Saturday, January 31, 2015

foodie thursday in maiko

heading out to lunch with my host-mom & host-brother's wife. it's a couple weeks before my host-mom's birthday, hope she'll like these♡ #birthday #flower #kobe #japan #神戸 Thursday, I got together with my host-mom and my host-brother's wife for lunch. It's that time of year for our birthdays, so my host-mom took us to a buffet at the Maiko Villa hotel.

The last time we came here was when my host-brother and his family moved from Tokyo to Hyogo...some 10 years ago?!

This buffet was good! You don't have to stand up and go through a buffet line, instead, you order what you want from their menu.

I think we ordered "almost" everything on the menu...

today's lunch view akashi kaikyo bridge from maiko villa #akashi #maiko #latergram #明石#舞子 #兵庫 #舞子ビラ After lunch, we went for coffee on the 14th floor.

It looks out at the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge...amazing views! Too bad the weather was overcast.

Oh, the bouquet up top is what I gave to my host-mom for her birthday, she said she really liked the colors.

It was a nice day, lots of good food and good conversation.

Thank you!

Maiko Villa
Umihotaru (Chinese restaurant)
Key West (14F lounge)
18-11 Higashi Maiko-cho
Tarumi-ku, Kobe

p.s. today is the start of the Chinese New Year...Kung Hee Fat Choy!

Friday, January 30, 2015

just in case...

sakura_front_1440x1080 Just in case you're planning to come to see the cherry blossoms this is a forecast that came out on January 23rd. (click on the photo to see a bigger version)

I subtitled the cities and the dates are written underneath. For Sapporo, Niigata and Sendai, they haven't come up with a date yet.

Even though the days are still quite cold, Spring is coming...whoo!

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

le bois

pâté lunch & cake salé♡ #lunch #kitahama #café #lebois #pâté #cakesalé #japan #osaka Yesterday I had an errand to run so I was in the Kitahama area. I stopped into Le Bois for lunch.

It had been nearly a year since my last visit.

I really like this cafe, super quiet. (well, until a group of chatty women came in...)

I ordered their pâté lunch...1080 yen (tax included).

This came with a piece of their cake salé (savory cake) with olives, hazelnuts and a little ham.

The plate came filled with a tiny cup of their cream soup, some pickles, their potato salad, three large slices of sourdough bread and two slabs of their pâté.

I was quite full after the first slab of pâté, so I asked the waitress if I could take the rest home. She wrapped up my leftover pâté, a slice of bread and the potato salad.

To end the meal they gave me a hazelnut cookie with my espresso.

I froze the pâté and will use it in bánh mì another day.

This place definitely doesn't disappoint.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


e.a.t.(egg avocado toast) for breakfast adapted from @lafujimama 's good! #breakfast #avocado #overeasyegg #strawberry #banana #toast #walnutraisin #japan #coffee Recently the fruit/vegetable stand I go to had beautiful avocados from Mexico. Usually at the big supermarkets we pay 100 yen or so for a teeny orb, but this time the fruit/veggie stand was selling 2 for 250 yen and they were at least 2 times bigger!

I got this idea from Rachel's blog, La Fuji Mama.

Take a piece of bread and toast it.

Mash up an avocado with some lemon juice.

Top it with an egg cooked to your liking.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner is served.

NOTES: so simple but so delicious! I mashed my avocado with some lemon juice and a little balsamic vinaigrette. I also added a little ground black pepper. I topped my toast with an over-easy egg. And the bread I used was a walnut raisin. I have to admit I added a little too much lemon juice, so it was puckery, but for breakfast, it really woke me up!

What have you been eating?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

pop gourmet popcorn

I'm glad this @popgourmet infused chocolate caramel with sea salt popcorn was a single serving, after tasting a couple, I wasn't about to share♡ #popcorn #caramel #chocolate #seasalt #popgourmetpopcorn #japan I wrote about Pop! Gourmet popcorn previously here and here.

Since Valentine's is coming up, some stores brought in a new flavor, their infused chocolate caramel with sea salt.

Love this one!

The chocolate coating is infused with caramel (or is it the other way around?!) making it more like a toffee coating. And there is just the right of sea salt sprinkled on each piece.

Like I said when I posted this on Instagram..."I'm glad it was a single serving, after tasting a couple, I wasn't about to share"

I'm really glad I got to try this one.

How is your week going?

Monday, January 26, 2015


zabon-zuke After coming back from Shimabara, I mentioned that besides the mikan-zuke there was also zabon-zuke made from pomelo.

During January and part of February, the train line that we ride, Hankyu, is having a Nagasaki fair inside of the Umeda station.

Last week was Shimabara and it gave us a chance to pick up the zabon-zuke.

zabon-zuke This one was made by a different confectioner called Buntando.

The texture of the zabon-zuke reminded me of tong guo, the candied fruits and veggies for Chinese New Year, but boy was this bitter!

I'm glad we got to try this but will stick to buying mikan-zuke.

13 Shimokawajiri-machi
Shimabara, Nagasaki
Phone: 0957.62.2088 (toll free number: 0120.62.2085)

Friday, January 23, 2015

chicken (meatball) soup for the soul

chicken meatball soup...with lots of ginger, veggies & a little chili oil♡ #homemade #soup #veggies #japan #dinner It's been quite rainy and gloomy the past couple of days.

I usually plan ahead and stock up beforehand so that I don't have to go out in the bad weather, but didn't get a chance to do so this time around.

So I walked in the rain to the market, thinking about what to make for dinner.

It had to be soup I thought...then meatballs popped into my head.

I picked up some chicken breast and used the veggies that were in my fridge.

I whizzed the chicken with a nub of ginger and an egg.

Then I diced half a carrot, part of a red bell pepper, and some maitake.

I also chopped up a couple leaves of cabbage.

In a pot, I added 4 cups of water and a bouillon cube.

Then on medium heat, I cooked everything for about 5 minutes.

I then scooped out chicken meatballs into the pot and let them cook with the veggies, scraping the scum that formed on top.

After another 5 minutes, I checked to make sure that the meatballs were cooked and added a couple drops of chili oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil.

Then, just before serving I threw in some chopped frozen green onion.

Dinner was fast, easy and really comforting.

The addition of ginger to the chicken meatballs gave it a nice zing.

Hope the sun comes back soon and hope you have a nice weekend!