I apologise for the lack of posts, friends! To be honest, with working full-time, I have’t even had time to Skype my boyfriend! I can’t believe how much CHCH has developed and I can’t wait to go to every new place on my to-go-to list! For now though, here’s a short list of what’s been thus far sampled by my palette:
Frozen yoghurt sundae with raspberry sauce, fresh berries and dark chocolate by Berry Culture.
A turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and honey latte from the world’s best cafe (C1 Espresso).
No doubt, the best pizza in CHCH from Cafe Valentino.
And last but not least, probably the best chai latte I’ve had here. This is because, unlike the usual sickly-sweet Starbucks variety which everyone sells, Supreme Supreme’s chai was spicaaaay! Now, I use the extra a’s because drinking it was like licking the grounds of a Middle Eastern spice market, but in a good way.
Don’t call me the boy/girl who cried wolf but I just wanted to tell you that my boyfriend is going to nursery school!
On another note, just as I posted my Miss Independent post, The Cut published a wonderful piece called 25 Famous Women on Being Alone. You can check out the full article HERE or just read my favourites below:
People sometimes seem surprised when I say this, because I’m a pretty friendly person. This is one of the greatest misconceptions about introversion. We are not anti-social; we’re differently social. I can’t live without my family and close friends, but I also crave solitude. I feel incredibly lucky that my work as a writer affords me hours a day alone with my laptop. I also have a lot of other introvert characteristics, like thinking before I speak, disliking conflict, and concentrating easily … introversion is my greatest strength. I have such a strong inner life that I’m never bored and only occasionally lonely. No matter what mayhem is happening around me, I know I can always turn inward. In our culture, snails are not considered valiant animals — we are constantly exhorting people to ‘come out of their shells’ — but there’s a lot to be said for taking your home with you wherever you go. (Susan Cain)
I think alone time is good to know how to be alone with your own thoughts. I think it just helps you kind of be a better, more grounded person … and also I feel like it builds a sense of self confidence and a sureness that you know that you can venture out into experiences without the crutch of other people. Like, you’re not doing it because you feel lonely or isolated, but because it generates a new kind of experience. (Carrie Brownstein)
Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was. (Cheryl Strayed)
I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel. (Audrey Hepburn)
The precious part of my day is when I’m alone. When everybody goes home and (son) Sean’s asleep and I’m just watching the night lights out of my window or something. I like silence, you see. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that it’s all right to be alone. (Yoko Ono)
Believe it or not, Osaka’s humble tacoyaki (octopus balls) isn’t that popular anymore. As Osaka’s hipster scene continues to grow, so do the number of foodie pictures from these super popular, you-won’t-be-able-to-get-a-seat joints.
Behold, Osaka’s hottest and most Instagrammed foods:
Mostly for their gloriously overfilled sandwiches but also for their super fluffy pancakes. Always busy but I guarantee it’s worth the wait. Takeaways also available.
2. w a d
Who knew ICE could look and taste so nice? If you’re unfamiliar with kakigori, it’s a Japanese shaved ice dessert flavoured with syrup. Though at wad, it isn’t a cheap food vendor buy. Instead, it is both prepared and presented with absolute class. No wonder locals just can’t get enough.
3. SATURDAYS SURF NYC
Except in Osaka (and one in Kobe). This place screams “salty” for not only is it very minimalistic but also super hip.
4. Fielder’s Choice Salad Bar
Like subway except for salads and not like subway at all cos so much better.
5. Streamer Coffee Company
I swear on my Mother’s life (sorry mom!), here is where I drank the best freakin’ coffee of my life.
6. All Day Coffee
Always Instagrammed alongside one of their infamous slogans: life begins after coffee, but first coffee and coffee and love taste best when hot.
7. Brooklyn Roasting Company
Good coffee and everyone seems to speak English here. Also, the nicest outdoor patio with a gorgeous river view.8. Smorrebrod Kitchen
Probably the most Instagram worthy of all. Located in the Osaka library building which (the library) is also worth checking out. These guys also do incredible cabinet food which are served on the most beautiful wooden boards.9. City Bakery
For next-level baked goods.10. Camp Curry
For their vegetable packed curries, frying pan plates and shovel spoons.
If you didn’t know, fruit is expensive in Japan. Like, 8-bucks-for-a-single-peach expensive. So, I may have spent my month’s grocery allowance already…And since I don’t get paid for this blog, unlike some other food-bloggers, I have had to alter my foodie-ventures. You might know (if you’re a regular follower) that I’ll be finishing up my contract in the Japanese countryside in less than 8 weeks… which means (note to self) I should be eating the things in my pantry instead of grocery shopping. So, I raided my pantry and made onigiri (rice balls). These specific ones are called sekihan 赤飯 which are usually white rice boiled together with red beans – though I used brown rice and too many beans (on purpose of course). They are a traditional Japanese dish and often served on special occasions throughout the year like birthdays, weddings and some holidays, such as Shichi-Go-San.
Further, I didn’t buy these flowers. I rode my bicycle at 5.30am, in the rain and picked these wild ones instead. There, I had the pleasure of receiving 3 vicious sand fly bites which have caused my ankles to become as large and round as my watermelon.
Greek. Greek. I mean, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. But in my defence, the last thing my mother said to me was, “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you in a white dress.” So, Greek, Persian, same diff. No hate mail please (hehe).
So the first movie (2002) was great and the second movie (2016) well, wasn’t but that’s okay. Because even though the humour seemed forced and the acting was awkward, it was still funny and relatable to people with similar families. Like, if I had a penny for every time my parents have irritated, embarrassed and hinted for me to get married… well, I wouldn’t be blogging. Hahahoheha I’m joking don’t leave!
Ok so back to the review, there was nothing fresh about the second film. Same jokes, same character, same stereotypes, same errything meaning it wasn’t spectacular but as already mentioned, and I’m sure you agree, because the first film was so amazing, a second movie basically imitating it can’t be that bad of a thing.
Watch if you really must or just pay my parents a visit.
PS thoughts on the oh-so-blatant photoshopped poster?
I am, after 48 hours, finally craving food. And guess what I am craving? That’s right, a Persian breakfast! With, wait for it…SUIKA! Or in English, watermelon. Though I am missing basil and mint… Anyways, if you aren’t already aware of my watermelon obsession then please take a look at this, or this, or this. And to all those kind and wonderful souls who have wished me well, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Most of the time I don’t follow a recipe. Instead, I experiment and end up pleasantly surprised (most of the time). Below are some of my recent creations. From top to bottom: gluten, refined-sugar and dairy-free walnut and mandarin cake which I made using the juice of two mandarins and which ended up tasting not a smidgen mandariney but still yum according to my mom (that rhymed). Wholemeal turmeric, sundried-tomato and parsley muffins, and today’s lunch: a green salad of broccoli, snap-peas and asparagus, all young and all blanched in hot water for 4 seconds then tossed with raw pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts before being dressed in lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. Oishi katta (it was delicious). They were delicious.
Being a food blogger is easy: you just eat food and photograph it.
From top to bottom: my goods in my kitchen, power slaw using soft-dried blackcurrants in place of raisins, an incredible spread of home-made bread, fresh fruit (sweet lemon, strawberries and blood orange), onigiri and a simple sweet potato and black sesame seed medley, homemade green tea, the organic plate from nonocafe and last but not least, their yellow kiwi-fruit cheesecake.
On another note, Japan is still bloody cold, my parents arrive in exactly 2 weeks, 13 days, not including today (not that I’m counting) and I realized recently that my blog, much like my life, is rather jumbled and lacking one major goal (sigh). Though even so, for some reason, y’all still follow… So, arigato, arigato and chuuu xx