19 July 2012

Bento Series Breaktime #9?: My "Buffet" Cafeteria lunch for today

I've blogged about the "new" cafeteria in school where they serve food "buffet" style. It is eat all you can, but it's not a "buffet" in the original sense of the word because you pay as much as you eat as opposed to paying a fixed price. I've also referred to this as the "by-the-pound" ( or "by the kilo") cafteria. If I'm not mistaken, it's 1 yen for every 0.5 grams (0.001 lbs), or maybe the other way around. The plain, steamed rice has a different unit price though. I was too early to get one of my faves, roasted chicken, so I settled for this plate of white fish fillet, a couple of shuumai, half a boiled egg, and my usual lettuce bedding, tomatoes, and pineapples for dessert. I was a bit generous with the mayo as you can see. It is Japanese-style mayo, which is kind of tasty and a little bit sweet. I did find a new use for this mayo - as a dip for the pineapples. Yummy. I was also a little generous with the rice, and this cost me around 550 yen in total. As always, the tea is free and it's free to refill any number of times. I should add that my Mainland-Chinese colleagues here call the shuumai as "Japanese-style," because up there they have bigger ones that are packed with some rice as well that make them full meals by themselves, maybe usually for breakfast, or as a really heavy snack or a quick hunger-stopper. Of course, to us in Southeast Asia and maybe even in HK, this certainly looks like a typical Chinese shuumai and not "Japanese-style," but it is maybe more like Southern China style as opposed to the bigger ones being Northern China style. Taste-wise, to me, it's just about right for something that's not served at a fancy authenthic Chinese restaurant. If these were sold in the Philippines, they would probably be 40 to 60 pesos for four - it's that much better than the street/kiosk shomai we get for 30 pesos or less.

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