11/25/2008

China Town -- All You Can Eat @ Houtenkaku


I hadn't been to China Town in Yokohama for ages.
It is also fun to visit this town and whole Yokohama area, but my image is somehow " It takes full day."

Not anymore.  There is Minato Mirai line ( sort of extension of Tokyu Toyoko Line ) to Motomachi- China Town ( the end & start of the line). 

Only 30 min. to Yokohama Station from Shibuya Terminal and after Yokohama, it is several stops.  
If you are traveling from Shibuya, taking Express would be recommended. 

Also, there is Minato Mirai tickets, which you can get on and off on Minato Mirai line unlimited within the same day. 

Usually, one way from Shibuya is 440 yen to Minato-Mirai stations.   However, if you buy Minato Mirai ticket, Shibuya- China Town ( or any other stations on Minato -Mirai line ) is 840 for round trip and it includes all day long unlimited get-on & offs.

After enjoying Yokohama day trip, the closure was excellent restaurant called " Hou Ten Kaku".
There all you can eat for over 100 menu is 2480 yen for one person.   You need to order dishes from the menu ( up to 6 dishes at one time).   We tried about 18 dishes ( 3 rounds ! ) . 
It is still 2480 yen including the dishes of the photos.  

What we were impressed was, usually this kind of dishes are not so tasty. ( Because it is cheap. ) 
However, Hou Ten Kaku was exceptionally good !  All we ate was so good and we kept talking about coming back to the place again.  The below is the details of the restaurant.  If you have half day on some weekend, Yokohama is so close now, so try to visit China Town and go early dinner to HouTen Kaku ( After 7 p.m., there is long line... ) 

Of course, other restaurants are also nice, but we were very happy with the price and food this time !

Hou Ten Kaku
Address: Hinagata Bldg. 1& 2F,  147 Yamashita-Cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City 2310023

TEL:045-633-3598
Open 7 days a Week 11:00 - 22:00
( Maybe Brunch is also good idea here )


11/24/2008

Daigakuimo --- College Potato ? Glazed Sweet Potato


This is called " Daigaku Imo " in Japan, the direct translation is College Potato.  This is sweet potato , candied with sweet sugar sauce.  

There are various stories about the origin of this name.  One is " because this was favourite of poor college students " .  Another is " there used to be a cart selling this sweet potato in front of Tokyo University . " etc. etc....

Anyways, this is still popular sweet in Japan and I wanted to make it at home.  However, I didn't want to cook DEEP FRIED food at my kitchen since my kitchen will be messed with oils.... 

Then I found convenient all in one recipe at Hanamaru

Ingredients:
Handful Sweet Potato ( as you like .....   I used 200 to 300 grams of potato )
3 big spoons of Brown Sugar 
1 tea spoon of vinegar . 
1 tea spoon of soy sauce
1 tea spoon of water 
3 big spoons of Grape Seed Oil ( I use this as vegetable oil. ) 
Black sesame seeds ( Toasted )

1.  Cut potato into big bite size.  ( You can see it in the photo ).
2.  Wash them and paper towel dry. 
3.  Put sugar, vinegar, soy sauce , water and oil into the pan.  (  I used frying pan. ) 
4.  Stir well and add cut potato into the pan.  Spread in a single layer.
5.  Cook 2 min. the first surface for 2 min. and then next surface for another 2 min..... repeat this and cook all the angles of the cut potato.  Total is 6 to 10 min.  
6.  While cooking, the sauce gets thicker and browner.  This sticky candy will  be tasty sauce !
7.  Glaze potato in the sweet sugar sauce !   Sprinkle toasted black sesame seeds over the top. 

Enjoy !  
Will write about Yokohama 's China Town tomorrow.  Look forward to it !  I have one place to recommend.