I eat so much until people call me Dr. Fish Fish.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Meeting Yuriko (18 Sept)


This is little 'babe' in Yuriko's house. Their sweet Pomeranian. I never see it with a full scale blooming fur. Owez being cut during summer to reduce the heat. Wish I can see it in winter. :P Btw, Yuriko told me, for the haircut, it costs 5000yen (~RM176). Man!!

I grab the chance to take its pics when she was busy eating.

"Hmm!! Dun watch me eating ok? I'm shy... No good to watch a lady eating..."

Gosh! It took me a hard try to take its still look pics. It was hyperactive. Never really stay still. But glad i got this shot of hers. ;)

Ume no Hana

That evening, Yuriko's parents booked for dinner in Ume no Hana. A famous Japanese franchise restaurant serving yuba (soymilk sheet) and tofu dishes. It is belonged to the Umenohana group. This was my 3rd time having dinner in Ume no hana. Everytime was treat by someone. :P And this is a place strongly recommended by me if u want some elegant fine Japanese food. :)

This was the decoration of our dining room. We were led to a private room for 6 people.

That nite, besides Yuriko (left 2), Yuriko's parents (left 1 and right 1), Yuriko's brother, Nao and his future bride, Yuko (middle and right 2) oso joined the dinner. They drove all the way from Hamamatsu. This was the 1st time I met Yuriko's brother in person. Ai yah~ so fast want to get married oledi.

Yuriko's parents order a set of kaiseki ryori (kaiseki dish) called Umenohana-zen for each person. Each set is for 4500yen (~RM160).

On the table, there was a big pot of tofu for 6 of us. When we reached, the waitress tat serve us started to heat the pot with candle. Yap, every room have a waitress specially serving the group.

After it boiled, Yuko distributed it to us. This tofu dish is the 7th menu in the set. :) Hmm... good chance for Yuko to appeal to be a good future daughter in law. Me? Just need to busy with eating. :P

This one is a tofu-like food made from milk, fresh cream and arrowroot starch. I am really amazed with this dish. It is so divine. I would say a texture of tofu with a bit of bounciness. But a creamy cheesy taste. With a mugwort miso paste... The person who think of this combination must be a genius. :)

The next menu is boiled green vegetable. This one is horenso (spinach). Mild taste. Good source of diet fibre.

Then, a small pot of cold yuba was served. Add some soysauce, and just eat. This yuba is not the usual dried up yuba from China. A Japanese Yuba is a high class food. They called it nama yuba (fresh yuba) cause no process of drying up gone thru for it. And the price? At least 10 times the normal yuba we get in Malaysia market.

I made this raw yuba by myself before. An ex lab assistant gave me thick soymilk before, and teach me how to make it. Hee... it was damn fun. And the texture was very rich and creamy. Yummy!!

This one is another very good idea menu. It is a manju (chinese bun) with tofu and lotus root. U can feel a spongy texture surrounding crunchy bits when u munching it. Slurp!

Next, we hv a great cup of chawanmushi (steamed egg custard). I love the yurine (lily bulb) inside and the smoothness of the egg.

This one looks so delicious. It is tofu shumai (Chinese-style dumpling made of tofu) with crab meat inside. Ahh~~ if only they dun put crab meat inside. So me just watched others eating.

Now, this one is a very typical Japanese style dish. Sliced raw tuna rolled with yuba. The white cubes are Chinese yam. I took out the maguro (tuna) and eat the Chinese yam with yuba by wrapping inside the shiso (perilla). :P

Even though it is a restaurant tat serves yuba n tofu, and still got meat. Yuriko's parents so worry I am not goin to be full. So they ordered extra menu for the dinner.

First was this big bucket of kinoko (mushroom) and mizuna (potherb mustard) salad with ponzu dressing (Japanese salad dressing from juice tat pressed from a bitter orange and with a mixture of sesame oil). Very shaki shaki (crispiness for vege).

A big pot of cold tofu with yuba and namafu (the red leaves shaped thing, is a glutinous substance made from wheat gluten) decoration.

And the 3rd extra menu we had definitely the best for me. Tempura! I had a great experience for this tempura, as there were some food tat I never tried in this way. Matsutake is one of them (A very expensive mushroom in Japan, only can be eaten in autumn season. The reason why it is very expensive is due to its failure in cultivation. Matsutake is well-known for its crispy texture and the great fragrance it releases, but in term of nutritional value, shiitake is more recommended. And matsutake in Japan r different from those in Canada or Korea. A true Japanese matsutake prices a few folds compare to these cohorts). The other 2 tempura tat I tried for the 1st time there were fresh ichijiku (fig) tempura and red capsicum. 1 bucket of this for 1500 yen. The batter of the tempura very nice. Not too oily, and very crunchy. :)

The waitress then continue serving us the unfinish menu for the set. This one is namafu age (Fried wheat-gluten coated with miso paste). The green one is mugwort. And the yellow one is normal flavour. Little awa (millet grain) was spreaded on them, istead of sesame seeds. Great dish. Especially love the blending of the taste with the texture.

This was a good one for fish cake lover. Fried ground whitefish meat wrapped with yuba. :( Another nice nice dish tat cannot touch by fish fish. I am very sure a sprinkle of lemon juice on the fish cake will make the taste very divine. *Sob sob* Can see, but no touch. I can even feel the fish cake is bouncing inside my fren's mouth.

The next one we had was this gratin. With creamy white tofu blended with crab meat. Can smell the irresistable tempation once it was served. Too bad, the crab meat very jama (disturbing). I hv to spit out the crab meat like spitting out bone while eating it. Wooosh!! By the time I finish, the dish oledi turned cold.

Before we had our desserts, we ended our main meal with okowa (steamed glutinous rice), tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and suimono (clear soup with yuba). Yap, it is a typical way of Japanese style in serving rice at the final point before the dessert in a series of dishes. I dun know why. Maybe in this way, u wouldn't feel too full in the beginning. And can fill up the empty part in ur stomach with this carbohydrate.

For the dessert, we had 3 choices. Yogurt ice cream.

Red bean willow.

And chestnut ice cream. I chose this one. Very rich taste. Definitely a good sweet thing to rinse ur mouth after all the foods.

Gochisosama deshita (Thank you very much. I have really enjoy my meal very much.) Hontoni umakatta (It was really a delicious meal).

Before we left the restaurant, I took another few pics of Yuriko's family. Here is the future bride n bridegroom. Their ceremony is going to be on 30 October. Yuriko is coming back for that, all the way from US, just for 4 days. Man!

Sue nagaku oshiawaseni! (May happiness be with you till the end.) :)


At 3:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

eee~~~ everything for 4500yen? A bit expensive though but they serve great delicacy, don't they? I like tofu very much. Bring me there when i go visit u again. :D~
Oh yeah, we'll see each other again next 2 weeks. yeah! wai-wai

At 5:59 AM, Blogger Dennis said...

How does your friend Yuriko like Oregon? I've lived here most my life. People are generally nice here in Oregon, but I think it's too cloudy and rainy too often. I'm ready to move down to sunny California...got a lot more good Asian food down there!

At 6:05 AM, Blogger pinkcocoa said...

Your friend, Yuriko is kirei! Her dog is kawaii!
hehe practicing a bit of my lousy japanese here. I dont know how to use full sentences.

Would love to go try kaiseki one day. Looks soooo yummy :)

At 6:08 AM, Blogger fish fish said...

wai wai: yap, we'll goin to meet each other again soon. very soon indeed. (oops! again?) i am now thinking hard how to open my mouth telling my sensei. ai yah~~ 'No medicine to treat'. hey, u hv anything oishii mono u want from kyoto? let me know earlier wor.

Dennis: Yuriko like her lifestyle in America more. I think she likes Oregon too. Before this, she was in Washington. In US, she is free. In Japan, her parents are kind of a strict. She is bringing her snowboard over to US this time for skiing in Oct, she's good in tat. So envy. I had snowboarding once only. Want to try again this year. Man... really fell like a katak (frog). Tat gal play golf too. She told me it's common to play golf in US. Is tat so? Anyway, good for u all spreading around in US, then when I go, can thick face ask for a free stay. Can I? :P

At 6:12 AM, Blogger fish fish said...

Pinkcocoa: Hi dear... yap. Yuriko is kirei~ and Masshu is kawaii~ Totally agree with u. I hope she will read ur comment. :P My frens in M'sia say she looks like a doll when they saw her pics. Hehe, tat's quite true. U must try Kaiseki one day. It really worths as a memoriable meal. :)

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Dennis said...

The snow is starting to pile up in the mountains. I've gone skiing several times, but never snowboarded. Your friend sounds like she's quite active.

As for golf, I suppose there are some people who are into it. Many of my friends golf, and one of them even gave me one of their set of golf clubs to get me started. I took it to the driving range, got a bucket of golf balls and tried hitting the balls. Suffice it to say, I suck at it! hehe My friends like to get up early on the weekends to golf and invited me several times to play, but I always ended up waking too late (I like to sleep in on the weekends to catch up for lack of sleep during weekdays). Oh well. :oP

Of course you can stay for free when you visit. :oP
At the moment, we've got plenty of room. Although it's just my wife and me, we got 3 bedrooms, so we made one into a library room and the other into a guest room. If we're down in California by the time you visit, we'll probably stay in some place smaller since houses down there are 2 to 3 times more expensive than up here. In any case, you're still welcome to stay with us for free wherever we may be. :o)

At 12:05 AM, Blogger fish fish said...

TQVM Dennis. :) For the kind offer. Ok, think by the time I go US, u guys will be in California then. Hey, looking forward to seeing more of ur wife's cooking in California then. When ur restaurant open, I might be the first Kuching customer wor. ;)

At 11:46 AM, Blogger cooknengr said...

Hey Fish Fish, nice picture and lots of fine food with flavor and presentation. I like the arrowroot starch, out of this world texture.

How was the quake.

I postponed my trip, should arrive just before CNY, the two girls are arriving earlier due to cooperate vacation policies. Since that week is Mardi Gras time, will change the theme from Cajun party to Mardi Gras party..remember to wear Nihon girl's colorful outfit..What's the fashion term ? Will have beads and masks....

Visiting CA, you and your friends can stay at Ta Ker place in LA and Ta Jieh place in SF lah (we both rent, so have to sleep on the couch/living room)


At 9:11 PM, Blogger fish fish said...

Hey Ta Ge, the quake not too good. The work for assisting the rescue work still on n on. And yet aftershock still follow up one by one. :( My place not effected. Was very surprised to first know the news from TV. Even Japanese themselves quite shock w the news. Btw, thanks v much for Ta Ge offer, will keep tat in my mind. Yeah! Settle looking for place to stay in LA n SF then. :P


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