Mixed Plate Friday

One of the many gifts Kat gave us! I finally cracked open the Japanese Sriracha, I didn’t even know they had one! And you know we had that shortage for a while so it as hard to even get a hold of a bottle. And then people were saying it doesn’t taste the same anymore? I think they started using different chili peppers, boy oh boy. I was able to get a new bottle and I guess I agree that it tastes a little different but not awful. Sorry, got off-track. So how was the Japanese one? I liked it! Good balance of garlic and heat with a nice sweetness to it. I enjoy it a lot!! Thank you again Kat!

This was a gift from Chan’s friend and I had no idea what it was. I honestly thought it was like a biscuit or senbei. That was until we asked a coworker and was told it was miso soup!! I had to try it immediately and oh my goodness, it was delicious and look!

It is stuffed with all these great veggies and cute fishcake…what a great miso soup! I definitely have to look for this next time I am in Japan!!

Tanto Tonkotsu Black Ramen | $18.00 (includes 5 pieces of Tanto Gyoza)

Don’t have enough for a full post but Tanto Gyoza and Ramen Bar is located in Puck’s Alley in Manoa. They specialize in gyoza (yes, the gyoza is good) and the ramen is good too! But I think I need to try another broth, this one might be too rich for me so I get tummy ache. I think I get tummy ache from plenty foods…hmm…anyway, worth a try!

The 220 Grille Restaurant Pt. 3 – Diamond Head, HI

I have this horrible knack of posting this restaurant WAY too late, but it’s also because of their short service runs! If you get a chance, today and tomorrow is your last chance to order for this serving session! They are only open for service on Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM. They no longer take phone orders so you have to be ready to order online once the site opens at 11AM (there are no pre-orders)…so, if you can get through all that, try the food (lol)! Here is their current menu, they also have daily specials!

Kansas City Style BBQ Baby Back Ribs | $14.00
with Mashed Potato, Corn and Honey Butter Corn Bread

Teri Provolone Cheeseburger made with Locally Sourced Grass Fed Beef w/ Sautéed Onions & Mayo | $10.00
served w/ Fries, garnished w/ Island Lettuce, Sugarland Tomato & House Made Pickles

This was my lunch. The burger is bumboocha and house made patty! They do cook it like a medium rare so I do recommend heating it up a bit if you don’t like it that pink. I did get a bit of a tummy ache after eating this burger so I did heat up the patty when I ate the other half the next day. How can you beat the portion of this dish, the tastiness and PRICE. It’s $10 bucks even, tax already included. Would recommend!

Roast Porchetta | $15.00 
with Mushroom Risotto, Carrot Puree, Braised Beets, and Jus Lie

Jus lie, haha I just find that funny. Chan ate this for dinner and he enjoyed it! He super enjoyed the sides, said the pork was a bit dry on some parts but overall – good! Pretty high end for $15!

Pan Fried Pa’i’ai | $4.00
w/ Kinako, Haupia Anglaise and Island Fruits

Not my dish but it was shared with us and I’m sorry but I just gotta give a big thumbs down. It wasn’t good. Sorry! Very very bland. Even eating it with the fruit or the sauce, just…you’re eating plain taro essentially cause all this extra stuff did not do anything! No flava!!!

Mixed Plate Friday

Nongshim Vegan Curry Ramen Big Noodle Bowl (6 pk.) | $9.98 (Until February 25, 2024 ($11.98 regular price) @ Sam’s Club)

Saw this newly at Sam’s Club and it was on sale so I had to try it. How is it? Well…it’s not bad but nothing to write home about either. Edible but not great. As you can see, it’s not soupy – more saucy?

Speaking of curry noodles, I made these noodles the other week. It’s Red Curry Coconut Noodles, super good. I’ll post the recipe soon!!

Hand-peeled Bamboo Shoots

I’ve seen these on TikTok, sorry no video to post but it’s all propaganda (according to Chan) but they sure make this look delicious. It’s ready to eat so you just have to peel it. Yeah, hand peeled means your own hand peeling it (lol). It’s kind of like artichokes, you peel it off until you get to the “heart” of the bamboo shoot to eat the flesh. You can try to bite off the bottoms of the peels in case there is small bits of flesh on it. This one had nice flavor, like a nice szechuan/mala flavor. I got this from 1-2 Buy, love going to that store!!

Chuka Soba Aoba – Ikebukuro, Japan

Located in the Sunshine Mall, Chuka Soba Aoba is just a small little chinese noodles soup that we tried. I actually think this was the first real bowl of ramen we had during the whole trip. It was a nice fill up – nothing too fancy or frou frou. The line was constant and they had a good system of seating. Singles were seated at the bar between the partitions and parties of 2 or more got seated at a table.

Super busy place and actually mostly locals which is a good sign right?

Chan got the tsukemen

I got the regular ramen. I gotta admit, it was the egg in the picture of the mall directory that got me. I just love Japan eggs so much and look at how bright deep orange these yolks are. What I was served looked exactly like the directory photo. Delicious! By the way, this is all they have. Ramen or tsukemen, nothing else. No gyoza, no side dishes, just noodles.

Nihonbashi Sui – Machida, Japan

Chan found his favorite kaiten sushi restaurant during this trip. On this day, we went to Grandberry Park to visit the Snoopy Museum and stuck around to get lunch. We timed it (by accident) perfectly, we were able to line up for the lunch openings. Plenty restaurants had long lines already so we decided to try Nishonbashi Sui – we were like 2nd in line so that was great! I can’t find too much online about this place, does anyone know if this restaurant has any other locations in Japan? The only cool thing I found was that it’s owned by Kyotaru! What a throwback, I used to work for Kyotaru. So that means I’m technically part of this family right?

We ate choke. I don’t have any prices or descriptions, just enjoy the pictures (there are a lot of them).

Mixed Plate Friday

Taki’s Intense Nacho

I’m not into Taki’s but I saw this online somewhere and super super curious. For some odd reason, it’s so hard to find this in Hawaii. Where did I find it? Oh, I think I found it at Don Quijote! Kind of pricey but was worth a try. Super cheesy, not at all spicy. Worth the try!

Giovanni Rana Beef and Sausage Lasagna (40 oz.) | $14.98

Saw this at Sam’s Club the other week and decided to bring it home to try. I didn’t get to try it but my brother did and he liked it! It’s nice that it’s not the full family size lasagna. It’s also great that it comes in a pan that you can either bake it in or microwave in.

Spicy Pork Plate | $10.00

Yup, back at Kalihi Palama Market snack bar again. No can lose with a $10 plate forreal! So good. You know dang well that it would cost so much more money if I decided to make this myself. I’ll keep “researching” their dishes for you folks okay? 🙂

Kiharu – Kyoto, Japan

Chan and I took the shinkansen (thank you Rail Pass) from Osaka to Kyoto which was a breezy 15 minute ride. We met up with his friends Mai and Tomomi. Kiharu (NOT KIHARU Brasserie – also located in Kyoto) is Mai’s favorite restaurant, so much so that she makes the journey from Tokyo to Kyoto just to eat here. And when she’s in Kyoto, she’ll eat at this restaurant like 3 nights in a row. She loves it that much! Quite a tall order but my gosh, what a wonderful experience. Yet another restaurant we would never have found on our own, very small restaurant run by the master chef and him alone. It’s all by reservation so no walk-ins, you sit at the bar and he serves you dish by dish. It’s all omakase, you do no ordering, it’s based on his shopping finds that morning. If you’re a drinker, he serves up nice sake pairings with each course.

The master chef was so wonderful and happy, even though us tourists couldn’t communicate with him, he was excited and tried his best! He was also overjoyed to hear we were from Hawaii lol. This was an experience like no other! Highly recommend if you are able to make you reservations and can speak Japanese lol.

Green Pea Soup, Tofu wrapped in Fried Mochi Bits with Yuzu Miso

What an interesting soup, great starter. Awesome flavors, super fresh ingredients. The taste of fresh peas? Can’t be beat!

Green Salad with Fried Yuba and Goma Dressing

Simple enough dish but the fried yuba is so good. Light and crispy, loved this salad anad the different textures!

Buri and Hirame Sashimi

Can’t go wrong with fresh locally caugh fish. Delicious!!!

Big Daikon Oden with Aburage and Yuzu Zest

Simple dish right? But aren’t simple dishes the best? He visually showed us with his hands how big the daikon was that used to make the oden. I believe him. Perfect melding of flavors.

Roasted Onion with Homemade Salt and Fried Soba Miso Dip

Okay, not all dishes can be winners. This dish wasn’t bad but it wasn’t my favorite. He roasted the onion over his grill and…it’s not like the onion takes in the smoky flavor you know? He deep fries buckwheat and mixes it into the miso. It was okay.

Salmon with Giant Shishito Pepper and Garlic Sauce

Salmon? Check. Giant Shishito Pepper? Check. Garlic Sauce? Check. I’m just ticking off all the things I liked in this dish. Yum!

Fried Taro with Fried Pickled Sakura Leaf

Another winner dish! Taking a bite out of the taro and then a bite out of the sakura leaf, the balance or the dense starch with the sourness of the leaf? Delicious! I enjoyed it quite a bit!

Matsutake Mushroom Rice with Carrots and a Chicken Base

Closing dish of the night, to me, just simple home cooked style dish. Comforting on a cold night. Look at how brightly colored the carrots are! It was delicious. Thank you again to Mai and Tomomi for a wonderful dinner and the wonderful company!

Bikkuri Donkey – Osaka, Japan

When my friend and I visited in 2022 and stayed in Osaka, we really enjoyed Bikkuri Donkey. It’s a silly name and really more of a family restaurant vibe (imagine Japan Denny’s but specializing in Hamburger Steak). This is a perfect place for tourists because it’s just all kine burgers and fried foods. Anyway, we ate there twice in about as many days but always in the Dotonbori location. Chan had quite a laugh at the name of the restaurant and we would toss around jokes leading up to the trip but you know…that I had to make a return visit. So we did! Visited the Umeda location this time, same good food. They do have an English menu, just gotta ask!

Zangi & Potato | ¥620

Appetizer! I don’t know why it’s called zangi, just wanted some fries and chicken karaage, was good!

Black Demiburg Dish (300g) | ¥1,610

I’m trying to find the exact item names and prices for you folks – I think Chan must have added an egg to this dish so I’m sure it cost a bit extra. He enjoyed the dish!

Egg Curry Burger Dish (300g) | ¥1,610

My dish. I’ve been getting this since the beginning of my visits and I love it. Something about it works and I’ll continue to get this dish, thank you!

Mixed Plate Japan

Check out this line for Panda Express. I couldn’t believe it! And you know, I don’t think it was just tourists, had plenty locals too! Maybe they enjoy American fare? Because we know this is not real Chinese food!

For some odd reason, I had such a craving for a crepe in Japan! Well, where else better right? Was happy to find Marion’s Crepes in Ikebukuro! It really hit the spot, yum!

Look at this shower in the Hilton Osaka. Click on it to make it bigger. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? And no, there is no optional shower curtain on the other side. So here I was crouching within this small area to shower because I really did not want to get the entire bathroom wet. I mean what?? What kine design is this? If I was missing something, please let me know. If not, awful design!!!!

Folk Kitchen – Osaka, Japan

Folk Kitchen is located within the Hilton Osaka. Thanks to Chan’s perks, we were able to eat breakfast free in the hotel and boy did I enjoy eating here. Haha one morning as we were waking up, he asked me if I was okay because I had been laying there and I just meekly answered…”Folk Kitchen?” That’s how much I was looking forward to eating there. You just had to be there haha.

Folk Kitchen offers a full breakfast buffet and you know Japanese restaurants are going to do right by buffets. No disappointments here! And for some odd reason, I loved the apple juice in Osaka. Specifically Osaka lol.

We came pretty early in the morning so we could avoid the crowds, mission accomplished!

Smaller portion of food this round. They had battered fried fish with tartar sauce (I loved it!), tater tots, fried rice, etc.! They also had a Japanese section to make Japanese style breakfast, and a congee section!

I absolutely toasted my own slice of bread and slathered it in butter and strawberry jam. YOU BETCHA.

Day 2! Much fuller plate. The brown noodles I think were yakisoba and were bland and junk! The pasta was good and I ate plenty saba! Chan must think I’m crazy but I really really enjoyed Folk Kitchen and it was definitely one of my top places we ate at!!!! Yum!