Do you wanna know how I maintain my figure when I travel abroad? Lol, it sounds like a bad opening line for an advertisement. Haha! Truth be told, I actually don't eat that much. Which sucks I know because traveling is a good way of exploring different authentic dishes but I don't know I just feel guilty eating without all the "regular workouts" I get back home. But in my recent Japan trip, I did manage to try some delicacies and I'm gonna share it to you. See? That's the keyword. I love Japanese food and I did explore some of what they best offer.
Yusuke and I only didn't get a decent meal while inside Universal Studios but merely survived on that humongous turkey lollipop they offer inside the said theme park. So for dinner, we headed to Umeda station where he's supposed to take the overnight bus going back to Tokyo and looked for some place to eat. It was rather cold that night at 14-degree Celsius and light shower which made it perfect for some hot ramen.
I was once told by a friend that ramen is like a poor man's meal in Japan and maybe it's something that he wouldn't want to eat that night but I just couldn't help hinting at the idea. In the end, I was still his
special visitor and thanks to his super-efficient mobile data, found a good ramen restaurant somewhere in Umeda.
The experience was one of a kind since you place your order through this machine on the upper-left side of the picture below and show the receipt to the waiter. Shortly, my very first authentic Japanese ramen was served! Yeeeeyyy! :D
Another thing that makes my trip a "loser" for certified foodies (not that I am) is the fact that Osaka is actually a "food capital" of Japan! But somehow I have something to brag to my foodie friends with this little tip I got from Tripadvisor. ;)
It was my second day and once again subsisted on some Starbucks coffee and bread (what? I need their wi-fi!!! :P) for half of the day and was preparing on my way to Kyoto. A flash bulb moment hit me to consult the above-mentioned site for some food advice. I learned about this famous Okonomiyaki restaurant close to Osaka station where I was gonna switch train to Kyoto. It really had good reviews so I was determined to try it.
At around 630, the little nook is already jampacked and I thought to myself "oh boy, this must be really good!". I patiently waited for my turn to get a seat wishing I had someone to talk to (or even a free wi-fi in that area but none, lol!). To hasten the order preparation, one of the chefs already took the orders of those in the queue but he couldn't tell me in English what was on their menu. I know it's an Okonomiyaki (like a Japanese pizza) restaurant but it'd be nice to know what variants they offer. He just asked me to choose between beef, pork or squid. The health conscious in me opted for beef. Wrong choice as I would learn the next day, lol!
After 25 minutes, I finally got a seat and it was in my desired place - those stools where you get to see the Okonomiyaki being prepared right infront of you. But with a tummy slightly rumbling of hunger pangs, I realized it wasn't such a good place coz it just makes your mouth water even more what with all that sight and scent. Hahaha!!!
But I loved that the old chef/ owner was the one preparing my Okonomiyaki. I read good reviews about how entertaining he is and had been observing how he makes small talks and interactions with his customer the entire time. He's also capable of speaking English and my only chance of conversing with in a complete sentence, lol! He also had a sense of humor when asked for a photo. Hahaha!!!
Yes we exchanged some niceties while I was waiting for my food and when it was time for the food to be distributed something unexpected happened. Sounds like a viral nova header noh? Lol!
He divided my Okonomiyaki into three!!! And so as the other two Okonomiyaki orders of the two guys on my right without their permission. Turns out, we all had three different orders and it was out of his pure good intention I assume for me to try everything. He didn't even have an idea that I had difficulty when I ordered my food but still he wanted me to have a bit of everything. I think it's just pure genius!!! Excellent customer service I must say. And boy, they were all so good!!! So delicious that I had to come back on my last day with Brian haha! (you'll get to meet him soon. ;)
Here's my 3-flavored Okonomiyaki!!! Oishi-desu! ;)
And some other stills at Okonomiyaki Kiji.
My last part for dining experience would have to be my 3rd night in Osaka. Another memorable one because it was spent with another student of mine - good food and good drinks. Hiromi would often take my free talking lessons and being a single girl of just about my age makes it not difficult for me to constitute her as a girlfriend. She also invited a friend of her friend to join us - her name is Kaori. They are both strong alcohol drinker and I was a bit challenged that night. Hahaha!!!
But I really enjoyed this drink - plum sake. And it made our conversations more fun. Gosh! Single girls talking about lovelife woes. Of course though we all met in person for the first time, who couldn't relate to such topic??? Lol!
Here's us at Torihei (???) Izakaya somewhere in Morinomiya station in Osaka. Hiromi on my right and Kaori on the other. :)
Izakaya means a tavern - a usual drinking establishment that's perfect for after-work hours. But I must say the food they serve are really delicious. No wonder the place was also full that night. :) More pics below of some of the food we ate. :)
My hostel receptionist said I was rather pink in cheeks that night. Hahaha!!! I think I drank past my alcohol limit but I really had such a good time. I hope to go back in the future and see these girls again. It'll be really good if the visa requirement would be waived in the future. :)