June 14, 2007

Summer is Here

Temps are suddenly upper seventies and touched eighty yesterday. I snapped this two weeks ago at Hideyoshi Yakitori and I think it conjures up what summer in Japan is about quite nicely. BTW that's an oolonghai made from oolong tea (barley) and shochu liquor. (Kamakura, Japan)

June 3, 2007

"Edible, Raw Work of Art" Medium: Raw Seafood

We ate this last weekend on the way back from the sumo tournament in Tokyo. (VIEW PHOTOS HERE) We stumbled upon a delicious Izakaya, (a casual place with drinks and great food selections,) with an all-Kanji menu. I couldn't read a darn thing so I just asked for a few things that I knew we liked. They had most of it and this is what arrived when I asked for "sashimi." There's a little raw octopus, tuna and mystery fish plus a few raw prawns. In the front is a bit of red pepper, wasabe and freshly grated ginger. It's served on a bed of plum leaves (ume shiso,) and pine frawn. You eat the ume shiso with some fish but the pine is just for decor. The people sitting next to us were eating raw beef and when they caught us looking, they insisted that we try it. Matt had some and said it was so-so. I felt bad about eating thier food so I played shy.

That's Japan for you. Hospitality Rules!

(Near Yokohama Station, Japan)
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"If You Shall Ever Tire of Yakitori, I Shall Tire of You" Japanese Proverb

Okay, so I made that up. But they are words to live by as far as I'm concerned. One of Hideyoshi's specialties is a yummy slab of duck grilled with their secret yakitori sauce. Customers can purchase it to go, (on a stick,) or eat it on a plate in the shop. In the background are the last bites of heart, tsukune and cheek, (my current favorite.) We're going to eat there tonight...again;) This was taken umm...two weeks ago? (Hideyoshi Yakitori Restaurant, Kamakura Japan)
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Alternative Tentacles

The beautiful hand modeling a delicious chunk of octopus is Blanca. We grabbed some bar snacks at 7-11 before hitting a local bar. On the left is slightly pickled Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage,) in the middle, boiled Octopus with soy sauce and on the right--quickly pickled cucumbers, (Oshinko.) In the background is what I call "a drink for drinkers." It's made from some ginger looking root and is supposed to help your liver deal with booze thereby easing your hangover. It's no match for a night at the chuhai stand but then again, nothing really is...
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