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    Gold Coast, Australia

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  1. Wow, thanks for this @KennethT. We have only been to NZ once despite the fact it’s only a 3 hour flight away for us. The lower part of the South Island is on the cards for us sometime in the future. Your photos are wonderful. Oh, and a good sausage roll is a thing of beauty. I used to get ones made with grated carrots and minced pork, highly seasoned and with flaky pastry, yum. They are never great when cold @Okanagancookthanks for your additional beautiful photos.
  2. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Our last day in Japan is a long transit one. We take a bus to Osaka airport, to fly to Narita, where, with several hours to spare we grab a train to Narita town, then return for a quick bite and last minute shopping before our 8 hour overnight flight home. There was still food to tick off the list... At Kyoto airport a sushi train where you ordered via iPad on your table, or took a plate off the conveyor. Finally some eel and okay we’d had lots of sashimi, more the better. In a little local bar in Narita town there was Japanese curry on the menu. OMG, we hadn’t had one of those ! Fixed. Typical really, this last quick bite at Narita airport was the worst meal of the trip. A bit of tempura and udon noodle soup. Lucky I had snacks for the flight. That’s a wrap for Japan ! Such an amazing country, cool people, fantastic food, interesting architecture and culture. I’m sure we’ll return.
  3. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Kyoto station is incredible. Apart from the efficient trains, there’s an eleven level mall attached selling anything you could want to buy, countless eateries, a train museum and brilliant people watching. We found Ramen Street (floor 10 I think) where you pay for your selection of dishes at a vending machine outside the restaurant. They’re very easy to use, have an English option and someone available to help if needed. This particular ramen restaurant uses a recipe from the northern part of Japan with a cold climate. Fascinating to read and follow the printed instructions. Mark had pork, mine was vegetarian. The instructions. Interior, small but carefully crafted. A small basket is provided under the table for your handbag, shopping, camera etc. Looking down towards the banks of escalators which descend in a straight line to ground level. While travelling down and looking up - the roof. Kyoto is a fascinating city. We didn’t need these potsticker dumplings, but they were there !
  4. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    So the lovely people at EG posted my Tasting Sri Lanka report on Facebook today. That prompted me to revisit it, and realise that these food reports are a great way to relive my trip. Never did finish Japan....so here goes. This isikaya was literally on the corner of our hotels street, less than 20 meters away. Grilled on a hibachi - quail eggs, shiitake mushrooms with daikon, roasted garlic and some fried chicken. We stayed in Kyoto for 5 nights, it was good to get to know our hood. This place had an open mic night for local musicians. And pretty good ramen. I had a number of items on my “must try” list. One was yakiniku where you grill your own food, although we sat at the bar where a genial waiter did it for us. This place was recommended by hotel reception, who weren’t to know I try to avoid meat. The only thing on the menu was beef, admittedly every part of the cow, stomach, heart, testicles ALL of it. Oh well. We did enjoy it (guilty face) but had to politely decline an invitation to return with some other people we’d met at our hotel. The sides were great and that looks like a glass of white wine rather than sake. Not organ meat. Note big blob of fat to grease the griddle.
  5. So a few weeks ago my birthday present was a sourdough workshop. This is loaf number 3, the best one yet. Here it is sliced with olive oil to dip. Served with fettuccine slathered in pesto (holy basil, garlic, almonds and parmesan) and roasted cherry tomatoes. I’m excited about this sourdough thing. The dough works really well as a type of naan bread too. My sourdough starter brings me joy.
  6. Sorry, no. There’s comparisons online which show various different palak paneer including his, but no recipes. I keep borrowing this book from the library, one day they might give it to me, ha ha. The thing I liked the most was the method - fry whole spices, add aromatics, add ground spices, fry the cheese, then tomato, add chopped spinach and yoghurt. Takes about 20 minutes.
  7. The best ever spinach paneer. I like this dish and have cooked it many times using different recipes. This one from Rick Steins India is the simplest and creamiest (despite using no cream). It’s cooked in one pan, no blenders involved. I may never try another version. Served here with rice, paratha, cucumber raita, black lentils and mango pickle.
  8. Yep, but, ya know, while I’m there may as well have a good look around. I’d probably allow two months for a trip to Canada, surely I could squeeze Newfie in ?
  9. I’ve just come across this and binge read the lot. Great photos and food. Canada is on my list. If I get that far I’ll surely have to include Newfoundland. Thanks Elsie.
  10. Fair enough. I might be heading to the South Island in February, for what would be only my second visit to our close neighbour. I haven’t been to Otago, or further south than Christchurch (yet) and that was pre earthquake, so my recommendations would be outdated, but I hope it’s warm and welcoming Thanks again for sharing your Indonesia adventure x
  11. Thanks KennethT, always good to see your photos and drool. No alcohol ? Even in your hotels ?? Where to next ?
  12. Ha ha, actual chicken is much cheaper....depending on the cut it can be as low as $3 per kilo.
  13. A slight digression, there’s a new product here in Australia called Sunfed chicken free chicken. It was developed and tested in the New Zealand market and proved very popular, hence it’s launch in Oz. I tried it last week, making a creamy mushroom sauce to bathe it, with mash potatoes and garlic spinach alongside. My mistake was adding the “not chicken” into the sauce, rather I should have served it up and poured the sauce on top. During pan time the pea protein absorbed all the sauce. It tasted like chicken and the texture was like shredded chicken. The only downside was the price, $10 for 300 grams.
  14. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Literally 20 meters around the corner from our hotel was a bar called Bond. I kid you not. It’s a standing bar, no seats, just small tables to lean against with very fresh and tasty snacks. It became our regular, being such a handy spot to stop for a cleansing ale after a long day touring around. We got stuck here a few times. Shared sashimi platter Tempura whitebait and cant remember vegetable. Tempura prawn, squid and pickled ginger In my best Scottish brogue....Bond, bar Bond.
  15. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    The market in Kyoto was larger and even more crowded than Kanazawa, with many more foreign tourists ignoring the “Do not eat and walk”. You are supposed to eat whatever you bought, at the stall you bought it from, even if that means standing in a tight space. We returned to this market more than once. Tasty things on sticks Pickled everything (taken before I noticed the no photos sign, apologised profusely, accepted gracefully). There are hundreds of restaurants within the market precinct. We chose this one, udon noodles with tempura prawns for me Chicken with noodles and leeks for him On a subsequent visit fried bean curd Someone got to try a fresh sea urchin, $20 well spent, you can taste the ozone. Matcha ice cream, love this.
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