Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

16 12 2011

Competitive speed eating: the Yakiniku King stable.

 

Yakiniku King Numazu Korean BBQ

 

Right. Pay attention. If you want to test yourself before any competitive eating championship, then I recommend you take yourself to the stables of the Yakiniku King on the Numazunorth side’s Rikodori (dori means road, kiddies). It’s easy to find, just follow your nose to the passenger jet, super-charged, mega, big-like-all-buggery exhausts pumping the smell of delicious charred flesh into a dispersal radius of 500 meters.

Once inside the Yakiniku King, a trainer will take you to a table and present you with a training regime as they light your Korean barbeque. Before deciding, it is important to make yourself familiar with your surroundings so you can maximize your eating time.

Look, put simply, any competitive eater worth their weight in beef needs to be at home in their surroundings. They must be able to reach for sauces with out even looking. They must be able to send out an order while simultaneously flipping strips of fleshy charred goodness on the barbeque. The must not let ANYTHING interrupt their steady, focused mastication.

Your trainer will present you with three training regimes each running for precisely 100minutes:

  • 58 item menu 2,480yen
  • 100 item menu 2980yen
  • 120 item menu 3,480ye

 

Each program increases in difficulty as their quality and scope of choice distracts you from your ingestion.

            There is also a drink list that you can pay per item for or take the soft drink or beer and minor spirits all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai) option to help you wash down your food.

            Ordering is simple, but you need to be on your game because you only have 100 minutes to stick as much as you can in your mouth. You will need to make these steps second nature before you go.

Step 1 – Grab the touch screen console. These bad boys get slippery so watch out. It is a good idea to get some calluses on your hands before you come. I hear that the pro’s callus their hands by turning their meat on the barbeque with their fingertips. This also gives them the advantage of developing a certain heat resistance to the scorching flames emanating from beneath the grill (NOTE: not for the amateur or faint of heart.).

Step 2 – Press the screen with your free hand (remember the other hand should be either stuffing food in your head or flipping the meat).

Step 3 – Choose from a selection of meats or side dishes. Diehards will immediately go to the meat.

Step 4 – A new screen will appear and give you an option for meats (or other items). Choose what category you want. It is pretty easy to figure out thanks to the pictures. Training guides generally tell you to go for the beef first. A couple of thin pieces of skirt steak followed by some beautifully marbled rib eye slivers are a good start for me. After the beef I’m onto the pork and then finally the chicken.

Step 5 – You should now be in the final sub menu. Select your items by pressing on them.

Step 6 – Now two things could happen next. It’s designed to test your will power and dexterity. Either another small plus and minus icon will appear near you selection and you press the (+) to add more items and the (-) to take them away (but that would never happen right? Right? Good.), or a pop-up window will appear with the same plus and minus icons also with a choice of seasoning (sorry by this stage I am in the ‘zone’ as the meat haze descends upon my consciousness so I don’t remember what is what).

 

Step 7 – Once you have made a selection you are free to make more. Warning!!! There is an upper limit to the amount of items you can select at any one time. If the console is not letting you select any more then you have probably maxed out your limit for that order. It’s time to take it to the checkout.

Step 8 – To checkout, simply press the big red shopping basket at the bottom of your screen.

Step 9 – It’s not over yet. Another screen will open to confirm what you have ordered is correct before sending it off.

 

Step 10 – Repeat steps 1 through 9 until you either run out of time (almost never happens), feel like you are going to vomit (need more training), or send the Yakiniku King stables bankrupt (a titan of the competitive speed eating world).

 

courtesy of Lauren Donald

At the end of your 100minutes at the Yakiniku King it is time for quiet reflection. Think about what you did well, where you could do better and mentally prepare yourself for the next time.

 

Good luck and I will see you at the championships.

 

Mmm, meat flavoured meat.

 

Scott

 

 

 

 

 





Allegro again for my Birthday – Numazu

17 09 2011

Back in May I was at Allegro with my wife and friend for an exceptional meal. Last time I was here I told my wife that this was where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner and indeed I did.

Last night I returned to Allegro, formally Pizzaria Il Pallio (don’t panic same awesome chef), on Numazu Southside for a birthday treat.

Sometimes the second time around at a restaurant you feel that the meal does not stand up to the same high quality as your first visit. This was not so at Allegro.

For starters my wife and I shared a Panchetta salad that was so good my wife didn’t have time to take a photo.

Our shared main was a creamy tomato crab linguettine (yeah, didn’t know that either so I checked it out from this site.) Meaty legs of crab in the shell straddled the pasta.  The chef prepared this well and kept the sauce mild to allow the subtle flavour of the crab meat to shine through.

Crab pasta Allegro Numazu - photo Lauren Donald

Next was a Bismarck pizza. With dollops of mozzarella, ham and gooey egg in the middle. A Jalapeno oil was presented along side for us to add what we liked. What I like about the pizza here is the sauce. It’s a short-cooked tomato sauce with an almost blended salsa taste.

Pizza Bismark Allegro Numazu - Photo Lauren Donald

For dessert I tried Zuccotto, a classic Italian layered cake that can come in many flavours. Allegro’s version started with a vanilla sponge, then a creamy pistachio middle, before finishing with a chocolate mouse-like centre. I wasn’t over sweet but it was decidedly addictive.

zuccotto

Zucotto - Allegro Numazu - photo Lauren Donald

You can find out more about Allegro at my old post here or at their website below.

Website: http://www.pizzeria-allegro.com





Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu

3 07 2011

Tsukuru Izakaya – Numazu  North Side

Just as the tendrils ofNumazu’s back alleys release themselves into built up suburbia, there are small oases of restaurants designed to feed the locals houses and apartments. In one little area on the North side ofNumazu, a little beyond two major supermarkets, Coop and Maxvalue, lies a small string of such restaurants.

Lately, my wife and I have been taking this route home from our regular Tuesday afternoon grocery shop. Each time we pass this area we declare, in the perfect cliché of a long serving married couple, that we “really should try one of these places out one of these days.”

Investigating these types of places can sometimes fill you with trepidation. You just don’t know if you are going to enter some territorial hotspot. Will you be met with the cold hate filled stares of regulars, as you are about to park your derriere on the recently deceased Granny Suzuki’s chair, while the waiter triggers the panic button under the counter calling for a horde of samuri obaasans to decent upon you and tear you to threads with their devilishly sharp elbows?* Alternatively you could be welcomed in with a warm smile and greeted with an excellent meal. You just never know.
photo 5(1)

Fortunately this time it was the latter. As my wife and I entered one of the restaurants in this little food oasis called Tsukuru 巣くる or, as a waitress explained, Create. This little classic style izakaya with a quirky striped white pebble and black timber walkway was an excellent choice. There are only four seating areas two tables on the side wall and a traditional style raised sublevel with recesses under the tables to plonk your feet.
photo 1

We had arrived early so we took our orders from the chef and settled down to a couple of beers. While we were waiting for our meals two waitresses arrived and prepared themselves for their evening.

First to come out was a prawn and cheese spring roll halved and placed on a bed of lettuce. This was delivered by an impressive young woman who had eyelashes that were no doubt designed to provide shade from the summer heat for her and a small tribe of pygmies clinging to her lower boughs. The spring rolls were light and crispy with a delicate minced prawn aftertaste mixed with the mild cheese.
photo 3
Another round of spring rolls ensued. This time they were a cold salad spring roll filled with salad herbs and thin slices of ham and drizzled with some sweet chili sauce. This was a refreshing cleanse from the deep fried treat we devoured earlier.
photo 4

Next came an exceptional dish of splayed avocado topped with slivers of smoked salmon and finished will small dollops of cream cheese. This unctuous treat lay in a bed of mild vinegar and soy. The unusually soft texture of the salmon and avocado was surprising to my palate but nevertheless enjoyable.

photo 1(1)
Just like any red blooded man, I have an uncontrollable urge to order fried chicken when ever I see it on the menu (I also make myself a mountain of fried chicken to gorge upon when ever my wife is out on the town with her friends, so I can release the true animal within; sitting on my haunches and rendering flesh from bone with my gnashing teeth as globules of grease drip upon the massacred remnants of chicken bone strewn below…but that story is for another time). Tsukuru’s fried chicken was very good. It was extremely well spiced to the point of competing with the ‘Colonel’ but a little over cooked in the centre leaving the meat a little stringy.
photo 2(1)

photo 3(1)

To finish off our little feast my wife and I shared a bacon and mushroom spaghetti carbonara that proved to be a deliciously good filler.
photo 5

IzakayaTsukuru was the perfect end to a busy day. Its staff were eager and attentive and, it seemed, very happy to see foreigners so far out into the suburbs ofNumazu.

* This is an increasingly all too common occurrence in Japan  and heralds the coming of the New World Order run by supprisingly sprightly obaasans. For more Conspiracies on this check out this post. 

Style: Independent Izakaya.

English Menu: No sorry Japanese.

Picture Menu: Some pictures

Phone: (055) 925-9330

 Hours: 17:30~3:00hrs

Price: Dishes average around 650yen Izakaya Stlye.

Directions: Numazu North Side north of Coop just before Route 1





Sakanya – Numazu さかんや

17 06 2011

Sakanya – Numazu

Sometimes it is an absolute pleasure to be shamefully wrong. In a recent article,  I accused a friend of having a terrible sense of direction and as such I shrugged off his directions and took my wife and another friend on a wild goose chase around town trying to find a pizza place.

I did find a pizza place; Pizzeria El Palio.

It was exceptional.

It was also the wrong pizza place.

Once my friend had informed me that I was wrong and there is indeed a pizza place precisely where he had given me directions, there was nothing for it but to make amends and meet him there for a meal and shout him a pizza. The pizza joint he took us to was Sakanya and the pizza was out of this world.

Sakanya is a nondescript little family owned restaurant with a great whopping Italian flag out the front that you cannot miss, on theNumazunorth side. It’s across the road from Ito Yokado shopping center close to the new Shizouka Bank building. You can’t miss it. Well, you can miss it if you are me.
Sakanya 2
The restaurant is a slice of tiramisu: long, thin, rich with laughter and comfortable like home. We arrived at 7:15pm on a Friday and the place was packed with regulars unwinding from a busy week. Around the walls were large oil paintings with beautiful calming scenes. The hum of the patrons proffered a sense of family. To my left was a traditional set up of tatami and squat tables and to my right was the bar counter and my friend.

My wife and I sidled up to the counter and greeted our friend. He was already getting stuck into some seriously good looking pizza. Between bites he gave us a little introduction to Sakanya. He told us that the one making the pizza was in fact an Italian man who had moved to Japan this year to work in his wife’s family owned restaurant. He informed us that the menu was split into a traditional Japanese short order izakaya with items such as okonomiyaki and gyoza on the menu, while the remainder of the menu was dedicated to pizza.
Sakanya
Our waitress brought us the menu and asked us what we would like to drink in English. We were pleasantly surprised and after ordering a few beers our friend informed us that this waitress was the Italian chef’s Japanese wife who not only spoke good Italian but good English too.

Our waitress shortly came back to ask us what we would like to eat. My wife and I in unison said pizza and asked her what she recommended was best. She proudly puffed out her chest and said all her husbands’ pizzas were good. Quickly perusing the menu I settled for a Napolitan and my wife, a seafood and garlic pizza.

Not long after, the Italian chef poked his head out the window to greet us. He was tall in his late thirties with dark hair and a classically Roman face that was open and friendly and hinted at a touch of cheeky humor. I asked the chef if I could see his pizza oven and the chef excited gestured for me to pop his head around the back into the kitchen. After a brief inspection of the oven I returned to my seat and my wife and friend.

Two sizzling disks of red, rimmed in crusty brown, greeted us about ten minutes after talking to our friend. The combination of melted cheese, tomato sauce and baked bread seduced my gustatory senses. A simple black olive formed the axle of my pizza around which a vibrant red sauce sat atop a light crunchy pizza base. Mozzarella cheese was lightly dispersed over the pizza and a delightfully pungent anchovy rested luxuriously on each slice. The pizza was simple with a sauce tasting of roasted tomato and herb. It was entirely satisfying.
Sakanya
My wife’s pizza was equally remarkable. White wafers of garlic pocked her pizza amidst prawns and scallops. The sauce was delicate enough to allow the seafood to shine but not so light to be boorish.
Sakanya
After we finished our meals the Italian chef stuck his head out through the kitchen and asked us, with a knowing smile, how we liked our pizzas. My wife and I chorused a litany of compliments in English and Japanese before abashedly attempting a “bellissimo.

The pizza was so good that my wife and I decided to order another small pizza; this time one with translucent slices of pancetta. By this time my friend had ordered from a secret stash of tiramisu that the chef had prepared earlier.

When our small pizza arrived I immediately knew that the pancetta atop the pizza was not of the usual Japanese type. The flesh was a lot darker like the pancetta that I had tasted inEuropeand like the pancetta that I make at home. This was an ingredient that was sourced with care and subsequently perfected the dish.

Again I accosted the chef and congratulated him on his excellent pancetta and asked him where he had sourced it from. He told me, in his broken Japanese, Italian and splattering of English, that he got it from his home town inItaly. I told him about my hobby making cured meats and sausage and he showed me his salami (no pun intended) and pancetta while my wife found some photos of my smoker and cured meat on her phone. This all led to the chef and I having an animated discussion about cured meats that was mediated by his wife’s translation.

Sakanya was a joy; delightful atmosphere, gracious staff and, above all, exceptional pizza. It was so good that I almost did not want to write about it and greedily keep it for myself.

I have learnt an important lesson from this experience. When it is comes to food, sometimes it is important to be wrong. Because the experience of correction often involves good food.

Style: Italian Pizzaria and Family owned Izakaya

English Menu: No sorry Japanese. But if you are really kind you could ask one of the waitresses who speaks great English.

Picture Menu: No sorry.

Phone: 81 55-925-8898

 Hours: Evenings except Mondays.

Price: Small pizza 600yen and Large Pizza 1000yen.

Directions: Numazu North Side near Ito Yokado





Pizzeria Il Palio – Numazu

31 05 2011

Pizzeria Il Palio – Numazu

Amendment: It appears that I am the one that should be replacing his big Coke bottle glasses. I am pleased to say that I stand corrected. My friend, let’s just call him ‘Mr Awesome (formally known as Mr Lost) ‘ was indeed correct in his directions. I just couldn’t find it. I owe him a pizza and I owe you a review of the real place he recommended. Read on below and laugh mockingly at my over confidence.

I should have known better, trying to get directions from a friend with the navigation skills of…well let’s just say someone who is geographically challenged was bound to be a disaster waiting to happen. But you just get plain excited when you hear of an exceptional pizzeria in town that you haven’t yet visited.

My wife and another friend of mine were riding through town one afternoon last week trying to decide what we would have for dinner. We conducted our usual procrastination over our choice of eats with gusto as we made our way south towards the station area and the centre of town.

Suddenly I remembered about my pizzeria conversations and begged some time to search it out. My wife, knowing exactly what ‘some time’ means, restricted my search to ten minutes. My friend who had tried to give me directions to this place (let’s just call him Mr. Lost for some clarity) had told me that he thought the place was on the north side of the station in the Snack Bar district. I had asked if it was near Ito Yokado, to which we was not sure until I mentioned that it was a shopping center and then he readily agreed.

I shared this information with my wife and friend as we set of in search for the pizzeria and we all concurred that it should probably been in the snack bar area in the north west relatively close to the station.

We were wrong.

Our ten minutes were up and we had not found the restaurant so we headed to the south side in search of an alternative and resumed procrastinating over where to eat. It was mid afternoon by this time and most of the restaurants were closed so this led us to wandering aimlessly from restaurant to restaurant in search of something open.

By now we were on the south side between the station and the library. As we were walking in search of a restaurant I casually looked up to see a Pizzeria sign. It suddenly dawned on me that this must have been the pizzeria that Mr. Lost had recommended. It was close to the station as he said and it could be very loosely described as being in a Snack Bar district and I guess that the Seibu could be described as a shopping center. I also should have remembered that he had mentioned a bar that foreigners frequent being somewhat nearby. Yep I missed the obvious. Here I am rabbiting on about my friend’s lack of direction all the while I am having conversations as if my big fat ears were painted on.

The Pizzeria we had found was the Il Palio. By the time we had found it the restaurant was not quite open so we went and had a coffee at a nearby café until its dinner opening time at 5:30.

The Meal


The Pizzeria Il Palio was a rare treat. The restaurant has a large covered terraced area that blends into the restaurant and the open kitchen proudly displays a pizza oven you would sell a kidney for.

We wanted to chill out before the main meal so we had a few snacks over an excellent bottle of Ameroe Red that my friend, the ever astute culture buff, recommended. For snacks we ordered a plate of mixed cured meat of suprising quality far beyond the usual bland massed produced rubbish that you find in most Italian restaurants in Japan. The meat dish included Mortadella, Proscuito and Salami. We also ordered a cheese and mushroom creamy baked casserole and some bread and olive oil on the side.

photo 10

It was a quiet night in the restaurant so we did not feel compelled to rush our dining experience. We picked through out snack and chatted over our wine as the sun went down and our hunger returned.
photo 2(1)

Ready for dinner we called over our slightly nervous fresh young waitress. We opted for one of the dinner courses which gave us a starter, a selection of pizza, pasta and meat dish for a main and dessert and coffee or tea to finish. We asked our waitress to leave our dinner to what ever the chef recommends and proceeded to enjoy our wine. A little perplexed our waitress went to ask the chef if this was okay.
photo 3(1)

For our starter we had a mixed plate of delights. A deliciously spiced pork pate on oiled toast was my favorite, but I also enjoyed the baby octypus with real balsamic vinegar, the tomato and bocconcini, sashimi white fish in olive oil and a little more proscuito.

First of our mains out was our pasta. A concoction of prawns, scallops, a Japanese style spinach in a tomato sauce with shavings of dry cured smoked salmon on top. This was a exceptional mix of texture and taste with identifiable flavors in each bite. I would have loved to have seen it with some home made pasta but this just does not seem to be done in most Italian restaurants in Japan.
photo 4

As we made our way through the pasta a large pizza appeared on the table with a small bowl of honey. I could see that the pizza crust was light and crunchy and stippled with spots of brown that is the signature of a good pizza oven. One half of the pizza was smeared with tomato sauce with big globs of mozzarella cheese and topped with a basil leaf. While a slice of this was incredible the other half of the pizza stole the show. On this side were large melted slices of rich gorgonzola. I would have been overbearing on its own but with a spoon full of honey to balance it we were met with an exotic delight. Upon the first few bites you are struck by the two intense flavours of the cheese and the honey until they blend into a remarkable flavor in your mouth.
photo 5

Next was our meat course. My wife and I ordered the fish and my friend, the meat. For our fish dish I was met with a beautiful plate of what appeared to be perch lying on a bed of mussles in a buttery liquid sauce. The succulent flakey fish was done perfectly and eaten with a guilty dip into the sauce. Begging a bite of my friends I was pleased with the tenderness of the meat.
photo 2
photo 1

Dessert was a not too rich tiramisu with a side of super creamy mascarpone cheese. The tiramisu was exceptional and not too overbearing. We finished the night discussing the exceptional food over a treat of Amarula.
photo 3

Numazu’s Pizzeria Il Palio is one restaurant that I will not have trouble finding again.

Style: Italian Pizzaria

English Menu: No sorry Italian and Japanese. Well, at least you can kinda work out what it means.

Picture Menu: No sorry.

Phone: 055-963-5677

Website: http://www.hotel-miwa.co.jp/miwa.nsf/doc/shop_palio

Hours: Lunch 11:30 – 14:00 Dinner 17:30 – 22:00

Price: lunch starts at 900yen for pasta and 1000 yen for pizza. Dinner starts at 850yen for pasta and 1100yen for pizza. Courses start at 1800yen.

Directions: Numazu South Side close to Speakezy






Maruten no Honten – Numazu, Shizuoka

20 04 2011

Maruten no Honten

When it comes to queues for restaurants I break down into a puddle of cognitive dissonance. Two strong emotive forces compete for dominance in my mind. One is a very distinct loathing for waiting in line particularly for a leisure activity. I don’t know why I can justify waiting in line at city hall or the bank but for leisure pursuits such as theme park rides and restaurants I resent, to the point of rage, having to pay money to queue.

In strong competition to this disdain for queues is the core gourmet instinct that screams at me that if the locals are patiently making a line for this food then you know it is going to be good. However it is usually by dislike of queues that wins control and I leave embittered by the fact that I have missed out on what would a probably be an epicurean delight.

It has been this way many times with Maruten no Honten – Maruten to the locals – every time I pass it by when I wander throughNumazu’s fish market area. whenever I mention to a Numazu native that I have been down to the fish market area always ask me if I lined up for Maruten. They don’t even ask me if I went there; ‘lined up’ is the term of choice.
Maruten 01

However on a recent passing of Maruten I was pleased to find no queues and an open welcoming door which lead to an autopilot beeline for the entrance. A lucky break.

With my wife and a friend in toe we took a squat table in the tatami area and sat down to order. The décor is pretty similar of these establishments; homely comfortable, nothing ostentatious and just enough to keep you focused on the plain good seafood before you.
Maruten 03

The darling obaasan’s in their t-shirts and aprons sqwark out orders to the cooks as we sip green tea and decipher the menu. There are a few picture in the menu that highlight their specialties and the three of us hone in on these.

My friend orders a large bowl of tuna sashimi that is served in thick slices and garnished with Japanese sweet omelet, nori wasabi and pickled ginger. This is accompanied by delicate crab and miso broth that has a knobby piece of carapace floating on top just to dare you to say that it wasn’t done properly.Maruten 08

My wife and I order a starter of tuna sushi that is presented to us on a wooden board. The tuna is vibrant in colour and rich in taste. A large clump of some wickedly fresh grated wasabi from the nearby Ito area takes me by a pleasant surprise on my way down through the tuna and downwards to the sushi rice. I am already reaching down for another piece before I have finished chewing.

A lightly crumbed seafood set was my wife’s selection. Crispy king prawns, calamari, crab croquet, horse mackerel and a small nondescript bait fish with a side of cabbage mashed potatoes. Simple plain fare done well.

Maruten 07
I order the kin media, or Golden Eyed Snapper, is a rich sweet soy and mirin based sauce. The fish sits boldly pink on my plate with a simple garnish of shredded scallions (or what we misname shallots inAustralia). Using my chopsticks I break free large flakes of beautifully white flesh. The fish has a delicate sweetness but the sauce, a treat in its own right, is a little to overpowering to get a true taste of this fish’s special flavour. Nevertheless, I enjoy the meal enormously.

After our meal we head out to pay and call our thanks through the open kitchen to the cooks while dodging the low lighting not made for someone six foot four. At the cashier counter is a selection of preserved marine goods that has me thinking that I during my dining I did not quite avail myself of the full experience that Maruten could offer.Maruten 04

As I go out the front of the restaurant I look at the displays of dishes on the outdoor tables and around reed covered sake drums. I missed the deep fried towers of breadcrumbs fish and crustaceous goodness, tuna tail stew or even an uber fresh plate of sardines. I will have to come back but if the queues are like they usually are, and rightly so, it may be some time before chance another lucky break.
Maruten 02

Style: home style seafood

English menu: no sorry.

Picture menu: there is a selection of items in pictures but if you want you can do a Google translate on their website to get a better idea of whats on the menu.

Gaijin friendly: for sure. The staff are encapsulate the identity of the fishing industry.

Phone: there are a number of stores around Shizuoka prefecture and two in Numazu. The one we went to is phone 055-954-1028

Link: www.uogashi-maruten.co.jp

Hours: 10:00-21:45hrs. Last order 21:00hrs.

Directions: south side of Numazu in the Port district.





From Wank to Winner – Seiko-En, Numazu

31 08 2010

Seiko-en, Numazu

A little while ago you would only find certain types of people visiting this place. You know the ones; calloused hands and coke bottle glasses dashing from car to entrance in a desperate attempt not to be detected*. Then some time later, the same ones exit again with both pants and newly acquired bag bulging.

But honestly, how long would you expect a DVD porn shop to last on the M1 when there isn’t even a discrete back door for secluded entry. The shop just stood out there proudly on the highway like Dirk Diggler’s todger. How many times has little Miki or Yuki sitting in the back of mother’s car on the way back from cram school call out “Hey mum, look that’s daddy’s car” in gleeful recognition as the mother fights off the boiling stroke inducing rage from her own recognition.

However,  some months ago things changed. The shop was gutted and a heavy duty spermacide was sprayed on the walls and floors and then Seiko-En was conceived.

Hand’s down,Seiko-En has the best Chinese food I have found in Japan. You would think that Japan, being so close to China, would have exceptional Chinese restaurant’s on every other street but Chinese or Taiwanese restaurants, particularly good ones,  are hard to find.

Seiko En’s décor is spartan and uninspiring almost as a proclamation of regained virginity. Nevertheless the meals elicit the same sort of feelings as the DVD’s might have done in the shops previous existence. Besides, this time around you can bring the wife and kiddies, and enjoy it all together.

For our first meal at Seiko-En my wife and I sidestepped the traditional sets and went straight for a selection of dishes. To start things off I ordered a spicy beef dish with, oh so tender flesh, bedded in beans, carrots, bamboo shoots and button mushrooms with a delicate broth and soy reduction. Every flavor had room to move and greet the taste buds.
spicy beef
Our waitress next laid down a prawn and cashew dish with a wonderful aroma of garlic and ginger. We were not expecting what before us. What we were expecting were maybe four over cooked prawn with the same amount of cashew nuts buried in a bed of vegetables ala Japanese style. What we received was a mass of prawns and cashew nuts in an ample but subdued bed of vegetables. The prawns were cooked to perfection for this classic dish with the garlic never threatening to overpower the delicate flavour of the prawns.
Prawn cashew
Moments later and the waitress presented us with spiced pork meat balls in sweet and sour sauce. None of that cloyingly sweet fluorescent construction worker’s vest colour rubbish on this plate; this was another deliciously well presented dish done to text book perfection.
Chinese
Finally, the fried rice arrived. Light and moist with a surprising little side of egg drop soup. This became an excellent palate cleanser between indulgent spoonfuls of everything else.

Everything was done right, from the ample portions to the crunch of the vegetables. The staff were smiling, friendly and calm. Calm being a contrast to the average deer in the headlights, glazed eyed brain washed cult member look you get from the average overworked izukaiya waiter. It was refreshing.

If you do go for the dish option then you find that prices range from around 500yen to 1000yen per dish depending on what you want. But if you go for the equally tasty looking sets then prices are around 900yen per set. The best part for the ignorant foreigner is that we have a photo of every dish and set on the menu.

Maybe it’s the lingering pheromones from the previous occupants but I walked out of Seiko-En lustfully sated with another bulge, but this time several inches higher than my crotch.

*While yes I do have calloused hands and coke bottle glasses I maintain that I have never visited these types of establishments…recently.

Stlye: Chinese Restaurant

English menu: no sorry

Picture menu: Each dish comes with a clear picture and a little chili indicator for heat.

Gaijin friendly: Yes. Very friendly happy staff.

Phone: 055-926-5388

Link: None

Cost: Sets are around 9oo yen