Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Eight

Another beautiful day in Japan today! I love that we’re experiencing gorgeous warm weather. I think I might have to move here during the Winter months in Adelaide!

One thing I don’t understand is how the majority of people seem to be slim when their food is so processed and fried. The supermarkets are full of ready to go meals. Most of them are fried.
There are so many places that sell those delicious looking pastries and cakes and they all seem to be so highly processed!
You won’t easily find diet soda’s here and in fact there aren’t many “soft” drinks around. Actually it’s not really that hard to find it, especially as the West continues to have an influence, but it’s not as common as you’d find back home.

IMG_3817Hubby and I are almost out of ideas for what we want to do.
This morning we decided to walk to Ueno, have another look around and then maybe, eventually, make our way on foot to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building.

We stopped for a coffee at Starbucks. See that pic on the right? That was in their cake display. Alongside the delicious looking cakes they had a meat pie!!

We sat there enjoying the scenery in Euno park. It was very relaxing!


Next stop was Harajuko. I seem to get these places mixed up. I just didn’t remember going to these shops before!
Hubby says it must be wonderful being me, it’s like I’m experiencing it all for the first time every time I go there…

We walked down Takeshita Street again and this time I noticed the huge Candy Canes!

Can you see it on the left?

It doesn’t look as big in her hands as it did when a four year old was holding one.

There was a huge line to get these as well!

We’ve been noticing a few places here that do Kebabs. I can’t imagine that they would be like “our” kebabs but today curiosity got the better of us and we had to get some.


One Beef and one Chicken.
They actually tasted not bad!

I don’t know if you can notice the meat as it’s cooking.

Chicken on the left and beef on the right.

This guy was quite busy too!!

And alongside him was a place that was selling fries…

Moving right along…
After walking past the high end stores of Harajuku again, we decided to walk to Shinjuku.
I have to confess, I really love saying it. Shinjuku. There’s just something about that name!

IMG_3825We walked past the Meiji shrine and were amazed at how close it was to the station. Last year when we’d come here we’d gone via another station and walked a few kilometres to get to it.
The more you walk, the more you realise that so many stations are so close to each other that you probably don’t have to take the train as often as you think.

I found the display of the old wine and sake barrels very interesting.
Hopefully you can read the information in the pics below.


I just LOVE the Metropolitan Government Building.
Firstly, because it’s free to go up it!!


There’s great views of Tokyo from there and on a good day, you can even see Mt Fuji.
Today was not one of those days but we did see Fuji last time we were here.


Secondly, I like coming here because there’s a couple of gift shops and a restaurant.
Yes, the gift shops are slightly over priced but there’s not many people around and while hubby goes to have a coffee in the restaurant, I can take my time and really look at everything they have for sale.

I came away with a few goodies that are now tucked safely in my suitcase!


Another thing we love about Shinjuku is Brooklyn Parlor!!
We stumbled across this place last time by accident and this time, sought it out.

There’s just such a great atmosphere here!!! Hubby and I were definitely the oldest ones in there though.
We had a couple of drinks and shared some fries while giving our feet a bit of a rest.

As we made our way back I couldn’t help but wonder what side of the road we’re actually supposed to walk on. They drive on the left so you’d figure when walking on paths you should keep left. This is especially true as you share the path with so many bikes!!! Yet people don’t tend to keep left. I don’t think they stick to any side actually!

At the train station they have signs keeping you to keep left or right. Sometimes it’s left, sometimes it’s right.
When riding escalators, everyone keeps to the left… or right… (I love how they do that!!!) Leaving the other side free for people that want to race on by.

I was too late to take pics of our dinner but dumplings and rice made another appearance (not surprising)
I do like the food here but I’m not one who says I LOVE the food. I kind of miss having different vegetables and fruit. While you can have those things here, a lot of them tend to be very expensive and I don’t see them as a common thing being offered in restaurants.
I could be wrong, just what I’ve noticed in the short time we’ve been here.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Tokyo… I’m not sure what that day has in store yet!! Time to plan.

Victoria Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries

We learn that ordering a salad doesn’t mean you get a dressing as well
We find a menu that is a meat lover’s dream and
It’s true…. Comfort food brings comfort…

hseirganflb52rhkxeiiDiners today we’re at the Victoria Hotel or “The Vic” as it’s affectionately known.

We’ve been meaning to come back here for a while. Although we came early, the waitress was lovely and got us a nice table in their spacious dining area.

Lots of glass windows means there are gorgeous views of the Southern Adelaide Hills.  I tried to take a couple of photos but wasn’t very successful.

There was a fire place and we made a beeline to it but the waitress kindly told us that all the tables by the fireplace were booked, so we had to sit across the other side of the room. It did fill quite quickly and we weren’t so cold after a drink or two…

The menu was pretty amazing if you love meat! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many steak options. Hubby was quite beside himself! And then we noticed the Graziers T-Bone Challenge – 1kg graziers t-bone topped with 500g of bbq ribs & 500g of devil wings served w/ seasoned wedges & caesar salad. All that for $57.90 which is probably pretty good value.
I believe there is some prize, albeit a t-shirt or something like that, for being able to finish that one. I felt ill just reading it but it would probably make for a good share plate.

We ordered our drinks and also asked for a bottle of water. The waitress said she’d bring them right over. We got our drinks but the water never made it to our table. I’m being picky I know but our meal was almost over by the time I wanted water and realised it hadn’t come out.
FullSizeRender3We decided to start off modestly with a shared plate – HOUSE-MADE TRIO OF DIPS – served w/ assorted breads & petite salad

The menu didn’t specify what the dips were.
We guessed (from left) eggplant, salmon (or some kind of fishiness) and tzatziki.

The breads were good. Crisp. The eggplant was definitely my favourite. The tzatziki was disappointing because it was just so runny. The fish one was a little runny too and the eggplant, while it was the best, could have done with a little more substance but the taste itself of all them was ok.
I was disappointed that the salad had no dressing. Just a bit of rocket and shredded carrot put on a plate. I mean it all looked pretty but I wonder why some places just refuse to dress a salad?

The place had started to fill quickly now and eventually someone came to take our entree plate away and said “did you enjoy your meal?” We replied yes, then as he left hubby said “I think he thinks we’re finished now” and we wondered that for a while as it took some time before our mains came.

FullSizeRender5I felt chilled to my bones when we walked in so for main I ordered serious comfort food – GRAZIERS BEEF PIE – tender graziers beef slow cooked in a rich gravy, encased in golden pastry served with mash potato, peas & topped w/ gravy

It was everything I was expecting it to be. Warm and comforting. The meat inside was tender and delicious. The gravy was wonderful. The peas were firm and sweet and the mash was creamy. Actually the mash was a little lumpy rustic and maybe stodgy but it just reminded me of what I present my family at home so it made me feel good!


Hubby went for (surprise, surprise) GRAZIERS SCOTCH FILLET 300g –  known as one of the better eating primal cut of beef, the scotch fillet will exceed eating expectations “simply superb”

He ordered it with mushroom sauce on the side. He said while the meat had a really nice flavour, it was a little dry and he was glad he’d gotten the mushroom sauce to eat it with. But that was only a small complaint, he’s a meat eater and he loved it. The menu does state “will exceed eating expectations” and you really shouldn’t put that on there if you can’t deliver! But I’m being picky – It was good and this place obviously knows how to cook meat.

The menu states that all meat dishes come with a Caesar salad and “chet” potatoes. I asked what they were as I was ordering and the waitress said “baked potatoes”. I guess “chet” sounds sexier? I mean if it’s a baked potato, it’s a baked potato… and again, the salad had NO dressing. How can you even call it a Caesar if it has no dressing??

I know I’ve been a little picky but the Vic is definitely a place you want to visit. Good food, nice atmosphere and fairly competitive pricing… and maybe you’re up for that Graziers T-Bone challenge?? I would definitely want to know about that!

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

Till next we chow..


The Espy

Today on the Dining Diaries…

IMG_5821Dinner and a sunset were on offer,
We found a salad bar worth going back for (nothing to do with the miniature sized plates) and
Bellies becoming so full, waddling was a necessity, not an option.

The Espy is another iconic building right along the Esplanade in Brighton. I’m sure everyone in Adelaide has been here at one time or another.

Although we did have gorgeous views from our table, the sun set picture to the left was actually taken earlier in the evening at another establishment. Needless to say, the locals are very lucky to live in this part of the city!

348sDue to scheduling conflicts hubby and I had to dine quite early. We were there pretty much on 5.30 which is when their dinner service begins but already there were people there waiting to be seated.
Our table was next to a section that had been reserved for a 70th birthday party… amazingly, we dined and left before the raging seniors arrived…

The Bistro area is large. They’re not trying to win anyone over with fancy decorating. I found it strange that there was nothing unique about the interior. No artwork or styling choices. The only things on the wall was the odd advertisement for the pub.
Despite that, I had full confidence that we were going to get a nice meal. That’s the kind of self assurance vibe they send out.

The menu didn’t disappoint. Full and varied and just what you’d want from a bistro. Good ol’ regular pub grub with a couple of special dishes thrown in for good measure.
Hubby was happy to see there was a Salad bar and after we’d ordered, we went to fill our plates.
I kind of wished I’d taken a photo because I was impressed with the quality and choice of food in the salad bar. Lots of warm and cold choices. However I did think it was a little silly to have a bread roll plate as a salad plate. We ended up going up for seconds and that was partly because we wanted a larger serve and partly because everything we chose was delicious.

Hubby chose Graziers Rib Eye – a 350g  specialty primal cut of beef on the bone w/ exceptional flavour & eating quality – “the grand champion of steaks”
I went for the Graziers Beef & Mushroom Pie – tender graziers beef slow cooked w/ mushrooms in rich gravy encased in golden pastry served w/ mushy peas & potato mash
The server said this was actually a very popular choice.

IMG_5825I was not disappointed when it came out.

It looked massive! And when I cut into it, it didn’t fold away into airy pockets of nothing, it was filled with juicy, tender chunks of meat and gorgeous gravy. Perfectly salted.
The mash was a lovely accompaniment however the mushy peas… well, my first thoughts were that they hadn’t added enough water to them. It was as if they were still to be hydrated.
But honestly, who orders a pie for the mushy peas? And once everything mixed in all together it was fine.
The pastry was ok. Not special but definitely ok. I would probably have preferred it a little lighter.
Having said all that, I would easily order this again.
It was exactly what I was looking for on this cool Autumn night.




Hubby was equally happy with this Rib eye.
I had to stop him asking the waitress for a scale though as he wasn’t quite sure it had made the 350g cut.
He said it was seasoned well and had a lovely smokey flavour.
I spotted the perfectly pink colour inside as he cut away at his steak.
I noticed he was slowing down at one point and asked if he was getting full but he said no, he was just trying to make it last longer….


All in all I can see why this place doesn’t have any pretenses. The product speaks for itself.
It’s regular food, for regular folk, but prepared by people who care about what they’re putting out there.

Definitely a recommend from me!


Have you dined at the Espy?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…