Friday, April 17, 2015

Japan Without Sushi - Part 3

On Food

Food was exceptionally good in Japan. I ditched my list of recommended food/cafe/restaurants, as it seemed like any food in any random place tasted either good or very good. Even instant ramen was very tasty (although certain type left MSG taste in my mouth). I was surprised that I enjoyed a cold beef bento bought randomly in one train station, as I always, always prefer warm food.

Most restaurants provided cutleries for children. Drinking water, or sometimes roasted tea, was usually provided free of charge.

Oh, we didn't have chance to try out sushi. The closest I got was eating a bento consisted of rice and 3 different fish slices which was bundled with an ice pack. It's because we hardly found a suitable sushi place - it was either standing sushi bars (impossible with kids) or those high-end sushi restaurants. Since I am not really a fan of sushi, I gladly gave it up for a bowl of piping hot ramen or tasty beef bowl anytime :p

Just some drool-worthy random food we came across

Terminal Cafe, Narita Airport, Tokyo

This was where we had our first meal in Japan, a random restaurant in Narita. It turned out good - both their pasta and curry rice.

Shobuten, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Had great tonkatsu here, both with curry and without curry. As appetizer we were served a big bowl of shredded cabbage. We made our own sauce by combining sesame with sauces provided on the table - found this out by observing people in surrounding tables :p

Tamago-to-watashi, Shibuya, Tokyo

It's the house of omu rice. The place was quite small but it's nicely decorated. After waiting for a while our group was seated in quite a secluded corner. The omu rice with cheese was better than the standard version that came with cream and ketchup.

Olive House Dining, Tokyo

Tasty beef patty, marinara pizza and strawberry sundae.

Cheesecake Garden Cafe, Fujikawaguchiko

It's a quaint little cafe by the roadside. Loved its simple and natural design and made it a point to return there to try out their cakes after our excursion. Their cheesecakes were soft, creamy but light. Bought 2 slices and it came with 2 cups of coffee on the house. Their green tea biscuits were very good too.

Hoto Restaurant, Fujikawaguchiko

The story went like this: we were stuck in Natural Living Centre during lunch time and their cafe served only snacks and beverages. So we scoured around for some 'serious' food and found a local restaurant specializing in hato. We were the only customers there during our lunch and we were not even sure if the restaurant was open then :p

Hoto is a regional cuisine from Yamanashi prefecture, consisting of flat noodles and vegetables in miso soup. It's actually similar to udon, but the noodles were thicker, more chewy and dumpling-like. They had only hato in the menu (with variation of toppings: pork, oyster, kimchi, boarmeat and adzuki bean) so we gave it a try and we liked it!

It was not cheap but it sure was hearty and healthy, judging from the amount of veggies that went into it :p

Hana, Fujikawaguchiko

It was not an easy feat to find food in little town of Fujikawaguchiko. We did not make dinner reservations in the hotel we were staying at, so we had to look elsewhere. We walked for a bit and found Hana. Ordered beef bowl and the rest was history. Their beef was superb!

Okonomiyaki Machiya, Porta, Kyoto

Wanted to try Okonomiyaki so we chose this restaurant. Ordered one okonomiyaki and one modanyaki (okonomiyaki served with a layer of fried noodles). Sauces and mayonnaise were available on the tables, and the food was served on the pans available on each table. Food was good, although we had to wait for a bit and we came out with the smell stuck in our clothes.

Tempura Tendon Tenya, Osaka

Picked this place randomly while we were looking for lunch in Dotonburi area. Very tasty tempura bowl and miso soup. A big jug of chilled roasted tea was provided free of charge.

Hakata Ikkousha Ramen, Osaka Train Station

This is one of the places where we had to order through a vending machine. The menu was not extensive but service was great and both ramen and gyoza were tasty.

Manneken Waffle outlets, all around Japan

We were tempted to buy our first Japanese Manneken Waffle in Shinjuku, right after we had our dinner. And we ended up buying more everytime we came across other outlets. The sweet smell was irresistible!

Food in DisneySea & Disneyland

Food in the theme park was as expected. On the expensive side, but tasted alright. It's interesting to see the presentations, though.

Food on the plane

We flew on ANA for this trip. For 7-hour journey, we got one snack and one meal. The breakfast on SIN-NRT tasted meh while the dinner on NRT-SIN were tasty. Too bad we forgot to request for kids bento, as they only serve it when there's prior reservation.

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