Monday, January 24, 2011

I ♥ Gyoza

So we recently enjoyed a trip to the crazy, delicious and wonderfully happy place that is Japan. I was so pleasantly surprised with this place. Don't get me wrong, I had heard only great things, but for some reason, it had never been top of my list. Well, it is now. No doubt I will rave on about this trip for months, so here's the first installment which is about the food of Japan. Just a little taster of what will become a bit of a degustation menu.

The Food
Really good. Everywhere we travelled, cities, villages, ski slopes, train stations, the lot. At every place we felt our tummies grumble, we were able to find really good quality food. Here in the western world we are all finally getting our heads around the idea that the less we play with food, the better it is for us and for our environment. Well in Japan, and many other countries I'm sure, they got the gist of this a long time ago. We ate some sublime sushi and sashimi, incredible ramens, noodle soups, gyozas, tempura, terriyakis, tofus and so much more. It sounds strange but of all the very memorable food experiences I had in Japan, one of my most special was being served an exquisite yet tiny bowl of locally grown organic white rice. I can't tell you much more about it than it was just so creamy and wonderful, and it was only a little side dish to be eaten with a main event, that I can no longer remember, but this rice just felt so wonderfully nourishing and clean and good.

There was this one time though... when I felt a bit shall I say, queasy about what was put in front of me. Before we left for Japan I read in my research to "eat first and ask questions later" if I wanted to truly enjoy the Japanese culinary experience. Well, I did just that on almost every occasion, except one. When presented with an 8 course degustation menu at an incredible onsen resort in the little mountain town of Matsumoto, I queried one course asking the waitress what it was. She spoke very little English so went away to get a translation tool (like a Nintendo DS) and typed in the Japanese, then held up the screen to show me what it was in English. The screen read: Testes.

FYI yes, we both tried the testes and no neither of us finished the testes. Lets just say it was an experience.

Pork Ramen


Crab ramen

and the testes... Cod testes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes - my verdict

Well apparently it was a hot old day in Hollywood today. January 16, 80 degrees farenheit... but what of the frocks. Were they hot? Well, kind of. They were better than they often are but there were still the obligatory shockers.

I'm always amazed when I see the celebs on the red carpet and how safe they are. Always the same, nothing that interesting, princess dresses everywhere, un natural hair dos not doing much for anyone and too many flesh tones on people who shouldn't wear flesh tones (Nic...?).
The No Shows
Firstly, I was hanging out all day to see what Blake Lively wore and she wasn't even there?! And what of Marianne Coulthard? I desperately wanted to see this French beauty in all her pregnant glory. And what about George and Elisabetta? I hang out for them every year. Where were they? SNuggles up in bed watching it on tele in Como I suppose.
The Big Ticket Items
I was also keen to see Natalie (Portman), Angelina, Helena (Bonham Carter), Toni Colette and Jackie Weaver. Well Jackie and Toni didn't rate a mention. Disappointing but still heros in my eyes. So to Natalie. 6 months pregnant and looking very relaxed. What a face! And what a dress. It's the kind of dress you don't openly LOVE at the outset but once you look at her in it, all bump and beauty, you end up loving it. Viktor and Rolf and very cool. And with the trend of the night. Red lips. Fabulous.
The Class Acts
Angelina. Fabulous. Ange hasn't wowed me since that amazing jade jewellery she wore a few years back but wow did she pull out the big guns tonight. Absolutely gorgeous in an emerald Versace to the floor sequined gown. Dynasty pointy shoulders, high round neck, loose, natural hair... the lot. It worked Ange it really did.
Helena. I love Helena. Always guaranteed to break up the LA monotony with a mish mash of who knows what on her person. Today in Vivienne Westwood complete with bustle, mismatching shoes, mini tortoise shell club masters, birds nest hair and dramatic makeup, Helena made me smile. And in the midst of a fairly uninteresting broadcast, that was nice. Ah thank you for being un-Hollywood.
January Jones. I loved her cobalt blue Versace last year with the coffee filter boobs and she managed to back it up this year with a sizzling red Versace to the floor fringed number. HOT. Ignore the MISS branding on this pic. I LOVE it.
Clare Danes and Emma Stone from Easy A, both wore fab tangerine and pink Calvin Klein collection gowns. Beautiful. Sleek. Simple. Surprising and fresh. Big tick ladies.
The Unknowns
There were the unknowns (to ma anyway) like Jennifer Lawrence whom i don't know but she looked great in a black Louis Vuitton 50s number, and Olivia Wilde from  House worked a very large but impressive mocha Marchesa.  Last year Sofia Vegara an Unknown to me, but I've since fallen in love the with Modern Family. I LOVE her. And tonight i loved her in the red va va voom dress which cinched her waist, brought forth her boobs and just generally accentuated her fabulous Latino ness. Like Natalie, Sofia rocked a dress I'd never wear.

The Greenies
A lotta green this year. The aforementioned Angelina, as well as Catherine Zeta Jones, Elisabeth Moss and the stunning Mila Kunis. Breathtaking in emerald, just like Ange, only different. And lets just look at Annie again. Isn't this just a triumph? LOVING Annie in that dress.

The Not-So-Hot
I really love Sandy Bullock but I didn't love her dress tonight. What was that? I'm not sure but it didn't work. J Lo. I love you too. A "slammin" body but that white thing with the chiffon crystal embellished cape... NO! Christina Aguleira. Another serial offender. No. Milla Jovovich. Nope. You should know better. Michelle Williams - in the same basket as Sandy. I love you and I wanted to love your outfit. But no. Not great. Despite being designed by a very Valentino. Scarlett. Again. You should know better. You can wear ANYTHING. Maybe it was the recent break up from cute hubbie Ryan Reynolds. Ok she's grieving. But no. Not a good dress. It was an oversized, nude (that culprit again) butterfly winged doily. Jennifer Love Hewitt. I mean its not like I was expecting great things, but this was awful. An ice princess number with far too much fake tan. Just wrong. Heidi Klum. Again, you should know better but you very rarely do. In a weird red toned tarzan number. Not cool!

Most Improved
It gives me great pleasure to give Annie Hathaway this award. I'm not sure if Rachel was finally ballsy enough to talk her into something more fashion forward, I don't know, but the Armani Prive really worked. HOT! And ps. Annie, who's your colourist? Fabulous colour honey. Second Most Improved? Tina Fey. She aint there, but she's a step closer and choosing L'Wren Scott was a good start. Maybe next year.
My Best Dressed Actress
Piper Peribo. No idea who she is but she was the winner. Classic black Oscar de la Renta. Red lips. Flawless skin with, wait for it, NO FAKE TAN! Beautiful hair in a chic and playful pony. Timeless yet modern. Fancy a woman looking young and beautiful and REAL. Love.

My Best Dressed Actor
Robert Downy Junior. Grey suit with red tie. Bang on as always RDJ. And a special mention to RPatz in that navy suit. Suave and beautiful.