Tsukiji Fish Market

Hi, it’s been a while. Work life is pretty hectic for all of us Teambudu…

Anyway, here’s a post to mark the 1st year after that tragic day in Japan…

One of Tokyo’s popular destination for tourists is the Tsukiji Fish Market. My chef friend told me when I get there, I MUST visit this market.

I work up pretty late having worn myself out with all the walking from the day before and jet lag. Here’s my breakfast of green tea, melon pan (my first!) from Seven Eleven and some weird cookie they gave out for free near the subway (it was horrible). My hotel was lovely, but as the city is a little short of power, the hotel has some sort of power cut during the wee hours of the morning which cuts off the air conditioning so I was stickily hot by 6 am.

I made my way to the fish market by subway easily at 9 am.

This is the only market I’ve been to that doesn’t really stink of fish. It’s a bit wet, but not dirty at all. Impressed!

Although I did not witness that famous auctioning, I still saw plenty of tuna. Here’s some blocks deep frozen.

I walked around for quite a while, then it was time to look for some sushi… now I have no idea what shops are good, so I decided to go for one that had both Japanese and tourists queueing for.

It’s funny how the lady at the Sushi Daiwa thought I was with this couple of gyaru girls in front me in the queue. “San nin?” she said. Hahaha. I had to tell her no and I’m only looking for a seat in what pieces of Japanese I knew. I was so happy to finally sit down after some 1.5 hour wait! Started off with some tai and maguro nigiri. Wow, very red looking tuna… I suppose you can’t get fresher tuna than Tsukiji, can you?

 The other sushis I had. I don’t remember the names, but the top left one was really good. Meal also came with complimentary miso clam soup (super good). The bill that I had to pay for 6 pieces of sushi was not so good. Well, it is in the world famous fish market with super fresh ingredients so…

But honestly, I don’t know if I can wait for that long again… it may be good, but I felt that it wasn’t like to die for.

The experience at this sushi-ya was great. The chef was friendly and happy to recommend me stuff. I tried my best to speak in Japanese, to his amusement.

I will definitely be back at this fish market the next time I’m in Tokyo.

 

-M.

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An afternoon in Vancouver

This is a continuation of my Canadian travels (obviously)…

So after Toronto, I flew down to Vancouver to meet several cousins and to visit my aunt and uncle who lives in Victoria Island. Some facebooking meant that I was able to coordinate one of my friend whom I met in Oxford, who works in Vancouver. MW invited me to lunch and offered to show me around Vancouver for an afternoon. I was so grateful, for her to make some time to meet me and be a guide for one Friday afternoon.

I was in Vancouver some 15 years ago, and so I have few memories of the place. MW met me near the harbour and we had a quick look around the harbour front before walking down to sandwich shop.

I know, like wtf a sandwich shop? Ah, but MW promised that it would be a pretty good place for lunch. So we walked to the old part of the city. We even came across an old steam clock.

The shop was aptly called Meat and Bread. Talk about selling what it says. It was already very busy when we arrived for lunch. Most people were there for a quick bite so the wait was not long.

I love the interior design of the place. It’s something of a fifties store/boxing gym. Even the toilet was interesting, it has a large printout of text on the wall describing arsenic…

Anyway, I had the recommeded porchetta sandwich and some chickpea salad. I have bad reaction to things with chickpeas usually, but this salad was good and didn’t give me any rumbly-tummy. Mmm, wash it all down with a cold Canadian beer.

MW had a spicy meatball sandwich which she thought was too spicy for her.

All in all, definitely a nice place for a sandwich. I love that they serve it on a wooden board, with a big dollop of mustard. The porchetta could do with more seasoning of herbs in my opinion, but hey is still pretty good. Coupled with the ambience, no wonder this place is popular.

Meat and Bread: 370 Cambie Street at Victory Square, Vancouver, BC, V6B 2N3.

After that, MW showed me around other parts of the town. The day ended with us driving along English Bay and then a cup of tea on the beach on a beautiful cool October day. Ah, bliss.

Here’s a short video of us driving along the bay.

Thanks, MW. Till we meet again one of these days. You made my Canadian trip even more memorable.

-M.

St. Jacob’s Market, Waterloo

So on with my journey in the East of Canada. Waterloo is a small town possibly most famous for the makers of Blackberry, RIM. There is a farmer’s market every Thursday nearby, and so Sugamama brought me and the parents to have a look at the produce mainly from this group of people called the Mennonites.

The entrance of the market was aptly decorated with corn stalks since it was autumn. Signs were proudly shown to have several countries I think to signify the influence of culture in this market.

More autumn themed decorations around the market.

To be honest, I did not know Mennonites exist until I came here. I only thought there were Quaker and Amish colonies. Look at the fresh sweet corn. Going for real cheap too. There were so much to see here. Lots of fresh produce from the Mennonites, including honey and maple. There was also cooked food and other non-grocery items like flowers, pots and clothes being sold.

For lunch, we had pork and chips (uh, fries) from this shop. I saw the sign for pigtails and I wanted to try it since I haven’t had anything like that before.

Here’s our lunch. Sugamama tried the ribs (picture above), while I had that pigtail (below). It was good! Two old men sat opposite us on the bench enjoying their pigtails (away from their wives they said, as they were not allowed to eat pigtails) and were like “I’ve never seen anyone eat a pigtail with such manners before. You gotta get in there!” Yeah yeah, I just feel self-conscious about using my hands in public.

And for dessert: Apple Fritters! The shop is in the covered part of the market.

The sourness of the apples were balanced out by some simple vanilla ice cream. Sugamama just loved this combo.

We went back happy with a large bag of corn and some fruits from the market.

-M. (and Sugamama)

Backtrack: back to Oxford for the last time (?).

So I’ve just ended my travels around the world. It’s good to be back in Kuala Lumpur for who knows how long.

The first stop in my journey was actually the UK in late September. I was back in Oxford once again and possibly the last time for non other than my graduation.

My, do I look spiffing in my clown suit?

To graduate in this sort of place was sure grand. Glamourous even, but I was ready to leave this academic town to be honest. I’ll miss some of the eats, of course.

Anyway, to celebrate: we went to nearby Woodstock for high tea.

Tea time at the Bear Inn in Woodstock was very good, much better than any I’ve had in Oxford itself. British scones are the best! Don’t mind the Panadol pack in the picture, this was the beginning of my Mother of All Flus as I mentioned in one of my earlier post.

For Dinner celebrations: we went to Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie. At first, I wasn’t too sure of the choice as I had dinner here before and wasn’t too impressed. But wow, it’s much better now.

Some of the food we had:

Escargot. De-shelled and packed with herbs. The snails were so tender… delish!

 Mumakil’s fish main. She said it was superbly cook and the fish was fresh. We all know Mumakil knows her fish, don’t we? 😉

Papa Salvatore’s Chicken. He said it was good.

And this is my duck looking all bloody in plum sauce. Was it Halloween already? No, but it was so good. My brother was there too and had something but I forgot what it was :(. I think it was chicken just like Papa’s. The service of Blanc’s was also very attentive and friendly. Our first bottle of wine was a bit off (as detected by Papa Salvatore, of course) and was changed immediately to another wine of our choice without question nor charge. I would have enjoyed my time here greatly if I wasn’t coming down with a fever thanks to MOAF.

Oh if you ever visit Oxfordshire and want a place to stay, I recommend this hotel. That was where we stayed. The room was beautiful and the English breakfast was super.

-M.