Going gluten-free in Japan ?

A couple of years ago one of my clients contacted me about coming along on one of my Japanese cuisine and culture tours.   She was keen to join us but was concerned as she is coeliac.  To be honest  I was a little worried too… how the heck was I going to get her around Japan sans gluten?? […]

Food Glorious Food…. on a Zenbu Tour!

Ever wondered what kind of deliciousness we get upto on a Zenbu Tour? The answer is pretty much anything and everything… as long as it is great!  Japanese food is so varied  – from the simple to the sublime, from the traditional and true to creative contemporary.  When travelling with Zenbu Tours we want to ensure […]

Homemade Ume-shu (Plum Wine)

In Japan, early summer is the time for making Ume-shu or Plum wine. When the plums are taken early from the tree for preserving.  A sweet wine, more like a liqueur, it is delicious on the rocks, with soda or in cocktails and works well in desserts too – think plum jelly, ice cream or […]

Sayonara Zenbu Zen 2016..

Sayonara Zenbu Zen 2016..

I’m feeling like a farmer sans his or her favourite sheep. My lovely group and I have just finished an incredible 15 days together on the Zenbu Zen (plus) tour 2016. Alone for the first time in many months  I’m enjoying the quiet of a friend’s apartment overlooking Kyoto’s handsome rooftops and humble mountain safety-rim but […]

Kake Udon Recipe

In Japan the cooler weather calls for deep bowls of hot, steaming noodles. Following is a very simple recipe for a standard “Kake Udon” ie Udon noodles with basic broth (Kakejiru). As with other Japanese noodles such as Soba, Ramen and Somen there are of course many variations on the theme but this traditional broth is […]

Gospel Coffee House

If you are in the vicinity of Kyoto’s Ginkaku-ji (silver pavillion temple…. but  not actually silver unlike the iconic Kinkaku-ji which is famously covered in gold leaf) its worth taking a little wander around the corner to find this gem. On the 2nd floor of a European style building, which looks very much out of […]

Winter in Kyoto

The good people of ABC Delicious Magazine have kindly allowed me to share the Global Flavours feature story I wrote and photographed for them  a couple of years ago  on Winter in Kyoto.   (although some other clever person took this rare image of this vermillion bridge in the snow) If you like the sound of it you might like to […]

Win a copy of ZENBU ZEN – Finding Food, Culture and Balance in Kyoto by Jane Lawson

Zenbu Zen takes you on a very personal ‘armchair’ escape to Kyoto, Japan with food and travel writer Jane Lawson. This book includes an informative, easy to read narrative with details about Japanese ingredients and plenty of authentic recipes.   Plus the book is so beautifully designed and illustrated you won’t be able to stop […]

My Mornings at Kikunoi

When I was living for a longer stint in Kyoto I had the great fortune to meet and interview Chef Murata of the famous Kikunoi Restaurants on a couple of occasions. We talked a lot about Umami and dashi, why carrots smell like lipstick and chuckled over chef friends we have in common! Knowing what […]

Soujiki Nakahigashi

My second visit to Soujiki Nakahigashi was a very different experience to the first. I hadn’t been throwing up for 24 hours prior for one thing (a prelude like that was bound to result in some mixed feelings about imbibing fermented sushi with the flavour and texture of a thick but ripe blue cheese….) and the […]