Mercat La Boqueria – All about fish – and croquetas

Barcelona – If you are a fish and seafood lover this market is a must for you. You can see all the creatures from the sea – dead or alive – presented at the endless stalls. Besides there are also many stalls with “croquetas” (one of my favorite tapa in Spain, as it is very difficult to find any outside the country, made with fish, meat or vegetarian small balls and fried crispy).

If you haven’t tried a small sample at every food stall and are still hungry, there are loads of restaurants around the market. We chose Joel’s Oyster Bar (will follow in one of the next posts).

Tsukiji fish market – a world of its own

Tokyo – The Tsukiji fish market is definitively a must see in Tokyo or even in whole Japan. It is said to be the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world. And if you follow my blog, you know, I love to visit markets in other countries and to discover rare food that you do not get everywhere around the corner.

For this time we booked a private tour. This was a wise decision because I think if we didn’t we might have only seen a small part of it. Acutally, we wanted to see the tuna auction as well but we soon found out, this would have been difficult to be allowed in and secondly start at about 3 am in the morning…definitively too early.

The tour guide spoke quite good English and explained a lot about the actual market and the plans of moving it to a new location. Actually, it should have already been moved to its new place in 2016 but there are still a lot of discussions back and forth with the local people and the government etc.

Good for us, so we could see the “real” market and try to understand the mechanism of all the people working there, all elements with buying and even recycling of waste organized inside the market, the half round architecture of the building, etc.


Last summer a documentary “Tsukiji Wonderland” about the market was presented at various film festivals and is now out in theatres internationally.


I never had eel before visiting Japan but after having eaten it in several restaurants, I became quite fond of it. Something I will definitively miss back here in Switzerland.


Union Market – the best food hall in D.C.

Washington D.C. – Take a taxi and reach the market zone of DC. In the middle of the Asian fruit trucks and their loading zones, you will find this big rectangular building. It contains a variety of food stalls where you can stroll along and taste different foods and drinks. There were also some that offer a seated area to enjoy a proper meal.

Street Food Festival Zurich No. 2

Let me introduce Nam, one of my best friends, she was so kind to write a post about the Street Food Festival on my blog. I’m sure you will enjoy:

Zurich – Last weekend the winter edition of the Street Food Festival Zurich took place at the Giessereihalle. An indoor so called industrial market space at Puls 5. It felt like half Zurich and some more were there on their feet and ready to get fed. Dozens of vendors housing in creative food trucks or market booths were prepared to please the crowd with culinary delicacies from all over the world.

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Sybille wasn’t there for a change and let me have all the excitement of discovering the festival for her blog. A very much crowded and queuing surival task indeed. In example testing how much gin punch I can handle before placing my order at the booth with the longest queue (yes, the fact that I was willing to stand in line as long as I did shocked me most). So let me get things to you from the scratch.
Street food, I must add, got me early. And I’m not talking Hot Dog and Bretzel booths in New York and all the Kebab places in Lucerne and Zurich. No, it was Saigon (Vietnam) which taught me that some of the best food can be found on the streets and this hasn’t changed to date. And this one booth in Paris selling filled Vietnamese sandwiches called “Bánh mì đặc biệt”, which must be the best way to enjoy a baguette.
When street food vendors in New York raised their cuisine to gourmet level few years back it was clear: this hype will go global. New York said so. International cuisine superbly cooked and served handy simply meets people’s need for fast, good even healthy mobile eateries and suits today’s busy schedule.
The hype swapped over and the organizers of the Street Food Festival just hit the nail on the head with the 1st edition taking place last August. The festival a must-do on the event calendar. At the 2nd edition of the festival all eager to kick it off.
A good start had to be some dazzling sounding “Hendricks Punch” from the bar. This time served with orange slices not cucumber. The cup looked cooler than its ability to serve hot content. The copper material took its time before allowing me to enjoy the beverage. The punch was all perfect, leaving one’s breath forming gin clouds.
Among the incredible variety of offers of food one has never heard of, not to mention from getting on a regular base around town, it was the familiar menu which drawn me first to the Vietnamese “banhmi kitchen” booth. They served their interpretation of the Southeast Asian sandwich classic. My first thought was: why a new version when most of the festival visitors aren’t familiar with the original? Fading out this fact and quickly taking notes that it can’t get close to the mouth-watering original due to missing out some of essential ingredients, the sandwich was good after all.
My roots with the only Vietnamese dish at the festival covered I switched to the half part nationality of my husband, trying out what the ladies from “The Cevicheria” from Peru had to offer. I went for the classic ceviche served with sweet potato, crispy corn and some hot sauce. The side dishes were really yummy. The fish itself was not the best I had but to be fair also not the worst. Plus giving the circumstances that there are thousands of visitors to please may make it ok and understandable that not all offers can be at their best quality? Can’t it. I think it should be possible but on the other hand I have always been very picky and demanding when it gets down to culinary experiences given my moderate catering background and foible for good food.
On the way back to our standing table I picked up some truffled popcorn from “Gerold Chuchi – Drei Stuben”. Loving everything about truffle, the combination of popcorn with the delicacy didn’t come queery to me.
Friends of mine visited the festival hours before me and highly recommended the fresh buns from “Wesley’s Kitchen”. It was by far the booth with the most attention by the time I decided to give it a try. Having seen the two chefs making the buns freshly from the scratch, it is most definite the impression the booth left with the audience: this must be good. The queue was almost as long as the hall itself. 40 minutes, 2 Hendricks Punchs and a gin clouded head after, I went for 8 beef buns and the other dish they offered (egg and tofu slowly cooked in tea). After quite a wait one is just willing to take all what’s on the menu, I guess. The egg and tofu didn’t get me. Eatable but not something one would see me jumping up and down for. The buns otherwise were really fine. The duff was airy and the beef filling tender and well seasoned.
“Wesley’s Kitchen” get a bonus from me for their really moderate prices (CHF 4 for 2 buns / CHF 3.50 for egg/tofu dish). Giving the fact that all vendors were selling small portions, the other prices wouldn’t suggest so.
My conclusion? It was definitely a fun and tasty experience and I surely will be back trying out others like seen on the menu boards like Pulled Pork Burger, Dumplings, Tacos not to mention the sweet department I couldn’t get myself to last weekend. And who knows, you might even see me there with my own little mobile eatery trying to meet up your expectations.

Lisa Elmqvist and Gerdas Fisk & Skaldjursrestaurang Östermalms Saluhall

Stockholm – This food hall is definitively worth a visit when in Sweden!!

We had to queue for about 20 minutes – and it was already 1.30pm! But it was worth every minute. You sit on a small table, squashed with a lot of Swedes and tourists while you see all the great dishes coming out of the kitchen. The menu list is quite long and I really had trouble to make a decision what to order.

In the end we took some oysters as a starter and my husband had the fish platter, I went for the cod and shrimps in butter (real hip gold butter…)! It was really heavenly and when I think about it now, my mouth begins to water again…..

The Hoxton Hotel – Shoreditch

London – A great place to stay and eat. The rooms are modern, comfortable and a good deal. The hotel is quite centrally located and just in the middle of the booming Shoreditch area (visit also the Old Spitalfields market).

The bar is always very busy and at weekend there is a queue outside.

On our last day we had breakfast in the restaurant which offered delicious American style Eggs Benedict or English beans on toast with bacon – not all choices actually hip-friendly but they serve also yummy freshly squeezed juices to compensate.

Truffle Market Alba

Alba – On our weekend trip we visited the truffle market in Alba. The scent was almost making us high and we could not resist to have some pasta with fresh truffle….fantastic!