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.
Ever since we’ve been back from Japan, we can’t help but crave the Japanese kitchen. One night we had friends over for soba dipping noodles and tempura veggies and started discussing the best Japanese restaurants in Antwerp. When Izumi came up, there was disbelief that we hadn’t been there already. So we set a date!
The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is the largest and busiest fish market in the world. The market opens most mornings at 3AM, so it’s recommended to visit when you first arrive and are still jet lagged. So we headed to Tsukiji for a sushi breakfast on our first full day!
Sinterklaas is a special holiday celebrated in the beginning of December in the Netherlands and Belgium. I love drawing a name and writing poems and creating the “surprise”, or handmade gift that embodies some attribute of the person. It makes it that much more special than just giving a gift because of the time and effort spent.
Last month Chris and Hannah got married! After more than 10 years together, they finally tied the knot! Koen and I wanted to do something special for them, so we came up with the idea of a Sushi Workshop Bridal Shower – a honeymoon theme because Chris and Hannah were leaving for Japan after the wedding. Bridal showers are traditionally only done in the United States and United Kingdom, so we wanted to bring our version to the Netherlands – a fun way to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of our good friends!
Normally while my parents are visiting, we explore Belgium and the Netherlands but this time we ventured into Germany to Düsseldorf! We stayed one night and spent the two days exploring the Altstadt (Old City), Köningsallee, and Japanese Quarter and enjoying a Rhine River cruise. Düsseldorf is famous for its altbier “a hoppy beer which translates as old [style] beer, a reference to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales”. There are 5 microbreweries located in the Altstadt which also serve traditional German cuisine – so that was our first stop – to Zum Schlüssel. After a huge lunch, Koen and I visited the Kunstsammlung K20 for a really great exhibition called Kandinsky, Malevich, Mondrian: The Infinite White Abyss which explores the use of blank canvas in the artists’ work. My parents explored a few churches before visiting the museum across from ours, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf for the Smart New World exhibition which wasn’t quite what my parents’ expected… A bit too contemporary for them! Afterwards we stopped for another altbier at the microbrewery Uerige. Then we walked to the Japanese Quarter for dinner.
It just so happens that when we arrived Düsseldorf was celebrating Japan Day, so there were a lot of visitors dressed up throughout the city – I think we saw at least 10 pikachus! Why a Japanese Quarter and Japan Day? Düsseldorf has the largest Japanese population in Europe. It was sooo busy and it wasn’t until we arrived in the Japanese Quarter that we realized there was a holiday taking place. We had already walked 30 minutes and were in the mood for sushi – all of the places were packed!! In the end we were able to eat while a huge line waited to be let in. A great first day!
Now that we had explored a lot of Manhattan, we decided on day 11 to meet up with some friends in Brooklyn. We met up with our friend Matt in Brooklyn to see another side of NYC. First we explored Williamsburg, walking around and stopping at the park to look at the view of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge. Matt also took us to Five Leaves where I of course ordered a Brooklyn beer, because it was only fitting. For dinner we headed to Bushwick to meet Danny at Arepera Guacuco and I tried arepas for the first time! After dinner we met up with my friend Meredith for drinks in Bushwick.
I wanted to find a recipe so I could use some leftover quinoa I had on hand. I decided to look up recipes on My New Roots, because I had used the site for the Chickpea Wraps, and I knew that would be my best bet for a healthy unique recipe! I was so excited when I found the Quinoa Spring Sushi + DIY Quick-Pickled Ginger! The sushi rolls and pickled ginger were easy to make and the results were so fresh and delicious! I will never buy store-bought pickled ginger again – there’s no comparison!