Address: 135 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC 3141 Australia.
Opening hours: Mon – Sun (6pm – 10pm)
First of all, sorry for being absent from my blog for the past four weeks. I was extremely busy with my job and house hunting. It’s not easy to find a rental place in suburbs closer to Melbourne compared to regional areas like Geelong. It was a very frustrating experience as I found that most of the photos posted didn’t represent the current state of the house accurately when I went to inspect. It’s such a waste of my time. Anyways, fortunately now everything had been resolved and I can finally continue sharing my foodie stories with you.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a Japanese fusion restaurant called Gaijin. My friends Mei & Sheng brought me here for dinner and I had a ball at the restaurant. Our dinner started with seaweed salad and adegashi tofu. The seaweed salad is just my type of food, sourish and sweetish which is the perfect appetizer dish. This dish may look simple but contains great flavors and texture which made it my favorite dish of the night. Adegashi tofu was good as well with its crunchy skin and fragrant broth. The ahi tuna tartare (raw tuna cubes marinated in special sauce served with mango salsas and mango on nori tempura chips) was quite an interesting concept but somehow the taste was just average for me.
Japanese curry rice or karē raisu is Mr. D’s favorite and whenever I cook this dish, he’ll jump for joy like a little boy in a candy store. Japanese curry is very popular in Japan and you can easily get it in any fast food shop or cafe. Unlike Indian or Malaysian curry which are on the spicy side, Japanese curry is not spicy, has thicker consistency, extremely aromatic and slightly sweeter. It is a very appetizing dish and Mr. D couldn’t have enough of it. This dish is simple and quick to prepare as you can use store bought Japanese curry roux in block form. There are an assortment of instant curry roux which are easily available in any Asian groceries store. The major brands are from House Foods, S&B Foods & Ezaki Glico.
In our quest to search for the best instant Japanese curry roux, we tested the different range we could get hold of such as the S&B Golden Curry, S&B Tasty Curry, House Vermont Curry, House Java Curry, and House Kokumaro Curry. Our verdict: Kokumaro Curry from House is without a doubt the best curry among all the instant Japanese curry we tried as it’s seductively aromatic and tantalizing. It tastes as good or even better than the ones serve in the Japanese restaurant here. It comes in a box with 2 blocks of curry roux and each block yields about 5 servings.
Finely diced shallots, bite-sized chicken, diced carrots and potatoes, and Kokumaro instant curry roux are all you need.
Itadakimasu! Honto ni oishii desu!
We left Tokyo with satisfying tummies and a big smile on our faces. Our next stop is the ever picturesque Kyoto. Unlike the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, Kyoto is calmer, quieter and has a higher number of elderly people. With its laid-back and romantic atmosphere, its rich heritage and together with its picture perfect scenery, Kyoto city is absolutely stunning and enchanting. The gardens and temples around Kyoto are just so mesmerizing and words can’t accurately describe how beautiful they are. If you’re in Kyoto, I strongly advise you to spend at least a day in Arashiyama. This place is just out of this world and its surrounding temples and shrines are definitely worth exploring. With all these magnificent architectures scattered around Kyoto, it is no surprise that Kyoto city has 17 sites listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Here are some snapshots of this charming and beautiful city.
Sagano bamboo forest @ Arashiyama.
Mr. D & I went to Japan last May and instantly fell head over heels for its people, culture, breathtaking scenery, and of course its FOOD. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka and by the end of our trip we were deflated but it was all worth it. Everything in Japan is just sooo awesome, well-organized, clean, and a well-thought out country. Japan’s public transportation system is excellent, very efficient, and they are super duper punctual. You can actually set your watch time according to the trains’ arrival time.
As for its people, Japanese are so courteous, considerate and whatever they do, they do it diligently. Janitors in Japan are so meticulous in their job and I was awed by watching them cleaning the stairs, wiping them so carefully making sure every nook and cranny is being paid attention to, and picking up tiny bits and pieces of paper which most of us couldn’t spot. Salute!~ Both of us can’t really speak Japanese but that didn’t pose much problems. It was just a little more inconvenient in Kyoto especially when we were trying to use their luggage delivery service to deliver our bags from Kyoto to Osaka. (Yes, they have a luggage delivery service whereby you just drop your luggage at a convenience store and the luggage will find their way to the destination punctually. Save you the hassle of carrying them up and down the train/bus). But other than that, we managed to communicate pretty well with the locals with a combination of hand gestures and body language, English, and our limited Japanese vocabulary. 😛
The Rainbow Bridge that connects Tokyo and Odaiba. It looks amazing at night. Odaiba is a man-made island and housed a lot of attractions. If you’re a Gundam fan, you are no stranger to this place.