Jump to content
Sturgeon's House
Sign in to follow this  
Brick Fight

Food and Putting it in Our Faces

Recommended Posts

An observation about food in Japan:

 

They love food prep spaces more than they love profit margins. Many of the places I ate in had bigger kitchens than eating areas. This included chain stores like Matsuya or Yoshinoya. Most were also open to the public so you can watch them cook your food - including to an extent McDonalds.

 

Japanese food is not necessarily great. But it is good because it is consistent. You will simply not get a bad meal in Japan because the chef has no excuse for lack of elbow room. The bad ones can be easily spotted by the customers and were forced to commit ritual suicide long ago. If you don't like something you ate in Japan, it's almost certainly a palette issue. 

 

Also, there is a ridiculously cheap 1 star Michelin joint in Shinjuku that specializes in Sardines. Paid Y1,500 for Sardine Sashimi and breaded sardines. It's a great demonstration of how a tiny, disciplined cooking crew (just 4 guys and 1 waitress) can serve 20+ people at a time and do amazing things with cheap, oily, and smelly fish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My anecdotal experience with eating the whole meal was akin to dumping a funnel full of concrete up my ass. 

 

MREs are not actively bad, but we are talking about long-term preservation food which means it will never be as good as properly cooked food. 

 

Cooking is ultimately about controlling the amount of heat that gets into food; which means you need to watch the food and make sure it gets the right heat depending on a variety of vague factors - like the outside temperature, air pressure, and the quality of your pots, pans, and heating element. It's the difference between a seared steak and a lifeless one. This is why it's often considered an "art" - you can't just follow the recipe and expect the exact same result every time in every place.

 

Making long-term preserved food is primarily industrial chemistry; because you're mass producing the stuff and making sure it's immune to decay. But that also deprives the food of a lot of its character; which is why to compensate they just load up on the sugar or salt content to make it more palatable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An observation about food in Japan:

 

They love food prep spaces more than they love profit margins. Many of the places I ate in had bigger kitchens than eating areas. This included chain stores like Matsuya or Yoshinoya. Most were also open to the public so you can watch them cook your food - including to an extent McDonalds.

 

Japanese food is not necessarily great. But it is good because it is consistent. You will simply not get a bad meal in Japan because the chef has no excuse for lack of elbow room. The bad ones can be easily spotted by the customers and were forced to commit ritual suicide long ago. If you don't like something you ate in Japan, it's almost certainly a palette issue. 

 

Also, there is a ridiculously cheap 1 star Michelin joint in Shinjuku that specializes in Sardines. Paid Y1,500 for Sardine Sashimi and breaded sardines. It's a great demonstration of how a tiny, disciplined cooking crew (just 4 guys and 1 waitress) can serve 20+ people at a time and do amazing things with cheap, oily, and smelly fish. 

 

Good food tends to depend on local culture and demand, as well. A bad restaurant doesn't last long in a place like New Orleans because there's already the premise for a good variety of local culturally-produced dishes. You can't do a half-assed jambalaya because someone can just get a better version from friends/family for much cheaper. Japan's big thing is obviously fish (though it is more varied than people give it credit for. Every edge of Japan's borders touch the ocean, so there's no excuse to be using poor-quality fish. There's enough fish that's affordable, so it's hard to advertise on the premise of having a better price to any meaningful extent.

 

It's sort of like the owner of a bakery I know. He's a mixture of the businessman who knows demand, but often makes all of the mistakes of the average restaurant owner. He started out making amazing bread which people bought hand-over-fist, but he eventually started to dabble in half-assed attempts at pastries built entirely out of prepared ingredients. He constantly tries to get into the local seasonal thing, but never uses any sort of local foods. The most famous incident we remember were his pumpkin cannolis. He threw butter, canned pumpkin pie mix (in a state where pumpkin costs literally almost nothing in the fall), and cream in a robo and dripped it into some year-old prepared shells. Within a few minutes, these cannolis turned into stale shells with orange baby food-like substance melted down inside. He seemed so proud of his cost-cutting, but it probably ended up costing him in the end while his bread (which showed up late because he decided to make these shitty cannolis) was still just flying off the shelves.

 

Cuisine is most often controlled by the customer. If there is enough demand to hold a business upright, and you meet that demand, then there's no reason a business should fail. Even in cultural wastelands like the mid-west, if you can make a burger joint that makes the best burgers at a competitive price, then you can produce good quality food and support yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly? I'm not a big fan of Italian desserts. 

 

There. I said it.

 

A good old American apple pie or cherry pie beats the piss out of the best Eye-tie cannoli, gelato or tiramisu made at the fanciest restaurants any day of the week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly? I'm not a big fan of Italian desserts. 

 

There. I said it.

 

A good old American apple pie or cherry pie beats the piss out of the best Eye-tie cannoli, gelato or tiramisu made at the fanciest restaurants any day of the week.

I dunno, a good tiramisu is pretty fucking awesome.  I mean, I like me some apple pie, especially with some good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, but good tiramisu is fucking magical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good food tends to depend on local culture and demand, as well. A bad restaurant doesn't last long in a place like New Orleans because there's already the premise for a good variety of local culturally-produced dishes. You can't do a half-assed jambalaya because someone can just get a better version from friends/family for much cheaper. Japan's big thing is obviously fish (though it is more varied than people give it credit for. Every edge of Japan's borders touch the ocean, so there's no excuse to be using poor-quality fish. There's enough fish that's affordable, so it's hard to advertise on the premise of having a better price to any meaningful extent.

 

 

The Manila food scene sadly still hasn't caught up, in large part because most restaurants here used to emphasize ambiance and customer space over the cooking areas. When people are more concerned about the family name of the owner than the quality of the food.

 

It's changing though, and for the better, particularly due the influx of Japanese restaurants who carried over the same sort of restaurant discipline in Tokyo; which in turn seems to be attracting all sorts of international talent as we have a growing pool of line cooks who've learned from the early entrants and know how to cook a scrambled egg properly.

 

I'm not sure about the coastline thing in Japan though. They seem to like consolidating their catches into a handful of big fish markets, the most famous of which is Tsukiji (which I managed to visit). While this may result in rather "cookie cutter" food, I must say I was impressed by how efficient Tsukiji was and how they used every scrap of the fish; on top of the bewildering variety available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno, a good tiramisu is pretty fucking awesome.  I mean, I like me some apple pie, especially with some good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, but good tiramisu is fucking magical.

Different strokes for folks. And I've had "good" tiramisu at high end Italian restaurants and local bakeries. It just doesn't do anything for me. Maybe I'm just too American in my tastes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't care for it either. I've had some really good tiramisu but it's not my "go to" for dessert. With my wife running a dessert based food review/blog, I've had it from some of the best bakeries around, so the quality was never an issue. Italian dessert items just aren't that impressive IMO. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiramisu just doesn't have any stand-out flavors in my mind. There's not enough coffee for a savory bite. Not enough cheese for fragrance, and certainly not an appealing texture. I've just never figured out a reason to eat it besides "It's sweet and has sweet things in it." The basic premise behind most dishes is that there's this great flavor you want to show off, and then you do what you can to enhance or compliment that flavor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiramisu just doesn't have any stand-out flavors in my mind. There's not enough coffee for a savory bite. Not enough cheese for fragrance, and certainly not an appealing texture. I've just never figured out a reason to eat it besides "It's sweet and has sweet things in it." The basic premise behind most dishes is that there's this great flavor you want to show off, and then you do what you can to enhance or compliment that flavor.

I think it's one of those desserts that got invented back when maximising sugar and fat content was the whole reason for having pudding in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friday is payday, but due to the season and paying for Star Wars, Bele is broke. So I threw together a curry out of what I had in the freezer/cupboard, and some mushrooms that were use or toss.  So it's 3 diced chicken tits, onion, mushrooms, corn, red lentils, garam masala, black pepper, garlic, yellow curry powder, cayanne pepper, black pepper.

 

Simmering on the stove.  Hoping it turns out tasty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...