Mid season

· Fashion

The weather of the past few days has been quite confusing, and I’ve found it hard to choose my outfit: always the same mid-season issue (we have to admit, it’s a bit early).

Having a smaller wardrobe is actually also convenient as I can keep the 4 seasons clothes ready-to-wear, which is perfect to mix mid-season clothes without looking up too far in my apartment (or my cellar). So here is un example of outfit that I was able to wear the past few days (before the rain).

The idea is to mix a warm piece of cloth with a lighter one and we are all good. Once again, you’ll be able to find a few elements you’ve already seen in my wardrobe:

  • This Zara blazer : nothing to say quality wise… with this peacoat it’s the only two pieces of gold from this temple of Fast Fashion that I kept from my big clothes sorting.
  • This Close jumper : likewise, the quality has remained the same after a lot of laundry (wool program obviously) and I am sorry the website MSR closed down (even though I think the brand Close is available at Monoprix)
  • These Topshop mom jeans : durability and quality since 2014 (it has this laid back touch and can match with everything)
  • This Sézane bag : not on sale anymore but I still love the vintage style and it’s super convenient. From my experience from Sézane, I can assure that the quality of the bags is great (at least the ones I have!). I am more hesitant about the shoes that always end up being not that confortable on my feet.

 

My winter investment

And the “newbies” for my feet, these Mary janes from Carel I had an eye on since I saw my dear Alexa Chung wearing them in every situation. I thought that if she wears them all the time, it means that they must be confortable: indeed the size of the heel, the patent leather and this Italian manufacture were already quite promising.

So I jump on the opportunity of this discounted price during the sales. A nice pair of red shoes, with a pretty red, with heels AND confortable, we can’t find that easily… and I don’t regret this investment.

I was able to walk a whole afternoon without any problem but I will keep you updated to know if they really worth the investment. As for now, I am convinced by their softness and design.

I hope you will enjoy this kind of article, in which I tell you in details about the clothes I have and pieces in which I am considering to invest. Always keeping in mind that my wardrobe must remain small, durable and optimal. It takes time to only have on hand quality pieces but I like the idea of being on the good path. (English translation by Quiterie)


My Outfit

Blazer Zara (already seen here and here)
Jumper Close (already seen here)
Mom jeans Topshop (already seen here and here)
Shoes “Kina” Carel
Bag Sézane (already seen here and here)

Necklace Minetta Jewellery
Earrings Young Frankk (already seen here)
Bracelet Tiffany & Co
Watch Cluse

« Volume russe » Eyelashes extensions Les cils de Marie (already seen here)

(Some links are affiliate links)

Kawamoto

· Food, Illustration

It’s been a long time since I shared with you a nice spot to eat Japanese in the capital! Indeed, I am quite picky and the quest is long but I am happy that I found this one as it’s really worth to try.

It’s not easy to always find constant quality food but this one I went back 4 times (yes, I admit!) to be 100% sure… with a ratio quality vs. price very convincing: what could be better?

 

A piece of Japan near Bastille

A found this little spot with only a few tables in the middle of de la Roquette street. So I would advise you to book in advance. I myself tried a few times to get inside unannounced but with no luck.

The owners are a couple of Japanese: one of them was Chef at the Parisian address Kinugawa (I already told you about it here) but also in another gastronomic restaurant called Tankuma in Kyoto… already pretty promising, isn’t it?

 

Lunch menu

Starters and melting eggplant with miso sauce

 

Let’s start by the most important: what’s on the plate! If you would like to pay a rather fair price, you’d better come for lunch time even though night time portions are bigger (but obviously more expensive – starting from 45€). Otherwise, you can also choose dishes A La Carte (about 20€ for main dishes).

The lunch menu (20€) includes 2 starters, one main meal, one soup and one dessert, which seems to me quite reasonable and rare fo Japanese cuisine in Paris.

So here is a quick glance at the yummy menu. As starter, an assortment including edamame, various veggies, mini makis and THE starter you have to try: melting eggplants Kyoto style, with miso sauce on top.

 

Melting eggplant with grilled Kyoto miso sauce

 

It’s simply delicious: just read at the name gives you an idea of the taste. The soft eggplant mixed with the melting part of the miso sauce slightly grilled…

Sushi assortment

 

For the main meal, you can try a traditional plate of sushi or a grilled or slowly cooked meal (salmon, sea bream, chicken, entrecote) with teriyaki sauce. Everything is prepared carefully: sushis are made in the traditional way (small ball of rice entirely covered with fish). The rice vinegar is pretty good.

Sea bram with Teriyaki sauce

 

Besides, I’ve never been disappointed with grilled food: no matter if it was meat or fish, it’s always well prepared and good.

As dessert, we do simple with cuts of fruits but I think they also have matcha cakes or other sweets. This being said, it’s quite nice to finish with a fresh touch!

 

To sum up

This address is really a must try. No expectation from the outside but can be a canteen for lunch and more cosy at night for people nostalgic about Japan, with good and sophisticated dishes.

You only have to choose base on your mood (and wallet!) but anyway you will be able to enjoy a qualitative and authentic Japanese experience. (English translation by Quiterie)

 

KAWAMOTO
43 Rue de la Roquette
75011 Paris

Shiretoko

· Food, Illustration, Travel

Penultimate stop of this winter trip to Japan… step by step we are getting closer to the end, and I am getting emotional! And even more because almost a year ago I was actually exactly at the place I will tell you about today!

After our 2 days in Abashiri, here we are, heading to the Shiretoko peninsula located Northeast of Hokkaido, « where the hearth ends » (=the actual meaning of Shiretoko).

This part of Japan is registered on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites with its 5 lakes and this huge nature known to remain wild and preserved. One of my highlight of this trip, not only because of the atmosphere but also for its landscape… which apparently changes even more during summer time (maybe another time!). As for now, here are a few snowy memories of Shiretoko…

 

On board of the Ryuhyo Monogatari train

The train between Abashiri and Shiretoko is called the Ryuhyo Monogatari train and goes along the Okhotsk sea during about one hour. Through the window, we can admire the beauty of the sea and floating ice cubes, pretty much as we saw in Abashiri.

You can go toward the front part of the train to see the panoramic view behind the large window (as I recorded in my Instagram Story « Shiretoko »).

Half way, you can enjoy a 10-min stop at the Kitahama station to take pictures and admire the panoramic view from an observatory.

The ceiling and the walls of the train station are completely covered with papers/tickets: apparently tourists would like to leave a trace of their passage here! (an atmosphere a bit creepy as in « A Beautiful mind », isn’t it?)

Anyway, enjoy the view as time flies during this trip !

 

The Kifu club pension

Once arrived at the Shiretoko station, we took a bus to get to the small Utoro town, where we spent two nights in this very comfy and full of charm family pension called « Kifu club », a small Japanese style cottage.

Right after dropping our luggage, the owners of this hotel suggested us to relax and enjoy the outside onsen bath… they didn’t ask twice! It’s actually from this day that I started coughing like a Kobe beef and it continued over two months after… a reward of being brave to go naked outside when it’s -10 degrees to plunge into a 40 degrees hot bath.

I don’t regret this delicious relaxing moment of thermal shock followed by a cocooning session in the living room of the hotel.

During all the stay at Shiretoko, I had this feeling to be at a ski resort with an enjoyable Japanese twist.

A fondue yes, but not a cheese one!

We had to deep the food into a tempura dough (Japanese doughnut) and fry them into the boiling pot. What a good idea!

Talking about breakfast, here was the menu: grilled fish, salad, pickles… with only one sweet dish= cottage cheese and blueberry jam that you can see on the side of the picture. I think you can also choose a continental breakfast, if you don’t feel like eating fish early in the morning.

As for me, I didn’t mind having salty food… especially as it was very delicious.

 

Utoro town

This little city of Shiretoko isn’t really crowded but it’s the starting point of quite a few tours.

Besides, we took the opportunity to ask some information at the information centre (I purchased the shirt I am wearing here). We booked our snowshoe hiking day and night festival that you’ll see a bit after.

Thanks to a quick walk around our « cottage » we found this so called « Godzilla rock » due to his shape. Moreover, along the road, a nice view at a frozen sea and (cold) waterfall.

 

A snowshoe hike

There is no winter holiday without a quick sport activity, isn’t it? We decided to do a quick outing with snowshoes with a group of Japanese and Ken, our nice tour guide in love with nature.

I didn’t take much photos during this excursion as we were walking in the forest with the snow whipping around us but it’s a very nice memory.

Ken’s explanations about animal, fox footsteps, bears’ scratches on trees… and special encounter with Bambi passionated me.

This ambiance a bit strange like in the « The revenant » movie was not very reinsuring but quite exciting at the same time. Difficult to imagine a green and flowery summer over here!

 

Shiretoko Ryuhyo festival

The information center of Utoro also told us about a snow festival that is held every February, with hot chocolate and small igloos.

No need to tell us more, the following night we were there! Here again, the “winter holiday” ambiance was more than ever everywhere…. a bar in the middle of stalactites, hammocks, sparkling lights… the ambiance was very unusual and very nice. Have a look !

 


Yummy addresses in Shiretoko

And to finish this « Mako at the ski resort » chapter (=my own interpretation of « Martine à la neige »), here are two restaurants that we tried during outstay in Utoro, Shiretoko.

 

BON’S HOME (

We had a real crush for the first restaurant called Bon’s home (also has rooms apparently) because it offers meal such as « japanese tartiflette » made with potatoes and cheese from Hokkaido: so good ! The potatoes are melting, and sweet and go perfectly with the smoothness of the cheese.

The “potato cake” dessert made also with potatoes was good too.

 

KUMANOYA (187-11 Utoronishi, Shari-cho, Shari-gun 099-4354 Hokkaido)

The second restaurant in Utoro is located in front of the Shiretoko World Heritage center, on the other side of the road. We had a soup with noodle and a chirashi bowl with salmon and salmon eggs: quite classical but good !

We finished this penultimate stop of this unforgettable trip to Japan: next time, we will head south to reach Kushiro ! See you soon ! (English translation by Quiterie)

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