Uotoku in Fukuoka – a wonderful new sushi and seafood restaurant

Uotoku chutoro

My family’s just returned from a whirlwind trip to Fukuoka over the long weekend, and boy, did we love it. It was a shamelessly gluttonous getaway spent, among other highlights, slurping our way through seven different bowls of Hakata-style ramen over two hours; stumbling upon a fruit farm in the countryside; and devouring what I am prepared to swear on my immortal soul is the best damned wagyu tenderloin steak on the planet…in a town with a population of less than 130,000. But we also ended up meeting some of the most colourful, amiable characters this side of Asia – from a steak chef who almost cooked for Obama, to a family of grape-growers who happily allowed us to pick our own grapes from the vine, to Satoshi Tokunaga, sushi chef-owner of Uotoku in Fukuoka city and my new favorite restaurant.
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Tenyu in Kyoto – a must try for fried seafood lovers

uni tempura

I cannot emphasise how much I love fried food. And tempura in Japan just ticks all the right boxes for me. If you are visiting Kyoto, I would heartily recommend Tenyu. Situated near the Sanjyo train station, it’s easily accessible  and the quality of food is beyond reproach. Just check out the Uni tempura. Cooked on a sea of bubbling blended oil, the thin layer of seaweed protects the sashimi grade uni (sea urchin) from being overcooked. It beautifully retained all the yummy creaminess despite being gently steamed by the oil. Continue Reading →

Ten Rules of etiquette for every traveler to Japan

sushi and chopsticks

As cultures go, Japan must be one of the most unique in the world. Sharing very little in common with the rest of Asia and certainly even less with the West, it can be incredibly idiosyncratic. Furthermore, being one of the more formal cultures left in today’s modern world, it can also be intimidating…here, I’d like to share a cheat sheet on the rules and etiquette one should know when in Japan. Continue Reading →

IZY. Chic, modern, urban izakaya dining in Singapore

izy, modern izakaya in singapore

Finally, after months of waiting, IZY is open. This chic, ultra-urban modern izakaya opened its doors (to the public) for the first time last night. Yours truly, along with his always gorgeous and almost always hungry wife, and four friends, were among the first to check out Club Street’s newest (dare I say hottest?) arrival. Continue Reading →

Kappo dining in Kyoto at Jiki Miyazawa

DSC02933Squinting through the wet, side window of the Miyako Taxi, I could just about see the bamboo clad façade of Jiki Miyasawa as we crawled to a stop. I quickly handed over the correct mix of metal and paper yen and made a beeline for the well-known Kappo restaurant. I was 20 minutes late for my lunch appointment! Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Kinako Latte

kinako latte

I recently stumbled upon the joys of kinako latte at a miniscule cafe in Arashiyama, Kyoto called kyo no cha no nagomi. We had stopped to taste their fluffy little squares of fat-free green tea and soy milk cakes (incidentally, our toddler, T adored their strawberry version). And since I was slightly obsessed with tasting matcha lattes on this trip (mostly thanks to my culinary goddess of a sister-in-law’s frequent mentions of how she loves having them at Starbucks in Tokyo), I decided to be adventurous and try a kinako latte. Before I knew it, I was hooked! Continue Reading →

Travelling with the toddler to Kyoto, Japan, Part 2

T-Chomping-on-Toast

Dining with toddlers when travelling is a world apart from eating out when it’s just you and your hunny bunny. On previous trips to Japan, I would have made reservations at cult places I’ve been dying to try or restaurants that I already love weeks in advance. Because many of my favourite haunts are uber-popular, booking ahead is essential. However, with the tiny one in tow, not only could I not plan ahead, but the kinds of restaurants we visited were very different.  Continue Reading →

Travelling with the toddler to Kyoto, Japan, Part 1

kyoto-kids-monkey-park-1

My wife S and I have been to Kyoto many times. But until this past April, we’d never gone there with a young child in tow (of course, since we only had our first child two years ago, that would kind of make sense). This most recent trip, because we had brought along our son T, was remarkably different from all of our previous trips. Our schedule, because we had to plan everything around his schedule, was different. Where we went and what we did each day, because we wanted to do and see things that would be fun for him, was different. And where we ate, because we wanted to go to places that served food he liked, was different.
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