Although the street food culture is not as popular in Japan compared to other Asian countries like ours, Thailand or Taiwan; you can still find places where they offer their popular comfort food. There are some places where food vendors take it to the streets in packs like the ones in Namba Walk in Dotonburi Osaka and here in Arashimaya Bamboo Grove in Kyoto where there is a sort of festival every weekend.
We arrived in Arashimaya at around 11 am. It was almost lunch time and everyone was hungry. As soon as we got off the bus, you can already see the line of food kiosks and cafes. Oh, my tummy grumbled because you can already smell the different food each shop offers.
We decided not to eat at any of the restaurants because we were short of time and we wanted to try everything that we on the streets. Here are the best dishes to look out for.
Croquet is a very popular comfort food in Japan. It’s a small fried food roll covered in breadcrumbs and containing mashed potatoes with ground meat, ham, shellfish, fish, cheese, or vegetables and mixed with béchamel or brown sauce, but in Japan, croquet is usually eaten without any sauce. It’s actually good without any sauce. It was hot (which was just perfect for the cold weather) and filling.
As soon as we crossed the Arashimaya Bridge, there were more food stalls. Our eyes feasted on Yakitori, Grilled Squid, Snow Crab Sticks, sweet corn and some other food that I was not able to identify.
Thick slice of bacon on a stick!
As soon as we left the bridge, we were almost already food. But if you think we stopped there, nope. There were just too many yummy food to try.
These roasted sweet potatoes are really sweet and soft.
Coated nuts and Osembe.
Just by tasting all these made everyone in my family full. At the bus on our way to Kinkakuji Temple, my mom bought some cherry blossom flavored mochi and chestnuts.
The street food in Kyoto are just as amazing as the ones we had tried in Osaka. I know I am biased as I love Japanese food, but most of the food that I have tasted in Japan are delicious.
Have you ever been in Japan? Aside from the very rich culture and the beautiful and historical sights they have there, the street food should not be missed.
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Dotonburi, whether it’s a week day night or a weekend, the place is always crowded. Everywhere you turn, the shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and even the food stalls are full of people. On our first night in Osaka, we made sure to visit this place first. It’s a very popular place, not just for the locals, but for tourists as well. They always say that, you’ve never really experienced real food in one place unless you try their street food. So, here’s what we had at Namba Walk.
Ramen was first on our list. We had to wait on queue for 45 minutes for their famous Shoyu Ramen. It was worth the wait, though. I don’t know about you, but Japanese food is L.O.V.E. for me. I’ve been to Japan many times and have tried many restaurants and I don’t recall having experienced a so-so food in Tokyo. Is it just my love for Japanese food?
We also had Chicken Karaage with our Ramen.
In one of the side streets of Namba Walk, there’s this Torikara Stick stall. It’s similar to our chicken fingers and you can choose your sauce, plus they give you a garlic powder sprinkle. Go easy on the sprinkle because it’s a tad salty.
Gelato! These are the flavors we tried…
Italian Marron (Chestnut). This is a must try!
And wherever you are in Japan, you shouldn’t miss the famous Takoyaki. It’s very far from what we have here in Manila. Theirs is not starchy, has no fishy taste and the octopus is very tender.
Steak on a stick!
Fried Chicken and Potato
Steak, Tempura, Sake and Beer booth
There were more, but I wasn’t able to take photos of them as the street were full of people. Street food is big in Japan and everything is yummy. Remember, you don’t always have to try out the pricey restaurants and cafes to fill your tummies. Everything is expensive in Japan, but you can already satisfy your food cravings through their street food.
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Not many of us know that Osaka is home to one of the largest fish markets in Japan. Just like in Tsukiji in Tokyo, they have a lively tuna auction that goes down early in the morning to get the sushi and sashimi started for the day. On our last night in Osaka before heading to Tokyo, my family decided to go back to Dotonbori because we didn’t get to explore this place a lot when we went there on our first night. The place boasts of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, theaters, arcades and so much more. The street food they have there are amazing and if you are looking for a place to go at night when in Osaka, I suggest you drop by this place. Dotonburi is so alive at night.
For dinner, we decided to try Hi Iki Ya as I was craving for a hot bowl of Sukiyaki. It’s a small restaurant located in one of the small side streets in Namba Walk. The place is packed so we were seated at the third floor. It’s an old traditional restaurant where you have to remove your shoes (small lockers for your shoes are provided and you have your own key). Since we were a big group, they gave as a small tatami-floored room with a table that could fit us all in.
Service is efficient albeit not so fast, probably because there were many diners and as always, Japanese restos are always short on crew. I could say though, that the food we had was excellent.
This is the first time that I’ve tried Uni (Sea Urchin) and boy, it was amazing. How come I didn’t try this before? It was sweet and creamy. I promised myself, I’d eat more of this next time. That was my sister in the photo.
This was our salad. As you can see, there are fresh tuna and salmon slices, octopus, egg roe and greens.
I just love how they plate their food!
Every food we ordered were yummy and they were wiped down as soon as it hit the table. Lol. I guess when you make a living in Japan, their prices are affordable, but for us, the food is pricey, but all worth it. All of us walked out of the restaurant with a full tummy, so we decided to go around and browse the shops.
If you happen to visit Osaka, don’t miss Dotonburi. The food and nightlife there is great!
Watch out for my next post. I’ll be featuring Osaka’s street food.
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I wonder if the SM group is now the owner of North Park restaurant because I noticed that most SM branches also have a North Park restaurant. We used to eat there a lot when my family was still very active at bowling. The one on Wilson Street was our go to place after playing the Wednesday and Friday leagues.
I think that was the first ever branch of NP and we knew the owner, Rafael, before he migrated to Canada and passed away in the early years of 2000.
Anyway, it’s been a long time since I last dined in the restaurant. Yesterday, I was back there with my kids. We went grocery shopping at SM Hypermart and decided to have lunch there.
It was an open restaurant and the kitchen is partly visible from the counter. I like it when the restaurant’s kitchen can be seen. You’ll be able to see what’s happening inside and how they prepare your food. I noticed they also have a ceramic kitchen sink.
The place is rather small, but if you’ve been to any NP branches, you know that their food is good, so it’s not surprising that it’s always packed with people. Service is not so fast though, but the servers are very efficient.
Of course, we ordered our favorites and yes, the taste is still the same. Here they are.
Nanking Beef (Light – Php173, Regular – Php258)
China Chicken (half – Php296)
Pineapple Fried Rice with Pork Sausage (Php228)
I wanted to order for their fried rice with sauce, but the kids wanted something with a hint of sweetness, so they ordered for the Pineapple Fried Rice. It was the first time that I’ve tried it and yes, it was good.
If you are looking for a place with good food and affordable price, North Park is the place to go.
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My kids are not fans of fish, but when I made this, they loved it. I actually made this for the hubs and me, surprisingly, they ate the whole slice and nothing was left, so I had to make it again. Lol. This is so easy to prepare, perfect for those who do not have much time to cook.
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Halloween is a time of year when you can really have fun with the snacks you make for your kids. There are plenty of spooky recipes that can include organic baby food products, so you feel good about what your youngsters are eating.
No real eyeballs are used in this recipe, but you can make it seem that way by sticking olives inside small balls of mozzarella cheese. Let them float in tomato soup for a tasty and nutritious meal.
This tasty concoction works well in the morning or as an afternoon treat. To obtain a natural green coloring, you can mix together matcha green tea powder, avocado and spinach in your Béaba baby food maker. Other healthy ingredients to add include chia seeds, non-dairy yogurt and bananas.
Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes
Nothing says “Halloween” quite like pumpkins, and you can provide your kids with a nutritious dessert with vegan cupcakes. Top them off with a vegan cream cheese frosting for a one-of-a-kind taste sensation.
With a little finesse, you can transform breadsticks to look like spooky bones. Naturally, these breadsticks are not complete without “Marrow”-nara sauce. A tomato-based marinara sauce will make these tasty appetizers a real standout if you are planning a Halloween party with a bunch of your child’s friends coming over.
You can actually make Pop-Tarts on your own. Fill these up with a pumpkin filling. For a little added flair, you can even carve a jack-o’-lantern’s face on the outside of the dough to make the filling visible. These are great if your kids need a treat to take with them to-go.
There are plenty of spooky Halloween recipes you can try out when you have the best baby food steamer and processor available: Beaba’s Babycook®. You can prepare fun and healthy meals for children of all ages with this product.
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It’s so fun to tag along with my mom when her official driver aka my sister, can’t drive for her. She had a lunch meeting and it was held at the home of her business associate. Lunch was catered by Kai, a Japanese restaurant in Makati that serves contemporary cuisine. As soon as I heard that we’re having Japanese food for lunch, I got excited. Regular readers of my blog pretty much know that I love Japanese food, the restaurant was amazing, and they had one of the most recommended portable air conditioners in their installations. When we there last time, the power went out in the city, but I´m glad they had these backup generators installed before. This tavern offers daily cheap eats and drinks for everybody so you better go!
If you’ve heard of the restaurant I’m sure you’ve also read some good reviews about it, their food is really good. So, here’s what’s on the menu.
Matsutake Dobin Mushi
US Prime Rib Eye Steak
with Cauliflower Puree, Fried Leeks, Truffle Tare, Scallion Oil and Micro Greens, you can switch out the prime rib with this perfect Aged Filet Mignon to make it even better.
I must have been too delighted with the food that I forgot to take photos of the fruit platter and the beverage. 😉
It was a hearty lunch! The food was plated beautifully and everything tasted as good as they looked. Indeed, Kai is worth a visit. My dad’s birthday is coming up and we’re thinking of going there to try out their other food, but I also found this hilarious site for men which has some awesome gifts.
Kai – Level 1, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
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