Sunday, September 24, 2006


Fish and Chips
Fish 'n' Chips
Ask nine out of ten British people (especially in Birmingham) and they will tell you how much they love their curry. Curry has become just as British as fish and chips or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Here in the US (or at least in our part of the US), Indian/Pakistani cuisine does not seem to have taken off to such an extent. What has taken off is Chinese and (understandably, due to the geographical proximity) Mexican cuisine. Eat as much as you like (or can?) Chinese buffets are everywhere. One seems to be pretty much the same as another in decor and dishes. Some also incorporate a Mongolian grill and a sushi bar.

In the UK, love of sushi has started to take off in recent years with it becoming available in supermarkets and with sushi bars opening up in shopping malls. Japanese restaurants are still few and far between, though, and rather expensive.

Here in the US, however, Japanese cuisine seems to be a staple. Many of Emily and Lauren's friends at school love their sushi. When we were living in England, Mark and I loved our sushi but didn't have it very often. Now that we are living in America, Mark and I are now massively into sushi, sashimi, tempura and any Japanese food that we've tried thus far. We haven't tried it on the children yet, but Lauren loves rice and seaweed so it shouldn't be too hard to convert her.

James Bond in You Only Live Twice
James Bond
We even have a favourite Japanese restaurant -- Kuki (where we took Mark's aunt and cousin). Walking into it, one feels like one's walked onto the set of a James Bond film or an episode Dangerman (Secret Agent in the US).

We tend to go at lunchtime. This is because we once went in an evening and found that the prices are a bit steep. Add the cost of babysitting and it really piles up. They do, however, have a very reasonably priced lunch menu and we save on babysitting because the girls are at school.

On entry, a young lad greets us and we choose where we'd like to sit. It's always the same young lad and he always brings us our hot mugs of green tea without even asking us what we'd like (because we always have green tea). He's from South Korea, but has lived in the US for a number of years. Sashimi
While he's bringing our food or topping up our green tea ("Harry hot ups" as Mark's Dad would say), he tells us a bit about South Korea and its culture. He also seems to have a huge passion for football (soccer), so often has a bit of a chat about that too. On our last visit, he and Mark discussed the addition of the South Korean striker, Seol Ki-Hyeon to the Reading squad and the waiter talked about the current state of South Korean football.

They also do the most delicious green tea ice-cream, but unfortunately I seldom have enough appetite for a sweet course.


crystal said...

There are probably even more Japanese restaurants out her on the west coast than where you live. My husband was Japanese/American so I ended up eating a lot of Japanese food - watch out for the mochi :-)

Viola said...

Sounds excellent. Can't wait to try it. I have a friend from Singapore who recommended Wasabi Peas -- the peas are wasabi coated, but dry and crunchy and eaten as a snack. I haven't found any yet, but when I do I'll definitely buy some to try.

Lorraine said...

Sushi. Yum!!!! The Child even asks for it for her birthday supper. If it falls on a week-end The Spouse obliges. He makes a mean tuna roll.