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The World Cup of Food: Japan v France

Every week, Kate and Scorcher try the food from a different country, then pit the two cuisines up against each other. This week it’s Japan and France.

The winner this week will go on to play Vietnam in the semi-finals!

You can get involved in the World Cup of Food, too.

Nominate your favourite restaurant serving up one of the cuisines going head-to-head next week for your chance to win a $200 Dineamic voucher. Up next week are Italy and Greece!

Scorcher ⁠— Japan


THE COACH: Sushi —The quintessential Japanese dish. When you think Japanese food, it’s sushi and sashimi that immediately spring to mind. I’m a big fan of nigari, which is a finger of vinegared rice with a landing strip of fish or meat on top. It’s fresh, clean and healthy, and the Japanese take it very seriously. I ordered some kingfish and salmon nigiri from Benton Bento in Ascot Vale.

Benton Bento, 150A Epsom Rd, Ascot Vale,

THE CAPTAIN: Okonomiyaki — “Okonomiyaki” means “how you like” in Japanese and boy, I like it every which way. Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake loaded with meats and vegetables and is often cooked by a flamboyant chef right in front of you at the table. The batter and structure of the pancake differs from region to region; for example, Osaka-style is made from flour, dashi and shredded cabbage. I had a lobster and a chicken and corn okonomiyaki from Dohtonbori in the Docklands.

Dohtonbori, District Docklands, Level 1/14B Star Circus, Docklands;

Listeners’ Japanese restaurant recommendations:

Kate — France


Sadly I never got to visit the stunning sounding, French bistro Curly Whiskers before we were all banished to our couches for nigh-on three months. But luckily, they’ve been busy enough during lockdown with brilliant takeaway and heat-at-home options. A self-professed little French diner proud to be fussy – it shows in their generous, delicious meals.

THE COACH: Beef Bourguignon — A fine example of this French classic, these guys take only the best Cape Grim beef cheeks, cook them for at least 8 hours in red wine, with carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic & bouquet garni. It’s rich, tender, heart-warming stuff.

THE CAPTAIN: Tarte Tartin aux Poire — Tarte Tartin, one of those desserts I have to order if it’s on the menu. What I love about this one is that it is not overly sweet. Light pastry, with lovely ripe Beurre Bosc Pears, this is as delicious as it is pretty.

Curly Whiskers – 124 Martin St, Brighton

Listeners’ French restaurant recommendations:


This week was one of the closest results in the World Cup of Food to date!

France narrowly beat Japan with 56% of the vote.

The French will now go up against the Vietnamese in the semi-finals.

Press PLAY below for the full segment.