Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kineya, Ikebukuro (JP)

When we were waiting for the shuttle bus at the airport, I found my first vending machine in Japan. And yes, people are right, these are basically everywhere; my favourite had to be the hot corn soup!

During the two hour bus ride from the Narita Airport to our hotel, I fell asleep again, only to be woken up by a man behind me saying 'chotto matte' (wait) when a beach ball rolled towards the front of the bus. It sort of reminded me of the Simpsons episode when Milhouse's grapefruit rolled to the front of the bus :) 

Anyway, our hotel was connected to the Sunshine City shopping centre, so after putting our luggage into our rooms, we headed of the top level of the shopping centre to eat. The whole of the top floor is filled with restaurants, so it was quite hard to pick one! You'll find that some of the restaurants in Japan have models of the food they offer, which gives you an idea of what is being served at each place, but also makes it even harder to pick a place because all of them looked so good. We eventually settled on Kineya, drawn in by the udon and noodles which were made in house.

The place was tastefully furnished inside, and everything was so clean and tidy!

Curry Udon with Tempura Prawn. The curry was delicious, thick and flavoursome, while the udon was perfect in texture. Also, the prawn was not soggy; not an easy feat when you put fried food on top of soup.

Tempura Udon. This included a tempura prawn, takoyaki (octopus balls), a slice of kamaboko (processed seafood) and assorted vegetables. The prawn and takoyaki had lost a bit of their crunch, but it still tasted perfect, and I loved how the takoyaki were so big in size!

Curry Udon with Egg and Pork Rice.

Udon with with rice. The delicious deep fried batter pieces on top are called tenkasu! The egg in the bowl behind the udon and rice is shown in the next photo.

We cracked the egg open and mixed it with the rice. It tasted amazing, the rice was perfectly cooked; not too sloppy, while the egg provided additional flavour to the rice. But, now that I have looked it up online, I think the egg was supposed to go into the bowl of udon, to make 'Tsukimi Udon', where the egg is supposed to be poached in the hot soup. I guess I'll have to do that next time. That's a great excuse to go back to Japan, isn't it? Update: my anime watching sister tells me that you can also mix the egg into the rice; so I'm assuming you can eat it both ways?

It was a great start to our holiday in Japan, the food was perfect, it was quite good value, and everyone was super polite. I know I've said this too many times, but if we had more time, this would have been my first choice of places to visit again when in Japan. And by the way, after dinner, we went to the Toyota showroom that was right next to the shopping centre, and I had heaps of fun there, as you would imagine (I got to sit in the new Corolla!!) So I'll finish this post off with a photo of me being a tourist :D

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