Trip to Japan

Japan: Week 2

Hola qué tal?

Second week here already =O. So this week was quite calm except for Tuesday night, but will talk about it later. Most of the days I would go to work and have lunch in that lovely Japanese restaurant that I told you about last week. On Monday it was Katsu — Japanese cutlet — with a fried egg and a salad with that Japanese dressing I love. That dressing is with soy sauce and sesame oil, and some other thing that I would love to know what it is so I could make it myself.

Tuesday was my first time ever having real Japanese Udon — I made my own Udon a few time but never had any in a restaurant. It was served in a pretty simple broth with green onion, a thin slice of sweet fried tofu, a narutomaki piece — and no it’s not a Maki done in reference to the Manga Naruto but a sort of fish cake — and some shredded Kombu seaweed. very lovely. With the Udon dish was a dish of fried rice with soy sauce, carrots, konjaku, shimeji mushrooms and a few pieces of chicken and of fried tofu. I reaaaaaaally loved it so will try to do it at home and share the recipe with you. Finally there were some deep-fried onions and blanched veggies — some bok choy I guess. And as always some pickled veggies, that tasted awesome with the deep-fried onions.

On Wednesday I was sick so no lunch. For Thursday lunch we had some Oden — which is a Japanese pot-au-feu — with a lot of veggies and a dish of what I think was pickled bamboo shouts. Quite interesting.

As I was expecting to have our “Friday lunch seminar” I bought some premade food from the convenience store, but in the end left it for dinner as there wasn’t any seminar that day so we went to that restaurant to have some lovely fish and a quite amazing onion salad. But after that salad, it was probably impossible for me to talk to anybody due to the “onioness” of my breath ^^’.

Now that I finished to summary my lunches during the work days, let’s speak about the dinners. On Monday I simply cooked some chicken with onions and garlic. It really seems to me that chicken is much more flavorful here, I don’t know why.

So on Tuesday evening, my lab organized a very lovely party for the farewell of a member of the lab and my welcome. So we met at a nice restaurant nearby Ibaraki station — the town of Ibaraki, not the prefecture 😛 — for dinner. There were so much different dishes. At first there was some sashimi — tuna, salmon, octopus, yellow-tail and slightly cooked scallops. The octopus has a very weird texture but is very yummy. Then there was a few baby octopus, or perhaps squids I am not sure, that were again a little bit strange but very good too. The next dish was some Oden with spicy sausages, cabbages, some beef and other stuff — I was so impressed at that point that I wasn’t paying to much attention to what was in the dishes, sorry. Ah and I nearly forgot, there was a little bit of potato salad too. Then arrived the most fancy looking dish of the evening: whelk on fire =O. I was not really fond of its taste, it was too bitter for me.

What I really like is that all the dishes are coming one after another and everybody share and take whatever they like. The rest of the dishes were Karaage (Japanese chicken nuggets), fried oysters, some sort of glutenous tofu and finally — I hope I did not forget anything — some rice topped with mini fishes, roe and seaweed. All of these dishes were accompanied by first beer and then a mix of whiskey and sparkling water, which is a little bit strange as I generally drink my whisky on the rocks. To summary: an amazing dinner.

After that some people went home, but a big part of us went to a bar to brink some more. I had some more beer and some Shōchū — if I am not mistaking — which is kind of a “Japanese vodka” as my colleague introduced it to me. It was a very lovely evening. But next morning I wasn’t really fresh — probably due to the mix of alcohol, having a cold and being jet-lagged —  and managed to stay at work for only two hours. But taking that day as rest actually helped me to get over my jet-lag.

The rest of the working week I got dinner from the convenience store. I had some tempura, some other deep-fried stuff (like last week) and some Yakitori. It was all nice 😉

So the week-end! The week end was sort of short as I was waking up at 11:00 but that’s nice. On Saturday I got out of the house right after waking up — I took a shower first but almost right after waking up — and walk again to the “ExpoCity” commercial center. I needed to get an USB key and a cup or a mug for work. Got both and got my groceries at the same time. I finally found flour and butter — YAY! But I was surprised by the high price of cheeses but I guess most of them are imported from Europe or the US. And I was shocked to only find smaaaaaall burger buns. What will happen to my burgers with such small buns >.< For my way back decided to be lazy and took the monorail. Finally spent the rest of the day cleaning and taking care of the laundry. Ah and had sushi for dinner =D

Woke up in a great mood on Sunday: a cooking mood. So directly started doing a big pot of Japanese curry for dinner and then experimented a little bit with the mini burger buns, Japanese mayonnaise and Japanese ketchup. The result baby burgers were actually pretty good so I guess my burgers are safe but small ^^’.

In the afternoon decided to go for a walk. I went through the campus of the Osaka University to reach a nice little park, then walked through the nearby town. I was surprised to see the shops open on Sunday so decided to perhaps get some alcohol in prevision of a burger party at my place. And Happiness: whiskey is pretty cheap in Japan =D. So got myself a bottle and a few other stuff. At the till, I don’t know if I misunderstood the cashier or she forgot to give me a bag, but yeah no bags and I didn’t had any with me. As I was too shy to ask after I just packed my jacket pockets and stacked all the rest to somehow manage everything. “Anyway the house is close” I thought aaaaaand… NO! 25 or 30 minutes of balancing all that stuff while walking to reach home. And you know the best? I arrive finally at home — dying — put everything on the table, and the bow of already squashed sushis fell on the floor >.< Still ate it!

So now I’m seating and writing this post while enjoy a glass of Bourbon. And so “Chin chin” and see you next time 😉

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