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Peter Green

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Everything posted by Peter Green

  1. Let me back up a bit, as I've been a bit abrupt in introducing this. I'd skirted about North Korean cuisine for some time, and had been teased with hints of Pyongyang for decades. Some of you will remember how I picked up the trail in Shanghai, dueling in absinthia with the North Koreans for the honor of Canada's wormwood quaffing reputation. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/100702-across-china-with-the-vermin/?p=1407233 Then there were the two old grannies in Seoul with their amazingly good mandoo, loaded with suk (and a fine steamed chicken, too). But the topper was the Pyongyang Cold Noodle Restaurant in Beijing. That was some of the finest Korean cuisine I've had. Definitely the prettiest. (A story in itself) So, when the 100th anniversary of the Eternal Leader, Kim Il Sung, came up on my automatic reminders, we just had to go. The year before we'd attended a talk by someone who'd been in the North, and then immediately raced back through China to the South so that he could talk with the guards he'd seen from the other side of the DMZ. He'd used a group called Koryo Tours ( http://www.koryogroup.com/ ), and the more I read about them, the more apparent it was that I should make my arrangements through their offices. And I'm always happy for an excuse to eat in Beijing.
  2. Plus, I need to put up some pieces on the North Korean restaurants in Beijing and Phnom Penh.
  3. We'll get to a certain amount of this in posts to come. Without giving anything away...no pheasant. However, I've seen a number of places doing pheasants on the route to seoraksan. Naengmyon we'll get to (Pyongyang is famous for this).
  4. Okay, I'm open for help. I posted one item that carried the jpg, and the other is posting a link. How do I embed a photo on my machine into the post?
  5. Approaching Pyongyang by air, you don't get the sense of urban sprawl and chaos that you get down south. Everything is sparse built, and organized to geometric patterns. Mind you, there aren't a lot of trees down there. Landing on the tarmac, it reminds me of Mongolia in the late 90's, or China or Laos in the late 80's http://www.wayn.com/photos/18756053/67536392
  6. And the ham was better than any I've had on many of the carriers I use.
  7. As kare rice goes, the meal on Air Koryo wasn't bad. Fairly industrial, but the rice was very good....okay, you have to like rice to understand this. As a flight, was it as good as travelling business class on Cathay or Singapore?...no. Was it better than Delta or United? Yes. Looking back on the pictures, that may be the best rice I've had on any carrier.
  8. Okay, this may take me some time to figure out the new attachment options.....I am getting old.
  9. Let's open this topic. I'll dredge through my photos from 2012, and we need to bear in mind that this was an organized tour, but there are interesting comments to be made on the public face of North Korean cuisine.
  10. I'd weigh in on the positively negative side. I was at the Corn Exchange a couple of years back, and had a very good meal, and an extremely positive chat with Anthony's dad. I'm sorry to see them go, as I was hoping to return to Leeds next year, and do more time in his restaurants. As with most biases, my dislike of heading to Leeds was poorly founded. It was a good trip. However, the business is the business (as his dad would say), and if you're not making money at it, then you have to question why you're there. Still, I liked his food. I'll be interested in hearing what they do next.
  11. My advice on the Benriner: Benriner blades + carburetor = bad
  12. Red neck inarizushi tonight for Father's Day. Fried chicken skin wrapped around (good) rice.
  13. There's a Japanese version you can often find in Korean stores. I think the brand is Benriner. A flat bed mandolin, with a selection of blades that slap in. Ours is pretty durable, although after 20 years it's losing the fight with our housekeeper.
  14. I believe that the gear is part of the job. If looking good is important, then it may be better to invest in something more superficial, at a lower cost. If your concern is over protection then you pay more for it, but you have to live with the idea that it's going to take some damage over time. Generally, given the above conditions, if appearance is important, than you're better off to buy cheap and disposable, and give yourself that "just pressed look". If you want the battle-hardened look, then you invest in something to keep ( but it may not be cost effective). I've found that, over time. it's better not to get attached to equipment. It's cheaper that way. Cheap is good.
  15. They're just whites. You get them. They get stuff on them. You get new ones. (Okay, I keep the signed ones).
  16. She thanks, you, don't fear. BTW - I think the description of a "cotton candy taco" is an award winning menu item in the making!
  17. We just used a kid's cotton candy maker for the cotton candy. When Geoff Lindsay did the WGF a few years back, he actually went out to the lower part of Sukhumvit to the Arab quarter and found some "Persian Fairy Floss" http://egullet.org/p1283765 so Prasantrin's probably dead on with the pashmak. For roti, Yoonhi does a flour (about 2.5 to 3 cups), salt (a pinch), sugar (a bit), a couple of table spoons or so of water, and two of our eggs (they're small here). The main flavour element is in the ghee used for frying. Peter P.S. - I've seen her do the compressed cotton candy thing. I wonder though, should that be patented, or copyrighted, or trademarked?
  18. Peter - do you have any recipes in any books? I have no thai books here and that cotton candy looks a lot more like the cotton candy tahini treat than what we are making. Also recipe for that roti dough. Kerry, I'll go through my books and notes tomorrow and get back to you. It's bedtime over here, and I'm getting the evil eye! Cheers, peter
  19. Thanks very much for this, you two. I've enjoyed it a lot, and I've got more ideas to try here at home. But, with that cotton candy, could you try roti sai mai? We haven't had it for a couple of years, and a piece from you could help me convince Yoonhi that I need a cotton candy machine. And Serena will back me up (I pay her off big time).
  20. I see a whole world of merchandising in this concept!!
  21. Having talked with a number of chefs in the last couple of weeks of binge eating, an interesting approach is the most capital intensive. But it can work out cheapest in the long run. If you can swing the finances, buy a restaurant property. This may seem insane, but it's often easier to secure a loan when there's some solid assets involved. Once you've identified the property, you can get more attention from investors, as they'll have some hard collateral to claim against. Then either populate as a purchase agreement to include the old gear, or hit up an auction house (restaurant gear is always going at auction). Once you're up and running in this fashion, your major overhead goes away. One of the banes of the restaurant business is that landlords can get very good at calculating how much of your income they can take, and still keep you hanging on. Sort of like a vampire keeping a body alive and hanging from a hook. Plus, if you can't make a go of it, restaurant props never go without tenants (at least not in venues with enough of a population density). End of the day you cut your losses, take a tenant, and have him make your payments. That's my two cents worth. P.S. - I like DanM's not on shopping at yard sales (and this goes for church sales, rummage sales, the Sally Ann, etc). Heck, look at Noma.
  22. I came across this at the big new mall three blocks West of Sanlitun Village in Beijing. Deep down, I know that Hello Kitty will be one of the Four Horsemen. Either that, or she's deposed Cthulhu in R'lyeh. I'll have to look into this.
  23. One quick blurb: Although it may get a certain dismissal as part of the Hy's empire, Ki (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary) had a great selection for Calgary, with 10 sakes by the glass (including Masa's from Granville Island Artisan Sake) and 26 in the bottle. Of greater importance to me, their manager, Adam has been on the sake certification course (level 1) that Gautner is running, and so had their maitre d', Apostol. Both were enthusiastic, and well able to hold up a strong discussion of the bottles they had on offer. I'll talk more about this in the Calgary threads somewhere, but it's worth noting that I took time away from packing and checking out to have another couple of sakes at their place by the Westin.
  24. I was at Knife Bar in Calgary, and they're talking about opening a place in Vancouver. If so, they're qualified to handle Japanese knives (I'd trust them with mine).
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