In search of Cherry Blossom – Part Six

Thankfully the weather wasn’t as brutally cold today! I left our little apartment just before 7am and it was quite comfortable to walk around.
I managed to walk down to the Dotonbori and took a pic to prove to hubby that I’d been there!

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When I got back hubby and I had some breakfast then headed for Osaka station. We were going to Kobe today!

When the conductors come into your carriage on the train, they bow, walk through, then bow again before leaving the carriage.

It wasn’t long before we got into Kobe. Hubby had looked at a few things he wanted to do there. One was the “Kawasaki Good Time” museum and another was the Shin-Kobe Ropeway up past the Nonobiki waterfall to some Herb Garden.
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But first, Starbucks.

I’m beginning to hate this chain as hubby can’t seem to function without it.

This Starbucks was in an interesting building (left) in an interesting area of Kobe.

We saw a few things in this area that I guess were relating to tourists?

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I only took a photo of the Sherlock Holmes one but there were more.

I’m sure if I searched online I’d find out the story behind this area.

After his coffee hubby was back on getting to the Rope Cars.

I just wasn’t into the rope car idea.

I hate the thought of being suspended like that.

I did really want to see the waterfall though so I persuaded hubby to just walk up there. I thought it would be a peaceful way to get up and enjoy… well enjoy the serenity!

 


There were a few steep bits but mostly it was a pretty mild climb up.

 

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We were able to see the waterfall from a few different levels. The sound of the water rushing past was also quite loud. I really loved it here. It was just so peaceful. I could have stayed there a little longer but it was time to move on to the next thing.
Here are a few pictures I took from a few different viewing areas.

 


What I love about Kobe is they have these beautiful hills on one side, and the water on the other. Kind of like Adelaide but even closer together than Adelaide. Really, it’s such a beautiful city.

Last time we were in Kobe, hubby and I lunched at this buffet place. It must have made a big impression on us as we found ourselves gravitating towards there again today.
There really was a great selection of foods from Japanese staples to Italian food and things like fries. It was lovely and familiar.
I’m just not adventerous when it comes to food and was really really craving pasta today.

The views from our table were pretty special too! I thought I took some photos but I can’t find them. Here are a few from the Observatory Tower that we went to earlier in the day and some while we were out and about.

 


We’ve seen a lot of naked women statues in Osaka and there were more in Kobe.

 


After lunch we were in search of the Kawasaki Good Times Museum. We saw it in the distance!

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But what we didn’t know is that it’s closed on Monday’s… argh!!! Will have to research that one better next time.

We decided to wander the streets a bit more and found ourselves going through China Town where hubby made a friend with one of the stall holders who really really really wanted to be Australian just like us.

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Sadly we did all we could do in the few hours we were there and were soon back on the train back to Osaka.

We found ourselves back at the Umeda Sky Building and went up again.

 


Riding down those escalators BETWEEN buildings at such a great height is really something!

 


IMG_5709We stopped for a drink and watched the suited people rushing by to get wherever they really needed to be.

This place was cute because it seemed none of the workers spoke any English. Hubby pointed to the drink he wanted (they had bottles behind glass).

It took two workers to understand what we were ordering.

Two minutes later they come back to us saying “sold out” and they were both holding four bottles each from which hubby could make his second choice.

They are just so accommodating here!

So sad that our trip is quickly coming to an end. How did that happen?

I’m leaving with a picture for an ad that I saw today. I don’t know what this is advertising. Perhaps you have an idea?

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The Strand

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We enter with low expectations and are wowed by great food.
It may look impressive when a server appears to memorise your order but it doesn’t mean they will actually remember it and
Big juicy prawns make me a happy girl

FullSizeRender[4]Diners today we were at The Strand which is located on Jetty Rd at Glenelg.
I don’t know why I’ve never been here. Like many people in Adelaide I’ve walked past it many times as I stroll Jetty Rd but to me it’s just been another cafe so we just kept on walking by.

Today was different and hubby and I actually stopped in to get a quick bite before he went off to work.

Our first impressions were that it seemed like a funky place. We walked inside and were met by a server who gave us some menus and followed us back outside. We decided to sit in the “outdoor” area because the heaters were on and it just looked comfortable. Plus FullSizeRender[3]we could engage in a bit of people watching which is always interesting.

I liked the decor.

Colourful bench seats and wood slat walls.

We immediately felt right at home!

First impressions of the menu were pretty good. There were some good choices on there but probably pretty much cafe fare. I was mildly annoyed that the server took what felt like forever to come back and actually take our order. In fact, while we were sitting there hubby got a google alert, notifying him that it knew he was at The Strand and perhaps he’d like to write a review? It also gave him the opportunity to read what other people had said about it and a recurring theme were those who were sitting outside felt like they’d been forgotten about.

Eventually someone did come to take our order. I always get a bit nervous when they  memorise it. I mean seriously, I know you can do it but I’m really not going to be offended if you get a pen and paper out.
We gave him our orders and I also asked for a glass of wine and off he went with our order firmly stuck in his mind. Or was it?

While we waited a long time to put our order in, we didn’t have to wait long for the food to come out and it did not disappoint!

Hubby ordered “Agnello Alla Griglia” Lamb Back Strap marinated in chermmoula spices, served with Kipfler potatoes and yoghurt sauce (chermmoula spices are Spanish spices including parsley, coriander, garlic & lemon)

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FullSizeRenderI couldn’t decide what photo to use so I’ve added them both!

Hubby was very excited when this plate was put in front of him. He was surprised that it wasn’t served as one piece however he said it was just delicious.  The lamb back strap was cooked perfectly and just tasted so good.
It really was beautifully presented.
The potatoes were good and he loved that there was a generous portion. He also, unexpectedly, loved the crispy bits of sweet potato! All in all, this dish was a winner.

I felt like I hadn’t had pasta for a while so I went for the “Pappardelle Gamberi”. Fresh ribbon pasta with pan friedprawns, springonion,babyspinach in a rosesauce

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I’m not sure why I haven’t captured it in this picture but there were six juicy prawns in there!! What a lovely surprise!! They were so full of flavour and so meaty I was almost full just after eating the prawns!
Oh and what I haven’t mentioned was when I was looking on the menu, I was trying to pick a pasta that didn’t have a cream sauce. I asked the waiter if there was any cream in the rose sauce and he said yes a little, but also said he could ask the chef to make it without! So that was a plus for me!
And I really loved the flavours that were through this sauce. I enjoyed this dish a lot!! The pasta was so well cooked and just exactly what I’d been looking for today.
They also left a nice little dish of Parmesan on the table so I was able to keep adding as I went along. YUM!

One little disappointing thing was that I was halfway through my meal when I noticed I didn’t get my glass of wine. You see, memorising is not always a good thing!!
I asked another server who was close by about it and she went to get it right away. I’m not really complaining about it as when we went to pay for our food I noticed they hadn’t charged us for the wine so it’s all good in the end… and it was a lovely drop I have to say!

So there you have it, there’s our review of The Strand.
My recommendation? If you, like me, have walked past it a million times and not stopped in, why not give it a go? Perhaps don’t sit outside if you’re in a hurry… but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the food.

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

Till next we chow…

Cafe Fellini

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Casual relaxed dining at its best
Pizza’s like Nonna makes and
Big serves to make big appetites happy!

fellini-1-1 - CopyDiners today we were at Fellini in North Adelaide.
Fellini’s is one of those places that I’ve known about for years but have just never gone to. I’m so glad hubby and I decided to go in today.

After braving a blistery Winter’s day in Adelaide, it was nice to enter the comfy warmth of Fellini’s. It wasn’t just the temperature, but the friendly staff, the wooden tables, wooden chairs and fake exposed brick wall that just made you feel welcome.
Music was playing and a TV screen or two were on to entertain those who were alone or without conversation.
Some places can be unnecessarily pretentious but this is not the case with Fellini.

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Most of the tables had reserved signs on them when we arrived late afternoon, but we found a table and looked through the menu. I was surprised at how much was actually on the menu as I had always thought of Fellini’s as just a pizza place.
Turns out I was wrong.
I wasn’t going to have a drink but was tempted by a Cabernet Sauvignon  from the Coonawarra region. My weakness. How could I say no?

Hubby was really craving a pizza so he ordered a Pizza with the Lot. And yes, that does include anchovies.

I found a few of my regular favourites and ended up going with Fettucini Vespa which basically was Fettucini in a non tomato sauce, with prosciutto, rocket and prawns.

I should add that the menu had a lovely description of the owners backgrounds and how they came to own Fellini’s. I was particularly interested as they’re from the same part of Italy that my father was from. If you want to take a read just click the following link
http://cafefellini.com.au/menus/menu.pdf

I was pleasantly surprised when the meals came out and actually wondered if we were going to be able to eat it all!

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My Fettucini Vespa was just divine! I ended up giving most of the prosciutto on top to hubby because he loves that stuff. They weren’t shy with their portions! There was a lot of prosciutto on there and it was really tasty but it’s just not my thing.
There was an equally generous portion of prawns. I couldn’t help it, I ate all of them first. They were so big and juicy and really full of garlic! I didn’t care while I was eating them but found myself   tolerating  enjoying the taste for hours later.

The fettuccine were cooked perfectly aldente and I really did love the rocket that was through it. I did think once of twice that if they’d added pistachios to this dish it would have made it perfect!

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Hubby was equally happy with his pizza and as usual, he shared his pizza crust with me. The base was neither too thin or thick. It was fluffy, charred a little and just tasted perfect. The toppings were really fresh and they were generous with their portions which was really good to see. If hubby could have changed anything about this pizza it probably would have been to have a little more cheese on it but he really enjoyed it.

All in all I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed Fellini’s and I’m looking forward to going again.

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

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Twelve

We definitely got our steps in today!! And enjoyed a gloriously sunny day in beautiful Osaka. There is always something to see and do (and taste!) here.

 

I was a bit annoyed because we were going to the downtown area and hubby wanted to take the train. I wanted to walk it.
We ended up taking the subway and it was probably just as well because when we got to the downtown area, hubby decided he really really needed a Starbucks coffee.

IMG_4016We walked and walked and walked and walked. We walked more than if we’d walked from our apartment directly to the Starbucks in the downtown area.

We asked at an information booth and were given vague directions… we tried to find it using google maps but who knows what floor it was directing us to. We couldn’t find it.

Finally we looped back and found one in the Hep Building (where the giant rollercoaster is located) but it wasn’t open until 11am so we had to wait a little while.

Was it worth it? Well it was nice to sit down for fifteen minutes or so!!

After Starbucks we continued higher in the Hep building and found ourselves on a floor where we had no idea what was going on.
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There were pictures of girls on the wall and some kind of sign saying two girls were ok.

(I wish I’d taken a picture of that one!)

On the right is a picture I DID take while we were up there….

Oh and while we were walking around on those streets outside, we passed a guy who was actually using a rechargeable shaver as he walked! That’s being time efficient I guess.

I said in my last post that I didn’t want to eat local today. I could have been swayed but hubby and I walked past this Italian place that we didn’t get to go into last time we were here. The line was just too big!! Today there was no line although it was quite busy inside.

I’m glad we went there as we got a decent amount of food and it was not bad.

I was quite proud of myself too as although I couldn’t understand what the server was saying, I knew what she was saying and was answering accordingly. The only time I was stumped was when she tried to tell us that we could help ourselves to Miso Soup and water.
There was a nice gentleman sitting in the table next to us who translated (his English was very good!)

Hubby got some hamburger steak dish and I got pasta. We also got a small salad and “pizza” and a 250ml carafe of house wine. All of that came to 1700 yen!! (About $21 AUD) What a bargain!

 


I felt like I’d eaten quite a bit after that!
Hubby let me try some of his meat and it was really nice!
I asked in a quiet voice “Do you want to try some of mine” and he said “Rest easy, I’m not interested in yours”
He knows me well…

Next stop was Osaka Castle. I was surprised when hubby said to put it into google maps, to see how far it was. Usually that means he’s considering walking it. As it was about four kilometres, we did walk.

I love walking because I just think you get to see more. You see more of the local and not tourist areas and you see people doing whatever it is they do in their every day life.

 

We didn’t go inside the castle but we did get some delicious soft serve icecreams and had a rest under the shade of a tree. There are so many places you can get soft serve icecream from here!!!

IMG_4043As we were sitting there, we saw a guy all of a sudden drop to the ground. He seemed to be stretching. Hubby was just about to say “Look at that guy stretching on the ground. Why would he do that there?”

It seemed odd as he was in the hot sun.
Moments later a woman came up to him and asked if he was ok.

We couldn’t hear what he said but it seemed like he was saying he’d had a cramp. His shoe was off.

This woman proceeded to massage his foot and calf!!

I couldn’t imagine doing that to a stranger. He didn’t seem like he was in pain but I guess he was? I had to take a picture.

They walked off in different directions so they were definitely not together.

From Osaka Castle we walked back to our apartment near Namba Station. Yes we’ve done a lot of kilometres today!!

I decided I’d try to cook in this little kitchen in the apartment tonight as every time we go to the supermarket I see that beautifully marbled meat and I just wonder what it would taste like.

Unfortunately by the time we got there it was after 9pm and there was no nice marbled meat left… So we just got some pork and some other things and I still cooked but it was boring and not special so no pictures…

To finish things off I’ll just post a few pics and signs I saw about the place today.

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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!!