Happy New Year everyone. I wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2019.
2018 was a very busy year for me, especially between October and December, I apologize for not updating my blog more often but life happens. In 2019, I hope to dedicate more time to this blog and share more of my experiences with you all.
To start off 2019, I wish to share my most memorable eats from my trip to Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong in October 2018. To start off, I went to Manila to visit family and attend a wedding where my Dad was one of the "Ninong" or godfather. It was one of the most extravagant weddings I have ever attended in my life and will most likely never again experience. If you have watched the movie "Crazy Rich Asians", this wedding was just like it. Scroll through some Instagram pictures of the wedding (#JarvisandKimi) and read this article or this article, you will understand what I mean! Congratulations Jarvis and Kimi! There were over 1,100 guests in attendance at the reception and one would think that the food quality would suffer. But NO the Manila Marriott hotel did a great job serving consistent and yummy food! It's just too bad that a lot of the older FilChi parents in attendance didn't appreciate the western cuisine as much. But their loss!
Very quickly, the courses were: seared scallop, cauliflower soup with crispy mushroom rangoon, Asian seabass fillet with kumara sweet potatoes, coconut lychee sorbet (to cleanse the pallet), and grilled Australian ribeye with tiger prawns and veggies.
After my short trip to Manila, I headed to Kyoto, Hiroshima and Osaka for 8 days with a very good friend of mine. While there, we ate as much local Japanese food as I could get my hands on! It was a very good thing that we walked a lot or I would have gained at least 20 pounds!
It might have been the excitement of the start of vacation but I enjoyed the food in Kyoto the most out of the 3 places. Don't get me wrong, everywhere we ate at was very good, I didn't have one bad meal in Japan but in Kyoto, everything felt like it was made with more care. I don't really know how else to explain it.
Two of the best meals we had while in Kyoto involved ramen! The first ramen shop we came across was by happenstance. We arrived Kyoto pretty late at night, around 9:30pm and after all that travelling, we were famished. Walking from the subway station to the hotel, we passed a ramen shop that was open until 11:30pm so after checking in and dropping our bags off, we headed straight for it. I don't exactly know what the restaurant is called but their website is found here and is located near the cross streets of Shijo Dori and Muromachi Dori. Doing a google maps search, there is a tag for the restaurant but it's simply called "ramen shop".
The second ramen shop we frequented is called Wajoryomen Sugari (website in Japanese) or on TripAdvisor. The restaurant is only open for dinner and seats about 8-10 people only. The first night we came, we got there at around 7pm and the line up to get a seat was about 45 minutes long. The second night we came, we thought we'd be smart and come 20 minutes before they opened. When we got there, there was already about a dozen people waiting! My favourite here is the tsukemen.
And the last place I wish to highlight from Kyoto is an okonomiyaki restaurant called Botejyu Kyoto. Even though it is a larger restaurant, it is a family run place with excellent food. The type of okonomiyaki they serve is is the Osaka style where everything is mixed into a batter and then cooked as opposed to the Hiroshima style which is layered. We ordered a yakisoba wrapped in omelette and a pork okonomiyaki. Both dishes were prepared in front of us and were very very yummy.
If you are in the Kyoto area, I would highly recommend these 3 restaurants. I know there are a lot of restaurants in Kyoto, especially in the Pontocho area. What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below and the next time I go to Kyoto, I will try and check them out. In my next blog, I will highlight the restaurants I visited in Hiroshima and Osaka. Until then, Mahalo nui loa.
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