Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.

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For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”

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Sushi Kashiba

Sushi Kashiba is an upscale sushi restaurant in Seattle. It’s conveniently located by the Pike Place Market and is owned by the Seattle legendary sushi chef Shiro Kashiba, who trained with Jiro Ono back in the 1960s. Sushi Kashiba is often regarded as one of the best sushi restaurants in Seattle. Tourists and locals alike queue up outside its door before the 5 o’clock opening time waiting to get a seat at the sushi bar.

But, does it live up to the hype? Continue reading “Sushi Kashiba”

Seattle Lunch Options – Kisaku Sushi

When we go to Kisaku for lunch, we always sit at the sushi bar order omakase. Then we sit down, have our bowl of salad and miso soup, and watch the chef work his magic.

First come the basics, which consists of, but not limited to: amberjack, yellow jack, bonito, gizzard shad, yellowtail, and sea scallop with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt.

Then follow the fatty fish…lots of fatty fish. They are so good, they give you this buzz that keeps you happy the rest of the day. Continue reading “Seattle Lunch Options – Kisaku Sushi”

Amazake – Sweet Sake Drink

Winter has finally arrived in Seattle. On Thursday, we had our first snow of the season.

I suddenly remembered that I still have some sake kasu (sake lees) from our sake brewery visits earlier this year. If you happen to be in Japan late January – February in a sake brewing region, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a brewery tour. It is really fun as well as educational. We even happened upon a once-a-year brewery gathering and tasting event that day.  I am by no means a drinker, but I had a BLAST! Continue reading “Amazake – Sweet Sake Drink”

Hiro Tawara Kaiseiki Pop-up

As a food writer, do you have a secret place that you just want to keep to yourself? <ponder on this for a second before answering…>

Chef Hiro Tawara is a gem. His monthly kaiseiki pop-up in Pike Place Market serves up an elaborated multi-course menu, showcasing his years of experience as a kaiseiki chef in Kyoto, while incorporating local seasonal ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading “Hiro Tawara Kaiseiki Pop-up”

Shishito

Shishito pepper (獅子唐辛子) is a sweet finger-sized Japanese pepper. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper (唐辛子 tōgarashi) resembles the head of a lion (獅子 shishi). In Japanese it is often abbreviated as shishitō (lion pepper).

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Shishito is usually served hot – skewered and grilled. It can also be sautéed at high heat till it blisters then season with sea salt, preferably Maldon. The heat brings out the peppery aroma and it is the perfect accompaniment to clean sake.

Food Traveler’s Guide to San Francisco-ViaMichelin Part II

State Bird Provisions*

Reservations are hard to score at this dim-sum style inspired restaurant. Fortunately they set aside a good number of seats for walk-ins like us. Doors open promptly at 17:30, we arrived 45 minutes before and joined the line. Continue reading “Food Traveler’s Guide to San Francisco-ViaMichelin Part II”

Japanese Green Tea Pudding

I had a sudden crave for Matcha (Green Tea) Pudding the other night. To my surprise, this creamy delicate dessert is incredibly easy to make.

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I went through several recipes online. Some calling for heavy cream which I found a little too dense to my taste. After several attempts, I settled on this one by Just One Cookbook. Continue reading “Japanese Green Tea Pudding”

A Foodie’s Day in Takayama

The best street food I had in Takayama is Hida Beef Sushi

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Hida Beef comes from the black-haired cattle of Gifu Prefecture. It is known for its beautiful marble pattern, luscious color and delicate texture. Continue reading “A Foodie’s Day in Takayama”

A Foodie’s day in Sapporo

After viewing the snow sculptures at Odori Park, I went to JR Tower ESTA to get my friend Akiko the ONE SWEET she really wanted.

There are thousands of sweet shops in Japan, most of them carrying regional specialties. If you see one that you like when visiting a particular area, get it. Don’t wait till you get to your last stop. You will regret. The Duty Free shop in Narita has only basic big brand stuff that are not really that interesting. Continue reading “A Foodie’s day in Sapporo”