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Archive for the ‘fish dishes’ Category

phillips

powerplant

The former Power Plant building

Phillips Seafood was recommended by a friend originally from Baltimore and by all the tourist books and brochures, so we decided we should go there our first evening in Baltimore, as we hadn’t scouted out any other good eating places.

This popular place is at the edge of Inner Harbor in part of the old Pratt Street Power Plant building (Barnes and Noble and Hard Rock Café are in there too). The former coal-fired power plant, built 1900-1909, was repurposed from the mid 1970s. Phillips Seafood moved here in June 2010.

Come very early, or a bit later (8pm) as it gets very crowded around 5:30-8pm and you’ll likely have a long wait, especially on weekends.

Rinside

Rod M inside

There is indoor and outdoor seating: we opted for indoors as the wait was slightly shorter. It was cooler inside too! The décor is attractive with pretty chandeliers and stained-glass insets in the ceiling. We had a beer while waiting and then got a bar area table pretty easily.

Here in Baltimore (and in Maryland generally) crab cakes are a speciality, so we had to try them. We shared a beet salad, with two different colored beets and feta cheese on arugula, which was delicious. Then Rod had the classic plate, which was a crab cake, a shrimp skewer, a piece of salmon, mashed potatoes and asparagus. I had crab-stuffed shrimp, which was 5 butterflied shrimp

shrimp

Crab-stuffed shrimp

stuffed with a crab mix, with mashed potatoes and asparagus. All very nice, with a very friendly server.

The atmosphere is pleasant, as it’s bustling with people and two guys on guitars were playing and singing, a bit like John Denver.

Phillips Seafood is a very prominent institution around here, and it would be hard to miss with its huge red sign. I’m glad we came and it was fun. The food was good, but pretty over-priced, I’d say. Definitely good for one visit, but I’m not sure we could afford to return.

601 E. Pratt Steet, Baltimore, www.Phillipsseafood.com

 

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ballspickles

Almost too pretty to eat

tofu

Tofu

Kuwana Restaurant in Sapporo, Japan

Miniature edible works of art

Another Amazing Meal in Hokkaido—-Have we ever had a mediocre meal?!

This is a very special restaurant in Sapporo, in the busy downtown Susukino area (think chain stores, neon lights, night life). We went here one evening with Dr K, Satoshi, Max and 2 students from the lab. It’s in a busy nightlife area, down a small side street with many obvious adult entertainment places, so we’d never find it on our own. I doubt many tourists come here, unless they speak and read Japanese, as nothing is in English really.

babytempura

Baby tempura

pork

A pork dish

platepeg

Our plates arrive with a clothes peg

So, once again, we are so lucky to have very involved hosts who want us to experience the best their city has to offer. We came by subway, on the Green line from Sapporo JR Station. This is the second stop; the first is Odori.

Kuwana is a small place on two levels: downstairs is a bar-counter, and upstairs is zashiki seating, where we sit with our feet dangling in a cut-out area below the low table. It might be small, with only 28 seats, but it’s a very nice place, quite formal with all the dishes exquisitely presented.

clampeg

How to hold the hot clam shell with the clothes peg

clams

Plate of clams

It is known for baked clams in particular. They use the Hamaguri, or common orient clam, a saltwater clam found in Japan. When we sat down we wondered why each person had a clothes-peg on their side plate, but soon found out. We used the peg to hold the shell of the baked clams, as the shells are extremely hot, and then picked out the clam with chopsticks. The clams were delicious, but so many other small amazing dishes appeared after the clams that I’d be really hard-pressed to pick a favorite.

seagrape

Sea grape seaweed pops in the mouth

salad

Tuna tomato salad

tunabone

A tuna bone is a delicacy

All were tasty, all beautifully presented—the whole meal like a work of art. One was umibudo (sea grape), a special kind of seaweed that looks like tiny green grapes, which pop in your mouth when you bite them.

Again, we are really fortunate to be taken out to places like this, and to be treated so well. This is a wonderful way of learning about a very special part of Japanese culture: its cuisine. The Japanese are very proud of their cuisine, and we are very willing learners and experimenters.

groupof3

Max, Risa and Yuki

cheese

They even had a cheese plate

balls

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The unassuming facade of the Eel Village

The unassuming facade of the Eel Village

Even I can read the eel part of this sign!

Even I can read the eel part of this sign!

Table with grill and chimney

Table with grill and chimney

Every meal in Korea is an event and experience, carefully thought out, so I’ll be writing about Korean food and meals a lot as I get to write up the Korean trip. This was the first food experience on our last trip.

We went to Eel Village, in Yong-In, a town a little south of Seoul. In Korean “eel” translates as “long fish”, and this was eel served Korean-style.

Our hosts (Jongsoo Chang and Mi Kwon) for the first weekend in Korea took us here for our first meal in Korea on this trip, and it was a great introduction to Korean cuisine, one of the world’s finest.

This is a local, very casual traditional place that basically serves only eels. Each plain wooden table has a table grill plate over charcoal in the center and a metal chimney that can be raised and lowered. You order your eels, which the guy then fishes out of a large tank right there in the restauant, where they are swimming around. He plops them in a huge bucket and takes them away, and later they re-appear, cleaned and chopped on a rack that’s placed on the hot table grill. You can have them just salted, or with a red pepper sauce.

Some of the side dishes to make our eel wrap

Some of the side dishes to make our eel wrap

Eel on the grill

Eel on the grill

While you wait, many little plates appear—with kimchi (the famous Korean picked/fermented vegetable dish), huge slices of pickled radish, lettuce leaves, seaweed in small sheets, fresh chopped ginger, slices of garlic and onion, perilla (shiso) leaves, and various sauces.

The trick is to take a leaf or sheet of seaweed, put on a piece of eel, a couple of radishes or whatever extra you fancy, a bit of sauce, and then wrap it and eat with your fingers.

These eels are much larger than the ones I remember from Japan and served a bit differently, but very tasty. When the eels are finished, each person gets a bowl of either steamed rice, or noodles (we had noodles).

Put some eel on a leaf...

Put some eel on a leaf…

...and wrap it, for a tasty morsel

…and wrap it, for a tasty morsel

The fruit wine

The fruit wine

All a lot of fun to experience and very tasty. And the good thing is that you can pick whichever condiments you want. We tried everything except the spicy kimchi and a red-hot sauce. All washed down by a local fruit wine—actually quite dry and not bad for a wine!

Thanks to Jongsoo and Mi!!

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