Browsing Category: "Travel and Dining"

Delicious Dining in Sydney

The sheer scope of Sydney cuisine reflects the city’s culturally diverse reputation. The offerings range from local samplings to Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian and so much more.

For tourists who would like to enjoy a traditional Australian dish, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels offers the finest meat pies the city has to offer. Select venues also offer the bush-tucker, featuring original aboriginal cuisine including kangaroo meat. Although it was only 1993 when kangaroo meat could legally be served in restaurants, bush-tucker meals have quickly become a popular choice among tourists.

Seafood is commonly served, of course, with Sydney being a harbour city. A number of the town’s leading restaurants offer it exclusively such as Five Dick Seafoods Cafe and Fishface. Sydney Fish Market is close by, ensuring that there is a constant supply of octopus, calamari, prawns, mussels, snapper and barramundi. The Doyles Hotel is the town’s oldest seafood restaurant and is also regarded as the best. Enhancing the dining experience, it offers a wonderful view of Watsons Bay.

Italian cuisine is popular the world over and there are some wonderful choices in Sydney with Mezzaluna and Gelbison at the top of the list. Little Italy, also known as the Leichhardt inner city, is located on Norton Street with some of the best pasta in Sydney. The more fashionable cafés bear a strong Italian influence including those residing along Bondi Beach.

There is a further European influence on Sydney cuisine which can seen in French restaurants Sel et Poivre and Bistro Moncur, both high in the popularity stakes.

Restaurant, Wine, Glasses, Served, Dinner, Celebration

[Photo courtesy of neshom/pixabay.com]

There are some wonderful Asian restaurants that serve up some fine cuisine from Iran, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. Among the excellent choices are Blue Elephant, Lebanon & Beyond, Chinta Ria and The Malaya.

You can taste the delight of Turkey in their specially prepared juicy and sweet kebabs. The best kebabs in Sydney can be found in Auburn. Chinatown, most enjoyable at night, offers Sichuan and Cantonese fare. There are so many countries represented in Australia when it comes to cuisine and fine dining and by sampling as many as possible, you are truly sampling Sydney itself.

If you rank cuisine highly when visiting a new country, you will likely be spoilt for choice on your visit to Australia. Like so many other aspects to the country, it is impossible to experience even a fraction of what it has to offer in just a couple of weeks. You will likely wish to stay for an extended period, or even longer. Homesales is a fantastic resource for anyone seeking to stay long-term or even emigrate to Australia. It may not be a prospect that has occurred to you before but once you take some time to think about it and explore the properties for sale, you may find that your Australian holiday plans may just develop into a far more permanent alternative.

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Tokyo’s Most Iconic Sushi Restaurants

It may well rank as Japan’s most prolific and omnipresent export, over the likes of Toyota automobiles, Sony gadgets, Uniqlo casual wear, manga, anime and Godzilla. Give it up for sushi.

Like Japan’s post-war economic miracle, when the country, to the world’s surprise, suddenly became a global player in the automotive and electronics sectors, sushi’s culinary dissemination has come fast.

Think about it. Go back three decades. Outside of some very select metropolitan centres, just how prevalent was sushi? Truth is, as a viable dinner option, sushi was in a diminutive niche and practically non-existant in the likes of Adelaide and Albuquerque.

Some thirty years on, sushi and, indeed, Japanese cuisine’s hegemony is secure and almost taken for granted. The Melbournes and Montreals of the world have not one type of Japanese restaurant now, but several, with standard sushi and sashimi almost humdrum in the face of soba, izakaya, okonomiyaki, tonkatsu, shabu-shabu, udon, and yakitori joints.

Sushi, however, is still regent but, admittedly, more controversial than ever. As diners become more savvy and “Ocean Wise”, as it were, to reckless practices that damage marine ecosystems, some restaurants and chefs have had to give sushi menus a rethink.

And yet, Japan’s (and the world’s) appetite for bluefin toro and unagi rages on. And trips to Tokyo without a cursory nibble at one of the city’s bellwether sushi purveyors feel woefully inadequate.

The key is to make a rational decision about where to eat genuine, authentic sushi in Japan’s capital. Happily, we have done the research for you. No need to wander from of your Narita accommodation with question marks and an empty stomach. Just make a reservation in advance and, preferably, at one of these iconic (and costly) sushi restaurants in Tokyo.

Tsukiji Fish Market

[Image credit travel.nationalgeographic.com]

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tokyo’s venerable fish market, the largest in the world, is best at dawn, as mongers and buyers conduct an age-old auction ritual to see who gets to take home prize tunas. The market contains several small, very busy sushi counters, where the fish is duly fresh.

Sushi Takumi Okabe

The man with the knives at Sushi Takumi Okabe was the mentor of Masa Takayama, whose eponymous Manhattan sushi shop is a consistent Michelin three star and, arguably, the most expensive restaurant in North America.

Sushi Mizutani

Juno Ginza Seiwa bldg 9F, 8-7-7 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

There is an ascetic quality to the most celebrated sushi restaurants in Tokyo, with Mizutani a poster child. The Michelin three star chef was a protégé of Sukiyabashi Jiro. Expectations are thus impossibly high, and invariably met.

Sushi Mizutani Ginza

[Image credit: tokyofooddiary.com]

Araki

5-14-14 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

Ginza’s best sushi restaurants know better than to make any concessions when it comes to ingredients or technique. Araki’s prices reflect that stringent mindset but this is why the restaurant is a bucket list constant.

Sushi Saito

Nihon Jitensha Kaikan 1F, 1-9-15 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo

Jean-Luc Naret, the tough-as-nails director of the Michelin Red Guide, once famously proclaimed that he wanted to make Sushi Saito his own. The restaurant is a favourite with diplomats at the nearby American Embassy.

Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten

[Image credit alifewortheating.com]

Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten

Tsukamoto Building B1F, 4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

The most famous sushi chef in the world has a trove of honours, was the subject of a popular documentary and is in the Guinness World Records. Born in 1925, the star of Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the oldest Michelin star chef ever and, incredibly, is still at it from behind the counter of his modest restaurant below the streets of Ginza.

Jasmine’s recent Japan tour has taken her to many top sights and locations around the country. She has experienced so of the best Japanese food, amongst other things, and hopes to share it with readers.
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A Taste of Spain: Your Guide to the Local Cuisine

The British are often somewhat unfairly stereotyped by other nations as having an unpalatable culinary heritage. Whilst this, as any patriotic soul will tell you, is absolute rubbish, it is undoubtedly true that it can be nice to take a gastronomic dip into the delights of other countries’ diets and to leave off on the fish and chips or haggis for a little while at least.

Britain’s cities, towns and indeed villages are dotted with Indian curry houses, Chinese buffets, Italian restaurants and even French-style cafes. Spanish cuisine, on the other hand, is found far less frequently, which is a great shame. Mention food from the Iberian Peninsula and the best reaction you might hope to get would be; “tapas?” and perhaps, with a frown of distaste; “calamari?” otherwise known as squid. That ought not to be the case, as Spanish food deserves equal recognition with its better known counterparts, especially as Britons have been enjoying Spanish hospitality for decades. The following is an introduction to the varieties of Spanish cooking for those looking to take their taste buds on a tour of the many flavours of Spain.

Espana

Espana

Seafood plays an important role in Spanish cooking, as might be expected from a country surrounded by oceans; whether this is the rolling deeps of the Atlantic Ocean or the gentler shallows of the Mediterranean. A mountainous, apparently divided country, Spain has had a turbulent past. The presence of the Moors had a deep influence on some parts of the country, which was not fully unified under Christian rulers until 1492.

Perhaps paralleling this more fragmented history and current political structure, Spain’s regions tend to be much more strongly associated with particular kinds of food than their British equivalents. Although Yorkshire Puddings and Cumberland Sausages are staples of pub food up and down the whole of the UK, in Spain local dishes are a way for a region to assert its independent historical identity.

1. Andalusian Cuisine

Andalusian Cuisine

Food from Andalusia is often fried and is dominated by the use of the olive oil that is produced locally. Fish and shellfish feature prominently, including squid, cuttlefish and crab. Adventurous diners might also consider trying ortiguillas, also known as battered sea anemones!

2. Valencian Cuisine

Valencian Cuisine

Mediterranean-based, Valencian cuisine has given the world paella and rice-inflected dishes. Another famous export is gazpacho, a cold sort of tomato soup that’s normally consumed during the scorching hot days of the Spanish summer. In truth, it’s not really possible to do justice to the diversity of Spanish cuisine with words alone. It has to be seen, smelt and above all tasted; whether in a villa in the Pyrenees mountains or alongside one of the country’s exquisite beaches, overlooking a Mediterranean sunset.

3. Catalan Cuisine

Catalan Cuisine

The region of Catalonia was bitterly opposed to the rule of General Franco and is home to the city of Barcelona. Its sense of having a separate identity to the rest of Spain was fostered thanks to the brutal oppression of fascist rule and its own language and is perhaps emphasized by the success of its football team. It is thought that at some point it may ask for a referendum to secede from Spain.

Catalonian food tends to feature Mediterranean vegetables such as Aubergine, pork (Catalonia is one of Spain’s biggest producers) and picada, which is a kind of sauce that can include a variety of different kinds of ground nuts, mixed garlic, herbs or biscuits. Both sweet and savory dishes are available in abundance.

After delving into its culinary history, it’s no wonder why Spain is such a popular destination for foodies the world over. And if you’re like me and can’t wait to try a taste of Spain, one piece of advice would be to book a Gerona airport taxi service to remove the stress of travel and allow you to tuck into some tapas pronto. So what are you waiting for? Vamos!

Guest post by HolidayTaxis.com, an airport shuttle service with a passion for Mediterranean travel. For more holiday advice and other travel ramblings follow @Holiday_Taxis on Twitter.

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