Autumn: Growing Appetite

Hello… 🙂

Sorry for the lack of updates the past few weeks.. it has been a good October to me so far! (though it’s getting kinda cold the past 2 days..)

I have always love October & November because it’s the Autumn season (my favorite season followed by Spring). Weather is good, food is awesome and everyone’s happy. 😀

Autumn is filled with many many food temptations. The seasonal products you can eat in this season is endless. From sweet potatoes, chestnuts, mackerels, salmons (and it’s roe), shrooms, persimmons and best of all, RICE. 🙂 🙂

My appetite grew just for this season. 😉

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Hotate & Ikura donburi (Scallop & Salmon roe rice bowl) from Hokkaido Fair @ Seibu Ikebukuro departmental store. Massive bombing in the mouth..! 😀IMG_20141004_132433

Uni & Ikura donburi (Sea urchin & Salmon roe rice bowl). Y-chan loves uni so he ordered this. Fresh uni tastes sweet and this is just perfect. 🙂IMG_20141004_132449

An up-close shot of my hotate & ikura donburi. The raw scallop is so soft that it melts in the mouth. IMG_20141018_142830

Last weekend, we went to Omiya Ichiba (which was about 3km from our house) and had lunch at this shop Hanaichi which sells seafood set meal. 🙂

I ordered this Maguro nakaochi donburi + ebi fry set meal which comes with kani miso soup. There was a special campaign and this set lunch I ordered cost only 1,080yen. SO DAMNED CHEAP. 😀

Will definitely visit this shop again, although we have to walk around 45mins to reach this place.

And the following day, we took a train up north to attend a B-grade food festival. The food were reasonably priced at mostly 300yen and 600yen. So we went a little cray cray and bought a lot of food. :OIMG_20141019_104649

Kushi katsu pi – Pork & Onion cutlet topped with crushed peanuts. This was good! Onion was soft and sweet.IMG_20141019_104733

Chabu soba – Something like yakisoba tomato ketchup was used instead of yakisoba sauce. Not nice at all. ):IMG_20141019_110058

Super flat udon. ♥ Thank goodness we queued up for this early, if not we have to wait at least 30mins for this. IMG_20141019_111347Maguro katsu with shoyu sauce. This is awesome major love! Super big chunks of tuna dipped in shoyu sauce. ♥

We bought some other food but I’d forgotten to take photos of it. 😦 *pats shoulder*

Sorry if I have made you hungry with the photos, but I’m trying to PR to all of you that Autumn is the best season to visit Japan. 😉

Hope my Autumn food adventures continues to November! ♥

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Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken

Hellos! I’m back with a recipe post and it’s the easiest yet flavorful teriyaki chicken. Teriyaki chicken/salmon menus can be found in most Japanese food stalls in Singapore but the taste of each stall’s teriyaki sauce varies. Some are too watery while some are too starchy. 😐

Few years back I found the best teriyaki sauce on a youtube video, and from then on, I seldom order teriyaki chicken/salmon set meals from the Japanese food stalls in Singapore. 😀 click to see the recipe!

Take a stroll in Tokyo’s old streets

Many of us would have this standard image of Tokyo to be a concrete jungle, filled with fanciful skyscrapers and tourists from all over the world right? However, in this modern & bustling city, you can still spot some old streets (or the locals here call it 下町 – shitamachi) within the 23 wards in Tokyo.

The most well-known place for shitamachi would be Asakusa (浅草).Next would be Oshiage (押上) and Yanesen (谷根千).

Shitamachi has this ‘thing’ that catches my heart. 🙂 It has the feel of the olden days of Tokyo where it’s filled with warmth & humanity unlike the busy & uncaring Shibuya/Shinjuku etc.

Few weeks back, I went to Yanesen area with my friend A because she likes shitamachi too. 😀 Yanesen (谷根千) consists of 3 areas, Yanaka (谷中), Nezu (根津) and Sendagi (千駄木). The nearest JR station is Nippori Station but you can take subways too.

We met at Nippori Station at around 11am because we wanted to try out a very famous shaved ice stall that’s featured in magazines & TV programs.  We exited from the West Exit and walked straight down the road to the stairs which is the Yuuyake dandan and turn left. I made a ‘star’ mark for easy reference. 😀

The shaved ice stall is called Himitsudou (ひみつ堂). Himitsudou use ice that’s form naturally (during winter) in the catchment area in (i think) Nikko. And the syrup they used to top it on the shaved ice are homemade with fresh seasonal fruits.

Please give this stall a visit if you’re in Tokyo! They have special menu for Autumn & Winter season too. Shall visit it again end of the year. 😀

We ordered the most popular one from the menu which is the Strawberry Milk shaved ice bowl. Shaved ice + evaporated milk + freshly made strawberry syrup. It’s just too good for this hot weather. 😀 (but it’s too milky for me because I don’t like the taste of milk)

Then we ordered another bowl – Pineapple Caramel shaved ice bowl. (If you’re planning to order this, please don’t because it’s not very very fantastic, order the green tea flavor instead.)After eating, we went to walk along the Yanaka Ginza Shopping street. Didn’t take any photos of the place because it was raining very heavily the moment we stepped out of the stall. Go visit it yourself if you’re interested! 😀

Then we walked in the rain towards the next stop marked with the pink star for our late lunch. 🙂 It’s called Kayaba Coffee and the building itself is so amazing.

(Photo credits: www.facebook.com/yanesensampo)

Lunch sets at just 900yen with salad & coffee/tea (including tax). SO CHEAP CAN! 😀

Top: Hayashi rice

Bottom: Chicken curry rice

I love their menu!!! The illustration of each of their dishes are just so so cute! 🙂 🙂

After our lunch, we continued our stroll towards Nezu area as we wanted to visit the Nezu Shrine. (Remember the manners when visiting a shrine? Bow at the side of the torii and do not walk right in the middle of the path.)

This is A. 😀 She loves to smack people’s butt. 😐

And this is me with the amazing spot within Nezu Shrine compound. 

And we took a #selfie 😀

As we had some time before meeting Y-chan for dinner at Ikebukuro, we chill out at MOS burger at Sendagi (walking distance from Nezu Shrine) and had some snacks + some talks. 🙂

Then we ended our long long day by having some awesome gyuutan (beef tongue) set meals at Rikyuu (利久 – http://www.rikyu-gyutan.co.jp/). All 3 of us ordered the same meal which was the half & half, consisting of gyuutan & choice of beef stew or curry, salad and clear oxtail soup.

Looking at this just makes me drools…… (._.)

Oh man, Singapore should have more restaurants selling gyuutan because IT’S JUST that AWESOME. *slurppppps* If you haven’t had gyuutan before, please take the first step and try it. 😀

If you’re visiting Japan, there are 2 chain restaurants I know of selling gyuutan set meals. Other than Rikyuu, there’s Negishi (ねぎし). I have tried both but I personally prefer Rikyuu because Negishi tends to serve overcooked gyuutan and the gyuutan is much thinner than Rikyuu. 🙂

It’s been a while since I last wrote such a long post. Hope you enjoyed it and will consider taking a stroll in the shitamachi when visiting Japan. 😀

 

Spaghetti with Gravy – Spaghetti Como

Hello and YES! Finally my last post on my Nagoya food hunt. This is the first item that we had upon reaching Nagoya. There’s a lot of restaurants selling this and after scanning through some reviews, we decided to settle on Spaghetti Como.

Spaghetti Como is located at Sakae Skyle, a very good location just beside Sakae station. The restaurant was quite empty when we entered, however about 10 minutes later, it’s filled with working adults and elderly having their late lunch.

The whole list of menu available. So many unique names yet every dish looks the same to me. (O_O) I think the most popular ones would be the 2nd item from the list – ミラネーゼ.

The interior of the restaurant. A lot of elderly frequents this restaurant. 

This is my order – Marengo (マレンゴ). Sauce (gravy), sausages and vegetables. The spaghetti used was quite thick and soft. So if you’re looking for the al dente spaghetti, you might be disappointed with this dish. Anyways, the gravy was quite sour. I guessed it’s the specialty of this dish? I couldn’t finish this whole plate because the serving was huge. Overall, I think it’s quite a normal dish and given another chance, I would have queue up for Unagi instead. *sighs*

And one negative point about this restaurant is that they allowed smokers to smoke at their tables. This obviously spoilt our appetites while having our lunch.