It’s very quiet at work this week, and there are only three of us IT folk actually in the office (out of maybe 20 normally).  We decided this Friday to take a longish lunch and my friend Kev drove us down to a restaurant that he has been raving about recently in Maroubra in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, Kokoroya.

Japanese food would probably have to be at the top of my list of favourite types of food, and I figured it would be difficult to please me.  The way Kev has been talking about it though, I did have high expectations.  I never expected my expectations to be so amazingly exceeded however!

This being one of Kev’s favourite restaurants (and I can understand why), we ceded the ordering to him, and he did a fantastic job.

The deluxe sashimi platter consisted of salmon, tuna, kingfish, prawn and scallop sashimi, and each were so fresh, and so divine that I think they would have to more than top my nicest sashimi experiences (even beating sashimi bars at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fishmarkets!).

The tuna was absolutely amazing, like the rest of the sashimi, it was so tender, the way that sashimi should be.  It all tasted so fresh, and was cut so perfectly that I seriously do not have the vocabulary to describe it. Read more

Weird food: Vietnam

This is my second blog post in my weird food series.  This one takes us to Vietnam, in particular Hanoi where I spent about eight days, coming home just last week.

The most odd, and I’m sure to many, shocking weird food discovery was dog meat.  Dog meat is relatively popular in Vietnam, Korea, the Philippines, East Timor and certain areas of China and Switzerland.  I was expecting to find dog meat in Vietnam, and I did.  I didn’t dare try it though; I’m a bit of a wuss!

There were many signs in restaurants which read “Thit Cho”, which is Vietnamese for dog food.  We didn’t actually realise this until one of my last days in Vietnam, when a local guide we hired for the day told us.

The only time I actually saw dog meat in person was on my first full day in Hanoi, at a local food market called Hang Be.

The dogs are apparently farmed, and people’s pets are not stolen for the meat. Read more

Pizza e Birra

Last night I finally had the chance to go to a restaurant I’ve been dying to go to for years, but have never got around to it.  Like Red Lantern, this was another recommendation from my friend Mark.  Mark is currently living in Laos, and he was in town for a few days so we decided to have dinner with a group of friends from work, and we decided on Pizza e Birra.

It is of course, Italian for “Pizza and Beer” and is quite true to its name.  It’s basically a pizzeria, with only three pasta options on the menu and a shitload of pizzas, and a relatively large beer menu.  Pizza e Birra is located at 500 Crown St., Surry Hills in Sydney.

Pizza e Birra is always crowded, and as they take no reservations, you’re almost guaranteed to have to wait for a table, particularly if you have a large group of people.  There were seven of us, and we arrived at 7pm.  They offered to take one of our phone numbers and call us when a table was available.  We went to the nearby Clock Hotel to have a few beers while we waited.

We wandered back at about 7:45, and had to wait another 15mins or so for our table.

It was worth the wait however.  Both the pizzas and the pasta were fantastic.  The house labelled beer, made by a microbrewery in Melbourne was actually quite nice and went well with the pizza. Read more

Weird food: Cambodia

This is the first in what will hopefully be a series on weird foods that I see around the world.  The articles will be on food that as a carnivorous westerner I find odd.  It’s not judging other cultures, just highlighting certain features of them which are different to my own…

I was in Cambodia about six weeks ago, and I was witness to some of the most bizarre food being sold and eaten that I’ve experienced.

I’d heard of the general availability of spiders and insects as food in Cambodia for some time, and was surprised after arriving in Siem Reap that I couldn’t find any in any of the markets. Read more

Restaurant Bobby Chinn

I was in Hanoi, Vietnam this Christmas.  Why?  Well, my mum decided to move there and work for a year or so, so I went over to spend Christmas with her (blog entry on the trip to come).

Anyway, she doesn’t really have much of a kitchen in her apartment, and neither of us were that keen on cooking Christmas dinner anyway, so we decided to pay a visit to one of Hanoi’s finest eating establishments, Restaurant Bobby Chinn.

Restaurant Bobby Chinn is located in Westlakes (it recently moved), an area very popular with expats living in Hanoi.

They had a special six course Christmas day degustation menu which we of course chose over the à la carte menu. Read more

Red Lantern

Generally I try to keep my birthdays low key, and are never inclined to have parties or anything in my honour.

I think as each year passes though, I’m becoming more likely to actually do something for my birthday.  Siboun and I have the same birthday, and so this year we decided to go to Red Lantern in Sydney’s Surry Hills for a joint birthday and Christmas dinner with a few friends.

Everyone at the table (except me, I'm taking the photo!)

We had a table outside, which unfortunately is covered as this particular night was beautiful.  The setting was still quite nice, and contained many eponymous red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Read more

Welcome and Happy New Year!

So, I’ve decided to start a blog at last.  I’m not certain exactly where this will lead, but it should be a bit of fun getting it started!

So welcome to Nick’s Universe, and Happy New Year!  All the best for 2010 :)

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