Chinese New Year Feast

January 31, 2017 Toronto, ON, Canada

I never say no to any celebration so it was no different that I celebrated the Lunar New Year with friends. We went to King Crab Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown. The restaurant was full and everyone was in a jolly mood and drinking Maria Christina wine. I'm not sure why almost every table there had the exact brand of wine (it was not being served by the restaurant).

As you can see, we ordered so much food but it was for 6 people. We ordered a combo and added more dishes to it. It was still a lot but we managed to finish everything off.

I'm not a veggie person but this dish made me a convert. Snow peas with king mushrooms.
 Fried fish with blackpepper sauce.
Sweet and sour pork.
Before the table became too full.
This is one of my favourite dishes and I actually cook it at home. Eggplant with minced pork.
Since I'm allergic to crab we ordered the Hong Kong style lobster.
 Lobster with E-Fu noodles.

What I Ate: Miso Oden in Nagoya

January 26, 2017 Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Shinjuku & a haircut story

January 18, 2017 Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

I love walking around in Shinjuku without a purpose. Walking around here during the day is completely different than during the night.
Plenty of restaurants and shops to choose from.
And plenty of entertainment.
You might even see Godzilla!

I don't know how I managed to get a haircut in Japan without speaking Japanese. My hair was driving me crazy when I arrived in Tokyo and I was also feeling ill so I needed a distraction. I passed by a salon near my hotel and scoped it out a little to make sure it's not too intimidating. 

The next day, I gathered all my strength to walk in and ask for a haircut. Aki greeted me and was very accommodating considering I made no appointment. He took me in, took my coat, got me seated, and we did a sign language on what to do with my hair. We also spoke in broken English. I trusted him immediately. I didn't care about my hair. Just cut it please. He was so nice to me and even got me a case for my eye glasses. 

I sat on the chair listening to English music. We spoke to each other a little bit. I think he was very nervous about cutting my hair. He spent a couple of minutes just figuring out how to deal with my hair. It was amusing!

He was very gentle with my hair and made sure I was comfortable. An hour later, I had a more refined and shorter hair. I was very happy with the result. I really wanted to tip him but that was not allowed.

Thank you Aki! 

What I Ate: Tokyo Part II

January 12, 2017 Tokyo, Japan

I wanted to eat healthier on this trip (or at least try) since I was feeling ill. This was one of those attempts. I love how simple this meal was but very tasty. It was only rice topped with sashimi in a bowl.
Lunch inside Shinjuku station. I'm a sucker for tonkatsu and this restaurant only serve that. I didn't expect this whole bento for me though. No complaints because the salad was REALLY good. Again, it's so simple but tastes delicious!
I went a little nuts by always treating myself with dessert. I got this takeout from Doutor cafe. What impressed me about this was the absolute care they took to package my cake. I usually get cake and by the time I get home it's half squished. Not in Japan! Because they make sure it's fully packaged and perfect when you get home! I didn't even left a finger to get my own fork because it was already taped on the box. How cool is that!?
I randomly found this place while searching on google. We got lost but a Japanese man who spoke no English tried to assist us. We showed him the name and the map on google. He took our phone and we just followed him walking. We didn't know where he was going to take us but once he got to the front of the restaurant, he bowed to us. We bowed back and thanked him. 

It's a very small ramen restaurant. No menu but a vending machine in Japanese. We had to wait for the owner to try to explain to us what to get. It didn't even matter that we barely understood each other. We just placed our order and picked random button. 

It was so weird but so amazing at the same time. You just sit on a stool in front of a counter where the chef's are facing you and cooking right in front on you. No one speaks. They just eat, slurp, and leave. I was so intimated because I'm a slow eater. But it was ok. It was one of the best ramen I've ever had. 

When I looked up in between slurping my ramen. I saw all of the awards that they got. 

No picture was taken inside because I get very shy when the setting is too intimate that I don't want to ruin it. 
We went to a lot of izakaya's in Tokyo because it was so cheap and you can order so many little meals. I love eating this way. Ordering a lot of small dishes so I can try everything. I especially love anything skewered and barbecued.

Izakaya's here in Toronto is always too expensive. I hate it!
Family Mart is my best friend. Bought a lot of things from there including onigiri (rice ball). I think this one was stuffed with tuna or salmon. I ate way too many of these as my snack.

What is your favourite Japanese food?

Shopping in Japan Part I

January 9, 2017 Tokyo, Japan

Shopping in Japan is so much fun even if you are just window shopping. There is no shortage of "kawaii" (cute) items to buy. I find it exciting to discover new things so walking around at a mall or shops is an adventure for me already! 

15 Random Observations of Naples

January 3, 2017 Naples, Italy

Naples is a bustling city and I found that underneath the chaos is beauty and kind-hearted people.
You can read about my random observations series here.

1. Scooters are the main mode of transportation.
2. Garbage piled up and thrown everywhere. No one recycles :(
3. Laundry is also hung outside windows/balconies.
4. People are louder.
5. It's the birth place of pizza. Thus, they make the most amazing one's!
6. A great starting point to get to different islands/ruins (i.e Capri, Procida, Amalfi, Pompeii, Herculaneum).
7. Tough looking people but the nicest!
8. Food heaven! No shortage of great food and desserts.
9. Gelato is cheaper here.
10. Home to a street full of Nativity shops.
11. Cheap wine from Vesuvius.
12. Amazing fresh produce and seafood!
13. They don't care about fashion as much as Rome.
14. Driving is a sport as people drive erratically.
15. The gateway for the islands in the south.

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