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Everything posted by Foodietopo

  1. How about a black whiteboard or one with a different finish? Hand written menus are great as long as your calligraphy is nice. On what street are you opening?
  2. It's my third year in Japan and I tried several Japanese cheese cake and I don't find them dense enough for my taste. Being from Montreal, Canada, my idea of a cheese cake is something dense topped with strawberries and with a cookie bottom. It's strange, but it's the simple cake of my youth that I miss the most and I can't find a single cake to replace it. I think Montreal cheesecake is somehow similar to the New York version. So my preference goes toward density, simple topping. When it comes to cheesecake, no need to reinvent the wheel, I want the stuff I can find in a deli in Montreal.
  3. I talked with a coffee roaster today, he told me: "I started 40 years ago and I am still learning everyday" The guy looked pretty darn happy to me. Where did you learn sushi making?
  4. Sorry, I misquote. I meant the original poster. Who, me? I have a bakery! Why would I also want a food truck?
  5. It all make sense now! Wow! I was tackled during high school football by a guy who would end up in the NFL. The one and only time I saw stars on the field. Don't need to wack anybody, just send them out playing football.
  6. Yes, falafel! An amazing falafel on rue des Rosiers in Paris, this is one street food I will never forget. It's so messy, yet delicious. L'As du Falafel use to be one of my favorite. Since I move to Japan, the shawarma truck might have been the street food that has made me the happiest. I remember walking in Tokyo and when I saw the guy carving the meat, I was almost jumping up and down like a kid. Are you planning to open a food truck or something?
  7. One of my favorite is taiyaki which is common street food in Japan. It's made using a fish mold, batter is poured in and filled with red beans. It's hot and not too sweet. Crepe in France was one of my favorite, so you can see a link between these two.
  8. I just received my copy in Japan, I ordered it on Amazon Japan and they don't seem to be sold out yet. Started reading it and I like it so far. Has anybody tried the Lucky Peach Apple App? I don't have an IPad, I am curious about how it looks on the IPad.
  9. I don't know if it's sold in America, but I Japan, you can buy aluminium shield which are about a foot tall and you can create a little shield or wall around your stove. At the bottom, there is magnet and the set up is pretty simple. It does catch a lot of fat and make cleaning a lot easier. They are pretty cheap, so when they are dirty, you can just recycle them. Might be an option, at least for the grease flying sideway.
  10. You seem to be very knowledgeable about Japan. Would you mind sharing your list of suggestions. Like I said, I have very poor knowledge of pretty much everything between Osaka and Hokkaido. It would be much appreciated. Cheers
  11. I am not a vegetarian, but I started reading Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh which is about Japanese vegan and vegetarian cooking. I might give it a go for a week, just to try. The food in the book looks delicious and super healthy. Being in Japan make trying it even easier. On a recent trip to Vietnam, I had two amazing vegetarian meals, one including a veggie pho which was simply out of this world. Good luck with your vegetarian experience and I am looking forward reading about it. I need to plan this week out, but I will be in very soon.
  12. It's hot everywhere in August. It's probably hotter in Tokyo than anywhere else in the country. Do you get a feel of Japan just from visiting Tokyo and Kyoto? There is plenty of stuff to do outside of Tokyo and the shinkensen makes the whole country easy to explore. Sorry, I don't see Japan from the perspective of Tokyo, I live in a small mountain village in the North of Hiroshima and I spend all my weekends in Kurashiki where my wife family is from. I have been to Osaka and Fukuoka more often than Tokyo in the last 3 years. Tokyo is still a great city, no doubt about it. I, on the other hand, would strongly suggest skipping Hiroshima, Okayama and Kurashiki. August is incredibly hot - a miserable time to travel in Japan in general - and you're traveling with a large group including kids, and 12 days is barely enough time to really see Tokyo. There's really a lot to see in Tokyo, and you could easily fill the extra days with sights that are much more interesting, fun, educational, rewarding, and memorable.
  13. I second Kristin on Japan being really hot at the end of August. It's often too hot to think in August, let along play tourist. My wife refuses to do any serious exploring in the summer, just too humid. If you are in Kyoto, get a knife at Aritsugu in Nishiki market. You can get your name engraved on the blade too!
  14. If you want to add a week. Go to Hiroshima by Shinkensen and stop on the way in Okayama where you can visit Kurashiki city. Kurashiki city is a small, but it has one of the best historical center in the country. It's a 5 min walk from the station and will give you an idea of what Japan looked like before the war. You could easily sleep in Okayama and make it a day trip. Okayama has a castle too and a famous Japanese garden. In Hiroshima, you can visit Peace Park and make a day trip to Miyajima. If you want to eat okonomiyaki, no better place than Hiroshima! There is an okonomiyaki building right in the heart of the city. Hiroshima ain't that far by Shinkensen and it's quite tourist friendly. http://wikitravel.org/en/Kurashiki#b http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okonomi-mura
  15. Japanesegeek, I work in Japan, but I am not very familiar with Tokyo. You are most likely to be seriously jet lagged when you arrive in Japan. I would take it easy on the first day or two. May I suggest a Hato Bus tour of Tokyo, I've actually taken my mom on such a tour 2 years ago and it was not a complete waste of time. You get to see a lot of Tokyo while sitting down in a comfy bus. Tokyo is a big city and I feel I understand the city a bit better after taking the tour. I live in Hiroshima, so I don't get to visit Tokyo that often. Kappabashi Dori is a mecca for cooks, but it might be a bit boring for kids. The area of Asakusa which is quite near might be interesting to them. You would also get a really good view of the new Tokyo Sky Tree. Shibuya crossing is a very impressive experience for anybody visiting Tokyo. http://www.hatobus.com/en/index.html Eating at a kaiten sushi, even a cheap one should be a lot of fun for the kids. I teach elementary school and the kids LOVE conveyor belt sushi, ramen, udon and okonomiyaki. Sounds like you will have a very busy trip!
  16. Last time I went to Himeji, the castle was under major repair. There is nothing to see since the whole castle is pretty much protected by a gigantic box and this should go on until 2014.
  17. John, I use a Rinnai table top gas oven here in Japan. A friend of mine gave it to me before she left Japan. The oven is probably 20 years old, but it works. I have a feeling you might be able to find a used one somewhere. The new version is over 100 000 yens, but it might be worth it if you bake a lot.
  18. Thanks for mentioning Lucky Peach magazine. I just ordered a copy from Amazon Japan. I've never made ramen noodles from scratch, but it's on my things to do list. Let us know how your ramen making turned out.
  19. Here is the original : ごちそうさまでした sorry for the bad transliteration. ...with a minor correction. "Gochiso sama deshita".
  20. I've had beer tasting at both the Kirin company and the Yebisu museum here in Japan. At both places, we were offered draught beer and beer in the can. The whole purpose of offering beer in a can was to teach us to pour the beer in a proper glass. After the demonstration, we were asked to drink from the glass and drink directly from the can and the taste was night and day. The lesson: decant your beer! Almost all beer in Japan come from a can with the exception of larger bottles which are often offered in restaurant. My father-in-law who drinks Asahi, Kirin and Premium will often buy glass bottles for celebrations, but we drink cans for the rest of the year. I guess it's all about a question of perception.
  21. I've bought drinks and tipped, but I really like the Japanese tradition of saying a very loud "Goshiso sama deshita"(Thank you for a good meal) when you exit a restaurant. The staff is always appreciative when they hear a foreigner say it. If you travel to Japan, don't hesitate to say it.
  22. I've waited more than an hour to eat fresh oyster okonomiyaki at a tiny 10 seats shack near the Inland Sea in Japan. It was cold, but the owner provided gas stove to keep us warm, they brought us tea and super tasty mikan. Waiting for food was actually fun. I've been to the Cheese Cake Factory only once in my life and they gave us an electronic pager to tell us when the table was ready. It was totally not worth the wait. In Japan and to a certain extend in Asia, waiting for your food is a sign that you are getting really amazing food. I remember that waiting in line is part of the experience in Shanghai or Singapore. I've attended two major food festival in Japan and I found the 2 hours wait for some stand totally ridiculous. I rather drive 100 km to eat at the original restaurant than wait 2hr to eat food in a plastic bowl. I guess I've learn to be a bit patient in Japan... thinking about waiting in line, I would not mind to wait in line for a smoke meat at Schwartz in Montreal...
  23. Chocolate covered potato chip are the secret weapon to get my Japanese wife and her two sisters fighting until the last bite. The chocolate company Royce make them. Here is a link for the product. http://www.e-royce.com/english/product_potato_potechi.html I would be very curious to taste this ice cream. Nice idea!
  24. Looks good! I had chirashi for school lunch last week. It was the anago, egg, mushroom type, nothing fancy but quite delicious for a school lunch. I should have taken a picture.
  25. I am getting married soon in Japan and when it came to finding a place to have our wedding dinner, we ended up deciding for a small fusion Asian restaurant where I was asked if I had any food restriction the first time I went there. I get asked every single day if I can eat sashimi, but it was a nice touch. The waitress explained that the chef can modify any tasting menu if it's possible and they have the ingredients. We chose this restaurant because I knew I could get something my picky parents would like. This flexibility was crucial for this particular dinner. I've noticed some flexibility in some ryokan and traditional restaurants too. I am not a picky eater, I simply hate shishamo fishes and natto. At the same time, I was very angry at a vegetarian friend who made a poor Japanese home cook very uncomfortable when she refused to eat the miso soup because the dashi was fish based. I think it's all about doing you homework. If you are in a ramen shop in Fukuoka, don't expect the guy behind the counter to accomodate you too much.
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