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Sunday, November 18, 2012

An-mitsu and Maccha Latte (Bunmeido, Ginza, Tokyo)

We were in Ginza, Tokyo earlier this year. Hanging out during the day, we were getting a little tired, and so we hit one of Japanese cafe operated by Bunmeido on the main street of Ginza. Bunmeido is famous for  their Kasutera, a Japanese sponge cake originally from Portugal; brought to Japan back in 16th century. I had a matcha (powdered green tea) latte and an-mitsu, a classic Japanese dessert.

An-mitsu dessert and matcha latte.
 As you can see on the picture, presentation was wonderful just as you expect from a cafe in Ginza; a very fashionable area in Tokyo. It had the matching price tag on it but hey you don't do this sort of stuff all the time...

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hohduki (Kobe, Japan)

When I went to Japan, I caught up with a friend of mine that dates back about 30 years. He's a bit of a gourmet, and I requested for some traditional Japanese food (as I was in Japan). We met up in my hotel then headed out to the night of San-nomiya, Kobe. We went past under the JR railway line to the north and hit the restaurants and pubs sort of area. My friend picked this Hohduki restaurant, and we were not disappointed.

Katsuo (Bonito) tataki

Sashimi of 3 different kinds


Fish (Nodoguro) cooked in broth and konbu sea kelp

Snapper chazuke (Japanese style risotto) with some pickles on the side

Yuzu sorbet as dessert
The course was really good. It was well worth 5000 yen price tag. Not sure if you can find this much food of this quality at this sort of price back home. We really did enjoy ourselves that night.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

TGI Friday's (Marion, Adelaide)

It was the Christmas time of the year, and it meant it might be a little difficult to find places open for lunch. We found ourselves with an empty fridge on a hot day with most of places closed. We heard that TGI Friday in Marion might be operating, and thus headed down that way.

I used to frequent TGI Friday's when I lived in the US; it used to be a lifesaver for us Postdocs on a shoestring budget working late in the lab then go on in search of sustenance later. But times have changed, I never expected to see one here in Adelaide of all places...

A bacon cheeseburger.
This costed me about ~16 bucks. With a bottomless fountain soda. Not too bad I guess. I remember the idea of the bottomless fountain soda so foreign all those years back (11 to be exact). It certainly had some nostalgic value for me too. But I think my taste buds got REALLY spoilt after spending years away from the US.

TGI Friday's on Urbanspoon
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Swinging Bowl Satay (Stephens Place, Adelaide)

It's that Thursday lunch time again. I was fully intending to go back to Penang Hawker Corner in Renaissance Arcade, but... As I was walking towards the Penang joint, I went past this place. I knew of this Swinging Bowl Satay joint. My friends frequent it, but I had never eaten here. I'm a sucker for curry, and the smell coming out of this place just attracted me, and I tend to follow my nose. I walked in and got myself a plate of:
Curry chicken, a sambal egg, rice and stir fried vegies.
All this for about 13 bucks including the drink (so this plate of food was actually less than 10 bucks). The curry tasted wonderful; aromatic and as it should. Spicy enough to make me sweat around my nose but not exceedingly hot to burn. Very generous serving of rice; they pack a largish bowl first then open that up on a plate before pouring curry over. The sambal egg had that punchy smell/taste to it. The only concern I had was that I hoped they were making enough money to keep the place running because it's wonderful in both quality and quantity.

Swinging Bowl Satay on Urbanspoon
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Zucca Greek Mezze (Promenade, Glenelg, Adelaide)

On a very sunny Sunday, we went to the Rocks Restaurant but we were told that it was not open for lunch. So we looked for an alternative, and found the Zucca Greek Mezze Restaurant on the Promenade. It didn't start too well. As we were sat down, I asked for a table inside; facing the ocean, as I could see that there were some empty tables. Instead we were told there was no table available that side. Sure. We sat at a table facing the marina. No problem, as we thought that side was hired out or something. Then we noticed that other parties are shown to the other side. What the...? We wondered if they had booking; we didn't. But it was obvious that people without booking were also led there. Hmmm? Is it because we are a party of 3, instead of 2 or 4 or 5? No, we saw a party of 3 being shown inside who obviously did not have a booking. We really wondered if it's because we were not Caucasians and they were. I really hope that's not the case. But the collective thought already soured the atmosphere for us. When it came to ordering, things got worse; we requested if they could make a seafood platter for 2 into a platter for 3, as there were 3 of us, and as well as the fact that my parents have been here before and managed to get a platter of seafood and meat for 2 made from different platters. Alas, there was no such luck this time. We could see that the waitress serving us was arguing for this but no. So we ended up ordering the following dishes: 

A mezze serving of moussaska.

A mezze serving of grilled octopus.

A seafood platter for two.
The food was passable; at least there was enough for us. But I've had better seafood platters elsewhere before. And everything else really spoiled the fun. Frankly, all I was thinking during the meal was "let's get this done and over with, and get the F outta here." It's not like we were being stingy; we spent nearly 170 bucks for a lunch for three. In appreciation of all this, I gave them the exact money down to the cents. I don't think we'll come back here anytime soon. 

Zucca Greek Mezze on Urbanspoon
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Penang Hawker Corner (Renaissance Arcade, Adelaide)

It was at the beginning of the year when shops were not open, yet I had to work; couldn't make lunch to bring to work. What can I do but... Go out for a lunch? I have known that this Penang Hawker Corner existed as far back as I can remember; like all those years ago when I was an undergrad at Adelaide Uni. Yet I had never eaten here. Until now. I am a sucker for these two items:

Curry laksa and coconut juice.
Close look at that bowl of laksa.
It was very good. The noodle was not exactly my favourite; the thick Hokkien kind. But that's just my personal preference, and the rest really made it up. I especially liked the soup/broth. I was also happy with the amount served as well (ie. plenty). Coconut juice didn't hurt either; sweet and refreshing. So this was another case of "why didn't I come here before?"

Penang Hawkers Corner on Urbanspoon

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