Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Japan in no particular order (and belatedly): Food

One of nine tofu courses we downed at Kyotofu

Mostly, trying to eat in Japan consisted of looking for places from our guidebook and failing because Tokyo is unnavigable or because the place is closed, then walking in somewhere, and having them speak exactly enough English to tell you there's nothing vegetarian to eat. But that made the good finds all the more exciting...

We had fried vegetables and cheese on sticks (kushiage, and it's written as δΈ² - things on a stick!) at a street-side restaurant. It came with cabbage and sesame oil and tasty beer. Other fun street foods were noodles from a vendor at the park in Tokyo, and a baked potato in a random Tokyo suburb.

The best meal was definitely at Biotei, this really low-key place in Kyoto with an awesome prix fixe menu of tofu, vegetables, and soup. We went to a fancier place (Kyotofu) in Tokyo, which definitely wins for range of preparation, but actually was not as tasty.

Other meals: At a temple in Kyoto, we had vegetarian soba. Lots of red bean desserts. Tofu donuts and savory peanut brittle at Nishiki market. Conveyor belt sushi. Rice with cereal grains at the fancy ramen place in Kyoto. Wasabi corn nuts!

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