Sunday, February 26, 2017

Edogawa 江戸川 近鉄京都駅店 @ Kyoto Station

It was our last meal in Kyoto and with such a thought, it was really a 'no-holds-bar' situation. However, with wrist and feet hurting, I just wanted somewhere nearby. So off to Kyoto Station we went, in search for dinner. We were staying at Fushimi Inari Station, which was about 7 mins away with one transfer to main Kyoto Station. Not too bad, just that we went out on a Friday evening. Haha.

Walked around Kyoto Station before finally made our choice. Edogawa, for its unagi. Keke! I think I was sold by the unagi character at its signboard...

Edogawa Kyoto

Got a table pretty fast and gave the menu a good look-through. Made my choice and ordered. Can you guess what was my choice? First, drinks. のみますか?推測できますか? Something alcoholic? Yes, you know my style. Had a small tokkuri of warm sake for about SGD7. Kinda nice on a cold night. Actually, every night is perpetually cold in Kyoto during November period.

日本酒 sake @ ¥430

The sake was mildly fragrant and the alcohol doesn't hit you till later. Though it was a small flask, I'm convinced that am not able to finish it all by myself.

Truth be told, I was bent on trying Japanese beef. So, naturally, it became a must-order. A small set was about SGD24 and it had 5 slices of thick cut beef, some vegetables like green pepper, a slice of brinjal, a slice of pumpkin, shitake mushroom and corn. All these to be cooked on your own at your table. Just like what we usually see in Japan Hour!

Beef teppanyaki set @ ¥1,800
closer look at the meat
small fire to grill

The meat was beefy and mostly lean. I think our palates had become accustomed to the softer more marbled beef that we normally associate with Japanese beef. It was still rather fun and enjoyable. Am satisfied to have tried this in Kyoto.

on the grill

Next, was main course. Did you think I'd just be eating those few slices of meat? Hahaa! Need to eat those unagi! It was both a need and a want. Since I had hitsumabushi already, this time round, chose a unagi don with tamagoyaki. Moreover, the rolled egg had some unagi bits in it. It was really delicious and value for money. Came with pickles and a bowl of clear soup with some somen in it.

う卷丼 @ ¥1,360

first time seeing noodles in soup that came with a rice set

Lovely meal and interesting adventures in Kyoto.

Edogawa 江戸川 近鉄京都駅店

Location: Kintetsu Meitengai Kyoto road, 31-1 Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8215, Japan
Contact:  075-672-2081 (+81-75-672-2081)
Business Hours: 
Open on Sundays for lunch


Sunday, February 19, 2017

[Media Invite] JIM GARDEN 珍厨明苑私房菜

Jim Garden is a relatively new place that serves up Chinese dishes of the 东北 (Notheast) style. Googled and read that 东北 cuisine involves foods from the Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei (north-eastern region) and inner Mongolia. Usual 东北 cuisine representative dishes are 酸菜白肉鍋 (pickled cabbage and pork stew) and 猪肉炖粉条 (pork stew with vermicelli) amongst others.

Jim Garden 珍厨明苑私房菜 shopfront

The restaurant has mostly square tables and a few round ones for the larger group. Staff are knowledgeable and able to make recommendations to guests. Had an enjoyable time learning about Chinese cuisine from the staff from the mainland.

hello Chef
We were in a party of 6 pax and we managed to try the recommended dishes as well as some Chef's Special. There was another interesting item that we wanted to try as well, the Pig Skin Jelly but alas, we didn't manage to. Made in limited quantities, this is a rarely seen delicacy. Not sure how it would taste like but if you are keen, then do arrive early or make a one-day advance reservation prior to your visit to avoid disappointment.

good food, reasonable price

One of the boss recommended dishes is the sauteed tender meat with black fungus. Tasted very homely, strongly flavoured and very suitable to eat with steamed rice.

Boss recommendation - 东北大酱烧芸土非@$12.80

Next up, we had something similar to the black fungus dish but this one had tofu in it. Braised tofu in special sauce. Yes, yet another yummy dish to eat with the white rice. Since both dishes are quite similar, I'd recommend to take the braised tofu simply because it has better pricing with more ingredients; tofu, black fungus, chili slices, pork slices and yummy sauce.

Chef's recommendation - 风味酱焖豆腐 @$8.80

Let's roll out the heavyweights. The meaty dishes. How about a whole fish? The sweet and sour whole seabass has a very nice presentation. Its fish fillet were carved out into flowery petals and deep fried to golden. Can you believe that this dish was made without vinegar? The 'sour' element was achieved by natural acidity in fruits that were carefully selected to make this sweet and sour sauce.

Boss recommendation - 糖醋金目鲈鱼@$32
One of my favourites that night was the Qiubi shrimp. Don't ask me what qiubi means. I have no idea! But, what I do know, was that this dish was seriously addictive. Battered and fried, yet not overcooked plus tasty. Lovely!

丘比虾仁 @$22
How about Gold Medal Pork Ribs with Pineapple. Likely the name came about because this dish won a gold medal? Am guessing only. The presentation was good and the ribs were leaning towards the sweeter side of things.

Chef recommendation - 金牌西波排骨@$28

For the older folks, perhaps the stewed pork in brown sauce resonates better with them (us?). Boneless braised pork belly that is not 'jelak' sitting ontop a bed of dihuang miou (帝皇苗) vegetable. Again, this goes well with that bowl of rice.

Boss recommendation - 私房红烧肉 @$16

Wanted to try the 酸菜白肉鍋 but unfortunately, the staff shared that they are unable to continue with this dish in the menu. Primarily because they couldn't get the ingredients in. Hence, we had the other one which was the stewed pork feet in chinese cabbage.

It has the dullest colour when comparing with the rest of the dishes, but do give this a try. Comfort food and suitable on colder nights. The pork feet was soft and collageney, both the cabbage and the porous beancurd gave burst of flavours as it had absorbed the soup. This was surprisingly, good.

How about dumplings, you might ask. Common in all Chinese restaurants, Jim Garden has their version too. Below are those that we've tried. The fillings were more or less the same. Pork and cabbage.

Wealth Dumpling 百财水饺 @$6.80 (10 pieces)
pot stickers 锅贴 @$6
pan fried bun 生煎包 @$5 (3 pieces)

For desserts, one could try the tau-sar bun where its skin has been infused with milo for a very mild cocoa taste or the sweet pancake, which is one of my personal favourite as well.

tau-sar bun 豆沙包 @$5.80 (3 pieces)
sweet pancake

But if you only have stomach for one dessert, then I'd strongly recommend the Papaya Jelly. Definitely a must-try! Was rather impressed by this. The coconut jelly has a great consistency and not to mention, it has a thick coconut fragrance and sweetness. No extra sugar added nor required. Plus, the papaya was oh-so-sweet. Goodness, get this. Pronto.

木瓜冻 @$5.80
All in all, the prices are reasonable and from what I saw of the other tables, the portion was good too. Suitable for family and friends.

Thank you to Jim Garden's management and staff for hosting the dinner and Hungrygowhere for the invite. This place serves tasty and reasonably priced food.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chinatown 茨厂街 @ Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur

When in the past, you've only heard your mom reminiscing about this 茨厂街 (pronounced as 'chew cheong gai' in Cantonese), there's only one option...time to pay this place a visit! A few years back, my bro, sis and myself (siblings team) made a day trip to this place so this time round, we made sure we are able to stay a few nights there to explore more of that area.

Sis booked us rooms at Geo Hotel, which is just round the corner after exiting from the Pasar Seni LRT. Location was convenient as Petaling Street is just about 5 minutes walk away.

landmark of Petaling Street

For breakfast, you could opt for Hon Kee Porridge 汉记靓粥. This establishment has been around since our parents' time. Lots of tourists could be seen enjoying the smooth cantonese porridge from this stall. If the stall has no seats, just cross the road to the opposite side (near the bank) as those seats there are provisioned for this shop as well.

Hon Kee Porridge @ Petaling Street
Our usual orders would be mixed pork parts porridge (猪什) and fish porridge (生鱼粥). Place your orders and be seated. The staff will bring over when it is ready. The fried dough fritters or 'you zhar kwai' (油条) was nicely fried and crispy.

猪什粥 (chu chap juk)
生鱼粥 (sang yu juk)

If you don't fancy porridge, would you like to have some wanton noodles from Koon Kee? This is one of the famous and established stalls in Petaling Street, though lately many had commented about declining standards. Personally, I haven't tried Koon Kee.

Koon Kee

Take a stroll to nearby areas to check out other breakfast options. Perhaps some bak kut teh? If not, then there's also the Tang City Foodcourt to check out as well.

bak kut teh stall

There's also a stall selling dim sum if you like those. Be awed by the size of big pau. When we say big pau, we meant it. I found the siew mai a tad too tough for my liking but perhaps that also meant that it had packed more meat into it?

assorted dim sums

charcoal skin big bao, shang yuk bao, char siew bao
For decent local kopi, I prefer the one at Tang City Foodcourt over the one at 'Cha Wong' (茶王). The kopi at Cha Wong has a higher acidic sharper taste that's more tea-like than kopi-like.

Oooh, because it was Lunar New Year, we chanced upon a lion dance performance at the Guan Di Temple (关帝庙). So lucky of us!

lively lion dance

As you walk along, you will also encounter old hawkers who has been setting up stall at Petaling Street since their younger days. For example, the pancake uncle and the muah chee aunty.

pancake uncle
muah chee aunty

The coconut pancake retails for RM1 per piece and the muah chee is RM5 per box. Prefer the original muah chee as opposed to the multi-flavoured muah chee.

deft hands
years had gone by

Of course, when in Petaling Street, you will be looking for Sei Ngan Zai (四眼仔) or 'four eyed boy' roast duck stall. Hmm, but it is operated by two ladies wor and none of them wear spectacles. Why is it called Sei Ngan Zai? Half a duck for RM28 and one for RM56. Bought half to bring home and it was rather yummy.

Sei Ngan Zai Roast Duck
ate the roast duck with maggi mee

For the young and hip, there's also cafes around this area. The nearest would be Toast & Co. which exists inside the Grocer's Inn, a backpackers' hostel, or Coffee Amo and also Merchants Lane.

If you like old school bakes, there's the well established Fung Wong Biscuit (Confectionary). It was closed for a while and now it has reopened its doors. I do like their bakes especially the salted egg yolk pastry.

Fung Wong Biscuit
If you're thirsty from all the walking, there's Air Mata Kucing (Cat's Tears or Cat Eye Water?) or Kim's Soya Bean shop.

air mata kucing or ling chee kang

Read about previous visit to Petaling Street here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kyotofushimishinseishuzo Torisei Honten 鳥せい本店 @ Kyoto Fushimi

Yuka and myself weren't feeling that hungry so we decided to eat nearby Fushimi. She brought us to a yakitori place that's operated by a sake brewery. It has its own carpark, so we didn't have to hunt for a parking lot.

Quite a cool shop. Lots of wooden beams, shelves and shelves of sake bottles and sturdy tables.

similar to housewine so this is their 'house' sake

Had my first taste of matcha sake and it was delicious! It is pretty sweet so, guys might not like it. Similar to dessert wine but not as sweet. Very nice and kind of regretted not getting a bottle home! But the otoshi (お通し) was quite horrible. It was just grated radish with soy sauce?! Ugh.

matcha sake ¥440

Didn't order alot and they ran out of chicken hearts. See, this is one of the favourites. The yakitori prices were reasonable and between ¥140 to ¥210 each stick.

tebasaki and pork belly - salted
chicken liver and momo - sauce

For carbs, we had the autumn seasonal kamameshi. It came with pickles and tofu. The flavours are mild and the hot rice was comforting as it had started to drizzle a bit and night time was pretty cold in autumn.

chicken and mushroom kamameshi - autumn limited edition @ ¥950

Interesting place and too bad Yuka can't drink as she's driving. A nice place to enjoy yakitori and sake.

Torisei Honten 鳥せい本店

Location: 186 Kamiaburakakecho, Fushimiku, Kyoto 612-8047
Contact: +81 75-622-5533

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tatsumiya 辰巳屋 @ Uji Kyoto

As I was nursing a fractured wrist due to an accident while I was in Kyoto, my landlady Yuka took pity on me and offered to bring me around Kyoto via her car for a day. A chance to explore Kyoto with a local? Yes, please!

Uji is located at the outskirts, so the scenary changes from buildings to farmlands and river.

view from Yuka's car
look, Uji river~

We parked the car and strolled down to the restaurant. Tatsumiya is about 12 minutes walk from Keihan Uji Station or about 15 minutes walk from Uji JR Station. Nearby, is Byodoin, a World Heritage site.

The restaurant has wooden sliding doors and one sits on tatami flooring. Yes, one needs to take off shoes before being seated.

counter seats and this is the door where the hostess will enter

Tatsumiya serves traditional Kyoto cuisine and one could opt for Kaiseki as well. We took the lunch bento. I had mine with sashimi while Yuka opted for one with chawanmushi.

The bento was served with a brown leaf folded to cover the small dishes. Was pleasantly surprised by the colourful and pretty looking items. The bento was served with seven rolls of Akita rice that has Uji tea leaves on it. I understand that the small dishes in the bento changes in accordance to season.

宇治丸弁当 ¥3800
many many small items in here
There's mushrooms, chestnut, konyaku, fish paste, a slice of duck, juicy brinjal, quail's egg, gingko nut, shishito, snail etc. Interesting eats and one would get quite full at the end of the meal. Allocate at least an hour to an hour and a half to eat all of this.

The sashimi was slow to arrive but it was super fresh. The fish was fatty and firm.

sashimi of squid and hamachi

Very interestingly, there's a mochi wrapped in green leaf in there. This was one of the best mochi that I've eaten!


By then, I was seriously full. But, there's desserts! There was a grape, pear and matcha chocolate.


Had an enjoyable lunch and appreciate the company. Special thanks to Shinichi (for treating us lunch though he's not present to join us) and Yuka for introducing a slice of Kyoto.

Tatsumiya 辰巳屋

Location: Togawa-3-7 Uji, Kyoto Prefecture 611-0021, Japan
Other websites:
Contact: +81-50-5890-8703
Business Hours:
Lunch: 11:00 - 14:30 , Dinner: 16:30 - 20:00 
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