Kota Kinabalu, Borneo – A foodie’s paradise and more

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Sabah’s main city…
What to eat / What to see & do / Day trips / Where to stay/ Getting there & around

There are some cities which are the attraction and some that are merely the base from which to see the attractions. Everything I read about Kota Kinabalu lumped it in the latter category with a shout-out to the food.

In many ways, this is true. If you look at Kota Kinabalu with the tourist gaze, there are very few sparkly things to catch your eye. If you look at it, however, as a the hub of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, where people are living out their daily lives, you’ll still see a small and scruffy city, but one that has an immense vibrancy. I do not exaggerate when I say I could happily spend a few weeks there, despite a city centre so small that it’s walkable in less than 20 minutes. This praise is more than about making my stomach happy with the fantastically cheap and tasty offerings but rather there is something about the atmosphere that is very appealing. I just want to sit in a cafe and hang out. Continue reading

Review: Anmitsu Mihashi, Ueno Head Branch / あんみつみはし、上野本店

Matcha anmitsu

Matcha anmitsu

Japan is famous for sushi. And breaking out of my previous aversion for fish, I had been sampling the cheap and tasty offerings at Heiroko Sushi Okachimachi branch.

One thing Japan is not famous for is desserts. And although I have enjoyed countless desserts in Japan, I can kind of see why. Continue reading

Hello again, I’ve been drinking VERY expensive sake…

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Hisashiburi desu! That’s the Japanese for “it’s been a long time!” Yesterday, I sat the wondrous Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) N3… and I realised that I am still quite terrible.

So what do you say when someone asks you how it went? Well there are four answers. Read the picture from right to left now…

1) Good
2) OK
3) Difficult
4) Don’t ask. Continue reading

Review: Taco Bell & Cold Stone Creamery

Moody - Taco Bell interior attempts hipster

Moody – Taco Bell interior attempts hipster

It’s rare that I have a ‘Lost in Translation’ moment in Japan nowadays. Having spent a total of over two years here – on and off – there’s not much that surprises me or makes me blink twice. The irony is that the very night I try to do something very un-Japanese – the night I decide to binge on American junk food – is the night in which Japan threw all it had at me, as if to say, “Behave like a foreigner? Right! Have some Japan in your face!” Of course, it didn’t say it quite so directly though… Continue reading

Bacon Fat Sizzle Time: Making Brunch in Tokyo – UK-Style!

BRUNCH. And wooden crocodile.

BRUNCH. And wooden crocodile.

There comes a point where a Japanese breakfast doesn’t quite cut it. Grabbing a rice ball from the convenience store. Or raw egg and fermented soy beans on rice. Or that dubious pastry from a dubiously named ‘German’ bakery stocked with even more dubious ‘French items’,  such as Croque Monsieurs.

Or maybe, it’s just the point where you want sausages. Proper, meaty sausages. Or you’re craving bacon so badly that you’d happily wear its scent as perfume.

Despite the rarity of these items, a lack of affordable quality bread, and even more ridiculously priced butter, my friend Luke and I set out to make the ultimate brunch. Watch and salivate.

It’s bacon fat sizzle time!