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Paola Mannaro

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  1. AGRA in India : where to eat safe & authentic Indian food ? Left it late to ask - leaving in 2 days. So quick answers would be really appreciated. Entries in Lonely Planet sound pitiful. I'd rather go to Macdonalds. If anyone is moved to spare me this awful fate, please HELP ! Many thanks in advance.
  2. Hi All, I'm due to visit Delhi for a few days in Jan 2009 - I believe in planning, and especially food planning. My thanks to all the excellent advice above, however, that was 2004, and I wonder if Mongo Jones' list and other info is still current ? Would anyone be kind enough to update us on the Delhi food situation ? Obviously, I'm after Indian food ! I've just made a painful discovery regarding Ambala (www.ambalafoods.com). I worshipped at the alter of Ambala when I was in London, UK, and I imagined Delhi would provide me with the greatest of Ambala temples, but no ! It seems this organisation ( like the UK's Patak ) is actually based in the West with NO representation in Asia. What a nightmare ! How about Royal ? Does Delhi have Royal sweets ? On a slightly different topic; I've been really shocked by the hotel prices and the shabby reviews I've seen. I HAVE to stay in Delhi, no choice, so any suggestions would be much appreciated - let's take that off-line if necessary as I don't wish to break any forum rules ( ahem ). Does anyone know any free, 5-star hotels in Delhi run by a charming, witty, erudite gourmet ?
  3. Hello World ! NO Japan is not starving ! However, if you want to send any (gourmet) food parcels I can provide my address. On a more serious note : there have indeed been BUTTER shortages for some weeks already which continue. In Tokyo I had been buying French (imported) butters like Echire which retail at around 1400 Yen for 200g - almost 14 USD. Since I found that Hokkaido butter tastes just fine I switched; but within weeks of this decision the Japanese (Hokkaido) butter started to disappear from the shelves. I thought it was a ploy to force the sale of the expensive imported brands but NO. The butter shortage was confirmed by The Japan Times. The shortage was preceded by an increase in the cost of milk but has not been accompanied by any milk shortage - which begs the question : WHAT are they making their butter from exactly ? Although the rest of Asia is suffering from a scarcity (and therefore increased cost) of RICE Japan is sailing through that crisis by eating - you guessed it - European breads and patisserie. I believe we are completely untouched by the rice shortage. Amazing. To summarize : Supermarket shelves are packed, there is SOME evidence of butter shortages but I am able to obtain it easily from my local grocer. Both I and the patissiers of Tokyo are not experiencing ANY difficulties with butter or anything else. Unless you want to talk about overcrowded trains... Thank you for caring about Japan !
  4. To Peter Green : Please could you give some restaurant names and addresses in Ryogoku. I've not been to that area and would like to try it .. Thank you.
  5. Here are details of the 2 places I mentioned earlier : SUSHIZANMAI Both restaurants have been successful and have expanded - so they have branches dotted around. I found a big quality and atmosphere difference between the Sushizanmais in Tsukiji and those outside. TSUKIJI ( fish market area ) is definitely better - about 3-4 branches, all good. A couple of them are just meters apart ! Apart from excellent sushi / sashimi I recommend the soups and chawan mushi. See : http://www.kiyomura.co.jp/sushi-e/ I can't find an address for the branches I like most ( I think they're trying to funnel people to the more "up-scale" branches ) so here are directions : Get out at TSUKIJI station EXIT 1. Walk towards the big crossroads and cross over Harumi Dori Avenue. You are now standing at a small pottery shop on the corner of Harumi Dori and Shin Ohasi Dori. Facing the shop turn LEFT and keep eyes peeled for neon signs to Sushizanmai which is next RIGHT down a narrow alley. If you go around 5pm you sometimes find people in white jackets handing out leaflets outside the pottery shop. DO take a leaflet, it sometimes comes with a 500 Yen money-back token !! FREE SUSHI ! Life doesn't get better than that. TSUNAHACHI ( also TUNAHACHI, different spelling, same place ) I like the restaurant that opened in Daimaru Department Store (Tokyo station) at Xmas because it's extra clean and shiny and because you get the cityscape-by-night view from the 12th Floor. 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6701 Tokyo Daimaru Department Stores 12 F This link will (I hope) provide you a translated page of info : http://209.85.135.104/translate_c?hl=en&u=....co.jp/g021924/ FINALLY : No need to book for either place. Sushizan. open 24 hours. Other place probably open from about 11am-10pm. Enjoy.
  6. I agree with everyone else. Kyoto to a culture vulture is the "heart" of Japan and is always on the tourist itineraries. I don't rate Osaka but it DOES have one of the most amazing castles - huge, and gleaming white. I saw it by night in January. Extraordinary. Kyoto on the other hand has about 1 million temples, gardens, museums, palaces plus geishas and the most beautiful railway station I've ever seen - must have won an architecture prize or 10. Kyoto is also the culinary capital of Japan. Getting back to Tokyo (where I live) my favourite 2 places to eat are : Tsunahachi ( tempura-only restaurant) and Sushizanmai ( sushi / sashimi ) in Tsukiji. Get back to me if you want addresses. Expect to pay about 6000 yen per person at both places including beers. Both are excellent.
  7. I went to the restaurant "Al MORO" ( The Moor - as in N. African) about 6 years ago and always wanted to go back. The artichokes I still remember well. I found a recent review of it on an Italian web page : Address is : ROMA (RM) Vicolo delle Bollette, 13 (Centro storico) Tel 066783495 The Italian reviewer writes : Cost : 45 a 65 euro per head. 90 places. The Trattoria "Al Moro" is a classic trattoria in full Roman style- characteristic and comfortable. The cuisine has maintained the quality of the ingredients and the love of traditional cooking both Roman and Italian. They serve meat, fresh fish and offer a well-stocked and carefully selected cellar. Buon appetito !
  8. Paola Mannaro

    British Wines

    Nyetimber produce at least two grades : Première Cuvée and Classic Cuvée. I have only tasted the classic but found it wanting compared to any of the popular non-vintage champagnes ( Moet, Veuve etc. ). Despite the fact that Nyetimber is served by The Queen on "many state occasions" and may appeal to the curious, (myself included) you may find yourself disappointed. Of course, if anyone has tasted Nyetimber’s Première Cuvée and would care to comment ...
  9. On this website : http://www.ordinegiornalisti.veneto.it/ the guidelines document for journalists states : ALL wine names in Italian are MASCULINE (that means AL or ALLO) with just 2 exceptions : LA Malvasia and LA Vernaccia. ( i.e. ALLA Malvasia, ALLA Vernaccia ). This should be an authoritative and accurate source but I'll get confirmation from a second source. This is something we need to get right !
  10. There are two similar confections : panforte ( with variations described earlier in this forum ) and also panpepato / pampepato which literally means "peppered bread" and DOES infact contain pepper. If anyone is interested I shall return to pampepato later. The last time I was in Florence they were selling panforte and its spicier, darker cousin (pampepato) side by side in patisseries. I have not made panforte / pampepato but the following recipe is translated from an Italian book "Ricettario della cucina regionale italiana" published by Touring Club Italiano ISBN : 88-365-2420-6 ( later versions may be available now). Note that the book is written in ITALIAN. Like many European cookery books they assume you have a family of 20 to feed (no indication of how many this serves) and details are slim : Panforte Margherita INGREDIENTS : 2.5 Kg sugar, 3 Kg candied citron peel ( cut into cubes ), 500g candied orange peel ( cut into cubes ), 3Kg almonds (whole, peeled and lightly roasted), 500g of sugar/almond marzipan, 500g wheat flour (Italian type 00), 50g vanilla sugar, 50g vanilla pods (v finely minced), 50g cinnamon (powdered), 30g ground nutmeg. METHOD : Make a very dense syrup by dissolving the sugar in some water until it reaches the thread stage. Then add flour and mixed peels, the almonds and all spices. Knead lightly and put into a prepared metal ring on a large rice wafer. It should be at least 2cm thick, and as much as 4-6cm thick. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Bake at 160C for 20-45 mins depending on the size of the round. After baking and cooling, re-sprinkle with icing sugar containing vanilla sugar. Pack the panforte carefully as it is hygroscopic (absorbs water from the environment). If hermetically sealed keeps well for several months. SO. This version doesn't contain melon (popone candito) nor cocoa. Because I've not tried the recipe and because the ingredients are so expensive I suggest a small trial one first. There are many panforte recipes on the Net in Italian. With the aid of Google translation you can get other recipes and compare the proportions - I usually do this myself to get a feel for what's going to work. Good luck and please tell us all how it went and share any useful tips. Thx. Paola
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