Camino

We often build places up (or in my case, tear them down) in our heads long before we end up there – and this gravely influences the way we perceive them. When upset or just feeling bitchy, we tend to notice all the cracks and the sloppy service – and vice versa when we’re in a good mood. A good critic is aware of those biases and attempts to shut them out.

Shutting out biases about my hometown is not as easy as I would like to think.

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Beyond the Misty Peak

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After nearly missing my flight back home, I had been ambushed by my family’s intent to go in the mountains. Little did I know what was in for me, so I said “yes”. I always maintain that my country has amazing views and nature, wouldn’t it be strange if I refused to go see them?

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Home for a while

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I haven’t posted in some while, due to me coming back home for a quick visit. Have been visiting grandparents and what not, so I’m just going to give you some pictures and then have a nice big post when I get back to London.
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Second passion – Food & Restaurants

Food is amazing. Good food is even better.

Many a times I flirted with the idea of becoming a professional cook – or having my own restaurant. It might still happen in the future, who knows. Yet I still enjoy making great meals at home, going to restaurants and bitching about how horrible it is and going out and eating great food and then, a small part inside me dies as I know I will not become one of the cooks that make you love food.

Enough of my sob stories, some of my preferences: I very much enjoy Asian food, especially Japanese. Not a big fan of Indian food or anything too spicy. Gordon Ramsay could write the Culinary Bible but what’s his name… Jamie Olliver, is not a cook. Hate him. On that account, how can any cook with any self esteem start a frozen food product line? Shameful.

What I will try to do is write little reviews of Restaurants where I go an eat but also maybe publish some recipes when I cook.

So let’s start with this years first Restaurant visited:

Nobori

Location: Plopilor Street, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Cuisine: Japanese

Ambience:

So I get quite picky when restaurants have themes. If you choose to have a specific cuisine, then in the name of Baby Jesus, you have to stick to that culture.

Granted, Japanese can be modern as well – I could picture a neo-Tokyo like atmosphere and such. Or a more stylish, elegant Japanese restaurant. But some people should just understand elegant and rustic are two different concepts.

If a Japanese would enter this restaurant, a little part of him will die. In the attempt to seem stylish (or is it just lazy?), the atmosphere is all wrong. The tables are too big for the number of people they intend to accommodate, there is too much empty space and frankly the walls are horrible. The consequence is that it is neither cosy nor is it elegant, instead it gives the feeling of desolation.

And if it was at least some kind of Japanese desolation, but no. The music was at first simply random radio (god-forbid Japanese radio), the dining-ware was also too western and not at all inspired. It also doesn’t fit with what you serve.

Is it really difficult to create at least something Zen-like and pass it as Japanese? Oh and by the way, the blouses worn by the staff are Chinese. Never-mind geographical accuracy.

Service:

So I gotta start here about incompetence; the menu offered only 3 different Ramen dishes. Which is fine, one would have been enough. Now, these dishes were: Miso Ramen, Curry Ramen, Tempura Ramen.

Firstly, Miso and Ramen are two different soups. Yes, I know that Miso is essentially a paste and you could mix it, but it’s like offering me “Tomato Chicken Soup”. It’s weird and I have never seen this. But fine, I’ll let it slide. Thing is, I myself hate Miso, and the other two soups didn’t have meat in them, so I politely asked if I could have the Miso Ramen without the Miso. The answer from the cook was: no. Why? Is it so hard not to put Miso paste in my Ramen? Since the other two soups didn’t have Miso, why can’t I just have some normal Pork Ramen?

Also in the section dubbed “Vegetables”, the Tempura mix contained, to my enlightenment, shrimp.

Food:

It looked nice. At first. But then the Tempura Ramen was some kind of flavoured water with dough floating all over it and with just one piece of tempura eggplant and two shrimp tempura. The noodles where much too thin for a Ramen soup, and once I had eaten half it was all filled with disgusting little dough pieces.

The fried noodles my friend ate were too sweat – for food, nonetheless Japanese cuisine – and they had a big pile of green leaves on them. They tasted horrible. What would Gordon say?…

Grade: Fail

It was frankly a disappointment; bad food, horrible atmosphere and sincerely over-priced.