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Thursday, 01 March 2018

Eight Great Places to Eat in Tokyo

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Japan is not just about ‘that sushi’. From unagi eel and tonkatsu pork cutlets to okonomiyaki pancakes and all good things tofu, the capital of Japan, Tokyo, is home to a generous quantity of restaurants specializing in a large array of Japanese cuisine, not to mention Michelin stars. The best part of all is that it caters to all budgets, from the local atmospheric izakaya – Japanese style pubs to wallet-busting skyscraper restaurants; emphasizing on high-quality seasonal ingredients across the spectrum. In a nutshell, it’s nirvana for food fanatics. The Japanese Cuisine Apparently, Japanese people spend the largest amount of money on the local cuisine. Regarding frequency, the unit price of Sushi makes a meal pricey, with Sushi diners receiving a high figure in the statistics with fewer visits. On the other hand, the unit price of hamburger and noodles is relatively low. Tokyo’s appetite for great value food has…
Saturday, 30 December 2017

Southampton Vineyards

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I recently spent two weekends in Southampton to escape the dullness that encapsulates Manhattan in late August. The goal was to relax, refresh and explore the vineyards. I enjoy my wine, red and full bodied, but I am no wine connoisseur. I was more than impressed with what what we stumbled across, for the wine but also for the atmosphere and warmth of spirit from the people of Southampton and it's beautiful vineyards. Duckwalk Vineyards was immediately inviting and quaint. We were welcomed by a friendly staff and a vibrant charm that eclipsed any wait time. The one man band outside, while seemingly playing unnoticed, made all the difference while we noshed on honey goat cheese and buttery crackers, perfectly paired with a bottle of the finest $14 Chardonnay. Who knew summer could taste so good for so little? As the sun began its decent, we too moved up the…
Visiting Peru over the summer, I discovered the indigenous Inca people were agriculturists who introduced four mild staples into the world. They also grew fruits filled with antioxidants and plants to boost energy and help with the high altitude. Today Peruvian dishes are a fusion of Inca, Spanish, African, Asian, French, Italian and American flavors. Here is a guide to enjoy 10 pleasing gastronomical experiences while exploring Peru. 1. Did you know that 99% of all potatoes in the world are descendants of South America? The potato is originally from Peru, and Peruvians grow over 3,000 types in different sizes, shapes, and colors. When the Spaniards invaded Peru, they sailed tuber treasures back to Europe. One of the most famous Peruvian potato dishes is Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce). 2. Another staple the Spaniards brought back to Spain was Peruvian corn. Peru grows more than 55…
Friday, 01 July 2016

Sensory Delights in Shanghai

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Over 25 million people live together in the city named "The Paris of the East" and "Pearl of the Orient." Walking along the streets of Shanghai is an entertaining journey with exotic sights, alluring smells and the constant sound of beeping bicycles, scooters, trucks, cars and vans. Motor vehicles have the “right of way” on the streets and sidewalks, not pedestrians, so we carefully roamed paved roads looking for the best soup dumplings, exotic street food, prettiest parks and historical sights. We stopped at street stalls to purchase branches of bright red lychee fruit with white flesh and an almond shaped seed. Packages of dried squid offered a snack of sweetness with an essence of chewy fish flavored jerky. Other delights included shredded dried sweet potato and a red package of preserved eggs. Other treats included colorful Jello type candy shots; little corn shaped candy; and large magenta skinned dragon…
Perhaps it’s appropriate that Taiwan, a small, vibrant country off the coast of China, is shaped like a sweet potato. This island nation expertly combines many traditions, Chinese with indigenous, Western with Eastern, to make its own, special Taiwanese way of life. And an integral part of that life is the food, both traditional and innovative. Colored Buns Taiwan is gaining international recognition for its mouthwatering culinary delights: beef noodle soup, mango shaved ice, and dumplings and stuffed buns of all varieties, to name but a few dishes. There are also some edibles that would strike a foreigner as odd, including grilled squids, scallion pancakes, tea eggs (eggs boiled in tea), and ice cream burritos (or, more appropriately, ice cream spring rolls). This last is a modern take on the traditional run bing, and it consists of a thin, crêpe-like base with a couple of scoops of ice cream, shavings…
Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand, is the stuff of backpacking legends. Hailed as a “backpacker ghetto” it is a major hub for travelers from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a wild party, a ping pong show, live Thai kickboxing or a transgender companion, Bangkok has you covered… but we were here for the food. As soon as I got out of the taxi I needed to eat, it had been an hour and a half ride from the bus stop in gridlocked traffic, something Bangkok is famous for at any hour of the day. Over the past 5 weeks my brother Lucas and I had traveled through Southeast Asia eating our body weight in rice, noodles, broth, sir fries, curries, dumplings and even wood ants, so when we stood at the head of Khao San Road and I saw those big, golden arches illuminated in the…
The Mennonite region in southern Ontario around the Village of St. Jacob’s is a captivating traditional, rustic area yet with the amenities of the modern age. For those who enjoy history and the traditional pre-modern way of life, St. Jacob’s is the place to visit. The Village, a 1 1/2 hours drive from Toronto, represents the living remnants of a European Christian sect that was persecuted in Europe then found a home in the U.S.A. and then Canada with the freedom to practice its traditions. Mennonites share the same historical roots with the Amish, the latter group predominantly having settled in Pennsylvania. Both groups grew out of the Anabaptist movement which arose in Europe in 1525 in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Protestant Reformation movement brought on by Martin Luther. A group of these Christian zealots seeking a better life and more freedom especially in…
Our first stop on the Tap into Maple Route located in Ontario’s Lake Country and Springwater, an area within the larger region of Bruce Grey Simcoe, was at Shaw’s Maple Syrup and Sugar Bush, a plantation of maple tree wonder and also home of the Shaw Pancake House near Orillia. In this vacation land of scenic tamed wilderness for Torontonians and thousands of other tourists, the Lake Country and Springwater is an outdoor paradise. One of Canada’s most picturesque regions with gleaming lakes and rivers, it has, year-round, a wide-range of activities and other allurements, not least of which is the maple syrup season and its peripheral bounty. We had come in early spring to enjoy this North American natural sweet and at the same time explore this part of Canada where man had semi-tamed the land but left enough of nature for travelers and tourists to enjoy. While relishing…
Monday, 29 December 2014

A Journey to Toxin in Japan

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It is almost 5 o'clock in the morning while we are climbing down the hillock. Hundreds of stone paved stairs spread under our feet, leading way to the serene harbor where a hectic day starts with the first light of dawn. On top of the steep slope, avermillion painted torii, the gateway to a Shinto shrine, stands silent still among clumps of low bushes and shrubs; at the end of the winding path, facing directly to the Kanmon straits, the city of Shimonoseki is still sleeping soundly under the flimsy mist, yet the first groups of fishing boat has already begun to celebrate the triumphant return from the harvest. The crispy summer breeze from the sea brings up to us a fresh smell mixed with algae and brine. After a short promenade, nothing is more appealing than a hearty breakfast in the wharf. Karato seafood market opens on weekends and…
After spending a near week in Pittsburgh, PA, a vibrant commercial, academic, and research-oriented city with a population of some 310,000, filled with activity and the rushed living of other modern urban centers but with a focus on sustainability, usually lacking in the world’s largest cities. In the last few decades Pittsburgh’s citizens have brought their city back to life after it had decayed for years. After indulging in this hectic life for a while, I felt the urge to move out for a few days to go back to the quaint rural life of old Pennsylvania. The closest region was Butler County and it was to that destination that a group of us headed because of its vicinity and its drive to bring nature back as the primary focus of healthy and happy living. As I was enthusiastically advised by the Greater Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the ‘3Ds’…

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