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I hope you can find some hints and tips that will save you some time, time that I spent doing something I like: searching, reading, crossing, selecting and finally, I hope, one day, trying.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Japan: Kyoto and Tokyo, by Helen, World Foodie Guide

Kyoto and Tokyo by Helen, World Foodie Guide

Helen, in the "no more posting" World Foodie Guide blog, has some interesting posts about her trip to Kyoto and Tokyo.
See also:  http://www.worldfoodieguide.com/index.php/food-travel-japan-planning/

from Kyoto Tales, 29 Nov '09:

"a famous yudofu ryori restaurant with a branch near Nanzenji temple and one near Kiyomizu. We chose to go to the latter branch (Tel: 075 525 2051, at the junction where Ninenzaka meets Sanensaka).
We ordered the yudofu course (¥3150) and the special tofu course (¥4200). The only difference was that one consisted of a very silky-smooth tofu while the other had a slightly rougher, but still incredibly smooth, texture. Preceding the yudofu courses were yam soup (as light as foam), sesame tofu with wasabi, grilled tofu with sweet miso and vegetable tempura.
Okutan is all tatami mat seating and is a veritable maze of dining rooms, some private, and we were fortunate enough to be seated by the tranquil Zen garden."

Katsukura (かつくら三条本店 )
Address: 16, Ishibashicho, Sanjo-dori, Kawaramachi-nishiiru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8036 (所在地 京都市中京区河原町通三条西入ル)
TEL 075-212-3581
営業時間 平日・日 11:00~21:30 – Sunday, weekdays 11.00~9.30p.m.
(ラストオーダー21:00) - Last order 9p.m.
土 11:00~22:00 - Sat 11:00~10p.m.
(ラストオーダー21:30)  - Last order 9.30p.m.
定休日 なし- No Holidays

"a famous tonkatsu chain (although I didn’t know that at the time when I found it by chance near one end of Nishiki market). I ordered 70g of the Yonesawa Sangen fillet cutlet (I prefer fillet to the other option, loin) (¥1280) and the husband had yuba and vegetarian croquettes.

We had to make our own tonkatsu sauce (no Bulldog brand here!), by grinding roasted sesame seeds in a pestle and mortar and adding a variety of condiments – yuzu in a thinner sauce, the standard sauce and a rich, thick one. This was then poured onto the tonkatsu, which was unbelievably tender and succulent. Finely shredded cabbage could be topped up at any time, and there was a jar of pickles on the table to eat with rice. This was an excellent meal considering it was unplanned!"

from Tokyo stories, 6 Dec ’09:
Address: 港区南青山3-14-4  B1F TEL 03-5413-0831 (Minamiaoyama Minato 3-14-4 B1F TEL 03-5413-0831)
LUNCH 11:30~14:00, DINNER 17:30~22:00

"served mostly vegetarian food (don’t let this put you off, as the dishes are very creative!), such as lotus root manju lightly fried in a special sauce, and figs with tofu paste. Apart from a few vegetarian side dishes, I had the spectacular Iberico pork donburi."

"specialised in seafood from Fukui prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast. Next door is their shop selling all specialist food products from the area, as well as ceramics, chopsticks and other interior design goods.

From the several lunch set menus, we ordered the anago (eel) teishoku, soba with tempura set (one with a clear soy sauce-based dipping sauce, the other with a spicy grated daikon or white radish version) and I had the grilled mackerel and gindara (black cod) in a special yuzu miso sauce. The gindara was one of my favourite dishes of the trip, along with the iberico pork donburi…"

Shinesan Teuchi Soba
6-6-3 Shimo Meguro Meguro-ku,Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 3 3712 8555
Daily 11.45am and 6pm-8.30pm, closed on Monday and Tuesday

"a small soba restaurant on a residential street in Meguro (teuchi soba means the soba noodles are handmade by the chef). This was one of our favourite meals of the entire trip and I found out afterwards that Shisenan is featured in the current Miele restaurant guide. The chef uses only 100% pure buckwheat and the noodles were phenomenal.

Highlights included the freshest yuba (the skin by-product of tofu) I’ve ever had, in the form of yuba sashimi, sobagaki, a large soba dumpling similar to polenta and served with wasabi, nori and soy sauce and the two types of satsuma age or fishcakes which were amazing. We each then had a different soba dish and mine seemed to be the favourite – hot duck dipping sauce with cold noodles. The meal was finished with soba-yu, the hot water in which the soba was boiled, to drink either straight or mixed with the remainder of the dipping sauces. It might sound strange, but it’s delicious and supposed to be good for you…"

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Byron At The Intrepid Fox: hamburger in West End, London

Byron At The Intrepid Fox

Burgers, The Byron “Big D” 8oz premium burger, fries, courgettes

from http://www.byronhamburgers.com
Bread and Butter, 17 Oct ’10: “…the meat is cooked medium – you get a beautiful flash of pink when you cut into the burger, just how I like it”, “Not only do they do great burgers, but they also do fantastic sides: Courgette Fries are my staple side order everytime…My only whinge is that it’s sometimes very greasy, especially when you get right to the bottom of the bowl, Onion Rings – these babies are delicious, and have a thick layer of crispy batter coating each individual ring. They’re seasoned well, and are a great complement to the burgers. Again, possibly a touch too greasy, but then again I haven’t found a non-greasy onion ring yet.”, “So yes. I can safely say that to date, Byron is my “go to” place for burgers. I’ve tried burgers at Goodmans, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Giraffe, but I still prefer Byron’s”;

London Eater, 6 Aug ’10: “Accessible, affordable and simply delicious, as hamburgers should be”;

Will Eat for Money, 29 Mar ’10: “Courgette fries: …One bite and I couldn't believe I'd never tried them, despite visiting on numerous occasions”; “…The good quality meat is well seasoned and has a nice charred flavour”, “One thing I am sure of - and I'm sorry for going on about burger buns so much - is that the bread is simply not a good enough match for the filling within”;

Krista at Londonelicious, 17 Mar ’10: “…the burger is GOOD. Really good. Perfect medium. Great flavor. Perhaps the only fault is that the bun just isn't toasted enough for me…”;

a rather unusual chinaman, 18 Jan ’10: “…I have been back numerous times and the burgers just get better and better. Uncomplicated and delicious, they are currently my burger of choice in London.”, “what you get is a very memorable burger. My burger arrived perfectly medium, pink and juicy, with a slight dribble when you bite in. The flavour is exactly what you would expect from a burger made with good, aged meat.”;

Food by Mark, 14 Jan ‘10: “in my humble opinion Byron do make the best easily available burger in London”;

The London Foodie, 10 Dec ’09: “…in addition to the excellent service, I loved the industrial look of the place, the exposed bricks painted white, the open plan kitchen, the video playing against the white wall, and the understated elegance of the decor”, “As I bit through my burger I found it to be perfectly cooked and deliciously charred, the meat was flavoursome, fresh and still pink in the middle, and the bun just right, showing some lovely griddle marks”, “We also ordered various portions of French Fries @ £2.75, Proper Olives @ £2.75 (the greenest I have ever seen), Homemade Skin on Chips @ £3, and their sensational Courgette Fries @ £3, the best of them all and a “must” on any visits to Byron”, “Tap water was provided unprompted in beautiful French style carafes and was constantly topped up. This is rare in West End restaurants and is highly commendable”;

Dos Hermanos, 2 Dic ’09: “ The fries were excellent, hot, crisp and fresh from the fryer”, “The beef is obviously excellent, although it could have done with time on a hotter grill to gain a little more colour. The accompaniments were apologetic and the cheese should have been given opportunity to melt. The bun was a bit of a disaster, in my opinion.”, “the tip was deserved for service, which was charming”.

97-99 Wardour Street
Soho, London W1F 0UD
Tel: 020 7297 9390
Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square
Mon-Thu 12.00-23.00
Fri-Sat 12.00-23.30
              Sun 12.00-22.30

Google Maps

The Original Maids of Honour: afternoon tea, pies, sweets at Kew Gardens, London

The Original Maids of Honour 

Afternoon tea, pies, cakes, sweets

Tamarind and Thyme, 22 Mar ‘10: Assam tea, meat and vegetable pies, Sugar Bun, Maid of Honour: worth the trip there, Hot Cross Buns: excellent, Loaf of Fruit Cake.

from http://www.theoriginalmaidsofhonour.co.uk
288 Kew Road
Kew Gardens
Surrey TW9 3DU3NG
Tel: 020 8940 2752

Monday-Saturday 9.00am~6.00pm,
Sunday 8.30am~6.00pm

Restaurant :
· Luncheon sittings at 12.30pm and 1.30pm,
· The full Luncheon Menu, including daily roast, is available every day.
· The Sunday Breakfast Menu is available from 8.30am to 12.30pm

Tube: Kew Gardens

Google Maps

Masters Super Fish: fish and chips in Waterloo, London

Masters Super Fish

Fish & Chips,

Tamarind and Thyme, 23 May ’10: “The fish was beautifully fried and very fresh. The chips were tasty with a good potato flavour but a little soggy, which was a little disappointing. Still, it’s a solid place for fish and chips.”

a rather unusual chinaman, 4 Sep ’09: “…the main event made its way onto our table, and I was pleasantly surprised. The crisp, light and relatively grease free exterior gave way to a beautifully cooked fresh fish, gently steaming within its fortress of batter.”, “Appearances can indeed be deceiving. Look beyond the crumbling green facade and you may just discover a gem. Covered in batter and served with chips and pickles.”

191 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UX
Tel: 020 7928 6924
Tube: Lambeth North

Google Maps

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Tate Modern restaurant: English restaurant in London

Tate Modern Restaurant

English, at the Level 7 of the Tate Modern

Tamarind and Thyme, 19 Apr ‘10: Deep-fried Cornish Haddock with Chips, Tartare Sauce and Mushy Peas: the fish came encased in a beer batter crust, was extremely fresh, and came with a giant mound of thick cut chips; Bitter Chocolate Financier, poached Meringue with Milk Chocolate Sauce: this turned out to be one of the nicest desserts we’d had in recent memory. The chocolate sauce was of a thin, soupy consistency and the milk chocolate was scented with jasmine, which made for delightful drinking. This was absolutely gorgeous paired with the dark financier and the shreds of tart/bitter preserved orange peel; while not as exciting as our chocolate dessert, the Bakewell Tart was still excellent. Actually, it was one of the nicest specimens I’d ever had and it was served with a nice dollop of creme fraiche.

London Eater, 19 Mar ‘10: “Starters was Grilled Monte Enebro cheese with honeycomb and rocket: …the grilled goats cheese was a revelation taking on the texture of a rubbery soft cheese when hot. It’s rind was a striking greenish mould, I dare not eat it”, “Organic Rhug Estate pork chop, bean & Iberico ham cassoulet and green sauce: … Oh gosh. It was worth the wait. All my incessant whining was positively silenced with the excellent pork – perfect pan-fried heatiness, with a juicy, soft centre”, “perhaps the major disappointment in that the meal was not exactly cheap. I wasn’t just surprised with the quality of food, I was impressed”, “The view is an added bonus. Food was cooked well, seasoned well, hearty and filling”;

Bankside, Southwark
London SE1 9TG
Tel: 020 7887 8888
  Tube: Southwark, Cannon Street,

Opening times
Monday-Sunday: Morning coffee: 10.00–11.30, Lunch: 11.30–15.00, Afternoon tea: 15.00–17.30;
Friday and Saturday: Dinner: 18.00–21.30;
Bar stays open all day

Google Map

Princi: Italian bakery-café in London


Italian bakery-café,

Tamarind and Thyme, 14 Mar ’09: Pasqualina, an egg, ricotta, and green vegetable pastry, Ricotta Tart, Passionfruit Cheesecake: “the balance too between cheesiness (not too much) and passionfruit (not too sweet nor too tart) was just perfect”;

135 Wardour Street
London W1F 0UT
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7478 8888

Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 7.00-00.00 
Sun 9.00-22.00
Tube: Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Oxford Circus

Google Maps

Lanka: french-style pâtisserie and cakes in Regents Park, London


French-style pâtisserie and cakes, coffees & teas, savory dishes,

Mr N at Laissez Fare, 5 Jun ’10:  “The cafe is very cute, always immaculately clean and the service is good once you can gain the staff members’ attention, as they always seem to be busy helping someone, preparing something, or washing up.”, “Mrs. LF said that their Paris-Brest was “the real thing””, Mont-Blanc: “It is a chestnut-based dessert and was fabulous”, Chocolate Green Tea Gâteau: “The texture was very nice although the green tea flavor was fairly muted”;

from http://www.lanka-uk.com/index.html

71 Regents Park Road
London NW1 8UY
Tel: 020 7483 2544

Opening Hours:
Mon–Fri 9:00 - 19:00,
Sat & Sun 8:00 - 19:00
Tube: Swiss Cottage, Chalk Farm

Google Maps

Bea’s of Bloomsbury: afternoon tea, sweets and cakes in London

Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Sweets, cakes, coffee & tea, afternoon tea set with scones, cupcakes, assorted marshmallows and meringues,

London Eater, 20 Aug ’10: “their cupcakes are superb, personally I quite enjoy the pillowy buttercream”;

a rather unusual chinaman, 8 Mar ’10: “The minute you walk through the door, you pass an elaborate display in the window and are immediately confronted with some of the most delicious cupcakes you are likely to lay your eyes on”;

Mathilde’s Cuisine, 25 Jan ’10: “Pink cupcakes, puffy meringues, huge white wedding cakes with sugar flowers and ribbons…  Everything looked so gorgeous and delicious”, “is a tiny place where, you have to book your place early to secure a seat for a well-deserved afternoon tea”;

44 Theobald’s Road
London WC1X 8NW
Tel: 0207 242 8330

Mon - Fri 8am to 7pm.
Sat 10 - 7pm
Sun 12 - 7pm
Tube: Russell Square, Holborn, Chancery Lane

Google Maps