Category Archives: Asia

Kaiseki Kichisen

Omakase at Kaiseki Kichisen 京懐石吉泉 | Kyoto, Japan

When I asked for the menu describing the meal I had just finished at Kichisen, head chef Yoshimi Tanigawa politely chortled – “it’s all up here” he said, as he gently tapped his head with a single finger. A profound demonstration of Kaiseki’s core tenet, where dishes ebb and flow with the seasons, never settling, was the key message I took from this. Welcome to Kichisen – an apogee of Kaiseki and Japanese food in Kyoto.

Date Last Visited: 26/3/2016
Address: link
Highlight Dish: grilled Kyoto wagyu beef 

Price Guide (approx): 13,000-31,000 JPY
Further Info: Tabelog


Kaiseki Tsuruko Cover

Kaiseki Tsuruko (つる幸) | Kanazawa

Welcome back, Japan-obsessed foodies! With an introduction to kaiseki written, I hope that this venerable cuisine will become far easier to understand (though it’s oh so, so easy to eat). A necessary lesson, for many posts like the current one cover my experiences at various kaiseki and kaiseki-like restaurants. My first true-to-form experience of kaiseki was at restaurant Tsuruko, in the tranquil, highly underrated city of Kanazawa.

This is a long read, so if you’re feeling lazy, let me jump the gun for you before you do – this restaurant is worth every last Yen.

Best that you keep reading 🙂

Date Last Visited: 24/3/2016 – Spring seasonality
Details (address, hours, etc.): link
Food cost only: 30000JPY
Actual price paid (cost includes dinner + 1 carafe of sake + all taxes): 33,813JPY (~$402AUD at time of writing). 


Kaiseki Cover

What is Kaiseki – An Introduction

Well, here we are folks. After 19 days fooding (and fooling) around in Japan, you saw this coming. Yes, it’s time to do the hard yards and blog about the whole darn thing. I just hope I can get it done while the year still starts with a 2.

There will be two parts to the “Japan Chronicles”, as I’ve just decided to call it. Firstly, there are sixteen restaurants that will receive their own, dedicated blog posts. The reason being that these are substantive experiences, featuring a wide array of courses that require their own space. Additionally I will, for the first time, introduce a series of travel posts that will outline my trip more generally, including Japan’s non-food highlights. Why? Because I love the country, and hell, I want you to know why.

You know how I said there’d be two parts? I lied – this post is the standalone third aspect, and one I believe is necessary. It’s as the title says – an introduction to kaiseki. No joke, this post is well and truly needed, as a disproportionate number of them I’ll be publishing are about kaiseki restaurants. If however you’re already familiar with kaiseki, feel free to move right along. If you’re staying, here’s the deal: there are plenty of resources, online and offline, that offer a wealth of information into what kaiseki is all about. I’ll try and keep it simple, and explain it using my own words. Yeah…that could be a bad thing – read on and find out!


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I’m Still Hungry In Hong Kong | Cheap Feeds

Hong Kong. If you thought Sydney had a lot going for it, you should check this place out. A metropolis with a population density seventeen times that of Sydney, it’s like being on a Sydney train at peak hour, except everywhere you go in Hong Kong. However, any traveller worth their salt will travel to Hong Kong at least once. If you’re a foodie, you might not stop at just once.

Did you know The Lady and I travelled to Hong Kong for a few days over December last year? You’d be forgiven if you weren’t aware – no details were shared on social media. We all know that if you didn’t see it on Instagram or the blog, then I didn’t eat it. That’s how the arrangement goes, right? Thus, I’m going to bust that myth, one photo at a time.

Let’s just say that “I’m Still Hungry” isn’t a phrase I was saying by the end of the trip. Without further ado, onto the food!

Period of Visit: December 2014


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Restaurant Amber | Hong Kong

Everyone has a story or two about something stupid they did when they were young. In my case, I’ve got a whole compendium of “Shen’s idiocy and the acts that followed”. That’s Volume I, btw. Once, I saw a brown liquid that was moving down a tree branch at a glacial pace, and thought it was…honey.

Oh boy, you’d think that would put me off a restaurant called Amber, wouldn’t you?

Good thing I don’t get traumatised very easily. By the way, did you know that tree sap actually doesn’t taste all that bad? *ahem* Ok, now onto actual French food.

Date Last Visited: 18/12/2014
Address: The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Recommended Dish(es): fukuoka hobo fish, Hokkaido sea urchin, Bahibe milk chocolate cylinder