Food corner

"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

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Entries in Japanese (3)


Short & Sweet: Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Style: Pan-Asian restaurant, specialising in ramen.

Budget: Mid-range.

Venue and atmosphere: Deceptively casual. The long wooden bar and communal tables and benches have the feel of a traditional Japanese ramen-ya, but the food will soon remind you that this is a destination restaurant (if the queue hasn’t already).

Service: Efficient and knowledgeable, but a little rushed and brusque; a common theme in my experience of New York City hospitality. 

Food: This is what you are here for and, despite more than 10 years of hype, it doesn’t fail to impress.

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Tetsuya's restaurant; a special occasion

On 10th November 2010 one of my favourite people in the whole wide world turned 21. Sadly, as I live on the other side of the world I missed the big day and the big party thrown in her honour a few days later. So I wanted to do something special to make it up. That special something was Tetsuya’s.

Tetsuya's cuisine is unique, based on the Japanese philosophy of natural seasonal flavours, enhanced by classic French technique and the freshest possible ingredients.” It has long been considered among Australia’s top restaurants. It has won numerous awards, including restaurant of the year almost every year since 1992 from various sources,  best Australasian restaurant on six occasions, and a place on the world’s 50 best restaurant list since 2002, coming fourth in 2005 and fifth in 2006 and 2007. Until this year Tetsuya’s had retained three chef’s hats, the highest rating in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide (akin to three Michelin stars). I was disappointed to learn that it had lost a hat in the year I finally decided to go, but my friend Dash put a positive spin on it: “It will be even better; they’ve given him a kick up the bum."

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Dotori: Japanese & Korean cuisine in Finsbury Park (the dodgy end)

It is thanks to my friend Alex (aka Blumenthal's biatch), a former chef, that I was introduced to this little gem of a restaurant. The fact that he is a former chef is important, because it means I value his opinion on food. So when he told me that this tiny shop front:


... which is on one of the most unpleasant stretches of road in Finsbury Park:

(second only to Fonthill Rd, where the reflection of neon shop lights on patent leather is so bright you have to put your sunglasses on to go inside) was one of his favourite restaurants, rather than just nodding politely and never thinking of it again, I found myself intrigued and requesting further information.

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