The Rex Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience feel good “feels” as good as a nanna’s hug
We find the salad bar is more like a boiled veggie buffet and
Great food surprises and delights!
d66b3d7ce9584a6ff41e7ea3eb0ccfdc_featured_v2Diners today we find ourselves at The Rex Hotel.

To be honest I’m not sure I knew this place existed. Hubby suggested it as we were in the area and had a ravenous hunger, so we stopped in.

It seemed to be quite busy when we stepped in. Looking at the other diners I’d have to say the average age was probably about fifty five.
Still, there was something very embracing about the Rex Hotel. It was as comforting as going to nanna’s house when you were a kid. I almost expected someone to whip up a secret stash of boiled sweets and hand them to me as I walked through the door.

It was a very relaxed atmosphere and the staff and other diners were just so friendly. We even struck up a conversation with the couple dining next to us. It just felt like we were at a family or work function! Comfortable and predictable.

Hubby and I were soon perusing through the menu and I was impressed with the selection and the prices.

We ordered our food and made our way up with hopeful expectation to the salad bar. I know I’ve said negative things about salad bars in the past but there’s always that expectation isn’t there? Maybe this one will be a good one? Sometimes you do get lucky.
Today was not a lucky day.

It wasn’t awful, probably just boring. Some peas and carrots, broccoli etc. There was even some sliced potatoes in cream. I’m pretty sure it was supposed to be scalloped potatoes but it tasted like over boiled potatoes in fresh cream. Even though this part of our dining experience was not great, the meals we ordered seemed like they came from another kitchen!

I ordered Hokkien stir fry with added prawns.

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I could barely contain myself when this was put in front of me as it smelt so good!!! The added prawns were $6 extra and there were six of them on my plate. I guess that’s a pretty good deal.
They tasted soooo good! So juicy and full of garlic goodness that disgusted impressed my family for the rest of the day
The rest of the dish was pretty good. I particularly liked the snow peas as they just added so much flavour and freshness to each mouthful.

Hubby, the steak man, couldn’t go past the 500 gram Graziers Rump. It just looked so massive when it came to the table.

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The size of it actually is what initiated conversation with our neighbouring table.
To be fair, hubby did share some with me and I’m so glad because it was just so flavourful and tender. A beautiful cut of meat!

I hope it’s clear that although this hotel is clearly catering to an older crowd, I would happily come here again as the food (apart from the average salad bar) was great and the people, including the other diners, were just friendly. There’s a sense of familiarity about this place.

Like you’re stepping back to a time where things were simpler.

No doubt, hubby and I will visit this hotel again in the near future!

Have you been to the Rex Hotel?
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 Seventeen

Our time, sadly, has come to an end.

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I was excited this morning because today we were going to Rinku Town! And the thought of all the bargains that awaited me had me full of hope that I’d be filling my suitcase with all sorts of things

It didn’t quite happen that way.

Check out from our Air Bnb place was was not till 11am so as hubby wanted to stay there till 10.59am, I decided to go for one last walk.

Again I marvel at all the things I’m not going to see when I’m back in Australia.
Every restaurant (and there are many, no matter if you’re on a “main” street or a back street alley) has “food art” outside it’s doors. They’re sculptures of the menu so you can see what you’re going to be getting. I have never been tempted by any of these and usually find them quite repulsive but I guess that’s just me because they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t inspire the locals.

I see it every day, I’ve written about it but it still amazes me, the amount of people that ride bikes and the way they whizz around on the footpaths. I’ve been tending to walk close to the shops as there doesn’t seem to be a “keep the left” rule. Bikes tend to have the right of way. At least, that’s the way it seems.

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And finally we were on the train to Rinku Town!!

Look at the happiness on my face!

Of course, once we got there, we had to walk around and look for a Starbucks before we could do anything else.

I was so excited to start shopping but I had to wait!

It took a little while but we did finally find one and hubby was drinking his Venti, Cafe Latte with Skim Milk – Making sure to keep his receipt so that he could get another one later that day for 216 yen instead of 486 yen.
This has been a daily ritual that I was very happy to have ending. Life will no longer revolved around Starbucks.

Rinku Town is an interesting place. Full of outlet malls but otherwise appears as a ghost town.


We started off (at the shops near the Starbucks) and walked.
I need to explain that I’m normally not a person who likes to shop for clothes, but I had it in my head that I wanted to buy something from Japan… So I was really in the mood to find something. I had worn my clothes and shoes that were easy to get in and out of on purpose!

You need to take of your shoes when you enter a dressing room in Japan. If you’re trying anything from the waist up, they’ll give you a “breast cover”. I should have taken a photo of it as I couldn’t quite work out how it was supposed to go.
I must admit, when the first guy handed me this folded up piece of something and said “please cover your breasts” I didn’t quite know what he was on about…

We had a late lunch in the foodcourt. We were enticed by this picture

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Looks pretty good!! Yakisoba AND Okonomiyaki…

This is what it looked like when it came.

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Still looked pretty delicious.

I keep forgetting how much the sauces don’t agree with me though. Luckily we had said “no mayonnaise” but there were other sauces on here.
It was really really yummy, don’t get me wrong, but afterwards my stomach didn’t feel right and I kept seeing other foods I wished we’d eaten instead….

Oh, and a little giggle at another translation fail spotted in the food court…

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After shopping at the Premium Outlets for a few hours, I still hadn’t really bought anything.
We walked over to the “beach” outlet part. I forgot what it was actually called, and went into this cheap looking store. Finally I was picking out things I liked!! I ended up with four items and hubby, whose patience was being tested said “Can we please get out of K-Mart now”
He was offering to pay for today’s purchases so I don’t know why he was not happy!!!

It was almost time to leave Rinku Town, when I spotted the exact outfit I’d been looking for!! One thing I haven’t mentioned is that the sizing is much smaller here. If you’re an M (medium) in Australia, you’re at least a L (large) here.
It’s not good for the ego… And “Free” size means “one size fits all” but their “fits all” would not work in Australia.

So I found the outfit. It was a medium so it was tight but I really really wanted it. I went to the counter only to be told “cash only”. What? It’s amazing how many places in Japan are cash only.
So hubby and I hurried to find an ATM to get some cash out and in doing so, came into contact with an American living in Japan. He was the friendliest guy!!
He just had story after story to tell of his experience of living in Japan (for the last two and a half years) the Japanese culture (he’s married to a Japanese woman) and much more.
He came with us as we got money from the ATM, came with us as we went back to that store (so I could buy my treasured items) and walked with us to the train station, saw us right up to the platform gate! I’m kind of sorry we didn’t exchange information after all that time together. It was only as we were parting that we gave our names.
So Jacques, if by the remotest chance you’re reading this, please get in touch!

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Our flight left Osaka at 10.30 pm. We had a bit of time to kill but we were too tired to walk around and look at the shops.

This instruction made me smile.

Just the fact that there’s a need to put that kind of instruction there is what I find amusing.

People hey….
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And finally we were on the plane bound for home. We flew to Cairns then had to wait a few hours before our trip back to Adelaide.

Just thought I’d share the meal we got on our flight back.

I think it was chicken.
Funny how things always taste different when you’re on a plane.
I didn’t take an “after” shot in Adelaide but I’ll leave you with a pic from Cairns airport.
It’s been a long journey!!!
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Regular restaurant reviews will be following.
Thanks for sharing this trip with us!

 

Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Sixteen

Our time is coming to an end and we’re kind of running out of new things to do but I also feel like I want to spend more time around this Dotonbori area.

There is just so much to see and do!

So many different foods! So many people. It both terrifies and excites me.

This is not the place to be if you don’t like crowds!

Hubby was having a bit of a lie in this morning so I took myself for a walk and really enjoyed watching people going about their business.

Most of the shops aren’t open until 10am. That may sound late but they also stay open very late. I really wanted to get some junk cute things from Daiso. I know we have this store in Australia but I’ve never been in one in Australia.

IMG_4213.JPGI know there’s just cheap, nothing goods in there but it’s exciting!!

So are the 100 yen stores! I just love them!!
“This is really only 100 yen??” I find myself exclaiming.

It’s much easier to shop in these stores when hubby isn’t around.
Look at the cute little Hello Kitty bag I got for 100 yen. I think it might actually be a bag to carry cold/fridge foods but I’m going to use it as a make up bag for as long as I can. It’s just too cute!

When I got back to the room, hubby and I had a breakfast of coffee and naughty bakery goods (Oh god I love them so much) then set off to walk through the streets and I snapped a couple of pictures along the way.

 


I took that pic on the left to show how every apartment has an area for bike parking. There aren’t that many places for cars and usually they’re off site (not in the same area as the apartment block) but bike parking you’ll see EVERYWHERE!!!
It’s pretty stressful walking down the street. We’ve seen lots of near misses between people on bikes and cars/buses/pedestrians but never actually seen a collision. I don’t even know how we haven’t because they’re crazy on their bikes!!!

As we walked we talked about places we’ve been and foods we’ve eaten and we started reminiscing about the huge bowls of ramen we got at this particular food court. Unbeknownst to me, hubby started to walk towards it (we were about four kilometres away) I had no idea. He didn’t tell me, he just kept walking.
It was about 2pm at this stage and I was starting to get pretty hungry. I kept pointing out restaurants saying “Mmmm that looks delicious, should we go there?” but he would barely grunt out an answer.
I guess it was his little way of annoying surprising me.

We got to our favourite food court eventually but when we went to the place we ordered the ramen from, the menu looked different. We couldn’t tell what it had been that we used to order!!
The girl at the counter didn’t speak English (we were trying to ask if a particular dish had meat in it. Pork? Chicken?) So she told us to wait and got someone else who also didn’t understand us.
IMG_4206In the end, hubby pointed to some things on the menu and said we’ll just take that.
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I’m not sure that there was any meat in it. There could have been very very very pink bacon in it. Perhaps some tofu like thing… Not sure, but it was pretty delicious!
In the middle there were like fried noodles. I’m not sure exactly. They were crispy. I don’t know the name for them.

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We also chose to drink Calpis which is everywhere here and a delight to say out loud.

“Oh I just loving drinking Calpis.
Would you like to drink Calpis?
thought you’d never ask!”

It was like a more delicious version of lemonade. I really liked it. No diet version though so it’s unlikely I’ll be having it again. Diet drinks aren’t easy to come by here by the way. You will find them, but not as easy as you find them in Australia and many restaurants don’t offer any sort of diet drinks.

So although we enjoyed what we ate, it wasn’t what we were expecting.

We consoled ourselves by visiting the 100 yen bakery downstairs.
OH.MY.GOD this place!
I could have eaten the whole store but we only picked two varieties.

 

I liked the one on the right a lot more. It had a chocolate filling too! The berries were soooo sweet. I just loved it. The other was either a baked cheesecake or had a custard filling. I wasn’t quite sure.
It too was delicious but not as good as the first.

Tomorrow is our last day in Osaka and we’re capping it off with a visit to Rinku Town!! I’m so excited!! The train has taken us past this place every time we’ve arrived or left but we’ve never stopped. It’s full of outlet malls apparently!

I’m not even a shopper but I’m excited!!! Hubby, where’s your wallet??

Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Fifteen

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Today hubby and I visited Kobe! What a surprise this city was!

But before I get to that, I have to mention this. At one point when we were on the train, a conductor came through.

He opened the door from the adjoining carriage. Stood looking towards the door at the other end, and bowed. Walked through (counting I think?) and when he got to the other door, he turned to face the door he’d just come from, and bowed again.

Things like that just continue to amaze me. They are so polite and show so much respect. I wonder if that extends to the private life as it does in their public life.

Speaking of trains, we had a different experience today. We weren’t sure we were on the right train so we asked a conductor that was walking through. He said yes, we’re on the right train for Kobe, but if we get off at the next station and catch the train from platform five, we’ll be on an express and it will be better.
Sounds good right?
What he didn’t bank on was the speed with which hubby and I whipped off that train and onto the train that was on platform five. Turns out that train was the local (stopping at every station) train that hadn’t left yet. It was JUST leaving as I jumped through the doors so proud at having made it…. and then we noticed it was stopping at EVERY station. Wrong train! The express arrived minutes later and we watched it race by as we chugged along… 

But at least that one got us to the right location. No such luck on the way back but that’s another story for another day…

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We had sweets for morning tea when we got there.

I’m addicted to these baked goods.

How can these sweet little puffs of sugar be so high in calories?

I don’t know how everyone here doesn’t go mad for them!!

We were impressed at how modern and clean Kobe looked as we got off the train. So many interesting things to see. We wondered what parts had been affected by the 1995 earthquake.

The freeways are just amazing! It felt like we were in a different country at times. It was so different to anything else we’d seen since we’ve been in Japan.


We walked around Harbour Land and saw a few places we thought we might like to have lunch, but really wanted to walk through China Town first before deciding.
IMG_4188When we were in Yokohama, we were sorry we’d eaten lunch before going to their Chinatown, this time, it didn’t seem to matter.

The China Town in Kobe isn’t as big as the one in Yokohama.

Why would we visit China Town while in Japan?

I think it’s just interesting to see how the Japanese interpret that culture.

Plus the food is just yummy.

 

We got some pre-lunch snacks!


I just love those sesame ball things! These ones had red bean paste in them.

Hubby had the things on the top right. I think he said it was pork? And bottom right, well they just looked cute!! I’m not sure what they were as I didn’t get any of them.

So after walking around for probably too long, we went back to Harbourland and found a buffet place that was really very reasonably priced! Everything else seemed not worth it really… but how could we go past a buffet? So many foods to try!!!

And we were not disappointed. I took a photo of most of the food we saw there.


We had quite the ride home via train and ended up stopping at Dome-Mae station and walking back from there.

We were still too full for a proper dinner tonight so we just bought some snacks to eat in our room.

Another day full of a lot of walking and a LOT of food!!

I’m sad that our trip is almost over.