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sartoric

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    But wait, there’s more ! We spent 5 nights in Kyoto, a charming city which is definitely on the return list. This local isakaya specialises in okonomiyaki, or Japanese pizza as the owner laughingly referred to it. I want one of these giant grills ! We we had a little chicken to start... Then the okonomiyaki itself, topped with dancing shaved bonito. The outside of isakaya were easy to spot with the red lanterns signalling “open”. That didn’t always mean we’d get a seat.
  4. Well I’m on board, thanks for posting @Bhukhhad. We don’t really eat breakfast unless away travelling. Having said that, I have made poha as a side for a mix of curries, and also chickpea flour pancakes. Both delicious. Home cooking is something I’m passionate about, even more so if it’s Indian. I read a book once written by woman who advertised on Craigslist (or similar) for in home cooking lessons with Indian women. She was Canadian I think, provided the ingredients and a small fee in exchange for the lesson. I wanted to make that happen here, but stuff got in the way. So, I for one, will welcome your home style recipes with much joy.
  5. It’s just like a skillet but with only a tiny lip. Great for omelettes too. I think my pan at the cottage might be warped a bit, the breads took on more colour in the middle, it should have colour all over. Yes, they puff up gloriously.
  6. While I’m on a roll, this is a vegetable curry I made down at our country cottage last weekend. Similar to “what’s in the fridge” minestrone, I used whatever veggies I had (potatoes, cauliflower and tomatoes) and after cooking them with some typical Indian flavourings, added in some leftover “everyday okra” and leftover panchmael dal. This may be a mortal sin to the purists, but we really enjoyed it with raita, pickle and the easiest bread I’ve found. It’s like a cross between naan and chapatti, moist and delicious. To make 6, mix 250g flour (I use atta with a little plain flour), 2 tsps baking powder, a pinch of salt and 250 g plain yoghurt. Knead for a minute or so, divide, roll into 15 cm circles and throw onto a hot tava. Brush with ghee if you’re feeling decadent. This bread doesn’t look the best, I don’t have a proper tava at the cottage, so made do with a fry pan. Here’s a better piece of bread.
  7. I’m lazy and mostly use tamarind concentrate. Having said that, we have a tamarind tree. It’s only small and in a pot, but once it gets planted out in Spring and starts producing, I guess I’ll have to use it.
  8. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    I borrowed a book from the library - Vegetarian Tajine & Couscous by Ghillie Basan. Here’s the chickpea and spinach tajine with turmeric and ginger couscous, flatbreads and a cucumber, dill and onion salad. I think I’m going to be breaking my “no new cookbooks” embargo.
  9. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    Oh my that looks good @Ann_T, happiest of days to Moe. Dinner here last night was a potato and mixed mushroom curry with dal, rice and oven baked okra. It was someone here on eG who pointed me to the okra recipe, maybe @Okanagancook ? Anyway, we’re eternally grateful for this easy dish that works every time.
  10. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    On a day trip to Nara we were accompanied by swarms of school kids who were incredibly orderly. The weather was perfect, the sightseeing impressive, the food delicious and the deer friendly. You could have coffee with an owl (or a pussy cat). We didn’t do it, seems exploitative, but I did ask for a photo for my owl crazy niece. Lunch at a busy restaurant. The crab cake here was superb. Grilled king mushrooms, chicken teriyaki, a bowl of soup and a small plate of dressed vegetables each. Manhole covers are often works of art.
  11. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    Udon noodle soup with veggies and sake. The sake has gold leaf in it !
  12. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Breakfast at our Ryokan onsen was almost as special as dinner. There’s a flame under this beef. Onwards through beautifully coloured countryside to Kyoto. And these little treats, an egg batter filled with shrimp and fried in kinda mini muffin pans. Served with soup and Mitsuba. A modern day isakaya, four tables with room for say 24 at a pinch. Note the coat hangers for your jacket. Happy owner who made us very welcome Some gratuitous supermarket shots, round the corner and open 24 hours.
  13. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    @BonVivant yes we did sake tasting in two places. Didn’t get to Shirikawa-go, my motto is always save something for next time We did try the hida beef too, (even though I try not to eat animals these days which was difficult in Japan). Lovely photos.
  14. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    In Takayama we enjoyed a traditional kasakei meal served in our room. There’s so much going on here, I can’t begin to explain. First the charming lady sets out the pieces. No English to explain, but we figure it out All exquisite little bites. Then the elderly owner of the guest house gives us a box of biscuits (German, but hey) And we retire to a warm onsen, bliss.
  15. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    I think a lot of places had English menus, I didn’t always photograph them. Perhaps in our 14 days x 2 or 3 meals a day we were without an English menu maybe 7 or 8 times. Kinda made it more fun. Sorry again for the 🌽.
  16. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Before we left Kanazawa there was pizza. Not bad, from this typical Italian joint. I love their food plastic A giant fish head just chillin on ice, on the street, waiting for the restaurant to open. Onwards to Takayama where we spend our 25th wedding anniversary This ramen bowl and gyoza were a mistake. Not because they weren’t delicious, we had no idea what was to come at our Ryokan Onsen.... later...
  17. Just catching up now and have to say thanks @Smithy for your warts and all peek into road tripping. I picked up lots of ideas. We hope to do some of the same next year, albeit in Australia, and extra albeit towing an off-road caravan. Hope you enjoy spring when it arrives
  18. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    Oyakodon- chicken and egg rice bowl.
  19. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    More meals from Kanazawa. Breakfast at a cheap joint in the fish market basement. A sushi bowl with prawns, calamari and salmon roe, rice underneath. So fresh, sweet and fun to pop the salmon roe. Next to it a seafood okonomiyaki, also delicious and total cost about AUD $12. Crab croquettes, oh my. Served with a dipping sauce and daikon. Potato salad to go with, plus edamame. And special rice. Another great selection of sake on the bar. The sake is poured to overflowing, the box contains the overflow which you then drink. A gratuitous garden shot, the Kenrokuen Garden is peaceful even on a Sunday public holiday.
  20. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    I think my favourite places to eat were the isakaya or local restaurants. Often there would be only room for 6 around the working area, counter like. In many places not a single sign in English or even a picture menu. Clearly we weren’t the target audience, but we were made extremely welcome. Google translate is miraculous. In this tiny place I had to set my semi vegetarian principles aside. I try very hard not to eat four legged animals, but here today pork tonkatsu was on the menu. We were served mountain vegetables with egg, pickles, salad, rice and miso soup. The owner produced three tastings of sake for us to try. Happily posed for the camera, see space of the kitchen behind ! Also note 3 sake cups on the counter. Not pictured are two other customers who engaged and made this a fun night.
  21. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    Husband away on business, so I started late afternoon with a snack platter, a glass of wine and a girlfriend to chat with. She stayed, it became dinner.
  22. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    Food at the market, shuffling while eating one giant oyster and salmon sashimi. Kanazawa is known for jibu-ni a duck and root vegetable stew cooked in dashi. Here’s a lousy photo, the dish was delicious. Also here we had tempura sweet potato, rice and sake. I love these isakaya restaurants. Sometimes you just want to have cheesecake and a glass of wine. There are a lot of Italian style restaurants and cafes. The bento box ! We arranged a goodwill guide to see Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen gardens. This is a free service run by Japan tourism board and on both occasions was excellent. Our guide T suggests we buy our lunch before starting the walk. In the basement of department stores are food halls, fantastic food halls. First choose your box with various goodies Then choose from a selection of several rice dishes It will be beautifully wrapped And look like this when you finally stop for lunch I chose a box with space for three kinds of rice. Loved the one with chestnuts.
  23. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    I’ve been lurking at the Japanese supermarket here. Last night was ginger garlic chicken wings, spinach dressed with sesame, pickles (well, kimchi) rice, miso soup with egg and sake. I even made my own dashi. It’s not Japan, but I’m happy with this.
  24. sartoric

    Tasting Japan

    From Tokyo we bulleted to Kanazawa for more delicious food, sake and sights. The Nihishi fish market has much more than fish, one could almost live there. Two little stools to sit and enjoy your fresh seafood. Not inexpensive. Bamboo shoots and forest vegetables were in season. A walk through sashimi bar where you pay first, then eat standing, moving along as necessary. We had salmon sashimi and a giant oyster. Shrimp, salmon roe, pickled fish and others, oh my. The market was surrounded by restaurants, a basement brimming with food options and a feeling of safety not common in other Asian countries. We returned here several times in our 3 day stay. It was crowded at times.
  25. sartoric

    Dinner 2019

    We got back from Japan last week and I’m trying to keep it alive, what an amazing country, go if you can. There’s a few more details over on the Japan dining page. Here’s a simple bowl of noodles with vegetables. Then I lapsed, comfort food beckoned, chicken with fenugreek, dal, rice and chapatti. In the country place, chicken and sage sausages with roasted vegetables. That’s a brazier for warmth in the background, brrr, it’s cold. Tamil eggplant and chickpea curry with dal, cucumber raita, rice and paratha.
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