Wrapping Up 2013, the Memorable Eating Experiences

31 12 2013

I have other Malaccan posts to write about but because today is December 31, a pretty significant date in Japan, I’ll save Malaysia for later.

Since I started writing this blog in 2010, I have been doing the end-of-year wrap-up posts highlighting whatever main events I had in each month of a given year.  This year I will take a different approach and talk about some of the most memorable eating experience I had in a given month.  Here we go.

I was in Hue, Viet Nam in the early part of January on holiday.  Minced chicken wrapped around lemongrass and grilled.  Wrap in rice paper with veggies, dip in sauce and eat.  Vietnamese food is the best of all Asian food after Japanese if I may say so.

I was in Hue, Viet Nam in the early part of January on holiday. The grilled meat on skewers is minced chicken wrapped around lemongrass which you remove from the skewer/lemongrass and wrap in rice paper with veggies, dip in sauce and eat. Tasty.

Technically this photo is from January but because my visit to France extended to the first couple of days in February, I am posting this as my February experience.  Went to a wine bar in Arles wanting to eat lightly and this snack-like meal turned out to be one of the best.

Technically this photo is from January but because my visit to France extended to the first couple of days in February, I am posting this as my February experience. Went to a wine bar in Arles wanting to eat lightly and this snack-like meal turned out to be one of the best.

I was in Eugene, Oregon for the first time in March.  I did not expect from this local restaurant to which I was taken and was quite blown away by this salmon.  Had great Chinese in Toronto, Canada and a special homemade lunch in New York on the same trip as well.

I was in Eugene, Oregon for the first time in March. I did not expect much from this local restaurant to which I was taken but was quite blown away by this salmon. Had great Chinese in Toronto, Canada and a special homemade lunch in New York on the same trip as well.

Two of my good friends and I go to a region-specific restaurant every month and for April, we went to a Bhutanese restaurant.  Bhutan, to which I have been twice, is a special place to visit and this "ema datshi" brought back fun memories.

Two of my good friends and I go to a region-specific restaurant every month and for April, we went to a Bhutanese restaurant in Tokyo. Bhutan, to which I have been twice, is a special place to visit and this “ema datshi” brought back fun memories.

Vacationed in Moscow, Russia which may not sound too much like vacationing but had some great food including the signature beef stroganoff at the classic Metropol Hotel.

Vacationed in Moscow, Russia in May which may not sound too much like vacationing but had some great food including the signature beef stroganoff at the classic Metropol Hotel.

In June at a business dinner in Tokyo, had Korean samgyeopsal for the first time and it was surprisingly good.  Not sure if it's just the restaurant we went to or if it's the norm but the meat was served with so many different kinds of herbs and lettuces which enhanced the taste of the meat.

In June at a business dinner in Tokyo, had Korean samgyeopsal barbecue for the first time and it was surprisingly good. Not sure if it’s just the restaurant we went to or if it’s the norm but the BBQ was served with many different kinds of herbs and lettuces which enhanced the taste of the meat.

My best friend and I go out for sushi every month to the same sushi restaurant and this is from July.  I used to think that this prawn was better served raw but at some point this year, we tried it boiled and discovered that this was better.

My best friend and I go out for sushi every month to the same sushi restaurant and this is from July. I used to think that this prawn was better served raw but at some point this year, we tried it boiled and discovered that this was better.

My August vacation was spent in Switzerland, staying in Lugano, Basel, and Zürich.  Was set on trying cheese fondue at least once and got to do it in Basel.

My August vacation was spent in Switzerland, staying in Lugano, Basel, and Zürich. Was set on trying cheese fondue at least once and got to do it in Basel.

In September I took a guest out to a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo, one that I frequent.  I knew the food was going to be good and the rice at the end was exceptional but it was more the company that made this dinner a particularly special one.

In September I took a guest out to a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo, one that I frequent. I knew the food was going to be good and the rice at the end was exceptional but it was more the company that made this dinner a particularly special one.

October is the birthday month for my best friend and me.  We took a day off to do a lavishing lunch.

October is the birthday month for my best friend and me. We took a day off to do a lavishing lunch in a Michelin-starred French restaurant.

I had so many soft-serve ice cream cones this year.  This one from November I had in Hibiya is though good nothing special.  I was just so surprised by the sheer size of it.

I had so many soft-serve ice cream cones this year. This one from November I had in Hibiya is though good nothing special. I was just so surprised by the sheer size of it and how it was served.

And finally in December, did a brief end-of-year vacation in Malacca, Malaysia.  Had several good dishes and this was the best.  At a Portuguese-Malaysian restaurant, the huge baked fish is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in complicated spices.  Spicy and somewhat sweet at the same time and very aromatic.

And finally in December, did a brief end-of-year vacation in Malacca, Malaysia. Had several good dishes and this was the best. At a Portuguese-Malaysian restaurant, the huge baked fish is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in complicated spices. Spicy and somewhat sweet at the same time and very aromatic.

So that’s it for my 2013.  Another year of great eating experiences for which I am grateful.  Hope everyone is having a peaceful new year’s eve.

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Clocks in Switzerland

13 10 2013

And they were everywhere.  Talk about Swiss precision and punctuality and as a Japanese, that is a very agreeable concept. 😀

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My Final Eats in Switzerland

12 10 2013

If anyone is ever going to be in Zürich, I highly recommend this restaurant for a fun Swiss fare.  It’s not in the touristy neighborhood and I would imagine the majority of the guests the night I went to have been locals but the ladies at the restaurant were very nice to me and the food was great.

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They still use the old cash register that’s shown in one of the pix so they take a little longer to bring your check.  How fun is that.

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Through the Windows

11 10 2013

My “window” collection from Basel, Switzerland.





The Doors ♪

10 10 2013

My “door” collection from Basel, Switzerland.





Fountains, Fountains, and More Fountains

9 10 2013

A very distinct Swiss behavior:- drinking out of or washing hands under the many water fountains in town.  Here are some from Lugano, Basel, Bern, and Zuerich.

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Zürich by Night and Zürich in the Morning

8 10 2013

These photos are from my first night in Zürich on Monday, August 12, 2013.  My Swiss business friend who took me out on a walk in the city and to a very nice dinner is in Tokyo this week and I had dinner with him last night.  That reminded me that I still had some memorable photos from that evening to post.

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And the following morning, I was very happy to come across a market in the central station.

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References to the market at the station I found on the web say that it is held on Wednesdays but I was there on a Tuesday.  Maybe because it was summer??  In any event, I was very pleased to have stumbled upon it.








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