vaneea no sekai

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

Faux Kobe Beef

Kobe beef. Its name has soar far and wide across the globe as the premium of Japanese beef. Regardless the fact that its lower standing in Japan, outside Japan Kobe beef is all the rave. Interestingly, Matsuzaka beef, its superior, is less well known. People outside Japan flock to high class restaurants, willing to pay premium above premium just to have a bite of Kobe. Little do they know, what they are having is a fake branded beef.

I savored my first faux Kobe Beef in 2006, in a Japanese restaurant, downtown Chicago.

Katsuya: Deliciously Affordable

Who says good food in Japan got to be expensive? Japan is an expensive country to live in, but James and I had learned from our travels that it’s not impossible to find affordable food. We found such a place in the Sun Mall.

Katsuya is a fast food katsu chain. We were attracted to this store when we saw the menu signage, promoting affordable mouthwatering looking food. The first floor was bustling with customers. In fact, we had to sit on the second floor since the first floor was full. The second floor quickly filled up as well after we sat ourselves.

The place was clean and bright. It was kind of bare, but I don’t expect much out of a fast food chain. There was some cups and a bottle of cold tea on each tables, which we helped ourselves with. We were given menu identical to the ones they were displaying outside.

The Mundane Gundam Cafe Experience

I’ve read about Gundam Cafe somewhere on the internet, but I never planned on going there. Not a big Gundam Fan, and I doubt James has ever watched any episode of Gundam. Somehow, we stumbled upon it as we were walking back to Akihabara Station. We ended up betting on it for dessert on the night despite a line. Here is me queueing :)

Me Lining Up at Gundam Cafe

Two Ladies Chatting in Gundam Cafe

The line was not too long, but it was a long wait. It didn’t move a bit for 10 minutes, and I had an annoying view. To my left, two middle aged ladies were chatting casually over their finished meal in facing the queue. OK. They do have their right to enjoy the scene until the lady on the right had finished her drink, but she hadn’t been touching it and it seems that they’ve been doing this even before I had arrived. We finally got in after 20 plus minutes of wait, and guess whose seats we took. Yes. We sat right where the two ladies had been. I can’t help but wonder what topic was so interesting that they had to sit over thirty minutes, I bet, after their meal was done while people are waiting in front of their lines.


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