origami exhibit narita airport 1c

Art Everywhere | The Art Of Folding Paper At Narita Airport

I can make a boat, some kids can make frogs and others can make cranes.  When I used to teach ESL, I had both Korean and Japanese students in my classroom who, one day, decided to make origami on their own for fun.

They were significantly younger than me but the precision in their angles and folds were impressively accurate (and neat)! They told me that once you make a single mistake that you want to undo, you have to throw the paper because it will look messy. No wonder, mine always shows so many errors!

Origami simply refers to the traditional art of folding paper.  No cuts, no glue.  Just pure discipline and clean lines.  While in transit en route to San Francisco, we found this on-going origami exhibit at the Narita Airport.

Such works of art reflect skill, creativity and, I believe, patience.  While most of us make origami to make one object or figure, the artists of this show used probably hundreds of little pieces of folded paper put together to make a three-dimensional display.

Do these characters look a bit familiar?

Here is Cinderella’s glass slipper and her pumpkin carriage before midnight.

And precious Little Red Riding Hood off to see grandma.

Spot the big, bad wolf?

I think having an art exhibit in an airport is a neat idea!  While walking around, it seems Narita has also installed art glass panels near the gates.  I totally forgot to explore the space because I was more preoccupied with food — but these provide a relaxing but vibrant respite for weary (and sometimes, bored) travelers preparing for their long journey.


chirashi don tomi sushi 2

See Food, Sea Food | Life With Tomi Sushi

One of the things I appreciate about Singapore is the wide availability of fresh and quality Japanese food!

Here’s one that I frequent in Millenia Walk: Tomi Sushi that serves fuss-free sushi and sashimi.

Hoo boy! Such a difficult post to make without working up an appetite :(

Ceci’s oyster tempura….
The hubby’s choice sashimi…
My tempura lunch with chawan mushi (steamed broth-based custard)…
Nice, golden battered pieces of shrimp, fish and vegetables…
Dionne’s succulent sashimi lunch…
Pretty food that is actually appetizing = love.
Melt-in-your mouth uni (sea urchin) — it REALLY tastes much better than it looks :) Sweet slivers of seafood if truly a fresh catch!!
…and Claire’s artful chirashi don.



mc donalds japan

Food Culture By Way Of Mc Donald’s :)

I’m not a big fan of fast food.

However, I find it fascinating how an American chain can reflect so much about a culture’s palate which is why I do make it a point to check the menu at Mc Donald’s in every part of the globe we travel to.

In Manila, we’ve got Mc Spaghetti (a red, sweet-salty pasta) and Longganisa Breakfast Meal (native sausage) served with garlic-vinegar on the side.

When my friend visited India, she ordered a Mc Veggie (sesame seed bun with veggie-meat patty).

Here in Singapore, a packet of chili garlic comes with any of the food you order.   With the nuggets and fries comes a choice packet of curry sauce (pretty good, I must say!).  Also, the Singapore menu has Teppanyaki Chicken Mc Grill (a teppanyaki-marinade grilled chicken patty in a nice soft bun) and Mc Spicy, a hot chicken chop sandwich very similar to the Mc Chicken.

In Japan, this is the menu we came across: the iCon Sandwich.

From what I can remember, the Diavolo is marinaded in a spicy brown sauce, while the Cheese Fondue and Carbonara Sandwich were patties dunked in a creamy sauce and stuffed in soft bread.  Curiosity got the better of the husband and he got himself the Cheese Fondue:

It was his happy meal of the day :)

okonomiyaki recipe 3

What Is Okonomiyaki? | From The Kitchen

After a trip to Kyoto, we discovered the wonders of okonomiyaki and searched for places that served it in Manila. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to scout around as we had to leave for Singapore as soon as we arrived so I thought I’d continue the search here instead.  The okonomiyaki is pretty much a Japanese pizza / pancake made mostly of vegetables.  It’s tasty, packed with flavors and, if done right, should make for a fairly healthy dish :)

I wanted to relive that our Kyoto trip by replicating the meal in my own kitchen and am quite fortunate that all Singapore groceries I’ve been to have an impressive selection of both Asian and Western ingredients.


1. In a bowl, mix 1 c. flour, 1 egg, 1/4 c.  dashi and 1/2 c water.  Mix into a smooth, semi-runny batter. Set aside.

2. While places can stuff the patties with scallops, beef, shrimp and other yummy things, I chose to keep it lean.  For this recipe, I used only minced chicken.  Marinade the meat in some homemade teriyaki sauce, adjusting the sauce with more ginger for a sharper taste.

3. Finely chop fresh cabbage, leeks then add into the batter along with 4 tbsp of *tempura crumbs.  Again, I didn’t measure but placed enough cabbage to turn the batter into a heavy but loose pancake-like batter.

My proportions of leeks to cabbage would be 2:3 approximately.

*I forgot to buy tempura crumbs and made my own by sprinkling some batter in very hot oil.

4. Heat a large, non-stick pan then adjust to medium fire. Cook the seasoned chicken for a minute then pour batter over it to form into a pancake. When bottom sets, use a spatula and flip. I didn’t have a standard spatula so I improvised by using a large butter knife and a flat slotted spoon :(

Adjust to low fire. Keep flipping the okonomiyaki until the sides brown.

5. Turn the fire off then slather with tonkatsu sauce (Bulldog brand) using a brush and top with Japanese mayonnaise.  Note that it’s crucial that one uses the Japanese kind to achieve the right flavor.  And yes, it tastes different.

Top with katsuboshi flakes (bonito flakes) and shredded seaweed.

Slice like a pizza, put onto your plate and enjoy.




(Reposted from my old blog: isuperlovelife.blogspot.com)

Kyoto grocery sign 2

Neighborhood Grocery In Kyoto | Art Everywhere

There was something very irresistible about this little grocery in an alley in Kyoto that my husband and I just had to go in.  From breads, crackers, chips, biscuits and candies, it was a treasure trove of fun things to eat.

We went home with a bit of a loot, some nice paper-thin cream wafers,  nori-wrapped rice crackers as well as some green-tea mochi (Japanese sticky rice cake shaped into balls).