January 19, 2012

Kit Kat Flavors 5

There are almost always new and interesting Kit Kat flavors for sale in Japan.

Gateau du Mont-Blanc flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local Convenience store. Made with "marron" (chestnut) flavoring.

Strawberry Hazelnut flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local convenience store.

Cookies & Cream flavor Kit Kats. Found at my local convenience store.

More flavors after the jump. (more…)


January 10, 2012

Anything Asian Restaurant?

Filed under: Cuisine, Domestic, Food, Tokyo places, Trips — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — myyearinjapan @ 12:55 am

Seen in Kameido in Tokyo. This is what happens when you can’t decide what country’s cuisine you’d like your restaurant to serve and rather than making a decision, you just toss everything in at once. This place seems quite a bit confused.

Asian food from all over Asia. The sign claims that the food is made by chefs hailing from Asia! How does the food look to you?

The countries/regions represented are Nepal, India, Tibet, Thailand, and Vietnam. It turns out that all these places have differnt cuisines. So... do they have chefs from each place on working at all times during open hours?

August 29, 2011

Bangkok Find: Reacting Trash Can

Inside the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, my friend and I found a a trash can with a video screen on it. And whenever you throw something into the bin, you can see your trash on the video screen. Kind of.

Inside the art and culture centre.

The trash can.


August 24, 2011

Thai Food

I didn’t need to got o Thailand to find out that I like Thai food. And the food in Thailand did not disappoint. Here are some examples of food that I saw and food that I ate.

Of course, Pad Thai. My first meal in Thailand.

All the necessary condiments to adjust the flavor of your food. (clockwise from top left) Chili pepper flakes to add spicy kick, chili peppers in rice vinegar, sugar for sweetness, and nampla fish sauce.

Thai iced tea. It was so hot the whole time I was in Thailand. I couldn't imagine having hot tea. While walking around, I kept popping into 7-elevens to get water. I tried the green tea and was amazed at how sweet it is! In Japan, putting sugar in green tea is a big no-no.

Foi Thong

Foi Thong was what I brought back as a souvenir for my co-workers. Foi Thong means “Golden Threads.” Foi Thong is based off  of a Portuguese dessert and there are several similar dishes to Foi Thong found in places like Japan and Brazil.  A woman of mixed Portuguese and Japanese ancestry who lived in Thailand in the 17th century is credited with introducing the dessert in Thailand.


July 20, 2011

Ultimate Fusion Cuisine

Filed under: abroad, China, Cuisine, Food, Hong Kong, Strange, Trips — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — myyearinjapan @ 8:06 am

Foie Gras Sushi in Hong Kong.

June 2, 2011

Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Hotel

Anyone who knows me knows that I love tea. It is far and away my favorite thing to drink. Whenever I’m in the office, I always have my over sized Chicago Botanic Garden mug (a gift from some friends. Thanks friends!) filled with some kind of tea next to me. Usually I drink bancha (a type of green tea) or assam tea (a type of black tea) because those are the teas I can plunder from the snack corner of the office.

So when my friend in Hong Kong suggested going to the Peninsula hotel for their Afternoon Tea Service, I ignored her follow-up of “but it’s a bit pricey” and insisted that we go. We showed up on Sunday afternoon around 4 and got in the back of a long line. It was a holiday weekend and I guess we weren’t the only people with the idea that it might be nice to have some tea.

Tea drinkers drinking tea.

This is the queue as it was when we were about to be seated. The line had actually gotten shorter since we arrived, possibly because it was getting close to the end of the tea service at that time.


June 1, 2011

Cheung Chau (Part 3)

Yesterday and the day before, I posted pictures of Cheung Chau island in Hong Kong and today I have a few more pictures to share from Cheung Chau.

I visited Cheung Chau a couple weeks before their biggest event of the year, the bun festival. During the bun festival, a big wooden structure is built and covered with buns. Then people start to climb up the mountain and grab as many buns as they can. Sounds like fun!

Bao (steamed bun) Moutian, a wooden structure used in the Cheung Chau Bao Festival.

Temples, beaches, and boats still to come! (more…)

May 31, 2011

Cheung Chau Island (Part 2 – Food and Drink)

Yesterday I wrote a post about taking a day trip to Cheung Chau Island while I was in Hong Kong. But I didn’t show you everything, so today, I bring you more Cheung Chau fun!

First, I have some pictures of the dim sum I ate for brunch on Cheung Chau.

Look at all those steaming backets filled with various goodies.

In the full post: chicken feet, shrimp dumplings and gaiwan cups. (more…)

May 30, 2011

Cheung Chau Island (Part 1)

During my first full day in Hong Kong, my friend took me to one of the outlying islands of Hong Kong, Cheung Chau island (長州). Hong Kong is basically made up of 4 areas: Kowloon and the New Territories on the mainland, Hong Kong Island across the bay, and the Outlying Islands, the other 232 or so islands. Cheung Chau is one of the easier to get to islands and fairly small island, making it easy to go to for a day trip. It mostly functions as a little fishing port. Fishing is the main industry for the 30,000 people who live on (and around) the island. (But “around the island,” I mean that some people live in their boats.) It takes about an hour and 4 USD to get to Cheung Chau from Central port in downtown Hong Kong.

Cheung Chau Port. Unlike Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, this island has no high-rises, making it less overwhelming. But it is by no means laid back. We were swimming through massive crowds all day long.

So many people! Rumor has it that many Hong Kongers get the idea that it might be nice to getaway for a relaxing weekend trip to this island. But with so many people, visiting Cheung Chau is not at all relaxing.

Starfish for sale. I asked my friend if people eat starfish. She told me that they use it to flavor soups.

Click to see more more more pictures! (more…)

April 3, 2011

Eating Basashi (Horse Sashimi)

Filed under: Cuisine, Food — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — myyearinjapan @ 11:54 pm

Basashi (馬刺し) is a horse sashimi dish (sashimi of course referring to raw meat). Basashi was fairly high up on a list of things I thought I’d never eat. But after watching my friend try some and getting his feedback (“hey, not bad”), I figured that it would be worthwhile to try it once. Plus, they were having a basashi sale at my local conveyor belt sushi joint (210 yen for two pieces).  How can you go wrong with cheap raw horse for dinner? I’ve already had various types of fish sashimi and when I was in South Korea, I tried raw beef (delicious!). But horse was a first for me. They definitely aren’t kosher because horse don’t chew their cud or have split feet. That’s like double not kosher.

Horse sashimi is a delicacy in parts of Japan. In my region, it is not particularly common and usually is not served at my local sushi shop. (Another reason I jumped on the chance to eat it. Limited time only!) Due to the pink color, it is often referred to as cherry blossom meat (桜肉). I assume that the local sushi place decided that it was fitting to serve cherry blossom meat during cherry blossom season. Horse meat to said to be low in calories, low in fat, low in cholesterol, and high in protein compare to beef, pork, and poultry. So, if nothing else, horse meat is probably a healthy choice, it seems.


That horse is definitely raw.


My friend came with and we both tried the horse together.

My thoughts: Some parts were soft and some were too chewy. The flavor was ok though. I think I would have liked it more if I didn’t know it was horse. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I was eating horse.

What my friend said: it was interesting, but I was disappointed. Maybe it would be better at a shop that specializes in horse meat and serves good quality stuff. But it wasn’t the kind of delicious food that I would go out of my way to seek out.

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