A Travellerspoint blog

Haute-cuisine a la Japonais

sunny 26 °C

It is Thanksgiving in Canada today and all of our friends will be tucking in to turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie. Typhoon Vongfon passed by us harmlessly in the night and left us with a beautiful sunny day, so we too are having a happy Thanksgiving. We hope you enjoy your feast as much as we are enjoying ours.
All of the food in Japan has not only been amazingly good but, with a few exceptions, has been considerably cheaper than in Canada. Not every restaurant has an English menu, but almost all have window displays of plastic food – just drag your waiter outside and point…
Noodles are an inexpensive lunchtime favourite - either hot or cold - and we’ve eaten soba, udon and ramen noodles with meat, fish or tempura. One of our most memorable lunches was a tempura of tiny fresh fish in a cute lakeside café on the shore of Lake Ashinoko. This is a typical noodle lunch costing about $8 Cdn (five GBPs ).
We have sampled almost every kind of Japanese food, (including nato), and to say that we have eaten like emperors would be an understatement. We’ve tried it all: from the fabulous multi-course meals in the ryokan’s along the Nakesendo Way to the sashimi restaurants of Tokyo and even a perfectly cooked and beautifully presented five course haute-cuisine dinner a la francaise, (complete with western silverware and bone china), in the foothills of Fuji, This was the mouthwatering filet mignon of Black Angus beef…
French dining is very popular and there are French bakeries everywhere, many of them employing Gallic bakers using equipment and ingredients from France. However, apart from some fabulous baguettes, croissants and pain au raisin, we have stuck to local dishes throughout our trip. Here’s a raw mackerel getting a quick singe…
Many dishes are served raw or cold. For example, sashimi is raw fish served in numerous delightful ways and everyone knows sushi – bite-sized rice balls with raw fish and vegetables frequently wrapped in nori, (seaweed). Here it is often delivered on a conveyor belt…just grab plates as they pass by and the waitress will add up your bill at the end. Different coloured plates denote prices so be careful if you are colour blind – it’s easy to get carried away and rack up a hefty tab.

Yakatori are individually priced barbecued kebabs which, like sushi, can easily lead to overindulgence – especially if you eat your friends’ skewers as well as your own, (and who can blame us when they are this tempting).
Shabu-shabu consists of meat, fish and vegetables that you boil yourself at the table, while at a yuba restaurant every course contains tofu in one form or another.
Okonomyaki is a specialty in Hirioshima and consists of vegetables, noodles and a choice of meats, fish and other goodies fried between two thin pancakes on a hot table in front of you. Here’s ours on the griddle…
And this is a selection of colourful pickles – some of which are served with every meal…
The Japanese are not big on deserts, but the ones they serve can be stunningly beautiful in their simplicity. This is cream caramel a la Japonais...
You may have a thousand reasons for wanting to visit Japan but, whatever they are, make sure that you add food to the list – it is truly wonderful.

Posted by Hawkson 05:47 Archived in Japan

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I hope you are learning to cook some of this delicious looking food. Cream caramel seems to be an international desert. By the way, we found a pumpkin in Playa and Helen made a pie.

by keith myers

The Bliss luck held! (Typhoon passed harmlessly). News clips here, of course, showed the worst--torrential rain, flooding and even evacuations.
This could be my favourite of your posts, btw. A visual delight for sure.

by R and B

Envy is the word. What beautiful food. I think I might be inclined to do token exercise so that I could just eat this beautiful food and that would be the tour. I think it is called glutony. So very interesting. Best of all the typhoon passed you by and you are safe.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Giving thanks for your safe escape from the typhoon.

by The Vickerage

Good thing I have just had breakfast otherwise I would be ravenous from the memories in your photos. The presentation of almost everything is so exquisite in Japan. Makes for great photos. There is a Japanese expression for an eating trip that I just can't quite pull from memory, but it would serve to subtitle this entry well. I'll put my consultant on to it!

by Tom

Glad you weathered the storm. OMG, those food pics, I'm salivating like a Pavlovian dog!
luv ya's..

by Sharron

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