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Thursday, 12 June 2014

KIRAZU




Asahi Black Beer for Table Number 2



Takoyaki, Osaki Street Food Coming up...



Fresh Market Sashimi, Agedashi Tofu, Steamed Scallop Salad



Seabream Sashimi & Miso Soup



I'm Hung On You, Mr Salaryman



Blackboard Cravings



Menu Bins



To soy or not to soy



Seaweed Salad and sesame bean sprouts


#52 Danny La Rue


Japanese Tapa Tapa Tapas

When running to meet my kind partner for a surprise dinner at Kirazu I wasn't expecting to find this traditional Obanzai cuisine (Kyoto home style cooking) on the very doorstep of London's Chinatown.  Placing refined Japanese  foodisms into touristy Chinese territory doesn't seem to gel as both have a distinct mindset towards showcasing their Asian offerings. 

Kirazu - translated as SoyBean in Kansai district Japanese - is lead by head maestro Yuya Kikuchi. He will blow you away with his skilled Fugu food license, or Blow Fish cooking to the lesser initiated. It requires a craftsman's skill to be awarded this trusted license which involves serving up, what would be a poisonous fish - in the wrong hands. Yuya likes to grapple with a blow torch and will carefully flame up plated delicacies to the exact half millimetre as part of his honest honed craft. The Obanzai concept is essentially conceived to let all the ingredients sing and fortunately there are no Japanese budgerigars on the menu.

Taking its own restaurant name as inspiration, Kirazu's menu utilises the Soybean for its staple ingredients - soy sauce, tofu and miso soup, living up to the healthy diet doctorate of Japanese cooking contributing to your prolonged longevity. Unfortunately the time waiting for the dishes to arrive may take years off you, unless you get lucky. *Please read on.

Kirazu is a tiny space that requites an intimate familiarity with your fellow diners. This was accentuated when we were mistakenly presented with the food they had already ordered. We happily tucked in but after eventually realising the error - due to lost in translation glitches from an eccentric maitre d - we did feel a touch guilty as it really was a delicious selection. Plate proportions are intentionally small, a la tapas and this gaff would be best avoided by any passing hippopotami with hangovers who like to end the night feeling bloated. 

On the plus side you won't find any Chinatown tourists hogging the buffet and spinning a round table at 47 Rupert St.





Wednesday, 23 April 2014

SKY DINING




Sky Dining



Gyoza Debutantes



Rolled Up Seating



The Rice Bowl



Place Setting



Beetroot Pudding




#51 Tweak Of The Thumb


Homemade & Handmade Japanese Culinary Art.


It's not every Easter Monday you have chance to dine up high with the clouds and admire  an ever changing London skyline, observing the elements as they swoosh on by. You don't need to dine in the Hutong restaurant on level 33 in the Shard to have such amazing views. Though vertigo sufferers be warned.

Especially if you are lucky enough to have Ian + Rie as your friends. Ian is a clothing designer of some incredible natural talent, though many will not have heard of him. For a man with his rare atelier skills he is amazingly humble, friendly and generous with his time. Ian knows intuitively how to enjoy life and live-in-the-moment with Iyengar yoga a constant in his life. Ian is well loved, always smiling and places importance on nurturing the everyday simple things in life that are important to cherish. 

Rie is an amazing Japanese cook, though in her unassuming manner, this culinary skill is simply a little hobby. Rie is also an incredibly skilled sculptor of Art-jewellery. Her work is so intricate and mesmerising it is hard to define. One of Rie's Snow Leopards might take 3 months to complete.

Dining with Ian + Rie is quite an experience. Certainly equivalent to any fine dining establishment in Japan with an array of beautiful Japanese ceramic beakers, bowls and earthenware. With such artistic hand skilled elements you can feel yourself slowing down, breathing deeply and sampling and tasting every bite.

We were served Rie's delicious handmade Miso soup with Silken Tofu, Cashew nut Gyoza, Agedashi Tofu and Ginger Marinated Eggplant. Washed down with a St.Peters Brewery Honey Porter Ale we had handily brought with us.  The relaxed low to the floor conversation was finished off with a Cinnamon & Orange Cake and a Japanese Beetroot Jelly with Cocoa and Chocolate that gleamed the most amazing dense hue of colour. 

Perfect.







Thursday, 29 August 2013

PADSTOW ROCK Fish & Chips




Padstow Look Out Towards Rock



Ready To Land The Catch Of The Day



Line Caught Apparatus


Moses Footpath To Rock



  Fish Shoals Made by Tyre Imprints On Boat Trailers



Boarding Tiny Ferry To Rock



This Is Rock 



John Dory In Beef Dripping Batter



Rick Stein's Fish & Chips



Sunny Lookout For Ice Creams



Roskilly's Ice Cream,
Apple Crumble & Mint Chocoholic



#50 Bung Hole


Fish & Chips Rock n' Ice Cream Roll


It's a fishing hub par excellence, so there seemed only one thing to do in Padstow. We grabbed a skirt of Fish & Chips from Mr Steins and a tub of his finest mushy peas and boarded the tiny ferry crossing to Rock. 

On the way home we took to our pedals and wheeled along the Camel Trail and treated ourselves to a scoop of Roskilly's  Apple Crumble Ice Cream and Mint Choc chip.

We then gave ourselves a pat on the back.

For a job well done.




Monday, 12 August 2013

THE ST IVES PASTY





The St Ives Cornish Pasty



Bernard Leach Studio Pots



Bernard Leach Potters Wheel



Bernard Leach Found Stool



John Bedding Pottery on Shelf



Shigeyoshi Ichino Pottery




Barbara Hepworth Two Bronze Forms



Barbara Hepworth Inner Sphere



Barbara Hepworth Weathered Stone



Barbara Hepworth Courtyard Sunroom



Barbara Hepworth Studio Overalls



Barbara Hepworth Little Stones & Succulents


#49  Rise And Shine


Pasty, Bernard & Babs. 


Everyone loves a pocket lunch when out foraging for Pottery and Sculptures, or as was once the local Cornish tradition, off to your day job as a Tin Miner. 


The genuine "Cornish Pasty" we savoured was purchased from Pengenna pastiesPrepared by hand, to be shaped like a 'D' and crimped on one side, before being baked on the premises - the quality hallmarks of a fine pasty makers reputation. We could see why the Cornish Pasty now has Protected Geographical Indication status from the European commission and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. 


You can learn how a genuine Cornish Pasty is made here. The reigning world championship pasty winner is Billy Deakin who missed last years prize giving ceremony as he had to go home to walk his dog 'zero'.


Our prized pasty was off to see the wonderful Bernard Leach Pottery Studio and fab Barbara Hepworth Museum & Garden . It then strolled along via the Wills Lane Gallery the St Ives Ceramics Gallery and immersed itself into the local art & ceramics scene at the Belgrave Gallery, New Craftsmen Gallery, Porthminster Gallery and Fernlea Gallery. Oh and an unexpected off-piste visit to Paul Vibert's unique hidden gallery of stacked bundles of art.

With our Cornish Pasty in tow, it seemed fitting that Bernard might have enjoyed a Pasty or two while throwing pots, or for Barbara to have munched on a pasty for her afternoon tea, when carving sculptures.


This blog gives thanks to the founders of The Genuine Cornish Pasty, for creating the St Ives day tripper's Favourite Thing To Eat and also as an endless supply of convenience food for the mob-handed pasty snatching seagulls.







Tuesday, 6 August 2013

PORTHMINSTER BEACH RESTAURANT


The Look Out Over Porthminster Beach



It's That Little White One Right There On the Sand !



Look Out Over St Ives Bay 



The Table Look Out




Iced Chilled Bucket, English Organic Wine



'The Beach Is Mine'



Salt & Spice Squid



Mackerel Pate Nestled On A Bed Of Wood



Wooden Beach Tanks 



Seafood Linguine



All Eyes On The Prize !



Wild Harbour Line Caught Haddock Fillet



Homeward Peaking, Over The Wall



Knitted Lifeguards "Man The Fort"



#48  Four Dozen


Beach Dining


It's not every day you find opportunity to dine right on the Beach. And not just any old sort of beach, a proper sandy beach you would want to dig your toes into and build a sand castle complete with moat. A beach with beautiful, unspoilt views across to St Ives Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse. A beach with golden, caramac shades and hardly a soul on it. Bar one dog walker, one happy dog loping on the run and one lone swimmer with a mesmerising stroke-o'meter.

So to find a dining spot on such a picturesque blue flag beach, seated at the large paned observatory window seemed especially fortuitous. This was my first visit to the Porthminster Cafe restaurant and its eloquent reputation for fine seafood is there for good reason. Relaxed and welcoming, this is a handily located oasis for anyone who prefers to be Far From The Madding Crowd and is searching for 'sustainable fish' served direct from the local cornish sea.

The campaigning folk at fish2fork care deeply about preserving our planet's resources in the sea and they have nothing but high praise for the Porthminster Beach Restaurant.

This idyllic and dreamy spot has no distractions, apart from welcome rhythm of the tide, slowing down the pace of St Ives leisurely life by one more notch on the dial. The seasonal food is infused by nature and the tiny floral presentations accompanying the line caught haddock are perfected by St Ives unique natural daylight. 

The locally sourced English Organic wine from Camel Valley is chilled at your table in a red plastic beachside bucket, to sum up the agreeably nonchalant mood.

Even the knitted lifeguards manning our homeward route seemed to know they were onto a good thing.





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