Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Our Favorite Kuromon Market Food Finds from Osaka

When in Europe, I used to look for Market Day and plan my trips around them. Flea and Antique Markets that is. That's where I started up my Victorian Mobile Charm Collection that just kept growing and growing, plus it's entertaining to browse through the junk of others. 

It has only been recently that we have started hunting for food markets as well... but when in Japan, the food market is something that you definitely should not miss! You can read my post on Kyoto's Nishiki Market here.

In Osaka, the Kuromon Market, which we like going to, is walking distance from the Namba area where we normally stay. 

The things you should check out in the Kuromon Market include:

1. Fugu (Puffer Fish Vendors)
More to look than to buy, Puffer Fish is highly poisonous if not prepared well, just watch the Bart Simpson episode where this was featured. Hahaha.

2. Highly seasonal, but if you come in Spring/ Sakura Season - The Strawberries should not be missed!
They range in price from expensive to very expensive (especially for the bigger ones that smell and taste like peach) but trying them at least once is absolutely worth it! This time the price ranges from reasonable to super expensive. 

3. Sushi and Sashimi... especially Fatty Tuna (go for Otoro - it's the fattiest part) for the win!
Look for Kuromon 38, they have a huge assortment, you can choose from ready packed or ask them to prepare it for you, and they a seating area and some standing tables too.

Yes, that's 53,000+ YEN!!!

It was so good we went back twice!!! And we would have probably gone back more if we stayed longer.

4. Try the Giant Scallops (they have other varieties of giant shellfish too)
Just pick the size you want, then they clean, season and grill it with a generous amount of butter.

5. Other Food Highlights - that looked interesting but we didn't get a chance to try include

Tempura Store

Soft Shell Crab Burger

Kobe Beef which they will cook for you on the spot

Katsu Curry Place

They also have a candy store.

They have a big eating area with free wifi and toilets. They got all the essentials right.

6. Shopping wise, these are the interesting stores:

We saw a store selling everything people left on the train. 

The usual 100 yen shop where Sofia even treated me to this fish flag since I'm the tour leader in our family and my mom calls me hitler.

Lastly, the also have a Vintage/ Second Hand Kimono Store that you can visit. You can get a nice Kimono for a steal. You can read my post on that here. I myself have managed to score a real kimono (which I have already used) and a classy black Kimono blouse.

Happy Market Shopping. just saying.

Kuromon Market
Japan, 〒542-0073 Osaka Prefecture, 
Osaka, Chuo Ward, 
Nipponbashi, 2 Chome−4−1
Open Daily 9am-6pm

Friday, November 25, 2016

Hand-Crafted Artisanal Sausages, Liver Pate and More from Spice and Cleaver

We love sausages, but with all the preservatives out there and the higher incidence of the Big C, it's great to find places that make them with no extenders and with pure meat at a reasonable price too.
My brother and sister first tried Spice and Cleaver in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons and suggested it for one of our weekend lunches.

Since I was ordering, I had to get the Chicken Liver Pate (of course!)
Served foie gras style with dried fruit and roasted garlic. (Php290)

We chose the sausages at random because they said everything they tried as good.
I think we ordered The Mexican (expecting it to be more spicy) so it was
just okay. Which can be attributed to higher expectations vs reality.
Artisanal Sausages Php300 for 1/ Php560 for 2
I really liked the Nurnberger Rostwurst which is the number 1 grilling
sausage in Germany. It comes in smaller links and available in 4, 6 or 10.
Php 270/ Php 500/ Php 570
Curiously, they don't serve you mustard unless you ask for it,
then you get a selection of three kinds.
We also had the Wild Mushroom Tartuffo Pasta which hits the spot
if you are looking for some hearty carbs. (Php380)

I heard their truffle fries are good too, but I have been told to stay away from their Puffizza (which is Pizza on Puff Pastry). just saying.

Spice and Cleaver
Estancia Mall Capitols Common, 
Meralco Ave, 
Orambo, Pasig, 1600 
Metro Manila

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mango Bingsu from Bangkok - Best Bingsu Ever!

Bingsu or Bingsoo is the  Korean shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings such as chopped fruit, condensed milk, fruit syrup. It has really gained popularity in my part of the world with different restaurant concepts in Manila, Singapore and Thailand.

In my opinion, the Mango Bingsu is best in Thailand because they use fresh mangoes and mangoes are the yummiest there. Just imagine, instead of sticky rice and mango, you get mango and milky shaved ice. YUMMY!!!

A lot of places serve it, but I'm happy enough with the once I get from Hollys Coffee beside my hotel.
I was only by myself, but the server gave me 2 spoons.

They also have mangoes and cream inside the Bingsu.

Well, I left all the excess ice and I didn't eat the Ice Cream. 

Thailand Mango Bingsu for the win! just saying.

Hollys Coffee
219/1 Sukhumvit Rd, 
Khlong Toei Nuea, 
Watthana, Bangkok 10110, 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Vatos Urban Tacos for Mexican with a Korean Twist in Singapore

The food scene has become very International... no matter where you are, especially when one of the hottest new restaurants in Singapore is a Mexican Place of Korean Origins no less! It's fame is helped by the fact that CNN declared Vatos as the "hottest new restaurant in Seoul"  when it opened.

Their Singapore branch is in the newly opened South Beach Quarter on Beach Road, in the Marina Bay area.

Tim and I enjoyed the food, the only catch being we didn't exactly enjoy the same dishes.
I absolutely loved the Kimchi Carnitas Fries (save for the onions - which I
kept picking out) which Tim hated.
It was so yummy with Ginger Ale! Well, it was so yummy period.
They were very generous with the carnitas too so it was quite meaty.
We ordered some sort of quesadilla (we opted for this instead of a soft taco).
It seemed fried and too doughy for me, but Tim loved it.
He even ate the dough that I discarded! Hahaha.
We ordered the Tequila Wings with fried jalapeno,
which finally we both enjoyed. Especially with the chili
sauce that came with the free tortilla starter.
Matter of Pride Time. Pero mejo obvious who needs
to finish what when we don't like the same things!
Thanks for making time for me Tim!!! Even if dinner was super rushed
because we were both running home to work.
Seriously. We both need to get a life!
The ambiance in the place in nice and hip.
I just don't get why there are faucets decorating the tables.

I want to come back here again. Next time I will order the tacos. I guess there's a reason why the place is named Vatos Urban TACOS. I can't believe we missed that. We must have been too overworked. just saying.

Vatos Urban Tacos
36 Beach Rd, 
Singapore 189677
 +65 6385 6010
Open 12nn-11pm

Monday, November 14, 2016

Shaburi PH for Wagyu Hotpot and Unlimited Gyudon and Wagyu Beef Rice

I'm not a fan of Hot Pot or Shabu Shabu Restaurants, but I am a sucker for a sale, so when I received an email from Aileen of Booky App ( featuring a Php500 peso discount at the newly opened Shaburi Restaurant at the Uptown Mall in BGC, I convinced my officemates to try it.

They have a tiered menu where you can choose what kind
of meat you want, and it comes with the buffet too.

Everything in the buffet looked fresh and yummy. I'm not sure if that was because it was past 2PM and we were all starving to death.

Unlimited sides for your Hot Pot (which by the way is individual, so not only do you get to choose your soup base, you get to choose what goes in it as well).

They also had an assortment of cooked food like Carbonara Udon, Karaage, Chicken Wings, Corn Fritters and Fries (to keep your kids happy if you bring them).

My absolute favorite is the Wagyu Steak Rice (oops! no photo!) Topped with the melt in your mouth Beef Gyudon! I will be totally honest and say this is my favorite part of Shaburi. I can avail of the cheapest Eat All You Can Meal and just eat this and mushrooms in my hot pot.

For our lunch, we wanted to try the more expensive Wagyu without spending too much so we just ordered the cheapest set for lunch (Php499 - for unlimited servings of fatty beef in black plate) and add on of the more expensive Wagyu at (Php289 for one serving in the white plate).
I tried the soy milk soup base because it was interesting and they claimed it
was the healthy choice. It was ok. I still prefer the Gyudon to Hotpot.

They also have unlimited soda, juices, coffee, tea and dessert.
Thank you team for letting me drag you to all the places I want to eat in!

We evn figured out a strategy on how to maximise the experience. You either go for the Wagyu Set and eat just that, hahaha, or go for the cheap seat and order an extra plate like we did, or if you're like me and prefer the Gyudon, you can even skip the add on Wagyu. 

I can't wait to go back and eat more Gyudon with Wagyu Steak Rice. just saying.

Level 4, Uptown Mall, 
36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, 
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Note: You can still get upto Php300 discount with the Booky App