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  • jubei33
    replied
    Yeah, that salmon looks suspect. Better take him back and interrogate him. Japanese people love Hawaii (like to travel), so a lot of those unusual out of the way places get televised over here. Yeah, so I know about Zippy's. Never been there, but for some reason I know about it....

    Last month it was how to stay in Hawaii on the cheap. It was hilarious, because one of the places was essentially "be a live in maid for the cat lady." Another was a guy who was a TA over at Hawaii University who lends out rooms in his mega beach house for free if you do some housework in the morning. Some of the other places were actually surprising: 5min walk to waikiki for 3-400$ (forgot), etc.


    Do they sell Fukuro over there?

    Leave a comment:


  • ChenPengFi
    replied
    A few years back i was with a group of Japanese grad students, and they wanted to go get sushi.
    My first thought is "Oh fuck, they're gonna want a suggestion..."

    That's kind of a no-win even though we have some decent stuff here; grad students are usually poor and budget sushi is usually crap.
    To my surprise they are adamant about where they want to go already.
    They reveal that not only was the restaurant far and in an area not know for dining, but that they want to go to the Hawai'i fast-food icon, Zippy's, WTF??

    We would have to pass up all of Waikiki and Honolulu's Japanese food places, probably a couple hundred establishments, and drive out to a fast food place, to eat sushi.
    Again, WTF?

    As i start my ill-conceived protest i am reminded i am lecturing a group of Japanese nationals about where to eat sushi...
    ... i shut up at that point.

    So off we drive to Zippy's, which while it has it's merits, i firmly believe is popular simply due to ubiquity and the 24hr availability.

    As we pull up here i realize why we needed to drive so far just to go to Zippy's (to get sushi? wtf?):



    It appears they have some sort of sub-lease agreement with an actual sushi bar!
    So things were looking up, though i was far from convinced at that point.


    (Susumu-san working diligently)

    So why did we drive all that way?
    The answer is simple; quality and value.
    The portions were huge, cheap and of excellent quality.
    For a sashimi nut like myself it was heaven!
    The nigiri had a small ball of rice and the fish drooped on the plate on either side.


    This was true even for the expensive cuts i might add, hamachi etc.
    Ok, pics now:


    Chirashi w/Kazunoko!


    Small sashimi sampler

    Many more photos can be found here.


    It was all so good i didn't even taste the crow!

    Leave a comment:


  • ChenPengFi
    replied
    Originally posted by jubei33 View Post

    My wife loved some of those places. It kind of doesn't surprise me that McDs has it on the menu. I'm kind of hesitant to ask, but are they any good?
    Most of them kind of, well sucked.
    Some of the nicer ones like Shiro's are fun comfort food.
    I prefer pho or udon etc for the most part, despite the nostalgia.


    Here they have shit load of different kinds of ramen. We go to this chain called "Tenkai Ippin". They have all the free hard boiled eggs you can eat with the purchase of a bowl of ramen. I like the miso ramen, but the shoyu flavor is pretty good too.
    The eggs sound dangerous.

    I usually order miso-ramen combos of some sort at the Japanese fast-foodish places.
    You can often get 'saimin' prepared that way too. Many people use the terms interchangeably in fact.

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Hiroshima Kaki

    Hiroshima Kaki (Oysters)

    With the 3/11 earthquake/tsunami more emphasis has been placed upon Hiroshima as a major producer of oysters. Since a large section of the northern production regions was destroyed or contaminated with deadly bacteria like vibrio vulnificus/cholera dredged up from the sea by the tsunami, their production has been knocked out of business for the next few years. Other regions have been working overtime to pick up the slack for the rest of Japan's oyster connoisseurs.

    A real treat, Hiroshima oysters are prized as one of the main production staples of the prefecture. Many famous oyster bars line the bay and rivers of this fair city, opening when the season starts in late December and ends maybe in late February depending on the weather. Some are open year round, like the somewhat touristy "KakifuneKanawa", which is located in the river across from Peace Memorial Park. These are eaten raw, battered and deep fired, cooked in pasta or other local cuisine just to name a few favorites in the surprisingly long list of local cuisine.

    The local area is also home to various oyster festivals, springing from the local harvests. Aside from Hiroshima proper, the island of Miyajima is a major tourist attraction and is home to one of the largest festivals. People crowd into tents and grill their fresh oysters (and other seafood)on charcoal burners. The shells are made of calcium carbonate, so like limestone in a fire, large pops are often heard as the shells liberate CO2. This is part of the excitement, as you can never tell when one's going to go.

    If you do visit Miyajima, I recommend visiting the aptly named "Kaki-ya". It is an oyster bar of the more modern persuasion, serving oysters along with a generous wine list. One of their specialties is oysters in herb spiced olive oil, which they sell by the bottle. This is a more western style restaurant, obviously designed to capture part of the influx of sightseeing tourists from the main street of the town. You can even people-watch the tourists as they peruse the main drag from the second story.

    Aside from oysters, this festival is also home to many local events like kagura, which are old fairy tales put into play with live actors, fireworks and traditional music. This and the old palace and historical sights make this a worthwhile destination for most tourists. Also on the subject of Miyajima "stuff", I highly recommend Coffee Souko for a good cup of joe, which is located behind the Itsukushima shrine. The coffee--espresso is very good, primarily because they are picky about their beans and like to stick one up at the Starbucks franchise across the bay (good for them). On that note, take back some Momiji manju for a gift for friends.

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Originally posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    had fugu last night and it was fantastic. as an added bonus, i didn't die!
    Yeah? See its a tricky beast, kind of worth mentioning!

    Originally posted by ChenPengFi
    Well since it's currently thunderstorming i'll talk soup and noodles.
    Talk away. Spill your soul upon this altar we have built.

    My wife loved some of those places. It kind of doesn't surprise me that McDs has it on the menu. I'm kind of hesitant to ask, but are they any good?

    Here they have shit load of different kinds of ramen. We go to this chain called "Tenkai Ippin". They have all the free hard boiled eggs you can eat with the purchase of a bowl of ramen. I like the miso ramen, but the shoyu flavor is pretty good too.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChenPengFi
    replied
    Originally posted by BoonDog View Post
    I remember place out near Pearl City that served 50 varieties of saimin. Cannot remember the name of the place. Seeing all this food again makes me miss my time in Hawaii. I'm sure most the places I remember are long gone. Lived there from 1993 to 1998. I was last there visiting in 2004 and most food places I went to were gone.
    Shiro's Saimin Haven is still going strong actually.
    http://shirossaimin.com/restaurant-menu/saimin/

    58. Dodonpa, The Ultimate King of Saimins, Bombarded with 10 Garnishes:

    Shrimp Tempura, Roast Beef, Char Siu, Wun Tun, Chinese Roast Pork, Luncheon Meat, Imitation Crab, Mushrooms, Eggroll and Vegetables.

    Created and Owned Exclusively by Shiro and served no where else in the Whole Wide World!

    Leave a comment:


  • BoonDog
    replied
    Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
    Well since it's currently thunderstorming i'll talk soup and noodles.

    Asian styled noodle stands, collectively called "'saimin' stands" here, were a staple from the late plantation days through the 80's.
    I remember place out near Pearl City that served 50 varieties of saimin. Cannot remember the name of the place. Seeing all this food again makes me miss my time in Hawaii. I'm sure most the places I remember are long gone. Lived there from 1993 to 1998. I was last there visiting in 2004 and most food places I went to were gone.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChenPengFi
    replied
    Well since it's currently thunderstorming i'll talk soup and noodles.

    Asian styled noodle stands, collectively called "'saimin' stands" here, were a staple from the late plantation days through the 80's.
    Dozens of working-class folks would line up for bowls of salty broth and skinny noodles.

    The stands have largely disappeared now, tastes change.
    It's still pretty common item on menus though.
    Even McDonalds serves it here.
    The noodles most closely resemble Chinese mein, but the broth and garnishes tend to be of Japanese origin although whatever is on hand is fair game.
    Kamaboko fishcake and Spam are standbys.


    Which brings me to my real subject; Jimbo Udon.
    This unpretentious place is one of my favorites.

    Everything is made in-house and fresh.
    The pillowy noodles are bathed in the lightest, yet most flavorful broth.


    The tenpura is also light and not greasy.

    (Holy shit it's a fucking hail storm outside right now! I shit you not!!! Big ones!)



    I'll often order Ten-don there:
    Last edited by ChenPengFi; 3/09/2012 10:08am, .

    Leave a comment:


  • Ming Loyalist
    replied
    had fugu last night and it was fantastic. as an added bonus, i didn't die!

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Chawanmushi

    Since were talking greater Japanese cuisine, as opposed to just sushi, I want to add in one of my all time favorites. My mother in law's is actually my favorite so far, in contrast to the many restaurants that sell it. Don't feel let down, though, a lot of places do a reasonable approximation of it to satisfy. (She's looking at me now, shit!! How does she know!!)

    Chawanmushi is like a hot egg custard lightly seasoned with soy sauce, dashi and mirin and has special items hidden throughout the mix. The signature ingredient is a bitter gingko nut, which is one of my favorites. The hidden ingredients are different per recipe, but usually are comprised of the usual suspects: shitake, maitake, kamaboko, oysters, shrimp, lotus root, eel, etc. These are pretty much up to the chef, so it becomes like a treasure hunt to see what they wanted to put in.

    This is steamed in a teacup-like dish and served either hot or cold as an appetizer. It usually is served in the winter hot with fish of some sort. Often this is served on special occasions, like New years or Christmas, which the 'treasure hunt' adds to the spirit of the season.

    I don't have a picture of ours handy at the moment, I'll have use one from the web so you get the picture:

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Originally posted by Ming Loyalist View Post
    i'm pretty sure it's a status thing. lots of the places that do that are private clubs as well, or at the very least have strict no-gaijin policies, so i have only been inside one place that had customer's bottles on the wall.
    Yeah, forgot about that. Friends tell me they pay a surcharge for it, but in some places these guys like the place, but not so much the selection, so this service supposedly came about. Or, so I'm told. I'm not surprised, though, with the whiskey selection at some of the places sometimes. Sometimes a bottle is on the wall just for name recognition, rather than being good. You know, like the 50 year old bottle of chivas that just sits there, no one touches it--mostly b/c people know that chivas is chivas no matter what bottle its in and don't care to pay 40$ a shot....

    Originally posted by Chenpengfi
    Are you into single malts then?
    Yeah, for the most part. Though, some blends are nice. I have on my shelf a Yamazaki cask strength bought at the distillery, that is just waiting for (screaming for) a special occasion. Auchentoshan three wood is also an interesting one they sell in the states.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChenPengFi
    replied
    Originally posted by jubei33 View Post
    Yeah, I hear you on that note. I said the same thing too, before I tried it. But like I said its kind of 50/50 depending on maker. I'll try and find some brands after work and put some of them in, see if they have websites, etc.
    Nice, well in that case... :)

    I'm more of a whiskey drinker, but my family likes souchu, so I get the best of both worlds. My brother in law is a network consultant for the govt. here and goes all over the place. He brings back a lot of souchu from kyuushu and we still have some of it lying around. I'll have to raid the cabinet later on, see if we've still got something interesting. I think we have Fukuro still, which I recommend.
    Are you into single malts then?
    I'm off to the store now, i'll look for the Fukuro when i get my fish.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ming Loyalist
    replied
    Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
    So what's the deal with having your own bottle at the restaurant?
    i'm pretty sure it's a status thing. lots of the places that do that are private clubs as well, or at the very least have strict no-gaijin policies, so i have only been inside one place that had customer's bottles on the wall.

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
    Misoyaki black cod, Gyotaku.


    Salmon is really good that way too.

    Speaking of which, i have some miso from Nagoya a client brought back for me.
    Perhaps it's a good night to cook at home!
    Yeah, miso's good with everything. that kind of cooking is famous in Hokkaido, I believe.

    Leave a comment:


  • jubei33
    replied
    Sounds like i might avoid it based on that description, hahaha...
    Yeah, I hear you on that note. I said the same thing too, before I tried it. But like I said its kind of 50/50 depending on maker. I'll try and find some brands after work and put some of them in, see if they have websites, etc.

    I'm more of a whiskey drinker, but my family likes souchu, so I get the best of both worlds. My brother in law is a network consultant for the govt. here and goes all over the place. He brings back a lot of souchu from kyuushu and we still have some of it lying around. I'll have to raid the cabinet later on, see if we've still got something interesting. I think we have Fukuro still, which I recommend.

    Leave a comment:

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