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Everything posted by Akiko

  1. Yves new venture will only be open for non guests at lunch while dinner is specifically for in house guests. Very interesting. And for anyone wondering about L'ourcine, I was there back in April and it was magnificent. I don't have my notes here in front but if it is still as wonderful, you are in for a great meal at an incredible price. He gets everything right, balance of flavours, textures, interesting meats and fish. As well as wonderful dessert. And they serve absinthe with the sugar and spoon!
  2. Torakris, Was it as good as it looks? Do you think you could do this "homemade" by dicing the vegetables yourself and mixig with dashi? (I'm assuming that dashi was the seasoning because of the name, am I wrong?)
  3. torakris, that is an excellent site. Thanks! It's almost painful to see all the wonderful programs I'd like to watch... but can't, as I no longer live in Japan They need to create a JapanFoodTV as a cable/satellite channel and let people outside of Japan subscribe. I'd pay quite a big subscription fee for that! I'm pretty excited about reading the articles posted on there though!
  4. Melonpan, that is pretty cool. I've never thought about actually trying to extract oil from sesame seeds myself instead of buying my bottle at the japanese food store. Can you describe the difference in commercially packaged sesame oil and the freshly milled product? Although, I think I'll have even less luck finding someone to do this for me in London! I never saw such a thing when I lived in Japan either. I wonder if this is distinctly something that is limited to Korea.
  5. Are there other types of okonomiyaki besides Osaka style and monjya yaki? I think these are the only two I'm familiar with. And Torakris, I'm sooo jealous. I haven't had monjya yaki in almost 8 years (the last time I was in Japan). I don't know of a single restaurant that makes monjya yaki outside of Japan... in fact the only restaurant i know of that does Okonomiyaki on a teppan grill in front of you, outside of Japan, is Abeno's in London. As far as I know, there is nothing like this in New York or Chicago.. although there must be somewhere in California...possibly Vancouver or Hawaii?
  6. Akiko

    Dinner! 2004

    Dumpling, what is Punjabi Flounder?
  7. Marlena, Do you still have any of those recipes around? I'd love to take a look at how you "translated" the recipes from Like Water For Chocolate into workable ones! Seth, it's one of my favorite books. Absolutely beautiful in the language, sensuality, and of course the focus on food!
  8. I was devouring a Pakistani honey mango last night while talking to my sister (who lives in Chicago) on the phone. Whilst waxing eloquently about my mango, she interrupted me and asked me what it looked like (as opposed to tastes like). After I described it, she said that Whole Foods is selling something called a Champagne Mango in the states right now and it looks just like that! I looked it up on the web, they are not the same but look and sound like they similar... has anyone had one of these? Are they good?
  9. Akiko

    Dinner! 2004

    I haven't done this in many years but am willing to bet if I made this for dinner my husband would be just as pleased as when I do thick cut pork chops with a spice rub or a chipotle honey glaze... nothing wrong with campbells mushroom soup, some carmelized onions, and worcester sauce to spice it up! I think one of my favorite thanksgiving sides was made with ritz crackers and processed cheese. I don't know if I'm upset that I never asked for the recipe or glad!
  10. I'm beginning to wonder if Pakistani Honey Mango and Alphonso Mango are the same thing? Does anyone know? It's just that I read a description of Alphonso Mango and it sounds just like what I have been eating! last night I cut my mango into cubes, added a finely minced red shallot, 2 finely chopped deseeded bird chilies, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Delicious.
  11. Can someone tell me or point me to a link that describes each of these and how they differ from each other? I'd only had mexican or hawaiian varieties until now and just thought both were okay. But I experienced something over the weekend that has made me completely change my mind and now I'm on a quest to taste every Mango variety available to me. Here in England, Pakistani Honey Mangos have arrived. Oh, I've never tasted any mango like it. I peeled one sliced and ate it, and immediately peeled another. Looooovvely. I don't know if Alphonso's are available here or if the season is already over, but I've never had one, and we haven't seen any yet this year. I'll be unhappy if we've missed it and they were available.
  12. OC, it is amazing, I've used it on salmon (that miso marinade thing is pretty popular in Japan, it gets used on all types of fish and... eggplant). But squeezing lemon juice or even yuzu juice into miso is not going to give you the same thing as yuzu miso... I have no idea how they do it but the flavour and aroma is intense. I've only ever seen it at Oriental City in London... and they are about to reopen under new manageent (not that they were ever closed but for the last month or so, there hasn't been much on the shelves), so I'm hoping for better stock. You could call them and ask if they are selling it.
  13. Origamicrane, Call Selfridges, they sometimes have Black Cod in stock, if they don't have it, its possible Atari Ya in Ealing (West Acton) does. Atariya almost always stocks blackcod ALREADY marinating in miso, I'm not sure if they have fresh. I have the Nobu cookbook too... I think the proportion they are missing is the sake one? It's also here with the proportion Nobu Den Miso on Martha Stewart I'm confused as to what you are looking for because the Nobu black cod does not use yuzu miso. Good luck!
  14. I love Yaki Onigiri... although this is almost another category! Last week we had leftover sea bass, so I shredded that up, added it to my rice, sprinkled some ume-shiso furikake on it, made triangle onigiri, and then pan fried on all sides. YUM!
  15. We're thinking about going to Momo this weekend with a friend who - doesn't eat sushi or sashimi, doesn't usually like sweet/savoury sauces so I'm not sure about teriyaki.... Does anyone know if Momo has yakisoba/yakiudon, donburi, and or ginger beef/pork on the menu?
  16. Has anyone been to the Golden Hind? I used to hear quite a bit about their fish and chips... Fryer's Delight, in my opinion, does not live up to their reputation. Chips not crisp and fish, just okay.
  17. Origamicrane, then you are in luck! They serve wasabi ice cream, along with the best coffee ice cream I have ever had. And... green tea, sesame, I think the requisite azuki is also on the menu... They are homemade so I believe the menu might change but I'm willing to bet any ice cream they make is unusual and delicious. Origami, I will have to get to Cafe Japan... our taste in Japanese restaurants in London is very similar. I too agree that Sushi Hiro is Heads above any other sushi here in London and like Matsuri for traditional Japanese foods (they do agemono so well!). Have you been to Tsunami? Gareth, I've been. The sushi is not as good as Sushi Hiro, nor is it as good at Sushisay. Kikuchi's is a decent all rounder. But if it was sushi that I was after, I would go somewhere else first. Then again I haven't been back there in a year so it may have changed!
  18. I've only been to Sushi Say twice, but from the two times I've been there, the sushi is better at Sushi Hiro and is also usually better at Matsuri (the one on High Holborn). But Sushi Say does have the best ice cream
  19. Is there any other way to eat Japanese curry? I thought the fukujinzuke was the whole point!
  20. I'd have to agree with Origamicrane, Sushi Hiro is probably the best sushi in london for an astonishingly reasonable price (for london). But be warned, there is only sushi here. Don't expect to be served other types of Japanese food too! O-C, can you compare Cafe Japan and Sushi Hiro for me? Does Cafe Japan do other dishes besides sushi and is it "homestyle" Japanese as you would think from the name?
  21. Episure, I had no idea! All I know is that everything was delicious. The soup base, I assumed was a fish broth because there was that savory taste of boulliabase underneath it all.... amazing. I did go to Nathu's! And took pictures of the food but it was so hot that I didn't get anything to eat! I was trying to work up an appetite for lunch. There was a lot I wish I could have gotten to eat, I definitely was not there long enough!
  22. I have a huge thank you to give out to everyone who posted on this thread and helped me to have an incredible trip to Delhi/Agra/Jaiphur, especially to Monica, Mongo, and Episure, thank you for lending me your knowledge. India is a trip that I'd highly recommend to everyone, not just because of the food but because it is so different from anything you'll find outside of it. It's been a long time since I went on a trip where I felt as if my perspective of the world became quite so much broader. It really is a place of contrasts. I'll look forward to seeing more of it in the future. But, on to the food! The Imperial Hotel We stayed at the Imperial which I'd recommend to everyone who stays in Delhi. The rooms are a good size, the staff are very helpful, and the location is very central - you are close to the Tibetan market, Connaught Place, Cottage Industries, State Emporiums, and not too far from the Bengali Market or Chandi Chowk/Red Fort/Jama Masjid. I wouldn't recommend eating there though, the one meal we had was nondescript (it was breakfast though). What with so much to eat in Delhi, you don't want to waste a meal. Spice Route (the main restaurant in the Imperial) does have some absolutely amazing artwork inside of it but you are no longer allowed to just have a drink. If you have the time, it might be worth having a meal here simply for the space you'll be in. Bukhara Was simply incredible food. I had a few culinary revelations in India one had to do with yoghurt (which I'll get into later) and the other concerned dahl. I don't like beans or pulses of any kind. I think they are almost flavorless and usually have a mushy texture that I am not fond of. Whether its white Italian beans, or baked beans, or chickpeas (unless ground into hummus), or lentils, or kidneys - the whole category is terribly unexciting to me. But wow, I have changed my mind about dahl. I had several incredible bowls of dahl in Delhi/Agra but Bukhara's dahl is out of this world. Creamy, buttery, with just a hint of bitterness from the lentils... I could have had just this with a naan and been perfectly content. In fact, even after I was completely stuffed I couldn't leave the dahl bowl alone and spooned the contents into my mouth. Bukhara has capitalized on their famous dahl, they happen to sell it in cans. I bought one of these, I haven't tried it yet and will save it for a special occasion but I wonder if it could possibly be as good. Mongo, they have changed the cauliflower on the menu, it is now a battered version of the cauliflower that you described. The cauliflower itself was still incredible, but I would have preferred it without the batter. In fact, I peeled the batter off and ate the lovely grilled cauliflower by itself. We also had one of their tandoori chickens, lovely, I had the idea that this is what everyone else aspires to when they serve tandoori chicken. And the breads were excellent, we had two types of paratha (I preferred the plain, the other was just too salty) and a butter naan. My husband went back a second time for a work lunch and he raved about the tandoori lamb as well as a naan that they do for larger parties, it supposedly ran the length of the table! Chinese I had two chinese meals in Delhi. The first was at a party given at my husband's client's house. They had hired a Chinese Chef (I got the idea that he comes to cook for that family regularly) for the event and it was very good. Veg platters on one side, non veg on the other, there were several seitan/tofu dishes that were amongst the best I've ever had. They also served a dish where the main ingredient was huge slices of ginger. I love ginger so this dish was pleasing to me but I couldn't imagine serving it to anyone in the western half of the world. And the second was at Chopsticks. Mongo! If you ever crave that food in LA, I'd bet you could come close to satisfying it. Indian/Chinese is a lot like Korean/Chinese. I had the shredded lamb and the honeyed chicken dish and enjoyed them. I don't know where you can get good korean/chinese in LA but in Chicago there is a place called Great Seas. Korean/Chinese cuisine has developed a dish called Gampoongi, deep fried, heavily sauced, frenched chicken wings, if you haven't tried it, I think you'll love it. They do a few other dishes that are also unique - zha zhan miang, which is a noodle dish with black sauce, and a cold noodle dish with a hot mustard sauce with fresh julienned vegetables and seafood that are worth trying. Saravana Bhavan Mongo, thank you, this was also one of my favorite meals in Delhi, definitely a place not to be missed. It was heaving and I went upstairs to have a thali. For less than £5 they brought me a lovely fish soup, an incredible assorted thali, chapati and two giant poori breads. The fish based soup had spinach in it and was very peppery and also creamy, almost buttery. It was lovely. The thali itself had so many little cups of things I it, I've lost count. And if they saw that I had eaten all of what was in any given cup a server would come offer to ladle me some more out of a pot. When I declined on seconds he tried to encourage me to have some more and sternly tried again to get me to accept it! It made me laugh, but I couldn't eat more of one and think that I'd still finish everything else on the tray! The individual cups held something like the following in it - a broth with intense tomato flavor, yellow curry that was wonderfully sour (I loved this, do you know what it is?), a fresh coconut vegetable curry, chickpeas, "special rice", yellow curry, mutton curry, onion chutney, yoghurt, chiles, lemon juice, jagghery, a mint almost curd like thing that was so lovely I just ate it as it was (I think it was meant to be a condiment, does anyone know what this is?). The people sitting across from me also ordered another dish of idli. This looked so good, I was tempted to order one myself but after eating all of that AND loving the two giant poori's, I was stuffed. I had previously thought that poori was small and crispy... these were giant puffs that actually were very tender bread once I tore it apart, are these two different things and I'm just calling them both poori? Dum Pukht Was another highlight, I'd have to say my three favorite meals were Bukhara, Saravan Bhavan, and Dum Pukht. I'm not sure how you choose between them. After poring over the menu and trying to figure out how many dishes a lone diner can order by herself, I tried to order to which the waiter said, "No, no ma'am. You are ordering much too much food. If I can suggest to you, we can put together a meal for you of small portions and you will be able to try many dishes. Our chef will choose what is special for you." To which I thought, "oh! Omakase, why didn't you just say so?" I am hugely grateful to the server who recommended this, it was incredible and at 950 rupees, how do you beat this? I actually tipped them again what I paid for the meal because I enjoyed it so much I didn't think I could leave without doing so. I started with the Kakori Kebab. This was AMAZING. It comes with two tiny parathas that were a little sweet and deliciously crisp and tender. On the table they also give you bowls of lime pickle and thinly sliced red onions with some kind of tan colored powdery thing on it. What is that tan powdery stuff? I have to admit, I normally do not like lime pickle, there is something in it that is too perfumey for my palate to like. Is it asafoetida? However, with this dish it was the perfect accompaniment. I ate several pieces of lime pickle with the kebab. They then brought the main meal of 3 curry type things - chicken, mutton, burnt garlic dahl butter naan mutton biryani in a claypot garlic raita Again that burnt garlic dahl was phenomenal and the garlic raita could have been a dish all on its own. It is meant to be spooned over the biryani but I was also dipping my naan into it and putting a little on the mutton. And this is where I get to the yoghurt. I've never really been a huge fan of yoghurt either... until now. The yoghurt you get in India can be INTENSELY sour, thick or thin, but above all the flavour that comes through. I just have never had yoghurt that can compare. Why is this? How is raita and or the thick yoghurt that is served on the side made that gives it that sour tang? Really an incredible dinner that was finished off with just as incredible dessert. And I don't usually like sweet things but the dishes they served a Dum Pukht were excellent. Sweetened saffron milk with a "cereal" like thing in it, honeyed cake that was a texture it would have as if it were steamed - this sat in lovely cream with cinnamon nuances and pistachio crumbled on top. If anyone tries to take you to the Japanese restaurant in the Hyatt run kicking and screaming away. My husband's colleagues wanted to go for a light meal and this was not only some of the worst Japanese food I've ever had but it also gave me food poisoning. I had a smoked salmon starter that gave me the beginning of a stomach bug that has yet to completely go away. If not for this, I may have braved Karim's but alas, it was not to be. (by the way, for anyone going to do the Golden Triangle, Agra also has an outpost of Karim's but I don't know what it is like) We left for Agra and Jaipur after that meal and stayed at Amar Villas and Raj Villas. I have newfound respect for the Oberoi hotel group, and if it were up to me, I'd never stay anywhere else. The hotels are beautiful and the staff absolutely wonderful. We had two meals at Amar Villas, the second was at their "Indian Cuisine" restaurant. It was another great meal, the highlight of which was the black dahl. Wonderful... almost chocolatey. On our final night before we came back to London, we stayed at the Trident in Gurgaon (Joint venture between Hilton and Oberoi, beautiiful new hotel) and ate at Masala Art. The meal was good if a notch below Bukhara and Dum Pukht, it is definitely something you should do if you are new to Indian cuisine. Watching dishes prepared in front of you on huge flat steel plate/wok type things was fun. And the variety of things they bring you is also excellent, the chefs are more than happy to answer all your questions and there is also a "roving bread maker" that has a little cart and will fry your bread at request. We also had lovely pistachio cream "popsicles" to finish our meal here. Bhelpuri, I read the Dalrymple which was fascinating, and I did a lot of shopping! Exquisitely colored and embroidered silk saris on one of the back streets of Chandi Chowk, I also bought a few at one of the state emporiums but the ones on chandi Chowk were of better quality, if a bit more expensive. I also went to Hauz Khas where I did more shopping. I still cannot get over the prices... silk shirts were less than £18 and some other embroidered shirts for less than 10 dollars! The embroidery on the quilts and quality of material they use for sweaters, pashminas, shirts is astonishing... I actually came home and wished I had bought more presents... as it was, we came back with a suitcase more than we left. I also shopped at Santushti, I'd say those are places you shouldn't miss in Delhi. I visited surana's, exquisite stuff, but unfortunately, I'd have no occasion to wear the elaborate, ornate jewel studded necklaces! I did buy some beautiful things at Gem Palace. The things they had there were a little more "subdued" and weareable for us commoners , but still exquisite - chandelier earrings, diamond hoops, aquamarine drop necklaces. It was an incredible trip. Thank you again for being my guides
  23. and then So, can I eat safely at Parthewali gali or no? And Mongo, it looks like the two of you disagree on this too
  24. hi guys, Thank you, from your posts Delhi becomes more real to me and I get more excited with each post added. Rich, diverse, opinionated, and sometimes aggressive! I expect Delhi to be a lot like your posts! Okay, I've heard you, I tend to be more adventurous than I ought to. Parawathegali is now a no no, as is Karims... I had read about Karims in my guidebook and thought that if it was in there, it must be safe. Now I don't trust that thought anymore. I didn't realize quite how careful I was going to have to be. I am a miserable sick person... and I do not relish the thought of being sick and trekking through delhi, hot and annoyed all by myself (my husband is working on Thursday and Friday, I will be a lone woman tourist). I'd much rather lean on the careful side. This may be the most important advice you've given me yet! but if no parathas in the stands... then where? Bhelpuri, I am going to pick this up over the weekend, I'm sure it will keep me occupied on our Air India flight! I wasn't going to do this, I love walking cities and seeing everything possible, but you and Mongo have convinced me otherwise. What I haven't understood correctly is what the driver does when I get out? If I ask him to drop me at one end of Chadni Chowk and pick me up at the other end... do I specify a time or do I call his cell phone when I'm done? I have this hilarious vision of a driver trying to follow behind me as I progress my walk....
  25. Susruta, Can you describe the Paratha at Parthewale Gali? What makes it better than others (I love Paratha... probably my favorite bread type in the world). And what is Moglai food like?
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