Life and Style

I'm a little surprised that the question presumes that there is a correct way of eating sushi.

EATING OUT: Zen my brother-in-law arrived

NIPPON TUK; 165 Draycott Avenue, London SW3 1AJ. Tel: 0171 589 8464. Open from Monday to Saturday, midday to midnight. Basic set meal, pounds 9; average a la carte meal, pounds 15 per head. All credit cards accepted

TO FIND A SUITABLE SOY

To mark Chinese New Year, Michael Bateman organises a tasting of the Oriental condiment familiar to all - soy sauce. Distinguishing light from dark is the first step

I found out just in time that a Baiga was a snail kebab. For the squeamish, asking what things are is a must

Monique Roffey visits Yoahan Plaza, a space capsule masquerading as a Japanese supermarket

Canals provide channel for Midlands' renewal

Christian Wolmar looks at the transformation of Birmingham's waterfront

MASTER OF BONS

`Kaiseki', haute cuisine in miniature, is the art of Japanese chef Hirohisa Koyama. Michael Bateman met him

THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF KAISEKI COOKING

IT WOULD be very hard to replicate most of the creations of Chef Koyama in a British home; even if you were to buy a a set of four hocho knives (at £120 a time) it might be some years, even under expert tuition, before you could start to work his magic. However, not all Japanese knives (and Chinese wide-bladed chopping knives) cost a fortune, and they repay experimentation in the kitchen. It would also be hard to replicate many of the ingredients used by a Japanese Kaiseki chef. However, here is a short vocabulary of basic kitchen ingredients available in most Japanese stores - and Chinese ones, too.

All aboard the Orient express

THE JAPANESE CANTEEN 394 St John Street, London EC1 Tel: 0171-833 3222. Open seven days a week. Lunch 12 noon-2.30pm. Dinner 6-10.30pm Average price per person: £5 (without drinks). No credit cards

Escape tunnel from trash

The good, the bad and the culturally significant - how 1994 has changed life in Britain The national lottery is tasteless and culture-free. The British love it Soon we shall all be drawn south, feeling we are part of a single land mass

Popularity of raw fish 'poses hazard to health'

THE GROWING popularity of raw fish dishes such as sushi on restaurant menus could pose a health risk, doctors warned yesterday.

FOOD & DRINK / Eating Out: Land of the rising sum: TATSUSO, 32 Broadgate Circle, London EC2 2QS. Tel: 071-638 5863. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday. Closed weekends. Average menus start at around pounds 30 per person for lunch and pounds 50 for dinner. All credit cards accepted

LAST week I went to what has been nominated the third best restaurant in the country by a recently published restaurant guide. What? Better than Le Gavroche? Better than Manoir aux Quat'Saisons? I haven't been to either, but even I can see that the new Gault Millau Guide, the second British edition of a French publication, is either being deliberately controversial - or it has discovered somewhere pretty wonderful. It was an unusual nomination because the restaurant in question, Tatsuso, is almost completely unheard of. It's also Japanese.

BOOK REVIEW / Sushi and good red herrings: Dance, dance, dance - Haruki Murakami: Hamish Hamilton, pounds 9.99

HARUKI MURAKAMI is Japan's best-selling novelist. His books sell millions, not the mere hundreds of thousands that earn the label 'runaway success' for literary novels in the West. One reason for this may be that he speaks a language the post-war generation of Japanese, saturated in the Americana imported wholesale by the victorious occupiers of 1946, understand. He rejects the elegant formality and eroticised mysticism of his peers - Shusaku Endo, Kenzaburo Oe and Junchiro Tanizaki - in favour of a slangy, sardonic style punctuated with a roll call of American brand names. This, his fifth book to be translated into English, is the sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, a difficult-to-categorise metaphysical tease in which a young copywriter is recruited by a mysterious stranger to trace a sheep with supernatural powers.

EATING OUT / No raw deal in Little Tokyo: The Ajimura Japanese Restaurant

THE AJIMURA JAPANESE RESTAURANT; 51-53 Shelton Street, London WC2 9HE. Tel: 071-240 0178.

FOOD AND DRINK / Turning Japanese: There's an awful lot more to Japanese food than raw fish, as Michael Bateman discovered at a supermarket in north London. There are mugwort noodles, for a start

JAPANESE must be one of the world's most resistible cuisines. There are savoury dishes in France and Italy which one could describe as irresistible, and perhaps some puddings in Britain. What is there in Japan?

Shopping News: In a Jam

IN BRITAIN we feel it is a sorry jam which will not set. So most commercial jam-makers achieve rigid jam by adding pectin (from apples). Since the more pectin added, the less pure fruit needed, these jams often end up tasteless and dull. But what's so wrong with a runny jam if it tastes superb? The most expensive in France, Les Merveilles from Provence, is runny and sells alongside the best-selling quality jam, Bonne Maman, at twice the price.

From raw fish to sausage and beans

FOOD is a problem for many Japanese in Britain. Youngsters may be happy to eat steak and beefburgers, older people are not: they miss their noodle shops at lunchtime, and dislike dairy products.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
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Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
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Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

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Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
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Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried