I don’t just eat to live, I live to eat.
~See Lemons Eat
Random Observation/Comment #280: I miss Japan. Those were some good times…
Some may call me a ramen snob, but that’s because when I lived in Japan, ramen was the only thing that kept me alive on a student budget (that and a lot of onigiri). Since I’ve returned, I’ve looked for restaurants that can match the quality of broth, noodle, and authenticity that I had once taken for granted. In my search for truth, I’ve tried the top-rated places in NYC and even spent the whole month of February only eating out at Ramen places.
Verdict: NYC does a great job enhancing the presentation and creating well-rounded authentic-looking restaurants with those real imported old Japanese chefs in cool hats. They bring their broth recipes from abroad and sprinkle it with enthusiasm and a constant strive for perfection. However, there is always something lacking when I do my comparisons. Whether it’s the ridiculously high prices, lack of lye in the noodles, or 2-hour waits to get a little spot to enjoy a garlic-filled bowl of deliciousness, I really just miss being able to step into a train station ramen shop and having an incredible and cheap lunch. I’d eat it alone in the corner with the other Japanese business men grabbing something to go, and engulfed with the sounds of slurping. It’s lost a piece of its soul when restaurants feel the need to play pop music in the background and serve with everything slightly fashionable.
It was the NYC arrogance and the expected (and somewhat necessary) twist to fit a specific niche so a restaurant can survive in the concrete jungle with merciless foodies. But, you see, business and “fusion” ways of bringing a modern pop to an old and perfectly incredible style has ruined something sacred. It has made the ojiisan shed a tear and shake his head in shame for what they’ve done to the art.
Here are the top ramen places and my honest opinions about them: more »
Random Observation/Comment #276: I can’t imagine having a dietary restriction. I probably shouldn’t take this freedom as an obligation to eat everything that once lived. Why do majestic animals taste so good?
This blog entry started as a general bucket list, but I found that my bucket list split very categorically into location activities/sights, food adventures, and miscellaneous accomplishments. I decided to start with what I had already done. This was a long list, and the specific food adventure list, is something worth sharing for all the foodies out there (in no particular order).
- Minke whale – lightly seared and served in a jar from the Icelandic bar. It actually had the texture of filet mignon and I would definitely eat it again (especially because it’s served in a jar).
- Hakarl – smells like ammonia and tastes like its decomposing (or further fermenting) in your mouth. That being said, it’s not so terrible. It was something worth trying… once.
- Reindeer burger – the texture was that of a soft burger, but there was this lingering gamy taste to it. I associate the taste with lamb often because overcooking lamb brings on the same smell and grass-fed taste.
- Raw Puffin – I like my sashimi, but this was odd. The deep purple strips of meat were very interesting and not the easiest to eat without some dipping sauce. I really want to try puffin prepared in a different way.
- Lobster bisque – This creamy, buttery concoction was incredible. I had a food boner while eating it because the flavor was so rich and warmed my body completely. more »
Random Observation/Comment #259: I have been filling my void of writing here with status updates, tweets, buzzes, foodspotting food pic descriptions, yelp reviews, ted comments, and check-ins. I guess the micro-blogging world has made me need the long streams of consciousness a bit less necessary. Of course, the daily dairy still lives on, yet there’s less of this (whatever this is) going on. It seems less important when I usually talk about these subjects to the people I see and converse with in real life (woah… what’s that?). I guess there are only so many people I can speak with, and only so many people that can tolerate me rambling on… fine, you convinced me. I’ll write more.
Random Observation/Comment #186: I love cooking because I tend to taste a little bit more than I should while making the meal. Cooking for myself makes me half-full before I even have the plate prepared. There is a level of laziness in presentation and utensils when I’m really just trying to learn by keeping track of past mistakes and successes. After the chemistry experiment with these ingredients is over, the enjoyment of these fruits of my labor are not always the same. I am my own worse judge – some times to the point where I ignore that it’s actually tasty and just devour it to fill my stomach and move on to the next activity. Sigh – Es ist eine schade.
If you’ve tasted my mom’s cooking, you’d know why I was a chubby child. more »
Random Observation/Comment #79: I love being on vacation. I literally have an erection just thinking about that sashimi (not literally).
I always feel a little guilty spending an obscene amount of money on food because, in the back of my head, I have this lingering survival thought that I eat to live. Whatever I eat, as long as it has calories and is balanced on that food pyramid, will get me through the day and keep me healthy for the future. I sometimes catch myself shoveling food into my mouth mid-chew in front of my desk while multitasking with doing homework and reading an engadget article, and I wonder – What have I tasted in this meal? It’s just a refuel to get rid of this hunger feeling, but do I have to inhale it? I’ve had the privilege of eating almost every type of food and remembering each taste in my mind clearly, but this mode is not always set to record. I think there are just meals that I’ve eaten so much that my taste-buds are no longer impressed.
Random Observation/Comment #62: Always sit next to people with dietary restrictions so you can get seconds without feeling bad (in fact, feeling quite useful for not wasting food).I am Jacob’s scraps.
I don’t remember every dish’s name, but I do remember the taste and texture of all these plates before me.It was a large feast (and feat) with small portions.You are only given a few pieces of everything for a small taste test, but my strategy of sitting next to picky eaters kept me salivating and eyeing the delicious dishes next to me.
I commend the chef for his hard work and meticulous concentration on presentation. more »