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Feasting My Way Through Japan


rarerollingobject
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Love the beef nigiri that you made. It's the definition of gilding the lily and why one should eat a gilded lily. I can almost taste all the uni. Yum. And many thanks for ALL the pictures, mods not withstanding.

 

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Hmmph. The only things I've done today include walking straight into what must be the only non-automated sliding glass door in Japan and smacking my forehead on it HARD like a budgie flying into a window, and about ten minutes after semi-recovering from that, biting down on this pork katsu roll filled with molten hot liquid cheese in JUST the right spot to squirt a geyser of said boiling cheese directly into my eye.

 

The restaurant staff freaked the eff out and I got taken to see the Kyoto Station medical officer against my will, who to be fair spent 10 confused minutes trying to understand how I got a huge red egg-sized bump on my forehead from squirting cheese into my eye. 

 

Anyway, I'm mostly alright now and I think the REAL takeaway here, is, yet again...this Tom Ford eyeliner is more or less invincible. 

 

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Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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Owwww! I'd say it will take judicious applications of sushi and sake (taken internally, of course) to treat those injuries. Maybe some loose morality, as well....

 

Keep the photos coming. I'm loving them.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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On 3/26/2017 at 10:53 PM, rarerollingobject said:

A perfect day; it rained, so I had every excuse to be an even more terrible tourist than usual; got out of bed at 12pm and took myself out for one of the main reasons I'm in Kyoto; to try the coffee at Arabica in Higashiyama, one of the new generation Japanese espresso specialists. A beautiful cafe, and incredible coffee that I've been reading about for months. Yes, I had to queue for 40 minutes, because the Japanese are onto good coffee like a fat kid on a Smarty, but it's just outside one of the main temple areas, where lots of young Kyoto couples like to promenade, so it was perfect people-watching territory for one of my favourite things in Japan; young guys in kimono. If anything, I love them more than women's kimono. I made like a total creeper and took pictures of every one I saw. However, I dare not invoke the eG mods' wrath by attempting to post a slew of non food photos, so if you want to see them you can head over to my Insta at https://www.instagram.com/rarerollingobject/

 

But the coffee:

 

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A GREAT day. Full of all my favourite things; coffee, ramen, women living their best lives and smashing the patriarchy, sake and objectifying boyzzzz. :B

 

Ah. A Slayer. My coffee pusher man uses these machines. Apparently they give lots of control to elevate your brew to a fine art in the right hands.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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43 minutes ago, rarerollingobject said:

 

St Ali?

 

Get Naked Espresso in Bendigo.

 

The vision of someone spending a career mastering the nuances of a coffee machine & beans matches my impression of Japanese culture.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Gosh, stay safe and stick to Kyoto tofu???

Just catching up with your epic adventures now after spending a week with a visiting friend - while you were knocking yourself out in Kyoto, we were having a modest lunch at Chef's V (cafe run by MOS group of MOS hamburgers) in Landmark Tower, Yokohama, enjoying the view of the sailing ship Nihon-Maru in the rain; while you were sake-ing in Kyoto, we were drinking a dry Kaga sake with whitebait at Wasai Yakura in Kamakura (good but still affordable and accessible...just as well as I bought a really nice Hagi-yaki teacup there), and while you were all over Asakusa, we were storming Shibuya cafes (L'Occitane's cafe has a good view of Shibuya crossing, Hiki Cafe was very relaxed, wifi). We did spend 2 days combing Asakusa and Kappa-bashi for coffee paraphernalia and table ware though.

Enjoy the rest of your stay! Are you coming back up to Tokyo?

Edited by helenjp
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5 hours ago, helenjp said:

Gosh, stay safe and stick to Kyoto tofu???

Just catching up with your epic adventures now after spending a week with a visiting friend - while you were knocking yourself out in Kyoto, we were having a modest lunch at Chef's V (cafe run by MOS group of MOS hamburgers) in Landmark Tower, Yokohama, enjoying the view of the sailing ship Nihon-Maru in the rain; while you were sake-ing in Kyoto, we were drinking a dry Kaga sake with whitebait at Wasai Yakura in Kamakura (good but still affordable and accessible...just as well as I bought a really nice Hagi-yaki teacup there), and while you were all over Asakusa, we were storming Shibuya cafes (L'Occitane's cafe has a good view of Shibuya crossing, Hiki Cafe was very relaxed, wifi). We did spend 2 days combing Asakusa and Kappa-bashi for coffee paraphernalia and table ware though.

Enjoy the rest of your stay! Are you coming back up to Tokyo?

 

 

Thank you! Sounds like a very good time. Yes, I'm coming back to Tokyo tomorrow for another week. Going to haunt that reprobate @Blether for awhile.

 

I think I've recovered from the head bump. Went to bed early and quietly last night - no wild eating, no thirsty drinking, not a bit of loose morality in any regard - and woke up ravenous, so went (at 7am!) to the Osaka Fish Market, where I ate a giant amount of sushi. This place is a little unusual in that you order by the plate (of 5 pieces) and you brush on your soy sauce with a paint brush a communal pot. I ate four plates, because I'm hardcore: 

 

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Then I went on a mini coffee crawl, around a couple of the new wave Japanese coffee joints of Osaka. Japanese coffee is usually drip, a terrible custom I assume they learned from the Americans, and I hate drip coffee so I'm always excited when I find places that do proper espressos. A triple shot espresso here, at LiLo Coffee Roasters:

 

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Followed by a ristretto:

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Followed by a doppio at Streamer:

 

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Followed by a double shot latte:

 

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So I was VERY cheerful after all that.

 

Walked around Shinsaibashi a bit after that (non food shots on my Insta), and found an amazing kitchen/homewares shop and bought myself these beautiful sake glasses and this plate, and a wooden spatula:

 

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And a snack of Beard Papa choux buns; filled to order with vanilla bean custard mixed in to whipped cream: 

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Then I had to do four hours of actual work work so didn't really get out for lunch, but for dinner had this amazing rare steak donburi; such perfectly tender, fatty rare meat. The same place also sold 1.5 pounds of meat in a bowl, but that's just obscene, right? (Just forget about the sushi.)

 

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Walked around Dotonbori for a bit, and because unless it's some serious French patisserie, I'll always go for savoury over sweet, dessert was a plate of takoyaki fried octopus balls, some more of my beloved fried chicken and a canned sour grape highball, in bed. Of course. 

 

 

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Do tell @Blether how much he is missed around these parts!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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After reading this thread so far, I have decided to live another hundred years longer, so that I have more time to enjoy all the amazing food you have posted!

 

 

どうもありがとうございました!

 

dcarch

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I'm in awe of the entire trip, and glad you're posting about it.  Many thanks!

 

If I were to see those glasses, that plate and spatula, I'd have to take them home too.  Have you blown your luggage weight limit yet?

 

What is the ambient noise like?  It looks like you're frequenting pedestrian malls so there isn't much traffic noise.  Do I have that right, or is it your skilled photography that makes it so? Do you have to shout over others' voices, or over blaring music, to order your food?

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Enjoying the postings as well.  After watching the last video I now know I could not live there.  Just too crowded, however, it is a very stimulating environment.  So many things competing for your attention.  Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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I am now at the point of near agony of desire for fresh, marvelous, ruin-me-for-anything-in-the-US, sushi.

 

I may have to go to the local sushi establishment today. At least it's been long enough since I've been in Japan that my taste memory has faded....

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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A bit of a tiring day today – a travel day, between Osaka and Tokyo. Don’t get me wrong, travelling in Japan is amazingly easy and efficient in general – not least because of the wonderful Japanese custom of takkyubin.  It’s one of the things I love most about this blessed country, one of the things that appeals most to my orderly, efficient, love-of-good-logistics heart is the takkyubin/luggage forwarding service..for AUD$16, a nice man will come and pick up your suitcase or whatever else you'd like conveyed from wherever you are, and deliver it to wherever you're going, mostly same day or overnight at most, so that YOU don't have to wrangle suitcases into taxis or onto trains or up escalators or whatever and whatnot. Here's my suitcase, waiting to be picked up.

 

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It’s amazing. There’s even ‘cold takkyubin’ for when, say, you’re on a day trip in another part of Japan and you decide to buy a crab or whatever, but you don’t want to lug it around with you for the rest of the day, so you send it home ahead of you, refrigerated all the way. The people are mad geniuses.

 

Anyway, be that as it may, it's still tiring by the time you walk around stations and change platforms and squeeze through crowds and hurtle about the country, and since I was starting off early today and had already sent my suitcase on ahead of me via takkyubin, I went to one of the many 24 hour ramen joints in Osaka at 8am, Ichiran Ramen, for a bowl of THICK, rich tonkotsu ramen. I love this place because every part of its ordering system and layout has been designed to minimize any interaction between staff and customers – intentionally. It’s ramen for introverts. You even get a private dining booth, and the kitchen is behind the booths, and your order slip is taken (from which you’ve paid into the vending machine at the front and then circled your preferences on a sheet) and your food delivered to you from behind waist-high curtains, which then drop again to render you in blessed privacy. You never see a face.

 

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Anyway, I circled – strong flavour, ultra rich soup, 1 clove of garlic, extra green onions, with char shu pork, with medium spicy sauce, soft noodles. They DO have this form in English, on the back, but I like to practice my Japanese and see if I know what I’m doing (I mostly do.) This is a picture from the web of the English side.

 

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Not sure what it says that their toilets had this much toilet paper..

 

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And this was the line for ramen, at 8am!!

 

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Then, I had a weird experience at Shin Osaka station – my first run in with a Japanese sex-pest! I’m not totally unused to being hassled by men in general, but this was my first persistent Japanese harasser, following me off the train I was on and through the station for about 10 minutes, walking VERY close to me and asking me over and over if we could have a coffee, if we could go on a date, if I “like romance” (hint: I don’t).

 

Interestingly, apparently when highly annoyed with Japanese sex-pests, I turn VERY and uncharacteristically Aussie:


"Listen, mate, yeah I get that you're trying it on and I don't want to get agro with you, but you might want to have a punt on another chick; I'm in a deadset hurry and I have to shoot through, OK??


WHO AM I.

 

Anyway, feeling now more than a little peevish, I finally managed to lose him by ducking into this beef restaurant and once there and hiding in a booth, felt obliged to order something, so I had this amazing bifu katsu sando (beef cutlet sandwich). DELICIOUS.

 

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Then I bought a beautiful temari sushi bento to eat on the train (it’s about a 3 hour journey; a girl could starve, you know.)

 

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But the irritation of the morning was cancelled entirely when I arrived in Tokyo and - you know how sometimes you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason you both start giggling within the first 30 seconds and just don't stop? After a very hilarious and immediately chortle-y conversation with this legend in half Japanese, half English, he said, "Wanna see sakura?? I take you on hanami-tour now! You are my friend!"

 

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And he turned off the taxi meter and took me for a 45 minute sojourn zooming around Tokyo to look at the cherry blossoms of Aoyama, Jingumae, Naka Meguro and Shinjuku, and then cheerfully dropped me at my Airbnb and got out of the taxi and stood beside it and waved and beamed and bowed until I was out of sight.

 

So that was lovely. I’m now here, in my Airbnb, which is very nice – and the kitchen is big, by Japanese standards, so I’ll get some cooking done.

 

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Bit worried about figuring out the recycling though..

 

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Dinner was a non-event – a snack bag of squid soft cartilage – yes, the beaky bit, can’t really recommend them – and another beef bento I bought at the station, because I knew I’d be tired tonight.

 

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And some sake – although I was a bit sigh-y that this apartment only seemed to have giant water glasses, which don’t feel at all right for sake – and then I remembered the sake glasses I bought yesterday. And so have christened them. :B

 

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Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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7 minutes ago, Shelby said:

The ramen for introverts sounds right up my alley.

 

I love it - there's even a lit-up sign board when you first go in, showing you which seats within the restaurant are empty, so you just make your way to a seat number and don't have to ask or wait to be seated. And the booths have dividers between them, for extra privacy, but the people in my photo were dining together or something so folded theirs back (inconceivable!)

Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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12 minutes ago, helenjp said:

Sorry about the pervs, it's the season for them unfortunately. But the identifiable kind that talk to you are the easiest to deal with.

We get half a warm day today, so hope you're out with your hanami lunchbox!

 

It's the following me bit that I really hate. But pervs are universal - the most hassled on the street I've ever been was in NYC, actually.

 

5 hours ago, FauxPas said:

You can speak and read some Japanese, did you pick that up on your own or do any formal courses? I also love those sake glasses! 

 

 

 

A bit of study at school, which really helps with the grammar basics (tense, sentence ordering etc) and everything else I've picked up on my multiple trips here. I have a 'sticky' brain when it comes to

languages; I hear it and it makes sense to me and I almost immediately can grasp it and remember the word for next time. Asian languages only though; I'm pretty functional in Japanese, Mandarin, bits of Korean and Cantonese, and I can get by in basic Vietnamese. European languages I can't 'hear' at all though. :unsure:

 

Real time breakfast post! Since I have a kitchen now, last night at the local supermarket I bought yakisoba noodles, carrots, pickled ginger, a shrink wrapped (!?) cabbage, and some beautiful fresh pork belly, to make breakfast yakisoba!

 

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      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By shain
      It's been more than a year in which international travel was challenging to impossible, but gladly this is changing, as more countries are able to vaccinate their population.
      Greece had managed to return to a state of near normality, and opted to allow vaccinated individuals to enter. And so I decided to go on a slightly spontaneous vacation (only slightly, we still had almost a month for planning). To the trip I was joined by my father, to whom I owed some good one-on-one time and was able to travel on a short-ish notice.
       
       
      Many people are yet unable to travel, and many countries are suffering quite badly from the virus, and therefore I considered if I should wait some time with this post. However, I hope that it will instead be seen with an optimistic view, showing that back-to-normal is growing ever closer.
       
       
      We returned just a few days ago, and it will take me some time to organize my photos, so this is a teaser until then.
       
       
       
       
    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
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