Kamigata Zanmaiya, Kyoto 02-2009

Up on the 10F of the Kyoto JR station is ramen koji - where ramen dreams come true and there's a choice of places each with their own specialty regional ramen.

It's difficult to know which one to choose and my ramen type knowledge back in 2009 wasn't all that flash. In any case each one is a pretty safe bet.

Ippudo, Kyoto 02-2009

It proved to be an unexpectedly difficult task. Walking around Kyoto looking for somewhere to eat ramen. I was certain we had walked past a heap of places just before... but now couldn't find any.

Eventually I walked into a department store food area and asked a staff member. "Ippudo" she wrote down and directed us. Little did I know how much this place would develop internationally onwards after that.

Delicious (expensive) tonkotsu, gyoza, and the tiniest bun you've ever seen.

So good, went back the next day to try some other varieties.

Hirasou, Nara 02-2009

I'm sure the website didn't exist (at least not in English) when I was there nearly 8 years ago. However the convenience of it now is that it explains the dishes I ate much better than I can.


It's refreshing to know that I ordered all the dishes they list there as their specials. How progressive was I...

In case this information disappears for whatever reason, here's what is says:

Kakinoha zushi
- Kakinoha zushi is descended from the traditional sushi dish “Nare zushi”. Nare zushi is the origin of the sushi in Japan, and used rice for the fermentation process. This was the wisdom from the ancients, so as to preserve the sea products in an inland place like Nara.
- Kakinoha zushi is a treasure of sea and thoughts of people, wrapped in a persimmon leaf which has many benefits and was invented as a medication by ancient Japanese.
- Our ancestors never forget to thank the lives we are taking so we can live. Kakinohazushi contains treasure from the sea (a mackerel), the mountain (a persimmon leaf) and the land (rice). It plays the trinity harmony and remains the wisdom of ancient people. Please enjoy tasting the sense of history and remembrance of the venerable Nara.

Cha gayu
- Cha gayu is rice porridge made with rice, roasted green tea and salt.
- This is also a local cuisine which you may enjoy either hot or cold. A very simple meal but not poor, inelegant but a rich dish. I recommend you to take a time to taste it. It is a gentle meal for your health. You will feel the richness of this meal and would love to have it in everyday life. Each little piece of rice in a bowl contains rich flavours of roasted green tea and expanded with tea moist in beautiful golden brown colour.

Ayu zushi
- Another local cuisine you may like to try is Ayu zushi, this is a traditional style of sushi from ancient times in Yoshino Nara. This style of sushi is one of our specialities and we have been serving this dish to the Royal Family for years.
- Ayu zushi is a very unique style of sushi and is served with a whole cooked river fish on top of the sushi.
- We have two types of Ayu zushi, one is marinated ayu fish with sweet vinegar, which you may enjoy a freshness of the fish and refreshing vinegrated flavor, the other is baked ayu fish which is seasoned with our original soy sauce based sweet sauce.

My memories were the fish:rice ratio was quite low in the zushi. There was a strong fermented/vinegar flavour overall.

Bleecker St. Burger, London 01-2017

It's been a bit of a burger journey since my last stay in London. After the craze of MEATliquor and the final hurrah at Tommi's, my new favourite moved to a more gourmet and healthy Brodburger (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/brodburger-canberra-2014) which still does the world's best vegetarian burger. In Melbourne, the reasonable offerings of On It (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/on-it-burgers-melbourne-01-2016) and the better ones at 8bit (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/8bit-melbourne-12-2015) kept me going on those unhealthy occasions.

But after the first London meal being Needoo (how could I resist), the first new place I ended up in was Bleecker St. Burger. Spitalfields market has changed since 2013 with much of the trinket and wares stalls being replaced by a much more financial model in gourmet street food. On this Tuesday at 1:30pm the place was still busy with people queueing and seated randomly at tables having lunch. They've done well for themselves these financially-intelligent Spitalfieldians.

There are so many reviews on Zomato for Bleecker St. in Spitalfields that exalt it as the best burger in London and possibly the world. After this visit, it is difficult to disagree.

- Bleecker Black £10 - it's not a healthy burger. It's 2 very medium-rare patties (I did tell them I would be fine with rare, but they said the rarest they could do is medium rare) with the juices exuding into the bun as you pick it up. The seasoning is provided by the crisp black pudding. I am a sucker for black pudding and I've never had it in the burger before; genius innovation there. The cheese, bun and sauce finish the dish with its other necessary flavours and textures. The burger is automatically served sliced in half which is smart to check the meat is not overcooked and for diners to see what they are getting themselves in to;
- Angry Fries £4 - white and sweet potato fries topped with a mild hot sauce and melted blue cheese. An excellent combination reminiscent of MEATliquor's hot wings recipe (hot sauce/butter wings with Gorgonzola dip).

Damn that was good (and unhealthy). That's all I can say. I'm glad I don't live too close to here.

Bleecker St Burger Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Fox in the Corn, Melbourne 12-2016

The diversity of Footscray food (beyond Ethiopian and Vietnamese) is still growing. Eventually there will be one restaurant for each cuisine. At the moment, there's a few pizza places but only really one pasta one (that I know of at least) and that's Fox in the Corn.

It's reputed for serving fresh pasta from a place in Williamstown. Given the recent fresh pasta eaten in Argentina (http://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/la-mamma-pastas-and-salsas-puerto-iguaza-11-2016) and recently purchased from Prahran market (with exceedingly better results for home cooking than dried supermarket stuff), it was worth a try.

- Spaghetti with slow cooked beef ragu (with napoli & spring onion) $19.5 - the sauce was a bit of a letdown by being surprisingly very sweet. Perhaps too much sugar was added but it wasn't to my taste;
- 10" Chorizo pizza (with garlic base, petit picante, mozzarella & parsley) $17 - now this was delicious! Tasty pizza ingredients on top of a heavily garlic seasoned pizza base that is better than nearly any garlic bread of focaccia I've had in any Italian place. Wow what a flavour overload and I liked every mouthful of it;
- Buffalo mozzarella salad (with cherry tomatoes & rocket) $11.

The pasta may not have wowed me on this occasion but that pizza has certainly left an imprint in my memory.

Fox In The Corn Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Jimmy Grants, Melbourne 12-2016

During one lonely night of weak craving, I crossed town on a Friday night to the comfort food of Collingwood/Fitzroy. I partially wanted to try Biggie Smalls kebabs but in the end the familiar safety of Jimmy Grants dragged me further down Smith Street.

The Mr. Papadopoulos was as expected - tender lamb, chips and mustard in still some of the softest bread wrap I've had. The chips with lemon, oregano and feta were salty and sour and divine. The grain salad was ok but seems to always not be as good as Hellenic.

If you are reading this George (and other JG people), please add pomegranate to the grain salad!

Otherwise keep up the great work.

Jimmy Grants Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato