Eating in Japan- Omurice

My first time in Japan I was really surprised restaurants were so specialised. Rather than having a selection of assorted dishes on their menu, most places specialise in one type of food. Often, they offer many different iterations, or variations on a theme (or flavour). One of my favourite types of places to eat is…

In Conversation with Van Milton, a Kyoto Tour Guide

Last week I had an enlightening conversation with Van Milton. A tour guide in Kyoto, without customers to guide at the present time. In addition to tour guiding, Van is a botanist, a teacher, a keen hiker and cyclist and a fellow sake lover. We met through the Taste with the Toji online sake group….

Eating in Japan- Yokochō

Yokochō means “alleyway” in Japanese, and the busy alleyways of Tokyo, Osaka, and other large cities in Japan, are an opportunity to connect with the past. Bustling and crowded alleyways are packed with small izakaya, bars, ramen joints and other cheap and delicious eateries. Many of these establishments seat only 4-10 people. They are very…

Feel like a chat?

Hey, everyone 😊 I thought I would change it up a bit while Melbourne continues to wallow in its seemingly eternally endless lockdown. I am so very sick of myself, my own voice, my thoughts and the four walls of my lovely, but claustrophobia inducing home. I have decided to have a chat with some…

Sakura (Cherry Blossom) 2022?

Or, when should I travel to Japan after borders reopen? I’m not sure about you, but I am literally frothing at the bit to travel again. The suggestion that Australia’s borders may reopen by the end of the year has me very excited. I am desperate to visit family in Canada. I am also longing…

Chā shū Pork (for ramen)

Last year, during Melbourne’s long COVID lockdown, I became completely desperate. I wrote about my pathetic desperation in For the Love of Ramen and also my subsequent satisfaction after mastering the pork in Lockdown Ramen Obsession. Once again, after being incarcerated by the 5km travel limit, I have had to indulge my eating obsession by…

Eating in Japan- Kaiseki

Kaiseki is an elegant, stylised and ritualised multi-course set meal served in ryokan and restaurants in Japan. The highly trained chefs present the food in such a way as to embellish but not detract from the natural beauty and freshness of the ingredients. There is always a seasonal element to the meal and the local…

Yoki-san ヨキさん

Yoki-san is my dog. His real name is Loki, but everyone calls him Yoki-san. He is a 7 year old Moodle, black and white, and super cute. He likes to be carried like a baby. He is tucked into bed each night. If we pay attention to anyone else, like the magpies who live in…

Eating in Japan- Izakaya

Eating anywhere in Japan is a treat. Eating in an Izakaya is the best treat, in my opinion. Izakaya are sometimes compared to pubs in the West, but I think of them more as bars with amazing snacks. Similar to tapas bars. They are casual, fun and often rowdy. Izakaya translates to stay and drink….

Okonomiyaki お好み焼き

Okonomiyaki translates roughly to “as you like it” but more literally as “your preference grilled”. Some people think of okonomiyaki as a Japanese pancake. There are similarities. However, in my opinion, okonomiyaki is so much more delicious as you can chose what to put in and it is savoury. It is a great recipe when…

Eating in Japan-Konbini

When we can travel again, which hopefully will be in the not too distant future, I look forward to eating. Eating is one of my favourite aspects of travelling. Eating in Japan is something for which I yearn desperately. I miss Japan and its delicious food, viscerally. We have many really amazing Japanese restaurants in…

Eating in Japan-Ekiben

I love trains. I particularly love Japanese trains. Shinkansen, or bullet trains, are my favourite. Travelling on shinkansen is like flying. You have allocated seats with fold down tables and you can buy drinks and snacks from an onboard trolley. One of the most wonderful parts about travelling on shinkansen is ekiben. Ekiben is a…