30 November 2012

Bento! #169: Veggie Potage Ramen

420 yen + 63 yen upgrade to oumori (large size) from the cafeteria. Had to have my protein so I got karaage and my "milk pudding." Well yeah, this had a lot of carbs. :(

Veggie Potage Ramen = ベジポタージュラーメン = beji potaaju raamen. Comes with a few strips of lotus roots and some brocolli on top, and that's all the veggie here. This tasted more like the typical chicken noodle soup I'd eat back home, though, except well this had pork instead. What is potage, you might ask? I have one word for you: Wikipedia.

29 November 2012

The first coffee I bought in Japan that's not "3-in-1"

Like I've been saying, I'm cutting down on sugars and carbs. So I have to ditch my usual 3-in-1 Blendy Coffee Stick (which I should have taken photos of! whoops!), which is just oh too sweet, I think. I could go for the "half-and-half" 3-in-1's with those sweeteners that might have less calories, but they are still carbs. Anyway, I get my 3-in-1 Blendy's for around 498 yen for a 30-pack, which means 16.6 yen per "stick," or around 20 US cents or 8 Philippine pesos. A little bit more expensive than in the Philippines, but it's not that bad. It's not enough caffeine though, so I usually take 2 sticks each morning. That's a lot of sugars and carbs.

So, I go to the supermarket, hoping to find an alternative, saw this thing with a 398 yen price tag that looked much more than what I was paying for the Blendy's, and well it became a no-brainer. Of course, Nescafe is a familiar brand the world over, but Matinal? Equilibrado? Sounds like (Brazilian) Portuguese to me. Well, I gave it a try anyway, and it turned out great! Per my understanding on the back, you can mix a tablespoon(?) directly with 150mL of milk -- I've never done that before, and boy did that taste really great. Almost like a latte. Almost no need for sugar. :D  Anyways, it's strong enough (or you can control the strength of the coffee anyway by adding more), I only had one cup of coffee this morning and it was all it took to get me going for the day. Mission accomplished!

P.S. I didn't use a tablespoon - that feels too much. I used two teaspoons instead. The other option, per my understanding, is to make an espresso-like concoction with just 50mL of water and one teaspoon of this thing. I'm not a fan of espresso itself so I'll probably stick to the latte-like option.

28 November 2012

Bento! #168: Houtou Fuu Udon

Guess which one is mine. :D  Thanks to Okada-san for the photo!

Whoops, I forgot the price. More than 400 yen for the large one, and under 400 yen for the regular one, from the cafeteria. I got karaage as usual. Houtou Fuu Udon / ほうとう風うどん is the usual thick Japanese wheat-flour noodle (udon), with a pumpkin-based soup, and mostly vegetables. In our school's version of it, there are some pork strips. I first tried this back in 2005 in this restaurant near Mt. Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi in Yamanashi Prefecture:

Chokoreeto #12 and #13: "Black" chocolates from Lotte and Meiji

Because I'm cutting down on sugars and carbs. Chocolate, without the milk and sugar, is vegetable after all. :D

27 November 2012

Bento! #167: Frozen Karaage and Mikkusu Sarada

Mikkusu Sarada / ミックスサラダ / mixed salad, 98 yen from Lawson, with cabbage shreds, some lettuce, some carrots, some of those purple cabbages, and more cabbage shreds. For this meal, I ate 8 pieces of the frozen karaage, from a 1-kilogram bag for under 600 yen. It's also apparently sourced from Thailand. It's cheaper than the 1-kilogram bag of frozen fried chicken (mostly thigh parts that come with the bones, and flavored almost like KFC) that sells for under 700 yen, but it's also less meat and more fat and breading.

Here's my whole meal, which I is all for under 300 yen. I had shiizaa sarada doresshingu, and crushed black peppers and parmesan cheese for my salad, and some Japanese-style mayo for the karaage. I think the karaage are better fried than microwaved and "toasted." Oh, I also got me some cherry tomatoes from the supermarket. These are larger than the usual cherry tomatoes, and they're like 20 yen a piece. Yikes.

Bento #166: Hotto Kurisupii Chikin and Kabocha from the supermarket

Together with one serving of microwaveable instant rice, this was a 500 yen meal. It was a little bit expensive, but it was all good and worth it. I like this "hot crispy chicken" than the regular one, and it's not spicy nor that much crispier at all. Kabocha / かぼちゃ = pumpkin.

26 November 2012

Bento! #165: Burger Stuffed with 5 Types of Cheese

5種のチーズインハンバーグ弁当 / go shu no chiizu in hanbaagu bentou. Pork burger, that is. 498 yen from 3F. With demi soosu / demi-glaze sauce. With some fried potatoes and onions. Did I say FIVE TYPES OF CHEEEEZE? There's mascarpone / masukarupoone / マスカルポーネ, camembert / kamanbeeru / カマンベール, mozzarella / mottsarera / モッツァレラ, cream (i.e. cream cheese) / kuriimu / クリーム, and cheddar / chedaa / チェダー. FIVE TYPES OF CHEEEEZE!!!

There goes my low-carb diet. There's so much sauce and melted cheese that went well with the potatoes as well. It's not so heavy for me, though. I probably won't try this again.

Bento! #164: "Ginger-fried pork" from the cafeteria

Sorry for the blurry photo!
Another simple meal for just 314 yen. I got "S" size rice with (some) barley (mugi gohan / 麦ご飯), spinach with "sesame sauce" (ほうれん草のゴマあえ / hoursensou no goma ae; maybe "spinach sprinkled with sesame seeds" is more appropriate), and the "ginger-fried pork" (豚生姜焼き / buta shouga yaki), which I think I have already tried before -- or maybe it was one served on a sizzling plate, so it's slightly different. Anyways, this was pretty good. The pork (buta) did not really have a very strong gingery taste; it was more of a sweet tasting flavoring than it was a gingery one. "S" size rice because, as I said, I'm trying to cut down on carbs. :D

25 November 2012

Bento! #163: Buy outside, eat inside

Bunch of different stuff I bought from the supermarket (suupaa / スーパー) and from the convenience store (konbini / コンビニ). Frozen fried chicken from Thailand, microwaved. "Green salad" (guriin sarada / グリーンサラダ) from Lawson (rooson / ローソン) . Ceasar salad dressing (shiizaa sarada doresshingu / シーザーサラダドレッシング). Instant rice, microwaved. And, "Cut fruit" (katto furutsu / カットフルツ). I only ate half of the "cut fruit(s)," so this
was a meal for just under 300 yen. Nice. It helps that I'm cutting down on carbs (i.e. rice). :D

Christmas is near!

Or so our local 3F (surii efu / スリーエフ) convenience store (コンビニ / konbini) suggests.

24 November 2012

Bento! #162: Hatto Wan Bakusu (Pizza Hut One Box) #3

Teri Mayo, Bulgogi, Shrimp and "Bacon," and Bacon-Potato-Corn pizza. Yep. Oh, and this is cheese stuffed crust! Yummm!

23 November 2012

Bento! #161: Demi Chiizu Chikin Bentou

498 yen from 3F. Chicken katsu, with cheese and demi-glaze sauce (though a little bit tomato-ey), with rice, potato
salad, some fettucine-like noodles (these have ribs), and rice topped with black & white sesame seeds. Yum.

22 November 2012

"Umai" #3: Vegetable Salad Flavor

やさいサラダ味 / yasai sarada aji(?)

To me, it tastes the same as the other flavors. :/

21 November 2012

Bento! #160: Supermarket Stuff

Clockwise from top left: kakiage / かき揚げ / deep fried breaded and shredded veggies (carrots, onions, and maybe some sweet potato?) for 100 yen, ika karaage / イカから揚げ / calamari / calamares for 180 yen, microwaveable instant rice for 66 yen, and shredded cabbage / kyabetsu / キャベツ for 50 yen = a pretty good meal for under 400 yen. All from the supermarket.

20 November 2012

Bento! #159: Choco Banana Cake

Thanks to Okada-san for the photo!
Nothing new except... Choco Banana Cake! (チョコバナナ / choko banana)  105 yen from the cafeteria. It tastes good, actually. At festivals, there usually are some stalls selling real choko banana -- one whole banana dipped and covered in chocolate. Never tried that, and probably never will. :D

19 November 2012

Bento! #158: "Italian Hamburg Bento"

Or イタリアンハンバーグ弁当 / itarian hanbaagu bentou. 498 yen from 3F. Rice sprinkled with some herbs, pork hamburger patty and some roast chicken with "Italian sauce" (i.e. tomato-based sauce) that is also all over some fettucine, and a couple of string beans and some corn. Yummy.

Bento! #157: Another "Umai" flavor

Tako yaki / たこ焼 / literally, grilled octopus,
but as you know, it's far from just simply being
grilled octopus.

But it didn't taste like takoyaki to me. :(

18 November 2012

Bento! #156: BK "King's Harvest" Burger with Pumpkin!

490 yen for a regular, "M" set; plus 100 yen for an "L" set, which I got -- 40 yen more expensive than the "L" upgrade at McDonald's. And I really thought this was like a Whopper or at least a Whopper Jr.-sized burger. It's just a regular burger. With pumpkin. I also ordered BK chicken tenders (テンダーズ / tendaazu), only 200 yen for 6ピース / roku piisu / 6 pieces, but it was yet to be delivered. I chose barbecue sauce (バーベキューソース / baabekyuu soosu) for the chicken.

A morning scene in Atsugi, with Mt Ooyama in the background

It might be difficult to see but the the whole mountain is almost all-orangish now. I was waiting at the bus stop near my place, when I took this photo. You can see the "Taiwan" restaurant with the big red and yellow sign on the same side of the road. And my trusty neighbourhood Lawson convenience store.

Can you see the orange-ish colors?

17 November 2012

Bento! #155: Yakiniku!

The restaurant behind the tree is the place. View Larger Map.

I am not sure exactly of the name of the place. But I love the sauce. And well, everything. Would come back here again. It takes a lot, though, to eat enough (i.e. it was a little bit expensive -- and you have to do the cooking yourselves). It might be better to go to this other yakiniku restaurant downtown, called Fuu Fuu Tei, which has eat-all-you-can yakiniku / 焼肉 / やきにく / grilled meat.

Their special sauce. Looks like what we call in the Philippines as "sarsa,"
and more particularly "sarsa ng lechon," except this might also have some
sesame and miso added.

5pm scene here in Atsugi

A month from now, this will be the scene here at 4:30pm.

16 November 2012

Bento! #154: Tiramisu

English: Tiramisu. Japanese: Tiramisu / ティラミス. Italian: Tiramisu. Can't get any easier than that. Oh but in case you didn't know, Tiramisu is of Italian origin.

It's 105 yen at the cafeteria, like earlier dessert cakes I tried.

I had the usual suspects though. Sasami chiizu katsu / Cheese chicken fillet cutlet. Sarada / Salad from the salad bar, which I dressed with French dressing again. But this time, I'm starting to go "M" rice. I just saw a video suggesting that starchy carbs from rice, corn, potatoes, and wheat aren't exactly the best for you. But I had to have cake. :D

Bento! #153: Chuuka Soba

A.K.A. "Ramen."  We tried the ramen at this restaurant beside another restaurant that was beside an "Electric Shop" (i.e. how they might call an electronics and appliances store).

There's usually a lot of people going to ramen restaurants by their lonesome, and they site at the bar,  which is typical of "ramen shops," i.e. ramen restaurants.

15 November 2012

Chokoreeto! #11: LOOK chocolate travels - Belgium

English: Belgium. Japanese: ベルギー / Berugii. English: Belgium. OK? Anyways, this one has two flavors, caramel and "cafe." I really don't notice the difference, but that's just me.

As before, there are patterns on the blocks. Caramel on the inside two columns, cafe on the oustide two columns. Caramel/Cafe Speculoos / スペキュロス / supekyurosu? Watisdat!? Apparently, it's this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speculoos

Bento! #152: "It's all because of you, I'm feeling sad and blue."

A.K.A. the lyrics of "Sukiyaki." (If you're not an early 90's kid like me, you probably don't get it -- that's fine.)

399 yen from the cafeteria; 504 yen with "M" size rice.
This is sukiyaki nabe / すき焼き鍋 , a pot (nabe) of sukiyaki, although sukiyaki is always cooked in a pot. Yum. And this one, cheap. A little sweet, though. There's beef strips. Leeks (or is it more properly called scallions?). Tofu. Some noodles. Cabbages. Yum. Absent here though, are mushrooms and raw egg, which more typical sukiyaki versions have.

Apparently, the first sukiyaki restaurant in Japan was in Yokohama. It's now widely known as a Japanese dish, but apparently, cows, milk, meat and eggs were not so common in Japan until they opened up to the world back in the 1800's. (Source: Wikipedia)  Speaking of Yokohama, here's a video of 4PM, the group who sang the popular English pop/R&B song titled "Sukiyaki", performing live and a cappella in Yokohama, Japan in 1995:

14 November 2012

Bento! #150 & #151: Taiyaki and a popular snack

Both courtesy of my "officemate," HYK. Thanks! Taiyaki literally means "baked sea bream," a type of Japanese fish-shaped cake.

Oh, why is my white tissue looking purplish? I didn't shoot this with an iPhone 5! This is an iPhone 4! :(
Anyways, this one's good enough as a light meal.

Bento! #149: "W soup" soy-sauce-flavored ramen noodle soup

409 yen from the cafeteria.
I didn't really know how to translate what this is directly. The label at the cafeteria says "Wスープ醤油ラーメン / W suupu shouyu raamen" and they explain that it is normal shouyu ramen (ramen noodles in "soy-sauce-based soup") but that it comes also with "fish and chicken soup" (or fish and chicken stock). I don't know why that's called a "W soup." Anyways, it was not bad at all. I really like the smell and taste of nori. But of course, there were the usual suspects in this ramen dish: chaashuu / チャーシュー / char siu / roasted pork slices, lotus roots, leeks / negi, and egg. Yum. By the way, today I'm translating "shouyu raamen" as "ramen noodle soup with soy sauce flavoring," but raamen is almost always ramen noodle soup here, so if I just say ramen, I mean ramen noodle soup. For your additional info, ramen comes from laa mien in Chinese. At the "Taiwanese" restaurant yesterday, the Chinese servers, though speaking in Japanese, were pronouncing ramen as raamien, instead of raamen.

13 November 2012

Bento! #148: Taiwanese restaurant lunch set

For only 700 yen!!! I was debating though if I should include this in my "Bento!" series, since it's not Japanese food, but what the heck. It's food in Japan. And besides, this was lunch -- and as you know, bentou means lunch box. :D

Anyway, this is a new restaurant just around our neighborhood, although it's on the main road leading up to school.

View Larger Map

In the Google Street View above (as of today, November 2012), it still shows the very old restaurant that was housed in that same building where this new Taiwanese restaurant is now in, from back in October 2010. The place was an okonomiyaki place (in fact, I have videos and blog articles about the place) called Douhton-Bori. In 2011, they closed shop and then this new place set up shop there; it was a ramen and curry restaurant called Konge Ramen. And now, it's 2012, a new year, a new restaurant. I wish they'd stay longer than its predecessors have, but who knows. Maybe the location is just not good for a restaurant. In fact, now, there have less parking spaces as there is now a 5-story building at one corner of the parking area you see above.

Anyways, all this for only 700 yen!!!

Bento! #147: Cake for dessert

As promised. My Power Don "L" size meal -- notice the different colored (and different size) bowl they use now. I tried French dressing again on my salad. And I got a slice of cake for dessert. From our cafeteria. But instead of the apple caramel one that I had last time (they don't have it today), I had strawberry shortcake / ストロベリーショートケーキ / sutoroberii shooto keeki. You can see the size of the 100+ yen cake relative to the spoon and fork. Not bad, I guess. :D

Reds, Yellows, and Greens

View of Mt. Oyama from our building. You can see the trees are starting to become reddish/brownish. To the near right is our campus's main building, or honkan / 本館. On the far right is perhaps one of the very first buildings in our campus, housing mostly the Arts departments. A road dissects the areas of the newer and older buildings; the new, "buffet" style cafeteria is actually in the "older" side in the old Student Hall / gakusei hooru / 学生ホール building.

Red. For a couple of days now, actually.

Red, yellow, and green. Inspired by @chrispirillo's (lockergnome.com)
similar "traffic light" photo and posted on his Instagram.

During summer, these are dark green; in winter, there are no leaves at all; at the
beginning of spring, they are lined with whitish or pinkish cherry blossoms.

12 November 2012

Bento! #146: Asupara Chiizu Katsu

The manufacturer calls it (Buta Niku) Asupara Chiizu Katsu /
(豚肉)アスパラチーズカツ/ (Pig Meat (or Pork)) Asparagus Cheese Cutlets,
but the supermarket labels it Buta Niku no Asupara Maki / 豚肉のアスパラ巻
Asparagus Roll with Pork. Anywhichway, it's 398 yen, and delicious. Cheezy delicious!
If you've been to a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi anywhere in the world,
you are probably already familiar with the word maki or roll. Additional tidbit:
they call spring rolls here as haru maki / 春巻; i.e. as in spring, the season, and roll,
as in, well, roll.
After heating, the cheese melted and spilt onto the packaging. Oh no! That's
a few grams less cheese for me! :D
It's quite expensive, ain't it? Well it's not typical Japanese food, as you might guess. But the use of these thin strips of pork, together with asparagus, and being like the typical deep-fried katsu, gives this the only-in-Japan kind of feel. You are also probably familiar with asupara beekon / bacon-wrapped asparagus -- they really like the combination of pork and asparagus, it seems. Well, I like it, too. :D  Also, I was debating between getting this and something else, but my other choice was some other meat-only product for only around 198 yen, but then I would have to buy glow foods (i.e. vegetables or a salad) separately. And so I thought, being something new, and having cheese (most importantly), I didn't mind paying the extra 200 yen for this. It was in 8 "slices" and I finished it all in one seating. :D

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11 November 2012

Bento! #145: Kabocha Sarada + Mugi Gohan + Tai no Furaido Chikin

Kabocha = pumpkin. Kabocha sarada / かぼちゃサラダ
= pumpkin salad! 118 yen from Lawson.
大盛 麦ごはん / oomori mugi gohan = large wheat/barley rice.
118 yen for 250g, from Lawson. While wheat and barley are two
different things, mugi could mean either wheat or barley. At the cafeteria,
they translate mugi gohan as rice with barley. Google translates it as
wheat rice. I have never really seen barley or wheat as themselves,
only either as flour or as juice or already as noodles. But as it turns out,
this is barley -- because wheat needs to be milled before use. Barley,
on the other hand, can be cooked like rice. Or so I heard. :D
Tai no Furaido Chikin / タイのフライドチキン
= fried chicken from Thailand!
It's 680 yen from the supermarket for a kilo of these, frozen.
I had the rest of my chicken nuggets as well, and there you
can see the mush that is the pumpkin salad. It has some
carrots as well, and I'm not sure what else. I had another
similar-sized serving of regular (no mugi) rice, by the way. :D
It was a difficult day for my microwave oven, which here they simply refer to as renji / レンジ... (i.e. "range"?)

10 November 2012

Bento! #144: McDonald's Teriyaki Chicken Filet-O

てりやきチキンフィレオ / Teriyaki Chikin Fireo. I just guessed the "Filet-O" part,
because they call Filet-O-Fish as Fireo Fisshu. 640 yen for a set, but for 60 yen more,
you can get an "L" set, which is exactly what I got. If you're wondering why my
Teriyaki Chicken Filet-O is not yet even open, but my fries are already half-finished,
and I seem to have some crumpled wrapper in the background, it's because I had
a ダブルチーズバーがー / daburu chiizu baagaa / double cheeseburger as appetizer.
The DCB was worth 290 yen, and it's what you expect from a DCB from any McD's.  :D

The packaging is a little bit different from the usual. I don't know if it's part
of the packaging, but their lettuce are all over the place.

The sandwich. Smelled gingery to me. I just stuffed the lettuce scattered from
all around the wrapper into the sandwich.

I felt like it had a little bit of an orange flavor. It's definitely not your typical
teriyaki taste. But overall, it was yummy. I'd have this again. There was also
Japanese mayonnaise in there. That went well with the teriyaki, surprisingly.

09 November 2012


I forgot to bring my camera to the cafeteria, so I don't have photos of what I had new for today. Well, it's nothing so new. I was going to show you that they now have new, smaller bowls for "L" size don (rice bowl) meals. Awww. But it still felt "L" to me, nonetheless. I also had one of their newest desserts: apple caramel (アップルキャラメル / appuru kyarameru) cake. It was 105 yen, and it was small. Typical spongy cake with icing. But can you imagine a round cake, 8-inch in diameter, sliced up into 16 slices, and voila. 1 slice is just that small. It was still delicious, nonetheless. I also tried French dressing for my salad, perhaps for the first time ever. It was surprisingly good, actually. I still love Italian though. I'll have the same exact meal when I get the chance and update today's blog article with photos. Stay tuned!

08 November 2012

Bento! #143: Salmon Roe Rice Bowl

Thanks to Okada-san for the photo!
Or 鮭親子丼 / shake oyako don. Shake = salmon. Oyako = parent and child. So there's the canned salmon bits -- the 'parent', and then there's the orange tapioca-like salmon roe -- the 'child.' There's also some nori shreds in there. Yummy! Oyako is more commonly used for chicken: (chikin) oyako don - a bowl of rice topped with chicken and egg. The L size is 504 yen from the cafeteria. I thought this won't be enough for me, so I also got sasami chiizu katsu (chicken and cheese cutlet, 157 yen and similarly yummy but obviously in a different way) and some Japanese veggies from the salad bar: wakame (a type of seaweed), hijiki (another type of seaweed, relatively much smaller in size than wakame and black in color) and lotus roots and carrot salad, and sweet corn. This was way above my usual meals here -- more than 600 yen -- and it is because salmon roe is generally expensive (try eating salmon roe sushi at a sushi bar). But it was a very good meal. Amen.

Bento! #142: Some fried stuff from the cafeteria

Sorry for the blurry photo!
This was totally 445 yen from our "buffet" cafeteria. Rice with two pieces of fried fish (thankfully, it didn't have bones), a roast pork cutlet with a mayonnaise-based sauce, lettuce, fries, spinach, and tomatoes. They've offered this fried fish with sweet sauce and bean sprouts many times before, but this is the first time I've tried it. It was surprisingly good -- I will definitely try them again.