Thursday, July 5, 2012

Food! Glorious Food!

As my brother-in-law said, "I can't remember ever having a bad meal in Japan".

Our first Ekiben from Abashiri Station. It was about Y840, and I got an onigiri for another Y100.

In the bento was rice, and spicy yaki soba (almost like mee goreng! It seemed to be spiced with curry spices). There was a whole assortment of food. There was a thick slice of omelette, a slice of fried fish, a prawn tempura, a fried spring roll, a siew mai, squid or octopus, and an assortment of pickles, including the pink ginger. In the middle of the rice was a pickled plum or something really really sour. Nice!

I had mentioned the Izakaya dinner we had in another post. So I won't repeat myself. Just adding a picture of the Yaki Onigiri with the yellow takuan pickles. In the middle of the onigiri was plum paste if I recall.


Spicy gyoza!

Our next Ekiben was from Asahikawa. PL got the ZooBen which was like a sampler of 9 different dishes.

My ekiben was a simple beef or pork with half a hard boiled egg. I think it was some kinda stew or braised pork. 

At Sapporo PL got the "Spring" Ekiben, while I got the Furano Beef Ekiben.

The Spring Ekiben was again a riot of little samplers. Different types of rice roll like sushi maki, pickles, and jelly, I think.

The Furano beef was tender. Loved the pumpkin and green pepper.

The second night at Hakodate, we explored the town on tram and ended up having dinner at this shabu shabu place (Wai Wai Tei)... And overdosed on beef! Nice beef, but just too much!

On our way from Hakodate to Kwaguchiko, we stopped at Shinjuku to transfer trains, and decided to buy our ekiben there. This was one of the last two boxes of what I called the "Dragon" ekiben. Rice in little mouth size pieces (like sushi rolls), siew mai, eggs, prawns, pickles. The box was made from real soft wood. Natural, but not durable enough to re-use.

Boiled Crab

Crab Tempura (and veggies)

Crab Gratin
The Queen Crab Keiseki we had in Kyoto had crab in every course. I like the crab gratin best, though it was probably not very traditional.
Ekiben from Kyoto on the way to Tokyo. A pork cutlet, breaded with rice.

Private single dining booth converted from barrels.
 At Shinjuku, we found this dark foreboding restaurant with HUGE barrels converted into dining booths. And in the lift we saw this ghastly silhouette. 

The food was quite nice though! PL ordered the chicken or pork set, and I tried to order some yakitori... and got pork fat! Among other things. The others were chicken and pork. I think. (Hope!) Finished everything, except the pork fat.

Mapo Tofu Set. Y500 only.

At Ginza, we looked for a place to eat, but it was the downtown office area and all the eateries were full of "salarymen" trying to get fed during their lunch hour, and I was feeling a little intrusive to be occupying their precious lunch space. But we found a restaurant with a short and disappearing queue and join in at the back.

Unfortunately, the lady did not speak English, the menu was all in Japanese... but we could understand that the special of the day was "mapo tofu", so we got two sets. It came with a bowl of rice drowned in mapo tofu, pickles, and a bowl of miso soup.

The total cost: Y1000 for 2 sets, making it the cheapest full meal we had in Japan!

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