Friday, August 19, 2011
7th August, 2010 - Continuing our adventures in the local Aeon shopping centre... there's one thing that I that I do love about Japan. The range of food places that you can find. And one of my favourite foods is Yakitori. Ok - when I think yakitori-ya, I'm normally thinking a dingy dive somewhere in a side street somewhere, or a seedy place filled with cigarette smoke and the smell of beer. But there's also a very refined version of these stores - very family friendly.
And whilst they may lack a slight texture (not to mention palpable ambience), they're a good place to grab a bite to eat during the day. I love the boys expression above... reminds me of the stereotypical dog staring at through the butchers window - unable to get what he most desires. Aren't we all a bit like that?... the grass is greener on the other side, the taste sweeter beyond the glass?
The other thing I love about Japanese food are the bakeries. Now a lot of people don't get Japanese baked goods, but for me they're brilliant. Not too sweet (unlike most similar places here in Australia), and always a great variety of flavours (some of which are a little weird), and shapes. And comparatively cheap.
I know I often sound like a paid advertisement for Japan - and I'm sure that many people that have moved to Japan have well-and-truly got over the whole difference-thang.... but for me I'm still a convert. I still remember from my first trip back in 2003 being totally blown away by the breads that you could buy. I especially love the thick sliced breads that look and feel more like wheaten cloud pillows than bread. And I'm also a big fan of the corn-oil margarines... very tasty - though I admit to having no idea how (un)healthy they are. And don't care.
Now this bakery, the Bread Factory, is not necessarily a favourite amongst our family, but it's got a good range of foods. Part of me wonders about the hygiene aspects of having all this food out in baskets, and sometimes Japan can be a complete bucket-load of contradictions (as compared to the individually wrapped biscuits that are every where).
The other thing you'll find an abundance of is kawaii, cute foods. Panda anyone? Coming from Adelaide (who are current custodians of Funi and Wang Wang) I should be upset by this blatant attack on all that is good and true about Panda-hood... but for the life of me, I just want to bite their heads off. The cake ones that is.... (lick lips)... honest.
Kameron (カメロン) anyone?... but before you answer... whilst kame is turtle, this means Cameron. I don't like it when my food has a name. A person's name that is. Even at 140 yen.
I much prefer generically named things - like donuts. Hmmm - getting hungry. And that's after a HUGE meal of KFC tonight. Ok - so obviously healthy diet is not top on my list of priorities at the moment.
Speaking of KFC (actually that's not a bad segue to this photo), the other thing that Japan has a love for is the Colonel in drag. Ok - it may not be a woman's drag, but it's not unusual to see the man in all manner of dress. Any occasion is good enough to put him in a coat, armour, or bear suit. Sometimes a happi coat is enough to get the message across that whilst he's sporting the appearance of a white colonial plantation owner, he's just as comfortable in the local digs.