Wednesday, September 30, 2009

italia

When I first came to Japan, I realized that they pronounced names of countries different from the US. For example, in the US we say "Italy" but here they say "Italia". Germany is "Doitsu" meaning Deutsch.

Takes some getting used to but definitely good to know.

Anyway, recently Hanshin Department store had an Italia Fair (Italian Fair).

Last Wednesday, I had some time to spend before meeting Satoshi for dinner, so I went to check it out. They had Italian pottery, cameos, rugs, a huge Italian wine and market area.

I came across these chocolates in the market area.

Barratti & Milano--I've tried some of their chocolates before. They are from Torino. The guy at the counter was nice enough to give me a sample, so I bought 3 types of chocolates.

Pinguino--a cream filling covered with dark chocolate. Pistachio--pistachio cream sandwiched with gianduja. Gianduja--hazelnut milk chocolate. The chocolates were 126 yen for 10 grams, my bill came out to 433 yen (about US$4.33)

My favorite was the Pinguino, I liked the contrast of sweet cream and dark chocolate.

Just a couple of counters over was Silvio Bessone--This chocolatier was from a town outside of Torino.

I got the Marron Glace--a chestnut paste with meringue bottom covered with 70% dark chocolate.

And Nej--a dark chocolate mixed with gianduja. Both were good but on the bitter side, I think these might have gone better with red wine or a malt whisky instead of coffee. 210 yen for Nej (about US$2.10) and 315 yen (about US$3.15) for the Marron Glace.

The lady in line before me bought 10 Marron Glace and 10 Nej, I was actually kind of embarrassed to buy something after her.

After more browsing, I met Satoshi for dinner at E-ma. There is an Italian restaurant that we like called La Botte Piccola.

Whenever we eat at Italian restaurants, we always order a salad, pizza and pasta to share.

I had a glass of Bellenda Contrada di Conceniqo, a full body red made with cabernet, merlot & marzemino grapes...800 yen (about US$8) a glass. I really liked this wine and hope to find it online or at the gourmet shop.

Satoshi had a glass of 2008 Rivera Terra al Monte Sauvignon, a crisp white...700 yen (about US$7).

We chose the seasonal salad...endive, baby greens, proscuitto and ricotta...1080 yen (about US$10.80). I loved the light texture of the ricotta.

Satoshi chose the seafood pasta...1400 yen (about US$14), this had clams, shrimp, scallops with a garlic butter sauce.

I chose the 4-cheese pizza...1400 yen (about US$14). This place always had a nice thin crust, which I love. They used mozzarella, gorgonzola, ricotta and parmesan. A little olive oil and parsley. Really simple yet oh so good!

After all those days off, Satoshi was kinda bummed that he had to go back to a full week.

La Botte Piccola (update: 2014 this shop now called Gnocchi, phone number now 06.6343.0707)
E-ma 6F
1-12-6 Umeda
Kita, Osaka
Phone: 06.4795.7510
Hours: 11:00-23:00
Open when E-ma is.

15 comments:

Rowena... said...

I checked out the site for Baratti e Milano and had to giggle... I remember this place when I first moved to Torino, but still being unaccustomed to the language and the culture, I walked right on by and on towards the McDonald's a few shops down! I even remember having a tough time trying to figure out the stupid euro coins and handing them over to the cashier so she could pick out the correct amount (from the look on her face I could tell that she felt sorry for me). Would love to visit Torino again now that I understand things better...heh heh

K and S said...

Rowena, would love to see your post on Torino now that you are more accustomed to things :)

Take care.
Kat

Anonymous said...

I went to La Botte Piccola when I went to Japan this past May. It was SO delicious! I went with 8 people, so we ordered 4 different pastas, and 4 different pizzas and shared it. It also came with a dessert sampler, SOO ono! :)

K and S said...

I am so glad you like this place too Anon :)

Take care.
Kat

OkiHwn said...

Seafood pasta is my kind fo dish !!!

K and S said...

Hey Nate,
What have you been eating lately??
Take care.
Kat

jalna said...

Everything looks so good! I feel like eating some chocolate and some Italian food now.

Debinhawaii said...

Sounds like the perfect day and of course you know I love your chocolate adventures--it means I can blame you for me *having to* buy chocolate! ;-)

K and S said...

be sure to post what you eat Jalna :)

I will take responsibility Debinhawaii for your chocolate adventures, though I will not fund them ;)

Take care you two.
Kat

Pandabonium said...

That all looks and sounds so delicious - especially the seafood pasta. Yum.

K and S said...

Thanks PB, it was nice because it actually had a good amount of seafood in it :)

Take care.
Kat

biancorosso said...

Kat,
How lovely to find this post! My hometown is Torino and I know Baratti & Milano quite well; their main shop is located in an elegant part of town, and to be able to enjoy a breakfast, a cup of coffee or a mid-afternoon snack there, is one of those luxuries that anybody should experience at least once in a lifetime!

And the Pinguini...oh my goodness! They are so very delicious!
Gianduja is a proud product from Torino and is used extensively in confectionery.

I'm very happy you had a chance to experience a delicious taste of my hometown, Kat!

Mari

K and S said...

I had no idea you were from Torino Mari :) I would love to visit your hometown & Italy one day!

Take care.
Kat

Girl Japan: April Marie said...

The Pinguino reminded me of Pistachio ice-cream..... I am very much missing my "little italy" at the moment.

K and S said...

ooh that must be tough, I hate when that happens Girl Japan!

Take care.
Kat