The UM Reader

February 10, 2017

The Umami Reader: Matcha Curry, Genius or Gross?

by Sarah Han

– No, that curry hasn’t gone bad; it’s supposed to be green. Itokyuemon, a Kyoto tea seller, makes matcha green tea curry, ready-made and packaged in vacuum-sealed pouches. The curry roux is produced with Uji matcha, a prized, ceremonial-grade variety of green tea powder. Apparently, although it smells like normal Japanese curry, it has that signature matcha bitterness. (Rocket […]

February 3, 2017

The Umami Reader: Kit Kat Sushi is Real

by Sarah Han

– In celebration of its new specialty store in Tokyo, Kit Kat made limited-edition sushi Kit Kats. Sounds gross? If you were worried about fish-flavored candy, you can rest easy that these sushi-shaped confections will taste more like fruity chocolates, rather than actual sushi. The Kit Kat sushi will come shaped like three different nigiri pieces: […]

January 27, 2017

The Umami Reader: 3rd Wave Green Tea Is a Thing in Tokyo

by Sarah Han

– Move over coffee, green tea is the caffeinated beverage of 2017. It’s not too surprising that Tokyo is at the helm of the so-called 3rd wave green tea movement and home of the world’s first pour-over green tea cafe. Tokyo Saryo, located in the Sangenjaya neighborhood, opened on January 5 this year. It specializes in single origin sencha, and encourages […]

January 13, 2017

The Umami Reader: Would You Wait 8 Hours in the Rain for Pliny the Younger?

by Sarah Han

– Calling all beer nerds: Pliny the Younger, Russian River Brewing Company’s beloved triple IPA with a 10.25% ABV, is coming back to the brewery’s taps on February 3-16. For the last 14 years, this seasonal favorite has been brewed once a year and released on the first Friday in February. It will be available […]

January 6, 2017

The Umami Reader: NY Times Critic Slams Oakland’s Locol

by Sarah Han

– New York Times food critic Pete Wells visited Oakland and reviewed Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi’s fast-food chain, Locol. He gave Locol zero stars, explaining, “What I didn’t expect before I ate at the branch here was that the big problem would turn out to be the food.” Wells dissed the Chili Bowl (“This […]

December 30, 2016

The Umami Reader: iPads as Plates, This is San Francisco

by Sarah Han

– OK, yes, the Bay Area is the epicenter of tech, but this doesn’t mean we need to literally eat off of iPads here. San Francisco’s Quince serves “A Dog in Search of Gold,” a dish of white truffle croquettes, on an iPad Pro that’s playing a video of dogs searching for truffles. iRoll. (Eater) – There’s a […]

December 23, 2016

The Umami Reader: A Rock’n’Roll Travel Guide to Osaka

by Sarah Han

– Heading to Osaka? Be sure to watch this video travel guide by my friends Chris Anderson and Lily Chou, whose latest edition of JetLag RocknRoll explores where to eat, drink, shop, see shows, and sightsee in Osaka, based on the suggestions of local musicians Kenji Kodama (Time Bomb Records) and the King Brothers. (JetLag RocknRoll) – There’s […]

December 16, 2016

The Umami Reader: Try This Instant Ramen Hack

by Sarah Han

– If Ichiban and Cup Noodles are regulars in your culinary repertoire and you’re looking for new ways to jazz up your instant ramen fix, here’s a suggestion for you: Just add sake. According to JapanToday, the latest trend in Japan is to add about a tablespoon of sake to instant ramen. And the results […]

December 9, 2016

The Umami Reader: This Is Why Brown Rice Sushi Isn’t a Good Idea

by Sarah Han

– Just say no to brown rice sushi rolls. At least, if you truly want to eat sushi as it was meant to be savored, with the fish taking center stage. And this isn’t just sushi snobbery talking, this is science-backed fact! Ole Mouritsen, a biophysicist at the University of Southern Denmark and co-author of Mouthfeel explains […]

December 2, 2016

The Umami Reader: The Taco Bell Cheetos Quesadilla and Other Food Monstrosities

by Sarah Han

– Fast food chains will release one-off products in other countries that we’ll never see on menus in the States. The Shrimp Fireo at McDonald’s in Japan, the Bulgogi Whopper at Burger King in Korea, the Dry Pork and Seaweed Donut at Dunkin’ Donuts in China, the Shoarma Pizza at Pizza Hut in the Netherlands – we will never taste these bizarro […]