Wednesday 17 November 2010

Mikuni Sushi - Davis, CA

I am a complete novice when it comes to sushi. It is one food that I am not familiar with at all, yet very intrigued by. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had only ever tried sushi in a plastic box from a supermarket shelf! So it's no surprise that I felt completely overwhelmed after my first sushi restaurant experience. It was at Mikuni in downtown Davis during my first week here in California.

In one of my lectures, I learnt that the Japanese use over 400 words to describe the texture of food, which is a staggering number compared with 78 words for the USA. Some of the most popular Japanese texture words included slippery, creamy and chewy (which can be related to sushi). This information can lead us to believe that the Japanese have a huge variety of textures in their foods that the rest of the world is afraid of or just not used to.

I started the meal with a miso soup...

...followed by sharing some flaming 'shrooms - mushrooms stuffed with crab mix, cream cheese, jalapeƱo, lightly fried, drizzled with a special sauce and topped with shaved bonito flakes. These were delicious and very different to anything I have ever had before.

I chose the Spicy Johnny Roll as I enjoyed it so much on my first visit - deep fried shrimp, spicy tuna, eel, avocado, masago (orange fish eggs) and onion. The tuna was raw and the eel was cooked which was the perfect balance for me - an explosion of gorgeous salty fishy flavours and an interesting variety of textures.

Our side of noodles had two pieces of cold crab on top... which seemed rather separated from the rest of the dish and perhaps a little lost...!

To complete the meal... a delicious (if a little small) lava cake for dessert.

My second visit to Mikuni did not live up to my first. This has happened to me a few times with restaurant experiences. I guess I must exaggerate the first visit in my head each time! It's still the best sushi I have ever had.... so far anyway!

Wednesday 10 November 2010

A Spot of Pudding at Ciocolat

So one afternoon I found myself with a powerful urge to eat something sugary and fattening. This was probably due to the fact that I'd spent a rather long time glued to my laptop browsing food blogs. What did I do about this strong feeling inside? Well, I went to Ciocolat of course! (I would like to clarify that I was not alone, although I'm sure that it wouldn't surprise many people if I was...)

Chocolate decadence cake with a touch of espresso... rich and seductive. $4.75

Chocolate mousse cake with candied pecans (I think!)... Smooth and creamy. $4.75
I think I would prefer this without the layers of chocolate cake in between, however, this would probably make it just a chocolate mousse which we also ordered....

A small milk chocolate mousse - because it looked cute! $2.50

And a white one - so we would get equally fat! $2.50

Again, I did not enjoy the layer of cake on the bottom. It felt like a slice of plastic bread, but the mousse was nice.

Overall, they were not the most perfect desserts and I think that my cappuccino cup felt a little lost without a saucer. Also, we were asked to collect our drinks from the counter instead of the staff delivering them to our table... but that's just me being snobby and particular I guess! My pudding craving was was definitely satisfied, so mission accomplished!

Saturday 6 November 2010

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Everything over here seems to be coated, flavoured or stuffed with peanut butter and, fortunately, I love the stuff! Whether these babies are white, milk or dark chocolate, they hit a certain spot on my palate like no other candy.

As a food "snob", it may seem absurd that I am addicted to something rather... inferior?! It is difficult to find good quality chocolate in America and I admit that Hershey's does have a texture that I can only compare with plastic. However, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups seem to have got the better of me and hey, a girl's gotta have her chocolate some way or another hasn't she?!

So Reese's, thank you for dominating American candy stores and feeding my chocolate obsession. Yum, indeed.