Turks in Melbourne, Börek on Elizabeth Street

I’d never heard of börek before, but as we were walking along Elizabeth Street recently, we came across a café, Borek Bakehouse. It happens that there is a significant population of people of Turkish descent in Melbourne, estimated to be around 300,000 in 2013. This explains why we'd seen börek at more than one place as we walked... Continue Reading →

Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street, Coconut House for Dinner (Melbourne, VIC)

Elizabeth Street from Federation Square to Queen Victoria Market is as noisy, overcrowded and vibrant as any commercial avenue in the world. Think Times Square with its convenience stores, hair salons, tourist shops, electronics and adult stores and ATM machines, with abundant traffic and streetcars noisily making their way. The hustle and bustle were in... Continue Reading →

Lorne and Lunch at Chopstix Noodle Bar (Lorne, AU)

Of all the towns along The Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Lorne is possibly the most popular vacation destination. Galleries, boutiques and bars populate the main drag through town. Lorne also appeals to families as the beach park, much of it covered in grass, has picnic areas, playground, trampoline center, swimming pool and skate park.... Continue Reading →

Sheffield Pie Shop, Savouries on the Highway

Meat pie is serious business in New Zealand, as it is in Australia. When one comes across a pie shop, it will specialize in meat pies, unlike in the U.S. where "pie" is synonymous with a crust filled with cooked fruit. Meat pie is so ubiquitous in NZ that it must surely be a national snack. It's such an important adjunct... Continue Reading →

Dining on the Cheap in Christchurch: Samurai Bowl

My four-year-old grandson loves ramen. His first exposures to it were the dried, packaged quick-cooking kinds that come from Japan by way of the U.S., specifically, Sapporo Ichiban (original flavor) and Myojo Chukazanmai (miso flavor). Our care packages to Christchurch usually include these, and we were sure to bring a good supply with us on... Continue Reading →

Molcajete at Cabrera’s (Pasadena, CA)

Maybe it's because I'm noticing it more, but the Mexican entrée known as molcajete has been appearing on more menus. Aside from being a stone kitchen tool for grinding food products, it is also the name of a kind of preparation typically served in the bowl itself. I've said before, the best one I ever had... Continue Reading →

Tendon at Hannosuke (Mar Vista, CA)

We arrived at LAX just before the noon hour. The cacophony and immensity of the airport easily dwarf those of Sea-Tac which we left a few hours before, the warm and sunny weather in Southern California being a fair exchange for Seattle's current spate of rainstorms and relative chill. My wife's sister and her good... Continue Reading →

Vietnamese Kitchen Mastery: Tamarind Tree

Is it possible that Tamarind Tree is the best Vietnamese restaurant in Seattle? One might be tempted to say so after patronizing it. And why is it that it doesn't come up in culinary conversations as much as, say, Green Leaf, which many do regard as without equal in these parts? One reason could be... Continue Reading →

Kukai Ramen Revisited

Whither the new ramen restaurants? Maybe we're victims of the digital age where rumors and hype of restaurant openings hit the fan so far in advance that when they finally do open, it's almost a non-event. Since last fall, Seattle rameniacs have been waiting for the opening of two high-profile restaurants—Shibumi and Jinya. We're still... Continue Reading →

Shanghai Café’s Surprise Casserole

What do you get when you blend perfectly cooked squid and shrimp, succulent chicken breast, meaty shiitake, shaves of dry cured and smoked ham reminiscent of a Smithfield, chicken meatballs and nappa cabbage, each revealing its essence in a rich chicken broth as fine as I've ever tasted? You get the Shanghai Café Tofu and Cabbage... Continue Reading →

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