The food scene has exploded in Atlanta since I last lived here 10+ years ago, and my calendar is filled with one food festival after another – not that I’m complaining! It’s such a great way to get acquainted with the city again and the many amazing restaurants. Last week, my cousins and I couldn’t wait to attend the ramen fest hosted by Makan, a new modern Asian restaurant in Decatur.
Most of you know my love for ramen (evidence here, here, here, here, and here). I’ve shied away from it since moving back to the US since.. who could do ramen better than Japan? Well, I’m happy to say that although ramen in Atlanta isn’t as steeped in tradition or honed to perfection as in Japan, it’s definitely more innovative and imaginative with unconventional flavors. It’s like coming up for fresh air after a month of eating nothing but your grandmother’s (very tasty) home cooking.
8 different restaurants served up their version of ramen in trial-sized bowls. My favorite was the one from Makan (top photo), served in a flavorful overnight duck broth and served with a tender slice of duck breast. I also loved the one from Victory (below), topped with perfect shiitake mushrooms. Congrats to Makan on such a fun event. I’m sure the next one will be even bigger. Prepare your stomachs!
Spotted: awesome throwback rice packaging. I’ve been seeing this packaging more and more around town from specialty Japanese food and/or rice shops. This 2kg bag of rice from Arobo in Hiroo is a more modern take on the design.
Note: Japanese rice is a great omiyage (souvenir). It’s flavorful with a great texture that’s hard to find outside of Japan – especially if it’s from this year’s harvest! Visit one of the specialty rice shops like Suzunobu in Meguro.
Many places on Ishigaki have a laid-back island feel that’s just so darn relaxing and cute. It’s surprisingly under-developed, which makes you feel like you’re in the country – a countryside with an ocean view. One of my favorite spots that epitomizes this atmosphere is a little gelato shop MiruMiru. We went every day! Continue reading
Well that didn’t take that long! You can now find cronuts in cafes around Tokyo supplied by Banderole. The craze hasn’t hit the radar of Japanese trend setters yet so don’t expect the long lines that you’d find for pancakes or brunch spots. I’m not sure if this will become a fad in Japan as even cupcakes haven’t made a big splash. But we’ll see! Sometimes these food trends take awhile to catch on here (like pancakes). Continue reading
To celebrate the opening of Fresca, we held an office warming party! There just aren’t enough office warming parties. Wouldn’t you love to see some of the great offices out there? Or to see where your friends work? I say we spread the word and bring a little more fun into offices all around :)
For all of you who couldn’t join our party, we’re offering VIP accounts to the first 1,000 people who register to the site. This means 10% off all purchases until the end of the year along with some other fun insider offers. Usually, you have to spend over a certain threshold to get this status so spaces are filing up pretty fast. There’s a step-by-step English guide too for those like me! Continue reading
Big news!! I started working part time for Fresca – a new gourmet online marketplace in Japan. Right up my alley, right?! All of the food and products are thoroughly vetted for quality, taste, and brand image. And guess who gets to do some of the vetting? Yup – right up my alley, indeed :)
Fresca specializes in famous, hip brands, boutiques, and restaurants from Japan and abroad. Perfect for expats or anyone who loves food and dinner parties! Some of my favorites are Intelligentsia and Toby’s Coffee (finally.. good coffee in Tokyo!), common good, Azuman’s Sendai beef (grade 5: best in Japan) and wasabi that I wrote about before, and Nobu. Continue reading
Before Yoshinoya became Yoshinoya, it was just a small street stand in Tsukiji. It’s since blown up to the international chain that it is, but Kitsuneya is here to take its place! Despite the 100 degree weather and only outdoor standing room, the man stirring the huge pot of gyudon sauce looked too appetizing. If you’re not familiar with gyudon, it’s one of the most common dishes you can find in Japan – a bowl of rice topped with soy-sauce marinated beef and caramelized onions and drizzled in the most deliciously hearty, thin beef broth. Yum to the max. I also noticed many people eating beef tofu with a side of white rice. You can’t go wrong with either! Continue reading