Blue skies and blossom

Spring is here and Oxford is in full bloom. We’ve had ridiculously blue skies for the past few days. I thought I’d post some shots which I took around the city, and in particular, of Magdalen College when I went there last weekend.

St Michaels 1

It’s the Easter holidays and revision for Finals is underway. Studying is definitely easier when every street is beautifully washed with golden sunshine and blossom in bloom. The pastel colours and sandstone of the buildings are glowing in the sun. This photo was captured along St Michael’s Street. Continue reading “Blue skies and blossom”

Lunch at Koto

 Taro reviews the “little corner of Japan in North Parade”

A few weeks ago, I had a really lovely meal at Koto with the fairly lovely Naomi. It was so lovely in fact that I wanted to share it with you all.

Koto 3

Naomi kindly treated me to the meal which made it taste all the better, particularly because the cost of the dishes averaged above £9. And that was not including white rice for those dishes which are usually accompanied by it. It is (sadly), however, a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a desire for Japanese cuisine of reasonable quality in the UK, must be prepared to pay out into the double figures. Koto’s quite high prices then, while they should not be a source of pride for the restaurant, should not be a source of prejudice for us either. (Two points to you if you got the reference.)

The particular dish we had was the Koto’s lunch time speciality – ramen!!!! (Regrettably, every mention of ‘ramen’!!!! must be followed by four exclamation marks. It’s annoying I know, but I don’t make the rules.)

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Winter Warmth at Wasabi, Oxford

It feels like they were refurbishing this spot for years in preparation for Oxford’s newest Japanese restaurant, but last term, Wasabi finally opened. The prospect of there being a Pret-equivalent where I could dash in for a bowl of yakisoba kept me in high spirits through the Autumn. Therefore, (I admit unashamedly) I was there, of course, on the day of its opening to see if it lived up to my expectations. Wasabi is a chain of restaurants with places all over England, and I was familiar with Wasabi in London. I was looking forward to tasting Oxford’s flavours and seeing if it would take over Itsu as my favourite take-out spot in town. Continue reading “Winter Warmth at Wasabi, Oxford”

An Autumnal Casserole

chicken-casserole

Before Autumn is officially over, I thought that I had better post this! A couple of weeks ago, I made a casserole for me and my friends which turned out to be delicious. It really warmed us up on a chilly evening. It was very simple and included potatoes, carrots, onion, and chicken breasts. I wanted the natural juices of the veggies and chicken to flavour the casserole really, so I only added vegetable stock and ‘mixed herbs’. I sweated the onions slightly so that they were a little caramelised, which added a subtle, sweet flavour to the dish. I could have thickened the soupy sauce with some cornflower, but instead I decided that a richer, thinner juice was more appropriate for an autumn evening.

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Halfie Hour: Alexandra Luo

Konnichiwa, Thinking Japlish readers. Today I have an exciting gem of a blog post: an interview with another fellow Eurasian and dear friend of mine who is half Chinese, half British. I hope that you enjoy the interview below, when we asked our guest all about her experiences of biculturalism.

Alexandra Luo Continue reading “Halfie Hour: Alexandra Luo”

AmaZheng

Britain’s best Chinese-Malaysian food

OXFORD: Naomi rates Zheng at 5/5 stars.

I’m pretty lucky to live on the doorstep of the best restaurant in Oxford. According to Giles Coren, it serves the best authentic Chinese-Malaysian food in the whole country.

Zheng

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Tadaima, Tokyo

Narita airport greeted me exactly how a best friend would after a long-haul flight: with cameras poking in my face, keen to capture the red-eye and frazzled expressions. As soon as I came out of security, there was a Japanese TV crew waiting to capture the faces of backpackers who had come to Japan to find some adventure. Not so keen to have my dazed, exhausted, and pallid face on TV, I tried my best to melt away into the background.

Another fellow passenger (who had also come from the UK) did not share this wish of avoiding them. Dressed in the style of a Harajuku girl, with three or four grey roses in her hair, blonde locks, white tights and a cream dress, she soon attracted the attention of the film crew. I watched with amusement whilst sipping my CC lemon from a vending machine in the waiting area as one of the members of crew spotted her and rallied his colleagues. The whole crew sprinted over to her in what I can only describe as a very Japanese-like fashion. In the UK people try so hard to make it onto the silver-screen of daytime TV; in Japan it really is no hard task. I made a mental note to dress in a more eye-catching costume the next time I touched down.

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‘A Recipe for an English Christmas’

At last, the Christmas season has drawn to a close and we hope that everyone who is celebrating has had an enjoyable holiday. After an enormous amount of mince pies, I finally feel satisfied. Here’s a little something poetical which I’ve written to record and celebrate the quirky spirit of the ‘English Christmas’.

Continue reading “‘A Recipe for an English Christmas’”