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Archive for April, 2006

Food So Good! Apr 30

A while ago when I first moved here I found this great website called, which listed resturants in the Tokyo area. And also in the Shirokanedai area.

Well after a little read I was rather taken by the one called Karashi, for a couple of reason. 1. It sounded dead cool!, 2. The food sounded even better and 3. According to the address it was right next door to me!
And thats the bit that really was getting me intrigued! I’d been walking up and down that street quite a bit by this time and there was nothing to indicate said restaurant existed. Careful checking of address and map booked concured that it had to be on the main road one block up from me! I’d found AnBai, but this one was elusive.

With pride on the line I was determined to find this place when Claire and Graham were over, unfortunately what stupid had not accounted for was that while I many not have had much success being able to find the place, everyone else had! And bookings are essential if you want to eat at the counter. We settled for An Bai that night which was delicious (Ooishi).

Now that I knew this place was tucked down the end of long yellow corridor with only a single sign displayed at night determination was to get a booking for me and Sue on Sunday night, and if we wanted to sit at the counter 6pm would do the trick. Well it was worth all the effort of tracking down! We were sitting where the couple in the picture are, and I suspect our host/chef had an excellant understanding of english because he knew we were drooling over the lobster being prepared and it certainly arrived dramtic flourish and rather large shit eating grin on his behalf which caused us all to burst out laughing. He so knew we wanted it to be out dish. – (to explain we order the meal for two, so didn’t really know what to expect).

Now back to that lobster, he was entitled to the shit eating grin, as it was/is probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life!. I think the words expressed were "I am never putting anything else into my mouth again". Damn it was good! Actually there was more put in, "the rest of that lobster".

Reservations are being sought for next friday!

New Public Enemy Apr 27

There is a new public enemy or at least there is on Davids shit list. And while this one does have two legs and does not speak english, it also has wings! The medium sized bastards have declared my deck planters to be there new playground.

Now when they pulled out one plant just after I had put them in I thought it was rather charming bordering on cute. When I came home the other day to find that the had totally mowed the best planter back to just green I now understand how my Mum felt when the cows run ramage through her garden!.

In Japanese they are called Karasu, and we call them Ravens. Big black birds that are everywehere here, make lots of noise and now my sworn enemy.

(It may not look it, but that planter was actually all flowers and really nice! This picture is few days after the deed so its recovered a little).

I wonder if the hundred yen shop stock water pistols. Could be effective and hopefully the neighbour below won’t be to annoyed.

Fashion Police need translator! Apr 24

I am guessing that the translation dept at the fashion police need some recruits and that none of the general fashion flash memos are getting through either. Well at least for the men.

Why do I say this, well please examine one the crimes committed and captured via phone photo evidence on the metro the other day. Image slightly blurred due to disguising the culprits identity and hey the train was moving!

I wonder in this still male dominated society if the mail really is blocked or if the more elegantly and stylishly dressed other half of the population are having a quiet laugh at the expense of there bullish betters!

Spring has sprung a leak. Apr 23

I’m beginning to think the seasons may have gotten a little mixed up here. This is a picture taken this morning from my apartment, and the weather has been like this for days. There have been some periods of sunshine, but these periods of sunshine are such that they make the english summer look like a the med!

It not exactly cold, nor is it exactly wet, wouldn’t call it damp, doesn’t really seem to rain, and it not bursting out sunshine either, its just well, the pictures somes it up. Leaky! Fairly sure its giving my arthritis hell as well. Have been saying its not attached to the weather, but a suspicious piece of my mind is beginning to put two and two together and oddly enough it actually came up with the number 4. Me thinks its the mild cold nights that are doing the trick. Fool you into thinking that spring had arrive and summer is around the corner, the a quick slight of the hand it cold again!

Suspect the rainy season is going to be a huge bundle of laughs based on the current pattern of weather! Oh, and not sure if anyone has been paying attention but we have been having a very very very large number of earthquakes the last couple of weeks. Me worried. Nope, bring on Typhoon season I say!. Yeap you read right.

Trout on a Stick Apr 19

On my recent trip to Kyoto we came across this chappy selling fish in the park, yep they are whole fish being grilled. The lady off camera eating one assured us they were delicious. My cousin in New Zealand commented on the picture and called them trout on a stick and asked what they were like. The following is the excerpt from my email reply.

Put it another way, the trout on the stick looked positively fantastic compared to another place we went to where you can could get grilled.

– room of pig, or was it pig uterus, cannot remember, but you get the drift.
– outside of beef stomach
– sparrow skewer
– cod milt (actually that’s sorta reasonable, given we smoked fish roes as all).

All I can say is thank god that menu was in English otherwise we could have been in all manner of trouble, and just how many sparrows do you need to make a skewer (I have the address if you want to try and find out).

My new mission is working through one of the books on Japanese charactors and getting to the menu section, just so I can safely surf the menu again, you know Beef, Chicken, Fish, without the internal organs attached or grilled or fried or pickled in, or any otherwise. Perhaps I’ll cheat turn to the index and find Tofu, it can be very tasty and has a zero internal organ count.

Lost and Windy Apr 19

Ok today is a mixed bag of problems! Somewhere roaming around my apartment or desk is my mobile phone. Having never been a very big user of said technology I’ve recently become rather attached to the its camera function of all things. Mainly cos it takes nice little pictures about the right size to post here, and I can email them direct and it easy and I am lazy and well, it a reaon to actually carry my mobile phone.

You mean carry it because people may want to actually get hold of me. Novel concept, never going to catch on, I mean who could stand the constant interuptions all the time. So now that I’ve actually got a reason for carrying it and having another crack at working out how some of the bloody functions work. (and if you say read the manual, I’ll send you the manual in frelling Japanese it is! yes!, so don’t look so smug – because if at this distance its so big it will hurt when it hits you. And the english translation, well lets say great effort guys, really appreciate the thought) I lose it. (the phone that is)

This is not the first time that I’ve lost a mobile phone, actually the count for lost mobile phones is past one hand and steadily climbing onto the other, it is however (or could be) the first thats going to have to come out of my own pocket! And if you ask why do I keep losing phones, I ask, why do they keep giving me ones that are so small? So it looks like we are going to have to an spring/spring clean to figure out where we have cleaned the phone away to, since it obvious I won’t have lost it outside the apartment as I never carry it with me. Time to put the mobile back into mobile.

As for the windy part, it blowing a gale outside and the noise on the windows sounds like a herd of elephants is going past all the time. Typhoon season promises to be interesting.
Update: Found my new little friend. Had to do the normal trick of phoning myself and there under the bed it was!! Anyway have decided its a great toy to take pictures with, an hey people can also get hold of me!

Pacific Roasted Lamb Apr 18

Well the votes are in and the rub stays!

So, chop up about 5 sprigs of rosemary, and about 1/2 sheet of Nori, (you can get it shredded over here which is well cool). Mix into this some garlic salt, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, teaspoon of Maldon Seasalt, load of cracked pepper, some chopped parsley, then rub all over said lamb. This lamb had the bone removed so I was able to fill the cavity area with the mixture and get contact with the meat. Into the dish, then additional salt and pepper on top. Into oven at 180 C for 25 mins per 450 gram i think it was, but as I have to use a Microwave Oven Combo and Lambo was 2.2 KGs it worked out to about 2 hours cooking at 180C then 30mins resting, for perfect tender, just pink lamb.

The Verdict ‘Oishii"
(Update: Leftover Lamby was carved and taken to work for a makeshift picnic. Which gave some other who had heard of the ‘feast’ and opportunity to try for themselves’ Verdict was very similiar and means next time I’m going to have to carve up all the leftovers for the next day ‘picnic’.

Suspect I’m going to be doing lamb for quite a while in this country as well.)

All we need now are the guests. Apr 17

Since the main guest of honour is nicely defrosted in the fridge ready to be popped into the oven, the table is laid, the wine is a chillin!

All is ready!

Who the Puck is Wolfgang Puck? Apr 16

In a string of co-incidences he happens to be a chef’s whose recipe for Gazpacho I am fliching for dinner tommorow night! And up until lunch time today I’d never really heard of him, well almost. I came across his recipe for Gazpacho on Recipezaar and it sounded reasonable even if the topping was a little bit that (over the top), and I figured he was some celebrity chef. Unbeknown to me today lunch was at the Wolfgang Puck Cafe. Did you to feel the chill feeling going down your spine—- yes creeepy. So after a Puck Chicken Pad Thai, I gave the Gazapacho another looky, still think the topping is a little bit over the top and will stay with the original idea.

So here is dinner menu.

Gazpacho Soup with a Creme Fraiche Wasabi Swirl
Garden Salad and Garlic Bread

Pacific Roasted Lamb
Roasted Pototoes/Pumpkin
Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Kumera – Traditional New Zealand Name)
Herbed Corn
Minted Buttered Peas

Desert is being provided by dinner diner

Choice of New Zealand White or Red Wine

and before you ask what Pacific Roasted Lamb is I was not entirely sure at the time and was extemperising when I wrote the menu. Its sorta working out to be rub of chopped Rosemary, Parsley, Ground Peppercorns, salt some cumin and chopped seaweed (nori) for a sea touch. Hey it will either go well, or spectacularly wrong. Since I come from the Pacific Coast highway I can lay some claim on this fingers crossed and all other body parts. Will report back on success!! Photo if it works.

So just what have I been doing. Apr 16

Well its been a long time since I’ve posted stuff and I am sorry about that. I’ll tell you all about the adventures soon. Spent a wonderful two weeks with friends from the UK, and got to enjoy see Japan with them. Going through all the photographs now and posting them to the main web site. Basically spent a week in Kyoto during the cherry blossum season, which lasts about 1 weeks so timing was fantastic.

They are gone now so I’ve just spend the weekend doing a spring clean of the apartment getting ready for my next visitor during Golden week. Everything is basically finished now. This is the bedroom! Calling it the master bedroom might be a bit OTT as there is only one! Gotta go the lady of the bathroom is summoning me. Will explain that latter.

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