Kevin's quick guide to Las Vegas

Due to popular demand, here is my quick guide to Vegas, if you are staying at the Bellagio:

I think Okada, Wynn is great.

Reserve 5 minutes for looking at the ceilings in the Bellagio (you'll understand when you get there).

Check out the Paris, opposite the Bellagio, and don't miss the bar at the top of the Rio which has a spectacular view, day or night.
The Rio also has a free "show in the sky" which I remember as quite fun if you get there at the right time. It's like a parade suspended from the ceiling.
Caesars Palace is kitschy with its 70's faux Roman theme.
New York New York has lions! And it also has a tram that can take you to the Luxor - good rides/walkthroughs there.
Avoid the Excalibur unless you want to see their horse-show and eat a turkey drumstick - can be great if you like that sort of medieval thing.
Lots to do without gambling, but try hitting the penny slots (if you can find them) and tip a buck for each free drink. 2 bucks they come faster.
I don't like shows much, but your concierge will help you choose.

Let me know how it goes and have fun!

How to make mustard: a mustard recipe.

As far as I could google, there is no other modern recipe for making mustard from mustards seeds available, if there is let me know. What I have created below is based on some old english texts, plus the flour ingredient from the ingredient list on the bottle for the mustard flavor I am trying create: Coleman's English Mustard. The citric acid (lemon juice) and the salt come from that too. The proportions I arrived at by experimentation, and seem about right. The mustard tastes floury until you let the whole thing rest in the jar for a day. After this time, the mustard flavor really shines too. Brown mustard seeds are available from Middle Eastern stores, yellow mustard seeds seem hard to come by in California, I had to go to a specialist herbal store, but they were still just as inexpensive.


3 level tablespoons each of yellow (white) mustard seed and brown (black) mustard seeds
1 cup of water
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp turmeric (for color) (ooh!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tbsp whey (optional - will extend shelf life up to 4 months)
1 level tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)


The International Marketplace

Note: unless you are in Las Vegas, this store is obviously not very convenient. But then, a lot of people do visit, and it is close to the strip.

Often is the time that I come across something on the internet, or in a recipe that is difficult or seeming impossible to find.

Pig's ears for example. Foie Gras,Whole Salted Anchovies (Acciughe Salate) or Taba ng talangka (crab fat paste).

Or how about Marmite, Cod roe, Coleman's Mustard and all the British items nearly impossible to find outside of the UK.

Then there is ahi poke, teriyake nori and cod liver.

My friend casually mentioned that he had been to International Marketplace the previous day and had picked up some Marmite - in an inverted plastic jar!
Heresy I cried! Did he not know that the very name "marmite" comes from an earthenware or metal pot? With a picture of a marmite on every jar?

My curiousity was piqued, so I decided to run down to Decatur and Tropicana and take a look.

Oh. My. God.




This place has everything.
Japanese, Philippino, Hawaiian, Eastern European, British.
Rare Dutch chocolates, fresh fish, lobsters, oysters, durian fruit, German sausage, brazilian chorizo, italian hard salami, greek taramasalata - it just blew me away.

After the first hour, I had to go outside and sit just to calm myself down a little bit. Most of the time my lower jaw was dangling around my kneecaps.

Naturally I bought a $10 membership card for a 5% discount (I WILL RETURN MANY MANY TIMES), and here is what I came away with today:

  • 1 Young coconut, $1.09

    Love that sweet milk.

  • 4lb durian, $4.09

    never tried this before.
    Super stinky, but tastes something like smoked avocado crossed with cherimoya. Sweet, creamy, actually really good!

  • Limu poke, $10.99lb

    always a great snack

  • Melon Creamy Soda $1.69 (like Cream Soda, with melon)

    Cream Soda was the recommended hangover cure at college, now with a melon twist!

  • Shirakiku, soft yoghurt drink, 59c (!)

  • King Oscar tinned Cod Liver $3.19

    Can this be as good as monkfish liver?

  • Coleman's Mustard $4.69 170g

    Essential for any Brit.

  • Guarana Antartica $2.99

    Never tried this. Curious again.

  • Giant Spanish Capers(Goya) $3.49

    Never seen these for sale before, several recipes I've tried call for them.

  • Latvian Sprats in Oil $1.49

    What I originally went for, and they are good!

  • Clam Juice, tins, large $2.69 for 48oz (!)

    I make my own clamato for chalada beer. Find a huge 48oz tin at 5c/oz is way better than the little 8oz jars for $2.69

  • Sunmore Cod Roe $6.49

    I love this with fish and chips, battered like the fish.

  • Teriyaki Nori (Hot) $1.99

    Just a great little spicy snack. Use for eel sushi too!

And these prices are good! As good or better than the corresponding national speciality stores (much better than British store ripoffs).

I am a happy boy.