Thursday, December 30, 2010

Freshness Burger

As the 24th of this month is over, I was asked by some foreign friends about how I spent the day, but according to an article that I found on the Internet, as many as one out of three people doesn't want to do anything special on the holy day. I was a bit relieved to know that I'm not so special as I just watched a film on dvd on the night.
 I don't know if this burger shop "Freshness Burger" is available only in Japan, but it is as good as MOS burger, which I introduced in this post.

 The interior of the shop was somewhat old-fashioned. I like something old-fashioned in the American way.

 I chose a table in the 2nd floor, and I could see cars running in the street in front of the shop. But some people were smoking and I didn't like it.

 This was a Salsa Burger set, and it comes with salad and a coffee. The amount of the coffee was more than enough. As a coffee aficionado, I'd say this coffee was okay. 

You can see some old stuff displayed in almost all Freshness Burger outlets. In my opinion, very good burger shops always have bottles of mustard and ketchup.
I wish I could write more times a month, but recently I've been a bit busy like anybody else. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I think some of the people who read my blog live in the USA or Europe, and they would be busy preparing for Christmas. Japanese people also celebrate the birthday of Jesus, but people normally don't associate the day with Christianity. And I'm one of those people, and think I'll just have some KFC at home on the night of 24. 

An ad said this restaurant "Fuufuan" served a set of soba and Katsudon for less than 1,000 yen, so I drove more than 30 minutes to have good lunch on Saturday. The meaning of "Fuufu", is " husband and wife".

At traditional Japanese restaurants, there are often tables and "Zashiki" where you have to sit on the floor with your legs folded. And we chose the latter.  

The waitress delivered the soba first, and this soba was as good as some we can have at a very good soba restaurant. While we were waiting, a congressman of my prefecture approached us and he gave me his name card. Guessed this restaurant was frequented by lots of local people. 

I think I introduced this dish called "Katsudon". The fried stuff you see underneath the raw egg is sliced pork that was deep-fried. As there was a little soba in this set, this Katsudon was just what I needed to fill my stomach.

The 23rd of this week is a holiday in Japan, and it is the day when our current emperor was born. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nakaminato (harbor)

It was very warm last Saturday, and the high was about 17 degrees Celsius. So I decided to go to a harbor to buy some fish and have sushi. The prefecture I live in is called Ibaraki, and basically people in Japan have an easy access to the sea wherever they live. 

Please click this link to see where Ibaraki prefecture is. I had to drive just 2 hours or so to come here. And God of weather was on my side on this day.

Basically people were selling fish that were caught around this area, but I could see some foreign fish as well.

 As you can see so many kinds of fish were available. The reddest fish in the upper center is called "Kinmedai" or alfonsino. Its price was about 35 us dollars.

 This is "Zuwai Gani", and considered a very expensive crab that can be caught around Japan. People eat its arms and legs mainly, and those limbs are often put in a pan with hot water. The pan is called "Nabe" in Japanese.

Japanese amberjack. We boil it after dipping pieces of it in soy sauce with sugar. And the dish is called "Buriteri". "Teri" is the same word off the well-known Japanese word "Teriyaki".

 The cut-opened fish on the right is called "Hokke". It is easy to eat fish like this when it is opened and its guts are removed.

 One thing we can enjoy at Japanese seasides is of course "sushi". This restaurant was Kaiten-zushi-styled, and I had heard all the sushi of this restaurant was so fresh.

Do you know the lever of a fish called "Ankou"? This lever has an alias "The steak of the sea", and its taste is so thick. This dish cost only 300 yen, but the taste was better than any Ankou lever I had tasted. I suppose the English name for "Ankou" would be "sea toad". 

This was nothing like the renowned seafood market in Tokyo called "Tsukiji", but nevertheless I enjoyed looking at so many kinds of fish. I did see some foreign people as well here. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bad ass coffee in December

I'm not a kind of person who enjoys walking around in malls, but malls in Japan sometimes have unique coffee shops that you wouldn't see anywhere else. And my area is a bit rural, and we can have coffee at a unique coffee shop in a mall that can be usually seen in Tokyo only. 

 Can you recognize that tiny Christmas tree? Most of our malls start to decorate themselves with Christmas ornaments in November. 

I didn't know the meaning of "Bad ass"until I looked it up in my dictionary. Japanese people aren't familiar with English, so if they know the meaning of "ass" only, the name would sound only weird. 

 This shop's interior is based on Hawaii, so it was like having Christmas time in summer. I've always wanted to spend December in Hawaii or the southern hemisphere. 

The purpose of this post was showing a dish this coffee shops serves. I showed this coffee shop last year, but then I showed iced black coffee only. What you can see in the basket is bread with boiled egg and bacon. 

Foreign people often ask how we celebrate Christmas, but most people seem to enjoy Christmas in a secular way. I think Christmas is more important for young people who have partners than New Years. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Denny's in Japan

This blog should be based on things typically seen in Japan, but it is sometimes hard to find purely Japanese things. But I think even things commonly seen in the USA or Europe differ slightly from our counterparts. And this Denny's should be one of them too. 

 I frequented two Denny's in my area, and one was open from the morning to midnight. And this one is open 24/7.

 I came here last Sunday morning, and I could see customers sparsely. As I showed in the previous post, we push the button to get the attention of the waitresses, but at Denny's you should raise your voice or hand. 

 I think this menu might be seen in Japan only. You can have a soft drink with 180 yen in addition to the dish you order, or with additional 280 yen for unlimited refills. We have something called "Drink Bar" at most restaurants, and in order to vie with those restaurants, I guess Denny's had to introduce this bit different style.

Ehm....I don't remember the exact name of this dish, but it is basically a hamburger steak with porcini mushrooms on top of it. And the sauce was demiglace. Since I was small, hamburger steaks were the main attraction at almost all Japanese family restaurants. It is liked by kids and adults, and you'd feel full without an additional dessert.