Friday, 30 October 2015
Now the cat's out of the bag and you know when and where I'm going to be on TV, I'm excited to post a recipe I've been hanging on to for a while. This ratatouille recipe has a funny story behind it (but it's also very tasty, so I hope you make it!). I've seen the movie a million times, but I'd never actually eaten Rataouille before until Darren and I had it at our local bistro. We were obsessed, went home and trialled loads of recipes and landed on this one by Jamie Oliver. With a few tweaks - minus some vegetables here, add some butter there - we ate it all summer long in 2013. I had completely forgotten about it, until I ended up having to recall the recipe for the second round of Humble Pie auditions.

Let's start from the beginning shall we? (If you're not bothered by my adventures in TV but you want to make this recipe, scroll down to the end of the post). One day back in April, I randomly saw a tweet about a new cooking competition looking for contestants; I was intrigued, so I replied to the tweet, filled out a form and then forgot about it. A few days later one of the production assistants gave me a call and we chatted about why I love cooking (because I love to eat), what my signature dish is (lemon drizzle), what my must-have kitchen essentials are (a v. sharp knife), etc. and they invited me for an audition a few days later.

I'm a big believer in fate and I took the fact that the auditions were going to be on Good Friday - meaning I had the day off from work - as a sign. The only problem was I had to bring a dish with me and I only had 2 days to think of something. I tested a recipe that night that was a total fail so in a blind panic I turned to my faithful lemon drizzle and went to the audition. There were a few other people waiting nervously in a test kitchen as we chatted and eyed up each other's dishes. Mine was a disaster, as the accompaniments I'd made for the cake melted by the time I got there, and there was a guy who had brought a whole roast chicken, which he then proceeded to joint and serve, so you can imagine how nervous I was!

Two weeks later I was invited to another audition, which is where the ratatouille comes in. This time, the audition was on my birthday! Again, I had the day booked off from work...fate! And it was taking place near my parents' house, so my mum could pick me up afterwards and take me for a birthday tea. Really, everything worked out perfectly. For this audition, we had to cook...on camera! They told us that week we'd be making ratatouille with a pan-fried chicken breast, but I didn't have time to practice so I just re-read the recipe I'd jotted down two summers ago and hoped for the best.

I smoked out the whole kitchen trying to fry my chicken breast on an electric hob (!), but the ratatouille itself was a success. Jamie Oliver's recipes are always straightforward, but have an extra-dimension that lifts everything and makes them seem much more complicated than they are; in this case, it's the salsa verde. Thanks Jamie! Luckily, my ratatouille turned out beautifully and another week after I found out I'd got through to be on the show. Throughout the whole process I was equal parts excited and mortified, sort of hoping that I wouldn't get through and actually end up being on TV! I'm glad I did it in the end, but I was a nervous wreck the whole of April and May...and I still am now waiting to see myself on the actual television!

My episode of Humble Pie is scheduled for Friday 4th December and I can't wait to share the recipes I cooked on it.Yikes! For now, I hope you enjoyed this little story about how I came to be on a TV show...and please make this recipe because it really is a good'un.

To make 4 servings
2 tins chopped tomatoes
3 fresh tomatoes
2 courgettes
1 aubergine
2 onions
4 garlic cloves
2tsp mixed dried herbs (basil, herbes de provence, sage, etc. as you wish)
Small handful basil
Small handful mint (optional)
Juice of half a lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella to serve

Roughly chop the onions and fry with butter in a large saucepan until soft and brown. Add 3 of the garlic cloves (chopped) and the dried herbs. Chop one of the courgette into rounds and add to the pan, along with the tomatoes, quartered. Let everything fry off for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Add a little water if it looks too dry. Bring to the boil with a pinch of salt and pepper and then simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes, checking every now and then to check the liquid hasn't boiled away.

While the vegetables cook away, finely slice the remaining courgette and the aubergine lengthways, brush with olive oil and place under the grill, turning occasionally until browned. Add to the pan with the stewing vegetables and turn off the heat.

Using a small food processor, whizz up the basil, mint and the remaining garlic clove with the juice of half a lemon and a few glugs of olive oil. You want a loose sort of pesto.

Serve the ratatouille in a shallow dish with the sauce drizzled over the top and some torn mozzarella - it's not traditional, but it's delicious and adds a bit of protein to make a more hearty meal.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Are you tired? Stressed? Anxious, even? A few weeks ago I saw an advert on the train by Mind, the mental health charity. I can't remember the exact wording, but it was along the lines of 'it's okay to feel stressed and anxious', with a number that you could text to get a free booklet about Stress & Anxiety. It immediately caught my attention. Whether you are aware of mental health issues or not, I'm sure the majority of people have felt stress and anxious on at least one occasion. I sent off for the booklet and it arrived at the weekend.

Suddenly it feels like anxiety is the latest buzzword, but maybe it's because there finally is a word for something that a lot of people are feeling a lot of the time. I've caught myself rolling my eyes on more than one occasion when I see lists on 'how to deal with anxiety', because I don't think a list is a fix-all solution for all of the different reasons and ways that people experience anxiety, but at least it is now a word that is recognised and used in everyday situations in such a way that you don't have to be looking for it to find it.

Sometimes it's difficult to draw the line between what's considered 'normal'...or what you might think is normal, but whether you experience anxiety in any of its forms or whether you're just plain exhausted, stressed and at the end of your tether, a lot can be said for pressing pause on today's 'go, go, go' lifestyle and letting your batteries recharge.

Take a moment
Do you meditate? Maybe you take 10 minutes every day with the Headspace app or 5 minutes after yoga to sit still and do nothing. I recently read an article - I think it was in Red Magazine, but frustratingly I can't find it again - which stuck with me: "Meditate for 15 minutes a day. If you don't have time to do that, you should meditate for an hour." It doesn't have to be as intense as that though - a walk can do wonders for clearing your mind. I'm lucky to live by a big park and fresh air never fails to make me feel good. Actually, I used to get so tense and irate travelling by tube in the morning, so I switched up my commute to include a half an hour walk instead. Having that time outside first thing in the morning and on my way home without any distractions (I don't even listen to music!) really helps me to prepare for the day and decompress in the evening.

Tidy house, tidy mind
I know cleaning the house doesn't sound relaxing, but I really do feel better when everything is in it's proper place. I'm not talking about a deep clean - just a few minutes of tidying makes a big difference (case in point: the pile of clothes on my bedroom chair I've been ignoring for a month only  too 3 minutes to actually put away properly). Lots of people have recommended The Life-Changing of Tidying, so I'm looking forward to getting some tips.

A friend in need
Doing something selfless for a friend or a stranger is proven to boost your self-esteem; I like to call it a generosity high. Even something simple like giving up your seat on the train for someone who looks like they could use it - someone with lots of shopping bags, for instance - can be a mood-lifter. Don't forget to treat yourself like a friend, though; sometimes we keep our best, most generous behaviour for friends and family. I think I'm a nicer person for my loved ones to be around when I cut myself some slack and don't feel like I'm burnt out trying to keep everyone happy.

Just for you
Light a candle; aromatherapy has so many benefits, but sometimes just a familiar scent - nothing fancy - is enough to remind you to take a deep breath. Read a book or do something you love and treat yourself to something that takes a little bit more time. I drink a lot of tea, and at the weekend it's nice to take a little bit more time over it. I like the ritual of making a proper cuppa with real tea leaves and JING's diffuser mug is a clever (and beautiful) way to make tea for one.

If you've made it this far, thank you for reading. I do recommend visiting the Mind website, if not for yourself, then just to understand what someone else - a colleague, a neighbour, a family member - might be going through. There is advice on all sorts of different mental health issues, plus specific sections about how to deal with stress in different situations, like going away to uni or pressure at work.


Monday, 26 October 2015
I could spend every weekend in IKEA and most of my flat - beds, storage, kitchenware - has come from there, but one thing I never paid much attention to was the plants. Silly me!

I've started to notice that the pins I'm drawn to most on my Pinterest interiors board are the ones with a little flash of green in them. With that in mind, I spent a bit of time perusing the lush green aisles to find a few plants to bring a little green into our home.

My favourite purchase is the slightly mad fern in the picture above, which reminds me of Sideshow Bob. I found a sunny spot for it on a windowsill and it makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen. And of course, how could you not smile when confronted with a row of cacti in the loo - particularly when one happens to be the perfect pair of bunny ears you've been searching everywhere for!

Indoor plants were never really my thing (or outdoor ones for that matter! Our windy balcony is proving an inhospitable garden), but now I've seen how much texture and depth they can bring to a room, I think they are the finishing touch I was looking for all along. Now I'm in the swing of it, I'm on the hunt for something easy to brighten up our dingy hallway - any suggestions?


Wednesday, 21 October 2015
It's officially Autumn and it's chiiiilllly! Lindt sent over their new chocolate orange Lindor and I tucked into the box this weekend to come up with a cosy recipe for the blog. If you have enough restraint not to scoff the whole box in one go, then this drink is a winner...if I do say so myself ;)

I love hot chocolate and I love chai tea and this recipe combines the best of both. Chai is a such a winter warmer, full of immune-boosting spices, while I'm sure hot chocolate is exactly what was in mind when the phrase 'a hug in a mug was coined'. Put them together and it's pure Christmas in a mug (sorry for bringing up the C word, but I've been working on Christmas in my day job since July and I still can't get enough of it!).

Not knowing the first thing about making chai, I followed Freya's recipe to the letter - a cinnamon stick, ginger, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, cloves and tea, steeped in a mug of milk and half a mug of water in a small saucepan. I did, however, leave out the sugar as the chocolate adds enough sweetness. For the single serving Freya has given the quantities for, I added two chocolates (naughty!).

After gently steaming for 15 minutes, I added the Lindor truffles. You can pop them on the end of a skewer and gently stir until they dissolve, or you can just put them straight in the saucepan and they will melt into the chai. For children, it would be fun to strain the tea into a large mug and then let them stir the chocolate in themselves.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015
It looks like I already posted this non-recipe recipe - oops - but I was eating this breakfast sandwich every weekend before we went to Japan and I've been stuffing my face with it since we got back too. Actually, our first weekend back we ate this for brunch and dinner on the same day!

Banh mi is a Vietnamese term for bread or, more specifically, baguette. I haven't been to Vietnam before, but apparently they have insanely tasty fresh bread - a throwback to when they were a French colony. Banh mi can also refer to the sandwich itself and they are a crazy fusion of French and Asian flavours featuring pate, meat, pickles, shredded vegetables and herbs. 

Really, my version is nothing new BUT I'm pretty particular about the eggs. I'm of the school of thought that eggs should be fried in butter. Unless you are lactose intolerant, butter is the way to go! In a non-stick pan, heat the butter until gently foaming and gently crack in the eggs. Then (this is the game-changer part) when the whites start to turn opaque, but before they have fully set, drizzle a small amount of soy sauce over the eggs. The soy sauce might leak out into the pan - this is fine, you get a lovely caramelised effect - and then flip the eggs and turn off the heat.

To assemble, slice a baguette in half (warm it on top of the toaster if you want to) and then fill it with grated/julienned carrots and cucumber and a generous handful of coriander. Fill with a combination of sriracha and mayonnaise, top with the egg and eat it. ASAP!

JING sent over their cute diffuser mug with a sachet each of Assam and Earl Grey tea. I'm a big fan of black tea, especially in the morning, and if you have the right equipment (read: a strainer), loose leaf tea is such an upgrade on regular tea bags. When you're buying loose leaf tea, look out for larger leaves; generally this means they are better quality and you'll get much more flavour from them as they unfurl. 


Monday, 19 October 2015

I lived in Japan from the age of 10 to 14 but visiting as an adult and a tourist was such an incredible experience. I felt lucky to have a loose grasp on the language and understand a few of the cultural norms and expectations, but I saw everything with fresh eyes, completely as a foreigner instead of an expat (can a child be an expat?).

I am by no means an expert, but I thought I'd offer some practical advice if you're ever thinking of visiting Japan. 

Direct flights to Japan are expensive, which was always my reason for not wanting to visit. We got flights with a short stopover in Istanbul through Turkish Airlines for £400! I still can't get over it. Not only did we save £600 each, the flights and transfers went without a hitch, our luggage reached its destination, the entertainment was good and the food was seriously impressive - especially the meals on our flight back from Japan. I would seriously recommend checking them out if you're planning any long haul trips as they fly to loads of destinations around the world.

If you're entering Japan on a tourist visa and planning to travel a bit when you're there, then it's worth looking into a JR Pass, which offers unlimited train travel for a fixed price. The pass is pricey, but a one week pass costs the same as a return ticket from Tokyo to Kyoto so any airport transfers, day trips and certain subway lines within Tokyo during those 7 days would be free.

At first glance, the Tokyo subway system is a bit mental, but it's sort of logical once you get the hang of it, though signs aren't always in English and as there are a few privately run train providers, it's not always clear how to change between them. Download the Tokyo Subway Navigation app - it's free and it works offline, but it only covers lines run by the Metro system.

Technology-wise, the Japanese think of everything and portable wifi is the most genius invention. It's smaller than a phone, so fits easily into a handbag or pocket, and is invaluable for looking up maps or restaurant recommendations. We reserved and prepaid for one online, which we picked up at the airport post office, but there's also a place to rent them inside the Narita airport train station (and I'm sure there would be at Haneda as well). We rented the wifi for a week, while we were travelling around Kyoto, and then returned it when we got back to Tokyo as our Airbnb came with one, which seemed to be a standard at all the apartments I looked at.

We stayed in this apartment through Airbnb and loved that we could live like locals, do laundry, wake up late and save A LOT of money, but we also treated ourselves to two nights in a hotel at the end of our trip. Hotels are expensive in Tokyo but if it's your first time in Japan it might be nice to stay in a hotel when you arrive to get your bearings. Booking.com is great for getting the best deal; I like to book a few rooms in different hotels as you don't have to pay upfront and there's usually no cancellation fee (though make sure you check as it varies from hotel to hotel), so you can pick where you went to stay up until the last minute. We liked the Mitsui Garden Premier Hotel Ginza for its great views, big bathroom and central location.

Of course I'm not going to tell you what to eat! Eat everything! But I just thought I'd round up a few things to be aware of. Usually, Japanese restaurants only serve one type of thing, so it's worth discussing with your travel buddy what you really want to eat and what you're not that bothered about; there are certain things I love that Darren wasn't keen on, so I was happy to grab a quick meal on my own on a few occasions!

Japan can be a tricky place for vegetarians as even seemingly innocent dishes like miso soup are often made with dashi, a stock made from kelp and dried bonito (fish) flakes, that forms the basis of many Japanese meals. It's worth doing a bit of research before you go if you don't want to end up eating anything with fish in it.

I was surprised by how little English people spoke...or wanted to speak! My Japanese is good enough to order food or ask for directions (though not always to understand the answers!) and I have a feeling it confused people when I would ask if they could speak English...in perfect Japanese. But that's as far as my Japanese goes. Japanese people often study English at high school, so I have a feeling that people are wary of saying they do speak English, and then not understand what you're talking about, so it's easier to say no. Saying that, Japanese people are unfailingly polite and are so kind and helpful; if they really don't understand English, they will still try really hard to answer your question. And lots of people are happy to practice...we actually had a few people come over to us and randomly start up conversations on seemingly random things. 

The one instance where the language barrier can be a problem is when you're looking for a restaurant. If you don't know what the name of a restaurant looks like in Japanese, it could cause a bit of a problem, so try and look for a picture of the restaurant's sign if it's somewhere you're really set on going. We found it difficult to pick as place to eat when we hadn't planned where to go as signs and menus are usually in Japanese and a lot of the best 'hidden' restaurants have fabric over the doors so you can't see in and get a feel for what you might be stepping in to!

Japanese toilets deserve a blog post in their own right! They have electric toilets called Washlets which do everything from warm the seat and offer bidet functions to play music or flush sounds to disguise any embarrassing noises. You might find traditional squat toilets in some less advanced public bathrooms, like in parks, but for the most part public bathrooms have Western toilets and are almost always spotless - even in the train stations!

Japanese people are unfailingly polite - they see you out of their restaurants with a wave, sometimes standing outside until you eventually turn a corner, they hand everything to you with both hands as a sign of respect and they love a good queue as much as us Brits do. 

Apart from the occasional sharp elbow when you're getting off the train, Japanese people are very aware of their actions and there are a few things they don't really do. Firstly, they don't eat on the train - except in the case of regional inter-city trains, where it's a big thing to get out your bento (packed lunch) and a few drinks and make a real occasion of it. Although I've seen people have a sneaky snack or a swig of a bottle of water, for the most part they really don't eat on the subway and certainly not a proper meal like a burger or a sandwich. Secondly, they only smoke in designated areas. There is widespread smoking in restaurants but, for the most part, people don't smoke while walking down the street and so you will find designated smoking areas with ashtray bins next to train stations. Take your cues from the people around you and you'll be just fine.

For the first time ever, we came home with money leftover! Japan has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, but coming from another of the world's most expensive cities, we were pleasantly surprised. Firstly and most importantly, we had a really good exchange rate of about ¥184 to £1, which makes the world of difference, so if you can plan your travel flexibly, wait for a time when your money will go that bit further.

Secondly, I suppose Darren and I have cheap taste! We love eating ramen, street food and going to izakaya bars, but if it is your first time visiting Japan then it's worth splashing out a bit of money to experience proper restaurant dining or visit one of the bars in Tokyo with a great view. Once you get there, you'll want to see and do everything, and if you have the means to do so then you should go for it because if Japan is very far away for you, you're unlikely to be going back again soon.

If you want to experience some nice meals, but you're on a budget, go out at lunchtime. It's amazing how the prices can change for the same thing - sometimes half the price! Then you can spend your evening in an izakaya being a bit more frugal.

As a guide, here are some rough prices for food and drink (as of September 2015!)
Ramen ¥800
Lunch set (tonkatsu, tempura, etc.) ¥1,700
Small plate in an izakaya ¥300 - ¥600 
All you can eat yakinuku ('grill it yourself' meat) ¥2500 (you can find all you can drink too!)
Glass of beer ¥500 - ¥600
180ml serving of sake ¥800
Glass of umeshu/shochu cocktail ¥400
Soft drink ¥400


Friday, 16 October 2015
So I've mentioned a few things here and there about being on a TV show, but now I can finally tell you that Humble Pie is out TONIGHT! And the episode I'm appearing in is going to be on the Watch channel (Sky 109, Virgin Media 124) on Friday 4th December at 8pm! YIKES!

It's a brand new show so it was really exciting to take part. Each episode is self-contained so don't worry, you won't be seeing my mug on TV for the next 12 weeks! The concept of the show is a little complicated to explain, but I'll try;

There are 3 rounds, in which 4 contestants each cook a dish that fits a pre-provided brief, with one person getting kicked out in each round. But there's a twist! Marco Pierre White (!!) tastes each dish and picks the one that he thinks is the weakest. Meanwhile, the cooks don't know which dish he's picked. They take it in turns to try each other's dishes and give their feedback. Then, the chef gives a clue as to who he wants to send home. At this point, the contestants have the chance to eliminate themselves (if they think their dish might be the one the chef is alluding to) and they get a consolation cash prize. But if no one wants to 'eat humble pie' and admit defeat, then the chef will send home his choice, and they won't get anything. This continues until the final round, where two contestants go head to head. The idea is that everyone has the chance to win some money, if they're humble enough to accept that their dish is the worst...but you can also ruffle some feathers by trying to knock someone else's confidence and make them think they should send themselves home. Anyway, if that doesn't make sense, you'll have to watch and see!

The whole thing was a bit of an adventure. We actually filmed my episode back in May so it's been hard to keep schtum! I still can't quite believe that I've done it and while the whole thing was exhilarating and such a cool experience, I'm actually mortified about being on television! Aside from the fact that I have no idea how I looked on camera and that I'm pretty sure my makeup was smudged everywhere and I probably looked really worried the whole time, I can't remember what I said and I'm sure there will be an unsavoury moment or two!

There were so many ups and downs - hours of waiting around (the first day, we filmed from 9am to 11pm!), followed by cooking for an hour and a half which whizzed by in seconds and then the super tense judging rounds - and so many emotions flying around. You would be totally exhilarated after cooking and have this huge adrenaline rush and then have to wait an hour to film a little clip about how you think you did in that round (one of the interviews even happened the morning after we'd cooked the night before!), by which time you'd have crashed and not really remember anything! In the rounds where we were tasting each other's food, the producers really tried to get us to be honest and to say what we really thought about everyone's dishes; luckily we were quite a nice group though. No one really seemed to be playing a game and no one was unnecessarily mean - if someone had been I think I would have cried! It's been such a long time since it all happened, whatever I said, it's going to be a surprise for sure!

I have a few posts lined up about the show: there's a ratatouille recipe that I made during the audition round, where I'm going to share a bit more about how I ended up doing Humble Pie and a bit more about the audition process. I also have both my recipes from the show (we cooked 3 in total, but one was a blind test), which I'll share on the day it airs! If you have any questions, pop a comment below!

#SPRUNTINGINJAPAN: ginza, tsukiji + shimbashi

Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Since we saved a lot of money by staying in an Airbnb, we moved to a plush hotel for the last two nights of our trip. We booked a late night flight on the Sunday, so it was nice to be able to leave our suitcases at the hotel while we explored and have a nice lobby to hang out in before going to the airport.

We got a ridiculously great deal on the Mitsui Garden Hotel Premier Ginza thanks to Booking.com and we loved the amazing view from our (teeny tiny, but super luxe) room. The hotel is at the south end of the main Ginza high street, literally two minutes' walk from Shimbashi station. In the end, this suited us a lot better as Shimbashi has its own unique environment. While Ginza is home to fancy shops and smart restaurants, Shimbashi seems to be the place all the city workers go to for lunch/after work shenanigans, due to its close proximity to Shiodome, the Canary Wharf of Tokyo. This means it's home to lots of standing ramen and udon bars and late night haunts.

After eating so much rich food for the past two weeks I was craving something simpler and I got my fix in the form of a hot bowl of udon for ¥350 (about £1.80!). Kitsune udon is one of my favourite things in the world and something I'm sad not to really see in London. The udon comes in a steaming dashi broth that I will definitely be making at home and comes topped with a sort of squidgy mattress of sweet, deep-fried tofu skin and a spoonful of crispy tempura 'crumbs'. And yes, I slurped it!

Ginza itself is a cool place to visit at the weekend; they close off the main street to cars so there's plenty of space to roam around. The only problem is it's full of Chinese tour groups which isn't a problem per say, except that they arrive in big tour buses and as a result are quite often clogging up the pavement waiting for their buses to pick them up again! Anyway, Ginza is home to the world's largest Uniqlo as well as Itoya, an incredible stationery department store which just got a new home on the main strip. My friend said the area is constantly changing and they seem to be knocking down buildings left, right and centre just to build new homes for the same shops!

Ginza is also home to the national kabuki theatre, Kabuki-za. This traditional form of Japanese theatre features an all-male cast and you can get tickets on the day for a single act, which is popular with tourists as you can get a taster for kabuki and just watch for an hour, instead of the usual 4+ hours. The new theatre, opened in 2013, was spectacular and less than 10 minutes walk from our hotel.

The world-famous Tsukiji fish market is also just a short walk from Ginza. The market is due to move outside of Tokyo soon, so we were glad to be able to visit, though we didn't go at the crack of dawn like some tourists do in the hope of getting in to see the famous tuna auctions. Instead, we just enjoyed wandering through the streets and had a delicious breakfast of sashimi-don. While you might be expecting to find lots of sushi here - and there is - don is also a traditional way to eat sashimi, simply served in a bowl on top of sushi rice. We went to a different place to the picture below, where we had big servings of fatty tuna and salmon for only about ¥1000 (about £6).

Tamagoyaki, a Japanese omelette made in the shape of a large brick using a special pan, is a lesser-known part of the sushi experience (in the UK, at least), but it's a vital part of any sushi master's repertoire and striking the perfect balance between flavour and texture is an art that takes time to perfect.

As I said before, the nearby Shiodome area is Tokyo's answer to Canary Wharf, so it was surprising to find the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens nestled amongst the skyscrapers. Located at the edge of Tokyo Bay, the landscaped park features beautiful flower gardens and a unique saltwater pond home to plenty of fish you wouldn't usually see in a park! It felt very zen being there and is now probably one of my favourite Tokyo landmarks.

I'm about to wrap up this super long post and, actually, this is the last of my Tokyo neighbourhood posts! But first I have to tell you about one last place: Go Go Curry. Japanese curry is a strange and wonderful thing - thick, sweet, salty. I don't know. It's hard to describe but it's probably not like anything you've had before...if you've been to Wagamama and had the katsu curry then you might have an idea, but it really is an experience! We kept seeing a chain of shops called Go Go Curry (there's even a branch in NY that calls it Japan's No. 1 curry!), with a distinctive gorilla logo, and joked that it looked bizarre. So of course we had to try it and lo and behold! It actually turned out to be one of my favourite meals. There was this weird moment where I took the first bite and thought it was so grim, but the more I ate, the more I got into it. Maybe we were a little drunk - and it's definitely the equivalent to a late night kebab, rather than a special meal out - but it was smiles all round for this greedy bear!

Did you make it this far? Thank you for reading! I'm sad my Japan posts are pretty much done, but I have one last post scheduled for Monday with a few tips about visiting Japan so make sure to check that out if you're interested!