Posts tagged soba

1 Notes

so yummy! (at Ootoya)

so yummy! (at Ootoya)

1 Notes

Japan Day Three- Osaka & Shopping

We started our third day in Osaka with a ramen breakfast. It was the only thing we found open after wandering around Dotombori area in the early hours. This place is open 24 hours. The ramen had a very rich pork flavor and the pork belly was nicely marinated and grilled. Each person is also allowed to take 1 boiled egg and can add as much kimchi and fried garlic as they desired. imageimage

After breakfast we wandered the vast shopping districts of Osaka particularly Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) and Ebisubashi (戎橋筋商店街) in the the Namba district. It is literally miles and miles worth of covered shopping arcades filled with name brand shops, inexpensive discount shops, convenience/pharmacy stores, and discounted dollar stores. It’s a shoppers dream come true. 

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Osaka also has huge brand named department stores and we walked into Takashimaya, one of Japan’s largest department store chains. Familiar with how department stores throughout Asia are set up, the basement level is where the supermarkets and food courts are held. This had to be one of the biggest and absolutely best supermarkets I’ve ever walked into. image
The market is huge! It is split up into your regular grocery aisle selling the freshest fish, meat and produce, and array of Japanese dry goods, sauces, etc…

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The other section sells the freshly prepared foods, lunch boxes, sushi rolls, yakitori, desserts, snacks, etc. We sent so much time browsing and trying free samples. This is a foodie’s dream come true! image

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imageAfter much walking we finally stopped for late lunch at the famous king crab restaurant on Dotonbori, Kani Doraku (かに道楽). You can’t miss this. It has a huge crab hung on top of the store. imageThere were several set menu options and we picked the middle priced 7 course crab meal; which cost around 2,500-3,000 yen (US $25-30). 

First came the cooked crab with vinegar. The crab had a nice sweet flavor and the vinegar help enhance the sweetness.

imageSecond course was crab sashimi which totally threw me off. I did not like the gooey/slimy texture of raw crab. Thinking about it still gives me the shivers! imageTwo dishes came out at the same time for the third course which was steamed crab egg custard and the crab gratin. The egg custard was silky and smooth; so delicious! The crab gratin was rich and creamy and cheesy. I was afraid to eat so much cheese but the flavor was so rich I couldn’t stop from finishing the whole thing. imageThen came a simple crab tempura.imageFollowed by a piping hot bowl of steamed crab in rice, which you take out all the crab meat, mix it into the rice and then pour a clear broth to make a rice porridge. So good and so full!image

imageFinally, time for dessert. We were served a small dish of fruit but were were suppose to get ice cream. In the end we got both. It was a scoop of vanilla ice cream which the waitress then mixed warm macha and poured it over the cold ice cream. It was wonderfully refreshing and delicious! image

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We spent the rest of the day walking and shopping the miles worth of stores in Shinsaibashi. 

For dinner we decided on something simple and walked back to the Namba Walk underground arcade near our hotel for soba.

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Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!

2 Notes

Japan Day Two- Osaka & Kyoto

We woke up around 4AM Japan time…way too early for anything to be open. But none of us could sleep anymore and decided to start our day around 5AM. We found a 7-11 convient store around the corner; the only place open at that hour. Who knew that the best omusubi (riceball) I would eat in Japan would be from a 7-11. The seaweed was seasoned and crispy, the rice was soft. It was so good. 

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Rice ball and warm coffee in hand, we went to tackle the Japanese subway and rail system finding our way to Kyoto. We had to stop and ask some of the rail attendants for directions, communicating by pointing to the map and simple sign language. At one point the guy came chasing after us with English maps of Kyoto. It was so nice of him. It’s these little gestures and and ability to overcome language barriers with using various methods to communicate that makes me love traveling so so much. It’s thrilling and so rewarding. 

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Our first stop was to visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha, a shinto shrine for the god of rice. 

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This site is famous for the thousands of torii gates that line different hiking trails throughout the mountain. It was truly beautiful and exhausting hike to the top!

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We left Fushimi in search of our next destination; lunch at Honke Owariya 尾張屋, a 548 year old soba restaurant located just south of the Nijo Castle in Kyoto. It’s a humble little restaurant located on a quite street. (It took us a long time to find). With its unpretentious set-up and surroundings, you would never know that this place had served meals for some of the most important people in Japan like emperors, shoguns, monks, and even today the Imperial family. 

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We each ordered our own Hourai Soba (¥2100 or US$23), the house specialty which consisted of 5 layers of soba noodle and came with different toppings: tempura shrimp, seaweed, shredded egg, mushrooms, toasted sesame, fresh ground wasabi, grate daikon, and green onions. You can mix as much topping into your soba as you liked. It was so good! 

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We walked off lunch and toured the nearby Nijo Castle (¥600 entrance). Later we went to the Gion district to wander around. Gion is famous for geishas and its many tea houses. It’s truly a beautiful place to visit. 

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Next stop will be dinner back in Osaka at the famous little sushi shop where Anthony Bourdain ate. Next post…

 

Fushimi Inari Shrine directions: 

Take the train on the Keihan Main Line to Fushimi Inari station (伏見稲荷駅). The shrine can be reached from a short walk from the station. Just follow the crowd. 

Honke Owariya 尾張屋
322 Kurumaya-cho, Nijo Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Tel:+81752313446
Open: 1100-1830

Take train to Nijojo-Mae Station (営地下鉄 東西線 二条城前駅). It was rather hard to find as there isn’t any street signs anywhere. We asked various shop owners for directions using sign language and little Japanese that we knew. Eventually, we finally found it and it was such a rewarding experience. 

Gion, Kyoto directions:

Gion can be reached by bus from Kyoto Station in about 20 minutes for 220 yen. Take number 100 and 206 and get off at Gion bus stop. The closest train stations are Gion Shijo Station (祇園四条駅) on the Keihan Line and Kawaramachi Station (河原町駅) on the Hankyu Line.

Thank you Lydia for sharing some of your photos!

2 Notes

Hourai Soba- 5 level soba with 8 different toppings at Honke Owariya, a 540 year old soba house in Kyoto.

Honke Owariya 尾張屋
322 Kurumaya-cho, Nijo Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

Hourai Soba- 5 level soba with 8 different toppings at Honke Owariya, a 540 year old soba house in Kyoto.

Honke Owariya 尾張屋
322 Kurumaya-cho, Nijo Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto

1 Notes

Saba Sushi set w/ Cold Soba (at Ootoya)

Saba Sushi set w/ Cold Soba (at Ootoya)

1 Notes

Early dinner prix fixe at Soba Koh. We watched the guy hand make the soba noodles. Steamed egg with crabmeat and ginko so good! (Taken with Instagram)
Soba Koh, 309 East 5th Street, East Village, NYC

Early dinner prix fixe at Soba Koh. We watched the guy hand make the soba noodles. Steamed egg with crabmeat and ginko so good! (Taken with Instagram)

Soba Koh, 309 East 5th Street, East Village, NYC

1 Notes

Cold soba with side of roasted crispy home grown kale drizzled with sesame oil. (Taken with Instagram)

Cold soba with side of roasted crispy home grown kale drizzled with sesame oil. (Taken with Instagram)

2 Notes

Ootoya, my new favorite place in NYC.

Their lunch menu is huge with 50+ items to choose from. I decided to go with their pressed salmon sushi set which comes with 6 huge pieces of rectangle shaped sushi, a small side of cold soba noodles, and miso soup. Jen had the pork katsu set which includes a side of salad, rice, miso soup, and egg custard. The portions are huge and everything tasted so good. 

I can’t wait to come back and try their other dishes. 

Ootoya, 8 West 18th Street (btw 5th and 6th Aves)

Notes

Birthday Celebration #3
When I was asked where I wanted to go have my birthday dinner, I only had one place in mind. However, I’m not suppose to tell anyone about this place because my cousin loves it so much, she doesn’t want everyone coming here and making it crowded.  So, I won’t mention the name of the place here because I kinda feel the same way (haha) But, I believe I’ve blogged about it before already…Oops! And I think I’ve already told a few friends…Oops again! Oh well. 
This place is first and foremost a sake bar (hint); however, they serve really phenomenal and amazing food.  We ordered a lot of small dishes and shared everything.  I knew I definitely wanted to try their soba noodle again.  I loved it so much the first time, I tried re-creating it at home.  Of course it was epic fail.  On the looks of it, it seemed simple to re-make: cold buckwheat noodles with a little bit of soy sauce and scallions and a dash of wasabi. Nope, I later learned that I was missing the “bonito infused soy sauce” and I just couldn’t recreate the texture of the noodles. Anyway, it blew my mind away the second time as well.  So happy! The next dish that I absolutely love is their chilled roasted duck wrapped around a few slivers of scallion with a touch of basil sauce.  The flavors are so subtle yet so so good.  
For dessert we shared a warm chocolate souffle and a black sesame creme brulee. The waiters came out with a candle on the creme brulee and sang me “Happy Birthday”. Then he took a group picture and printed it out for us to keep.  How very nice of him. 

Birthday Celebration #3

When I was asked where I wanted to go have my birthday dinner, I only had one place in mind. However, I’m not suppose to tell anyone about this place because my cousin loves it so much, she doesn’t want everyone coming here and making it crowded.  So, I won’t mention the name of the place here because I kinda feel the same way (haha) But, I believe I’ve blogged about it before already…Oops! And I think I’ve already told a few friends…Oops again! Oh well. 

This place is first and foremost a sake bar (hint); however, they serve really phenomenal and amazing food.  We ordered a lot of small dishes and shared everything.  I knew I definitely wanted to try their soba noodle again.  I loved it so much the first time, I tried re-creating it at home.  Of course it was epic fail.  On the looks of it, it seemed simple to re-make: cold buckwheat noodles with a little bit of soy sauce and scallions and a dash of wasabi. Nope, I later learned that I was missing the “bonito infused soy sauce” and I just couldn’t recreate the texture of the noodles. Anyway, it blew my mind away the second time as well.  So happy! The next dish that I absolutely love is their chilled roasted duck wrapped around a few slivers of scallion with a touch of basil sauce.  The flavors are so subtle yet so so good.  

For dessert we shared a warm chocolate souffle and a black sesame creme brulee. The waiters came out with a candle on the creme brulee and sang me “Happy Birthday”. Then he took a group picture and printed it out for us to keep.  How very nice of him. 

2 Notes

Please recommend eating with emak on Tumblr’s Food directory today!  Thanks for your support. <3
I love noodles in hot broth especially on chilly autumn nights! Soba-ya offers homemade soba and udon noodle dishes where the noodles are made right in front of the dining room. I had the Kamo Namban Hot Soba (Sauteed Duck with Japanese Green Onions-top right) and Jen had the Anago Tempura Hot Soba (Tempura Eel with Grated Radish-bottom right).  The veggie appetizer sampler was good too: yams, eggplants, and pumpkin (picture on the left). 
Soba-Ya Japanese Noodle Restaurant 229 E. 9th Street, East Village NYC

Please recommend eating with emak on Tumblr’s Food directory today!  Thanks for your support. <3

I love noodles in hot broth especially on chilly autumn nights! Soba-ya offers homemade soba and udon noodle dishes where the noodles are made right in front of the dining room. I had the Kamo Namban Hot Soba (Sauteed Duck with Japanese Green Onions-top right) and Jen had the Anago Tempura Hot Soba (Tempura Eel with Grated Radish-bottom right).  The veggie appetizer sampler was good too: yams, eggplants, and pumpkin (picture on the left). 

Soba-Ya Japanese Noodle Restaurant 229 E. 9th Street, East Village NYC