“Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump.
It is amazing how people can change as they get exposed to new things in life.
My formative years were spent rubbing shoulders with mathematical equations, sketches of anatomy, chemical compounds and pulleys. I classified myself as a Science student who enjoyed helping people. So with some hard work and a lot of divine intervention, I ended up at Cambridge University where I read Medicine.
It was in the United Kingdom that my transformation began. I started to take an interest in fashion, photography, videography and poetry. The UK stimulated me in many ways and fostered my growth in a different dimension.
My second turning point in life came when I took a graduation trip to Tokyo. Previously, my culinary adventures in Tokyo were ad hoc: we would pop into any restaurant which was convenient. This time, with the aid of Japanese cooking shows and Tabelog, I decided to plan our meals. What a difference a bit of research makes! It revolutionised my perception of Tokyo. I couldn't believe that we previously cut our trips short due to boredom!
Food, to the Japanese, is an art. Each chef's wholehearted dedication to his art touched my soul deeply. Tokyo became my heaven - their passion made me feel inspired, their culinary perfection warmed my heart, and their societal grace gave my mind peace.
Given my own eureka experience, I've always dreamt of writing a book which consolidates my knowledge of food in Tokyo so others may also have a more enjoyable time in Tokyo. However, this plan was shelved for many years because I had a punishing work schedule. Hence, after becoming a medical specialist trainee, I decided to take a year off being a doctor to pursue my dreams. During the production of Hungry in Tokyo, I realised that there is so much to learn about Japanese ingredients, food and restaurants. After much deliberation, I finally decided to take a leap of faith: to leave my training post, and to share my knowledge with the world through this series of adventures.
Since then, I have gone on to write 'Hungry in Kyoto', and 'Hungry in Osaka'. 'Hungry in Tokyo 2nd edition' was released in mid 2019 - the book was written from scratch, only preserving a fraction of the restaurants, adding in new ones for those who are hungry for more! My family and I are exploring outside the cities, driving our rented car through valleys and mountains, in search of unique food, and breath-taking scenery.
So do walk with me as I journey into the world of Japanese culinary arts.
Tune in, and enjoy.