the hinata diaries

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nogawa part 2

More free stuff, yeah: Marinated eggplant

This was definitely an eye-opener. Japanese eggplant marinated in brine, soy sauce, vinegar and chilli powder for three days, then served chilled and eaten skin and all. Our chef later showed us the bottle, it looked like a House of Horrors apothecary jar, really terrifying. But the end result was a firm, crunchy, incredibly tasty eggplant that tasted more like fruit than vegetable. Very refreshing. Will keep it in mind for Weird Science home kitchen experiments days.

Even more free stuff: Crab liver

Yeah looks like fish cake or lotus root but is actually a quarter of a lobe of a gigantic crab liver. Who knew? This was really yummy - creamy and rich without being fatty. No idea what the little bits in the holes are but they were sweet and chewy like bak kua, affording you a good 30 seconds of additional chewing pleasure after you've finished the liver. I swear I am not making this up.

Almost the end! Stuff in miso

Two pics of these just because it was so pretty. The stuff that looks like cheese at the bottom of the foil is actually miso, while the ingredients consisted of wagyu beef, kurobuta pork, foie gras, some fish (who the hell cares what type of fish when you have all that other stuff??? ok it was probably some rare fish, but I was too elated to care), yam, green peppers, leeks and enoki mushrooms. Happy boy and girl.

The chefs were evidently very proud of this as they interrupted my photo taking to arrange the dish at several different angles :)

Dessert freebie: Marinated plums

In case you had wondered where all my raving about dedication and effort in preparation came from, this is case in point. These plums were simmered for three days in a special syrup. But in order to prevent the plums from expanding and bursting their skin, the chefs first had to poke hundreds of tiny pinholes into each and every plum by hand! The plums look a bit grainy in the photo, but those are really the little holes. Quite unbelievable. The end result is plum flesh that is soft, gooey and melt in your mouth - really the texture (but fortunately not the taste) of durian.

Last one (phew): Konnyaku noodles in brown sugar syrup

The Japanese equivalent of gula melaka. Too exhausted to write more :)

So there you go, Nogawa in a not-so-nutshell! In conclusion: if you haven't gone before, please try it, and if you have tried it: why the hell didn't you tell me sooner?!?!?!?!?


  • hey, cool! you're back! Its a long entry, so i'll take my time to read it. Im definitely going to Chiangmai but still undecided about the accomodations.

    By Blogger shaz, At 5:57 PM  

  • heh thanks for prodding me to get back to writing! typing it up did take a while so yah take your time reading :)

    yeah chiangmai really has loads of accommodation to choose from - are you planning on being in the city or in the mountains? we stayed at the d2 in the city which had a pretty good location, but it's more like a business hotel so not terribly restful... my mantra for choosing a hotel was 'saved money is spa money' :)

    By Blogger hinata, At 10:32 PM  

  • i am quite undecided between the tamarind village and rachamakha. the latter is like S$200. but wow.. tamarind is much cheaper at bout 100. for me its like saved money is food money :) can't wait to try out the poshie food (of course the cheap stuff too!)

    By Blogger shaz, At 8:59 PM  

  • ok! i saw tamarind village on the net, it looks really nice and relaxing... ratchamanka is gorgeous but don't know much about the rooms - the luxe guide we had said that the rooms are small for the price. but yeah, it is such a beautiful place! i guess it depends on how much time you think you'll spend in the hotel, if it's worth paying that much. now i'm really looking forward to reading your trip review!

    By Blogger hinata, At 2:25 PM  

  • hi hinata, update on chiangmai trip - it may not happen after all. Sigh. Due to work commitments, D and I are not going this sept after all. Hopefully soon though. You must be busy recently, havent seen you around foodie blogosphere much. PS. No chiangmai trip posts but you can read my saigon trip posts which is ending its run soon on my blog. See you around soon!

    By Blogger shaz, At 2:13 PM  

  • Dear fellow food bloggers,

    It's been a year (almost) since the last food bloggers' gathering. I'm trying to organise another meal for the food bloggers on the 26th August, Saturday, 7.30pm, venue to be confirmed.

    Would you be interested in attending? Please email your reply to me,, as soon as possible.

    Best regards,
    Colin Liew

    By Blogger Colin, At 2:57 PM  

  • Shaz,

    That's such a pity! It's always tough to get away for a break, hope something works out! Am on vacation now but finally hunted down a hotel with a business centre, so will definitely catch up on your saigon trip over the next couple of days!


    Count me in! Thanks for organizing, looking forward to it!

    By Blogger hinata, At 11:17 AM  

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