The dish that arrived on our table was met with confused feelings of fascination and disgust. Dressed in our yukata, sitting cross-legged under the low Japanese table, we’d enjoyed round after round of incredible food – thin, oily slices of beef that sizzled on a tabletop grill and melted in our mouths; chilled tofu with vegetables and pickles; grilled fish and crispy chicken karaage.Read more
Under the shade of rustling Japanese pines, a walking path traced the low rock seawall towards the Itsukushima torii gate. The smell of dried pine needles swirled in to meet the salty ocean air. Looking out to the sparkling waters separating Miyajima Island from Hiroshima Bay mainland, we saw one of Japan’s ancient icons.Read more
Okonomiyaki is one of my favourite things to eat in Japan, a kind of fried pancake-omelette, based on cabbage and egg, with different combinations of vegetables and meats. It is fried on a teppan, a large hotplate, until both sides are brown and crispy, then served to the plate sliced up with a small spatula for eating.Read more
The samurai screamed a short, sharp battle cry, and drew his sword to expose the blade halfway from the hilt. The noise caught my attention, and I turned to see the commotion. The tourist walked away, and a new one walked up, also dressed in samurai costume, to join the staff member in full samurai gear.Read more
Can you see Nara in a day trip? Of course. Walking through the town takes less than an hour, and that leaves plenty of time to see Tōdai-ji temple, and feed the deer. But I think it pays to stay longer. Let me tell you why.Read more
We were the last ones in the bus, sitting in the back seat with our backpacks still on. We craned our necks to find any kind of sign as to where we were, but night had already fallen, and there were no streetlamps on this zig-zagging mountain road. It reminded me very much of the bus stop scene in My Neighbour Totoro – a cold rain drumming on the roof of the bus, the dark and eerie forest climbing over the mountains, the squeaky old bus, occasionally a weathered street sign in Japanese characters.Read more
We stared at the menu with skepticism. A pile of limp, pale, thick-cut fries was piled in the corner of a glass-doored display cabinet. On another wooden shelf was some kind of withered, skeletal fish. Both options looked like they’d been waiting for quite a while for a brave customer.Read more
It’s the size of a soccer ball, a stinky medieval morning star of a fruit covered in thorns; the durian. They’re found in many South East Asian markets, on small roadside stalls, or piled up on the back of a motorbike zooming through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.Read more
If you want Canadian cuisine (and not the Canadian habit of flavouring everything maple or cinnamon), there’s only one real contender for the crown of ‘most Canadian’. The poutine.
Ok, maybe ‘most Québécois’, the home state of this beloved fast food. It’s simple and weird, like something thrown together when the kitchen cupboards are almost empty and you need to improvise a makeshift dinner. What lands in front of you is a heap of limp fries smothered with gravy and cheese curd. I don’t know exactly what cheese curd is, but it’s sort of like eating strips of white rubber. It looks something like this:
When you’re in Paris, Paris is all that matters. The fresh morning air and cool rays of light poured through the trees like gold, illuminating the smooth stone walls of cream, painting shadows of iron lattice balconies over the flourishing flowers adorning every balcony. Shadows of leaves echoed onto the pavement in grey blowing pointlilism paintings. Men dressed in dark jackets and aviators carried baguettes under their arm, and for good reason, as the bread was world-class. Cafe terraces spilled out onto every street corner, as youths and hipsters watched the world pass by over espressos and lagers. Slick black sports cars exchanged engine noises and three-wheeled motorbikes weaved through traffic, keeping the bustling city centre at a fast pace. Below ground, the labyrinthine metro system shuttled Parisians around like a beating pulse. Fashion pervaded; kids sported tiny converse and designer scarves, and the grandparents made bold statements of taste with small, circular spectacles of red, green and blue. The beauty was all around in the shape of towering monuments that lent their shadows down great boulevards of falling leaves and cutting-edge clothes boutiques.
Paris has many exciting aspects to write about, so for this post I thought id make a few comments on the high standard of French cuisine, a treat for my taste buds after many months of fried rice. Here are some of the best things that I ate in Paris…
Pride of the French cold meat section, this member of the salami family is mild in spice but greasy and flavoursome, perfect with cheese, and highly addictive! Together, Cindy and I made short work of several saucissons!