Friday, February 27, 2009
My friend did not take well to the hot Japanese summer, and let me tell you, it was hot, not to mention the humidity. This picture is priceless. Why would they do that??? In Vancouver, our summers are pretty mild compared to ones in Osaka, and it made no sense to me why they would have a train that was only mildy air conditioned. We were wearing shorts and t-shirts, and we were dying. There were salary men standing around in suits, barely breaking a sweat. It was outrageous.
What is Osaka famous for, food-wise? Takoyaki of course! Apparently, this is is one of the most famous shops in Osaka.
You have two or three poor saps sweating over the grills on a hot summer day in Osaka, no AC, or visible fans anywhere. It must have been murder.
15 squid balls for 750 yen, which really isn't too bad at all.
After drowning the freshly grilled takoyaki in takoyaki sauce and mayo, it's sprinkled with some seasoning....
...add some katsuoboshi flakes and you're ready to rock and roll.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My friend decided pizza and sandwiches woud best cure his hangover.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Mister Donut. What a fine donut shop chain that is. What you see below is called kori-coffee. Basically, it's frozen coffee chopped up into little cubes, you pour the milk in and wait for it to melt into ice coffee. It tasted pretty good I suppose. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but on a hot summer day in Japan, where the air conditioning is only set on mild, it did the trick.
Monday, February 23, 2009
So after you've settled in, you almost forget that you're on a plane. The service just keeps coming. They serve you a snack, and not simply a bag of peanuts, we got a small plate of gyoza (pan fried meat dumplings) and a bit of smoked salmon.
We were given a choice of a western meal, or a traditional Japanese Kaiseki meal. I chose the latter and here's a shot of the first course:
Bamboo shoots, snow peas and a shaped carrot slice, finely presented and very tasty.An assortment of pickles, not to strong in flavour.Tofu, with a hint of wasabi.There was also a kani (crab) sunomono with tobiko but the picture I took was way too blurry. Anyways, here's a shot of the lobster tail, with some sort of Japanese-style tartar sauce Japanese tartar sauce generally has egg as one of the ingredients, so it tastes more like egg salad. There was also unagi (eel) rolled in tamago (egg). The scallop was actually my favourite part. Baked in a Miso-mayo, it tasted quite different from your standard Oyster Motoyaki. Throw in a bit of miso in the mix, and it gives it an extra tangy flavor. I was quite surprised that all of these dishes tasted so good when chilled. After the lobster tail, they clear your tray and serve you a bowl of rice, bowl of miso soup, and grilled black cod, or sable fish with some string beans and a carrot shaped like a maple leaf....Nice Canadian touch. The cod was heaven that melts in your mouth. I love black cod.
By this time, my belly is full and I'm feeling content, but the service keeps coming, and being the greedy pig that I am, I indulge myself in further gorging. A fresh assortment of fruit, cheeses and crackers, I say yes to all of the above.And after that, ice cream....chocolate ice cream, with a hard chocolate coating, sitting in a bed of frozen Mango....something...sorbet maybe? Anyways, who am I to say no?A quick, blurry shot of breakfast. There were several choices to pick from, but I went with a simple assortment of sandwiches, inari (rice ball wrapped in sweet tofu skin), and a plate of fresh fruit.
Actually, I was fortunate enough to go to Japan twice that April, and I managed to get upgraded to business class on the return flight on my first trip in April, as well as on the outbound flight of my second trip.