Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Vacation Food

We ate very well while we were gone. Most of the time in Japan there is a "setto" which includes the main item and rice and some other small items, like miso soup and tiny pickles and a couple of cubes of pineapple and it all comes at once on a tray.

We both agree that our favorite eating place was the Japanese restaurant between the Gibo monorail station and Shuri-jo Castle in Naha, Okinawa. It was a traditional leave your shoes at the door and sit on the floor place.  We liked it so much that we ate there twice.  The first day was rainy and a little cool.  We ate outside both times and on the cool day there was a heated carpet to sit on.  Our table faced out into a beautiful garden.  Ted had pork rib soup and I had red snapper the first time.  The second time Ted had ginger pork and I had eggplant stir fry. (We were happy to have the English picture menu).

We ate at a Japanese noodle restaurant called Shigemori, near Kiyomuzu Temple in Kyoto.  They had an English menu and brought us bibs.  We didn’t see anyone else with bibs, so maybe they are only for foreigners? I had soba and Ted had udon.

If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know that Ted is a second degree black belt in Aikido, a Japanese martial art.  Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa.  We found the Dojo Bar in Naha, owned by a Karate expert from the UK, and ate there twice, too. The first time we had pizza and it was real (not Japanese) pizza.  The second time I had English fish and chips (without the mushy peas) and Ted had pork barbeque.

We ate curry at an Indian restaurant in Okinawa one night.  It was good, but not as good as Bombay Blue in Hokkaido.

We ate Chinese one day for lunch in Kyoto.

When we were in Nago, we ate at the A&W – root beer and onion rings.

We ate at a Hawaiian restaurant one night. Ted had Taco Rice, which is popular in Okinawa and I had a seafood salad.  I wasn’t expecting the seafood to be raw, but it was very good.

Okinawa has some foods that are unique to that area.  Pork is a big deal there and every part of the pig is eaten – you can get face skin and ears and feet. They have special ways of cooking pork and try to add it to everything. I don’t understand it.  They have some purple sweet potatoes that are very popular and made into ice cream and other desserts. We had the mango ice cream cones a couple of times, but didn't try the sweet potato flavor. There is a vegetable called goya and some crunchy sea weed. Normally soba noodles are made of buckwheat, but not in Okinawa.

Another nice thing about vacation food is that someone else does the dishes.
Do you know what a Shisa is?  Come back tomorrow and I’ll show you.

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