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Showing posts from April, 2010

Natsu-te Ramen

なんつッ亭ラーメン屋さん‼ Can be found at Kawasaki BE department store B1 in a small section called ramen symphony. Arguably the most popular thick ramen in Yokohama. It's its black soup and heavy flavors that really make this ramen stand out. Superb flavors and aromas makes this one of my top favorite. Prices ranging from 1000 to 2000 yen!

Japanese Sake & Cheese

Japanese Sake & Cheese: Take me to the Curd



I’ve been a fan of the curd for decades, ever since my time spent up in northern, California I owe my good friend Vinney Sorrentino for sponsoring that trip and for imparting the knowledge of good cheese and wine to me. The first really good cheese he introduced to me, and the first exotic cheese I had ever tried, was called Morbier cheese, a product of France from the Île-de-France region.



The name Morbier means “small market-town” and is produced in the village of Morez in the Jura Mountains. The cheese is uncooked and pressed, and allowed to mature for two months. It is then brushed with salty water. The shape is round with sides that bulge slightly; it has a horizontal black furrow through the middle. The production of this cheese is protected by a special label from the Franche-Comte; it belongs to the AOC family. Its taste is savory and fruity.



Back in the day, Opus One used to be the talk of the town.   If you ha…

かまくら家

The name’s Kamakuraya, and no, it’s not located in that iconic city most expats know as Kamakura, home of the Great Daibutsu. Venturing out into the great unknown micro-urban cities of southern Yokohama one can get a feel for how normal everyday Japanese people live. A far cry from the insanity of Tokyo’s streets and the geeky crowds that litter the internet cafes. Gumiyoji and Minami-ku to be exact, are where a lot of delicious ramen shops are at. Some of these places aren’t pretty, but it’s what they make that stands out, so here I was at this shop on my home from a gig I did. What really caught my eye though is the ramshackle condition of this ramen shop. Sliding doors, make shift kitchen. According to the reviews this shop has been receiving modest reviews for years, some from as far back as 2006. There are also a lot of repeat customer who come back here on a regular basis as this shop has been around for decades. Looking at the picture, you see a very ordinar…

くいしん坊 ラーメン

The name Kuishinbo literally means “ Big Eater” in English and it’s a local favorite around Shonandai. What attracted me here in the first place were the reviews I read over at an internet site called “taberogu,” which is known for its very non-biased reviews on restaurants and bars all over Japan. The average ranking for this ramen carries a 3.20 star rating which is considered pretty good actually. It’s not common to come across five stars!
What I enjoyed most about this standard bowl of ramen is its flavorsome soup. Noodles were just OK, but the soup and pork were nice. There are several different flavors to choose from, but the two main ones are Shoyu( soy sauce) Shio(salt)based ramen. The soup was mild, simple, and very easy to drink. Very rarely do I ever drink all of the soup after eating ramen. This time I did.
Getting here is simple. It’s about 122 meters from Shonandai Station(terminal station). The two major lines to use are either the Odakyu or the Yokoham…

Matsu no Tsukasa

I’m back in West Japan again, and yet another selection of good sake from a brewery located in a very quaint prefecture called Shiga. When I think of this prefecture images of Lake Biwa come to mind with its vastness and natural beauty. It is the largest fresh water lake in Japan and a World Cultural Heritage. I also think of the Tonda Bunraku Puppet Troupe which is regarded by the Japanese as an Intangible Cultural Treasure with its long historical roots dating back centuries.
Also, home to Toray, the prefectural Shiga based volleyball team with my favorite goddess Oyama Kana, add that to some great sake and a hot spring dip at Ogoto Onsen and this is heaven. Let’s not forget Enryakuji Templeand Hiyoshi Grand Shrine to top it off.

The sake of choice, and is what came highly recommended from other greats, is a sake called Matsuno Tsukasa, a Yamahai Jyunmai: Nama Genshu. Shiga grown yamadanishiki(organic), polished to 65%. Yamahai or Shikomi, is the method of preparing the…

Jintan

+35° 29' 20.48", +139° 37' 28.98" I just love me some tsukemen. The next greatest noodle dish to ramen and soba is tsukemen. It's a cold noodle you eat by dipping into a broth before eating. If you are the type of person who likes to taste all of the ingredients, and you love the act of just slurping on noodles then Tsukemen is the best. This shop I'm featuring today is the best I've had in a long time. They add yuzu or citrus flavouring to the soup base! Amazing taste. The noodles are firm and long. Not like the think noodles. Great eating!

Dekopon

I haven't blogged much about food lately, so today I thought to myself “ food hasn’t been mentioned enough on by blog”. And then a fruit introduced to me by a Jukujo came to mind, called Dekopon.I was introduced to this fruit over lunch, and was so impressed, stopped over at Seijo Ishii to grab a couple. They cost me 590 yen for a pack of two fully ripened dekopon. A bit pricey! As soon as I got home I dug threw my drawer in search of a pairing knife. Don’t actually need one. The skin peels right off within seconds. Everything I have always wanted in an orange was found in this citrus fruit in the first couple of bites. Light acid, sweet, juicy and most of all seedless! What more can you ask for in an orange…? I remember a quote from a poem by WCW that goes something like this:I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast. Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold. William Carlos Willi…

Hanami Viewing with Japanese Sake!

The other day at Negishi Shinrin Park, one of Yokohama’s most renowned parks when it comes to cherry blossom viewing, was in full bloom.   It’s quite customary for Japanese to drink sake or tea along with eating some delicious snacks under cherry blossom trees this time of year.   For me, it’s always nihonshu ( Rice Brew) and some delicious seasonal dishes like sakura mochi,(sweet sticky rice ball) or some onigiri ( plain rice ball).


That day I was so lucky because before I had came to the park I was able to purchase two packs of jumbo gyoza from a kiosk inside a super market by the JR Negishi Station. The lady at the kiosk was visiting from Utsunomiya, a well-known city  in Tochigi, Japan for its legendary gyoza. She was selling four gyoza per pack, so I bought two packs of freshly grilled gyoza then ran to the liquor store and picked up two small bottles of Japanese sake.


The first sake:

Sake Name: Kotsuzu Translation: Small Charm Classification: Ginjo SMV: +4.0 Acidi…

Enjoying Sake in Yokohama

GeoTagged, [N35.42211, W139.63817] Sakura viewing at Negishi Park!!

The Novelist Amy Yamada

Amy Yamada, a well-known Japanese novelist, has written several books on the destructive nature of black on Japanese relationships. She has been gaining a huge following in Japan over the years, by mostly young and some old readers. She explores the darker side of the black man; that beast within him which drives her passion and her obsession.
In order to satisfy her masochistic desires she opted for a black man because he is the most difficult to tame, not like his white counter-part whose only aim is to please his Japanese goddess whether it be through money or other gratuities; henpecked in other words. The black men she targets in America only wish to use and abuse her, and yet she still derives a sense of satisfaction from trying to beat them at their own game, and often times losing.
Clean and educated Black men are seen as weak and inferior to their ghetto counter-parts, which is a major discredit for those black men seeking a legitimate relationship with a Japanese woma…

Winners & Losers

This topic has been thrown around in various forums through out the blogosphere, and so I need to address this and what it means and how it relates to people who come to Japan, and myself.
There are no losers in Japan. What would compel someone to travel half way around the world to live and work? Money? A new life experience? Love…? Why did you come here? Why would anybody want to live and work in one of the most expensive country's in the world, and live amongst people who have a completely different outlook on life? I don’t think losers would or could ever make such a life changing move. If they’re losers at home then what makes you think they can be winners abroad, especially in a largely homogenous culture where tiny pockets of discrimination still exist? There’s no Murphy’s Law at work here, just common sense.




I came for a new life experience and to be closer to the things and people I had grown to love and admire over the years prior to moving here. I was spoon…

Hanaizumi

This is my first spring sake of 2010 and it’s from Fukushima Prefecture, Aizu City, Nango Village.
(“I’m listening to Trevor Morris’ City in a Box as I type this”).
Since it’s spring in Japan you can expect there to be hundreds perhaps thousands of different kinds of sake on the market now, so how do you choose which ones to get? For me, I look for the sake shops with the largest hotel and restaurant clientele . In my city there’s a jizake shop called Kimijimaya which caters to some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants in Tokyo and Yokohama. This store has the largest selection of sake and wine in Yokohama, and is also one of the most respected and well established in the Kanto region. I take my sake advice from them along with my own experiences and choose the best sake for the season and for my own spiritual and sexual needs.
This time around, they recommended Hanaizumi to me, a Jyunmai Muroka Nama Genshu, in other words, an unfiltered, unpasteurized, full bo…