Sake to me Baby – Japan Day Eight

You’re wondering about it aren’t you? The answer is yes, the TV is still on mute. Chances are, hubby will figure it out the day we have to check out of here.

IMG_0817It was another hot day today. I went for a walk early this morning and realised we are really close to Tsutenkaku Tower.

According to https://osaka-info.jp/en/page/tsutenkaku , Tsutenkaku Tower is also known as the Eiffel Tower of Osaka. There’s an observatory with a view over Osaka on the fifth floor.

It’s located in the Shinsekai  area. This area was designed as an entertainment district in the early 20th century, and originally modelled after the cities of New York and Paris. “Shinsekai” literally means “New World”
We’ve read that one side is Paris and one side is New York but we couldn’t work out which side was meant to be what.

I went on a supermarket run and bought a couple of new things. I think these are traditional Japanese desserts.  When I first saw the singular one I thought there might be chocolate in it.
I was wrong.

 

 

60961645_2239030832849629_5179048251881422848_nWhen I first bit into it I thought it might have been cookie dough. It had that sort of consistency. I wondered if I was supposed to bake it.
But then I realised it was probably something bean related. It was ok, but I won’t go out of my way to buy it again.

I also bought this pack. I thought it might be the same kind of thing but I wasn’t sure. Turns out, it’s the same sort of thing.

I also noticed these vending machines as I was walking. Alcohol and cigarettes for anyone to come and buy at any time.

 


We wanted to go back to Dotonburi today and really spend time walking around, checking out the Americamura part.

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Hubby describes this area as the Harajuku of Osaka and I think that’s a pretty accurate description.

 

We stopped for a coffee at Starbucks and look what they wrote on the cup. I thought that was a nice touch!

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IMG_0837I hope this is not racist, but I noticed that a lot of people here are really really good squatters, and they seem to rest in the squatting position often.

We passed a family all squatting outside one of the convenience stores.
A couple of them got up as I was about to take the photo but you can still get an idea.

And look at these really cool lamp posts they have throughout the area.

 

I know from past experience that this area is always busy but geez I was getting stressed walking through here! So many people!

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We wanted to stop for a drink and a snack so went to Brooklyn Parlor. I think what we love most about this place is the decor. Food and drinks are a little pricey but it just has such a nice feel that we find ourselves coming here every time we’re in Japan.

Hubby shocked me when we were ordering our drinks. I asked for a Sangria and hubby asked for Cider and then said, “Kōri ga nai”
What the hell!! He said it so confidently and the server knew exactly what he said. How dare hubby advance in Japanese before me!
What he told me later was that he had an app that has some quick and useful phrases and because he knew he didn’t want ice in his drink, he was prepared for what to say.

 

 

We shared a burger and some drinks. Nice!

 

We were on the look out for the Aussie Pub. We know there’s one here because we went to it a couple of years ago. We went there mostly so we could watch the AFL footy game that was on. It was a bit dumpy/divey but we did rub shoulders with a few other Aussies.

 

It was closed when we went past today but take a look at the signage outside.

By this time we were getting peckish again and I don’t know what made us turn into the Kuromon Markets because we KNOW that is mainly seafood and we both don’t like seafood. The smell alone is enough to turn my stomach.

 

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We’re doing a lot of walking again today which is good with all the food we’re eating! I wish I could take a Lawsons or Family Mart back home to Australia with me.

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Instead of going to the tower tonight, we decided to walk to Aeon Mall near Kyocera Dome. The first time we were in Osaka we stayed near here  and so it’s kind of special to us, even though it’s just a mall.

It was getting dark by the time we got there. I just love walking past the canals. It makes everything so pretty.

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We wandered past the familiar stores and reminisced about previous visits. We even went to the food court where on our first visit, we ordered enough food to feed ten people (by mistake)
We got some delicious soba noodles tonight. Yum!


My noodles (on the left) were IN the omelette. I’m glad I asked for only a little bit of sauce. That mayo and red stuff on top were the only thing that ruined that dish.

We walked the three or four kilometres back to our apartment and crashed. It’s been a big walking day but that’s just the way I like it!

For now, oyasuminasai.

 

 

 

 

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I do, I do, I do, I do – Day 1

This morning the alarm went off cruelly at 4AM. I jumped out of bed… literally! I had to because hubby has this habit of kicking me out of there when he needs the mirror, whether I’m done or not.

We had the obligatory fight about what time to leave for the airport. He always wants to leave later and I like to get there with plenty of time to spare.

IMG_9256Hubby grabbed a coffee with the twenty minutes we had before boarding.
I thought I’d wait until we were flying because, surprise, he’d scored us business class tickets!
How nice to have that extra room!!

The extra attention is pretty nice too.

Oh and look at what we got for breakfast on the plane – Egg White Omlettes with Mushroom and cheese, kale and tomatoes on the side. There was also a yoghurt which was thick and creamy. Lots of coffees and juices too. They were only too happy to serve.

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We decided the best way to get into the city was to go via SkyBus so while hubby waited for our luggage I went to buy two return Skybus passes.

 

 

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On the way to our apartment

It was a short walk from the Sky Bus terminal to our apartment and while we were too early to check in, we were allowed to leave our bags there and now it was time to explore!!

We decided to check out the factory outlet stores where the Sky Bus terminal is.

While we were there, my mum called. She was in Melbourne too today!
She’d been on a cruise that had just docked today and was spending a few hours in the CBD.

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So we caught up over a coffee and then did some shopping together.

Nobody gets around Melbourne like my mum.

She will hop on and off trams and go here and there like nobody’s business!

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Hubby was looking for clothes.
He was taking ages in one of the dressing rooms so I said I was going to put my camera over the door and take his picture.

This is what I saw when I looked at what I’d taken.

We walked to the Victoria Market and hubby insisted he buy me a new handbag because he hates the one I use right now (even though I DID buy it in Italy!) I don’t mind my bag but when we came upon a store that had this beautiful black, leather bag that was wonderfully crafted, I couldn’t say no! It was at a really good price too and the South Korean man who sold it to us was just so lovely we couldn’t say no. Thanks honey!!

We went for lunch somewhere near the Victoria Market. Every food outlet had a “cash only” sign our front. Hubby and I just don’t carry cash anymore!

After lunch we started walking back down Elizabeth street and went past a place that had pide and gozleme. Even though we’d eaten we had to get one. Look how good they look!! Even nutella ones!

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I still didn’t have my walking shoes on so we caught the Free City Tram back to our apartment

They’re iconic but not entirely comfortable and geez, I had a hard time getting on and off it, how do the elderly manage??

We got into our apartment and you know, after a bit of rigmarole, it’s actually pretty nice!! Spacious and has a kitchen that I will NOT be using.

We freshened up then went to check out the gym. Look at the handle on the door to get into the gym area (Below) I mean is this a gym for giants or something??
The gym looks good though! Looking forward to using it tomorrow.


We went walking and stopped at a place that was doing happy hour cocktails
Nice views from our table!

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So good we had a couple more…

We I was getting pretty giggly after a cocktail or two. Hubby was disappointed because he would have rather had a cider, and then we noticed that cider WAS on the menu.

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But hubby said there was no way in hell he was asking for it and I had to ask for it.

Lots of jokes and innuendo.

Well, lots of jokes and innuendo by me.

Hubby sat there unimpressed.

But he did like the cider and I was amused so all’s well that ends well.

We passed a Miniso store and I just HAD to go in and buy some cheap junk stuff.
This store has EVERYTHING! Including breast massagers, nipple covers AND an electric toothbrush tester. Try before you buy.


Miniso I WILL be back before this trip is over!


We walked down to DFO. Look at that bike path on the left there. The cyclists just fly through there!

Just a few more pictures of our walk. From DFO we went to Crown Casino then walked along the river to Federation Square.


I managed to find Melbourne Central and we had a stroll through there too but by this time I was getting really tired and just wanted to get back to our room to sleep.
I know though, that hubby has FOMO when it comes to restaurants.

So we walked and walked and walked. We couldn’t find one place to eat at. We got back to our apartment and bought some drinks from the IGA near there.. Then kept walking and walking, this time laden with groceries. Hubby said he was going to order pizza from a place near our apartment but changed his mind when he saw they had no customers.

IMG_9312We walked through the Harbour town outlet mall to the Food Court. Finally, FINALLY, we stopped at this place called Urban Alley Brewery. I was just bone tired!

I convinced hubby that this would be a good place and he reluctantly agreed then as we were walking in, we saw a guy get up from his table and take his plate back to the kitchen.

Argh!! I knew hubby didn’t like it but I was just too tired and said “It’ll be ok, I’m sure”
And it was ok. There was nothing wrong with what we ate/ordered but we did feel the need to pick up some fries to eat on the way back to our room.


It was a good day and I loved sharing with hubby, some of the places I’d been to when I was here last September.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!

 

Perth Day Three

Sorry that this entry is coming after the fact but between the Wine Tour that we did today and travelling back home, this is the first chance I’ve had to write and upload.

1Today, Friday the 5th of January as I write, is my birthday and not only is it my birthday, but it’s a milestone birthday too so I knew hubby was not going to say anything when I wanted to get up extra early to exercise.

The gym at this hotel is quite good and if you go early enough, there’s no one in there so I get the whole place to myself!
Perfect way to start a birthday!

We took our picture before heading out! (left)

The Wine Tour we were booked on started from Elizabeth Quay so we walked down there from our hotel and had a coffee at the Riverside Cafe. No champagne this morning though as I was anticipating a heavy alcohol day!

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We met our friends and boarded our boat.

It was such a relaxing cruise down the river!

We had coffee and muffins to start off with but it wasn’t long before the wine tasting started.

Here is a picture of the wine’s we sampled on the right and a few from the cruise below.
I forgot to mention the tasting plate of local cheeses that were also provided. Each tray was for two people so it was quite a generous portion!


Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the first stop. I think it was next to Sandalwood Winery? Beautiful spot anyhow and they had the BEST cider here!! It tasted more like a sparkling white than a cider! Soooo delicious but unfortunately they don’t bottle it yet so we couldn’t buy any.

The food we had was also exceptional. Unfortunately I was too overwhelmed with the place to take pictures of the food but here are a few of our surroundings. By the way, the whole time we were there having lunch there was a line of people waiting to get in!

From here we travelled by coach to another winery.  This time I took a pic of the sign outside so I know it’s Windy Creek Winery. This was another gorgeous spot!!

I tried pretty much every wine they were offering and surprisingly for me, really loved the whites. I don’t normally drink a lot, if any, of white wine.

We were a nice group and by this time, were starting to talk to each other and were getting pretty happy! I took a few pics inside and out. So gorgeous here!

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Hubby is not a wine drinker so I ended up having a few tastings on his behalf – not that you can tell by this selfie on the left…

You can imagine where this is going to lead can’t you?

Back on the coach now to our next spot.

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As per the information from our driver, this tree had been struck by lightening, but continued to grow anyhow!

It was just outside our next stop and quite interesting to look at.

So now we’re at Twin Hill Wines and I’m feeling decidedly happy. Again, I liked the whites more than the reds (surprisingly) but not as much as our last stop. This is a family run winery though and the history behind it was quite interesting. They also provided a very tasty tasting plate for us!
Here are a few pics from our time here. By the way, the ladies behind the counter are mother and daughter.


Next stop was a brewery – Mash Brewing. They also provided us some nibbles and we were able to pick one beer from their list complimentary.

I’m not a beer drinker but it seemed like an interesting place.


I’m not sure you can read it but the pic on the right shows the beer choices we had.

We had one more stop to come and I was quite excited for this one! We were going to Margaret River Chocolate Company and were going to be sampling a few chocolate liqueurs also!

Here are a few pics. Luckily, hubby took them as I was not in any state to be taking photos at this point and was happy to be wandering around about the chocolate. We bought a few things to share later.


Not sure if you can see the interesting clocks bottom right. How cute are they!!!

The chocolate liqueurs ended up being a bit disappointing. We sampled four different kinds and they were all wine based. Although I like chocolate, I wasn’t tempted to buy any of them.

Our tour came to an end and we were dropped off back into Perth CBD.

IMG_5216We had dinner at East Village.

It looked like a really interesting place and the food wasn’t bad, but there was just something missing that I couldn’t put my finger on.


We ordered some wings to share, hubby got a burger and I had a Lamb Greek salad which was ok. The bread was probably the best thing about this. Still warm from the oven!

I had been jokingly saying I still wanted birthday cake and I wanted to see the city lights from Kings Park at night. Hubby, mostly always ready to please, began hatching a plan.

We went to the store and bought some cake. He also got some matches, candles and some sparklers. I still had no idea what he was going to do with these as we couldn’t light the sparklers in our hotel room could we?

I won’t bore you with the whole story but we never made it to Kings Park with one thing going wrong after another and eventually we just walked back to our hotel. Hubby still made it special for me by singing me happy birthday and lighting the candles on my cake!


Sadly our time in Perth was now pretty much over.

I do want to share one last treat before I finish this entry.

Hubby organised for us to fly back on the A330 in Business Class. Oh my!! Look at all this room!!! We could even lie our seats flat like a bed.
The bad thing about this is that you never want to travel any other way again!!!
Thank you Qantas and thanks for reading about our few days in Perth.

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The Curious Squire

Today on the Dining Diaries…

After a couple of false starts, we are curious no more!
Music and interesting decor made for topic of conversation and
Burgers and yummy finger foods to die for!

5teatdrink153curious3Diners today we were at The Curious Squire in North Adelaide; A hip, US-inspired hub for burgers, slow-cooked BBQ steaks, wings and ribs, plus craft beer and cider.

We have driven past this place so many times and even attempted to dine but they were always fully booked and it just never happened. Tonight we got lucky!
We really were only lucky because we had come fairly early. Our table was going to be booked a few hours later and there were reserved signs over most of the tables we saw.

I love the look and feel of this place. Rock music was playing, people working looked like they were enjoying their jobs and lots of other customers were around having a good time. It wasn’t so loud to be distracting though, just enough to make you want to be a part of it.


I love the dark furniture and the streaming light coming from the windows. There’s plenty of interesting things to read on the wall about James Squire himself!

The table numbers are large cards and there’s even a wall of cards in the dining room! I’m not sure what the significance is of a deck of cards but it would be something to look into.


The server who greeted us was really so very lovely and did as much as she could to make sure we could be served today.
We were left with some menus and after not eating for most of the day, were drooling in anticipation.

I couldn’t go past one of the specials that was written up on the board behind the bar.
Ben & Lamb burger; Toasted Blue Bun, Smoke pulled Lamb, Potato skin, mint jelly, lettuce, tomato and onion.
I probably should have paid more attention to the “mint jelly” part of that description!

Hubby ended up ordering the Trio of Sliders -pig mac, mother clucker and american cheeseburgerers;

But before those dishes came, we got some entree’s to start…

We had to try their wings! American Buffalo Wings – crispy fried chicken wingettes with our curiously different take on the famous frank’s hot sauce with ranch

On Wednesday’s they sell these for 50 cents each!

We also got the Cheesy Macho Nachos – 12 corn tortilla chips served with queso, refried beans, smashed avocado, sour cream and added texas chilli on the side.

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I’m not much for wings but hubby definitely is and he just loved these.

Hubby said they had a strong vinegar based sauce and they were perfect!

Just like the way he makes them.

Although I don’t eat wings I tried one and could see they had been cooked well and everything was fresh and crispy. I was almost converted!

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The Nacho’s were also really well done.

The cheesy sauce was gooey and oozed a little to the nacho’s below.

Again, all the sauces were fresh and the nacho’s themselves were large (not broken) and crispy.

The texas chili on the side was soooo delicious!! Again, a little too hot for my liking but I have a low tolerance. Hubby just loved it! The meat in there was so tender and the sauce had a beautifully sweet tomato taste. I couldn’t help dipping my fries in there later even though I knew it was hot!

The one thing that did bother me a little was that our mains were brought out before we were even halfway through our entree so we had a table full of food that was now all going to get cold. Perhaps it was just a mix up in the kitchen.

Hubby’s sliders looked good and deceivingly small…
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These buns were all full of flavour. They are not stingy when it comes to filling!
I also love the way they bring the food out on those silver trays.

Hubby said he really couldn’t fault a thing, it was all really great tasting. There was one he particularly liked that had a mustard sauce in it.

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My burger was equally good! I wasn’t quite sure how a “BLUE” burger was going to look or even why you would want to do that though. It’s green in the picture, but when you bite into it, the inside is blue.

I instantly tasted the mint jelly and wished I’d asked to not have that in the burger. Thankfully, there really wasn’t a lot of it. The potato skin was more like a slice of cooked potato rather than skin but that too was ok.
It’s a really big burger so probably not something you’d order on a first date!!! I ended up having to take some of the insides out and eat them separately.

Overall, I’m so glad we came here. It’s seems to be a buzzing place and you really don’t mind spending your money when you know the service, food and atmosphere are going to be good!!
I definitely recommend going down to The Curious Squire and having a look at what they have to offer but go on a Wednesday if you can to take advantage of that wing special!!

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

Till next we chow…

Seacliff Beach Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries,

We get Schnitty’s on the cheap,
We get Cider on the cheap,
We discover that when assessing food quality, value for money saves the day!

Hey Diners, today we were at the Seacliff Beach Hotel. A pub that is situated on the esplanade at Seacliff.
Anyone who’s been here can attest to the perfect location, especially in Summer when the sun and surf glisten in the background as you sip your wine or beer.

We have been to the Seacliff many times, but usually on the weekend. Today we were drawn here because of their Thursday night special – Two Schnitty’s and a cider for $30. Now that’s value!

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We walked in from the ground floor. There seems to be a stark difference between the ground and top floors. The ground floor is carpeted and devoid of atmosphere. It seems to attract an older crowd.

 

njouvipv9nnqbcmwiqmdThe top floor, even when not full of people, seems to have an entirely different vibe. Warm wood, exposed brick, noise, relaxed and a much younger clientele. There’s also a fireplace however even on this cold night, it wasn’t lit which was a little disappointing.

The top floor also has a balcony where you can take full advantage of those glorious views. There is heating out there so you can dine in comfort even during the colder months.

We noticed that a lot of diners both upstairs and down, had ordered the schnitty’s so they must be a popular draw-card.
We ordered a chicken schnitty with mushroom sauce and a beef schnitty with no sauces and took our jug of cider to the table.
You have to admit, that is amazing value for thirty dollars!

The food came out within minutes after we sat! At least, it felt that quick.

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Hubby had the chicken schnitty and he had no complaints.

 

You can’t really complain for the price.

 

He said the chicken was thick and moist and the mushroom sauce was very creamy. In fact, his exact words were that his dish was perfect!

 

He really enjoyed it

 

 

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I went for the beef schnitty and it was probably exactly as I was expecting.

The meat was a little tough however again, for the price, I’m not going to complain and I would even order that again.

It was not premium chef quality but it was perfectly acceptable for a weekday pub meal and very filling.

Interestingly enough, if you look at the two pictures of our schnitty’s you may notice that the salad on my plate was double the size of the salad on hubby’s plate.
It was kind of strange that no one noticed that and they allowed that to go to the table like that. It almost looks like someone has half eaten his.
He also had loads of dressing in his where mine had hardly any.

I have been to this place quite a few times and never been wowed but they haven’t done anything overtly wrong either.
It’s a great meeting place for locals.
I’m sure I will continue to enjoy the Seacliff whether it be Winter or Summer because there really is just something about the place that draws you.

Have you been to The Seacliff? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below,

Till next we chow…