Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Nine

Our last full day in Tokyo.

IMG_3847One thing that continues to surprise me is that hubby wakes up every morning and puts the television and AND watches it, even though there is nothing on but Japanese TV.

There’s nothing on in the English language.
I understand some people have it on for comfort or background noise, but he sits there and watches it.

Every morning I’ve been going for a walk first thing in the morning and every morning, even on weekends, I see most of the men dressed in black pants and white shirts. Often they’re in full suits. Where are all these people in business attire going?
imagesThey’re just walking down the street in this non business district so why are they dressed like that.
In fact often hubby and I will just look at each other and say “Where are all these people going??”

When you think about it, it’s not surprising as it first seems as there are millions and millions of people here. They all have to be somewhere!

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Our first stop today was Yokohama. As I write this, today is Tuesday and that means that a lot of places we wanted to visit in Yokohama were closed.

As we left the train station  was again impressed at how everyone keeps to the left of the escalators. Why can’t they do that in Adelaide!!!

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We exited the station in Yokohama and went through to the Nissan building.

Hubby was very impressed!

From what we saw as we left the station, we thought Yokohama looked newer than other parts of Japan that we’ve seen and it was almost like a ghost town! Where were all the people? Even the footpaths were clear of biked rushing past!
It almost felt wrong.

We walked past the amusement park and eventually found ourselves in a shopping area but really, there were hardly any people around.


We went into that building on the top right above. Hubby had to keep watching where he was walking as many ceilings are just not built for his height.

One of the places we went into had a food court. They really really really love Hawaii here!

I was enticed by a picture from one of the food places but unfortunately, it didn’t come out like the picture and I felt disappointed when we got our food.

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After this we walked to China town and I was EVEN MORE disappointed that we’d wasted our time eating in the “Hawaiian” mall.

There were so many good foods everywhere. Hubby and I had these honey sesame balls. I was too late to take a photo!!! But they were delicious and I had that sesame taste in my mouth for a while.
There was food everywhere including roasted chestnuts on most corners.
I read that this China Town in Yokohama is the largest in Japan and from what I saw today I’d have to believe it! It was huge!


We even saw a place that advertised “foot massage”. But what it was, was similar to what I’ve seen in Bali where you put your feet in water and have those little fish come up and nip at you. Apparently your skin is nice and smooth after that!


We walked around a bit more and eventually found ourselves at a familiar sight!
Hard Rock Cafe!!
We were quite “thirsty” so it was a given that we’d go in here for a drink and I’m glad we did!

We met a nice server who was happy to practice his English with us while I enjoyed a Sangria or two..

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I’m glad we made the trip out to Yokohama today even though the “Noodle Cup Museum” was closed. That would have been interesting to see!!

One thing that made us giggle seeing an “Eggs and Things” place. We had seen these all over Honolulu when we were there and there was ALWAYS a huge line out the front. One day, curiosity got the better of us and we lined up too. We wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Once we’d eaten there, we didn’t understand the obsession. We just didn’t get it. The food was average. What’s the attraction?
Anyhow, in this Eggs and Things place in Yokohama, there was also a line out front!!! Seriously!

Once we got home we picked up some food locally…. some chicken fried things, spring rolls (so oily!!), rice and noodles all to share.

We’ve been to this place many times this week as it’s close to home so it’s very convenient. I wonder if they’ll miss us when we’re gone?

Tomorrow we leave for Osaka which is a food lovers paradise!

I’ll just leave you with this sign that we saw close by the Hard Rock Cafe in Yokohama.

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The Lion

Today on The Dining Diaries…

We’re thrown a little out of a comfort zone
We encounter a very special “Special” and
Good food soothes our hungry souls…

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Diners today’s review is for The Lion Restaurant on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the restaurant, or if not, the bar alongside it! I know I’ve whiled away an afternoon or two in the bar in my time but had never dined in the restaurant.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I had imagined it would be a bit pretentious.
Hubby and I noticed a sign that said a dress code applied and luckily, we normally look quite spiffy so it didn’t worry us.

We came in a little after 2pm but were told they take orders till about 2.45pm so that was good to know! The staff were lovely and if they had judged us walking in, I wouldn’t have known but hubby thought we were being talked down to a little. One of the servers asked us if we were celebrating a special occasion and I said “No we just want to get some lunch” I wondered then if that’s something they ask everyone or did we look  like a couple of bogans, wanting to have a once off nice meal in a nice restaurant to celebrate something? I did notice the wait staff had good rapport with other diners and that was nice to see.

In any case, if they were judgemental I don’t think they were overt about it and we settled in and enjoyed our surroundings. It did feel a bit “special” in a seventies type way. I thought the decor was a little seventies but hubby said he thought it was more Scandanavian. He’s probably right. I’m not usually a good judge of these things.

We were given some menus and the wine list.
At first I wasn’t sure I wanted anything on the menu. Nothing really jumped out at me. Hubby and I were actually on the verge of leaving but I felt a little embarrassed to do that and in the end was glad we’d stayed. A lovely server went through the menu and answered any questions we had. She also told us about the specials and I couldn’t go past the fish special which was Snapper.
Hubby decided to go for his usual, steak. More about that later!

We started off with a couple of dips. The server explained what they were but I couldn’t  remember all the fancy bits. Basically one was a cauliflower one and the other was some sort of Potato combination.
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I was pretty impressed when this came out! It looked like a decent serve. The dips themselves had a nice texture but I think they probably should have chosen different flavoured dips as they almost looked the same. The texture was the same and although they tasted different, by the end we didn’t really know what we were having.
They were very enjoyable though and had a lot of flavour!! I did really enjoy the dips and the bread and pita they served it with. The bread was toasty warm and the pita was crispy yet firm. Nice!

For main hubby ended up going for the Scotch Fillet on the menu, rather than the Steak special. Our server asked if he wanted potato puree or fries with his fillet. Hubby originally said puree, but after seeing a few other dishes come out, he asked the waitress if he could change and they graciously obliged.

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This Scotch Fillet was cooked perfectly! It was well seasoned and the mustard they provided added more flavour to the meat. There was also a decent amount of fries which made hubby very happy. I did wonder how it would have looked if he’d gone for the potato puree but he was very happy with his choice. I went for the Snapper Special.

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Unfortunately I can’t remember everything that it came with but it was so very delicious! The Snapper itself was beautifully cooked and I can only be sad because I wanted more!
It sat on a bed of some type of homemade pasta, sundried tomato, fresh tomato, mint, fennel, goats cheese, sultanas and probably more herbs and spices. There was also something crunchy in there that made the texture of what I was eating interesting. The crunchy things looked a little like maggots though so I had to not think of that every time I put a bit in my mouth!

I just think this dish was soooo pretty it was almost a sin to eat it and the flavour combinations worked wonderfully! I loved the unexpected sweetness of the sultanas. The ratio of all those ingredients was really very perfect.

The wait staff were attentive the whole time without being over bearing, checking that our meals were ok and asking if we wanted more wine/drinks.

Although a little on the pricey side, I think they strive to give you a special experience and I would have no hesitation in recommending the Lion as everything we had here was cooked so very well.

 

Have you been to the Lion?
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

The Goody

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Pretty herb planters decorate the tables,
We dine in the Beer Garden with the “cool” kids and
We contemplate whether we prefer large mediocre dishes or small exceptional ones…

goodwood-park-hotel-3523-1.jpgDiners today were at Goodwood Park Hotel or “The Goody” as it’s more affectionately known.

This is another one of the iconic Adelaide pubs that I’ve driven past a million times, yet never ventured into and I always wondered what it was like behind those doors!

When we first got there we walked through to the Bistro area. It was like we walked through this really great front bar area, past the funky and busy Beer Garden into a, well, not so happening area.
There were people in the restaurant, but they were older and it was relatively quiet. Even the decor was a little toooooo soothing. Soothing us right into our coffins I think…

I’m being harsh for dramatic affect. There was nothing wrong with the dining room, it just wasn’t where we wanted to be, especially after passing that beer garden.
So we grabbed our menus and switched tables to one out in the Beer Garden, taking full advantage of the magnificent weather we were having today.


I took these photos as we were leaving but when we arrived, each table was full and we were lucky to get a spot! There were plenty of young business people having lunch or sneaking in a quick drink before they had to get back to work.
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Each table had a planter on it with different herbs. I thought that was so cute!

I think I even noticed some tomato plants!!!

There really was a great atmosphere out here and I’m glad we’d switched seats.

I had a bit of trouble with the menu as I noticed  a few things that I could have ordered but in the end, went for the chef’s special.
Pistachio Crusted Barramundi with wilted Kale and Salse Verde.
Hubby went for the Seafood Basket – Salt & Pepper Squid, Skewered Prawns, Pale ale battered Australian Flathead, chips, salad, lemon, tartare.

Mine was a reasonable $28 and hubby’s was $29.
I’d seen some other plates as we walked out and the food looked pretty good so I was super excited to see what ours was going to look like.

My Barramundi was such a pretty little dish! Emphasis probably on the word “little”

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This picture probably makes the fish look like a larger portion than it was but just compare it to the wedge of lemon and you’ll get a better idea.
When I took my first bite I exclaimed “WOW”. Hubby replied “Is that ‘wow’ as in wow, this is all the fish I got?”
Now I should preface by saying that portion size was my ONLY complaint. The food itself was just divine!!! Each bite was like a magical dance on my taste buds. The pistachio crust was something I hadn’t tasted before and had a dynamic vibrance when paired with the salse verde.
The potatoes are hidden under the wilted kale but thankfully, there was a substantial portion of those so I did feel like I had eaten in the end, it just didn’t look like much when it first came out.

I wasn’t sure what to think of hubby’s when it came out. I mean, he ordered it so he must have wanted to eat that.
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Everything looked so “yellow”. The basket was just awash with yellow. Unfortunately, it made you think there was more in there than actually was because underneath the couple of pieces of fish and two prawns and two squid, was a good portion of fries.
So he too got “full up” on potatoes but what he really wanted was the Seafood.
Having said that, what was there was nice enough. The salad didn’t have dressing which was disappointing (why do they do that????) but the ingredients were crispy fresh and looked nice on the plate next to all that yellow.

I would expect smaller serves at fine dining or “fancier” restaurants, but not at a local pub. Especially not somewhere like the Goody. Maybe we just ordered the wrong thing.

Again, I want to say this is our only complaint and it’s well known that hubby and I have big appetites so the serves are probably good enough for the average diner… or maybe we were just unlucky on the day and normally the serves are bigger than that?
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I would have no hesitation in recommending The Goody as a place to hang out and chill with your friends and enjoy a well cooked and presented meal!

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

Till next we chow…

Sussex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We see a platter that captures hubby’s attention for the duration of our meal – unfortunately it was not on OUR table…
An unexpected salad bar sighting has hubby in raptures and..
We experience a burger without the works….

thumbDiners today we were at The Sussex Hotel. We got here quite by accident because we’d actually gone into another establishment a little down the road and after sitting down and looking at the menu for over five minutes, hubby and I looked at each other and said “you know, there is another place down the road….” And that other place was the Sussex!

I was so glad we’d decided to come here instead because from the moment we walked in the mood was different. The staff were really friendly and there were lots of people eating what looked to be good food! Hubby was sold as soon as he saw the salad bar.

dPic8They’ve got a couple of different dining areas. We chose to sit inside, but overlooking the nice outdoor area. There was a tv screen, music playing, people dining – all made us feel comfortable and welcome.

We checked out the menu but hubby was having a hard time because he couldn’t get his eyes off the table next to ours. They had ordered a share plate that just looked phenomenal. I later tried to find it on the menu online, and although there is a share plate listed on there, I don’t think it’s the same as the one we saw. A couple of girls had ordered it and it had all sorts of meats on there which was not in the description I saw for the share platter online – Ham, salami, that kind of thing! Hubby was almost begging me to get that with him but I just didn’t feel like eating finger foods. He contemplated getting it on his own I’m sure…

Hubby ended up ordering the Sussex Burger and I went for the Barramundi – oven baked, served with mash potato, wilted greens and beetroot hollandaise. The beetroot hollandaise sounded interesting to me!

dPic4So after ordering we went to check out the salad bar.

I must admit, I didn’t check out the cold salads really.

They had the general fare- scalloped potatoes, creamed cauliflower, broccoli and beans… It all looked ok. Some things tasted better than they looked – not sure if that’s a good thing. I was a bit disappointed with the bread. It was just regular sliced bread, not cute little dinner rolls as I would have liked.

Now on to our mains!

I always rib hubby that I order better than him and today, it was true once again.

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I don’t think there is anything I could fault about this dish. Look at how pretty it looks on the plate. That beetroot hollandaise really is a gorgeous colour!
Looks are one thing, but this dish also had taste. From the greens on top to the Barramundi and mash on the bottom… everything was a pleasure to eat. I was really hoping hubby wasn’t going to ask me for  a taste because I didn’t want to share. The peppercorns on top of the barramundi lit up my tastebuds! The dish itself was also temperature hot which I loved. I would definitely have this dish again.

Hubby went for the Sussex Burger.

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It looked pretty good when it came out. Surprisingly, it was the only burger on the menu… unless we missed something?? Hubby thinks he even saw a sign boasting they had the best burgers in Adelaide (plural) but this was the only option on the menu.
As he was eating it he realised there was no cheese, no bacon, no egg… and we didn’t have the option of asking for these to be added either.
The menu does state that it comes with cheese, but there was none in hubby’s burger. He said the patty seemed too small compared to the size of the bread and seemed a bit mushy. He did like the bread though. I would have liked it toasted (it wasn’t).
Overall it was really disappointing for him. There was nothing “bad” about it, it just wasn’t what he’d expect to get when ordering a burger.

You have to remember that as he’s eating this less than perfect burger, he’s still ogling the next door table with that share platter. They had to end up getting a take away container as they weren’t able to finish it all and I had a teensy weensy bit of guilt as hubby kept muttering “I never get what I want” – which for the record, is a lie.

I feel that there were mostly positives about our trip to the Sussex today and I would definitely recommend this place – perhaps just don’t order the burger!

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

Till next we chow…