When in Barcelona, consider a visit to the informal restaurant of Michelin stared chef Nandu Jubany . You can learn more about Jubany as he is a member of the “Science & Cooking” talks at Harvard University.
The restaurant itself is of modern design, with clean lines and a general air of significance. A combination of formality and professionalism abound.
Our amuse bouche was a calamari salad and potato pillows. They were quite elaborate via the effect of double frying at different temperatures.
Of course, we had the Catalan staples of cocas con tomate (bread with tomato), and escalibada, (grilled vegetables) with anchovies and romesco sauce. (Though we would probably order a bowl of the Romesco if possible!)
The grilled octopus with mashed potatoes and cayenne were good, but what we liked best was the esqueixada bacalla (fresh flaked salty cod) with tomato. It was very fresh and tender (and didn’t give me my Octopus guilt trip).
The Truita de botifarra (open omelette) with morels, goat cheese and tomato bread sounded better on the menu, as the eggs were too dry and the effect was lost.
Overall, it was quite a nice meal and we were happy and satisfied!
amuse bouche; potatoe pillows
esqueixada bacalla (Fresh flaked salty cod with tomatoe)
escalibada (grilled vegetables with anchovies and romesco sauce)
grilled octopus with mashed potatoes and cayenne
Truita de botifarra – Open omelette with morrells, goat cheese and tomato bread
Bomb Xocolate (chocolate and olive oil ice cream) a bit heavy
Close to Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one finds Washoku Nada, a gem of a neighborhood restaurant. Yoko Araki opened Washoku Nada in 2009 after training at the Honke-Owariya soba restaurant in Kyoto, along with her brother, chef Tetsuya Araki (who also trained in Kyoto).
Washoku is the term for traditional Japanese Food and is recognized by UNESCO as an “intangible way of life” that helps define the island population. The 4 key elements present are:
1. Ingredients: rice, vegetables, mushrooms, fish, sea dwellers and seaweed
2. Culinary approach: raw, steaming, boiling or stewing
3. Nutritional content: balanced nutrients seen in the many dishes being offered
4. Hospitality: in the full sense of the experience and how it effects your life
The Hospitality above is a much more total concept then what may come to a typical western thought on the subject. One should include Yoko Araki’s background, as it is present in every detail. From the artfully displayed dishes to the carefully paired ceramics and cloths that accompany each dish. Each dish that is made lovingly and with a wholesome deliciousness that you feel in your soul.
Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0825, Japan
Kyoto’s Higashiyama is a happening area with souvenir stores, cafes, restaurants galleries and more. Yes, it is very touristic, but try not to apply a regular tourist stop mentality that one dons in other counties. Everything is priced accordingly to quality .
Guidebooks (and the actual guides) fail to give good directions on how find this district (1 of 11 in all Kyoto). They all seemed to claim ‘no definite address‘! After butting heads with taxi drivers and walking and walking and walking … we came to the conclusion the best way to get there is asking directions to The Ryōzen Kannon; a war memorial and giant white concrete statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Across the main street entrance to the memorial is an uphill walking street. This is the best place to start your walk. See map at the end of the post. (In our opinon, The Ryōzen Kannon is not worth the time in a city of more interesting temples and shrines.)
Start early before the crowds arrive at Kōdai-ji. Take a taxi to The Ryōzen Kannon – walk up and around the Higashiyama streets, stop for lunch wheverer catches your eye (or just enjoy all the street samples!). Follow this with a short walk to the Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda) and walk back uphill and continue to Kiyomizu-dera for the astounding evening lights.
I you want to do something fun you can rent a Kimono (his & hers) at Kyoto Kimono Rental at the beginning of the Higashiyama walk . Most Japanese woman and a few men rent Kimonos to tour Kyoto and other historical cities. It is super cute, lends to wonderful photos! The rental house will also do your hair and accessorize! Returns are very easy.
Highly recommended is the the ume boshi store. It is one of the best we found in all Japan. We didn’t purchase enough at the cheaper tourist price and found the same brand at the Ginza Mitsokishi department store, but at a higher price.