Thursday, July 05, 2007

Traditional Japanese food

On my first night in Nagano City in Japan, our host also invited us for dinner...
It was truly an enriching and priceless experience for I get to try out the authentic Japanese dining environment and also all the unique and traditional food....
We were brought to this place atop the hill which overlooks the entire Nagano city and since it was at night, you can imagine the beautiful and awesome view with lights
This place is with straw mats (tatami)....and we were greeted by a few Japanese ladies dressed in the traditional kimonos...
We had to take off our shoes at the entrance and walk upstairs to our reserved dining room.
We were seated in a very unique manner; guests on one side facing our hosts on the other:)
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Look at the pics and you will know how enticing they are:)
The first dish which was already there when we sat down.
I take it this was the appetizer....
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Great presentation...
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It was actually a baby papaya (something like the Hawaiian papaya) covered with a thin laminated plastic to protect it before consumption.
The violet thing there were jelly forming the shape of a famous Japanese flower(can't remember the name of the flower they mentioned)
Very nice....
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It actually has baby octopus and fresh scallops in them...I enjoyed scraping off the papaya with the jelly:) Yumz!!Definitely got my vote for the best of the night:D

Next, there's the cold soup with jelly bean like substance
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It's like soy soup...made of soy beans and those jelly beans tasted like jujubes...made of cornstarch flour

Drinks...The tall glass holds the plum wine (Soo Fung loves this; it has a natural fragrance and taste which is nice for her..
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I didn't try it; but only took a small sip (I don't like alcohol) and I was surprised it had such a sweet taste:) Not strong or overly tasty...
I had green tea (Ocha) instead....that's the little teapot with my cup...
True to bro's word, the green tea here is different, very fresh and just so clear:D

How can a Japanese meal be complete without some sashimi and wasabi?
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These are raw stuffs; mainly seafood:)There's chunks of red tuna meat, prawns and another mackerel fish raw meat... served with wasabi and soy sauce
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THIS is my FIRST attempt at sashimi and I was skeptical at first; but it was still okay; but I don't think I like it that much...only the tuna fish was okay; the prawns gave me the jitters....and I didn't try the mackerel; which was lucky as my colleagues mentioned it was not nice:pHosted by

Next, this is Sugar Fish and yes, it's standing:D
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Talk about designer food...this is truly awesome presentation:D
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They call it Sugar Fish but this fish was served with salt on top of its tail and also on some of its fins:p
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Deep tasted like a mackerel fish to me:D
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This green thingy is the sauce to go with it; it's basically vinegar:)
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Next...let me see, I lost count...think this is the 5th dish....
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Cold bean curd in soy sauce served with some cold noodles (soba) by the side and also wasabi on top:)
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Saw those little cubes at the side?
Guess what?
Those were abalone cubes!!! It tasted so nice:D
There's some minced fish within the beancurd as well...
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Really nice dish:D (I am loving Japanese food:)

I was stuffed by now despite tiny bites of every dish...
This is the 6th...
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Very nice bowl....
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**They don't clear off your dishes unless it's empty....bummer:p**
I hold the record of the most dishes uncleared until I requested the lady to clear it for me:p
Everyone laughed that I was more interested in the bowl as I haven't taken off the lid to reveal the contents...haha:p
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And this is it!!
Boiled/steamed eggs? Half-boiled? Hmmmmm.....There was some wasabi on it...
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It's only the surface layer which was the half-boiled eggs....the bottom was yam cake...I didn't take much....dislike both stuffs:p

7th dish(Bother...not dessert yet?)
This is tempura...another Japanese Signature dish:D
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I thought it was deep fried vegetables...covered with almond flakes...since everyone praised it...i tasted it..despite my dislike for almond and also deep fried stuffs:p
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Am glad I did, it tasted quite nice (including the fried asparagus on top:D )
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There's actually fish in it!! Real fish sweet and fresh:D
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8th dish....Dessert?
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(Notice the trend of the hot cold hot cold combination among all the dishes so far?)

9th dish...(I am really full...)
This is way much more than a typical Chinese course-set dinner....
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The famous Japanese Soba (Cold noodles)
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They serve this in bamboo...

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And these were the sauces...
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Wasabi on top with onions and soy sauce at the bottom... (2-layered tiers)
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You dip the wasabi and onions into the soy sauce with the soba and eat it from that little cup containing the soy sauce....

Sake....the famous Japanese rice wine....very high alcohol content...served in bamboo cups..
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I didn't try it...not for me...

Look at the black teapot?
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It contains the water used to rinse the noodles....
They will pour it into their soy sauce after they are done with the noodles and then drink the combination!!!
Oooo....I didn't try it...but my colleagues said it tasted unique....haha:D

Soba clay cups...
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This was actually made of the same material used to make soba/noodles...that's why they call it the Soba tea...
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Very unique and fragrant...combination of the clay and the mung bean smell...
Now I know why soba are green in color, I think they were made of mung bean...the tea tasted and smelt like mung bean...anyone care to confirm?

Finally, the 10th course set!!!
Really dessert....but i am full....
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Actually bean curd in sweet sauce served with some jelly beans and peaches....
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Nice...but I was stuffed.....
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Very delicate beancurd custard....just like the ones in Ipoh!:D
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A very nice welcoming dinner, ain't it?
One of them actually told me that Japanese love to eat vegetables, beans and fish or seafood.....
Man, just my style...I wanna live in Japan:D

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:45 PM


    Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at have a mirror or another source?