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Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

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Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

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Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Tsu something something, Kagoshima, Japan

Finally. It's been a long long time since I've blogged here. Apologies to my fellow bloggers and readers of this blog. Basically I've been around and about in Asia for 2 months in Dec, Jan and Feb so I was having the time of my life while everyone here was cruising in boring old Australia (though of course not all is boring).




Well, this post is about an izakaya (sort of like a tapas bar) I visited in Kagoshima, Japan, a place known for the abundance of produce thanks to its coastal location and renowned shochu (a Japanese rice/potato wine). The name of the restaurant? Well...I sort of forgot. It starts with Tsu with a few unknown letters after that. Unfortunately, my photos didn't turn out very well because firstly, I was rushing to take a photo so I could eat, and secondly, because of how little light there was in the place, but I brightened it up though some pics are still blurry. Boo hoo.

We (that being my 5 member host family and I) settle down in this very old-fashioned-detective-like Japanese setting with small wooden tables for the mingling of friends and family who are just as close-knit.



Marinated black beans (kuroi mame), burdock root (gobo) and other mysterious pickled Japanese veges were on the house as part of the New Years celebration. These are some of the things you find in Osechi meals during the New Year. Burdock root is a favourite of mine simply because it's crunchy, with a texture quite resembling that of bamboo shoots, and I love that it's marinated with sesame seeds and slightly sweetened - a classic Japanese flavour.



Ume-shu (a very weak plum alcohol). It's refreshing and slightly sweet which really is compatible with a woman's palette. This ume-shu was one of the best I've had in Japan, other than my friend's grandma's 10 year-old homemade one which was ultimately the ultimate.



Shochu. This one is made from satsuma, a sweet potato Kagoshima is famous for with about 25-30% alcohol. Basically, shochu tastes like vodka, though a bit more evil and burny. We hardly drink shots in Japan so we mix this with water and ice. The cool thing was, the unfinished half bottle was tagged with a message from my host dad to his friend who lives in Kagoshima, and put up in display with several other tagged bottles (some were very old).



The usu. Salad. Wasn't anything out of the ordinary.



Now this is where I start talking. Sashimi - salmon, tuna, and the rest...I really can't remember. Regardless, this sashimi was so fresh and cool to the tongue, with a satisfying plunge of teeth into its marvelous grained flesh. Boy, this was good.



Cubed tuna with avocado topped with seaweed and soy-sauce based dressing. This salad was equally as divine and refreshing as the sashimi palette.



Korokke. Crumbed and deep-fried potato and other veges. Crispy with a very melty soft inside. I was never really that much of a fried food person, but after returning to Australia, I've been seeking for some good crisp, light and not too greasy stuff that matches to that of Japan's. And not surprisingly, I'm still carrying some holiday weight :s.



Stone pot kimchi rice top with melted cheese. Everything with cheese is just so damn good. The kimchi rice itself was decent but it was the cheese, the cheese that completed this meal.



Chicken fried rice. No idea how this tastes but I assume it was nice since my host brother gobbled it down like a monster.



Shirokuma. A specialty of Kagoshima. This shaved ice desert, literally meaning white bear or polar bear is chilly, milky sweet and tangy at times depending on the fruit topping. I like it, but I don't love it, probably because I'm not such a huge fan of icy stuff.

It was a night of weasiness and being tipsy (at least for me) with great fun and excessive chatting over the table with my lovely host family. This meal had been the best one I've had since a long time, and if I were to rate it, it would have been my second or third best meal that I had in Japan. And the price? Um, expensive...very expensive. I think the whole meal with drinks cost over 20000 yen (approx. 270AUD) but please note I didn't post up 3 other dishes as the photos were just bad and unidentifiable. Honestly, these photos don't do justice. Overall, for those who haven't been to an izakaya before, this is the general gist of it. Izakayas always have a great atmosphere for you to get chatting away with your family, friends or even long lost friends.

On a last note, I want to give myself a pat on the back for finally breaking out of my laziness to post this. Hopefully, I will post about my other food adventures in Japan soon :).

3 comments:

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

How great are the food featured,I love to taste and know what are the ideas behind those recipes.

I love food. Yummy ice cream in your post. I really want to taste all the food you have showed us. Best Indian Restaurants.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.


 
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