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Lately I’ve been watching a Japanese television series that has the same plotline (if you can even call it that) for every episode and has been running for four seasons already. It’s Kodoku no Gurume, or the Solitary Gourmet, originally a manga series about a travelling salesman, where each chapter covers a particular restaurant somewhere in Japan at which he dines. And that’s the main thing in the television series too – his eating.

Every episode is our protagonist Goro having some client meeting somewhere in Japan and post-meeting, his having some crisis of empty stomach that needs rectifying. He goes in search of a restaurant that satisfies his criteria of a good restaurant (not necessarily expensive but with good homey food) and then we spend at least half the episode watching him order and eat the food. And damn, do I get hungry watching his ridiculously expressive face while eating. It can get a little slow going – I mean, he is actually eating and chewing the food in real-time – but his thoughts are going on as he chews and whatnot.

And here’s the best part too – every one of the restaurants he eats at is real and actually exists in Japan! At the end of each episode, Masayuki Kusumi, the original writer of the manga series, visits the restaurant and tries the food and interacts with the real owners and staff (the staff at the restaurants are replaced with actors in the series).

But don’t just listen to me – go and watch it – Umamimart has links to the episodes with English subtitles. It really is absolutely brilliant. You might get hooked (and if you do, ….uh, don’t blame me).

As an aside, I do wish I saw this programme before visiting Japan as it’s a great way of learning about the food and restaurant culture of the country!

It’s been a very long time since I put together one of these posts but the vacation season does feel like a good time for another one!

This Czech fried cheese recipe on Umami Mart is insane. Fried cheese? Served with tartar sauce? Yeah, alright, you’ve twisted my arm.

Recently, they also visited Nagoya – ah, this brings back memories of my trip last year!

The Homesick Texan’s Chipotle lime Texas trash snack mix sounds amazing! Now all I need is an oven again…

Should I ever find myself in Shanghai, it seems that I should eat scallion noodles. House of Hao’s undertook a survey of scallion noodles around Shanghai and I think I need me some noodles now. Perhaps recreated at home as a flight to Shanghai isn’t in the books anytime soon.

I love long train journeys and it turns out I’m not the only one! Serious Eats featured a train/eating journey along the former route of the Orient Express. One day, if I have the time/money, I’d love to do this route by train!

A fantastic blog I’ve recently discovered is Lady and Pups, which doesn’t sound like a food blog at all but trust me, it’s an amazing one. Her recipe for Beijing lamb skewers looks like the real deal.

It’s been a while! I’ve decided it’s time again to put together a post of interesting links around the web.

The Picky Glutton has painstakingly eaten at every Mexican restaurant, cafe and stand in the city to put together a list of the Best burritos and tacos in London. Impressive!

Hungry Female has cooked salmon sous vide with sambal! While the sous vide part will be a bit difficult at home, the sambal part can be done!

Kathy YL Chan has blogged about an outdoor Japanese tea experience she had in New York. I’m obsessed with it and will be looking out for a tea bowl of my own in Japan!

Meemalee shares a most intriguing Burmese rainbow salad made of noodles, rice and potatoes! A carb-lover’s dream.

A new-ish to me blog that I’ve been enjoying lately is Chowder Singh and it’s all about Indian street food. I love the videos and recipes that are included in some of the posts.

I really love this one pan breakfast recipe from Gin and Crumpets. Looks like something I can just about manage on a Saturday morning.

One day I’ll follow Life on Nanchang Lu’s guides to making soy bean milk and tofu at home!

And I’m so sorry to see that Mr Noodles has decided to stop blogging! His final post is his fantasy last supper with 10 courses.

Another look at blog posts and food articles around the web!

Ooh, look at the speculaas men Gin and Crumpets made! Christmas is almost upon us, people!

I never would have thought of putting cheese in gyoza but Appon’s Thai Food makes it look good.

My dream is to visit a sugar shack one day… and Serious Eats has let me live vicariously through this post on their visit to one.

Also from Serious Eats, I’m all over this pate and tater tot sandwich.

Umamimart shares a recipe for a simple Japanese steak sauce.

Sharmila of rice and pickle has the same attitude to breakfast that I have. While I can barely think about eating when I wake up, I’ll make an exception if breakfast was already waiting for me. And I do wish we had the same cheap and good breakfast options available in South East Asia!

Crispy fried eggs seem to be everywhere! Here in London, Mr Noodles blogged his ultimate fried egg sandwich. On the other side of the world in Singapore, Ivan of recentrunes also fries his eggs to a frill.

Feed The Tang has baked cocktail buns! These sweet coconut filled buns look fantastic and make use of a dough technique I’ve only read about but never attempted.

I nodded in agreement as I read this post by Happy Jack Eats on real blogging. Definitely worth a read – this blogging gig doesn’t always come easy!

How about some more interesting blog posts I’ve come across in my RSS reader?

Beautiful and healthy steamed cabbage dumplings feature on Shu Han’s Mummy I Can Cook blog. I love the use of cabbage as wrappers.

Kathy over at her eponymous blog shared the desserts she had at Per Se.

Sharmila at Rice and Pickle developed a recipe for dry meat, that delicious dry curry dish served up at Tayyabs.

Oh how I do love proper hash browns… The Kitchn covered how to make proper crispy diner style hash browns.

I’ve never wanted a biryani so badly until I read this post on Ashok + Ashok in Delhi by Boots in the Oven.

Raspberry chocolate cream pastries! This recipe by pastry studio looks insanely good.

I love the recipes featured on Serious Eats and recent bookmarked ones include a Thai omelette, a baked Alaska pie, a five minute miso glazed salmon, a shrimp ssam and fried papas criollas.

I’d never heard of a zucchini slice until I read about it over at Juji Chews. Sounds perfect for the usual zucchini glut every summer!

Plusixfive has shared the recipe for his delicious chwee kueh. Definitely one to try at home.

This one’s from last year but it’s still relevant this year – Foodycat home smoked her own paprika! Amazing!

I’m all over the slow cooked beans and greens over at Noodle Fever. I like beans, I like greens, I think I’ll like this.

Here are some more great posts that I’ve come across in my RSS reader. I’m trying to catch up with my travel posts and the number of photos I’ve got to sort through are insane!

A very green courgette gratin at I made that! looks like another great way to use up that ubiquitous vegetable!

A great rundown on what constitutes a Thai breakfast at SugarHead. I wish this was available near me… I certainly could have used one this morning.

I like the use of the dried chillies in the stir fried cabbage at Beijing Haochi.

The London Foodie reviews Rodízio Preto, a Brazilian churrascaria that I’m now keen to try!

There’s a post on how to cook pasta to make it come out like ramen over on Umamimart. It boggles the mind!

Shu Han’s sambal tumis, over at her blog Mummy, I can cook!, looks like a kitchen staple! I’ve been looking for a good general sambal recipe.

This curried pineapple over at le sauce looks incredible. I can already imagine the spices with the sweet fruit.

The lemon raspberry breakfast rolls over at Joy the Baker look so much more refreshing than cinnamon rolls!

And finally, not a blog post but a Flickr photo – look at this fried spam musubi from Da Kitchen in Maui!

It’s time for more blog posts that I’ve been bookmarking around the web!

The chilli pan mee recipe from Happee Monkee looks insanely good. I love dry noodles and I do love pan mee, having made it from scratch while I was in university (I must’ve been insane). And now a chilli variant seems to have appeared recently and I want some!

A recipe for the most beautiful stecca sandwich bread can be found over at Macheesmo.

Wen at Going With My Gut has posted her family recipe for pork belly with mui choi. I tasted it at plusixfive’s supper club and lemme tell you – it’s fantastic. Go make it!

Hot & Chilli have a recipe for Brazilian brigadeiros. These Brazilian chocolate and condensed milk truffles are very sweet and very addictive.

I adore rice dishes and would never turn down a biryani or pilaff. Kavey at Kavey Eats has a recipe for a Persian baked yogurt rice with chicken while Sharmila at rice and pickle shares a recipe for a Persian raw meat biryani (where the meat is cooked in the rice). Both look insanely good.

Sambal ikan bilis (little anchovies in a spicy chilli paste) make up the filling for this Burger Malaysia over at Almost Bourdain. I probably wouldn’t call it a burger (but to be clear this seems to be the terminology used in Malaysia) but instead a very good looking sandwich.

Fatty Dumpling shares a recipe for kettle corn! I had no idea one could make kettle corn at home. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s like the sweet popcorn of this country but the sugar is more of a thin coating on each puff.

Doesn’t the congee with poached chicken slivers over at 3 hungry tummies look utterly comforting? I’ve been in need of some comforting food lately and this would surely hit the spot.

Finally, I managed to visit the Singapore Takeout while it was here for couple of days but just didn’t find the time to blog it. This initiative from Singapore sees some of their top chefs paired with chefs from around the world. In London, Janice Wong from 2am dessert bar in Singapore came with the travelling kitchen in a shipping container and paired up with local chef Peter Gordon of The Providores. My photos from the event can be seen in this Flickr photoset. If your city is here on this list (sorry, I’m almost too late for Paris – Singapore Takeout was there this past weekend!), you’re in for a treat: Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Dubai, Sydney. All dates and details of these other visits can be found on their Facebook page.

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