I have been planning to bring the family back to Hokkaido since my trip to Hakodate last year. The kids love the food and the culture of Japan but are only familiar with the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. I wanted them to experience the charms of driving through rural Hokkaido with its padi fields, […]
Hakka food of Miaoli, Featuring Onsen Papawaqa and ChooArt Villa
If you need an excuse to visit Taiwan, then Onsen Papawaqa is surely it. Rockett Girl and I fell in love with the place the moment it came into view along the mountainous road. The minimalistic wood and concrete building is located in a valley right next to a river and looks as if it had just grown out of the riverbank. It is one of many eco-friendly places in Taiwan where one can go to escape the stresses of city life.
The night markets are one of the big tourist attractions of Taiwan. I could spend the whole night just hopping from stall to stall looking to discover new taste sensations! Like our own hawker centres, each market will have its own specialities even though most of the popular items like fried chicken, oyster omelette, and stinky tofu will be available at most markets. Our reason for visiting Zhongli night market is for a particular stall that sells Mala Stinky Tofu.
Do you remember the Master Chef featured in the Taiwanese movie, “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman?”. The opening scene of the movie absolutely enthralled me. What seemed like a series dishes prepared for a banquet ended up being the everyday meal for a family of four! In the movie, the protagonist was a semi-retired Master Chef of Taipei’s Grand Hotel who has been responsible for showcasing Chinese cuisine to local and foreign dignitaries for decades. The movie went on to tell the story of his three daughters garnished with lavish food scenes in between.
I have long been intrigued by kombu. Like any other ingredient, the quality of kombu depends on terroir. 90% of the Kombu produced in Japan comes from the waters surrounding Hokkaido and there are many different types such as Rishiri kombu, Rausu kombu, Hidaka kombu and Misuishi kombu. Each type not only refers to the place where the kelp is harvested but also its variety.
One of the best things to do in Hakodate is to drive out to the beautiful Onuma Quasi National Park (Onuma Koen) where you can smell the green grass, pat a few cows and indulge in an ice cream or two, or three…
For lovers of Japanese food, Hokkaido is indeed the promised land, flowing with milk and uni! Ask your sushi chef where the best uni, hotate and kombu comes from and they will tell you it's Hokkaido. Where does the best milk and ice-cream come from? Hokkaido. With the effect of global warming, Hokkaido is now also producing some of the best rice in Japan.
I got my first taste of the Jamon Iberico de Bellota back in April 2011 at the now defunct Santi restuarant. At that time, the AVA had just approved of its importation from Spain. It was one of those moments of epiphany which every pilgrim of gastronomy is searching for. The Jamon Iberico was presented very […]
Mention Valencia and one will immediately think of paella which is what the city is famous for. It is also known for the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.
One of the best things about my trip to Madrid was its sense of history. Spanish people like things the way they are, so there are many quaint old restaurants in Madrid which have changed little in centuries. It is not surprising then, that the world’s oldest restaurant listed in the Guinness book of World […]
One of the best things you can do in Spain is to go on a tapas tour! In Spain, lunch is served from 2pm to 4pm and dinner is 9pm to 11pm. In between, when you are feeling a little peckish you can simply step into one of the numerous bars, order yourself a drink […]
Tokyo is a wonderful place to find great eats. But even so, you still need to do a bit of homework to separate the good from the “really worth the plane ticket” places. I was on a 3 day stopover in Tokyo with the family recently and I just had to make sure that every […]