Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dinner by Monks...

I somehow got a bit behind in the food blog. Sorry! Such is life in Japan where you’re almost always eating something interesting or unknown.

After 5 weeks I can say without hesitation our most “interesting” meal was the one we had at the monastery in Mt. Koyasan. Since the monks are vegetarian so were we while we stayed there. At least until we could find a tempura restaurant the next day ;)

The meal was served in a traditional room by a monk and was an awesome experience…

We could identify about 20% of the food we were served. My fave was a ginger soup although nothing was bad, per se, except for the cold creamy tofu. I can do tofu, but it needs to be firm.

We had a great time opening all the little bowls and trying to decide what all the weird veggies and fruit tasted like...

It was a meal to remember. Of course I think anyone would be hard pressed to forget eating tiny purple boiled potatoes the size of peas or the hotly contested “peachango”.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bacon Fajitas

It's not really bacon and they certainly aren't fajitas, but that’s our pet name for our fave dish at the Korean place down the street from our hotel. The entire table has to order it to get the “all you can eat” special so we try to get everyone on board so we can actually get enough food to constitute a meal to our non-Japanese tummies.

After breaking down the ingredients I’ve come to the conclusion that the miso totally makes this dish and they are oh so delicious…

Please note that bbq-ing arm is the Wife's. She's kinda a control freak about the grill and well, we're kinda lazy and a little piggish so it works out well.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

korean bbq

We’ve had Korean like 3 times already and I think all pretty addicted to the bbq-ing at your table concept. The best Korean we’ve had thus far was at the restaurant the new guy took us to in his ‘hood. The food was amazing and the quality of the beef was, well it was so beautiful we ate most of it raw. As you can imagine the Wife was in heaven and I’ll even admit that it was pretty dang tasty.

We started with a little tartar appetizer that you wrapped in seaweed…

This cut of beef was great raw and dipped in a little soy although I preferred to let most of mine kiss the grill a little…

We did actually do a little bbq-ing…

They're really into high fat contents in their meat here. Seriously, the more fat marbled into their beef or pork- the higher the cost. I’ve learned never to order the most expensive cut to ensure it isn’t too fatty or greasy for my Western palate.

Thankfully you have bibs to make sure none of that marbling gets on your clothes…

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


They say a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush. I say a bird in the hand headed to your tummy is worth even more than that.

Our dear friend, KB, introduced these yummy little treats to us on our first trip to Japan and we snagged a couple as soon as we found them.

The cake is filled with mashed and sweetened red beans. I'm fascinated that beans are used pretty much exclusively in desserts here. I am totally going to be experimenting with some "bean baking" when I finally have a kitchen again.

A tiny video of the bird cake machine...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

sea pig

Friday night's lesson: Not all hot pots are created equal.

3 of us had decided to split another hot pot at dinner on Friday night only to be told by the waiter we had dragged outside to the menu board that the hot pot we craved was actually served next door. No worries he seemed to indicate and brought us a photo of another hot pot.

It seemed suspiciously filled with a strange array of seafood, but we went with it.

Veggies, seafood, tofu, pork and some other unidentifiable items came to the table heaped in a big pot. We kept asking for the water, but were assured that was all we were getting. After much debate, sneering and questioning it did finally cook down.

The Spaniard really had an issue with the pork and seafood being in the same pot, but I assured him as all good Southerners know- pork = flavor.

In the end the “sea pig” didn’t win our hearts, but it was much better than we had expected.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

hot pot of goodness

Perfect midnight dinner? Apparently the answer is hot pot.

We had our first hot pot experience at a restaurant we came across in the Meguro area. We went with the pork and added some soba noodles to round out the meal.

They were both beyond delicious.

All I can say is get ready for some hot pot dinner parties at the V’s house when we move back!

Monday, November 1, 2010


For our first dinner out together we went to a small (well, every restaurant is pretty small here) teppanyaki restaurant.

The meal started with a small bowl of gelatinous items. We're still unsure of what most of them were and as Westerners the texture was a bit much for us...

After much translating of the all Japanese menu I went with the oysters and five mushrooms…

and Jules went with the chicken…

The mains were really delicious, but we were all still pretty hungry after the tiny portions. 3 oysters does not a dinner make for this American girl.

It hasn’t been my fave meal thus far and unless we can find a teppanyaki place with better ventilation we may not try it again. My purse smelled like a big piece of fried garlic for about 3 days.