Good food in bad light.

Tea at Amataka in Somerville
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @ 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO400

A new restaurant, Yamataka Tea Room, opened in town, in one of those spaces that never seems to flourish; every town has a space like it. We went there to try their tea as well as some dumplings and buns. The owners speak with the thick Chinese accents of recent immigrants, which made us hopeful that the food would be authentic and tasty. It was. It was all freshly made.

Much like McDonalds has diminished the idea of a hamburger, cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurants have ruined the reputation of wonton soup. This is more like it:
Fresh wonton soup at Amataka, Somerville.
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @ 1/100, f/2.2, ISO400

And here's the inside of a wonton. Yummy. Reminds me of a dumpling joint we used visit in Chinatown in New York.
Tasty dumpling at Amataka in Somerville
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @ 1/60s, f/2, ISO400

Speaking of dumplings, we also ordered some vegetable dumplings:
Dumpligs at Amataka, Somerville
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @ 1/50s, f/2, ISO400

They were vegetarian, and to be honest, were just ok. Next time I'll try the beef.
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @  1/60, f/2.2,  ISO800

The main course were buns. These are called siopao in the Philippines and are tasty treats. These were chicken. A little too much fennel but otherwise good with soy sauce.

mmmm Buns at Amataka in Somerville
Nikon V1 with 18.5mm f/1.8 @ 1/60, f2.2, ISO800

While I enjoyed my meal, I'm not entirely pleased with these photos. For one, the lighting was office industrial fluorescent, flat and lacking any redeeming qualities. Secondly, the highlights were pretty harsh on the V1. The histogram shows that they weren't blown out, but there was subtlety in their rendering. The buns above would go all harsh white at the top without any transition to tone. I had to dial in a bunch of highlight recovery and reduce the exposure. If this were a paying gig I'd have to massage them some more to get something good. Actually, if this was a paying gig, I would have brought my own light tent and lights and done them right.

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