12 November 2010
Japan Street Food Tour Day 3.1 ~ Beware of the Moose
We have a Japanese breakfast, check out some festival snackage, have a noodle bar lunch and discover the food joy that is fresh mochi.
For breakfast we head to a place that's kinda special to us. We have no idea what it's called but it's the first joint we ever ate in Japan.
It's one of those diner type places. Open 24 hours and run by lovely, hardworking folks.
Miss Chicken's breakfast:: pickles, omellette, miso soup, rice, tofu and some nori.
Mr Shawn's breakfast: a hunk of fish, rice, miso soup, pickles, nori and a raw googie.
We catch the train to Nara. The view from the arse end of the train station is so startlingly drab it warrants a photo.
There's a huge celebration for the 1300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital. This castle was built way back in April of 2010, so ancient it predates the iPhone 4.
But we're not here for kulture, we're here for food. This place is like a big theme park for old folks and schoolkids, so it's fun to check out some Japanese festival food, such as this amazing looking sushi burger.
We're still full from breakfast and have no room to try out the festive snackages, such are the dilemmas of gourmet travelling.
But this fella was a smooth talker...
How could we resist a big curly potato fry?
A gorgeous auntie and her hubby chowing down on some noodles, deep in thought. Those folks would have seem some stuff in their lifetimes... And as for the girl on the right, I want what she's having...
Food van art: man bites dog...
Yakisoba van - fried noodles.
We're lured in by the promise of green tea soft serve.
But it's these buns that take our fancy - they are like Chinese pineapple buns - light sweet bread with a lightly crunchy meringue-like coating.
Later we are back in Nara proper. After Miss Chicken spends eternity in a Daiso 100 yen shop, it takes us a while to find somewhere suitably low-rent for lunch in this upmarket touristy kind of place. This noodle bar looks perfect...
Where the magic happens.
Sometimes it's a blessing to be in a tourist area, the menu has some English translations.
Miso ramen, Miss Chicken's usual choice, it's always a little different, it's the lucky dip of noodle soups. About $10. Delicious.
There's a tonkotsu ramen under all that meat somewhere... About $10. Delicious.
Ramen fixins and chili paste.
The real reason we came to Nara was so Miss Chicken could feed the deer, or the mooses as she liked to call them. You can buy a little pack of waffle shaped crackers, moose waffles, they go nuts for them, a bit too nuts, in fact they're quite scary. One of the buggers bit Miss Chicken. It was accident of course. We think it mistook Miss Chicken's muffin top for a muffin top. Bad moose rising.
Beware of the moose.
After getting some token culture we head back through town and notice a commotion at this shop.
People are going nuts over this fresh mochi - glutonous rice, violently pounded into a paste, and rolled up into balls with little sweety treasures inside.
These mochi are so fresh they are still nice and warm. These mochi are possibly the most delicous of all things we ate on our entire Japan trip. That's saying something! We've had mochi in Australia but it's been dry and tasteless. Fresh mochi is unbelievable.
Take a bite and just when you think, "nice but a little plain", you get a spurt of sweet warm red bean paste, just enough to flavour the mochi without overpowering it. Perfectly proportioned.
Here's a lovely youtube clip of a family making mochi, note they have a machine to pound the rice. Isn't the little girl just the cutest?
And here's how to pound the rice the traditional, hard yakka way...
Heading back to Osaka we see this cuter than cute sign on train platform.
Back in Osaka I was about to photograph an entire Japanese supermarket but my coffee buzz wore off. So here's the bento lunchbox section.
Sweet home Fukushima.