October 31, 2014
Shang Peng is the name of my favourite Japanese restaurant in Taoyuan, Taiwan
When I teach at the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training (ICLPST) in Taoyuan, I try to have at least one meal in this restaurant.
Usually, I go with my friend Jim Riddell. Last time we had another fabulous meal. This time we did not drink beer but ordered a bottle of sake.
The charming waitress brought us a bottle of Black&Gold by the Gekkeikan Sake Company, a producer from Kyoto who is producing sake since 1637 in Fushimi.
It came in a nice decorative bottle which Jim took home after the meal. We drank it cold not warm.
But boy I tell you this Sake was as smooth as silk, pure and balanced, in short an elegant wine.
What a good choice this was. from here it was downhill all the way.
Below you will find photos of the various dishes we enjoyed with the Sake.
Assorted raw fish
To cleanse the palate
Jim’s raw fish dish
Eel with rice
The twisted fish
Ingredients for the soup
Ingredients for the soup
The soup in parchment. It is amazing that the paper does not burn.
Fruit at the end
What a wonderful evening this was. After paying I forgot my credit card at the counter.
The restaurant rang Jim a little later and informed him about this.
And the next day I picked it up at lunch time.
If in Taoyuan you should seek out this place and enjoy a Japanese meal. it’s definitely worth it.
February 2, 2010
When visiting the fish market for a sushi lunch, we passed by a cutlery shop: Masahisa Azuma Minamaoto-no. Many different knives were on display, but my friend Walter wanted for his wife a special one of the highest quality.
The owner of the shop himself went to sharpen the selected knife in the back of the workshop. What skill on display. we were both extatic, and subsequently, I bought a knife for my wife as well.
Happy customers left the shop, not after our bargaining attempt was refuted in utter disgust.
If you visit the fish market in Tokyo, go and have a look. It’s worth it.
PS: The knife is now doing its job in our kitchen. It turned out to be a superb helper, efficient, clean and fast.
4-13-7 Tsukiji, Cyuo-ku, Tokyo
How to get there? Map
January 30, 2010
I had arrived the very morning from Bangkok. Nonetheless, my colleague Walter and I, we went for a stroll and checked out Tokyo’s main shopping district, the Ginza.
Interesting building near Ginza Street
Many well stocked wine shops in Japan
Of course we also needed food, and Sushi was our preferred choice. Wine and drink was secondary those days, despite the many wine shops I discovered during our stay. I should not have wine worth writing about. We also stayed away from Sake it turned out later. Well, Sake next time.
But small Sushi eateries were all over the place. Below “our” place, a tiny shop where we ended up just by accident.
Small Sushi restaurants on Ginza
Fine food of our choice: Sushi
The customers and the staff of the place were truly charming. We could not resist and ordered some Sushi, just Sushi. It was wonderful food. Two wide eyed foreigners utterly satisfied; Japan here we were.
January 20, 2010
When flying from Tokyo to Beijing, I thought of the many blog entries which I would create over the weekend in the Chinese capitals. When visiting China in mid December last year, wordpress (to my surprise) could be accessed and I produced some pieces for The Man from Mosel River. But not so this time. The censors barred any access and I could not update you on any development.
You might have notices that my stories are heavily dependent on the photos which I take. In fact it is all about the photos, and I weave my stories around them. I always take my little but now old Olympus digital camera with me. Sometimes the shots are not worth being used and I always take more pics than I might use for any story.
Well to cut a long story short. The flight was only half full. I leaned back and contemplated about the week’s program in Tokyo and the many interesting discussions and exchanges we had had. Then very of a sudden I realised: we are flying past Mount Fuji. I rushed to get my camera and took a couple of shots of the majestic sacred mountain.
The seat of the gods: Mt. Fuji
All Nippon Airlines was generous with food and drink. I had quite a few bottles of French Chardonnay, the best you could get in economy class on that flight. I toasted the gods on the mountaintop, utterly content.
January 13, 2010
Takayama Shinto Shrine
Nestled away near Shinagawa station in the bustling city of Tokyo there is the Takayama Shinto Shrine: a place of quiet contemplation, a place to worship, a place for introspection.
Just a quick turn from the main street, climb some stairs, and you can escape from the city, the noise, and the traffic. Amazing. I love these havens for the soul.
And right next to it, the JR station Shinagawa, with its many people, busy like a beehive, a group of young Japanese beauties are celebrating their 20th birthday in style. What a wonderful world this is.
11 January 20th birthday celebration: to attain full age is sweet
Life is beautiful. No wine for me today.