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Orik

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  1. Hmm. The casual Sri Lankan place in our neighborhood offers a choice of long grain or Japanese rice. Most Indian places of any ambition will serve long grain rice, and Thai places serve the appropriate rice. It's easy to get rice imported from various countries in ethnic groceries or online. It stands to reason that Japanese curry, being a dish adopted into the local cuisine, will usually serve Japanese rice. I can see why idle speculation is appealing, but of course Japanese people travel Asia by the millions and eat the local rice everywhere they go, and of course there are millions of non-Japanese Asians living in Japan and that alone should give you a hint that you could get a wide selection of non-Japanese rice. As for import taxes on rice, they are very high due to the influence of the rice grower lobby, but then Japanese rice is so expensive that imports often still end up being reasonably priced. 554 rice products from outside Japan: http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/-/555791/?grp=product Long grain rice at "spicy bistro taprobane":
  2. Orik

    The Tasting Room

    Surely you jest. Can you explain what aspect of the cuisine at Blue Hill is "molecular", "cutting edge" or "adventurous"? ← I'm not Eatmywords, but perhaps he's like me. My sympathies if he is. Perhaps I could expand my previous post to support Eatmywords', although I don't generally think of Dan's cooking as "Molecular." On the other hand, he is a relative pioneer in sous vide cooking and works with some pretty sublime flavor combinations, it's just that they're far more sublime than one expects when one eats in a restaurant known for molecular cuisine. I recall the time I complimented Dan on a particular fish dish we had. He asked if I wanted to know the secret ingredient, in a way that implied I would be incredulous if I were told. Then he said "mango sorbet," holding up an empty container as proof. Trust me, there couldn't have been a pint's worth in a week's worth of fish. I didn't taste it. On the whole, all those terms are meaningless in comparison with the experience of the food itself. A meal at Blue Hill can be edge-of-your-seat exciting if you put yourself in the hands of the kitchen. That satisfies whatever I want out of cutting edge adventure. I don't know that I would have chosen to say what Eatmywords said, but I think I understand what he meant. In the end, I don't think Dan would be the spokesman for sustainable agriculture with as wide a reputation as he's received, were it not for the way in which he handles his provisions. Apparently he's making himself known in Spain for his "farm-restaurant" and will be a participant at Madrid Fusion next year. ← Well, I have to doubt the assertion that Dan B was a pioneer in the field of sous vide cooking, if only because the all knowing Wikipedia says Troisgros was doing it in the 70s. While I appreciate some of what they do (and, as you've said, their technique is not as simple as it appears in many cases), increasingly the result is bland and uniteresting even though the ingredients and preparations are great. (that is, they do exactly what they intend to do, but what they intend to do isn't great). Eatmywords' choice of words just seems very very odd in the context of their food. Also, as a side note, Blue Hill's bread and cheeses can be quite shameful.
  3. Orik

    The Tasting Room

    Surely you jest. Can you explain what aspect of the cuisine at Blue Hill is "molecular", "cutting edge" or "adventurous"?
  4. Orik

    Ushi Wakamaru

    Todd, I've eaten at Yasuda many times, probably fifty or sixty, almost always Omakase at the bar, which is typically around 20-30 pieces. The food price per person has always been in the $90-$160 range, depending on what's available and how much we pig out. Having eaten at Ushiwakamaru a couple of times, I can say that it is a great deal for the price (compared to other places offering 15 pieces for $50), but if you eat 25 pieces there, the price starts scratching Yasuda (and that's without live uni or anything of the sort). While the fish at Ushiwakamaru are of very good quality (except for shrimp they used in Chawanmushi I had there once, which was bad) and the preparation of nigiri is quite good, the rice is nowhere nearly as good as at yasuda and control over wasabi levels could also use some help. I do accept your claim that the "combination" deal is better at Ushi , but Yasuda is still serves overall much better sushi.
  5. Yes, do get as much cash as you can from the Citi ATM at Narita, because most ATMs in Tokyo won't take your foreign card. The only one we've found that worked reliably was in the basement of one of the buildings in Roppongi Hills.
  6. Try Bangkok Center Grocery on 104 Mosco Street. Very nice people, they'll tell you where to find anything they don't have (if they know, that is)
  7. Let's restate then: At any price, it would still not be a food item that I would go out of my way for. Traditional? possibly, I wouldn't know. But it would have been better (as in better flavored, better textured) if it were non-traditional. This is not to say that they're not doing a good job at replicating something that almost none of us have tasted, just that the something they're replicating isn't great. That's all. (and those who know me know that I don't have much of a problem spending $$$$ on good food)
  8. If you've never been to naples (and I believe, although I'm not certain, that he grew up quite a long way away from there too), what difference does it make whether it's traditional or not? there are many traditional foods that suck, or were created to be affordable, like bread with a little bit of toppings on it Anyway, I think they just got their license, so no more $20 dinners for you, unless you stick to drinking the Kool-Aid.
  9. Yes, but if you ignore for a second the fact that there's a dish called pizza and that there are various schools of preparation, and so on, and just imagine that someone opened a shop selling good flatbread for $17 a pop (and you have to wait quite a while to get it), do you think it would have many clients?
  10. No, the price point is just one aspect of it. The other aspect is that it's just not particularly tasty. (Also, I can't get over the thought that the "sauce" looks like it was sneezed onto the pie) b -- maybe he should double prices and only be open twice a week.
  11. no, I get it all right.
  12. let me soften the reply I posted elsewhere. What a f'ing rip off. $50 for two slabs of flatbread with tiny bits of toppings on them that would have been better of if they were added after baking. (including a bottle of water and tip). We left very hungry and displeased. I can appreciate the quality of the dough and the ingredients used for toppings, but this was a case where the sum was significantly less than its ingredients (and certainly the food cost was next to nothing) - the very wide area with no toppings was slightly over baked, while the area under the toppings was wet and soggy. There was no sauce to speak of. New York must be one of the only places in ther world with a large enough concentration of wealthy suckers to sustain a business like this, which isn't very good at what it's trying to do, but charges as if it were.
  13. Yes, it's well publicized that you're quite comfortable with your reviews (almost as well publicized as that story about Beaujolais, if you know what I mean ). The odd thing is that unless consensus already exists on a restaurant (in which case you always make sure to play along), your reviews always seemed to be completely random (this applies to your wine reviews as well) back when I lived there. Just my opinion, of course, fwiw. (a meal at Raphael was quite ho-hum, but that was a couple of years ago, maybe things have improved)
  14. I loved the food (enough to return a second time during a relatively short visit), although generally I prefer more creative cuisine. The room looked better the first time (maybe because we ate at the horrible settings of Austral earlier), but a second visit made it seem a bit more kitschy. Still, I'd go back very frequently if I lived there (service was great too).
  15. Borie was still there last month.
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