Takumi Ramen in Antwerp

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Takumi

 

Of course right when we’re about to move ramen shops start opening in Antwerp! At least we were in time to try Takumi, a Sapporo-style ramen restaurant that just opened on the Marnixplaats! We met our friend Joachim who just returned to Belgium after traveling for almost a year. Glad we could catch up before Stockholm!

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Kaiseki New Year’s Eve Dinner

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2 glasses of Veuve Clicquot to start our evening

Koen and I see New Year’s Eve as a reason to indulge. Normally that means champagne, lobster, foie gras, and any other decadent food or ingredient we can think of – but this year we decided to challenge ourselves to create a kaiseki dinner for the two of us.

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London: Kanada-Ya

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Kanada-Ya

One of my favorite things about big, international cities like London is that you can find great food from almost any nationality. High on our list during this trip was ramen, so I researched some of the best restaurants and discovered Kanada-Ya. Originally found in Yukuhashi ont he southern island of Kyushu in Japan in 2009, a location was opened in London in 2014. For their famous tonkotsu, pork bones are simmered for 18 hours to create a delicious broth with homemade noodles that are made on site. Worth the 45 minute wait!

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Lisbon: SEA ME

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SEA ME

 

When looking up the best restaurants for seafood in Lisbon, you’ll find SEA ME – a Portuguese/Japanese fusion restaurant in Chiado. Because we love Japanese food, we really wanted to visit SEA ME! We discovered the restaurant a bit late in the trip, but luckily were able to secure a reservation our last night in Lisbon. I knew already a bit about the Portuguese-Japanese connection, because I watched a documentary about tempura in Japan, that it was introduced in the 16th century by the Portuguese living in Nagasaki.

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Les Saveurs de Yamada (Koen’s Birthday Dinner)

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Les Saveurs de Yamada

For Koen’s birthday, we decided to try Les Saveurs de Yamada, a Japanese restaurant specializing in Kaiseki Ryori. We had the pleasure of discovering kaiseki when we were in Kyoto in 2016 and were excited to discover we could experience it in Antwerp, as well!

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Christina and Rafaël Visit!

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Christina and Rafaël at the Christmas Market

I’m so happy my best friend is married to someone from the Netherlands. That means every once a while she’ll be closeby and we can see each other! Antwerp/New York City  is a long distance, but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed!

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Girls’ Night Out

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Hannah and me

This past weekend Koen was away in Rotterdam for a boys’ weekend, so I invited Hannah to come to Antwerp for a girls’ weekend! We planned for a delicious Japanese dinner at Osaka (edit – Osaka has since closed its doors after 20 years), followed by drinks at Dogma. The next morning we had a delicious breakfast at Lints, coffee at Caffènation, and then a walk in the Botanical Gardens to see the cacti! A great weekend!

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Animalia Amsterdam

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Dam Square

Koen and I were invited to the Animalia Amsterdam photo exhibition opening in Amsterdam. For over a year, Isabella Rozendaal photographed the pets of Amsterdam and they’re now on display in the Amsterdam City Archives from July 14th to September 3rd. Isabella is the sister-in-law of my best friend Christina and I’ve loved all the photos she’s posted on Facebook and Instagram, so Koen and I were excited to see the prints in person! We also bought her book!

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Roji: Celebrating my finished thesis!

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Roji

Finished! Finally finished! After three months of no free time – researching and writing in the evenings after work and on my days off – my thesis is completed! One step closer to my MBA!

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Tonkotsu Ramen

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Tonkotsu Ramen

One of my favorite dishes while in Japan was tonkotsu ramen. “Tonkotsu” means “pork bones” in Japanese. The dish is aptly named, because the broth is made by boiling pork bones for almost an entire day. When Koen decided to make the dish, it took an entire weekend to prepare!

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