Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Ten

Today we made our way to Osaka and I was again reminded how different Tokyo and Osaka are. More of that later!

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We got on the train and again noticed people sleeping.

In fact they nod off so deeply it’s not uncommon to have someone leaning against you – fast asleep.

Somehow though they manage to wake up just as they reach their stop.

I think this will never cease to amaze me.

While I’m on the train I LOVE looking at the ads and trying to figure out what they’re for!
I’ve seen some beauties..

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IMG_3905We arrived at our Air BNB in Osaka and were really happy with it!

It’s in a fantastic location, just near Namba Nankai train station and a hop skip and a jump by Dotonbori.

Hubby and I spent a lot of time here last year and now that we know what’s around, we’re doubly excited!

Osaka is known as the food lovers Paradise of Japan and I just can’t wait to get in there and try some things. I don’t know how these people stay so slim!!! Every day it’s a wonder!

IMG_3907It was raining quite heavily when we got here so we had to do most of our exploring under cover.

We walked along a covered mall looking at the shops, the food, and the people.

Lots of tourists here too.

While in Tokyo, the men mostly seemed to be in suits, here they seem to be more relaxed. They certainly are mostly dressed well but it wasn’t all suits.

In Tokyo, you could probably bank on someone having at least a few words of English but here in Osaka it’s less likely.

People are still very eager to help you though and we even had one guy pulling out his phone to use google translate to help us. Honestly, these people are just so nice!

 

We walked past this place that was selling a sweet with custard filling. How could we say no?
We got a chocolate one and a plain custard one and they were so delicious!! The custard they make here is just so light and sweet. Not gluggy but it also doesn’t run everywhere. I really like it!
The pastry… or whatever it was that was around it, was crunchy and really delicious too. I was sorry we’d only bought one each.

We saw lots of local places that we could have eaten at but I just don’t fancy sitting around a square that faces the kitchen, eating in front of other people. I like to have my own table. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood for it so as we walked past “Wendy’s First Kitchen” we allowed the Japanese guy to entice us in and got Japanese, American burgers AND pasta… And chili fries which I’m sorry to say were a disappointment.

 


We walked around a bit more trying to find a supermarket to get coffee supplies for our apartment. It turned out to be way more difficult than we imagined and as it was still raining quite heavily, we didn’t want to go out exploring too much.

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We ended up going to a local 7/11 and buying a few things that we needed… and again, were enticed by the quick food they have on sale there.

The guy behind the counter said it was pork (isn’t every meat here pork?)

And it might have been a “cheap and nasty” bit of food from a 7/11 but it was actually alright.

Either that or we were still really hungry!!

Tomorrow we will be braver and will eat something more interesting!

It finally stopped raining and by this time hubby and I had taken a look on google maps (Our best friend) and found a decent supermarket about 800 metres from our apartment. Yay! I could spend hours in the supermarkets over here!!!

I took a few pics to share with you guys.

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What even is this stuff??

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According to the packaging, this is “salad mariage”

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All those foods above are sitting on a shelf. Not refrigerated or anything… just out in the open for people to breathe and sneeze all over.
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I guess the fish head is for broths? Either way… gross

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Lots of cheap (in comparasin to Australian, highly taxed, alcohol) alcohol available in all sorts of places from drugstores to supermarkets.
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I’m not sure if that’s sake above, but it’s in cartons?

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What is that above???? What??

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Sadly apples are quite expensive… but I’ve been eating one most days. They’re pretty delicious!

Can’t wait to see Dontonbori tomorrow!!

50SixOne

Today on the Dining Diaries…

All senses are sent into overload!
One cocktail is never enough and…
I think I’ve found my happy place.

Diners today I had my first, long overdue, visit to 50SixOne
I have driven past so many times and every time the line outside makes me not want to stop in. I also mistakenly thought that 50SixOne was a dessert place.
While yes, they are known for their desserts, they offer so much more!

My daughter and I found ourselves home alone today and on a whim she said “Come on, lets go to 50SixOne, my treat”
How could I possibly say no?

Being a Wednesday afternoon, I thought we’d have a pretty good chance of getting in without waiting too long. As it turned out, there was only one table available when we got there so lucky us!

3It was absolute sensory overload. I didn’t know what to look at first!

The funky furnishings, exposed brick wall, decorative plants or my god, the shakes that were ready to be sent out.

How do they even make stuff like that????

And this was all before I’d even had a chance to look at the menu!

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The atmosphere was bright and vibrant. There was music playing and lots of fun to be had. Every table was full and loads of lucky children and teenagers were whiling away an hour or two in this happening place.

When I did manage to pry my eyes away from the restaurant and indeed, the shakes that were going out, I noticed that the menu had breakfast and lunch options too.

It wasn’t just a dessert menu as I had previously thought. They had lots of things on offer from regular breakfast items to burgers and fries (not to mention cocktails!)

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We decided to try a couple of their cocktails as neither of us had had these before..

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The cocktail on the left is “Toblerone” Baileys, Kahlua, Crème De Cacao, Frangelico and Honey.
On the right was my pick, “Liquid Ecstasy” Baileys, Butterscotch Schnapps, Chocolate and Cream.

Both of them featured my weakness, Baileys.
My daughter and I watched them being made. Honestly I felt like a kid being let loose in a candy store and completely allowed myself this beautiful indulgence.

Our food was out not much later.
My daughter had ordered something she’d never had before.
As per the menu….
Red Velvet Cakes Our Insta-famous Red Velvet Pancakes layered with mascarpone cheese, topped with berry compote, ice cream and chocolate brownie soil.

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I’ve got to say it looked massive when it came out!! Very impressive! I loved the deep red colour of the pancakes.
The pancakes themselves were not sweet and neither was the cream layered between them. This was just perfect as the berries were syrupy and quite sweet, as was the ice-cream.
For me, the best thing on that plate was the ice-cream. I’m assuming it’s made in house but I didn’t get the chance to ask anyone. It had such a beautiful full flavour and was just so creamy! I could have had a bowl of that on it’s own.
It was nice to let the pancake absorb some of the melted ice-cream and then eat it with a few berries. Just perfect!

I was tossing up between the Bircher Muesli and the Granola Wake me up. I decided to go for the Bircher! You can’t really go past “Fancy Schmancy” can you?
Fancy Schmancy Bircher Raise your pinkies and make the perfect start to your day with this bircher, paired with charred peaches and dash of orange blossom syrup.

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I love Bircher Muesli and I love peaches. How could I go wrong with this?
I must admit, when I saw it I thought “Is that all?” However it soon proved to be very filling and I was glad it wasn’t any bigger than that!

While it wasn’t the best Bircher I’ve had, I did really enjoy a lot of things about this dish. I loved the freshness of the fruit. I felt the syrup was a little too sweet but luckily I have a fairly sweet tooth and managed to eat every last speck.
The peach had a lot of flavour and was still firm, but not so firm that I couldn’t cut it with my spoon.

Honestly, if you haven’t been to 50SixOne you’re really missing out!!
I need to go back to this place and try a burger or something else off the menu. I’m not sure what time of day is better to go as it seems to be fairly busy all the time but even so, it’s definitely an experience and dare I say it, worth the wait if you do happen to see a line.

They have an active Instagram account with beautiful pictures of their food that is not only delicious, but artistic. Follow them if you dare!

I’ll just leave you with a few more pictures of items they had on display.

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Have you been to 50SixOne?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Schnithouse – Norwood

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We come across a wings deal we just can’t say “no” to. 
We find a place where good atmosphere and good prices entice and
Good tastes all round ensure we’re definitely going to be coming back!

0f6ad1c4c201ce76c4f527edda5168b6 (1)Diners today hubby and I happened to walk into Schnithouse on the Norwood Parade at Norwood.

The building itself is pretty magnificent and about 148 years old. It was previously a Baptist church and if you walk past it, you’ll see photos of the church as it was in the past.

I’d never been in the building before and didn’t know it used to be a church. I was overwhelmed by the size of the interior as we walked in. I just love the way they’ve decorated it! It just makes you want to stay and spend your money.

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Although the interior is nice, it was a warm Autumn’s day and hubby and I couldn’t decide if we wanted to be seated inside or out so we chose what we called the atrium.


It was nice in that it felt private yet we still had full view of everything that was going on outside.

I’d never even seen a menu for this place and if you are going to visit, I’d recommend going for lunch time where you can get some pretty amazing meals for $10! I thought for sure I hadn’t seen that correctly but it was! Hubby also noticed wings were half price on Wednesday and once he saw that, he really didn’t need to see any more of the menu.
There were a choice of three dry rubs with the Wings and hubby chose “Hot to Trot”

The Prawn and Crabmeat Linguine – Blue swimmer crabmeat, onions, chilli, garlic and prawns in a rose sauce – really caught my eye!

We also noticed this intriguing dessert option
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Sounds pretty good right? We decided to forgo an entree and try to leave room for this dessert!

The meals were out pretty quickly

Hubby was happy with how his wings looked. The server even specified “Hot to Trot” as she placed it down before him.

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Unfortunately, there was nothing “hot” about these wings. They tasted good! No doubt about that, but hubby said they were more like chicken fingers than wings. Although it’s not the end of the world, it’s a little disappointing when you expect to get something and it’s not what it’s advertised to be.

I was really looking forward to my pasta.

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I wasn’t offered any cheese which I thought was a little surprising but that’s ok.
I had to look at the menu again because I was sure there was meant to be more than just three prawns in my pasta. Didn’t it say Blue Swimmer Crabmeat? There was definitely none of that in my pasta.
The prawns I did have were succulent and beautiful to eat. I had no complaints. The sauce was rich and a little creamy and it had quite a nice amount of heat to it!
I ended up letting hubby dip his wings in there.
Although it might not look like a large serve, you have to remember it was only $10 and it did taste pretty good even if there wasn’t any crab meat in there.

So we ate at the Schnithouse and neither of us actually had a schnitzel! Well there’s always next time. I did notice on the menu that there was an eggplant schnitzel and I’d really love to try that…

After we’d eaten our mains we definitely had room for dessert so I went to order us the Dessert parmi.

I’m not sure what happened but twenty minutes after I’d ordered I had to ask if it was going to be much longer (we had another engagement). Our mains had come out quicker than this!

The server said she’d check and was back in five or so minutes with our dessert but not an apology or explanation.
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It probably looks a little better than it ended up tasting. I think we were enticed by the idea of it.
The “donut” was quite large and the amount of custard or whatever it was on top of it didn’t compensate for the dryness. If the donut had been a little smaller it might have worked… or maybe they could have put more custard on top? I’m not sure.
The banana was quite raw and not enjoyable to eat at all. The icecream was nice. A few grapes and apple pieces don’t really make a dessert do they? I mean there was no sauce/syrup or anything on them and it just looked a bit disappointing.

The icecream was nice but again, was not enough to cover for the dryness of the waffles.
I guess this dessert would have been a whole lot better if there was  a dipping sauce of some kind that we could have put the waffles and perhaps some of the donut and fruit into.

All in all, despite my complaints, I did enjoy our time here and yes I would definitely go back.

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

Till next we chow….

Taste of the Himalayas

Today on the Dining Diaries…

I have barramundi like I’ve never had it before,
One of my fellow diners invites our server to eat with us and
Authentic tastes amaze us. Where did these flavours come from???

FullSizeRender[10].jpgDiners today we were at Taste of the Himalayas and wow, did we get blown away!

I’ve driven past this sweet gem of a place so many times and just thought it wouldn’t be a place I’d like.

I was so wrong!

I was dining with a couple of girlfriends tonight and as usual, went to check out the restaurant’s website to get an idea of what the menu would be like.
I have to say I was quite impressed with the way the website was set out, giving a lot of information about what the food is and how it is cooked. They are obviously very passionate and I just love that! It made me more excited to taste the food.

We were greeted by a lovely waitress when we walked in. One of our party was still yet to come and when she did arrive, she greeted not only us with a hug and kiss, but also the waitress.
The lovely waitress just went with the flow and gave us some menu’s and explained a few things we might need to know about the food. She was so lovely my friend invited her to sit and have dinner with us but I don’t think her manager would have approved…


I love the classy and elegant design of this dining room. It has a distinct Nepalese theme but is not over the top or gaudy. What I assume was Nepalese music played softly in the background, giving us a beautiful calming feeling.

Looking through the menu I noticed that some of the items had explanations next to them. There were also little bits of information about the culture, such as the meaning of Namaste and beautiful pictures throughout.

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We ordered our rainbow drinks and took to the hard task of deciding what we were going to eat tonight.

Everything sounded so good.

We ended up starting with a tasting plate to sample a few different dishes…


The sharing plate contained a combination of Sekuwa, Samosa, Phulaura and Momo.
The menu says “Our traditional Nepalese dishes are served with a spiced tomato and sesame seed achar & a mint and yoghurt dip”
I could go and tell you about each individually but they were all divine!! Maybe I’m not used to eating this type of food but the combination of flavours were just amazing. I wish I knew what spices they had used! I tasted things I’d never tasted before.
My only complaint was that I could have done with a little more salt with the samosa but this is just a personal preference.
The mint and yoghurt dip was soooo refreshing! I was putting it on everything just so I could taste it.

Now we were all quite excited for the mains!

One of our party chose Daal Bhaat Massu – Typical Nepalese platter with a choice of chicken, lamb or goat. This platter is served with mustard green spinach, traditional black lentils, tomato achar pickle and rice

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 She had hers with chicken. There were no complaints about this dish. As you can see, it’s a fairly sizable portion and the flavours were just amazing.

Another chose from the sizzling section of the menu. Pole Ko Jhingey – King prawns marinated in a fresh selection of herbs and aromatic spices and delicately roasted in the clay oven

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It was sizzling and steaming as it came to the table!!! Those prawns were delightfully juicy and the onions added a beautiful sweetness to each mouthful. I would never have thought to put onions with prawns but it worked so well.

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She also got the Himalayan Guliyo Roti – Stuffed with coconut, sultanas and cream paste

Now this turned out to be a wonderful surprise!

I’ve never had roti like this before. It was like a delicious dessert.

The cream paste and coconut, along with the sultanas… mmm mmm mmmm!
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I went for a fish dish. Maccha Ko Takari – Barramundi slowly cooked in traditional Nepali spices with subtle hints of ginger, garlic, curry leaves and coriander, all blended to create a home-style Himalayan fish curry

I know I haven’t done this justice with my photo, but this plate was unbelievable.

That fish was just so tender yet so full of flavour. Like a big pillow of barramundi coming to rest in my mouth.
The sauces were gorgeous too and soaked into the rice I’d ordered as a side. If I could have changed anything, I would have added more coriander as I couldn’t really taste it even though it was meant to be in this dish.

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Taste of the Himalayas also have a takeaway menu so I ordered a couple of things to take home to hubby. I hope they don’t get eaten before he gets a chance to taste it…..
On Sunday they do a buffet. What a great way to get to sample all the lovely food they provide!!

The food was amazing, the staff were so lovely and even Chef Dharma came out to speak with us during the evening. I would have no hesitation in recommending this place.

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

Till next we chow…
Namaste

Darwin – Day 2

I slept like a baby last night! Of course it helped that the hotel’s air conditioning was on at full blast.

gum.jpgDarwin doesn’t have daylight saving so it was still quite early when I woke. I remembered the hotel gym opened at 6am so I decided to go down there early and get in some k’s on the treadmill before hubby woke up.

At 6.01am the gym still wasn’t open so I went down to reception to see if perhaps I’d gotten the time wrong.
I wonder if a guest has ever chased the staff about opening the gym before??

Hubby ended up coming down ninety minutes later and after a quick shower, we hopped into the pool to cool down.

We wanted to stay active and looked for a few things to do. We had wanted to go to the Aviation Museum but didn’t want to use a taxi or the bus. It was probably too far to walk with this humidity, so we decided to go to the “Qantas Hangar” instead.

The Hangar was about four kilometres from where we were staying and off we trotted on foot. I think hubby perspired at least ten buckets worth only to find when we got there, that we hadn’t really researched what the Hangar was….
I was more than a little disappointed but oh well, we got to talk to a few locals at the Parap shops and that’s always nice.

We saw a man waiting at a bus stop and asked him how soon the bus was coming. Lucky for us, there was one just about due and while we waited he pretty much told us his life story. Everyone has a story here! It was really interesting talking to him and it made the trip worthwhile.

fullsizerender15The bus took us right back to the Waterfront so we hopped off there to get some lunch. This time we were NOT going to go to the Hot Tamale.

Instead we ended up at Fiddlers Green.

The staff here were fairly friendly. They work hard to entice you in.

Hubby went for a couple of entree’s. SMOKED SALMON BLINIS- Salmon on potato pancakes with dill, Sour cream, capers & red onion jam and a BASKET OF WEDGES – Served with sweet chilli sauce & sour cream


He absolutely loved the potato pancakes. “Why can’t you make them like that?” he asked. Hmmm, I’ll have to try harder. They were really delicious and I know because I was allowed a taste test! I think he allowed it so that I know how to make them….

I went for the THE BOOKIE’S SANDWICH – 150g scotch fillet steak, with onion, tomato Lettuce, mustard mayo & fries

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You just can’t go by a good honest steak sandwich. It was just what I felt like.
The steak was cooked well and the onions and mayo… just yum!
The dining room could do with a bit of refurbishment as a lot of it was looking a bit old and dated.
It was also just a little disappointing that they were so friendly when trying to get us in, but less so when we were actually in there. But, again, you get what you pay for and we couldn’t fault the food.

fullsizerender10After lunch we continued walking and found ourselves walking past Northern Territory’s Living Marine Educational Discovery Centre where outside the building it’s advertised as being Darwin’s most interesting attraction with a quality coffee shop.

I didn’t take a picture of the Quality Coffee shop sign OR the Coffee shop itself… which is really too bad. I can vouch for it though because I saw a percolator on the counter.

Eventually we walked back to our room, changed into our bathers and spent a good hour in the hotel pool along with a couple of other guests.What a nice way to cool down!

We decided to visit Sky City Casino for dinner so after a bit of a nap  refreshing ourselves in our room, we walked to the Casino.


There are a few restaurants to choose from but hubby couldn’t go past the buffet.
We walked in and asked if we could look at the food before deciding if we’d eat here. Is that weird? The server kind of looked at us strangely so I guess she hasn’t been asked that question before!


We saw SO MUCH seafood! We don’t even really eat seafood but we saw enough to know that this was the place for us.

What we did eat was so very tasty! It was really hard to slow down and enjoy but we forced ourselves because we wanted to try a little bit of everything.
My favourite was probably the special fried rice.
They topped up the food regularly and ensured everything we were having was fresh.
The views from the restaurant were quite pretty too!

Unfortunately, where our table was located, we were not able to enjoy the view with our dinner.

What we did have however, was a birds eye view of the dessert table, complete with a chocolate fountain!

It definitely was a hit with the children!
What I loved about the desserts was that they were all small serves so we got a few things between us to share.
They also had a bread and butter pudding. One diner lamented the absence of custard to go with it “How can they have a bread and butter pudding without custard???” she exclaimed to me.
I just shrugged. There was cream and ice cream so that was good enough for me.

We finished off the night with a bit of luck at the Black Jack table. Hubby doesn’t do that often and I’m always nervous when he does but it usually works in his favour.

I don’t have a full day’s worth to make a “Day Three” post but it was pretty funny to see our taxi driver flirt shamelessly  with hubby on the way to the airport. It was like I wasn’t in the car at all!! I’m half expecting a facebook friend request to come through for hubby from the taxi driver… I mean there’s friendly and friendly….

I also have lots to tell you about the Qantas Club lounge that we were lucky enough to use. Qantas club, Business class tickets… I could get used to this life!!

So we survived a couple of days in Darwin during the wet season.
Have you been there?
What your experience been like? I’d love to know!!

Spoon You Fork Me/The Dining Diaries will be returning in the regular format from Monday the 16th of January.

Thanks for reading!