vaneea no sekai

Akane Tokyo Cuisine, a Taste of Japanese Authenticity in Jakarta

During a business dinner, my sister, Nadia got a tip about a place serving great Japanese food with a large Japanese expat patrons. He gave such a good review that she immediately changed the venue of her Saturday lunch with a friend to the restaurant, Akane.

True to his description, Akane Tokyo Cuisine was looming with Japanese expats and their families. Lead by a Japanese chef, Akane serves ‘real’ Japanese cuisine. The lunch set menu is incredibly low priced, at only Rp. 86,000 (Around US$8.90). Set A: Pick 3 side dishes and one rice dish. Set B: Pick a rice bowl and a noodle dish. The most amazing thing about the set menu is the variety of things you can choose to savor, from sashimi, beef steak (highly recommended), yakisoba, katsudon (high recommended), mabo nasu don; all mouth watering. You also get chawan mushi, salad, miso soup and coffee jelly dessert with your lunch set. SUPER DEAL!

Tackling Gintama at Snail Speed

I am the marathon type of manga reader. I prefer reading completed manga or picking up new titles which already have plenty of scanlated chapters. Unless I am very curious about the story development, I usually wait until there are a couple of chapters released to start reading again. Then I focus on finishing the manga or all the available chapters before I read any other. This is not the case with Gintama. I describe my reading style as slow and distracted.

Obviously, I do enjoy reading this tale of silly, easy going, airhead silver curly haired samurai, whose dream is to have a straight hair. If not I would not have been so persistent in reading it. The manga is jammed pack with gags, parodies and puns. Despite accusation of being a copycat and unoriginal because of them, it does have a story of its own and its characters are also very well developed. Hideaki Sorachi had exposed me to as many variety of plots and settings a mangaka can do in one title; amongst others: a video game face off, a naval siege, robotic coup de tat and my favorite, servitude in a haunted ryokan.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

One of my bridesmaid got hitched last month and will be going to Japan for her honeymoon. Naturally, she asked me for pointers. I recommended that she must go to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the largest public aquariums in the world!

Osaka Kaiyukan - by p@ragon on flickr

Kaiyukan (Ring of Fire) takes aquarium visitors to the fresh and salt water habitats around the Pacific Ocean, dividing it to ten different areas. The massive building holds 11,000 tons of water and its inhabitants, including two majestic whale sharks. I wonder how long it took them to insert everything into the building. Moreover, that such building can hold so much water, plants, animals and people is amazing.

551 Horai – Must Eat in Osaka

551 (go go ichi) Horai is a Chinese restaurant chain in Osaka. It has both take out stalls for dim sum items and dine in restaurants. You may find their outlets located all over Osaka. The one that we went to is their flagship store, or ‘Honten,’ located in Dotonburi area. Their food is very good. During our two nights stay in Osaka we managed to go there three times.

551 Horai's Famous Buta Man

Their buta man (pork steamed buns) is supposedly very popular, selling 100,000 per day. That’s a high number of steamed buns being eaten every day. I assumed that most of Osaka is in consensus that the butaman is very special. James, with his picky tongue, agreed with them. The butaman was very large, the largest one I’ve ever eaten. The bun was very fluffy. Inside, there was a considerable amount of juicy, savory pork filling. Indeed, it was very good, but the portion was a bit too much for me. I finished it up anyway. If you are not keen with butaman, they also have steamed buns with different fillings, such as cashiu man (barbequed pork) and an man (red bean) for you to try.

Kamameshi Chaya in Arashiyama, Kyoto

I was craving some good Japanese food today. I started thinking about all the good food I ate in Japan the last time we were there, which was my honeymoon in 2010. Wow, that was ages ago. I had only post very little pictures of them. So I think I should start posting the rest. It’s never too late.

The first one I am going to share with you is the kamameshi we ate in Arashiyama, Kyoto. The restaurant, Kamameshi Chaya (Tea House) is on the street right across from the entrance of Tenryu-ji Temple, about 15 minutes of leisurely walk from the JR Sagano Arashiyama Station/Sagano Romantic Train Station. The street is lined with many restaurants, but you won’t miss the restaurant display.

Kamameshi Chaya


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