Lockdown Ramen Obsession

My last post was about ramen. How much I was missing it, and how I was unable to obtain it within my 5km lockdown zone. Then with the easing of the 5km restriction to 25km, I was still unable to make it to any of my favourite ramen restaurants, and was feeling very disenfranchised about…

For the love of RAMEN!!!

To say I like food is somewhat of an understatement. A million years ago I trained as a chef, then I studied nutritional medicine and now I teach cooking in a primary (elementary) school. I love everything about food, and when I teach, I teach the culture, the history and the social aspects of food,…

Uniquely Japanese- Yoshoku 洋食

Yoshoku is Japanese western style cooking. In my experience, every dish that the Japanese adopt and alter ends up being more delicious than the dish they started with. Yoshoku translates literally as “Western style cuisine”, as opposed to Washoku 和食 which translates to Japanese style cuisine. During the Meiji period (1868-1912) after more than 200…

Hamburg Steak (hanba-gu sute-ki) ハンバーグステーキ

The first two times I visited Japan I was a pesce pollotarian. I ate fish, but not meat and so I had never tried many of the iconic Japanese dishes because of this. When Super Sake Boy and I started seeing each other, I had recently begun eating meat again. I had been dreaming about…

RAKU- A sublime dining experience.

When I looked up “best Japanese restaurant” in Canberra, Raku was the obvious front runner, with many people extolling its virtues. I always look up the best local Japanese when we travel, as we love eating Japanese food and I am always interested to see how other places do it differently. We are lucky in…

Uniquely Japanese- Kuchisabishii 口寂しい

This unique Japanese word may be more relevant at the moment, as we are all spending a lot of time at home and some of us are struggling with lack of social contact and boredom. I was tagged in a kuchisabishii meme by a lovely friend of mine, who is in an apartment in Manhattan,…

Love in the Time of Coronavirus… or The Quiet Ryokan

Twenty five days ago I wrote a blog about our impending trip to Japan. It feels like a year ago. Needless to say our plans have been completely disbanded and even if we wanted to leave the country, we could not. I am somewhat relieved we were not stuck in a difficult situation of being…

Kansai Style Sukiyaki Don Recipe

This sukiyaki don is another staple meal in our house. Don is short for donburi which simply indicates it is a meat, fish or vegetable dish served over rice, in one bowl. It is super easy, super, super quick and very delicious. It is a couple of minutes of preparation and then very quick to…

Uniquely Japanese- Gochisousamadesu ご馳走様です

When people finish eating in Japan they will usually say ご馳走様です(gochisousamadesu) or ご馳走様でした (gochisousamadeshita) as a way of saying thank you for the food. Like itadakimasu, (read about that here) this saying is a way of showing gratitude to all involved in the preparation of your meal. Again, the farmers, fisherman and so forth. The kanji…

Uniquely Japanese- Itadakimasu 頂きます

Anywhere you are in Japan, at any meal, with any person, you will hear them clap their hands together and say itadakimasu 頂きます which translates, roughly, to “I humbly receive” before they begin eating. This is such an ingrained aspect of their culture that you will see people do it even when alone. These days…

Chotto Motto, a little more…..

Walking through the door at Chotto Motto is like stepping through a time tunnel. An incredible space that looks like it is straight out of Tokyo in the Showa Era, maybe circa 1975? There is Ultra-man, Godzilla and retro pop-culture everywhere you look. So many Peko-chan and Anpanman, a haven for lovers of Japanese collectables….

Tamura Sake Bar- A Haven in Fitzroy

Earlier this year, a wonderful little bar opened near the top end of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Dark and mysterious, but cleverly illuminated with a welcoming glow from inside, Tamura Sake Bar has all the wonderful things a sake bar in Japan has, namely great sake, great food and wonderfully generous hospitality, here in Melbourne….