Bingo Academy at the Vaults

A couple of weeks ago I popped down to the Vaults at Waterloo for Bingo Academy, along with three friends. We were a little skeptical, to say the least – our group WhatsApp chat leading up to it consisted mostly of gifs from The Golden Girls.

Bingo Academy at the Vaults, WaterlooBingo Academy at the Vaults, WaterlooBingo Academy at the Vaults, Waterloo

The evening exceeded our expectations and more – the callers were hilarious, the atmosphere was buzzing, and I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a long time. It was excellent. I’d only played once before, and the others were complete beginners, but all the rules were broken down and we were all absolute pros through in no time.

Bingo Academy at the Vaults, WaterlooBingo Academy at the Vaults, WaterlooBingo Academy at the Vaults, Waterloo

The drinks were flowing, there were Popdogs hotdogs to be had, but in many ways the charm of Bingo Academy was that it was so much fun that you didn’t really need to drink at all (one to keep in mind, as the number of my friends going teetotal is growing).

Bingo Academy at the Vaults, WaterlooBingo Academy at the Vaults, Waterloo

The whole evening was absolutely brilliant, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s on until the 2nd of June, and tickets are £15 (£11 if you’re quick!)

https://www.bingo-academy.com/

Have you been to Bingo Academy? Comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Japonisme Publication Week!

I’m both excited and absolutely terrified about this week, as Japonisme is out on Thursday!

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It’s been completely surreal, and I still can’t quite believe it is happening. Earlier this week, when I was having a particularly overwhelming moment, I reached out to my mom who is currently in Japan for my grandfather’s nanakaiki. A nanakaiki is a traditional memorial service, where family members hold a service at certain intervals following a relative’s death to express gratitude for and acknowledge their continuing influence in our lives.

I write a lot about my grandfather in my book, and while I’m sad I couldn’t be there with my family, I hope I managed to pay him a fitting tribute in Japonisme. My mom, who is currently suffering from a little jetlag, sent me a recording of uguisu, or the Japanese nightingales from my grandmother’s balcony in Kamakura. It was incredibly comforting.

I’m looking forward to Thursday, and to celebrate the launch with a few close friends and family on Friday. I’ve also got the Japonisme supperclub coming up with Toral from the Urban Kitchen on April the 25th at Benk and Bo, which will be a really lovely evening of good food and inspiring talks. We have some great sponsors in Tengu Sake and Miso Tasty, who are providing sake and miso for the event. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, you can get them here.

rawpixel-com-480210-unsplashJaponisme Supperclub

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! As always, you can catch me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

 

MW Restaurant, Hawaii

It just so happened that my last visit to Hawaii coincided with UK mother’s day. It’s been a long since we’ve been in the same country together for it, and I wanted to treat her to a special meal while I was out there.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We are both big fans of a good tasting menu, and so I decided to try the 5-course menu at MW Restaurant, near Ala Moana. The venue is conveniently located – light and spacious, but nothing to write home about. The food is what we are all here for, after all.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

We kicked off the meal with a chef’s selection of appetisers.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

A crab cake with garlic and black pepper sauce, unagi and butterfish arancini, kushi oyster with shiso yukari mignonette, jizori fried chicken with a kimchi garlic soy sauce and a mushroom gelee with truffle coulis.

My favourite was the arancini, closely followed by the crispy chicken and kimchi. My mom loved the umami flavours from the mushroom gelee, and raved about it for ages afterwards.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Our second course was a mochi crusted kona kampachi, and one of my favourites. I loved the combination of flavours and textures, and it was all presented beautifully.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Upon checking out the menu ahead of time, I had been most excited about the Hokkaido scallop with kona abalaone fried rice, but found the yuzu flavours slightly too overpowering for my liking.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

The red wine braised short rib with Eryngi mushroom was delicious – meltingly tender. One of the things MW Restaurant does so well is to include Japanese ingredients and elements so beautifully throughout, and this course was a perfect example.

MW Restaurant, Honolulu, HawaiiMW Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii

Neither my mom or I are big dessert fans, but we were both blown away by the lilikoi creme brulee. The warm custard, combined with tropical fruits and tapioca pearls really pleasantly surprised us, and we both ended up polishing them all off (despite having convinced ourselves we were full up until that point).

My only regret was not getting the wine pairing with our meal, which was only $35 extra. We had convinced ourselves we would only have a glass or two each, and it would’ve enhanced our experience had we gone with that option.

The service was impeccable. The staff, who asked if we were celebrating anything in particular, gifted us a delicious banana bread to take away with us at the end of the meal. It was a classy, thoughtful touch, and the perfect end to a memorable meal. I would definitely recommend MW for a special occasion if you’re in the area!

Have you been to MW Restaurant?  Let me know your thoughts on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

MW Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Japonisme Supperclub – How the Japanese Lifestyle Can Help You Live Healthier for Longer

I am so excited to be hosting a supperclub with the amazing Toral from The Urban Kitchen on April 25th at Benk + Bo! Tickets are available now on The Urban Kitchen website – we hope you can join us for a fun, inspiring and delicious evening!

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

What can you learn from the Japanese approach to food and lifestyle for a healthy, happy life? Join Erin Niimi Longhurst, blogger and author of Japonisme, and Toral Shah, nutritional scientist, chef, and founder of The Urban Kitchen for an evening of delicious food and talks about Ikebana (flower arranging), Aikido (martial arts), health and lifestyle.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

The Japanese-inspired menu has been developed collaboratively between Erin and Toral, and features some dishes from the book. The evening will include talks from Toral about the benefits of the Japanese diet and lifestyle, from Erin around Japanese philosophies like Ikigai, and special guests around the benefits of Aikido and Ikebana.

Ticket price of £45 includes full meal, a welcome cocktail and a goody bag.

Date: April 25th 2018, 7pm start, 7.30pm seated for dinner. Tickets available here.

Benk + Bo: Japonisme Supperclub

Image courtesy of http://www.benkandbo.com/

Let me know if you can make it on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Temakinho

I’m a big fan of cuisines that have been influenced by Japan – Peruvian food, for one, but Brazilian food too.

Temakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I was excited to sample what Temakinho in Soho had to offer – and even more so once I found out that they source their seafood sustainably. I’m also a big fan of caipirinhas, and really enjoyed starting the meal out with a passionfruit caipifruta.

Temakinho Soho

Their plates are definitely made for sharing, and while I really enjoyed the espetinho Brasiliero (prawn and pineapple skewers), they paled in comparison to my favourite dish of the evening – the tacos de floripa. I kind of wish I hadn’t had to share these – they were excellent. Cassava tacos with guacamole, jalapenos, onion and lime, topped with different types of seafood – buttered salmon, tuna, lobster, scallops, and octopus. I loved the combination of flavours and textures – creamy and crisp, yet soft and tart at the same time. Seriously delicious!

Temakinho SohoTemakinho SohoTemakinho Soho

I went completely overboard with my main order, and ended up taking most of it home with me. My favourite rolls included the salmao completo ou picante (salmon tartar, chives, sesame seeds, flying fish roe), olho de boi completo ou picante (yellowtail, chives, avocado, creamy sesame sauce) and siri completo (breaded soft shell crab, flying fish roe, avocado, spicy mayonnaise, sweet and sour sauce).

I’m not a big dessert person, but ended up ordering the guava cheesecake and bolo de prestigio (chocolate and coconut cake). I can’t really do them justice, as I was so stuffed at this point, but the guava cheesecake really stood out.

Temakinho Soho

The service was excellent, and the restaurant was buzzing on the Saturday night – it’s a great addition to Soho, as its so convenient located.

I really enjoyed my evening at Temakinho, and will definitely be back for those tacos de floripas!

Temakinho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato