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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