The title says it all, Japan is a food paradise. It's home to some of the freshest fish and tastiest seafood I've ever had. The Japanese strive for perfection in their dining. It's not uncommon to find a restaurant in Japan that serves only a single dish. Barbecued eel, gyoza, soba, tea, sushi, the list is nearly endless. When striving for the perfect meal they consider everything, I mean everything, the metal that is used to make the knife that cuts the ingredients, the shape of tea pot, the type of coal the meat is grilled over, not to mention the freshness and quality of the ingredients. It's apparent the moment you walk into a market or past a produce vendor, these veggies are gorgeous, seasonal, and as close to perfect as you will ever see. The beef is exceptionally marbled, the eggs have deep orange yolks, the grapes are enormous, plump, and sweet. These ingredients in the hands of a caring Japanese chef made for some of the most exceptional meals of my life. Rather then continue to gush about the food i'll cut to the chase and show you the photos. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] I'd like to introduce you to the worlds greatest store bought milk.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Our last takoyaki in Osaka :([/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Yakisoba in Dontonbori Osaka[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Yamoyaki, sweet potato yaki. yummy![/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Leek okonomiyaki, crisy and crunchy.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] The grand daddy of yaki, okonomiyaki![/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Our last attempt at kuidore.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500"] A force to be reckoned with, tea, tea, milk, coffee, on a bullet train.[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="448"] Train food fail..[/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"] Takoyaki smile[/caption]
We were invited to a restaurant on the Asian side of Istanbul by some friends we meant in Capadocia, Emily and Neil. It had great trip advisor reviews, and made the top 200 restaurants in Europe list by a travel site that I can't remember right now. The restaurants name is Ciya but its pronounced chiya. [mapsmarker marker="2"]
A bit confusing at first, but after our waiters explained the process it all made sense. First, you go to what Americans think of as a salad bar. This self service bar had all sorts of interesting spreads, dips and cold items. This is payed for by weight, Berkley beat everyone's weight. Her plate cost 21 tl or about 12 dollars. Our eyes were a bit too big, we loaded our plates up, leaving very little room for the hot food that follows the salad bar. But that didn't stop us from ordering a wide variety of dishes. The food was good, but the fun of meeting fellow Americans who share our love of travel was refreshing.
What an amazing first meal. Sloane has become a pro at using a website called couchsurfing, it's basically a site for travelers who want to open their home to each other and show off their city. We were treated to a late lunch/early dinner by Yannis, the incredibly generous man who was hosting us in Athens. Being sunday afternoon, his first few choices were closed. But 4th times a charm, and charming it was. I was only able to get a few quick shots of the meal but it was a great introduction to Greek food. We had Greek salad, they make it almost how you would expect plus green bell peppers. A fish egg paste called Taramosalata that was amazing. It's best described as a cross between creamy hummus and the garlic sauce they serve at Zankou Chicken in Los Angeles, not fishy at all. I even think my younger sister Emily could have enjoyed this stuff. A few grilled shrimp, some whole fresh fish, some meatballs, some fried cheese, and a plate or two of french fries.
I haven't been posting much lately because the food in Croatia was uninspired, for the past week and half we have had the exact same menu to order from.
3 soups, beef, tomato and mushroom.
4 salads, cabbage, tomato, seasonal (lettuce) or mixed, and mixed is literally cabbage, lettuce and tomato.
a few spaghetti options that would probably include tomato sauce and carbonara.
1 or 2 Risotto's
Some exceptionally expensive fish and meat options.
And Bread (which all restaurants charge for even if you don't ask for it).
We have left Croatia on our 3 day trek to get to Milos, a small greek island and I've become inspired to write about the food we have been eating again. This meal was found near the Duomo in Milan, we were wandering around the small streets surrounding this church and happened in a restaurant named Cimmino Fresco. Where I ate one of the best meatballs of my life. Sloane and I both ordered the meatballs and Berkley ordered veal milanese. The rest of the meal was nothing exceptional but these meatballs were fluffy, had a nice crispy parts on the outside, and had whole roasted pine nuts sprinkled throughout. It's good to be out of Croatia and have a lot more variety on the menu.
Recommended to us by our new friend and guide Marina, Pizza Italiana da Sergio, in Rovinj Croatia, has been our favorite meal and by far the best pizza we have had. They have a salad with what they call vrhnje, which in Croatian just means sour cream, this stuff is amazing. This inspired us to go there two nights in a row for dinner.