoongi (fried chicken in spicy/sweet garlicky sauce). The version is done on the bone (instead of just cubed pieces as I've seen elsewhere) and they've done a wonderful job of balancing the sauce, making sure their version is not overly sweet.

    Its delicious. I have a picture, if you'd like to see. Click on the link in my signature and then hit the link on the archive category for Chicago. This will lead you to a post on Great Seas.

  6. Not sure how we'll celebrate this year as SON1's bday is on Feb. 17th. I want to go and eat at my mom's table, but being a married daughter, I can't.  Maybe they'll save me lots of leftovers for next day when I can go for my visit.

    Dejah, that's fascinating. As a married daughter you're not allowed to eat at your mother's on New Year's? Is this because you're meant to be hosting your own NY's table? Or should be at your Mother in Law's table?

  7. Bryan, I'm joining this thread late so I might second a lot of the other recommendations but I have a few new ones.

    Marlebone Farmer's Market is not so far from Marble Arch and if the friend is interested in cheese then she should definitely go to Fromagerie (Neal's yard is also not to be missed but Fromagerie is closer). Pork Pies and other wonderful goodies can be bought just a hop down the street from Fromagerie at Ginger Pig.

    A bit farther away there is great seafood (on the more expensive end) at J Sheeky.

    Dim sum here is generally better than in New York and (in my opinion) just as good as in Hong Kong. Hakkasan does it very well, go at lunch, no dim sum at dinner. Royal China is also decent and not too far from Marble Arch - Get the peking duck here that everyone seems to be so crazy about in London. I don't know why New York doesn't seem to do it.

    There is a variety of Indian food here that is not available in New York, I second the rec for New Tayyeb and if there is interest, maybe trek out to Southall to see the area and eat what they have to offer (I like the street food at Gifto's).

    And if more foie is of interest, Comptoir Gascon does very decent tapas style smal plates of different preparations of foie (at least they did the last time I was there a few months back). But while not wildly expensive, this will end up being a more pricey meal depending on how much you eat.

    Harrod's food hall is fun to gape at but even better is on saturdays at Borough market the cheese sandwich that people have already talked about and the chorizo one shouldn't be missed. Try not to let the crowds make you crazy.

    Its really hard to find good cheap eats in this city, especially when you come from the states and the exchange rate is currently so hurting!

    Oh and I agree that St John's and/or St John's Bread and Wine shouldn't be missed for true English food... Anchor and Hope is another good one for gastropub English/French style home cooking but the no reservation policy there is very annoying.

  8. Cathy,

    Why stop at the PH books? I stock up on his chocolates when I'm in Paris. As well as Christine Ferbier preserves both the ones made espressly for Pierre and her regular ones (picked up at bon marche or galleries lafayette).

    Also if you like it, a jar or two or confiture de lait, as it might not be so easily found where you're going!

  9. yuzu-koshou flavored potato chips, they weren't bad but yuzu-koshou should be saved for better things... :hmmm:gallery_6134_1003_1487.jpg

    Oh, but what if you were to make your own potato chips and then toss them in yuzu kosho while still hot? That would be delicious... especially if you made the crosshatch ones. Or perhaps a sweet potato version.

  10. I think that is enough of an endorsement for me :smile: . There are a few places out there selling a few of the issues and I'm going to order them. Shame, I'd much rather watch the anime but I don't have a multiregional dvd player (I should really get one).

  11. QUOTE(_john @ Aug 23 2006, 12:25 AM)

    QUOTE(Hiroyuki @ Aug 22 2006, 08:41 PM)

    QUOTE(_john @ Aug 22 2006, 06:34 PM)

    QUOTE(Hiroyuki @ Aug 22 2006, 04:42 PM)


    I was reading about kijoyu or namashoyu which is unpasteurized shoyu. does anyone have any experience with unpasteurized shoyu? I'm curious about the taste difference (and the price difference).

    Sorry, no. It's way too expensive for me to buy...


    I also was wondering how I can tell the difference between normal shoyu (koikuchi shoyu) that is produced in the traditional manner from those that are produced using shortcuts. Is price always a good indicator or is there something similar to "certified organic" that distinguishes these types?

    What do you mean by "shortcut"? Tamari shoyu takes three years to make, while koikuchi shoyu takes six months to make. How long does it take to make those "shortcut" shoyu?

    someone told me that by using chemicals the process be shortened to as few as 2 months. This is just hearsay so I'm not entirely sure.

    I think I know what they mean, and I managed to find one source of information:


    This blogger visited the Kikkoman plant in Noda city. She had read the comic book "Oishinbo", in which "sokusei" (accelerated?) soy sauce was mass produced using defatted soybeans, which was unsavory and flavorless because it wasn't brewed, and she thought that Kikkoman would make shoyu the same way. She was wrong. They took as long as eight months to make shoyu. She later learned that in the postwar period until the 1980s, they seemed to produce shoyu in a similar way, but in the 1990s and after, they stopped making such inferior shoyu and started to make efforts to make real, savory shoyu.

    that makes sense. I actually consider kikkoman soy sauce to have quite good flavor. I've read the first 10 volumes of Oishinbo I wonder which volume is about soy sauce.

    55, if I remember correctly.

    Hiroyuki, I've never heard of Oishinbo. Is it good? Educational as far as food as well as entertaining?

  12. Thank you Verjuice. I'll have to remember those for next time, we just came back!

    My husband does a lot of business in Dubai and when I can, I tag along.

    Buddha bar is an incredible space. I actually liked it much better than the one in Paris. We didn't eat there so I can't comment on the food but on a monday evening it was very pleasant. Not too crowded, lots of intimate spaces to sit and chill out with friends. I've heard that on Thursdays and Fridays its a nightmare to get in.

    My husband and I did go to 44, we loved it. Completely agree with you. Great atmosphere, very good drinks, and lovely bar snacks. Its a bar/lounge that's up there with any in NY/London/Tokyo/hong Kong - but without the crowds, which makes it much nicer.

    Chandelier was not up to my previous memory but still nice.

    We had good meals at Shoo Fee Ma Fee in the Madinat Souk and a pleasant turkish-ish meal at Ottoman's. I would go back to either.

    I happily perused the aisles at the new carrefour in the emirates mall. I found three types of Indian Mango, I'd never seen before. They are happily ripening on my kitchen counter here in London - I plan to eat them tonight to taste and compare!

    Yes, one of my delights in Carrefour is that I can find - mid eastern, thai, french, and indonesian/portuguese things I like and don't get here in London- mid eastern spices, thai fruit, apericubes, and puto muffins!

    Also came back with Lemon Salt which I'd never seen! What do you do with this? I love the mouthwatering tartness.

    Verjuice, I love Lebanese, so next time I'll definitely go to Al-Nafoorah. In fact, I'll send my husband who will be back in about two weeks. Of the middle eastern cuisines - this is my favorite so far although, I'm just beginning to explore the differences. I looked for books on each type while I was in Dubai, but the only one accessible seems to be that big pinkish Middle Eastern Cooking book written by the Greek woman. I bought it.

  13. Verjuice,

    I am looking for world class anything. I liked Chandelier and will go back there for the mezze but that was the only place that stood out to me when I was in Dubai last year.

    Verre is not so interesting because I live in London and Ramsay's flagship (Royal Hospital Road) as well as Maze are both here. But I went to Dubai looking for amazing middle eastern last time, and I don't think I found it. What is it that Dubai does the best? That's what I'm looking for.

    We're staying in Jumeirah but I've come to expect Dubai being a big construction site. We stayed at the royal mirage last time and I have some beautiful serene pictures of the beach. You'd never know from those about the racket and clanging and cranes that were right behind me.

    What kind of food is Prasino's?

  14. Its that time of the year again :smile: . We'll be in Dubai for a long weekend soon and I'm wondering if anyone has new recommendations? Or perhaps something we missed on the first time out?

    I didn't get to the Spice Souk the first time around, but is it any better for quality of spices than the supermarket is? I was really very impressed with Carrefour. I know, I'm probably missing out on the atmosphere, but if there isn't some incredible spice at the souk... I might give it a miss. The less time spent in Dubai traffic, the more time for me to eat and or go spa :smile: .

    But I'd be interested to hear about changes in the restaurant scene or changes in actually restaurants and the food they are turning out.


  15. where can I buy artisnal shichimi tougarashi? I would like something that is a little better quality than the usual S&B and House shichimi. I know I saw a discussion of this somewhere, and I faintly remember seeing it in a documentary. I go through a lot of shichimi (I'm a kitsune udon fanatic). I would like to get one of those little gourds or barrels that you see it in as well. Is there a certain type of store that sells/blends it?

    John, I'll have to look on my bottle at home for the name of the place and to see if they have a phone number. In Nishiki Market, Kyoto there is a spice store that blends their own shichimi as well as other spices and yuzu kosho. I'll look tonight and try to get back to you.

    However, looking at your location, you are a short train ride away! It wouldn't take much of an excuse for me to spend the day at Nishiki if I lived in Osaka!

  16. This is the kind of place where the kids might have more fun than the adults!

    Yes, yes, and yes. It was packed the day we were there too. And in my opinion the gyoza was just okay. I didn't think this was a "culinary destination" but a more of a novelty.

    Whereas, I've actually heard really good things about the ramen museum in culinary terms.

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