April 02, 2007

Japan: Itadakimasu

I don't normally blog about food, nor post pictures of food, but I reckon I'd give you a glimpse of what I ate in Japan. Oh yeah, it was cheap eating, all right ;)

When I was in and out of Japan in 2005 and 2006, I remembered coming home after every trip, declaring that I would NOT touch Japanese food when I'm home. A lot of people thought it was because I was sick of Japanese food. Quite the contrary actually; it was more of the reminder of the place which I did not like. The food's pretty good.

Japanese food is actually pretty expensive. I would not order sushi and sashimi at a restaurant unless they are paid for by someone else, or if I was in a 100-yen kaiten sushi shop. The Japanese pride themselves in quality, not quantity; sushi and sashimi at restaurants are served in pretty plates, but in a small quantity. An order of sashimi (tuna, salmon and/or squid) can cost from 400 to 700 yen per plate. Many a time, tak cukup makan :p

Coupon Shop

This is my favourite haunt in Takasaki. I have no idea what the name of the restaurant is (can't read kanji), but I always called it 'the coupon shop'. Food is ordered at the vending machine in the restaurant, where a ticket is dispensed and handed to the waiter. You'll get your food in 3 minutes tops.

Restaurant counters

630 yen
Grilled beef set with a side of daikon - 630 yen

500 yen
Another type of grilled beef set with a side of daikon - 500 yen

Such restaurants are very popular in Japan, amongst youngsters and working adults. Food's very cheap (you can get a decent meal for 500 yen or less), and it's suitable for people who eat alone (hence the bar-styled eating area). It worked very well for me as I did not have to interact with the waiters much (I did not have to struggle with the language just to order my food).

In Ueno, my favourite restaurant's Tenya, which is a popular tempura and tendon franchise. I was introduced to the place by my Malay colleagues, who frequent the halal restaurant. The tempura's pretty cheap, and you can get a decent tendon for only 500 yen. My favourite's the cold udon with tempura.

Inside of Tenya

Cold udon set
Can't really recall how much this cost me; I think it was 680 yen

The next photo was taken at Ameyoko. I don't really know what the guy's making; it looks like a batter of vegetables, possibly bits of dried shrimp, and topped with an egg. Apparently, it's real popular, and he's been featured in many magazines and newspapers.

Ameyoko stall

I can't resist putting the last photo of this entry in. I had McGriddles in McDonalds (Narita airport) for breakfast, and it was absolutely delicious. You have the usual bacon, egg, cheese and sausage patty, and instead of using regular buns, they use pancakes instead. Yummm ...

McGriddles value meal (burger, drink and hash brown) - 440 yen



Jemima said...

I love Japanese food but McGriddles.. I never had that before. :p

Paris said...

If I ever set foot in Japan in this lifetime, you'd bet I'd be all over their food :P I know sushi/sashimi is expensive there but I'm not such a fan anyway. I'd rather try their noodles and bentos *drool* great food reviews btw! ;)

Pink Elle said...

Wah looks so yummy!! I love how they brand their burgers with the little M! It's just so kawaii and Japanese!

beetrice said...

I have SO got to try the McGriddles... :)

Right, Japan's going to be on my (already super long) list of places to go...

Tine said...

Jemima: Oh if it was only in Malaysia, you'd love it! Sweet and savoury, very nice for breakfast :)

Paris: Aww thanks :P Yeah, you should try as much as you can. At least for the experience. I've had raw squid swimming in its gut juices. Man, that was gross, but at least it was an experience :P

Oh, and the bentos are pretty cute. Too bad I forgot to take photos. You'd like it ;)

Pink elle: Hahaha ... yep yep, sugoi kawaii ne :p

Beetrice: Well, to be honest, it's a bit too expensive for me to travel to on my own. But it sure is an experience if you could go; I'd definitely recommend you try the onsen ;)