April! 2017! Boston and surroundings, Openings and Closings!

The Instagram is telling me that Brooklyn Ramen will be in town again Saturday the 29th for a popup at Reliable Market in Union Square from 5 PM until they run out of food. Two items:

"Abura Soba - which features their special Shio base (no broth) mixed with scallion oil and topped with sliced Berkshire pork short rib, a poached egg, shredded red pepper, bamboo shoot and scallion - $12

Fried Shrimp Balls - $7"

post seems to indicate they’ll also be at the Japan Festival on Sunday at the Common, but no real details.

FWIW, the Japan Festival site says there’s like 36 assorted food booths that will be there. Doesn’t seem to list them all, seems some are corporate (like Choyu and Royce Chocolate) and some local restaurant (Ittoku, Yume Wo Katare, Santouka)

Thanks for the festival heads up - hadn’t heard about it.

The Boston Globe has a piece on them today; it seems to be mostly dumplings, buns, and noodles.

(I’m not familiar with Jiangnan cuisine at all; anybody know what makes it distinctive?)

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It’s not a cuisine I was familiar with either, but I found this piece in the Guardian where Fuschia Dunlop talks about it.

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passing_thru: Nice, informative article with great recipes. Thanks.

Last night, when we picked up an order of tandoor chicken from BBQ International, it appears that they are now sharing their space with a place called “Himalayan Kitchen.” The two women were incredibly friendly, offering rice pudding while we waited for our order to be completed.

This is a cuisine that I know NOTHING about, but Yelp seems to think that they are offering unique dishes and doing them well. Sometime soon, I will go there to eat in and ask them to make me a meal that they might serve a favored Aunt.

It appears that they opened about 30 days ago.

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wow, thanks for letting us know. Got to try this one soon. I wonder what this means about BBQ international?

on a related neighborhood note, I was beyond thrilled that opening day on Sat. at Union Sq. farmers market there was asparagus and sorrel, and also some awesome salsa from Carolina, a Somerville Arts Council sponsored Nibble vendor.

The owner of BBQ International was cooking last night. I think they are just going to share… enthusiastically. Certainly that kitchen is large enough!

I just went to the Himalayan Kitchen website, and it says “formerly known as BBQ International”.

Interesting. Now I wish I had asked more questions. To be honest, their name was a problem. It just didn’t tell you what you would find inside or lead you to the things that came from their own culture. However, I know to ask… and will. And now I have a bunch of new items to try!

I’m glad for the new focus…will order soon.

Thanks for this article! I didn’t realize that Dunlop’s latest book was on Jiangnan; I’ll have to check it out.

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I lived in Shanghai for a few years as a kid and all of my family’s day trips were pretty much within the Jiangnan region. My favorite food item was the zongzi - incredibly savory and quite distinct from versions found in other regions.

Jiangnan was one of the culturally preeminent and certainly most romanticized regions of China, home to historical capitals, cultural flowering, legendary lakes and gardens, and thriving vegetation. Shanghai is probably the best-known city there these days, but that’s a recent development. At least one emperor famously made repeated and expensive visits to the region - in the name of diligent governing, but at least in part because he enjoyed the sights and other pleasures.

Food-wise, because high-quality ingredients are so plentiful (I recall a wonderful variety of seafood, greens, and grains), the tendency is to emphasize and complement the original flavors/freshness of those ingredients themselves, in contrast to say Sichuan cuisine where heavy-handed spices often mask them. The flavor profile is rounded rather than sharp, and often requires high levels of skill to execute its delicate balance. Chefs are prone to visually striking creations as well - knife skill is crucial for the often complex presentation, among other things.

Looking at the menu from this place, I’m not sure what really makes it “Jiangnan” (other than all the appetizers, actually), but it’s possible that the actual flavors of their food will be the real indicator, as it’s more an attitude and a way of life than a set of dishes.