Sake to me Baby – Japan Day One

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It was so emotionally hard to leave Canada.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to family even though we know we will be back.

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We got into Vancouver quite early and had about five hours to kill before our next leg to Tokyo.

I had to share this pic that I took from the first leg of our flight. Yeah, that jacket shouldn’t be a problem to anyone at all shouldn’t it?

Luckily one of the cabin crew told her to take it down a  short while later.

We had a pretty good flight – no complaints. Got a great breakfast at Vancouver Airport. So good I had to share pics.

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Oh and the airport itself is huge and has lots to look at including these colourful fishies.
We should know, we’ve spent over ten hours  at Vancouver airport in the last few weeks.

 


I don’t think it really hit me that we were flying into Japan until we touched down! I hadn’t even really been thinking about this portion of our vacation time.

IMG_0396I was going through the Japanese phrases I know and I’m completely fluent in Hello, thank you, excuse me AND water. If the situation I’m in calls for more conversation than that, I may be in trouble.

The train trip from Narita airport took just over an hour.

The man sitting next to me must have had some sort of OCD as he was always opening and closing his luggage.

I saw tons of things I could have photographed while we were on the train but I felt like it could have stressed the OCD man out so I didn’t take many.

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I did manage to snap one of their well designed “stack em on top of each other” type car parks.

It’s pretty common here seeing as they’re space poor.

We found our apartment very easily and went straight on in. It’s very hard to describe it. Its certainly one of the roomiest (in terms of floor space) we’ve had in our many trips here but also one of the oldest.  As space is always an issue, we’re used to things being tight and awkward but this one definitely wins the prize. Although it’s roomy, the appliances are all shoved awkwardly into one small space.
I don’t want to say anything negative. It’s certainly clean. And some people don’t mind not shutting the bathroom door so if there’s not enough room for you to sit on the throne AND shut the door at the same time, it’s not a big deal is it? Hubby and I like to keep a little mystery in our marriage so we’re definitely going to have to work out a system there.

First thing to do was go shopping for some basics. As soon as I entered the supermarket I saw this.

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I’m pretty sure I heard angels singing.

We had to get milk as well. I’ve explained before how difficult it is because although we have that fab vocabulary of four words, we don’t read Japanese. So how do we know we’ve bought regular milk for coffee?? Is it Soy? Skim? Almond? We just wanted regular milk! I haven’t tried it yet so hopefully what we bought is ok.

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And speaking about buying things I have no clue about, I bought this drink (bottom left) because it was zero calories. I don’t know what it tastes like and I say that AFTER I’ve had some.
Have I told you before how difficult it is to buy diet lemonade here?? So this will have to do.

We didn’t buy sugar because finding it seemed to be an issue again and we were too tired to keep trying. Looks like we’ll be having sugarless coffees in our apartment.

We also bought our regular Milk Tea because, well, we are in Japan.

 


I’m pretty sure I’ve been up over 24 hours now so it’s time for this tired girl to get some shut eye.
Oh, I haven’t mentioned that this apartment, bigger floor space than most, doesn’t have one double bed, it has two beds that are slightly smaller than a double. So instead of putting a nice sized bed in the bedroom and allow for food traffic, somewhere to put your luggage etc, they took up the whole floor area with two beds. Hubby (all six foot seven of him) and I are going to try to sleep in one bed. This can only end badly!!!

So Sumimasen if I say Konichiwa.  By the way, do you know where I can get some mizu? Arigatō (gozaimasu)

 

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The Glenelg Club

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We were served seriously big serves
Our stomachs started hurting just seeing our plates being set down on the table
We entertained a lot of elderly diners who marveled at our ability to eat a LOT of food.

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Diners today were at The Glenelg Club which is at Glenelg Oval (Gliderol Stadium) on Brighton Rd. Hubby and I just wanted a quick lunch before doing the million other things we had to do that day and it seemed a quick easy place to visit.

Strange to think we’ve never been here before when we live so close. The first thing we noticed was the view of the oval as you walk into the Bistro Doors. It was a really lovely view!

 

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IMG_4395We were there right at the start of the lunch period and only one other table was seated. Before long, many many tables were full and they all had one thing in common; They were full of seniors! The Glenelg Club has 20% off all lunch meals Monday to Friday for seniors. Now that’s a pretty good offer right!

Looking through the menu there were lots of options on there at pretty reasonable prices. They also advertise their weekly specials and I was already thinking about when we could come back before we’d even ordered anything!

After looking through the menu for a long, long time, hubby finally decided he was going to have the Grazers Plate. It was in the starters section and we assumed it was some kind of sharing platter. The menu description didn’t say how many people the plate would reasonably feed so he just figured he’d order it for his main. This was what appeared on the menu
“Southern chicken tenders, spiced lamb skewers, seeded mustard bread, waffle fries,  chefs selected dip, olives and Australian feta”

I decided to go for the burger, I know, not very original but it was what I felt like today. I actually would have preferred the steak sandwich but I didn’t like the bread they had that on.

When I ordered the food, the server didn’t say anything. I mentioned that hubby was going to have the grazing plate as his main. She didn’t bat an eyelid. I had no clue at how big this plate was going to be.

We watched other food coming out and it all looked really good so we were looking forward to our own meals.

Finally a server starts walking over to our table with just one dish. It turns out, she had the grazers plate and it was so large, she couldn’t hold two plates. She needed two hands for it and said she’d be right back with my burger.

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Hubby, shy thing that he is, was just mortified at the size. Other diners had turned to look. One lady even said “oh, excuse me, what did you order there, was that something special?” I said “No it’s on the menu, it’s the Grazers plate”
You could see the relief come over her, “oh” she replied, “thank goodness. I thought that was the dips plate and we’ve just ordered that.”

I really don’t know where to start with this. Everything was really really good. Hubby begged me to share it so I had to have a try. From the chicken, to the dip and salsa, everything was very tasty. I’m sure I ate most of that dip!
This dish was $32 which I think is very reasonable for the amount of food that you get!
Hubby noticed that one of the servers would glance over and snicker every time she came by. It might have been his imagination…
Despite his embarrassment, he really wasn’t sorry he’d ordered it, perhaps just sorry that there were witnesses!!

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My burger looked huge. I was going to say equally huge but that wouldn’t be correct! I didn’t even know how I was going to eat it at first. I ended up taking the bacon out because (don’t be shocked) I’m not a bacon fan and that made it easier to eat.
It was really tasty and the ingredients and fillings seemed really fresh.
They really aren’t shy on portion size here!

 

It’s lucky that we came here during lunch and not later in the day. At least our bodies have time to metabolise the food somewhat before we go to bed.

Honestly I don’t know if it’s the football connection, the view of the oval, the large serves or hubby’s mortification but I loved coming here today and hope it won’t be too long before we visit again. I wonder if they’ll make that Grazing Plate dish to go?

 

Have you been to The Glenelg Club?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

 

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaffana

Today on the Dining Diaries…

As meat platters appear on other people’s tables, dining envy grows,
Special moussaka was truly special  and
One of us is already setting the date for our next visit and he definitely will be  ordering a meat platter.

Diners today we were at Kaffana in that ever happening, “Hipster” paradise, Peel Street.

18767414_1429320747127999_1531879982924820872_n.jpgKaffana is a Serbian Meat restaurant and hubby had been seeing their ads on Facebook for sometime and has been getting quite enticed by them! I mean how can a meat lover go past those pictures of meat trays!

We were here at 6pm on a Friday night. It was heavily booked. Lots of people were waiting to enter the dining room.
Dim lighting, easy listening music in the background, exposed red brick walls and lots of wood all contributed to making us feel comfortable and welcome.


A server finally called our name and brought us to our table. I wasn’t sure who she was at first as she was a tiny thing in old sneakers and a black beanie with a few strands of platinum blonde hair coming through. But maybe that’s just the way things are in this sort of place.

The menu was pretty cute although it was a bit hard to see because of the dim lighting. They have old “little golden books” there and have pasted their menu to the pages of the story. I liked the idea, especially as I was always walking around with at least one “little golden book” in my hand when I was a kid.

Hubby and I had a look through the menu and he was so disappointed when I said I just couldn’t see myself having half a meat tray. I don’t mind meat, sometimes I even like it but in small quantities. I did feel a little bad for him though when other tables near us started having meat trays brought out to them…

We decided to start with the Moussaka to share as an entree. It was on their specials board and said it was served with sour cream. I didn’t know how that was going to work but was curious to try it. I normally really love moussaka and am still looking for the perfect one.

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It was very hard to take a decent photo because of the dim lighting but I hope you get an idea.

The moussaka was certainly special and not traditional.  I couldn’t see or taste any bechemel but then that probably wouldn’t have matched with the sour cream on top. I couldn’t find eggplant in there either but maybe it was. After all, what’s a moussaka without eggplant right?
It was absolutely delicious though. So much flavor! Makes me want to try to make it myself.
Hubby and I were fighting to make sure we got half each.

As per their menu, all meals come with “mammas” bread which was quite damper like. Very toasty warm and a little smokey tasting. I loved it!
The meals also come with potato salad and coleslaw? It was like a coleslaw sans mayonnaise.
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The potato salad looked nice and it had spring onions in it. 
Hubby didn’t want to eat it before our mains came and when I say he didn’t want to eat it, I mean he didn’t want US to eat it. That includes me. I was starving and it was so hard not to.

For main I chose Karakjordjeva. The menu described it as “Kaffana’s version of a Karadjordjeva schnitzel (no bread crumbs) , char grilled tenderised veal filled with ricotta, danish feta and cooked streaky bacon.”

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I’m not sure what I expected it to look like but probably not that.

That kind of looks like something the dog left behind.

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I have to say though that it tasted quite exceptional.

When you cut into it the ricotta oozed out.

I didn’t know there was supposed to be bacon in there and couldn’t really taste it but it was really so rich and full of flavour that I couldn’t have eaten more than that small roll.

Hubby ordered the Pork Skewers “Char-grilled, crisp and tender skewered park scotch pieces”
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Hubby said his was near heaven. I got to taste a little morsel too. They were just flavoured perfectly. Moist, tender with a gorgeous charcoal taste.
In his words, “Just f’n delicious “

Though the portions seemed small I felt like I’d eaten a lot by the end.

If you’re a meat eater, it would be definitely worth it to save up a few pennies and head on down to Peel Street and have a meal at Kaffana. Don’t be like us though, do yourself a favour and order the meat platter!!!

Have you been to Kaffana?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow….

The Hyde Park Tavern

Today on the Dining Diaries…

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Hubby’s not hungry
A bar menu is read and re-read and re-read and re-read…
We celebrate the invention of the microwave

Diners today we were at the Hyde Park Taven on King William Rd.
I had always loved walking along Kind William Road – Especially on a warm Winters day when the sun is bestowing it’s comforting warmth.

What surprised me today, as hubby and I walked down a stretch of this road toward The Hyde Park Tavern, were the amount of empty shops where restaurants and cafe’s had once been. What is going on with this street?
Some of the buildings were occupied, but the businesses had changed since we were last here.
It was a little bit sad to see and I have to hope that it’s not unreasonable rents that are driving businesses away from this area.

It was about 2.30pm when we entered The Hyde Park Tavern. Hubby only wanted to come in for a drink but I hadn’t had lunch yet and was starving as usual.

Before I get to the food we ordered from the bar menu, I should tell you that hubby hardly ever eats soup. He doesn’t count it as a meal. The bar menu had a “soup of the day” and he decided to go with that because I guess he figured it didn’t really count as eating.
I would have had that too but soup of the day was bacon and lentil and I’m not a fan of bacon in soups so I went for the Shepherds Pie because there wasn’t too much else that appealed to me although in fairness, they did have the usual pub fare on there.

The staff were really friendly and I don’t know if it was the atmosphere, the sunny Winters day, or the laid back music that was playing that had me in a relaxed mood.
I just couldn’t help feeling a bit sad that there weren’t more people in this place while we were there.

The food didn’t take too long to come out.

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I love the bread that came out with this soup. It was really warm and quite dense so it actually felt you were eating something. The soup was well flavoured.
It was probably a good thing to eat when you weren’t really hungry.
I was still in shock that hubby had ordered soup.

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I wasn’t sure but I was expecting with the shepherds pie but it probably wasn’t this.  It was really really really temperature hot. After the initial spoonful, I suspected it had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days and had been zapped in the microwave.
I thought Shepherds Pie was traditionally with lamb and Cottage Pie was with mince? I’m not sure, but this seemed to be beef mince to me.  I would have also expected to see a bit of tomato in there but didn’t. That’s how I make mine. I think it would have stopped it from being so dry.
The mash on top was crusty and hard to break through. What was underneath was ok once it had cooled a bit. It wasn’t overladen with flavour but it wasn’t unpleasant.
A bit of salt helped it go down.

Those green veggies on the side were really nice! They were a little crunchy and dressed with a bit of olive oil. Nice! And the bread was warm and toasty too so that all helped.

All in all I didn’t hate it, it was an ok meal in a comfortable setting. I probably wouldn’t order it again though.

Once we were done hubby was suddenly hungry so after a little walk down King William Rd again, we had a sneaky (almost unspoken) stop at 50 six one and got one of these to share

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As you can see we started before I took the photo… It was delicious!!

The Hyde Park Tavern is a decent pub to go along to and I wouldn’t mind trying something from their regular menu on another day.

Have you been to the Hyde Park Tavern?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Holdfast Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

A Triple Cheese Burger also delivers twice cooked fries,
We learn it really is true, you get what you pay for and
Nautical themes, friendly staff and large serves make us forget the things we didn’t really like…

holdfastDiners today we were at the Holdfast Hotel on Brighton rd, Glenelg.

I have been here a few times and have never really had any complaints.
They  promote a lot of local bands and have live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
If you like going to see bands, this is a great place to kick back and see what’s happening in the Adelaide music scene.

We weren’t there for music today though. In fact we had very limited time and were just stopping in for a super quick lunch. I didn’t even order any wine!
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It felt different this time, as I walked into the modern looking dining area. I’m not sure if they’ve been renovating over the last few years but I noticed a bit of a nautical theme with ropes hanging from the ceiling.
I liked it.
The dining room is big and airy and there were already lots of people sitting around having some lunch.

We were brought over some menus and it wasn’t a bad selection, hubby and I just didn’t really know what we wanted and felt under pressure knowing we were pushing time.

I decided to order the 200g Porterhouse with fries and salad, and hubby went for the Triple Cheese and Bacon Burger.
We saw some meals coming out and they looked pretty good!! Well presented and beautifully large serves. One of the meals coming out was the burger hubby had also ordered and I hoped his was going to be as big as the one I saw because it was pretty impressive!

img_7350We didn’t order any sides or starters, just went straight for a main.

Hubby’s burger looked pretty good when it came out I thought.

That patty was pretty huge!
You can’t really see it in this picture but there was quite a bit of bacon. To me, it didn’t seem like the bacon had been cooked enough though.

When I asked hubby what he thought of it he said it was ok, it just didn’t have any pizzaz. The bun was a brioche bun and the doughy part was almost a yellow colour. He said there wasn’t much flavour or spice in the burger and it didn’t have any interesting sauces on it either. Although he didn’t hate it, it was not memorable. At $19 this burger is reasonably priced so I guess you couldn’t have expected too much more.

My porterhouse looked ok when it came out too but I kept wishing I’d ordered something else.

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The meat itself tasted ok. There was quite a bit of fat around it and it seemed pretty small but maybe that is what a 200g steak is supposed to look like.
The fries look way better in this picture than they did as I was eating them. They were clumped and cooked together. I’m sure they were cooked twice. They just seemed greased out. The ones on hubby’s plate were in the same condition.
The salad was ok and fairly fresh. I wasn’t a fan of the dressing but I still ate it all and that’s just down to personal preference.
My steak was $23.50 so I guess that’s a pretty reasonable price too.

We really didn’t hate it here so I hope my words aren’t going to be taken out of context. The restaurant is really comfortable to sit in and the staff are super friendly. The food came out quickly and there are a lot of people going in and out. It feels like it’s a “happy” place to be in. I think we were just too rushed and couldn’t enjoy the experience as we normally would.

I might just have to come back here on another night!

Have you been to the Holdfast Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…