EATAKU

I travel for work. I eat for fun.

Posts tagged fish

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Elbon The Table, Seoul, Korea

If you want to eat at one of Seoul’s most popular restaurants, all you need to do is look for the giant balloon bear scaling the building…

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A trendy shopping location in the heart of this sprawling city, Elbon is a pop-culture inspired “mini-mall” that sells all sorts of high-priced, Murakami-esque goods and clothing. Elbon The Table is the Korean-fusion restaurant inhabiting the entire second floor of the complex…

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This guy greets you at the elevator up to the eatery…

While this bear welcomes you to the restaurant…

The open kitchen here is run by renowed Korean Chef Hyun Choi, who blends his love and respect of classic Korean cooking and ingredients with his French and Italian leanings. Here’s a look…

Freshly baked bread using Korean grains…

Homemade butter, posted more for the cool plate design…

Our first course…

Gochujang ice cream, made from a Korean chile pepper…

Served over a foie gras mousse…

Shrimp dumplings with green pea cream veloute wrapped in blankets of soy sauce jelly…

Saffron linguine with lobster…

Squid ink risotto with hanchi…

A palate cleaner of sorbet made from makkeoli, the cloudy Korean rice wine…

Steamed flatfish with clams and capers in a champagne sauce…

Korean strip loin with grilled vegetables…

Served with five kinds of salt…

I forget where in Korea the beef was from, but they said it was their equivalent of Kobe beef…

For dessert we started with a clementine mousse wrapped in chocolate served with blood orange sherbet and hazelnuts…

And were then treated to a second sort of chocolate cake which I apologize for not having the details of…

It was an interesting change of pace to have a fancy meal like this in Seoul for once, and one I would not mind experiencing again!

ELBON THE TABLE

530-5 Sinsa-dong

Gangnam-gu, Seoul

South Korea

+82-2-547-4100

http://www.elbonthetable.com

Filed under Seoul Korea Elbon Choi fine dining gochujang foie gras pasta steak fish chocolate

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Lay’s China Summer 2014 Chips

I showed you what fun flavors of potato chips Lay’s America and Lay’s Canada unloaded on to supermarket shelves this summer, and now here’s a look at the offerings I found from Lay’s China when I was in Shanghai recently!

Spicy Green Peppercorn Fish Flavor…

That fish eye on the bag staring right back at you…

Zesty Tomato Flavor…

These tasted JUST like fresh tomatoes, so we’ren’t for me…

No English on this package of baked Lay’s chips…

But if I had to guess, it was a “healthy” option of Cucumber Salad with Ranch…

Oh, and let’s not forget the Chinese version plain Lay’s salted potato chips; nothing says “American Classic Flavor” like using an Argentinian footballer who plays for a Spanish team on the packaging…

Filed under Lay's potato chips China Shanghai peppercorn fish tomato salad

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Asadachi, Tokyo

I make no secret of the fact that Tokyo is my favorite food city the world. No other city holds a candle to the quality and diversity of the restaurants you’ll find in Japan’s capital. Not even New York City.

Having explored so much of the dining scene there over the years, on our last trip over, we took a day and decided to go “deep”, as the Japanese say; deep into the undiscovered depths of Tokyo’s funky foods. And one of the places we stumbled upon was Asadachi!

Asadachi is located at the beginning of “Omoide Yokocho”, or “Memory Lane”, a narrow alley of shops specializing in all kinds of classic Japanese street foods, from yakitori to ramen to offal. The street is also referred to as “Shonben Alley”, or “Piss Alley”, due to the lack of toilets and not so pleasant smells you’ll sometimes experience there. But putting odors aside, Omoide Yokocho is a place where if you know where to look, you’ll find some of the city’s best underground eats…

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The entrance to Asadachi is marked by an unlit lantern and small sign…

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As with most eateries in the alley, it’s a narrow establishment and seats only about 6 to 8 people. It was hard for a man of my size to fit in, but I sucked in an squeezed through…

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Asadachi is run by this fine gentleman, who is known only as “Onichan”, or “big brother”. He took over when his dad passed away and now operates the place with his mom. Their menu changes daily, depending on what they find at Tokyo’s morning markets, and he writes out the selections every day by hand, as you can see behind him here. A red circle or line means that dish is sold out…

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Here’s his mom, taking reservations on their old school rotary phone…

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Notice the turtle shells above her head. That’s one of Asadachi’s specialties, along with local frogs legs, but you need to call ahead two days in advance to save a seat and reserve either, we discovered too late, unfortunately. So we went with whatever they had left that night. Here’s a look…

Raw tarako, or pollock roe…

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Nametake mushrooms with daikon oroshi…

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Grilled harasu, or fatty salmon belly, which is like toro with skin…

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Senmai, or boiled tripe, with miso and sesame oil…

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And the main event… can you guess what this is?

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That’s “tama-chan”, or raw pigs testicles, served with raw egg and scallions…

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You break the yolk and mix it all together…

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It was my first time eating any sort of testicles prepared this way and I loved it! Forget the turtle and frog, I’m going back to Asadachi every Tokyo trip for the balls!

With a few bottles of Sapporo to wash it all down…

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The cost of all these delightful delicacies… $40!

If you’re looking to eat a little off the beaten path when you’re in Tokyo next, I highly recommend you take a trip down “Memory Lane” to Asadachi for a meal you’ll never forget!


ASADACHI

1-2-14 Nishi-Shinjuku

Near the start of Omoide Yokocho

Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Japan

+81-3-3342-1083

Cash only

Japanese only

Filed under Tokyo Japan Shinjuku Memory Lane Omoide Yokocho salmon pork fish beer tripe mushrooms

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China Eastern Inflight Meal

They still serve meals in economy class on most flights in Asia! Here’s a look at what I was served on my China Eastern flight from Kansai to Shanghai…

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I put aside my inner Andrew Zimmern and only tried the dishes I could clearly identify, ones that weren’t gooey or gummy, so enjoyed the braised fish wrapped in konbu to start…

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Then I sampled the noodles with pork and shrimp…

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For plane food, this was better than many meals I’ve had after business class upgrades!

Filed under China Kobe flight meal China Eastern pork noodles fish

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HAV Gourmet Fish, Copenhagen

HAV Gourmet Fish is a collection of three large stalls inside Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne food hall. They specialize in domestic Danish seafood, both fresh and smoked, but sell almost every kind of creature pulled from the ocean. They also run a take-away counter called ‘HAV 2 Go’ where you can grab a quick bite to eat if you’re feeling like something fishy…

While they offer fish & chips, raw scallops and several grilled options, we decided to sample a few of their pre-prepared seafood “salads”…

Went with a three item seafood sampler…

This plate will set you back about ten bucks…

Crayfish with dill…

Giant clam with spring onion and fennel…

Scallops with mango…

Affordable ocean eats in the city center!

HAV GOURMET FISH

Torvehallerne, Hall 1, Stall G8

Rømersgade 18

Copenhagen1360 

Denmark

http://hav.dk/

Filed under Copenhagen Denmark Torvehallerne fish seafood scallops clams crayfish salad

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Kødbyens Fiskebar, Copenhagen

Jumping back to our Copenhagen trip for a bit today…

We had heard that Danish oysters were in season and were dying to try them. After our delectable dinner at Amass, we were chatting with Chef Matt Orlando and mentioned this him. “You have to go to Fiskebar!”, he exclaimed without hesitation. So we knew that’s where we were headed for dinner the next night…

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Located in Copenhagen’s old meatpacking district, Fiskebar had a long line at the door when we walked up. We were shocked to discover there was a two hour wait, even for seats at the bar. However, outside tables were available immediately as it was a bit chilly that night, so we took a seat under the closest heat lamp, which is why the color on these pics will appear at bit off.

Turns out they only had one Danish oyster on the menu in addition to a selection of French bivalves. As the local oysters was eight buck a piece (!!), we ordered one of each, along with a platter of others from Bretagne and Normandy…

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You could easily see why the Danish oysters, which were Belon from Limfjorden, had a heftier price tag as they were huge!

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And they were delicious!! Briny and meaty, easily one of the best oysters I have eaten anywhere. Definite top three. And worth every penny!

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Next up was local razor clam, served on a cracker “shell”…

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Lovely to look at with edible flowers, asparagus cream and fennel salad; equally wonderful to eat…

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Homemade bread with a dill butter…

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I went with the fish and chips, which were excellent…

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Served with a homemade remoulade and seaweed flaked fries…

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No offense to my friends in the UK, but one of the best versions I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating…

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Then we also had the daily catch, which was brill…

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Served with romo shrimps, celeriac, hazelnuts, lovage, mussel sauce and bone marrow. Another truly incredible dish…

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As we were leaving, we noticed that there was a open kitchen, open to the public actually, right in front of their “parking lot”. Very Danish…

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After this most amazing meal, we left wondering my Fiskebar isn’t getting as much hype as some of the other Danish restaurants we always hear about… because it truly deserves it!

KØDBYENS FISKEBAR

Flæsketorvet 100

Copenhagen 1711 

Denmark

+45-3215-56-56

http://fiskebaren.dk/en/

Filed under Copenhagen Denmark Fiskebar Fish Bar fish chips oysters razor clams

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Calicut Paragon, Dubai

Calicut Paragon was recommended to me right here on Tumblr in my comments section, although I can’t figure out by who anymore. Thanks and apologies to whoever it was who gave me the tip!

Specializing in South Indian seafood, the joint had long lines but they moved rather quickly. We only had to wait about 20 minutes even though we arrived at 9:30pm, prime time for dinner in Dubai. Here’s a look…

The house specialty, grilled garlic and chilli Tawa fish…

Sesame cauliflower, which was incredible…

Shrimp in coconut curry with tarragon, if I remember correctly…

Mutton curry…

Masala fried chicken, bone-in, with pickled onion…

And all the fresh baked nan you could eat…

This whole meal, with two large bottles of water, was only $27!

CALICUT PARAGON

20 B St.

Dubai, UAE

+971-4335-8700

Filed under Dubai UAE Calicut Indian food curry fish chicken nan

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Bu Qtair, Dubai, UAE

When I was researching places to eat in Dubai, most of what kept coming up were UAE outposts of fancy foreign restaurants serving Western food, which I was not interested in. And the deeper I dug looking for local grub, the more I was told that there is no “local” cuisine in Dubai. People kept explaining that Dubai is only 10% Emirati and the other 90% of the city’s population is made up of ex-pats, with most of the restaurants catering to them. But persistence paid off and I came across the name of one place where supposedly only locals eat that I should try… Bu Qtair, a small beach shack that only served daily catches of fish to workers in the area. Sounded right up my alley!

Having been warned Bu Qtair is a bit hard to find, I popped into my hotel’s concierge to ask for directions. He immediately tried to persuade me from going.”It’s not for foreigners. It’s too small for you. It’s too hot for you. You won’t like the food.” He gave me every excuse in the book to steer me to somewhere ritzy before giving me rough directions to the joint, telling me it’s right next to the Burj Al Arab…

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Well, it’s not. My cabbie got lost and had no clue where he was going. So we stopped into the Jumeriah Beach Hotel for better directions, and again the concierge there did her best to warn me off Bu Qtair, explaining I wasn’t going to like it, that they had a very limited menu of food I probably wouldn’t enjoy anyway. I ignored her too, more determined than ever to eat there.

After my taxi dropped me in the totally wrong place, I ended up having to use Google Maps to find the joint, walking about 20 minutes out in the 100 degree heat. But finally, like an oasis I was never supposed to find, there was Bu Qtair…

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The inside of the place wasn’t as small as I expected, so that was a relief, but Bu Qtair definitely caters to locals only. There were no forks, knives or spoons; you have to eat with your hands per local tradition, so there was a sink to wash in upon entry…

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Once you cleaned up, you grabbed a stool and pulled up a seat at one of the communal tables..

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When I originally walked in, it felt like that scene from Animal House, where the joint suddenly got silent with everyone turning to stare at me. But once I went to sit down, it was smiling faces all around and I was warmly welcomed into the lunchtime crowd.

There are no menu here. You get the daily special. Whatever the local fishermen had pulled in that morning accompanied by sides and rice…

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The catch of that day was a local fried white fish that no one could really give me the name of, served with a sort of papadum…

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Sides were a coconut curry and a SPICY okra and green chili soup. I love heat but could only handle about half of the small bowl…

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Turns out the curry also had sardines in it…

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Not bad for eating only with my hands, eh?

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Full disclosure… as I was struggling eating the rice and curry with just my fingers, the waiter kindly found a plastic spoon for me. Made things much easier, but I think he just wanted me to eat faster as other customers were waiting.

They keep bringing around extra rice and fish which you can help yourself to if you’re not full. You also have the choice between warm tap or cold bottled water.

In the end, when I went to settle up, with a bottle of water added in, my whole lunch only cost me 8 dirham, or about $2.50!!

I am so glad that I did not let anyone dissuade me from dining at Bu Qtair as the experience is one of mt fondest memories of my entire trip to Dubai!

BU QTAIR

4 D St.

Off Jumeriah Beach Road

Dubai, UAE

Note: If you do go, tell your cab driver to drop you off at the Fisherman’s Accomodations on Jumeriah Beach Road and you’ll find Bu Qtair right across the street. It’s definitely NOT near the Burj Al Arab as many guides say!

Filed under Dubai UAE local eats beach seafood fish lunch