Thursday, June 15, 2017

Korean Food Craving

I suddenly developed a craving for Korean Food.  I wonder why?

Tricia invited the Junkies sans Mona plus Jose to eat at Korea Garden the other night.


We had.....

2 orders of Bibimbap


2 orders of Korean Beef Stew - my super favorite because it was sweet!


Fried Chicken

Beef Bulgogi


Pork BBQ


Thank you so much, Tricia!

It made me very happy and for sure the rest of the Junkies, as well.


We even went to the new Assi Korean grocery on Neptune St.

I bought Korean lettuce and perilla leaves.

I cooked Korean food the next day.

Samyeopsal.




Hmmmmm....

Let's wait and see what will happen to my Korean food craving.




Pinky's New House

We invaded Pinky's new house in Marcelo Green Village last Monday, Independence Day!


We were all so happy for her because she custom built it.  She told the architect what she wanted and from the drawing board it became REAL!

It is just enough for her needs.  Plus the needs of her guests!



Hahahaha I even have "my" room and Mona has "own", as well!

Her new house will be the future venue of impromptu gatherings and our cooking and baking sessions.


Since she just moved in last Sunday, we told her not to worry about food.  We just brought our own potluck contributions.

Since it was Independence day, our food theme was Filipino.


Crispy Pata from BFF Tina.


Tina and Pinky have been friends since college!

I cooked Beef Caldereta.


The Rellenong Bangus was from Mona.


Jodie and Cristina were in charge of the Pancit Bihon and Pancit Palabok from Little Quiapo.



BBQ from Porcue and Fried Vegetable Lumpia.



Dodai was in charge of the fruits and the disposable utensils.

I really love her house.

Congratulations, Pinky!

All the stress, blood, sweat and tears were worth it!

Thank you for making us your very first guests in your new beautiful home.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tokyo Disneyland... In My Tummy!

Hihihihi! I started giggling the moment I typed the title of my post.

I went to Tokyo with Ate and her family, Butch, Nicky and Gilly.  It was my first time to travel with them abroad.


Whenever Pinky and I arrive in an airport overseas, the first item on the agenda was always a selfie!

Hmmmm... apparently with Ate, you cannot stop and smell the roses! (insert evil laugh)

The moment my sister left our side to buy the railway passes, I asked my niece to take my picture.

"Gilly! Take my photo before Ate comes out!"


Still.... not a "Welcome to Japan" picture but good enough for me.

And then..... it was time for my Tokyo adventure to begin.

We each had our Narita Express tickets.  Everybody went through the turnstile.  I noticed them all holding a green ticket!

Oh No!!! I did not retrieve my ticket from the turnstile! I had to run back to where I left it.  Good thing the staff in the booth gave it back to me.

Whew!  Imagine if I did not get it back I have to pay another 3,100 Yen.

Ate made it up to me and took my photo on the platform while waiting for our train.


The Narita Express or what they call N'ex was nice.  It had comfy seats, plug for charging the phone, free wi-fi and a toilet!!!!


But then I had to transfer cars to get to it.  I felt like I was James Bond, changing train cars in the movies.  It was not a fun experience though because I got dizzy after doing it two times, once to go to the next car where the toilet was and another time to get back to my seat.

After an hour's ride, we arrived at Shinjuku Station, the largest train station in the world with an average of 3.6 million passengers a day!

We took the South Terrace exit.  After a short walk, we were at our hotel already.

Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.



I loved the location! So near the malls and the train station!

The rooms are small but clean.  It reminded me of our cabin in the cruise liner.



Temperature was perfect! The bed and pillows.... I loved it because they were not soft.  I get dizzy when my head sinks in the pillow that is why I have to use 4 pillows when I sleep at home to the point that I am almost sitting up.

Sherman, Jing's husband, who is working in Tokyo met me at the lobby of the hotel.


We had a "date"!  Hahahahaha Jing lent me her husband for a few hours.

He treated me for lunch.  Thank you, Sherman!


In Tokyo, the restaurants do not have English signage. Only very few restaurants have.


Then we went around for a bit.

My first glimpse of Shinjuku.


I love vending machines!  Even here in Manila, whenever I see one I always have to buy something.


Isetan is one of my favorite stores abroad.  I love their supermarkets.  There are several food outlets in the basement.

Look what I found! Jean-Paul Hevin Chocolatier of Paris!


I felt like I was entering an adoration chapel!  I was in chocolate heaven!


And ice cream heaven!


I only bought a small cup of milk chocolate ice cream and a milk chocolate bar.



When I got back to the hotel later that night, I opened the insulated bag


..... only to discover that my key card is longer than the chocolate bar!


But never mind.... it felt so divine on my tongue.  I only ate 1 row and saved the rest.  I shared it with my friends and family.  Hahahaha! I gave them one square each.

On my Shinjuku Eatinerary.... one of the "must eat" was the Zaku Zaku Croquant Chou.


It is a puff pastry sprinkled with almonds then injected with vanilla custard.



The line was long but joined the queue anyway to buy 1 for myself and the other one for Gilly.


Ichiran Ramen was also on my Eatineray.


The kids wanted to try it.


I had my first Ichiran experience in Fukuoka.


You have to line up for quite a while then you choose what kind of ramen you want to order from a vending machine.


A ticket will be issued which you will give to the person behind the curtain in your personal booth.


You will be given a piece of paper where you will "encircle" your choices.


As usual, not following instructions, I put a check mark.

Take note: Extra soft noodles!  Hahahahaha I can imagine the Junkies cringing in disgust because they like very hard noodles.

Tada!  Ichiran Ramen!


The Guanzons went to Bicqlo while I walked around Shinjuku.  I saw people lining up for ice cream at Kinochaya.


Matcha soft serve ice cream!


Ummmm.... not my cup of tea!  No pun intended.

Hahahahaha! I posted in FB that it tasted like "surot"!  Some of my friends love anything matcha.  To each his own!

Then we called it a night.  I brought Sia with me.  My traveling companion and my green security blanket.


Day 2

I set my phone alarm clock at 8:30 am because I have a full day Eatinerary.

The Guanzons were going to Disney Sea while my tummy will have its own Tokyo Disneyland adventure.

OMG! I did not change the time of my phone! Japan is 1 hour ahead of the Philippines!!!!

I almost missed breakfast!  They only serve food up to 9:40 and the restaurant closes at 10 am so I had to rush downstairs to eat.


Wow! I did not expect the croissant to taste good! It was flaky and buttery.  I also loved the sausages. They were like mini Johnsonville sausages.

Prior to the trip, I would research night after night what to eat in Tokyo and how to get to where I want to go.  The rail system is quite complicated.  There is the Metro - their subway and the JR Trains which are above ground.  So many rail companies which they call lines.

Eatinerary - ice cream, ice cream and more ice cream!  That was what I posted in FB.  I do not think my friends believed me.

To see is to believe!

I took the Toei Oedo line to get to Tsukijishijo station and got out at Exit A1.



My destination was the Tsukiji outer market.

Ice cream!!! Not just any ice cream but Cremia!


My friends said I should try it!


And I did!

I walked around and checked out the street food scene.

Grilled scallops with uni on top.



I had a late lunch at a raw food bowl restaurant.  Again, there was no English name so I had to take a picture of the menu outside.


I had the Ohma maguro uni-don.


Uni is my most favorite kind of sashimi followed by tuna.

After lunch, I explored around the market.

Steamed Oysters!


One serving was just 2 pieces!


Next on the Eatinerary was the egg on a stick.  People were lining up for it.


Ice cream #2! Amou Strawberry.


Tomi Sujahta Silk Ice.


Ginza was my next destination.  After 2 train rides I was on my quest to find the next restaurant on my Eatinerary.


Google Map was my life saver!


I found Lindt Chocolat Cafe!!!!!






Chocolate heaven again!




I had ice cream #3 #4 and #5!


Chocolate Crepe with 3 Chocolate ice creams! White, Milk and Dark.


I was savoring each teaspoonful. The crepe was so light and not rubbery at all!

And then I started to feel very sleepy.  My sugar was probably way over the roof but.... I am not yet done with my Eatinerary!

Good thing though, the walking must have off set all the ice cream eating I have been doing.  I actually lost 5 lbs. because the steps we took per day were between 15,000 - 20,000!

After a slow and dragging walk back to the Metro Station, the next city on my list was Marunouchi.

Beautiful!!!  This is the Marunouchi Brick Square!




Who needs to go to the Imperial Palace Garden or parks when they have a nice garden in the center of the mall?!?!

Haha! I think a lot of people will disagree with me.  As you well know, I am not into sceneries and sight seeing.

Why did I go to Marunouchi?

Echire Maison Du Beurre!


They ran out of the croissant made with French Butter! 1 out of 2 must try was the butter ice cream!


Echire Glace Beurre - ice cream #6


In Japan, it is considered rude to eat while walking so I sat on a park bench to enjoy my ice cream. The wind was so strong that my wooden ice cream spoon flew away!  And chilly too at 18 degrees in the afternoon.  I asked for another spoon and like a crazy loon ate my ice cream on the park bench while the cold wind was blowing quite strongly.  I loved the experience! I did not feel cold, at all.

It was time to head back to Shinjuku.

Have I mentioned that Shinjuku Station is the largest in the world?  I got lost!  I could not get out because I could not find my exit which is South.  All I could see was the East and West exit.  I have a very good sense of direction but not when I am underground.  While I was going around in circles, I was cursing the sadistic SOB who designed the labyrinth!!!

I could not find my exit but I found the food court!


Hahahahaha!

Unfortunately, I could not eat at the moment because I was all ice creamed out.  Most of the restaurants were serving desserts.

It was raining so hard I could not go out of the station.  I left my umbrella in the room.  I did not want to buy because I could not find any convenience store.  The umbrellas in the train staion shops were more than a thousand yen each.

When the rain was not that hard anymore, I put on my Paddington Bear hat and walked all the way home to the hotel.  I showered as soon as I got to my room because I did not want to get sick.

Then I was off again to eat dinner at a tempura restaurant.


A friend told me that it was safe to walk around Shinjuku even if it was late at night already.  I was just walking and walking until I found Don Quijote!


I loved the Don Quijote in Fukuoka but it was such a tight fit in Shinjuku.  I am claustrophobic so I went out of the store as soon as I got in.

Sophie was just in Tokyo a few days ahead of me and she said be prepared to walk, walk and walk! She did not lie!

Gontran Cherrier Tokyo was near the hotel.


I bought a croissant.


Family Mart is right across Sunroute Plaza.  Sandy Daza said the egg sandwich was really good.


So those were my midnight snacks.

Day 3 - A day for making memories according to Ate.

The alarm clock was set properly.  I made up for the lost opportunity to eat the day before.  I really loved the sausages.


Harajuku was our first destination.  Takeshita Street to be exact.


Daiso! Several wonderful floors of shopping.


While I was paying for my loot, Gilly bought crepes.



I was saving space for.......

Totti Cotton Candy!


And space was what I really needed because I ordered the Harajuku Cotton Candy!!!!



Good thing I was with my family.  Ate was my photographer.


If I just took a photo of it you will not see how big it was! I looked kind of slim next to it.  Each color represented a flavor.  I remember tasting the grape, lemon, bubblegum perhaps? I could not identify the other flavors anymore.  I ate all of it.  Gilly just tried a pinch and she said it was too sweet for her.

Another must try is the potato chips of Calbee cooked in the store.




Double Cheese and Maple with sour cream.


Cheese fries.


Next destination was Shibuya, the hometown of Hachiko.


Shibuya is also famous for its 4 way crosswalk known as Shibuya Crossing.



Lunch was at a ramen place called Hibiki.



As usual, vending system.


Nicky had the Tsukemen ramen.


We all had the Tonkutsu ramen.


The kids went shopping while I browsed around the stores.  We all went home to rest.

Well, they rested while I crossed to Family Mart to buy my favorite egg sandwich and Onigiri which Sophia said I should try!


Ohhh look at the filling!!!


I wanted to bring home the sandwiches but Shey said it will just get squished.

No wonder the egg sandwich was so good, it is because of the egg that they use!  The yolk was big and it was sweet!


Imagine if you use it for leche flan!

Dinner was at a Tonkatsu place.


HUGE tonkatsu!


I did not finish my food.  It was that big.

Afterwards. I went back to the small store I have been to the previous night.  I asked for Gilly's advice if I should get what I wanted or not.  She said I will hate myself if I do not buy it.

So I did!

Meet baby Babe!


Sia has a playmate now.  They are my traveling companions.

Day 4

I was on my own again because the Guanzons wanted to see Mt. Fuji.

I do not like to look at temples, palaces or sceneries.  I travel because I want to eat what we do not have here in Manila.

Destination was Omotesando.


Again, Google Map, the interactive map, was such a great help.

I found Luke's Lobster!


It is a very popular eating place for tourists and Japanese, as well.  Line is always long.

It is just a small shop, I would not even call it a restaurant.  You eat your food standing up or if you are lucky like me, you get to sit on the wooden "crates" I think?


I ordered the Lobster Roll (US).



The bread was so light and airy.  Buttery too.  The chilled lobster pieces were generous and was drizzled with lemon (?), a tangy kind of dressing.


The sandwich was just as long as a cellphone.  Hahahaha Not Iphone 7 plus long but an ordinary 6 inch phone.

Good thing I did not get full because my next destination was just 4 minutes away according to Google Map!

Dominique Ansel Bakery!


He invented the Cronuts.  The line in New York is always long.




Chocolate Milk Shots - they pour hot milk in the cookie cups.


I ordered the DKA - Dominique's Kouign Amann


and the very famous Frozen Smores.


Imagine marshmallow filled with cookie crust and vanilla ice cream.

Then torched until it is brown and caramelly.


Wow!!!!

I loved the burnt marshmallow.

Time to explore Omotesando.


This is a pizza restaurant!  So beautiful, I thought of PD when I saw the flowers.

I went back to Takeshita Street because I wanted to ride the JR train going home.

Had to stop at Caffe Solaire


Pancake Souffle with Maple Whipped Cream!



I had yakitori at Takashimaya food hall.


Ooops! I already ate the other one.

It was my last night.  I just wanted to eat somewhere near the hotel because I still had to pack. Sherman even invited me to have dinner but had to decline.

Ate called me to ask where I was.  I told her Odakyu Food Hall.  She gave me directions on how to get to the restaurant where they were having dinner.

Tendon.


Again, such a huge serving!

It was time to head back to the hotel.  NO more space in the tummy for a midnight snack.

Plus, I had to wake up very early for the Airport Limousine pick up.

My companions were ready to go home to Manila.


Last hurrah at Narita Airport.... Cremia ice cream!


I used the remaing yen in my Suica card to pay for the ice cream.

I had a great time in Tokyo with my family and by myself.

Thank you Guanzons for the memories!!!

It was indeed a Tokyo Disneyland adventure in my tummy.