About three weeks ago we landed in Tokyo. I was absolutely excited about our Japan trip as I wanted to go for a couple of years now. Crazy Tokyo, the beautiful nature, the cultural wealth and of course the fantastic food made Japan a dream destination for me and I was definitely not disappointed.
We started our trip in Tokyo, the city of vending machines. On every corner you have the chance to buy a drink. Useful but also funny. This automatic thing is quite funny in general: What’s popular for quick lunches are some kind of ticket machine restaurants, where you decide what you what to eat based on plastic food displays or pictures. Then you press the appropriate number on a machine, insert money and recieve a ticket that you hand to a person behind a counter, who freshly and very quickly prepares your dish. We also went to a fully automatic Sushi restaurant, where we ordered via touch screen. While you were eating, the screen invited you to play games. Crazy world.
Tokyo is a crazy place – big and diverse.
The food options in the city are endless. A small eatery on every corner. The interesting thing is that often small restaurants specialize in just one type of food. For example Ramen, my favorite Japanese dish (first picture): noodles served in a miso or soy sauce flavored broth with various toppings such as meat or tofu, greens and seaweed. Other places would specialize in Soba (buckwheat) noodles, Yakitori (skewered chicken), Shabu Shabu (hotpot) or Sushi.
Of course we also had great sushi in Tokyo. At six in the morning for breakfast on the famous Tsukiji fish market. It was a bit unreal to see so many packed restaurants at that time of the day. It was not only tourists but mainly people from the market enjoying a hot soup or some fish.
I had three fantastic days in Stockholm: three days of sunshine, good food and my two sisters!
We arrived quite early on friday and spent the morning just strolling the streets of this beautiful city. We had fantastic weather and so we could really enjoy the positive vibes around. The streets were full of people soaking up the sun sitting outside of cafés and restaurants.
Our first food stop around lunch time was Saluhallen, an historic market hall in the Östermalm district, where we could satisfy our cravings for gravad lax (cured salmon). Oh, I do love gravad lax.
The Saluhallen in Östermalm is a beautiful old brick building with market stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to cheese or seafood. It is worth while exploring the different vendors and the large variety of delicacies. Östermalm is a fancy and rather pricey district with lots of restaurants and fashion boutiques.
We spent the afternoon chilling in canvas chairs on Skeppsholmen, one of the islands of Stockholm. It truly is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. You feel like you are on an island far outside of Stockholm but it is actually a short walk or ferry ride just outside the city center. There is one beautiful hotel on the island with a nice restaurant. We spent some laid-back hours with coffee and sunshine.
When we travelled to Argentina in December and January, one of the things I was most looking forward to was the Argentinian wines. I knew that Mendoza was famous especially for Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. To be honest – that was actually all I knew. So I was happy to discover the wine region of Cafayate in the province of Salta, with some of the highest elevated vineyards in the world. Cafayate is famous for Torrontés, a white Argentinian grape, producing fresh, fruity and very aromatic wines. Not to be confused with the Spanish Torrontés grape. There are three types of Argentinian Torrontés. The Torrontés Riojano is the most aromatic and comes from the province of La Rioja and Salta.
Cafayate has 360 days of sunshine each year and I learned that the temperature difference between the hot days and cold nights favors a unique acidity profile of the wines. I am an amateur wine taster but I was well impressed by the refreshing taste of Torrontés. I think that the Torrontés white wines are starting to build international reputation.