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KATAMACHI CAFE

(2010-04-30)
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I often go to eat out.
So, I sometimes forget writing about some restaurants.

This is one of these…
It is ‘Katamachi-café.’
When I go to my office, I always pass through this café.
I have already forgotten when I visited there.
I heard it used to be a furniture shop, and now it is a café.
But they also sell furniture and some goods.

When I went there, nobody was there.
So, I didn’t think their foods might be good.

But their foods were better than I thought.
And the good point of that restaurant is that they cook very slowly.
If you want to stay longer there, you can stay there as long as you want.
It was a really comfortable café.
I recommend you to go there.

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POLUTUGALIA -2-

(2010-04-29)
These are desserts.

The first one ,a rice pudding is Yoshiko’s friend’s recomendetion.
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The second one is pudding, too. Nori-chan ordered it.
According to the menu card, it is a traditional recipe from Braga using lard instead of butter.
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The tired one is Toucinho du Céu.
According to the menu card, it is a traditional cake originated in the corvents.
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My favorite one is Toucinho du Céu.
There some nuts in the cake, and its texture is fantastic.

All of them are really sweet, especially Nori-chan’s one.

And all cakes are simple.
I can’t see any decorations, so they are typical ‘home made cakes’.


And my favorite one is ‘Wine’ which I ordered.
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Since I went to France, I’m addicted to wine.
This one is ‘port wine’.
It was really sweet, thick, and ….
I can’t explain well. But it was very delicious.

I wrote about their good points.
But I can not recommend this restaurant.
One reason is this restaurant is a little expensive.
They charge for 10% for their service.
If you are not Japanese, you don’t think anything.
But in Japan, we don’t usually pay for their service.
If their service is good, it is OK.
However, their service is not so good.
One guy was polite, but a woman was impolite.
One thing I was really surprise is that when we ate codfish, the woman gathered the food on a plate and put those foods on Nori-chan’s plate, and then she brought the empty plate.
I couldn’t enjoy eating.

All foods are not so bad but not so good.
So, you can eat more delicious food for the same price.

Of course, it is a good experience to try a new taste.


PORTUGALIA -1-

(2010-04-28)
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French, Chinese, Indian, Italian….
These restaurants are very popular…
But there is no chance to eat other countries food.

There are some countries restaurants around Nishitemma Area.
I really like to try ‘new taste’, so I like to visit those restaurants.

Last Saturday, Yoshiko, Nori-chan and I visited one of those restaurants, PORTUGALIA.

What is your image of Portugal?
My image of Portugal is that it was the most familial country at Edo Period.
Many European cultures were imported at that time.
Some words didn’t translate in Japanese, so we still use Portuguese.

The reason we visited Portugalla was that we would have Nori-chan’s birthday party.
She doesn’t eat out usually, so Yoshiko and I planed her birthday party.

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This is ‘Codfish Rolls’.
This is Yoshiko’s friend’s recommendation.
According to the menu, it is “the most typical Portuguese starter. Fried codfish & potato rolls”.


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This is ‘Chicken Pie’, even if it doesn’t seem Chicken Pie.
It is the most popular food in Portugal.


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This is a Mixed Salad.
I have nothing to say about it.


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This is "Green" Eggs Figueira Style”. It is Yoshiko’s friend’s recommendation.
There are half sliced boiled egg and some vegetables inside of it.


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This is “Codfish "Zé do Pipo" Style”.
According to the menu ‘Codfish baked in the oven with onion sauce and mashed potatoes.’.

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This is “Drunkard" Rabbit”.
It was stew of rabbit meat with red wine.

This is Octopus Rice.
According to the menu, ‘Boiled rice with octopus, tomato and red pimentos. A dash of parsley and coriander’.


Those foods are light taste.


Carthago Kitchen

(2010-04-26)
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I went to Carthago Kitchen to eat Tunisia food.
This was the second visit.

First, I want to introduce my friend, Autumn,.
She works at the laboratory of my company.
When I went to the laboratory in Hirakata City, I sometimes saw her.
I was interested in her because she seemed very honest.
I always thought that her co-works were lucky because they could work with her.

Last month, when I went to a wedding party, I had a chance to talk to Autumn.
At that time, we promised to go to eat something.

And finally, we went to eat dinner together!!!

Menu

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These are salads even if they don’t seem salads.
We put the salads on bread and eat.
Both salads are spicy.
The above one is made with tomatoes, green peppers and hot peppers.
Even though, it isn’t too spicy.
The bottom one is made with fresh carrots, potatoes. You can feel some kinds of herbs.

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These are ‘farcis’.
The above one is the same as spring roll.
There are some seafood, potatoes, eggs, and capers.

The bottom one is the one which meat covered with green peppers and grilled.
There are some beef, chicken, spinach, and cheese.

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These are stews.
The above one is called ‘ŞAKŞUKA’.
There are many vegetables and sea foods.
It is the spiciest food in that day’s dinner.

The bottom one is the most famous dish in their menu.
It is ‘Couscous’.
I think anyone knows its name but many people don’t know what it is like.
Couscous is pasta even if it doesn’t seem like pasta.
It is made of Triticum durum.
It is delicious.
At the first bite, I didn’t feel anything.
But the soup permeates the pasta, and it taste has been getting better and better.
And the last bite!!!!
I can’t say anything!!!

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The amazing dessert is the last photo.
It is the dried Date Palm.
It is very sweet.
When they served this, I was very surprised.
It is not my image of ‘dessert’.
It was really delicious, so I wanted to eat more.

I like this restaurant.
They have good food and wine.
If you are interested in spicy food, I will bring you this restaurant!


OSAKA OBACHAN

(2010-04-24)
I am an Osaka-No-Obachan.

What is your image of Osaka-No-Obachan?

Any guy has a bad image of Osaka-Obachan.

They've got their nerves.
They speak very loud.
They are crude.

I think Osaka-Obachan’s Osaka dialect is the international language.
It is because when Osaka Obachan goes to foreign countries, they don’t use foreign languages!!
They speak in very strong Osaka dialect.
I don’t know why.. but they can communicate with foreign people in Osaka dialect.

One of Osaka Obachan’s behaviors is ‘keeping candies’.

I don’t know why… but they always put candies in their pockets or bags.
And they sometimes give us those candies.
I think candies are one of the communication tools of Osaka-Obachan.

Now, my company has held an entrance examination.
The examination is very long; it is about 4-hour.
So, I ready some candies for a break.

And then, I realized that I was a typical Osaka Obachan!!!
I didn’t want to be an Osaka Obachan, though.

However, I also know Osaka-Obachan’s good points.
They sometimes are polite.
They are friendly.

I think I am OK if I become an Osaka-Obachan.


CONVENI SANDWICH

(2010-04-22)
Have you ever eaten ‘convenience's store Onigiri’, conveni Onigiri, before?
I think almost all of Japanese people have already eaten it.

The package of ‘conveni Onigiri’ is very convenient.
You can eat it even if you don’t wash your hands. You don’t touch any food when you open its package.
There is a film between rice and dried laver seaweed, so when you eat Onigiri, the laver seaweed is very fresh.

I heard this package had been developed by a cardboard company.

Latest cardboard is amazing.
There is no polystyrene foam in a cardboard when I buy some stuff, for example, electric appliances.
The cardboard is formed to fit to those items.

I don’t know who designs this cardboard, but it is amazing.
A flat board is folded several times and is formed as shock-absorbing material.

I sometimes buy imported goods but I have never seen the same type of absorbing material.

This company developed the amazing Onigiri package.
They have many ideas.

When I ate ‘conveni sandwiches’ today, I remembered this story.
Conveni sandwiches’ package is also amazing. It is very close to conveni Onigiri package.
Who developed this sandwich package?
I don’t know.
But some Japanese are very clever and smart, I think.




TRIP TO ISE -4/11- ISE UDON

(2010-04-21)
We were hungry when we arrived at Toba Station.
We ate Ise Udon at the station.
Have you ever eaten Ise Udon before?
It is not popular but I like it!

There is no soup in a bowl.
The noodles are very soft, so you don’t need your teeth to eat it.

I think some Japanese don’t like this Udon but I like it.
I don’t think I require comparison of A and B.
Both Udons have their own characters.

The Ise Udon was the same Udon as in my memory.
Only one thing what I want to say is that the Udon shop has only Udon menu.
If they have good seafood either, I feel happier.

We bought some (not some, many) souveniors at Toba Station, bought some foods and local beer.

We drank and ate them, and then slept.

We said good-bye at Kyobashi station after a short break.

It was a short trip but I was very happy because I ate many delicious food!!
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TRIP TO ISE -4/11- CHONMAGE WORLD

(2010-04-18)
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That day’s plan was to go to ‘CHON MA GE WORLD’. It was an amusement park.
There are many sightseeing spots around Ise area but I have visited almost all of them, so I choose this one.

There are three parts in this park.
The main part is ‘AZUCHI CASTEL’.

Azuchi Castle was built in 1579 in Shiga prefecture.
Oda Nobunaga was an owner of this castle.

AZUCHI CASTEL in the amusement park was NOT a real one, but the size is the same as the real one.
The castle wasn’t special, but a golden room was amazing.
There is the golden room on the 7th floor.
The inside of the room was covered with gold leaf.

The other parts of the amusement park are made up with ‘theaters’ and ‘attractions’.
The attractions are boring. When I visited ‘Nikko-Edo-Mura’, the shows were very interesting, so I wanted to see a show in CHON MAGE WORLD. But the shows were not exciting.
And the attractions were also boring.

However, I don’t regret our visit to CHONMAGE WORLD.
The entrance fee was for free because we had a special ticket ‘mawaryanse’.

We left CHONMAGE WOLRD around 1P.M., and went to Ise.
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TRIP TO ISE -4-11 BRAKFAST

(2010-04-17)
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After dinner, I couldn’t move because of full.
We watched TV, took a bath again, watched TV one more time, and went to bed.

Next morning, it was 11th April, we woke up early, and took a bath.

They have two hot springs and two bathrooms; on 6th floor and 2nd floor.

The 6th floor’s bath was ‘inside bath’ but you can see beautiful sea from the bathroom.
The 2nd floor’s one was ‘outside bath’. You can NOT see a beautiful view but you can feel a fresh air.
I prefer the 6th floor’s hot spring because the water is milder than the 2nd floor’s one.

Breakfast was very sumptuous. I wanted to eat all of them but unfortunately I couldn’t eat all of them.
I just show you these dishes.

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TRIP TO ISE -4/10 DINNER!!!

(2010-04-16)
These are dishes of our dinner.

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Appetizer
A sea tangle with herring roe
Sardinops’s snack(Senbei)
Deep fry seafood covered with as a net.
Bamboo shoot coated with jelly
Yomogi Dango rolled by shrimp.
Mixed with seaweed, urchin, soy sauce
Burdock root rolled with Japanese needlefish(Sayori)
Sesame tofu
Wild vegetable deep-fry
Seaweed and sweet potato
Enokidake mushroom
Moray eel chips

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Main dish
Ise Ebi or steak

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Raw fish
Sea bream, tuna, and squid on a ice plate.

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MY O-SAKE

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Grilled dish
Bearded clam

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Steamed dish
Scallop, turban shell and shrimp

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Sea bream
(it is very good for Sake!!!)

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Vinegared food
Japanese flounder

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Hot dish
Pumpkin manju

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A soup
A plain soup with minced scallop eyes

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All dishes are very good. But If I choose one of these, I definitely choose ‘Bearded clam’.
It was really fresh and tasty. It wasn’t chewy. It was cooked with butter and this butter made the bearded clam tastier.

And the sea bream was good, too. It was sweet and a little salty. There were many bones, so I needed both hands (I didn’t need chop sticks), and sucked on it.

Beer-Mama drank, off course beer and I drank Japanese Sake.
We drank and eat too much.


TRIP TO ISE -4/10- OUR HOTEL

(2010-04-15)
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We arrived at the hotel, New-Hamajima-Bekkan-Hananoyakata-tsubaki, around 5:30P.M.
We checked in and went to our room.

The reason of choosing this hotel was that I saw an advertisement on a newspaper, and got a discount ticket.
Our hotel plan is normally 31500yen per person, but I could stay there for 20000yen.
The room was clean and seemed like bran new.

After a short break, we took a bath.
I don’t have an image of ‘hot springs’ in Ise and Toba areas but they have two hot springs.
First, we went to one of them.
There is nothing I want to write about.
We didn’t have enough time to take a bath, so I washed our body and hair, and took a bath for a short time.
When we got back to our room, they have already prepared our dinner.



TRIP TO ISE -3- 4/10 AQUARIUM

(2010-04-14)
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We wanted to go to a couple of spots before check-in, but we stayed at Ise area too long, so we headed to a hotel.

We got off at Kashikojima Station.
While waiting for a shuttle bus to the hotel, we went to an aquarium.
There are a few aquariums in Toba and Ise areas.
I think Kashikojima Aquarium is the smallest one.

I like aquariums and zoos, but I sometimes get tired because I stay there too long.
This one was small, so I haven’t gotten tired.
The aquarium was small, but I could see many fishes.
What kinds of sea animals do you like?
I love watching grotesque ones.
My favorite one is a pirarucu!!!
It is said that it is the biggest fresh water fish. It lives in Amazon River, it has a lung, and sometimes breathes.
People in Amazon eat the meat of pirarucu but they have the same problems as tuna.
Pirarucu is protected from catching by Washington Convention.

At 4:50Pm., we finally headed to the hotel.
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TRIP TO ISE -2- 4/10 OKAGEYOKOCHO

(2010-04-13)
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Afterward, we went to the Okagemairi History Museum.
Okagemairi means visiting Ise shrine in Edo period.
Of course, there was no train in Edo period, so people gathered and visited together.

I knew the word of ‘Okagemairi’, but I didn’t know what was Okagemairi, so visiting the museum gave me some knowledge.

I could see a diorama of Okagemairi. It was 1/2 size.
We could see a life of people in Edo period. I can’t tell you well, but it was interesting. They weren't too small, so I felt like I lived in Edo period.

We looked around the souvenir street again, and bought some snacks.
They have good ‘Tempra’. It is not the tempra of your image's.
It is called ‘Neriten’ and it is made with minced fish.
It is really good snack with Sake.
Of course, Beer-Mama drank beer.
We ate pork-deep-fry, too. Both foods were really good for beer!!!

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TRIP TO ISE -1- 4/10 ISE AND AKAFUKU

(2010-04-12)
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Beer-Mama, who is one of ex-co-workers, and I went to Ise.

I really like Ise and Toba areas, so I visited there several times.
This time, we went there to eat delicious seafood.

We got on Kintetsu Line around 9:30 A.M.
Of course, we bought sake, Beer-Mama bought a can of beer and I bought a can of Chu-Hai.
On the train, we were drinking and making a plan about our trip.

First, of course we visited Ise shrine.
Ise shrine is one of the biggest and most famous shrines in Japan.
There are thousands of Gods live in Japan and the God of Ise shrine is Amaterasu-Ohmikami.

The street from the bus stop to shrine is holy.
There are many tall and old trees along the street. And while we are walking, our souls become clean.
At the shrine, we prayed something. I don’t know what Beer-Mama prayed.

After we leave shrine, we went to a souvenir street.

There are many souvenir shops along the street.
We stopped at some shops and thought about what we would buy afterward.

First of all, we went to Akafuku.
You must go to Akafuku if you visit Ise.
Many people were waiting for buying Akafuku-mochi. The line which was waiting for eating at the shop wasn’t too long, so we could buy eating thickets soon.

Akafuku-mochi was, of course, really good!!
I love Akafuku-mochi!!
It is not too sweet about enough sweet.
Anko is smooth and Mochi is soft.
You can buy Akafuku anywhere in Osaka but eating at this shop is the best!!
We ate fresh Akafuku, drank hot tea, and looked at beautiful river and cherry blossoms.

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ITAMAE ZUSHI

(2010-04-09)
The reason of the business trip was hiring interview.
I leave Tokyo on Monday, but the other guys would stay in Tokyo one more day.
After Monday’s job, my boss, Crown, Micoman 2, and Skelton went to eat dinner.

Crown has lived in Tokyo, so he knew some good restaurants.
We moved to Akasaka-Mitsuke from Nipponbashi by subway.

He brought us to a sushi restaurant. He said they had fresh good sushi.

He has already ordered our dishes, so we just waited for sushi.

He also ordered Nomihoudai; it means, ‘you can drink as much as you want’.
First of all, we drank beer.
I don’t know why, but Japanese party always starts with ‘beer’.

These are dishes.
I thought they only brought us ‘sushi’, but they brought us not only sushi but also seafood.

Those dishes are a little salty but their tastes are good for sake.

I drank beer, peach sake, and apricot sake.
The peach sake and the apricot sake were sweet. I love sweet sake.

My boss, Crown drank some glasses of sake.
I tasted them a little and they were good, especially Cho-chin.

We had to leave there around 8P.M. because I had to go back to Osaka.

Crown treated me.
I was really happy about it, but more a happy thing is that he said this time I worked really hard.
So, he said he wanted to reward me.

I always thought he wasn’t satisfied with me and he was disappointed to my works.
I came to this section last year, and I thought he had thought he had made a wrong decision.
I sometimes think if he wanted to hire another guy.
I am not sure his decision was right, but I want to work hard more and more.
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I LOVE JAPANESE RYOKAN

(2010-04-08)
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Which type of hotel do you always stay at in Tokyo?

I always stay at the same type, an economy hotel.
One reason is that an economy hotel is not so expensive.
And another reason is I don’t have too much time to stay at a hotel.
I always check in night hour and leave hotel early in the morning.
So I don’t need a first class hotel.

I went business trip to Tokyo last weekend.
This time I wanted to change something, so I tried to stay ‘Japanese style hotel’,

The reason of choosing this hotel was that this hotel had a good estimate by word of mouth.
And I wanted to have a feeling as tourists.

The image of this hotel is the one which I stayed at the hotel of school trip.
They don’t have private bathroom(this bathroom mean is NOT a toilet, just soaking bath tab) at each room, but they have a big bathroom, and if you don’t want to meet the other guests, you can use a private bathroom.

If you want to eat dinner at the hotel, they will serve the dinner.
Of course, I tried their dinner.

They didn’t have something special, but the dinner was really good.

Of course, I could enjoy a bath time.

Many foreign people stayed at the hotel. I think they wanted to soak in a Japanese culture.
This hotel is not so expensive, so if you are not Japanese, and if you want to stay at Japanese style hotel in Tokyo, I strongly recommend this hotel!!!

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A BEAUTIFUL CITY

(2010-04-07)
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This is the most beautiful season in a year.
You can see many flowers.
In Japan, sometimes 'flower’ means ‘cherry blossom’.
Many Japanese love cherry blossoms and to have a party under cherry trees.

Now, I am walking on an island in Ookawa River.
I can see many cherry blossoms and people who enjoy looking at these trees.

This photo is one of the scenes of this river.
When I was walking, a fountain started watering suddenly.
It doesn’t seem ‘Osaka’, does it?

In May, I will be able to see many roses on the island because they have a rose garden.
I am really glad to enjoy many flowers.
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EGG CUTTER

(2010-04-03)

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Do you like an egg?

I LOVE eggs.
I often eat boiled eggs but it is difficult to take off egg shell.

When I visited France, French people used very convenient equipment, egg cutter!!
It is not the one, which takes off a whole shell.
It cuts off the top of egg, and we eat egg with spoon.

I have never thought about eating boiled egg with spoon, so it was a big surprise for me.

If you use this cutter, you will be able to eat soft-boiled egg without taking off egg shell.

In addition to this, if you use this cutter, egg shell will part only two pieces, a cup and lid.
It means, it isn’t messy after eating.

And I can understand how to use an egg cup.

Ito-chan gave me the egg cutter, and of course, I use this often!
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