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Archive for the 'Food' Category


Amazing Watermelon Half-Pipe

There should be a TV station in the US dedicated to nothing but fun stuff from Japan like this. This is so amazing. So creative.

Think you can pull it off? Read the rest of this entry »

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Super Foods – How to shop for your well-being

I am an advocate for eating healthy and I believe, very deeply, that food can heal you as well as medicine can. To rely completely on medicine to get well may not be as healthy as you think – if medicines are good for you (and I believe some truly are), would they have all these side effects? Going holistic when it comes to health is still the best way, which is why i endorse Satoko Ozawa in her quest to educate people about super-healthy-foods that they can find in their local supermarket.

Satoko Ozawa knows her food. The board-certified Holistic Health Counselor and member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners is a master of the art of “defensive shopping.” This means treating the grocery store as a one-stop pharmacy.

Believe it or not, whether you’re battling diabetes, skin disorders, depression, cancer, heart disease or the common cold, Ozawa says all Holistic Health Counselors will prescribe roughly the same regimen:

* Eat less food (five small meals a day) so that you only ever feel 75 percent full
* Decrease intake of animal protein
* Increase fresh fruits and veggies
* Eat whole grains whenever possible
* Reduce or avoid refined and processed foods

Of course it’s not that simple. Certain medical conditions come with food restrictions, and others require boosting or reducing intake of this or that vitamin or mineral. But the best way to stay fit and healthy, Ozawa argues, is to eat healthy foods that are unprocessed. These days, shoppers have such an extensive choice of products, each with increasingly confusing labels boasting dubious health-related claims. Ozawa jokes that ingredient lists now read like a newspaper article.

Companies have integrated additives so well into our food supply that many of us can no longer tell the difference between processed and non-processed foods. Add the fact that you are living in a foreign country and sometimes not sure of what you are actually buying, and the above guidelines become a little tricky. That’s where Ozawa can help.

Read more..

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Social | No Comments »


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Izakaya: the Japanese Pub Cookbook

The Izakaya: the Japanese Pub Cookbook review done by Metropolis has me itching to get a copy. While the title may seem a little misguiding, the book is not just about recipes. It’s also a guide to fine watering holes and good eats around Japan.

Neither restaurant nor bar, the izakaya is more than a place where you can share delicious food and relaxing drinks—though it is certainly that. In many neighborhoods, it is a community hub with a cast of characters and ongoing narratives. The customers will range from locals and regulars to office workers, academics or day-laborers. They will order small-dish delicacies throughout the evening, perhaps in the beginning sharing just a couple of items. The menu is like a road map and the diners are at the wheel, calling out orders as the mood takes them. All dishes are inexpensive, and as the “scenery” and conversation changes, items that initially escaped notice acquire new appeal. No inquisitive diner can fail to broaden his or her horizons, wandering side routes into exciting new food avenues. And as the evening progresses and energy levels rise, you will hear straight talk and the uttering of hard truths that won’t ordinarily be spoken. In short, at the izakaya, people are more themselves.

REad the entire article here…

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Japanese Culture, Social | No Comments »


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You’ve got gold stuck between your teeth

Edible gold

The idea of edible gold is not unheard off. Many chefs and cuisines around the world, has incorporated gold leaves into their dishes as an edible aesthetic enhancement but this company, Tsukioka Co., Ltd., based in Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture., has taken gold eating to the next level. They’ve actually created gold letterings like “Happy Birthday” and designs that floats in your cup of coffee or tea or punch bowls, basically anything you can think of.

There are currently 42 messages and designs available. The film is wound into a roll, and pieces are peeled off one at a time. With the smallest-sized packages at just ¥525 ($4.38 at ¥120 to the dollar), it is not at all expensive for a product made of pure gold. Messages and designs can also be custom made, although only for large-volume orders of ¥65,000 ($542) or more. Also on sale are a gold-leaf powder that can be used to decorate cakes and other confections, available in spray-can form, and a sprinkle-on flake type.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc | No Comments »


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Drinking Coffee, again

That is an advertisement on canned coffee, Wonda. I guess Wonda for Wonda-ful! :P Excuse the lame joke.

Coffee is such an important part of a working adult’s life. I don’t drink coffee as much as some but I do sometimes depend on it to help me kick start the day. This is the survey (in Japanese only unfortunately) made about what Japanese thinks about the role of coffee>> MyVoice. If you want a good breakdown of that survey and you don’t read Japanese, I suggest going here >> What Japan Thinks

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc | No Comments »


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Interested in some Fantasy Dining?

Apparently theme restaurants are getting more and more popular around Tokyo area. These restaurants are offering what I would call an escape from reality during your mealtime. And I am sure many Tokyoites would appreciate that after a hard day’s of work :) There is a theme that suits everybody. One particular theme that was featured in is Alice in Wonderland. The setting of the restaurant looks exactly like table of Wonderland’s inhabitants with the checkered flooring and dark ambiance.

You peeps should really check it out. I can only hope that such things exists here where I live :(

Check out their website:Diamond Dining

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc | No Comments »


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The War Between Burgers

Burger Wars!!!!

It has begun, again. Burger King has reopened in Japan after succumbing to defeat to the McD’s Big Macs in 2001 after a very cutthroat competition. Burger consumption in Japan is a big as 441 billion Yen in the year 2006. This amount is according to McDonald’s stats. Burger King, no doubt, wants a piece of that cake…if not the entire cake!

Frankly, I feel that Burger King’s burgers are heartier than filmsy McDonald’s burger. BK burgers are just better made. You can feel it in your hands when you hold that morsel of food in your hands, you know what I mean? No? You need to go down to Shinjuku or Ikeburuko’s BK joint for a chow down. Yes, Yes, I am an advocate of BK..what can i say?

The new re-entrant in the burger business is counting on their Whoopers to make it in the fast food industry. I don’t understand why the Japanese consumer didn’t like their Whoopers. They are so much better than the Big Macs…:/ Anyway, i hope BK lasts longer in Japan this time. I love their Mushroom Swiss Double Cheese Burger! :) I hope they sell that in Japan.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc | 1 Comment »


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Ra Ku Ra: A Bonsai Cafe

Photo by Tsutomu Fujita

There is a large selection of appetizers, including a plate of five assorted cheeses (¥1,200) to go with, for example, something from the small wine selection. But Sato’s true love is obviously nihonshu and shochu, and most of the menu pairs itself perfectly with items like famous Hakkaisan sake from Niigata (¥1,000), or Kiroku sweet potato shochu from Miyazaki (¥750). – Metropolis

According to the review, the food’s quality was excellent and with the combination of its beautiful atmosphere, the dining experience in Ra Ku Ra was definitely something to look forward to again in the future.

Court Modelia Nakameguro, 2-7-4 Kami-Meguro, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-5879-7021. Open 11am-5pm, 6pm-midnight, closed Sun & hols. Menu in Japanese, reservations not required, smoking unrestricted.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc, Social | No Comments »


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Vegan Eateries Shrooming

Going Vegan

Being vegetarian in Japan can be quite tough. Everything ‘vegetarian’ includes dashi stock which is made from fish flakes. But fret not as now, there are many vegan eateries sprouting around and you can grab your favorite veggie version of Japanese food. Going vegan is a healthy option that many are opting for these days.

Here’s a list of Vegan eateries i found from Metropolis complete with directions. I hope it’ll come in useful to you in the future. Perhaps keep this list at home by printing it out and strapping it to the fridge with a fridge magnet.

Here goes:

Brasserie Chaya
This elegant brasserie sits in marked contrast to its plastic food-displaying neighbors on the seventh floor of Shinjuku’s Isetan. Formally dressed tables and a large stylish bar give the place a sophisticated air. The menu eschews meat, egg, dairy and sugar, but the ethos here is macrobiotic, so seafood appears in around half of the dishes. Still, Chaya offers perhaps the chicest vegan dining in the city, and one of the priciest options, with lunch sets at ¥2,625 and à la carte dinner dishes about the same. The English translations of the dishes aren’t always appetizing—flour gluten and millet hamburger, anyone?—but fortunately the chef does a far better job than the translator.

7F Isetan Main Bldg, 3-14-1 Shinjuku. Tel 03-3357-0014. Open 11am-10pm. Nearest stn: Shinjuku San-chome.

Eat More Greens
Azabu-Juban’s Eat More Greens (above) is the most overtly vegan joint on our list. The menu proudly marks two thirds of the dishes as pure vegan, and there’s not a trace of fish, egg or meat. But the eclectic crowds that have been flocking here since it opened in March probably don’t care. Menu highlights such as the falafel plate or salad of rice and 16 cereal grains are worth crossing town for, and the setting—an attractive collision of industrial shell and pop visuals—is the perfect blend of casual and comfortable.

2-2-5 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku. Tel 03-3798-3191. Open daily 7:30am-11pm. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban.

Little Maman
This curry and soup pit-stop inside Shinagawa station’s Queen’s Isetan supermarket looks just like myriad other fast food counters across the city. But closer inspection reveals a menu that’s both vegan and macrobiotic, eschewing also white sugar and artificial seasonings. This is slow food—served fast. The menu is limited, but great value, with curry or soup sets for ¥600. Little Maman also sells an impressive range of vegan groceries, from tempeh blocks to heat’n’eat soup packs.

3F Queen’s Isetan, Atré Shinagawa, 2-18-1 Minato Minami, Shinagawa-ku. Tel: 03-5462-1551. Open daily 10am-8pm. Nearest stn: Shinagawa.

Pita the Great
The yin to Little Maman’s yang, Tameike Sanno’s long-running pita joint serves fast food slowly. The meals are portable and filling, but it’s all cooked to order, and you’ll damn well wait for it. And wait for it. But all good things come to those who don’t mind a few extra minutes of drooling anticipation, and these meal-sized pita pockets are full to bursting with pure vegan fillings. Falafel is the top pick here, but there’s also crispy fried tofu, hummus and battered broccoli spears, among several other options.

2F ATT New Bldg, 2-11-7 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5563-0851. Open Mon-Fri 11:30am-6pm, closed Sat-Sun and hols. Nearest stn: Tameike-Sanno.

Deva Deva Café
Tokyo Walker magazine recently rated Kichijoji the best place to live in Tokyo for its wealth of funky independent cafés and affordable eateries. Casual vegetarian diner Deva Deva fits right in with a pristine white interior and a tasty menu that specializes in veggie burgers, served in a bun with potato wedges for the Western palate, or as “hamburg steak” in a veggie gravy for the local take. The restaurant guarantees at least one vegan plate at lunch or dinner, clearly labeled on the menu, and offers a range of vegan desserts.

2-14-7 Kichijoji-Honcho, Musashino-shi. Tel: 0422-21-6220. Open Fri-Wed 11am-8pm, closed Thu. Nearest stn: Kichijoji.

Shojin Bento
Shojin ryori typically means budget-busting kaiseki-style fare in fancy settings. Dinner courses can cost up to ¥18,000 a sitting in the formal restaurants. But Daikanyama lunchers can enjoy Zen vegan cuisine in the more accessible, and affordable, bento of Buddhist monk Tenkai Miki. Each lunchtime, Miki offers bamboo boxes of delicately flavored Japanese veggies and rice for just ¥1,200. The kaiseki rituals might be missing, but the beautiful packaging more than compensates.

Daikanyama station exit. Available Mon-Fri from noon.

Brown Rice Cafe
Stuffed tofu pockets, vegan curries and miso soups at this charming cafe just off Omotesando.

5-1-17 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5778-5416. Open daily noon-9pm. Nearest stn: Omotesando.

Cafe 8
One-time favorite of the Aoyama crowd, now relocated to an Ikejiri backstreet.

3-17-7 Aobadai, Meguro-ku. Tel: 03-3585-6333. Open daily 11am-10pm. Nearest stn: Ikejiri Ohashi.

It’s Vegetable
Grammatically dubious name (the restaurant is also known as Ling Ling Saikan), but interesting menu of mock meats, with 90 percent of dishes vegan.

4-1-9 Kinshi, Sumida-ku. Tel: 03-3625-1245. Tue-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm (LO 2pm), 5-10pm (LO 9:30pm), closed Mon. Nearest stn: Kinshicho.

J’s Kitchen
Delicious macrobiotic vegan fare in a two-story Hiroo restaurant.

5-15-22 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5475-2727. Open Mon-Sat 11am-10:30pm, Sun & hols 11am-4:30pm. Nearest stn: Hiroo.

Pure Cafe
Nutritious vegan soups, sandwiches and salads in small portions.

5-5-21 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5466-2611. Open daily 8:30am-10:30pm. Nearest stn: Omotesando.

Posted by The Expedited Writer in Food, Misc | No Comments »


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FBC – Foreign Buyer’s Club

FBCWow…this is so useful to new expatriates who can’t speak Japanese to save their lives. Foreign Buyer’s Club is a home delivery service that delivers food and all other knick knacks you need at home in Japan. Just join their club and be a member then start browsing through their catalogue and order online. It’s easy. Only set back is you don’t know if they’ll be picking your veggies the way you want it. I’m quite fussy about that. Since i knew how to differentiate sweet oranges to the sour ones, I want my oranges sweet only. It would suck big time if the oranges were sour.

Anyway, check out their website online: FBC it’s like a supermarket at the tip of your fingers.

Source: GaijinPot

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