- Also check our best rated Travel Book reviews
Sushi and Beyond: What the Japanese Know About Cooking Paperback – 6 May 2010
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"His account of their “foodie family road trip” establishes Booth as the next Bill Bryson." (New York Times)
"Booth is one of the sharpest food writers around, and this is essential fare for foodies" (Simon Shaw Mail on Sunday)
"Booth's style is hugely enjoyable...an entertaining guide to the food you should try on a trip to the area" (David Phelan Timeout)
"Booth's descriptions of food made my mouth water. This book is a must for all lovers of Japanese cuisine" (Guardian)
"The reader will learn much about one of the great Cuisines of the world" (Christopher Hirst The Independent)
A fascinating and hilarious journey through the extraordinary culinary landscape of Japan.
‘His account of their “foodie family road trip” establishes Booth as the next Bill Bryson.’ New York Times
Winner of the Guild of Food Writers Kate Whiteman Award for the best book on food and travel.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
I have had the hard copy for some years now and am so glad you put it on Kindle so I can now carry it with me!
This book is a food travel diary, which is a good thing as it differentiates it from a simple culture/cookbook. Booth seems to have some good credentials when it comes to cooking, as well as a witty writing style and a gaijin-only daring, making his story both fascinating and funny. It covers all of the subjects mentioned above, as well as seaweed, the fish market, MSG, vegetables, ramen, beef, wasabi and regional specialities amongst others. He even manages to visit the best secret restaurant in the whole of Japan.
He also interviews famous chefs, protective farmers and celebrated experts. Every story is a mixture of passion for food, and a touch of sadness, for the loss of interest in traditional Japanese cuisine.
With a base of good research and a dash of humility and humor, Booth manages to both engage and excite the reader... and their tastebuds.
As someone who has worked in professional kitchens he has generally good insight into food, and it is nice to see that he does not get too carried away with the mystique e.g. he also seems to find fugu a fish that is as much valued for its sense of danger as its inherent taste, or lack thereof. On the other hand some of the travel observations seem peculiar - Japanese taxi drivers are unfailingly polite, but many are utterly clueless about finding even straightforward destinations (the stagnant economy has lured many non-professional cabbies into this profession), so his comments here seem strange, or at least very different to my own experiences in Japan. It is also a pity that he writes reverently about an invitation-only kaiseki restaurant that, by definition, few will be able to try. He could surely have compared this with some of the top kaiseki restaurants, such as Kitcho and Mizai in Kyoto, that readers could, albeit at a price, actually go to? Finally, some of the chapters seemed in need of a firm but kindly editor.
All in all, worth a read, but I had the feeling that this book could have been even better. Overall, his charm wins out over the book's flaws.
Instead, I got a series of vignettes, too short to offer any significant information which seemed to mainly focus on the author's random thoughts rather than any true, meaningful cultural experiences. Of course, me not liking the author's tone is a personal preference I grant you but one thing I couldn't abide was the author's rudeness in certain situations.
For example, at the beginning of the book, the author says he will try to avoid being offensive towards the Japanese, yet later in the book he goes completely against this as he writes dialogue spoken by a Japanese person using r's instead of l's and vice versa - unnecessary and offensive in my opinion. Another episode that also left a feeling of distaste in my mouth is when the author has lunch with (what he assumes to be) a gay man, and precedes to be completely ignorant and homophobic when he runs away from the man, despite the man kindly paying for his lunch and seemingly interested in what the author has to say. If he was truly gay and romantically interested in the author, the author should have had the decency to state he was straight, married and not interested and continue acting like a civilised person but instead, he lies and runs away as quickly as possible, (using the excuse he wants a second lunch rather than the fact that being in the presence of a gay man makes him uncomfortable). What's worse is, he has a chance to redeem himself when coincidentally confronted by the man when he bumps into him later in the day, yet he only gives an insincere apology and precedes to run away again - leaving the man clearly confused and hurt.
There are some interesting episodes in the book and I did learn new things about Japanese food (hence 2 stars not 1) but frankly, it wasn't worth it for the author's tone and attitude which was rather ignorant and sometimes rude to the Japanese who all appeared to be as helpful and kind to him as possible. I was rather disappointed with the outcome, as the idea was good, if only another author had written it and executed it better!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category