September 26, 2005

When Aliens Attack!

Actually, not an alien at all, just part of tonight’s dinner.

When I saw how sexy the soy beans we bought yesterday looked, I had to take a picture. Two little beans, still attached to the stem, with all their little hairlets still intact and glistening.

It wasn’t bought at some soy farmer’s roadside stand (ha, there’s a mental picture for downtown Tokyo) either. It’s from our local Peacock supermarket; a large chain with outposts throughout Tokyo. The quality of produce here is astonishing.

Posted by pmk at 5:31 AM | Comments (4)

September 12, 2005

nano heartbreak

The inscription

I ordered an iPod nano as soon as they came out last week. The armband arrived less than 24 hours after my order, but I had to wait until today for the nano itself.

It’s very, very beautiful. It’s like someone hit a normal ipod with a shrinkray. The screen is bright and very colorful.

Unfortunately, though, I was a little hasty when typing in my engraving for the back. If I ever lose the thing, some lucky person at Women’s Wear Daily is going to end up with it.

I’m going to email them and see if they’ll setup a forward.

Posted by pmk at 10:22 PM | Comments (5)

September 5, 2005

Tempura Chef: Caught on Film

To a Westerner, the idea of a chef cooking only deep-fried food is pretty weird. Deep-frying is for machines or, at best, a line cook who can pull the fries out when they’re done.

Me, Yukari, Sean, Megan and Suzuki-san

But in Japan, tempura is a first-class cuisine. In fact, Yukari’s cousin, who is a chef himself, told us recently that he would never even try to do tempura, since the apprenticeship takes years. So when you find a tempura chef you like, you stick with him.

yamanoue's counter

For us, Suzuki-san, executive chef at the incredible yamanoue tempura restaurant, is that chef. The man is a genius. He finds the freshest fish and vegetables and carefully enhulls them in an a light, totally greaseless shell.

And although seemingly shy, he quickly opens up as you talk to him. He seems to really enjoy it when our guests, especially foreign guests, get into the food. Our most recent guests, Megan and Sean, were enthusiastic enough that the reclusive Suzuki-san agreed to pose for a picture!

The only other picture I’ve gotten of him was when he was doing cleanup after most of the other customers had left. I like the picture, since you can see yamanoue’s stunning counter, made from a single, beautiful board of Japanese cypress.

I’m going to do a more detailed write-up on Fugu Diaries, but if you’re in Tokyo and want to see what real tempura is all about, yamanoue is the place to go.

Posted by pmk at 4:12 AM | Comments (0)