Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Sashimi and Beers

Nara is a small town, close to both Kyoto and Osaka. It was at one point in history the old capital of Japan, this was many centuries ago.

Today it is more famed for the 8 UNESCO sites, so it is very popular on any trip to Japan, it is also very popular with the domestic market as well, so weekends make this town a very crowded place.
It is just a lovely place to wander around and take in the ancient history of the town. But after a hard days sight seeing, we were in need of some food.
I was in the mood for some Sashimi and a beer, nothing too grand, just something simple to relax to after a hard day of temple gazing.

We found a place close to the Ryokan where we were staying. No room on the tatami mats so we sat at a table and had a gander at the English menu. I went for the Sashimi and Lina went for Noodles. As you can see from the foto’s what we got was far from simple. Everything was so well presented and designed on the plate that it really does resemble a work of art. 
The bowl on the right contained the smallest squid I have ever seen, but they tasted divine. I really got into sea urchin, it looks disgusting but has a distinctive taste to it. The fatty tuna melted in my mouth. Heaven. Only downside was the cuttlefish, which I have always found a little tough. Even cooking it in the UK, it always is tough.
Lina’s noodles had a fantastic stock base for the soup, which they all do. The addition of Tempura prawns was an added delight to a heavenly dish.

The following night after another hard day, we headed to another local joint, but this time it was a kind of teriyaki dish, that is mainly made up of egg and cooked by the chef and then popped onto a hotplate for us to eat at our leisure over a few beers. This dish comes from the Kansai region and seems very popular as the place was packed. The first one we ordered was Korean style with pork, kimchi and a special Korean spicy sauce. For what it was it was pretty good, the second one was a chow mien type dish. Again pretty good, but it was the atmosphere that made this a good meal, and a pleasant end to our stay in Nara.

Next stop Kyoto.

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