Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Restaurant [Ajisai] / レストラン 「あじ菜」


We were meeting one of my wife's friend's for dinner and she suggested this washoku (Japanese style) restaurant. It is called Ajisai. This was back in February, our second month of living in Aomori City. I was still not fully employed but something promising did come along.

妻の友達と久ぶり会うので、この和食レストランに決定されました。名前は「あじ菜」。私たちは青森引っ越してまだ2ヶ月しか経ってない頃だった。2月の下旬でまた雪がいっぱい残ってる。自分もまだ仕事が見つかってなかったが、採用されそうな会社があった。

We sat near the window as we ordered our meal.

窓側の席に座って、食べ物を待ってた。



I love that many restaurants in Japan still have the plastic food displays at the front of the shop.

まだいろんなレストランがプラスチックの食べ物ディスプレーがあるのは嬉しい。


Tonight's dinner. We all ordered the same item. Zaru soba with tempura and sushi. This dish was called the "Ajisai Zen" and cost 1,380yen and it was all delicious.

私たちは全員同じものを注文した。あじ菜膳。これはざるそばと天ぷらと5巻の寿司。美味しかったよ。この量で値段は1,380円。


We decided to order some dessert as well. We ordered the shiratama zenzai (rice cake and ice cream with red bean sauce).

デザートも注文しました。頼んだのは白玉ぜんざい。


Bon Appetit!

いただきます!





Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stage 1 at Sun Road Shopping Town / ステージ1 サンロード青森




Another culinary excursion in Aomori. We were doing some shopping at Sun Road (a large shopping mall in Aomori) and decided to have lunch there as well. There is a modest restaurant area on the third floor of the building. Today we decided to have lunch at a place called Stage 1. My mother-in-law had the Korean bibimbap in a stone bowl. My wife ordered the hamburger steak topped with daikon oroshi and I had a beef kalbi and rice pilaf. Lunch was served with soup and salad.

二月の終わり位に青森の大型ショッピングセンターで買い物した。この場所はサンロード青森という。買い物を終えたら、ビルの3階にあるレストラン街でランチを食べた。今日選んだ店は「ステージ1」。いろいろあって、家族には良い雰囲気の店。義理の母が石焼ビビンバを注文、妻は大根おろし乗せのハンバーグ。自分は牛カルビとライスピラフ。ランチにスープとサラダ付です。


Bibimbap in a stone bowl / 石焼ビビンバ


Hamburger steak topped with daikon oroshi / 大根おろし乗せハンバーグ


Beef kalbi and rice pilaf / 牛カルビとライスピラフ


Most restaurants in Japan serve cabbage for salad instead of lettuce.

日本のレストランのサラダは大体キャベツですね。アメリカならレタスのサラダのほうが一般的。


Today's soup was corn potage.

本日のスープはコーンポタージュ。


Bon Appetit!

いただきます!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ramen shop [Asari] / ラーメン処 「あさ利」





One of our favorite ramen shops in Aomori City is this place called [Asari]. It usually has a long line of customers waiting to get in. The shop itself is rather small with a maximum seating of maybe twenty people in the main dining hall. What we love about this ramen shop is their negi ramen. If you're not a regular and order the negi ramen right off the menu, you're going to receive one extremely hot and spicy bowl. At this shop, you can request the spiciness of the negi ramen in 5 levels. The first time my wife took me here, she ordered a 2 (or a 1/2) which is half the spiciness. The minute it was brought to our table, I took one whiff of the ramen broth and it made me start coughing. Now, my wife and I always order a 3 (1/3 spiciness). This is still extremely spicy and cannot be eaten in a rush. You must take your time and savor the negi (onions) and the chashu (pork). Definitely not recommended for the weak of heart.

私たちが青森市で大好きなラーメン屋があります。店の名前は「あさ利」。この店の前はいつも行列が出来ている。店内はちょっと狭いけど、多分メインダイニングで20人位しか入れない。それで満席になってしまう。店の名物はネギラーメン。気を付けないとひどい目に会うよ。妻が最初に僕を連れた時、もちろんネギラーメンを注文してくれた。僕が知らなかったのは、この店のネギラーメンは5段の辛さがある。なにも言えずに注文したら、一番辛いやつが出てくる。妻がその当時は2を注文した。2という意味は2分の1の辛さ。テーブルに来た途端で、僕が結構咳をした。超辛かった。ちょっと衝撃すぎた。今なら私たちが行くと、3(3分の1)を注文する。これでもまだ辛いですよ。でも病みつきになる味。早くラーメンをすすると、また咳が出るに間違いない。これはゆっくり味わうラーメンです。ラーメンに入ってる叉焼もう最高に美味しい。青森に来たら、是非この店のネギラーメンを召し上げってみて下さい!



Bon Appetit!

いただきます!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Ristorante [Orukesuta] 2nd Visit / リストランテ 「オルケスタ」2回目

A few days after Valentine's, my wife and I decided to have lunch at one of her favorite restaurants when she was still living in Aomori. A Spanish restaurant called [Orukesuta]. We wanted to come here for lunch for the combination plate specials. As their were two different lunch specials, I ordered the A lunch while my wife ordered the B set.

バレンタインデーの直後、僕と妻がまたランチで外食に出かけました。妻がまだ青森に住んでたころの好きなスペイン料理店の「オルケスタ」に行きました。これは青森に引っ越して2回目の来店。以前来た時、ランチセットが気になって、その為に来ました。1,100円でワンプレートランチが2種類あて、僕がAランチを頼んで、妻がBランチを注文。


There were no other customers when we went, however, my wife did tell me that the place does get crowded during dinner time. I rather enjoy the quiet atmosphere.

私たちが行った時、全然混んでませんでした。妻によると、夜のほうが賑やかみたい。昼の静かな雰囲気も良いです。


Wall art with wine bottles.

壁にワインボトルでお洒落の飾り。


Salad was served first. It was topped with the restaurant's own dressing (at least I think it was).

サラダが最初に出てきまして。店の特性のドレッシング(と思うけど)、が美味しかった。


The soup is simple but still looks stylish.

スープもシンプルでお洒落。


Todays One Plate Lunch Menu / 本日のワンプレートランチ


Starting from the top left and going clockwise, my lunch consisted of a Spanish omelet, chicken simmered in a tomato broth, pasta with mushrooms, seafood paella, and of course as this is Aomori, grilled scallop on the half shell in the center of the plate.

左上から時計回りにスペインオムレツ、若鶏のトマトソース煮、きのこのパスタ、魚介パエリアそして青森県なので、プレートの真ん中に帆立の貝焼きがありました。


Also starting from the top left and going clockwise, my wife's B set lunch plate consisted of eggplant topped with cheese, shrimp gratin, spaghetti with basil, paella with squid ink and grilled scallop on the half shell.

同じく、左上kら時計回りに妻のランチプレートはなすのチーズ焼き、えびグラタン、バジリコスパゲッティ、イカスミパエリアと帆立の貝焼き。

Bon Appetit!

いただきます!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017 / バレンタインデー 2017年

Trying to look respectable for an employment opportunity after moving to Aomori. It also happened to be Valentine's Day today. For my American friends, in case you didn't know, in Japan, its the women who give you or make you chocolates and sweets. A little marketing idea that Japanese confectionery companies came up with. This way, on March 14th, men and boys who received chocolates need to return the favor on a day called "White Day". That means the cake and sweet shops get to double their sales by having two days where people will buy chocolates!

青森市に引っ越して、就職活動してました。 今日も偶然にバレンタインデーでした。アメリカにいる友達たちはしらないかも知りませんが、日本ではバレンタインデーは女性が男性にチョコをあげる習慣がある。確か日本人の友達に聞いた話ですが、これはスウィーツショップが考えた作戦。一ヶ月後に男性が女性から貰ったチョコお返しする”ホワイト・デイ”を作り、チョコの売上が伸びるってこと。


Well, I'm not complaining as this was given to me from my wife.

文句は言ってませんよ。だって、これは自分の妻から貰ったプレゼントだ。


Ooh, fancy! And all for me!

うわー!お洒落!で、全部俺の物!


Of course I shared some with my wife. I'm not that greedy!

もちろん妻とシェアしましたよ。僕はそんなに貪欲の性格ではありません。


This was pretty awesome too!

これも結構洒落たチョコ!嬉しい!


But wait, a good friend of mine also gave me this as a present. Chocolate Bonbons filled with Japanese liqueur. 5 of the bonbons are made with shochu made from potatoes. 1 is filled with shochu made from barley, another is filled with shochu made from soba and 1 is filled with the Okinawan spirit of Awamori.

まだまだ貰ってるよ。これは友達から貰った日本の酒入のチョコボンボン。5個が芋焼酎入で、1個が麦焼酎で1個がそば焼酎で1個が泡盛。


Imo Shochu (made from potatoes)


Imo Shochu (made from potatoes) in dark chocolate


Mugi Shochu (made from barley)


Soba Shochu (made from soba)



Awamori


No worries. I didn't eat them all at once. But then again, they didn't last very long!

大丈夫。一気に食べてませんよ。でも確かにすぐなくなりました!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ramen Shop [Gojoken] / らーめん 出し屋「五丈軒」

Earlier this year while it was still winter, my mother-in-law who doesn't really like ramen suggested going to a ramen shop called [Gojoken] after we finished a bit of shopping. I was amazed. It was very unusual for my mother-in-law to eat ramen. She doesn't pasta, udon, or soba much either.

今年の冬イトーヨーカドーで買い物を済ましたら、珍しくラーメン嫌いの義理の母があるラーメン屋でランチを食べないかと提案。え?お母さんがラーメン? 僕にとってびっくりポンだよ。だって、自分の義理の母はパスタ、うどん、蕎麦もあんまり好きじゃないんです。行った店はらーめん 出し屋「五丈軒」。





The sign says [Gojoken] Noodle Factory.

おう、麺工房ですて。


It appears the two main choices of ramen on the menu was Chuka Soba or Bara Soba. I opted for the Bara Soba which is the pork noodle. The broth was niboshi (dried sardine based) which is the most popular style of ramen in the Tohoku area.

メニューに二つのメインチョイスがある。中華そばかバラそば。僕はバラそばを選んで、確か僕の妻は中華そばを頼んだ。


This is their Chuka soba. My wife loves this style and flavor of ramen, except for the hard-boiled egg, which I happily ate for her.

これが店の中華そば。僕の妻がこの昔い風のラーメンが好き。味玉子は嫌いけどね。それ、僕がいただきました。

This is the bara soba as you can see, it comes with a fair amount of pork!

バラそばはそのまま、肉多めです。


I also couldn't believe my mother-in-law suggesting to go play ping-pong after eating ramen but that's exactly what she did and we ended up playing for an hour. I love playing ping-pong so I'm not one to refuse. I could play all day if I had the time.

またびっくりポンのことに義理の母がラーメンを食べたあとに、卓球をやらないかと提案。自分は卓球大好き人間なので、もちろん賛成。暇があればずーと卓球が出来る感じですよ。

Friday, August 25, 2017

Apple Hill Christmas Illumination 2016 / アップル・ヒル クリスマス イルミネーション 2016年

One of things we enjoyed in Tokyo was the winter illumination come Christmas season. There was many areas to choose from - Shinjuku, Omotesando, the Tokyo Dome, Odaiba. Or you could check out Yomiuriland. So when we saw the Aomori Illumination near the station and how small it was, it was kind of shocking. We had pretty much forgotten about Christmas illuminations when we were driving around with my sister-in-law and her husband and passed by a popular Roadside Station called Apple Hill in Namioka. It was now in the second week of February but wait...what are all those lights? We must go and check it out.

東京に住んだとき、冬の楽しみの一つは街中のイルミネーションですよね。いろんが場所でイルミネーションが見えた。新宿の高島屋の近くや、表参道、東京ドームやお台場。ちょっと足をのばしたらよみうりらんどでも行けた。青森駅前のイルミネーション見たときは綺麗は綺麗けど、結構ちっちゃいなと思った。正直ちょっと地味かなとも思った。ま、イルミネーションを忘れたころに妹夫妻と夜のドライブに出かけたら、浪岡の道の駅「アップルヒル」に気になる光が。現在は2月の2週目。まさかと思ったけど、アップルヒルに行ったら、まだクリスマスイルミネーションの光だった!

































Me and Mickey / 僕とミッキー






video


I think next year, my wife and I should check out Apple Hill a little earlier.

来年、妻ともっと早くアップルヒルに行くべきだな。