January detox

Post-France AKA the land of delicious dessert, I really need to get back to my normal figure so those yoga classes have come in handy. After a week of no dairy, I feel lighter having lost just over 3 kilos and my skin was looking good. On Saturday, I enjoyed the most delightful afternoon tea and then my skin erupted after all the cream and butter. On Wednesday, I have an appointment with a specialist to check for allergies and I am so afraid that she’ll confirm what I already know: I have a dairy intolerance. I’d be so sad. A drastic lifestyle change may just be on the cards.  Anyway…

I woke up this morning and decided to cut all processed food from my diet including sugar and dairy. Gillian McKeith, eat your heart out! I started with my favourite breakfast: two bowls of rice, umeboshi (pickled plum), natto (fermented soya beans) and nori and a pot of Gyokuro tea (high-grade Japanese green tea) et voilà, I’m well on my way to detoxing. As the afternoon progressed, I consumed a lot of herbal tea and water with lemon. I had a large salad for lunch: cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, baby spinach, avocado and cucumber with an extra olive oil, one crushed garlic and apple cider vinegar dressing. If there was only one thing I could eat, it would be salad. So fresh, healthy and tasty.

Come early evening, my head was killing me and Jelly Tots, sticky toffee pudding and well, pretty much anything with sugar filled my mind. Instead, I juiced beetroot, carrot, lemon and ginger, which is ridiculously sweet and kills those sugar cravings instantly. Have you ever juiced fresh beetroot? Not only is it nutritionally dense, it is so full of flavour. The perfect dinner/dessert to end detox day #1. I still have a killer headache so a hot shower and bed for this wee detoxer. 

Have you ever detoxed?  What did you experience? Best and worse parts?

A Bowl Of Rice Chez Moi

This morning I was able to sleep as late as I wanted knowing that I had nothing to do except meet a friend for dinner later this evening. And by “sleep as late as I wanted…” I mean until 0745! I tell you, my inability to sleep after 0800 is a real hindrance to my laziness!

I cooked some rice and served it with salmon, nattō (God I love this stuff!), umeboshi and tsukudani-kombu, which is essentially kelp but I’m not sure of the precise name in English. I’ve run out of dashi, hence the missing miso soup, and this chick doesn’t do that instant crap. I opted for a pot of matcha. Yes, the Japanese and the Brits share a love of tea, which explains why we get along so well!

7 hours after having breakfast (and only a pot of nettle tea since), I’m still not hungry, which is great for my figure but doesn’t bode well for my dinner plans. Did I mention that Japanese is on the menu this evening as well? Oh I cannot wait: good girl chat and authentic Japanese cuisine! Sign me up!

What did you have for breakfast this morning?  

PS – researching for a trip to Italy this summer. 

Udon Noodles at Kunitoraya, Paris

Now you know a Japanese restaurant is good when a. the menu is in Japanese and b. Japanese people queue to get a taste of home.  This was the first time I had ever queued for a restaurant but my goodness, Kunitoraya was worth it!  I met up with my lovely friend Iku for lunch at Toraya.  Unfortunately, it was closed without explanation which is not very cool by the way…  Anyway, we walked through the lovely streets of Paris to rue Sainte-Anne, which should probably be renamed “rue Japon”…

Iku ordered a cold udon noodle dish with natto (quite possibly the most delicious Japanese product after maccha) and a raw quail egg (image 2).  I ordered a hot udon soup with tempura, which was so tasty that I’m been unable to stop thinking about it!  Prior to living in Japan, I had tasted tempura at many restaurants but always found it rather heavy and bland.  When I moved to Japan, boy did things change!  The real thing is light, fluffy and hard to believe that it is cooked in oil.

Our lunch at Kunitoraya was like a trip to Japan without the jet-lag or airfare.  Food-wise, it was perfection!  The best udon noodles in the west!  Service was something else…  In France, you can order a pot of tea/a coffee and stay in a restaurant for 5 hours, so you can imagine our displeasure at having our bowls, glasses, chopsticks removed before we had even finished the food in our mouths.  This is very Japanese, and highly acceptable in Tokyo where things moved at 10 x the speed of Paris.  We ate lunch in Paris, so not so acceptable.  That said, it was a wonderful lunch!

Tea at Toraya

Telling you that I love all things Japanese would just be like telling you my name is Milla. Old news. Last Thursday, Paris surprised me; not only did I meet a very nice Japanese lady, we also had a chance to sit and talk at Toraya, which is now officially my favourite resto in Paris.
I ate 2 small macarons: 1 with kinako (grilled soya) and one with ogura (sweetened aduki bean paste) with a pot of hoji-cha (roasted green tea). Oh my… When people talk about food being as good as sex, I will know that they’ve been to Toraya!

The one downside, and apologies for being a snob, is that the staff were French. For a place selling such authentic Japanese products, I would have preferred Japanese staff.

Food: 10/10

Service: 9/10

Ambiance: 8/10

(I then went on to discover Book-off, a place which one can only describe as literature heaven and Milla’s second home! Nothing but Japanese books and magazines. Did you know that Vogue Nippon cost €15? No people, I’m not kidding! Needless to say, I didn’t purchase a copy. I was showed an aisle with old Japanese magazines for children, cooking, house care and oui, fashion AND all for €2. I bought 2 and look forward to enjoying them with a little green tea and yokan. ありがとう菜穂子)