"Nikkei Cuisine", where Japanese marries Peruvian cuisine, has already been around for some time. A well-known example is the funky "chotto matte" restaurant in London. But Zürich can't really keep up with the European metropolis of gastronomy, can it? Well, for once it can. In fact, Michael Adams manages to beam his guests into a culinary Mekka that you would usually expect in far more cosmopolitan cities than Zürich. Accompanied by a hint of implicitness true to a genuine hipster location.
On the 7th of July, people all over Japan celebrate Tanabata. In some regions it is celebrated on the 7th of August. The festival, also known as the Star festival, celebrates the love between two deities, Orihime and Hikoboshi. The two lovers, represented by the stars Vega and Altair, separated by the Milky Way, are only allowed to meet once a year.
In Switzerland, the Museum Rietberg in Zurich is oganising a Tanabata Festival on the 1st of July.
During the festival, children and adults write their wish on a long piece of paper and hang it from a bamboo tree, in the hopes that it comes true. The festival locations are decorated with long streamers, organise various competitions and, like most matsuries, they boast a multitude of food stands. If you want to experience the matsuri street food, here are the most known ones and where to find then in Zurich.
A trip to Winterthur can quickly feel like a world away from the known city: especially for those who decide to enjoy the 15 minute walk from the Winterthur station to the restaurant Bunter Hund and find themselves crossing various residential areas.
From the 26th to the 30th of April 2017, the Bunter Hund in partnership with Shizuku and its sake specialities, proposed a culinary journey. We answered the invitation and think: this should be done more often.
When the weather turns from summer sunshine to gray and cold for the week-end, you might get the urge to stay home, order in and see what’s on Netflix. We know the feeling all to well and have put together the best program for your evening ! Lately, there have been some amazing movies and documentaries made around Japanese cuisine and their hidden masters who devote their lives to their art.
Here are our 3 top picks:
This was already the fourth edition of the Japan Matsuri hosted at the Espocentro in Bellinzona. This was our first time visiting, but it most definitely won't be our last. A multiplicity of Japan related activities as well as a pleasant crowd, without the usual overcrowding which can occur at other events of this sort, make it a unique event in Switzerland.
If you're still debating if you should travel to Ticino for next year's festival ? We'd have some great arguments why you definitely should:
Zurich has just been made more interesting with yet another culinary pop up event - but not just any pop up event. At the "Sushi & Sake - the taste of Japan" exquisite cuisine is paired with an exclusive atmosphere and friendly service in the Widder Hotel's pop up garden, charmingly decorated by Jelmoli. For those who want to treat themselves to something special should absolutely make a detour at Rennweg 7 until the 19th of March - as the ephemeral location will then have its last evening. We could have definitely gotten used to it.
Sometimes you just want to stay home and enjoy a home cooked meal among friends. So we decided to try our hands at a quick and easy Gyuudon recipe.
Gyuudon is a bowl of rice topped with onions and thin slices of beef cooked in a broth consisting of dashi stock, miring, soy sauce, ginger and sugar, the whole thing topped off with a raw or an onsen egg (soft boiled egg).
This dish can be savoured all over Japan in the multitude of fash food chains. As a hearty, readily available and cheap dish it is very popular among young people and Japanese "Salary Men". The most popular Gyuudon chains in Japan are Sukiya and Yoshinoya. The first Yashinoya restaurant having been opened by Eikichi Matsuda in 1899 in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district.
This dish is quite easy to make and is hearty enough to satisfy all your guests. We decided to share our take on this traditional dish inspired by different recipes online with you. Enjoy!
With the winter months in full swing, we decided to treat ourselves to some delicious and hearty Japanese hot pots, or better known as “Nabe” (Japanese for pot). One of the more bulky hot pots is Chankonabe and is traditionally eaten by sumo wrestlers.
There is no set recipe for Chankonabe, however there is a rule of thumb: it has to contain a large amount protein. Common ingredients are chicken, meat, sea food, tofu, and a lot of veggies. All the ingredients are cooked in a stew in one big pot.
Traditionally, chicken is preferred to other meats as chicken stand on two legs, just as the sumo wrestlers. Only the soles of the sumo wrestler’s feet can touch the ground, otherwise he loses the round.
Most “stables” (where sumo’s train) have developed their own special recipe. The sumo wrestlers, after finishing their training session of grappling and throwing each other to the ground, will gather round and eat all together. The dish is actually quite healthy. However, what makes the sumo wrestlers bulk up are the portions.
One theory for the name Chankonabe, is that when a retired sumo wrestler started cooking a sumo stable in Tokyo, the old man’s simmering stew was named after the slang word for "dad" or "chan" in working class district; so “Chankonabe”.
The first Chankonabe restaurant was opened in 1937 in Tokyo's Ryogoku district. Now a variety of restaurants serve Chankonabe around the Sumo wrestling ring,; a lot of them opened by former sumo champions. If you feel up to the challenge you can even order a sumo portion sized Chankonabe.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day has become quite a big thing. However, the imported tradition has taken on a distinct Japanese flavour. In Japan, on Valentine’s Day, it is women who give presents to men, usually chocolates. There are two types of chocolates: the “Giri-choco” (obligation chocolate), given to men with whom one has no romantic relation to, such as male friends, co-workers and even bosses. As a gesture of friendship or gratitude. And then there’s “Honmei-choco”; given to someone for whom women feel true love, such as boyfriends, husbands or lovers. Of course the chocolate industry has been quick on the uptake and from as early as end of January, you can find chocolates in all shapes and sizes, mostly heart shaped, in most stores.
However, nowadays it isn't all about the men anymore. Women also gift eachother chocolate gifts on Valentine's Day, also known as "Tomo-Choko" oder "Joshikai-Choko" (see image below from 2015).
Every year, the Gourmet Festival in St. Moritz presents a certain theme or country. British, French, Italian - all have already inspired the participants. Japanese? Something as exotic hadn't been attempted before, some of the more regular attendees told us. For us, as first time visitors to the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival, it was an exciting premiere.
Among the numerous events which took place during the week, we attended one evening event and two during the day. We will shortly present here the different impressions left behind by those three events:
Great that you made it to JFood.ch! We wish you an entertaining experience on our site.
Here in the blog-section we'll keep you posted about up-and-coming topics. Whenever we are posting a new restaurant review, writing a Facebook post or visit a Japan-themed event - here is where we will share our impressions with you.
Icons were designed by Freepik