food

Food Review: Tsubi Soup

Hi everyone! It’s Friday, so let’s have a little fun and do a food review.

I recently ordered some vegan miso soup from Amazon because so many of the instant miso options available in stores contain bonito (a type of fish that is a traditional miso ingredient). Previously, I tried Miyasaka miso soup, which was tasty but lacked the flavorful “punch” I craved.

While searching through the miso mixes, I came across Tsubi Soup, a soup company that prides itself on using simple, fresh, authentic ingredients to create superbly flavored soups. I was really impressed by the fact that the company has such high standards for its ingredients, so I decided to give it a try.

I ordered the spicy red miso soup with mushrooms (the company offers several other flavors). The soup mix arrived in two days because I have Amazon Prime.

I made the soup by adding hot water and allowing the ingredients to re-hydrate. After about two minutes, it was ready to eat.

OMG, this was delicious! I didn’t miss the bonito flavor at all. This has to be one of the most delicious vegan miso soups I’ve ever tasted. I ended up each the entire box within 3 days LOL! The spice is abundant but not too hot. The mushrooms plumped up perfectly and give the soup great variety in texture.

Now, one major difference with this and the previously reviewed miso soup mix is the price. Tsubi Soups has 4 packets for $12.99, while Miyasaka Soups has 12 packets for nearly the same price ($14.28). But, you get what you pay for. Tsubi Soups are far tastier than Miyasaka Soups and, in my humble opinion, worth every penny.

I haven’t tried the other Tsubi Soup flavors but I intend to. If the spicy red miso with mushrooms is any indication, the other flavors are probably excellent, as well.

That’s my review for today. If you love Japanese foods or curious about them, let me know in the comments below. Thanks, and have a great Friday!

 

art · international

My Top Picks from Bonham’s Asian Art Auction

Happy Saturday, friends! I’ve got more of my top picks for Asian Art Week. Today’s post is all about Bonhams Auctions. Bonhams refuses to be left out of the Asian Art Auction fun: the auction house will be having three auctions featuring Asian art exclusively. Just like in my last post, I’ll be focusing on just a select few items from the sales that caught my eye.

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The first auction is on September 10 at 10 AM EST. The sale – Chinese Works of Art and Paintings – features just a little less than 300 lots covering several different historical periods. I swooned when I saw these¬†stunning silk robes. The vibrant hues and intricate detailing are the things that dreams are made of. Every now and then, I want to rock the traditional dress of a different country, so this is right up my alley. I love both the blue and red robe, and I’d gladly wear both! The robes could easily sell for more than $5000, per the auction estimates.

Two Han Lady ‘s Embroidered Silk Informal Robes

The other two auctions will occur on September 12. Earlier in the day, the Ancient Skills, New Worlds: Twenty Treasures of Japanese Metalwork auction will occur (starting at 10 AM). This carefully curated selection of 20 pieces from a private collection will sell quickly but the items are all distinct and unforgettable. The piece that I adored is this iron and gold miniature cabinet. This cabinet is a marvel: the perfect blend of strength and style, it is one of the most ornate pieces in the collection. This shiny jewel could easily sell for more than $30,000.

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Komai Otojiro, Iron and Gold Miniature Cabinet

Finally, at 1 PM on September 12, Bonhams will have its last Asian-themed auction, the Fine Japanese and Korean Art auction. Kudos to Bonhams for being one of the few auction houses to have a sale devoted exclusively to art originating from outside of China. While I love China and Chinese art, I enjoy browsing a collection that focuses on different Asian countries. This auction is predominantly Japanese art: out of 307 lots, roughly 10 of them are Korean.¬† From the Japanese art, I found I was smitten when I saw the small lacquer writing box. I loved its elegance and the fact that this beautiful box held writing instruments. Even though I won’t be bidding on this beauty (it could sell between $4,000 to $6,000+ at auction), I love the notion of having a luxurious container to hold your writing utensils. That’s an idea I may have to try for myself.

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Shiomi Masanari, Small Lacquer Writing Box

When it came to the Korean art in this auction, I really liked the calligraphy attributed to Kim Jeong-Hui. There’s something minimalist but still very lavish about this fine piece. The timeless nature of this piece is especially impressive when considering the fact that is is over 200 years old. Also, the simplicity of the design means that it could hang in any room of a home with ease. Prices for this one could soar over $4,000, and it’s easy to see why.

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Calligraphy Attributed to Kim Jeong-Hui

Those are my top picks from Bonhams’s Asian Art Week. This auction house has fewer pieces overall but the focused themes make Bonhams’s events stand out among the other auctions occurring during Asian Art Week. Be sure to check out their catalogs and see if anything catches your eye!

art · international

My Top Picks from Doyle’s Asian Art Auction

As we move steadily toward Asian Art Auction Week, it’s time to highlight another auction house that will be offering Asian art during this event. Today I’m sharing my favorite pieces from Doyle Auction House.

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If you’ve never heard me mention Doyle, it’s because I wasn’t familiar with the house. However, I’m glad that the name crossed my path, as they have an impressive auction scheduled for September 10 at 10 AM. Here are a few of my top picks:

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Pair of Chinese Jade-Covered Vases

These jade-covered vases are a stunning pair, with a charming bit of patina adding character to the set. The set is perfect for a home office, at a small but significant 10 inches tall. These could sell for anywhere between $12,000 to more than $18,000.

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Chinese Lapis Lazuli Mountain

I’ve never wanted a mountain before, but this piece is an eyecatcher. This Chinese Lapis Lazuli Mountain is just a little shy of 8 inches tall but is sure to be the star of any art collection. The mountain has vivid shades of denim, cobalt, cerulean and (naturally) lapis blues. The carving depicting a mountainside village is simultaneously heartwarming and hypnotizing. I expect this to easily surpass the $12,000 high end estimate.

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Japanese Silver Inlaid Bronze Miniature Cabinet

Finally, this Japanese bronze miniature cabinet is another jewel from this collection. The silver inlay work features intricate patterning and an avian motif. The cabinet would make a wonderful holding place for tiny treasures. I wouldn’t surprised if this went for well over the $5,000 higher estimate.

Unlike some of the more popular auction websites, the bulk of the collection is featured in the digital catalog as opposed to having separate webpages for each item. That being said, the digital catalog features an array of lovely pieces from Asia. This auction is definitely one to check out if you’re in the New York area on September 10, 2018.

art

My Top Picks from Freeman’s Asian Art Auction

Freeman’s Auction is kicking off Asian Art week by holding the first Asian-themed auction of the season. This auction has a lot of Chinese art, though there are a few pieces available from India, Japan and Korea. The pieces span multiple dynasties and the expected prices are refreshingly reasonable, with most items expected to sell for less than $5,000. Of course, I have a few items that caught my eye and I’m going to share them with you all in this post. However, I encourage you to peruse the entire catalog and go to the auction in person, if you can.

The first pieces that caught my eye were this vivid pair of turquoise blue luduan. Luduans are symbols of luck in China, and are an amalgam of a deer, horse and unicorn. This pair is especially beautiful and well-preserved. They could go for $8000 or more.

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Pair of Chinese turquoise-glazed pottery luduan

Next, I saw this lantern and immediately fell in love. The lotus design is gorgeous, and the fact that it would work with several different decorating themes appealed to me. This is one of the Japanese pieces in the lot: the age of the lantern wasn’t provided, but my guess is that it isn’t extremely old, as it’s expected to fetch somewhere between $1000 and $1500.

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Japanese bronze spherical lotus lantern

I then saw this pair of striking Chinese vases – one in creamy jadeite and the other in intense lapis lazuli – and I was blown away. So many times, vases that are seen in auctions are very standard in appearance: they look much like the vases we can find in most home decor stores around the country. However, the organic shape and unusual materials make these vases very special. The jadeite one is expected to sell somewhere between $1500 and $2500, while the lapis lazuli vase will probably go for a bit less (between $1000 and $1500). It’ll be interesting to see the final selling prices for these beauties.

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Chinese jadeite “magnolia” vase (Qing Dynasty)

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18th-19th Century lapis lazuli incense tool vase with (later) sterling mount

What auction is complete without jewelry? The jewelry lot that I loved came from India. The item that caught my attention was a set of gilt turban ornaments. While I rarely wear turbans, these incredible ornaments make me want to reconsider my current fashion choices. These make me want to wear turbans daily!

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Indian gilt metal and white stone turban ornaments

Those are my top picks from the Freeman’s Auction. The Asian Art Auction will happen on September 7, in Philadelphia. You can also view the collection on the days prior to the auction (September 3 – 6, from 10 AM to 5 PM [September 3 by appointment]). I hope that you all take some time to see what Freeman’s is offering!