31 October 2012

Thanks! Again!

Screen capture taken last October 29.

It's another record month - my best month yet. Thanks to all of you for visiting and for coming back again and again! My pageviews have risen month-over-month since around June this year, to over 2,500 pageviews for October 2012. Prior to June, I've had an average of only around 400 pageviews per month since I started blogging my Japan 2.0 experience in April 2010. Wow. Thank you all, once again!

If you can see from the stats above, many of my visitors came by way of the Japan Blog List. Welcome to all of you who clicked through JBL. If you haven't yet heard of JBL, go over there now and find out more blogs about Japan. It's at http://www.japanbloglist.com/.

For your entertainment while you're in Japan, please do also check out my 2nd most popular blog, RAW (ronjie.com around the web), at http://ronjie-raw.blogspot.com/.

You can also read through my Japan 1.0 experience from way back in April 2005, if you're interested. Links to the archived articles are below, but for a bit of nostalgia, you can check out how my blog looked like back in 2005 at http://ronjie-japan2005.blogspot.com/.


UPDATE: The final tally was 2,653 pageviews for October 2012. Sugoi!

Bento! #133: Pizza Hut 3

Hatto Wan Bakusu (Hut One Box) again! But this time, with sausage-stuffed crust pizza. Can you guess what are the four flavours?

Bento! #132: Kakiage Udon

304 yen from the school cafeteria, plus 63 yen to get the "L" size. Sounds familiar? It's because I've previously ordered Kakiage Don -- kakiage rice bowl. Udon and don are very different words, though; take note. Anyways, since kakiage is mostly vegetables, I got me some karaage as well, plus that dessert thing I usually order -- which I and my colleagues refer to as almond jelly / annin doufu, but I just found out the cafeteria officially calls it miruku purin / milk pudding! Without the dessert, this meal would have been just under 500 yen. With it at 84 yen, this is all for 577 yen. It was a pretty good dinner.

30 October 2012

Bento! #131: Furanku / Furankufuruto


278 yen I believe for 357 grams / 11 pieces of franks/frankfurters. They're half the size of typical franks though. And I had just 5 actually, with rice and "tomato sauce" / ketchup, for a quick lunch for around 233 yen. Nice. Bought these from the supermarket and just microwaved them, by the way. :D

Chokoreeto! #9: Country Ma'am Pancake-Flavored Choco Chip Cookies

For breakfast? Oh, yes.

Pancake = hotcake = ホットケーキ = hottokeeki. Country Ma'am = カントリーマアム = kantorii maamu.

29 October 2012

Chokoreeto! #8: Peanuts Choco, Block Type

Block type because it's a bunch of peanuts and not just one inside one piece? They don't look shaped like blocks to me. Or maybe they wanted to try to shape them into blocks?

Peanuts = ピーナッツ / piinattsu. Choco = チョコ / choco. Block = ブロック / burokku.

Bento! #130: Demi Hanbaagu

デミハンバーグ。Need I say more about demi-glazed sauce and burgers here? Hehe. Anyway, this one's pretty good actually - or I'm turning Japanese. The demi soosu has some mushrooms in it - as well as some pork! Not to mention the unusually thick burger patty, made mostly of pork. Comes with a piece of broccoli, and cold fries. 294 yen. Burgers here, they also call them "Hamburg" but I think it's just short for hamburger (patty) much like BLT is short for bacon, lettuce and tomato. I got this with M-size rice and some okra, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes and half an egg from the salad bar. The whole meal is just 498 yen in total.

Bento! #129: Shouka Fuumi no Yasai Raamen..

生姜風味の野菜ラーメン, 420 yen from the school cafeteria, shown on right.
Photo taken by my friend, Okada-san, using his brand new Fujitsu Android smartphone!
Literally translates to "ramen with vegetables in ginger-flavored soy sauce-based soup." It's not bad. In fact, I like it because it has a lot of meat as well as veggies in it, which I didn't expect. So in addition, I got me 198 yen of some fried salmon cutlet, chicken fillet cutlet, some spinach and a couple of cherry tomatoes from the "buffet" bar.

28 October 2012

Bento! #128: Mini Guriru Chikin

Mini grilled chicken, 198 yen from the grocery. I like better that one I had from 3F weeks ago.

27 October 2012

Bento! #127: McDonald's Big Chicken Rich Cheese Burger

Yummy thick slab of chicken meat marinated in salt, lemon, and pepper and fried, lots of lettuce, a sting of wasabi-like mustard, and two kinds of cheese - the usual burger cheddar and what appears to be of the whitish quickmelt type. The latter though was twice the thickness of the former. Yuuum. 760 yen for an "L" set. After eating mostly at BK and at Dom-Dom, I thought the fries were huge. This is a special limited edition sandwich at McDonald's. Which just tells me to check out McDonald's and Burger King every so often, to try out their special limited edition burgers. :D

Chokoreeto! #7: Alfort (Mini Chocolates)

"Enjoy the superb taste of chocolate & biscuit made with the finest ingredients."
Or アルフォート (ミニチョコレート). This is the classic / common flavor. Just plain old milk chocolate with biscuit underneath. I'll see if I can try other flavors.

Bento! #126: Soosu no mini guratan

That translates to Mini Gratin of Sauce. What?

You can try to Wikipedia for what is gratin, pronounced "gratan" like a French guy would, but you can just pronounce it as it is, i.e. grah-tin, in English. The French pronunciation almost sounds like croissant. But to me, it is simply like baked mac. Well, penne in this case. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just now that this is delicious. :D

For that Japanese touch, there's even some sweet corn in there.

298 yen from 3F.

Bento! #125: Bento with chicken with tartar sauce, pork, and pickled ginger

Comes with rice, of course. And half a boiled egg. :D

398 yen from 3F. :)

26 October 2012

Bento! #124: Kiima Karee Pureeto

That's Keema Curry Plate for you all. 441 yen from the school cafeteria. Yummy. A little bit spicy, but just right for me. I'm not sure what kind of meat they used - maybe chicken? Or lamb/mutton (but that would be expensive, I think)? Or, I don't know if it's pork or beef. If you eat Keema Curry at an Indian restaurant here in Japan, it won't be made of pork or beef, I can guarantee you that. Anyways, this was great because it came with rice, of course, and salad - mostly cabbage shreds but there's some lettuce and carrots in there - and a piece each of broccoli, hash brown, and karaage (Japanese fried chicken bit). Kind of odd, but that's what these "Plate" meals are all about. A bunch of stuff together. I think it's great. I don't feel full, but it was just right for the price, I guess.

Bento! #123: Karubonaara

378 yen from the school cafeteria!
I'm missing a certain carbonaramara, so for lunch I got me this カルボナーラ / carbonara (spaghetti). It just has a few mushroom and pork (bacon) bits, but it comes with soft-boiled egg for that only-in-Japan touch! They also gave it a good dash of black pepper / koshou / コショー. It is actually quite good, but to me, I think a little bit expensive. By the way, the bacon here in Japan looks more like ham than the bacon we know and love back home, but maybe only because here it's thicker, and so they don't usually fry it until it's crispy. In fact, in this case, the bacon might not have been fried at all. They might also use a slightly different kind of process or ingredients for curing the pork meat. But then, hey, I checked out Wikipedia and just found out that bacon is indeed unique in different places. One time, I bought something that I thought was simply a slab of pork, only to find out later on when I was able to read some Japanese already that it was actually bacon.

Speaking of meat, obviously this isn't enough as one meal for me, so I actually had to eat this with about 200 yen worth of meat (roast chicken, chicken nuggets) and salad (cabbage, tomatoes). The overall meal was great. I probably won't order this again until I crave for carbonara, the spaghetti dish, again; it's just no substitute for my carbonaramara. :)

25 October 2012

Bento! #122: Tonjiru Udon from the cafeteria

Thanks to Okada-san for the photo!
豚汁うどん / pork soup udon. 430 yen for 大盛り / oumori /  large serving. It is quite yummy. There's pork meat, carrots, onions, taro (satoimo / 里芋), and mushrooms. I would usually prefer soba over udon, but here, udon seems the better choice.

Bento! #121: Cafeteria okonomi katsu

I told you before about okonomiyaki / お好み焼き, where yaki means (teppan-)grilled, and well, okonomiyaki means "anything goes" or "whatever's available" grilled stuff. People refer to okonomiyaki as Japanese pancakes, Japanese omelette, or Japanese pizza. It's really neither of the three. By default, when you just simply buy okonomiyaki, you'll just get a veggie one, with mostly cabbage, and of course, the egg and flour which helps create the shape. You top it off at least with okonomi soosu / okonomi sauce and Japanese mayo. But it's also usually topped with some Japanese green herbs, and okaka / dried salty fish flakes. This one, is a katsu version of okonomiyaki - which is like chikin katsu but instead of chicken, you have (default) okonomi ingredients. It's nice, though by itself, it's not a meal, unlike the okonomiyaki you'd order at restaurants but mostly because there's no meat. So I did get a (pork) burger patty and one piece of shuumai / Chinese dumpling with other veggies, and rice and Chinese-style soup to go with it. With half-price rice this week, this is all just 421 yen.

24 October 2012

Bento! #120: Konsai Tempura Soba

367 yen from the school cafeteria, plus 63 yen to go one size larger (i.e.,
larger bowl, more noodles). I actually got 3 pieces of karaage to go with this.
Konsai / 根菜 = "root vegetable." The kon part is the same as that in daikon / 大根 / radish (Japanese white radish). It means root. If you came from the Philippines like myself and you see a daikon, you'll see it's quite big, and it's probably the biggest root vegetable. Carrot of course is also a root vegetable, but it's not called a kon. The sai part is the same as in yasai / 野菜 / vegetables, where the first kanji means "field," though it is often pronounced as no (as in Ueno / 上野, the place in Tokyo, where ue means up, upper or above). You all probably know tempura / 天ぷら is. Soba / そば means noodles, but in most instances, it means Japanese buckwheat noodles. Like, raamen / ラーメン / ramen might actually be considered Chinese-style soba. As a whole, this might be called "Soba with root veggie tempura." Oh, so from the picture, you can see strips of root veggie tempura, almost like french fries. And on the upper right, there's a different-shaped tempura. My friend says it's fish wrapped in nori.

I actually liked this, more than any ramen I've tried. But I did have to eat it with karaage, or I might miss out on my protein needs, and they perfectly complemented each other. I probably won't eat this again, though, because with the karaage, this was almost 600 yen already. Contrast that to my under-400 yen lunch earlier today.

Also, I was surprised to see the soba to be dark-colored (almost like a light brown color) as opposed to the yellowish noodles of ramen, udon, spaghetti, or that of yakisoba. I've only seen similarly colored soba in cold soba dishes that they usually serve on plane flights on Japanese airlines. I asked my friend and he said this darker color is actually the normal color of soba. Cool!

23 October 2012

Bento! #119: Two more Onigiri!

240 yen from 3F. If you know me well enough, you would
know this is not enough for lunch. In fact, I ate this together
with that curry dish I also blogged about today.
As usual, this set comes with two slices of pickled radish.

This is the tarako onigiri / たらこおにぎり / cod roe filled
rice in nori "snack". Onigiri is the Japanese equivalent of
a sandwich. In case you didn't know, roe means fish eggs.

This is the other onigiri - unfortunately, I don't know how
to read the kanji! But it tastes like tuna. I love tuna!
But, I'm not 100% sure this is tuna. Any helpful souls
out there? :D

Bento! #118: Kita Indo Fuu Chikin Karee

Kita = 北 = north. Indo = インド = India. Fuu = 風 = style (this can also be read as kaze; i.e. wind). Chikin = チキン = chicken. Karee = カレー = curry.

480 yen from 3F. You're really paying for the sauce, which looks (and tasted) like some yogurt was mixed in. Because the chicken - well let's just say I can pick them all up and put them all in my mouth at the same time. The rice is infused with butter. Because this is curry (and well how else do you take in the sauce?), it comes with a spoon. But of course, it's really more like North Indian-style Japanese curry. The pickled radish to the left of the photos, as well as the shishitou / ししとう / not-so-spicy Japanese green chili instead of really spicy red chilis gives it that Japanese touch. I loved the sauce, though. It's not like the Indian curry sauces I've tasted in India, but it has that Indian taste; i.e. different from the default Japanese curry.

22 October 2012

Bento! #117: Rokomoko Don / ロコモコ丼 / Loco Moco Rice Bowl

480 yen for this big bowl from 3F.

It's a really deep bowl, apparently. If I filled this with water, my food would
be drowning already.

As per Wikipedia, "Loco moco is a traditional meal in Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy." Based on that, this one is a Japanese version of it. Why? Well, there's white rice. There's one hamburger patty, made from pork most likely but hey, it's still a burger patty. There's gravy - more dark brown than just brown, but it's still brown gravy. Or well, it might be gravy. And then there's egg. But, that's the thing, it doesn't look anything like fried egg. That non-fried egg I guess gives this a Japanese touch. Also, the gravy tastes more like... Guess what. ...It tastes more like another Japanese favorite, "demi soosu" or demi-glaze sauce. This "donburi" also comes with a chunk each of carrot and asparagus.

Bento! #116: Chuuka Don from 3F

480 yen for this large bowl. Comes with renge (Chinese soup spoon)!

Filling half the bowl is some rice, some chingensai (チンゲン菜 / bok choi /
pak chai / Chinese cabbage / pechay), half a hard boiled egg, carrots, cabbage, lotus
roots, shrimp, pork, mushrooms, and something that resembles the meat of
a certain shellfish (though it didn't feel like one).
If you've been following this blog, you already probably know that chuuka don (中華丼) translates to chop suey rice bowl.

21 October 2012

Bento! #115 - Domu Domu Teriyaki Eggu Baagaa

I wanted to eat at McDonald's today, but certain circumstances prevented me
from doing so and instead lead me back to Dom Dom Hamburgers
(Domu Domu Hanbaagaa / ドムドムハンバーガー). I ordered their
Teriyaki Egg Burger set meal, and this is what they gave me. At first, I
was afraid that they got my order wrong; that they gave me a plain
Teriyaki Burger without the egg.

But why worry if they got my order wrong, right? It turns out, they heard
me just fine! Lots of lettuce, a small patty with sweet, seemingly soy-sauce-based
teriyaki sauce with some onions, and the egg. The normal set meal is 580 yen.

After one bite. Or maybe two.

Of course I have to have fries with my burger. I actually got "L" size fries
and drink. As usual, I ordered Dom Dom's version of Karaage, which are
basically like chicken fingers. I think I got Teri-Mayo and Tartar sauce
the last two times, so this time when they asked me what kind of sauce,
I said "spicy." I was surprised to get this I don't know it is kind of powdery dip instead.
It's spicy, sure. But do I dip the chicken in it? Or is it meant for the fries?
Do I shake the fries or the chicken or both in this? Anyways, it wasn't a
deal breaker. It was a delicious meal. I'd order their Teriyaki Egg Burger again.
Maybe I will order two, though. :D

20 October 2012

Japster - The Japan English Social Network. Nah.

Anyone who wants to try this? Check out at www.japster.jp. When I visited the homepage, it says that only 1 member was online. Hmmm. Nah.

Bento! #114: Okaka and Kinokogohan Onigiri Set

220 yen from 3F

Comes with two slices of yellow pickled radish.

The okaka onigiri. From Wikipedia: Katsuobushi (鰹節 or かつおぶし), also known as okaka (おかか) is the Japanese name for dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, sometimes referred to as bonito).

The kinokogohan onigiri. Kinoko translates to mushroom, and gohan is rice.

Bento! #113: Omu Soba

As I mentioned earlier, this weekend if is Kougei-Sai, our school fair. There were a lot of food choices, the typical yakisoba, takoyaki, crepe (kureepu / クレープ), choco-banana, and so on. I got something that I haven't seen anywhere before. First, some photos at the school grounds.

"Kougei-Sai" sign and entrance gate

Kougei. Or Koogei. Or Kohgei. When Japanese romanize
some Nihongo words, they might spell 'em differently.

From the entrance leading to the main fair grounds.

No beer (actually it says nothing alcoholic),
no smoking, no pets, and no knives (or weapons). 

Ooh, they have a beauty pagent.

There was an ongoing show already, and not a very big audience.
Well, it's not a very big school. It's a private school, by the way.

There are rooms and halls here and there where there are some events.
I guess some of the people are in some of these rooms. I never know
what stuff happen here. It seems no one from my group are interested,
or well, to them (or us), work is more important than these things.
We are all, after all, at least 10 years older than most of these college kids.

This road leads to the cafeteria (which is closed as it is being used
for some event I don't know), and it is lined with food stalls on both sides.

Another view of that stage I showed you earlier.

And now, the main attraction. For me. Omu Soba
(オムそば). I guess, instead of rice in omu raisu (omelette
and rice), this one has soba instead. It was nice. It was 400 yen.
Yakisoba at the school fair is usually 300 yen, compared to
500 yen at public festivals or from street vendors. But I guess
I paid 100 yen for the egg. This also had cabbage, bean sprouts,
dried salty fish flakes, and mayo. This is supposedly my dinner,
but alas, I had to buy some onigiri from the konbini to supplement
this meal.

19 October 2012

Bento! #112: New but Ordinary

430 yen from 3F for rice topped with nori and some salty fish flakes, fried potato wedges, weiners, chicken katsu with mayo, burger with ketchup, spaghetti, and half a hard-boiled egg.

Bento! #111: A snack

It's like a small oblong cake covered in a sweet powdery dip. I'll update this post once I find out what this is called. Yummy. As you know, though, this is not exactly tradional Japanese dish, and I say that because cake or bread (keeki / ケーキ, and pan / パン, respectively) are words that do not have a Nihongo equivalent. Of course, there's mochi, the Japanese rice cake, but by "cake," I meant cake as in cake, not as in rice cake. In the same way, in the Philippines, we have different kinds of rice cakes and rice-based desserts and snacks, but they are not cake as in cake.