Musings from Kyoto Japan, mostly on Mushrooms, Food, Travel and the like

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The Great Glico One Piece Crunch Bar Swindle

Package length (flattened): 204mm
Ice Cream length: 91mm
Life sucks when your lolly is less than half the size of its wrapper…

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Home Sweet Home

Found this when going through some old photos. Some of my friends will like this, I know. It is near Stonehenge, btw.

大正時代のむらさき切子皿?Anybody know what this is?

I just bought this glass plate this weekend. I am guessing it is kiriko cut glass, from the Taisho Period (1912-1926), but if anyone knows better/more, I’d love to hear from you. サイズ:φ24.5cm/4.5cm/45mm 素材:ガラス There was something similar on sale here, but I prefer this design. It’s got a kinda masonic-bird-Art Deco thing going on. I also like that the round parts aren’t perfectly round, and the glass has bubbles in it, and the dark brownish-purple colour is shibui (sorry, my photos don’t really do it justice). Anybody know where it might be from? I know there is a difference between Edo, Otaru and Satsuma kiriko, other than the obvious geographical one (I once learned, but have forgotten). Thanks!

The Travelling Gourmet: Story on Kyoto’s Foodie Hotspots

Recognise this fellow? I had to smile at the ‘talent’ reference, given the Japanese image of a ‘tarento’: young, shallow, fame-seeking, disposable, often (but not exclusively) female media fodder. A Yorkshire version sounds particularly scary. Hopefully I don’t fit those categories. I certainly don’t fit the first one.

This is my profile in the current issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. You can find my article on page 190 of the print magazine, should you care for a read or, if you prefer, you can check it out on the Web here. Sasha gets in on the act too, as the editors chose her pic, wolfing down Kyohei Ramen, to accompany the Web version. You can see that at her Foodelica blogsite here. The other photos there, from the magazine version, are also by me, FYI.


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The Doomed Rooster Diaries: PKNK2

This was my presentation for the Pecha Kucha Night Kyoto Vol 2, held at Urban Guild here in Kyoto on the evening of January 16th, 2011. It was pretty well received I think. The PKN format is to speak about 20 images for 20 seconds each. Here are the 20 ‘slides’ of my Power Point presentation. Sans my pithy commentary (fortunately?). Please feel free to comment. Please note there is a Pecha Kucha Night INSPIRE JAPAN benefit for the Earthquake and Tsunami victims, in Kyoto, Saturday April 16th, details are here, and elsewhere globally, details here

http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/kyoto/2


What Annoys You Most About Khaosan Road?

I was sitting in May Kaidee’s restaurant, waiting for my Spicy Banana
Flower Salad, and an uncharitable thought sprang to mind.

What annoys me most about Khaosan Road?

I started compiling a mental list of grievances. As it took a while for the food to arrive, I managed to
come up with quite a list.

All the old stalwarts were there: Israelis haggling with street-vendors over the price of pinneaple chunks on a stick; Farang women with arses that it would take several days to sail
a barge around getting their hair braided; an assortment of tattooed
Slav, Brit and North European men with shaved heads who study Muy Thai
by day and drink Chang beer from the bottle on the street by night,
accompanied by their stupefyingly bored miniature Thai girlfriends;
the old Thai bloke who has been trying to sell me the same hammock
since 1986;

Full Moon Partygoers of any ilk; Italian tour groups
featuring women in high heels and men in sunglasses (at night and by
day); Italian Full Moon Partygoers; anyone eating in the Khaosan Rd
branch of McDonalds; Aussie backpackers who think they are the next Dr
Livingston/Sir Edmund Hilary/Scott of the Antarctic/Carlos Casteneda
because they once smoked a load of ganja and floated down a river in
Laos in a tractor inner tube; women in tribal costume flogging pointy multi-coloured tribal hats, and tribal dresses, and tribal artefacts, even though they were born and raised less than a few kms away across the river in Thonburi;


Restaurants with signs only in Hebrew; my compatriots who sunbathe and
drink beer until their faces begin to resemble that big red spot on
Jupiter and then buy, and don, the aforementioned pointy, multi-colored tribal hats sold by
the aforementioned ladies. Chain-smoking French hippies with unruly children, Birkenstock replicas, and Beatles T-shirts with cut-off sleeves; Thai dudes with dreadlocks, bad personal hygiene, and prison tattoos strumming ‘No Woman No Cry’ on out-of-tune guitars to an audience of enraptured foreign women; anyone in a ‘Sex Instructor: Students Wanted’ T-shirt; middle-aged white men with Taoist tattoos, beads, and roll-your-own cigarettes denouncing and lavishing praise upon an assortment of ashrams; the ‘Where you go? Tuk-tuk! Boom Boom! Body masaaaaaa..!’ guy who stands in the same place every night, and offers the same greeting, every night…

My list went on. Perhaps you too have your own KSR-related peeves?
Please send them along and I shall compile a definitive list. Don’t be too nasty. Just a bit.
And, here for your reading pleasure, is the grand winner in my own personal ‘What Annoys You Most About Khaosarn Road?’ contest…

Vegans with laptops.

Bangkok 5: Fish Ball Noodles

I didn’t know fish had…

I dropped in here for 35 baht ‘thin’ noodles. Good broth.

It’s a popular spot down near the Robinson department store on what used to be called New Road. By no stretch of the imagination could you call it sophisticated cuisine, but it hits the spot after a long day walking in a hot and dusty Bangkok.

Almost next door this lady was selling something that smelled fantastic in a Soi-side streetstall. I couldn’t read the Chinese characters completely, though I think ‘egg’ was in there.

Bangkok 6: Roast Duck@Prachak

Very popular spot also down near the Robinson Department store, featured in the Fodor guide to the city, thus frequented by well-heeled Farang tourists and locals.

The duck wasn’t bad, but I know what the Japanese evaluation would be: ‘Kusuri no Aji‘, ‘It tastes like medicine’. There is something in there – one person suggested it is turmeric – that is found in Japanese kampoyaku medicine, for sure.

Bangkok 4: The Thai Seasoning Arsenal and Tuna Graprow

From left to right: Siu Kao Soy sauce, Prik Nam Pla Thai Chili in Fish Sauce, Prik Nam Som Thai Vinegar with Chili, and Prik Pon Thai dried ground chili.