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 One

As you can tell from my title I’m completely delirious.
These next series of entries will be mostly about our current travels but I will try to keep them food related!
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Hubby and I woke up bright and early this morning to board our flight to Cairns. We’re headed to the wonderful country of Japan again but decided to spend a day in Cairns to break up our flying time.

I think the plane was lacking oxygen as hubby and I had a few strange exchanges on the way over…
Hubby : No boobs but you make up for it with your nice back. Baby got back
Me: You got the boobs in our relationship (and I then proceeded to squeeze his chest while saying “honk honk”)

We’re very classy….

Cairns was just as lovely as ever and after getting our hire car, we went straight to the beach and walked around admiring our favourite spots while having a heated discussion about Gay Marriage. Never a dull moment…


We were pretty hungry and decided to stop in at a past favourite, “Rattle and Hum” 
There’s just something about this place we like….
We were a bit naughty with our food selections….

Very delicious!!
And from where we sat we could see lots of food going out. There were a lot of burgers that’s for sure.
The pic on the left is of a steak sandwich and that meat was just so tender!!! It was really lovely and sooooo sinful to eat!

After lunch we walked some more and did a bit of window shopping. We talked a lot about our trip to Japan… I’m looking forward to being there tomorrow….

I’m not quite sure what to say about our Air BnB experience in Cairns, suffice to say that if you’re not a people person, you probably shouldn’t book rooms in other people’s houses.
But it’s all good!! We have somewhere nice and clean to spend the night and will come back with lots of stories!

An hour or so later…

I really don’t want to say anything against our Air BNB host as she was… well she was herself and unfortunately it didn’t really mix with who we are.
We spent a couple of hours in that room in her apartment then decided we’d probably be happier if we were in a hotel room so, we moved.
I can’t explain the relief.
I can’t explain in this post what we didn’t like as I’d hate for anything to get back to our host. In her way, she tried her best, it was just not for us.

Back to food….
After a day of travelling,
lots of  walking,
dealing with the anxiety of wondering where we were going to sleep,
wondering if anyone would walk into our bedroom while we were sleeping,
(or into the bathroom while we were showering)
physical and mental exhaustion took it’s toll and made us not want to leave our hotel room.

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After recouping in our hotel room, we walked to a nearby Woolies and got a couple of baguettes, some deli meats, sundried tomatos, olives, cucumbers and other goodies and made a jumbo size roll!!!
It was magnificent and really really hit the spot!!!

Tomorrow we’ll be in Japan where I’m sure I’ll have a bit of food anxiety but that doesn’t matter, that’s what being in a new culture is all about!

Mata chikaiuchini o ai shimashou! (Blame Google translate if that doesn’t make sense!!)

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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…

 

Aldgate Pump Hotel

 

 

Today on the Dining Diaries..

I find where the Play School “round” window went!
Stone grill dishes make our mouths water and
A little seasoning never goes astray….

Aldgate Pump HotelDiners today we are in Aldgate at the Aldgate Pump Hotel. I wondered how it got it’s name. What did the “pump” part of it mean?
Well as it turns out, a century or so ago, bullock drivers, travellers and colonists would travel from Adelaide past the pub. At that time, the trip from Adelaide to the pub took a good part of the day. A hand-pump and trough outside gave horses a welcome drink while their owners were inside refreshing themselves with something to eat and drink.

Although it didn’t take us half a day to get here, we were looking forward to being refreshed ourselves.
There are lovely pubs scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills and we weren’t disappointed by what we found at the Aldgate Pump Hotel.

I was a little dismayed as we walked in though, to see dated carpet and older style furnishings but the longer we sat there, the more I realised that it’s part of the charm that the locals expect.


The staff were friendly and we found a nice table that let us enjoy the views to the greenery outside.

The menu sounded a little ambitious at first glance. Were they trying to be something they’re not or could they really deliver?
The most interesting aspect of the menu is the Hot Rock  section. In fact we saw a couple of dishes coming out and the sizzling sound of that meat cooking on the hot rock was really making us question our menu choices!

In the end we decided to go for the chef’s selection : Trio of Dips as a starter.

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Look at that beautiful colour! I have to say, these are the best selection of dips we’ve had in a while. Each dip had a wonderful texture and we were given quite a generous amount of each! We guessed the flavours as being (from left) beetroot, sundried tomato and tzatziki. The pita bread was fresh and warm and we were almost full after sharing this plate!

We both really felt like a good pub burger today so hubby went for the Pulled Pork Burger, and I went for my usual Steak Burger.

The Pulled Pork Burger made hubby’s eyes light up when it came out.

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There seems to be a generous amount of pork in there! Unfortunately hubby said it was really lacking in seasoning and flavour. We both found the burger bun to be a little…
I’m not sure how to describe it, only to say it seemed like it had been thawed out and reheated.

My Steak burger looked pretty good when it came out too.

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I can’t remember seeing it on the menu but there were fried onion rings in there! Sadly, these too could have used some salt but it was still exciting to see.

The meat itself was beautifully cooked; Tender and succulent just as it should be. The rest of the burger had flavour enough so I really enjoyed mine.

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While we were dining I glanced over and saw what reminded me of the Play School Window!

Those Australians, who like me, grew up with ABC’s Play School will know what I’m talking about.

All in all, we had a nice dining experience here despite the lack of flavour in some of the food. I just think they might be trying to be something they’re not.
People come to this place for the charm and the history and I think that’s what they need to promote.
While they say “change is as good as a holiday” I think they need to be calculated changes and the skills to cope with the changes have to accompany them.

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

Till next we chow…

Rob Roy Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Great atmosphere,
Great food and
Great music!

Short and sweet introduction today!
rob-roy-hotel-pda-20140331172210809_lrgDiners today’s review is for the Rob Roy Hotel on Halifax St.

This building is rich in history! It is thought that the original building was built between 1842 and 1850.

Hubby and I have been quite keen to get here and see what the hotel has to offer as we’ve always heard good things about it.

Walking down Halifax St you immediately notice the Al-Fresco eating area and how lovely and serene it looks. I could easily imagine wasting a few hours of the afternoon here on a nice Summer day.

Another great thing about the Rob  Roy is that they have all day dining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which is perfect for hubby and I who tend to have schedules that mean we eat at strange times of the day.

We got there on a Sunday afternoon about 3.45pm and there were lots of people enjoying the sunshine outside, and quite a few inside too, waiting for the band to start.

The décor inside is pretty simple and clean. Lots of wood, black and copper colours which probably doesn’t show up too much in the photos I took.


There’s definitely a friendly vibe to this place.

The menu was pretty enticing! Lots of good choices and of course, pub favourites.

We decided to start with Prawn Beurre BlancPrawns, chorizo, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, dried chilli beurre blanc & bread

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While this wouldn’t have been my first choice for an entrée, it was a perfect way to start a meal. I was a bit worried that the chilli would make it too hot but they added just enough to give the dish a kick. I loved the pizza style bread the most and used that to mop up that absolutely delicious sauce. I even told hubby he could have all the prawns (although I did taste one and they were perfectly tender and flavourful)  and chorizo if I could have the rest of that bread.

For main I chose the Mexican Bean Burger Mexican chilli bean with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chipotle mayo & coriander

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I just loved every bite of this burger! The bean patty was so delicious I think I want all my future burgers to like this! The sour cream and guacamole had been added to the perfect proportions and honestly there was nothing I could fault. I would probably have preferred a different style bun but that’s a personal preference..

Hubby chose the 350gram Scotch Fillet cooked medium rare however a waiter came out a little while after I ordered and said they had run out and would he mind if they cooked him the rib eye instead?
He tried not to show his elation and said “Well if I have no choice….” but was beside himself when the waiter walked away…

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When the meal came out, the waiter added that the chef was worried the size of the meat was smaller than expected so he added another piece. This was turning out to be hubby’s lucky day!!!!!
He was absolutely elated with everything on his plate. The meat was beautifully tender, the mash was seasoned beautifully, in fact, he added some of the garlic butter that was on top of his meat to the mash…

We’ve had some really good dining experiences lately and this was no exception.

We even lingered longer than we normally do because the band was playing songs from our era and we enjoyed an extra drink or two while listening to them.

It really was a great afternoon and I’d really encourage people do come on down and visit the Rob Roy Hotel and experience it for themselves.

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

Till next we chow…