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About rarerollingobject

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    Sydney, Australia.

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  1. Breakfast! 2017 (Part 2)

    Went to the farmers' market this morning and bought lots of my favourite autumny things, so was pretty happy with my breakfast; padron peppers, sizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with flaky salt; an aged saucisson sec, heavy on the pork fat and black pepper; and these beautiful pine mushrooms, which I sautéed with garlic, Marsala, thyme and a lick of cream and ate on toast (or slightly denatured bread, my toast preference) with rosemary flowers and white pepper. And a glass of very cold oloroso sherry, because I can.
  2. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Well, if it helps, I've just booked a flight back there for November!
  3. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Sorry for the minor delay in communications..blame Blether and sake. I’m home in Sydney now, but my last day in closing was: pastry, a hot yuzu tea from Starbucks, sushi, shopping (more lollipops! skull-shaped sugar cubes! wasabi and sake-flavoured KitKats!), coffee, hanami in Yoyogi Park, one last drink in my hotel's lounge with an incredible view, and home. So, farewell from your erstwhile correspondent (shown here in utter mastery of the Tokyo subway system, despite being extremely hungover to boot), and thanks so much to everyone who read along and commented!
  4. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Nah, I like rich food and upsetting people!
  5. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    I had a mission today, to go and find Ame-shin - a shop I’d read about for awhile now that sells traditional Japanese hand-pulled sugar craft. Nothing traditional about the shop itself, though - a young dude, at the ripe old age of 23, decided to single-handedly revive the dying craft. He makes EXQUISITE gold fish, frogs, octopus, squid..you name it. I bought the goldfish and the koi (the top two photos), and a bunch of beautiful circular lollipops as gifts. And no, I’m not going to eat them..I’m going to admire them, study them, and maybe give sugar-pulling a go myself, eventually. aren’t they lovely?? Here he is: After that - ubiquitous sushi, at the shoutiest sushi train I’ve found so far in Tokyo (it’s a Hokkaido chain, and shouting is kind of a Hokkaido thing.) Video (needs sound): This food court (!) also had an incredible wagyu beef place, and I was SERIOUSLY tempted by the 5 cheese tonkatsu, but given the cheese-in-eye incident I had in Kyoto, I decided not. Then I went and spent a zillion dollars at Issey Miyake, and the less said about that the better, and then on the way out, I saw this lovely modern blue-and-white plate, so I um, bought it.. Dinner - Japanese curry. A black curry from Kanazawa, with a tonkatsu fillet buried in it, because of course there is. Incidentally, @helenjp, it seems to be another kind of place only men eat in. At least, the dude at the back there visibly jumped and gasped when he saw me, and nudged his friend. WTH? Where do all the women eat in this city?!
  6. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    A busy day of festival-hopping for today - I set off early for the, um, fertility festival at Kanamara Shrine. OKAY, OKAY - it’s a penis festival. And it was quite fun, though as usual I was more interested in the people who take part in festivals than festivals themselves. They had all manner of penisphernalia, including (food-related) penis-shaped kebabs, deep fried potato penises, and penis-adjacent radishes. Though I really had trouble with the sight of tiny kids all over the place being given life-size penis lollipops to suck. Cultural differences notwithstanding, I work in child protection and in my world, that smacks of normalizing/grooming behaviour.. Anyway, one enterprising stall also sold vulvas, and not, as I felt the need to correct a pack of about 20 American teenage boys, vaginas. I’ll attach two pictures here for reference, but if you want to see the rest (that are in varying degrees of NSFeG-ness, but nothing actually RUDE, they’re here.) Then I hopped back to Shibuya, ate a bit of sushi: And moved on to Yoyogi Park, for a double whammy of the Japan Paella Association Festival (and competition! And free paella- I had three bowls; oyster; salmon roe; and squid ink): And the happy craziness of hanami parties in Yoyogi Park: No dinner. After penis-potatoes, three bowls of paella, and all that sushi, I am CARBED OUT. Am now home, drinking sake, and flipped the TV channel over to a Japanese food channel..to see Alice Waters, talking about how lettuce “speaks to her." Which is exactly the sort of thing I expected her to say as soon as I saw it was Alice Waters! Haha.
  7. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Not a single polite thing about me! I do like making them uncomfortable in return though; in Japan, that really just takes flashing them my most dazzling and inviting smile. That doesn't so work well in the West..
  8. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Yeah. I just wade in. I get stared at quite a bit, but then, I just stare back, not breaking direct eye contact while I eat - which nicely freaks everybody out.
  9. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    ?? Why, because they're always full of salarymen?
  10. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    I did go to Itoya..I might've spent five hours and $200 on stationery.. On the other hand, I'm now sorted for presents for every kid I know (and considering I have 5 godkids, that's an achievement). Seriously amazing shop, look at this Rube Goldberg machine made solely out of stationery supplies!! Plus, on a food-related amazement, they have a hydroponic farm on the 11th floor! Other food the things of the day; a simple beef gyudom (thinly sliced, well-marbled beef simmered in soy, mirin and sake on rice), with a raw egg, green onions, kimchi and all you can eat pickles..for ¥670! Which is US$6 or AUD$8. Amazing. And that was the large size! Like everything else in Japan for which I cannot make sense of the economics, I can only presume it's down to scale. I do love that they give you your own egg separator and empty bowl, lest you not want the raw egg white (which I didn't.) Then a kouign amann and biche aux citron from Maison Kayser in Matsuya Ginza, a stop at Mariage Freres for some yuzu and indigo flower green tea, and home. Predicting (correctly, as it turns out) that my Saturday evening would go to hell with work dramas back in Sydney and that I'd be doglocked to the laptop all evening, I stopped in at the local supermarket on the way home and bought this pack of lovely, fatty salmon belly strips for US$3/AUD$3.50, and pan fried them till the skin was blistered and crispy, and ate with some simple rice and spinach. And my ubiquitous (beloved) sake, of course.
  11. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    More real-timing; a bite of actual seared foie gras sushi, and the only acceptable use of Starbucks in my opinion; the matcha frappe. Needed a rest after tearing through an 18 storey (12 storeys in one building, 6 in its annex) stationery shop!
  12. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    Real time breakfast - ankimo (monkfish liver, it's so creamy and unctuous; the foie gras of the sea) and prawn roe tofu
  13. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    So I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I didn’t end up eating any dinner last night - I got so caught up in a work crisis back in Sydney that I spent the night on the phone and email with nary a break to have even a wee dram of sake..so woke up this morning ravenous, and took myself straight to Shinjuku; target – Shinjuku Isetan’s food hall. Japanese food halls are NOTHING like we conceive of them in the West. I tell people about them and they say things like, “The West has those! There’s Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason in England, Macy’s used to have a foodhall in NYC, and now there’s places like Eataly.” And I say, “I have been to literally ALL those places and they having nothing on even the most pedestrian Japanese department store food hall.” They’re wonderlands (horror shows) of abundance (excess) and consumerism. Just mind-boggling. And Shinjuku Isetan is the most mind-boggling. Not the biggest, but the most astounding quality. Every kind of food you can imagine – Japanese, Chinese, Iberico hams, cheese rooms the size of swimming pools – and patisserie. Many Parisian patisseries have their only other outlets in Tokyo. And they have the most beautiful luxe Japanese kitchenware department, and such a gorgeous range of indigo clothes and fabrics (another of my many weaknesses): Anyway, I needed strength to face all that, so first, some fortifying sushi: And then I stopped to buy my friend a gift of a silk/cotton blend men’s kimono, which is the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought and come to think of it I think I might be subconsciously in love with him to have spent that much – I’d show you, but it’s so beautifully wrapped. Including an outer plastic wrapping they cocooned it in (within the three carry bags they then put THAT into) because “it might rain today.” (And it did.) And then I bought ME yet another cup, this time a heavy Japanese tin sake cup that is intentionally malleable and meant to shape-shift slightly with every use: And then braved the foodhall for Henri Le Roux caramels beurre sale: A kouign amann filled with caramel beurre sale: A sakura (cherry blossom) éclair from Sadaharu Aoki: And six macarons, which you can see tomorrow, because if I open them tonight, I’ll eat them. And lo, dinner is pastries and sake, which is totally fine and everything, because I'm a full-grown adult. Yeah.
  14. Feasting My Way Through Japan

    All I have done today is eat sushi, scoff French patisserie, and spend money. Basically like every other day. But stay tuned anyhow.