5/21/2011

Series Shimokitazawa VI - II Cafe Akari --- Shimokitazawa's Macrobiotic Place

The Menu of the Day
 " What is macrobiotic food ? "
I asked her... she was choosing her words carefully....  " It's not just food.... I think ... for me.... it's lifestyle.  "

She continues.

Cozy, relaxing ambiance is not just because of the decor .... some kind of chi... that she is creating...

Series Shimokitazawa VI - I Cafe Akari --- Shimokitazawa's Macrobiotic Place

Plate of May 20/2011
Clear Soup of Daikon Radish Leaves
Now I am ready to upload the story of Cafe Akari..... Let me show you this plate today. By the way, Akari means light, but this was named also after the owner's ( Yoko-san )dog.... meaning peaceful... fragrant and rational mind... ( in Chinese Characters we use, 安香理)。

Cafe Akari serves this one plate dish.
( At nights, they have some more as nibbles.  Please ask when you visit....it may vary depending on the day. I will give you directions and contact details.  The owner chef, Yoko-san speaks fluent English. )

The menu is usually announced on Twitter account... What I do usually is to check the menu beforehand.

I wanted to try their roasted dry gluten ( FU in Japanese ).

The top plate has....brown rice. ( clockwise ) then the pretty pink adding color to the plate is pickled myoga. ( This was really summery taste... refreshing plum flavor.... I love it ! )
Then, salad of bean sprouts and cucumber...this has Japanese plum powder.
Yoko-san is creative and flexible... in the morning, she says " I was going to make salad.. then realized the weather was pretty hot....something cooler, non-oily thing should be better ! ".   This had no-dressing.  Salt and plum powder only.  Summery taste.   She is like.... listening to the season.

Then the yellow cubes are sweet potato.  Shredded cabbage.

Roasted burdock and dry gluten.  They are breaded so,  taste like cutlet.  The burdock... taste bit like asparagus... I mean the texture wise..... Yoko-san steamed the burdock before frying.  

We had rainy week last week and then this week was really Summery.. this plate fit that weather and condition of my body. ( and mind. )

5/20/2011

Coco Ichibanya --- Curry Shop

Yellow Sign/Coco Ichibanya
http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/index.html?ic_t_he

The above is English website of CoCo Ichibanya.

They have extensive curry and topping.

My town has one.  It seems their shops are located all over Japan.  They have shops in overseas.

Japanese curry is different from Indian curry, Thai curry.... hard to explain...if you have never tried.... please do !  Oh, also, if you don't have restaurants around you.... you can buy the curry and make it home.  Should I show you that ?

I will try.   Below shows CoCo Ichi ( shorten nick name ) overseas branches....

http://www.ichibanya.co.jp/shop/search/pdf/overseas_store.pdf

If you have a chance, please try !

5/19/2011

I love COCO ICHI / Chicken Cutlet Curry Rice

Coco Ichibanya / Chicken Cutlet Curry Rice 
It was gooooooood !

I love their curry & rice.

This is TEJIKOMI ( handmade ) CHICKEN CUTLET / Curry Rice....

The chicken is coated with bread crumbs there.... not in the factory.... crispy.... yummmmmm....

5/18/2011

Spring Vegetable.... Kogomi

Kogomi

One of Typical Spring Flavor....

These are called Kogomi.
I always enjoy seasonal food.... because they have the maximum nutrition that your body needs.... so, one is for health reason... another is... to fully enjoy the season....


Let me quote a paragraph from Japan Times ( "The Unmistakable Taste of a New Season ")

While some sansai are cultivated these days, connoisseurs prefer the stronger bitterness of sansai gathered in the wild. Sansai went out of vogue for a while, but with the recent interest in health and "natural living" they've made a big comeback. Their bitter, even tannic quality is believed to have a salutary effect on the body, especially after a winter of stodgy food. According to folklore, bears waking up after their winter hibernation nibble on sansai to get their digestive systems going. Most sansai are also rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. " 


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matteuccia_struthiopteris

AFC Champions League---Sports

National Stadium
 That was May 3.  Kashima Antlers ( Japanese J League Team ) vs. Shanghai  Shenhua ( Chinese Team).

Unfortunately, ( I am assuming due to earthquake and nuke plant accident ) Chinese team didn't have much supporters... ( Look at the seats on their side.... almost empty ).

The Antlers' side was filled with red color supporters.
They kept shouting, cheering and moving through whole game.... ( it must be tiring.)

My friend and I were sitting, sipping beer :-)
Started Raining...

5/17/2011

AFC Champions League---Sports

Kashima Antlers Side 
During this past golden week, I was lucky to get the ticket... thanks to this friend.

Went to see AFC Champions League @ national stadium.

I just came back now and have to get some sleep.... will write more tomorrow.

Thanks for reading ! 

5/16/2011

Mr. Bean in Shibuya --- Soy Milk Stand

Soy Milk Stand/ Mr Bean 
After eating soba noodle, I tried this place for the first time.

Located across from SHIBUSOBA ( meaning Shibuya Soba ) , the place I had dinner.

I tried warm soy milk.  Healthy taste.

Originally from Singapore ?

http://www.mrbean.com.sg/

Bamboo Shoot & Ashitaba Soba noodle @ Shibuya Station

Bamboo Shoot & Ashitaba Soba
Bamboo Shoot is one of this season's foods, Ashitaba is well known in Japan for its nutrient effect.

On the way home, I was hungry and stopped by @ Shibusoba located on the 2nd floor of Shibuya station.

When I change train from JR or Toyoko line to Keio Inokashira line, I always pass this restaurant.

500 yen for this noodle, not bad, for I almost never make tempura at home.... it would make my kitchen too greasy....taking care of used oil is also troublesome.... ( at least during weekdays, I don't have time to do that.)  

Ashitaba Tempura is crispy.  I love it !  For details of Ashitaba, please let me use this.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashitaba

Soba Noodle shop @ stations used to be for men..... nowadays, you can see many women eating there.  This place is " restaurant", but others on platforms are " soba noodle stand ".  There mostly men.... Still if I am hungry, I don't hesitate to step in and eat.  How can I explain ?  It feels I eat because I need to eat to get power and I don't care if it's for men or women.  I just need to eat there... simply !

However, you have to remember.... these girls ( I know I am not girl any more... I am more like BIG girl or middle aged. ) are called " Oyaji Gal" ( now it's just oyaji... middle aged man or big daddy, old man ) meaning Middle Aged Man Girl.  This word was created by Yutsuko Chusonji , a manga artist who passed away in 2005.  Her Manga described these girls whose lifestyle is just like middle aged men..... that's almost 20 years ago.... it's not trendy word any more.

This was tonight's dinner.  

5/15/2011

Jeffrey Archer " And Thereby Hangs a Tale "

For a change, I started reading Jeffrey Archer's short stories.  There are several books I am reading right now and sometimes I need to read other books for a change.

This short stories " And Thereby Hangs a Tale " has nice stories with full of attic salt.

This style reminds me of short stories of Irwin Shaw.   I like Irwin Shaw's short stories for the same reason.  There are wits and a slice of life.

I'm happy that I chose this book, for it fit my mood today.  I guess I've been experiencing unusual events lately and needed something which describes and reminds me a slice of life with artistic approach.

---After reading several stories, I now feel some stories have more twisted feelings of human beings....desires...and Jeffrey Archer's philosophy about women is.... little twisted or maybe he likes cold, sharp women or he thinks women have sneaky attempts.... is it his experience ?  Probably, when people have money and fame, there should be women who are attracted to those assets.  ha.  It's all my imagination, so you never know.  ---

" Angkor Wat " in Yoyogi --- Joshikai

Bean Vermicelli & Crab Meat
Joshikai--- meaning girls gathering.... the image is like Sex & City ( SATC ).

It's been used for this 2 years ... I guess. Joshi means girl(s) and kai means party, club or meeting.

We talk about anything.... depending on the group.  At some group,  relationships, work, business.... some another.... politics, trends, celebrities gossip.... anything could be discussed.
Last night, we talked about celebrities, how they actually look ( two girls are in fashion, model agency business ) etc.... fashion and beauty.

Ah, I have to admit that I gained some weight since March.  Blame nuke plant accident !  I tried to be careful to avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation and didn't run or walk outside.  I could have worked out at home, but I've been too lazy.

I will try to be back in shape.

Anyways, the dinner was great.  There was a rumor that they might close this place, but it turned out it was not true.  I 'm so glad.  Reasonable and tasty Cambodian place should be kept !  For three of us, the total price was little over 10,000 yen.

The flavor is similar to Chinese or Japanese.... different from Vietnamese.
Most of the dishes are mild.  The curry was bit spicy, but not too much.  The hottest, spicy dish was beef and vermicelli salad.  It is very hot, so be careful.

From JR Yoyogi station, come out from South exit.... walk toward Yoyogi Seminar direction.  Stay on the right side of the road.  You will see the placard.

When we realized, the place was packed.  So, reservation should be made in advance.    Here is another introduction by METROPOLIS.

http://archive.metropolis.co.jp/tokyorestaurantsarchive349/331/contents.html

For Series Shimokitazawa / Cafe AKARI, please wait till my report is confirmed by the owner chef.  Actually, I am trying to wrap up the memo.