Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Tang’s Japanese Restaurant in the Old Town

You can reach Tang’s Japanese Restaurant in the old town of Edinburgh by walking up or down this little street, Granny’s Green Steps, that has a view of the Edinburgh Castle. I skipped and hopped down the steps after visiting Tang’s. Interestingly Tang is a Chinese surname – so a Chinese person must have opened a Japanese restaurant. The staff was multi-cultural with new Japanese immigrants and natives. It was a chilly August day (in the mid 50s) and I went in for some hot noodles to keep warm.
The steps. Isn’t this beautiful? The scenery made me feel alive and happy. The sun was shining and my heart was singing. The wonders of traveling to a distance land.A pot of delicious and hot Hoji tea. Mmm. Mmm. Aaaaah.Salmon roe, tuna, mackerel, and octopus. Can’t beat this other than adding more wasabi to the plate.Hell Ramen: Very spicy and rich, soy sauce-based pork stock and noodles topped with 2 slices of melt-in-the-mouth pork belly, spinach, nori seaweed, bean sprouts and spring onions.

I was in Edinburgh, Scotland and didn’t expect to be eating Japanese food. It was the best thing that I did for myself. There was something about eating spicy ramen on a cold day, looking out the window watching the tourists passing by, and listening to an incredible story of eating freshly-caught mackerel from Ireland. There was something about walking under the sun in a summer dress, feeling the warmth of the sun hitting my face and feeling the world is all mine.

Loved Tang’s Japanese Restaurant. Loved the fresh sashimi. Loved the ramen. Loved the Hoji tea. Brought back memories of another time…

This experience took place at

Tang’s Japanese Restaurant

44 Candlemaker Row
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2QE
Tel: +44 0131 220 5000 (Tang’s)
E-mail : tangsrestaurant@yahoo.co.uk

Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Patisserie Valerie and My Ménage à Trois of Desserts

I love desserts, especially anything chocolaty. Since I was in Europe where some of my favorite desserts come from, I went and investigated the dessert scenes in Edinburgh. Patisserie Valerie is a chain bakery and I visited one on Rose Street (next to the famous pub Rose & Crown) in the Edinburgh town center. I was a bit hesitant when I saw only this display case of cakes. Was not terribly impressed.These are my selections. From left to right: tiramisu, chocolate mousse, and double chocolate cake. This is my ménage à trois of desserts where both chocolate cakes triumphed. The chocolates were dark and not repulsively sweet like the Godiva. The mousse had the perfect texture- beaten just soft and fluffy enough to caress with a lingering sweet aftertaste. The double chocolate cake was perfect in taste- the spongy dark Belgium chocolate cake portion coupled with smooth/soft cream puff on top played well off each other.As life would have it, the fire alarm went off at 1:43am in the morning in the hotel while I was enjoying my cakes. I got myself out of the room after my call to the front desk went unanswered. The customer service at the Apex Waterloo Palace Hotel was not excellent. Furthermore, both their paid search and organic research results are currently linking to a runtime error page. Obviously their digital marketing efforts also sucked.

Definitely check out Patisserie Valerie when visiting Edinburgh but not the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel.  Patisserie Valerie is well worth a stop and a cup of tea.

This experience took place at

Patisserie Valerie
158-162 Rose Street
Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 3JD
+411 0131 2201336

Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Porridge and Crumpets for Breakfast. Happy Hump Day! 

On this September morning of Yom Kippur, I recall the warm breakfast experience I had at Edinburgh, Scotland. Porridge and crumpets! Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day – hmm, for me, every meal is important but I especially enjoy breakfast. It signifies a new beginning and I get to decide how I fuel my engine. There is nothing better than combining an excellent workout with a sumptuous breakfast. Good morning, world!
Traditional Scottish Porridge – I was jet lagged when I had this. Just arrived at Edinburgh in the morning after seven hours in the air with little sleep overnight. This was made with water. Honey, cinnamon, and sultana raisins were added. It felt like the most perfect breakfast at that time. This took place at a little place called Deacon’s House Cafe, next to St. Giles’ Cathedral.Plain porridge from the Apex Waterloo Hotel. You needed to add spices to make this more interesting.
Crumpets from the Apex Waterloo Hotel’s continental breakfast. Love it. Wish there are crumpets like these near where I live. My last crumpet experience was those from Trader’s Joe’s. It is no comparison. These crumpets from Edinburgh win. Put a little butter and blackberry jam on the crumpets. Yum. Yum. Yum.
My other selections from the continental breakfast. Apex Waterloo Hotel has some great attributes such as this. But they also suck at handling emergencies. There was a fire alarm at 1:43am one night… There was inability to accommodate my extended stay due to a cancelled flight and made no effort to even assist. Poor poor customer service. The Scottish people much like the Asians in Asia seem to be so in the box. They recited the rules to me and just waited for me to agree. Laughable indeed.

To warp this up, I love the Scottish porridge and British crumpets for breakfast. Highly recommend both places for breakfast. Writing of this post makes me really hungry… I am going to make myself a nice English muffin with peanut butter or blackberry jam now.

Happy Yom Kippur. Happy Wednesday. And Happy Hump Day!

This experience took place at

Deacon House Cafe
304 Lawnmarket, Old Town,
Edinburgh EH1 2PS, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 131 226 1894

Apex Waterloo Hotel
23-27 Waterloo Place
Edinburgh EH1 3BH, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 131 523 1819

Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Sights and Sounds

Sights and video clips around Edinburgh, Scotland. St Giles’ CathedralEdinburgh Castle Random street cornerOrgan in St. GilesLove this red police box containing the cash machine. Reminds me of Dr Who.Rose & Crown, a famous pub in center of town. Great haggis! Same as in NYC, full of life and spite.Ferries wheels and cute taxicabsOld town. So European and so familiar.

A clip of a bagpipe player on the street during the Festivals

A band playing on Saturday night. The pub is jammed with people of all ages, singing and swaying to the music. The sense of community and the flowing beer. And me really sticking out as the only Asian there.

Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Fishers in the City. Best Oysters, How I’ve Waited for You All My Life.

Fishers were recommended by the cabbie. He said a lot to me in the taxi from the airport to the hotel but I understood little- I have trouble with accents even though I have a slight one myself. One thing I understood is that Fishers has great seafood if I want a non-pub experience. In addition, my friend, Ruth, who lived in UK has highly recommended the oysters in Scotland. There I was, counting myself as a lover of oysters and walking into the best oysters of my life. #OysterLove The kitchenPacific Rock Oysters Loch Creran, Dunbeg, Scotland Natural Shallot vinegar. Elyssa/Lisa- Best oysters ever! Half dozen £11.50 Nine £17.00 Dozen £22.00. It’s the water’ it’s the ecology in the water. Of course, oysters must be fresh otherwise eating them raw would get you sick. But these oysters take freshness to the next level. They taste clean, juicy, slightly salty and briny. This is really not something that I can describe accurately. This is something that must be experienced.  #LochCreranOysters

The shallot vinegar was something else completely; I was drinking it by the spoon-full. The carnage. Home smoked Venison, Arbroath smokie mayonnaise, haggis bon bons £8.50 Honestly, the oysters were so good that I don’t remember how this dish was. I vaguely recall the fried haggis bon bons were awesome with the mayo.
Chilled Scottish Seafood Platter: Lime & ginger hot smoked salmon, sliced gravadlax, damson & gin cured salmon carpaccio of Monkfish, crayfish salsa, pickled sweet onion, brown shrimp & rocket salad, ciabatta bread £10.00 /£19.50 . Are you kidding me?  I don’t know why I ordered salmon and monkfish after the best oysters ever. They paled in comparison to the oysters.

Just for the oysters and the haggis (read my haggis post here), I will fly the seven hours to Edinbrugh again. These Loch Creran oysters are the best I have ever had in my life. #Oysters  The world really is my oyster.

Read my prior oysters experiences below so that you know I am not a newbie to oysters. And the number next to each of the posts indicates their ranking of the oyster excellence. It’s obvious that the closer the restaurant to where the oysters are bred, the better the eating.

  1. Oysters! Elm Street Oyster House in Greenwich, CT
  2. Wanderlust – Goombays Grille & Raw Bar in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  Solved My Small Appetite Problem.
  3. La Boite Huitres, The Oyster Box, at the Marché Jean-Talon in Montreal
  4. Psari Seafood Restaurant in Long Island City, NY- Extremely Fresh Seafood, Pleasing Oysters and Clams
  5. Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish in North Salem, NY – Celebrating a New Beginning and Old Friendships. Oysters and Scallops!
  6. Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant in NYC – A Slice of Heaven
  7. Ten Twenty Post in Darien CT – Oysters! Oysters! Oysters!

This experience took place at

Fishers

58 Thistle Street
Edinburgh EH2 1EN,UK
Tel: +44 0131 225 5109

Wanderlust Edinburgh, Scotland- Haggis! Sheep’s Pluck… Heart, Liver, Lungs, Brain and more

When I was leaving for Edinburgh, I was not sure what kind of food adventure I would have. After all, it’s Scotland and I have not heard great things about food in the UK. But a friend assured me that Scotland has come a long way since that common perception. Boy, was I in for a huge surprise. After four days in Edinburgh, I now consider Haggis, Scotland’s national dish, as one of my favorite foods! #Haggis

Haggis, according to the locals, is made from all things sheep: heart, lungs, liver, brain, stomach, and intestines. Sounds a bit off-putting, right? No way. Everything is grounded up, seasoned beautifully depending on where it’s made. There is the whisky sauce; there is the pepper sauce; there is no sauce and just down right yummy. I was a complete Haggis whore. I loved it. I can totally see why Scotland has giant men and women. This is food for the giants: tasty and nourishing.
The brown cake at upper right corner is the Haggis. This is breakfast Haggis from the Elliot Restaurant & Bar at the Apex Waterloo Hotel (1) in the quieter part of Edinburgh. £13.95 for Continental Breakfast with Haggis.
This is Haggis sitting on top of mashed potatoes (tatties) with pepper sauce from the Rose & Crown Pub (2) in the center of Edinburgh. £6.95
This is divine Haggis on top of mashed turnips and tatties with the whisky sauce from Black Bull Pub (3) in the old town.  £8.75
Hiding under the toasts are Haggis from Gathering Restaurant & Lounge (4) in the Edinburgh Airport. £9.50

You see, I had Haggis in all kind of places. There was little research done on where I should go for Haggis but it was always excellent and mouth-watering. Listen, Haggis is nothing to be afraid of. It looks like meatloaf. The texture tastes a bit like meatloaf but better, crunchier and more moist. The flavor is outstanding (and to die for). I was told that the Haggis from Hadrian’s in the Balmoral Hotel on Prince Street is the best for fancy eating but the idiotic restaurant and the concierge would not let me do a take out. The Scots definitely live inside the box.

Regardless… the Scots sure know their Haggis and know how to satisfy. Haggis is now on my last meal list. It was such a memorable and delicious experience.

I LOVE HAGGIS. #LoveHaggis

This experience took place at

      1. Elliot’s Restaurant & Bar @ Apex Waterloo Hotel
        23-27 Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3BH UK | +44 131 523 1660
      2. Rose & Crown
        170 Rose St, West End, Edinburgh EH2 4BA, United Kingdom | +44 131 225 4039
      3. Black Bull Pub
        12 Grassmarket, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2JU, United Kingdom | +44 131 225 6636
      4. Gathering Restaurant & Lounge
        Edinburgh Airport after security | +44 0131 333 0864

Wanderlust Edinburgh- Departing Tonight

I am at the Newark Airport, waiting to depart for Edinburgh, Scotland. This is going to be a quickie trip, in and out in short three days. I hope to see the castle, hear the cute Scottish accent, eat Haggis, and try the world famous Whiskey.

Isn’t this cool? I’m having Banh Mi sandwich for dinner. I love New York!

image

Come with me in the next few days and find out what Edinburgh is all about. Wanderlust continues for the gypsy.