Monday, August 22, 2016

Eat Dairy - Japan '16 Summer

Here we go. First day school, back to my 5am routine. And soon even a bit earlier.

I think this boat is also kind of a Japan I see. Fresh, quality, colorful, traditional, order, and healthy.

Whenever you think about sashimi and sushi in Tokyo, you just cannot skip a name 築地市場 Tsuki-ji. We won't be able to go sleepless night then hours in line in order to bite the first fresh seafood reach the shore, but some local restaurants also have a thing call "one day pre-order", it works perfectly fine for us tourist ^_^  

First course for table of four. I guess it's a Texas size order. And there were truly, a lot of raw, even to my level... My younger one who is hesitate on sashimi was way happy when a bowl of hot ramen noodle came out next.

The sweet taste of shrimp and lobster and scallop was truly amazing. 

Display with artistic ceramic and potteries, decorated according to seasons. All the details are respected and honored wherever we visited. 

We had many many togo order because of tight schedules. No matter when and where we finally get the first bite, it was always MmmMmm delicious.

Perhaps tempura is the one of very few dish that cooked with oil in Japan. But they never greasy. And the way they coating varies of local veg, including herb leaves, and fry to a perfection was very fun for me to explore. 

If seafood is not you. Steak anyone?

Kobe beef. A meal we were much looking forward to.  And we got to learn some good words before sit down to order, like Miyazaki Wagyu, A5 grade, a marble score 10 or higher...
My one word after first bite: oishi!
My boys before first bite: so little?!
(the size was fine, but compare to the price they thought we must be served quarter of a cattle...LOL)
It tastes good indeed. If you like the buttery and fatty steak, it is a must. I now higher my stander to melted-in-mouth level.

Kobe beef has many levels. We tried many as possible even not the highest levels, and my boys love them all: not sure if because of the flavors, or because they are Texans.

We like these two Wagyu steaks as well. They grilled the steak with some marinates, not just salt pepper or steak rub. But because of the carefulness and attention to each details, they taste just unique and flavorful in a great way. 

Hot pot or Shabu Shabu. I like putting fresh abalones with loads of seafood. Felt very special. but the traditional one, just good beef and seaweed broth, works very charming as well. And the famous curry rice: it made the least curry eater in my house run for the second bowl :)  

Food is very well elegant, from how they look to taste. We were all thinking about the sausages last summer when we were in Germany, and our world famous Rodeo's Sausage-on-stick when this tiny beautiful plate showed up.

But, there are huge bowls. The owner of the Grilled Eel restaurant in Osaka was so proud he came to my table and happily encouraging me taking pictures. (Eel was generous, but the rice was outstanding too!)

Talking about rice. I mean we consider it as a side, but in Japan it is a leading role. Rice suddenly becomes so important, the texture and flavor makes it stand out and you just cannot miss it each and every meal.

My boys are all-time ramen noodle lovers. We were so full the last night in Tokyo, while they are still regret to miss the "noodle street" inside the Tokyo Station.

One big step for me during this trip was, I really ate and enjoyed typical Japanese breakfast each and every morning. Mostly I meant, Natto.
Our tour guy told me, typical BF including rice, miso soup, fish, seaweed, and Natto. Egg & Veg is option but very much needed.  

Can you play well with these powerful smell, strong flavor and sticky texture beans? After years and numbers of trying, I was surprised to find out I love to accompanied with them every morning during this trip. 

A soup and rice for breakfast sounds complicated but actually taste so right.

Can I have a name for this fish? Full eggs OMG!

Not apple juice to the left. It's apple cinder vinegar with purified water. Cool idea...

Western style breakfast. Centered was charcoal bread(!!!). Right bottom was the best ever pumpkin milk soup. Delish. 

Hot Spring Cooked Egg. Love to pair it with a croissant. 

Somehow every hotel we tried, baked outstanding fluffy croissants. I assume Japanese love French bakery. 

Fruits have been peeled and cleaned in a very careful manner.

For lunch, we usually tried their fix menu, or Bento box. The flavors and styles can be much varies from one place to another. 

Chicks, chick skin, meat balls... Perhaps these are the most favorite snacks my boys enjoyed. They always found in pubs, but street stands and food courts make great tasty ones as well. 

Octopus Balls: No one want to miss them when visiting Osaka. 

And a lot of street side stands cook seafood in very creative ways. 

Similar to a Chinese herb & sticky rice bun always eat in spring and summer. The red bean paste inside was very fine.

When you traveling in a super hot and humid 38C summer, green tea ice cream could be a life saver. Look at the fan behind, how petite it could be...

These were the best priced we found. And they were direct from the farm. Trust me, don't calculate the price and just buy. The white peach is THE best I ever have. We all wished we bought more: at least they are much less compare to Kobe beef ;) 

Japan loves vending machines quite a lot. I like their selections on none-sweetened teas.

My boys new found. DHA drinks for kiddos, and mocha ice cream all the time.

Some of out of our knowledge drinks. Like Calpis Soda, summer limited edition Calpis, Lemon Coke, and local wine taste light just like water (but wait, you can get alcohol drink from vending machine!!)

I like their dairy products. Tastes bold & different. Meiji is a great brand name. 

I don't even bother with Red Bull back in US, so this shelf itself is quite amazing to me. I did try collagen drink everyday. The strong belief helped me to get a bit young every time I paid. 

A mocha latte in Seattle's Best in Osaka.

A hot afternoon, a good iced coffee, and a view of a beautiful castle. We are so lucky and appreciated to all wonderful friendship, eats, drinks and experiences. We sure will come back and try all those again, soon :)