Saturday, 23 October 2010

Little Tokyo

Last night, while wallowing in the misery of the terrible cold I am currently suffering with, I received a call from my boyfriend, asking me if I wanted to go to a Japanese restaurant in Leeds city centre called Little Tokyo. Initially, I wasn't too keen because of the aforementioned cold, but I dragged myself in to town, and oh I glad I did! The restaurant itself is decorated lavishly, in a reconstruction of a Japanese garden. Yes, perhaps it's a little overdone and verging on tacky, but with the low lighting and candles it feels warm and inviting. They even have a tank under the little bridge in the picture above which is full of lovely fish. One attempted to leap for freedom halfway through our meal, which was fun to see!

The food itself was absolutely delicious and really very authentic. We chose a selection of food and had something of a banquet. I had the Yaki Soba, a dish of thin brown noodles with leek, shredded chicken and shitake mushrooms, as well as an assortment of other vegetables. This was extremely well cooked and seasoned, with the several varieties of mushroom adding a nice variety of texture and subtle flavour. My boyfriend, Mark, chose the Seafood Ramen, which is more of a liquid based 'soup noodle' dish. There were excellently cooked mussels, king prawns, octopus and fish balls. The fish balls were slightly less tasty than the other fishy delights in the dish, but judging by the cleanliness of the bowl at the end of the meal, everything was more than satisfactory.

In addition to the main courses, we also chose a side of tempura vegetables, which was a mix of carrots, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms and sweet potato fried in tempura batter. This was unexpectedly fantastic. Each piece was perfectly cooked and full of interesting flavours, as the tempura added an extra interest to simple vegetables. My personal favourite was the sweet potato, while Mark preferred the broccoli. Along with the vegetables, we also chose the half nigiri sushi set. This was a plate of six sushi pieces; two maki (one crab, the other avocado) and four pieces with salmon, tuna and a white fish which I didn't recognise, but was nonetheless tasty. The sushi was absolutely beautiful. Forget the boxes you pick up in the supermarket, this was as fresh as it gets, with rice that tastes fantastic, isn't crispy from being left in a fridge, and doesn't clump together, topped with fish that just melts in the mouth and is full of delicate flavours. We were so full from our banquet that we didn't order a dessert, but the list has lots of choice, including green tea ice cream, ginger cheesecake and grapefruit and Bombay sapphire sorbet. There was a great mix of light and heavy, fruity, creamy or chocolatey desserts to suit every palate.

In terms of price, Little Tokyo is not the cheapest restaurant that you will ever find, but I feel that everything is priced fairly, as the portions are extremely generous. Main meals cost between around £7 and £10, with side orders and starters anywhere from £4 to £9 (for sharing starters). The priciest items on the menu for the size of the portions are the sushi options. However, this is the usual way with Japanese restaurants, as only the finest and freshest fish and vegetables are used to make sushi, and some of the items are really very fiddly to prepare. The sushi prices are about average, and I would highly recommend Little Tokyo to anyone who likes authentic and delicious Japanese food.

C xx

Little Tokyo is at 24 Central Rd, Leeds LS1 6DE

Half Nigiri Set

Tempura Vegetables

Seafood Ramen

Yaki Soba

Little Octopus (In Seafood Ramen)

Monday, 18 October 2010


I'm very sorry for my lack of posting on this blog of late. I'm currently dealing with trying to get on top of my workload (final year of Uni was never going to be easy...) and I'm juggling it witha part-time job in order to try and haul myself out of the financial black hole that awaits me on the point of my graduation in May. I'll try and post more regularly, I promise!

C xxx

C'est Magnifique!

You have to love the French. They take the running of their government seriously, and seem to be protesting about one thing or another almost constantly. This time around, it’s pensions. The lower house of the French government has voted to change the age of retirement from 60 to 62 and the age at which you can claim a full state pension from 65 to 67. To those of us in the UK, who can now work until we are no longer physically able to, this seems like an unheard of luxury. Retiring at 62?? Getting anything even remotely livable from a state pension?? Crazy stuff to be protesting over, surely?!

However, I love the French spirit of resisting these changes and making your voice heard. The protesters flooded the streets of all the major French cities, with those in Paris even occupying the Opera House at the Bastille for a short time! Vive la Resistance indeed. Although I think that the turning of the protests to ransacking cafes and setting bins on fire undermined the aim of the actions, and will only serve to increase the chances of the legislation being passed in the upper house.

I can’t comment on the repercussions for the French population if the retirement/pension age is raised, but I hope that the protesting spirit doesn’t die out, as it sadly seems to be withering away in the UK.

C xx

Can't We Just Find A Happy Medium?

I’m all for the movement towards more healthy, normal-sized models, and introducing plus-size collections to NYFW is great, as it allows bigger women to have fashion options, rather than kaftans and sack-like dresses, but using women who are really very unhealthily overweight as role models is just as bad as using size 0 girls as images of perfection. Can’t we find a healthy middle ground?

Christina Hendricks and Crystal Renn are both images of sexy, joyful, vital womanly figures that are normal and beautiful. Thankfully, the two of them are getting more and more press coverage, and Renn has appeared in so many shows this fashion week already it’s a fantastic step in the right direction. More curves! More size 10/12/14’s (UK, which is US 6,8 and 10)! No to either extreme of anorexic scrawniness or too much fatty bulk!

Eat well (including treats), exercise, and relax!

C xxx

… As a side note, the pic is from perez hilton’s 'fashion' blog. His raving over clearly and dangerously unhealthy women as being amazing irritated me into writing this post!!!