JAPAN - PHILIPPINES
FOOD TRIP INTERNATIONAL
BLOG ABOUT FOOD,
EAT EAT EAT
Images by Rufino & Jenny ONG
of Rufino ONG PHOTOGRAPHY
I do not care for any sight seeing. Truly. I recall a time in my life, when I was a wee little lad and I was brought to different countries to see the "sights". Nothing could have been a more visual waste on a young boy with no worldly cares about art and culture to be shown such things. It did however, open my mind (maybe a little bit) that there are other places out there. Far away places that will show me something different. Something Interesting. As a married person, with a little daughter and a bag full of techie camera gear like devices, I am still not interested in sight seeing at any, and, or particular country or far away land = BUT what I am extremely objective about is food. Food is the one thing everyone can relate to… or at least consume. Here is a blog about our recent food travels (june 2015). Below each set of images I will do my best to explain & describe what is going on / or at least where I am. I am writing this as a memory reminder of how beautiful travel can be and what I look forward to the most. I am commending and thanking Jenny, my best friend, my wife and my best friend for planning, logistifying, preparing, financing these wonderful adventures. Seriously, thank you - THANK YOU for giving me something to live for.
- Rufino Josh
The beautiful Jenny, face timing her mom & Sienna. At this very moment, we are located at the Seattle Airport. Partaking and I guess starting our food travel. We didn't really choose the type of food, we just wanted to grab something for the way.
Calamaris & cool wasabi mayo dip.
Jenny starting it with the very first bite.
What's better than a cheese burger, that is medium rare and is perfectly ink on the inside? Splittin' it with your best gal.
And add the NaCL chasers. END of Seattle Stop Burger Restaurant.
Once aboard the ANA (airplane), we longingly waited for the first meal woohoo! Yes - it is now looking like a Japanese styled (based) cuisine. Now this is something that says - you are headed where good food is located! This is my plate - veggies curry Over rice and seaweeds + salads and other stuff.
My partner's food - had Soba on the side with it. This is the first time, I was to try these so-called cold noodles. It was good. You were given "dashi", (sauce) where in my wonderful, wonderful lady showed me her way of enjoying it.
This will be a wall hanger at our house. My favorite image of my best friend and her little friend.
This was given to us after the meal … what a cool, surprise!
END of airplane food session.
This is one of the first curry restaurants for me. Locals would be scoffing at me… for favoring a chain restaurant but what do I know … all i know is we enjoyed our time here at CocoIshi. Oh the green button is for calling someone inside, if you want to order a togo meal or something. Coolness.
Ordering is a breeze. Where ever you are in Japan, you can always ask for an English menu. Then you can simply call the dude … "SUMI-MA-SEH?" (excuse me?) then you point and shoot your order LOL !!! If I went and didn't get hungry, then YOU can do it too! Didn't take long for us to learn a few phrases and some very important words (oishi).
Crunchy Potato Croquette over rice, with pork curry next to it.This is crazy. with all the types of food that we could have first tried … We gotta have something for the first meal here! And I love it. And I will tell you man, it doesn't taste like ANY curry I have ever had. And I have tried as much curry as I can (all the different culture curries and even my experimental ones from home cooking) I know it's a chain food style, but you gotta try this. END of the COCOICHI Curry Restaurant Session.
We made our way to a yakitori diner type restaurant (about 6-8 seats) in the Omodie a.k.a. piss alley, this is a locally known place that is said to have been a hangout of a very famous local gang group. (we will not reveal their gang name for safety reasons) and that they would hang out in this alley and do the business there. That was the local sayings… ANYWAYS A Yakitori is a open flame grilling restaurant. Pretty much serves anything that the main chef would want to grill.
Remember this is about close to midnight of our first night in Tokyo, Japan. So what do you eat to ensure yourself a healthy digestive system for the next 2 and 1/2 days? of course, large grilled oysters with the ponzu sauce and some greens.
Grilled scallops + green onions.
It was nice and stormy rainy on this night. I think that also helped us find (land) on this restaurant, we were looking for another specific yakitori. But, the powers of the rain made us only search for about 20 minutes in the awesome pouring rain, then it had us retreat in the only place we found that had open seatings… at this time lots of diner (mom & pop) looking restaurants are open, and they are full of people on a midnight on a week day!
Aaah let's try this one… (oh) most of the places we went to… they pretty much let us eat + take photos. Looking back maybe that was not a locally acceptable thing to do. The next time we're in Japan i will just wear a video device, so I can eat in peace.
Chicken Skewers turned into chicken sausage skewers + raw egg for sauce.
Pork large intestines on a skewer. Favorite item!
Quick shot of the group that fed us and talked to us - what a great welcome by the chef and crew! Thank you! I will do my best to find you again - the very next time we visit and give you a XL large print of this! ARIGATO-GOSAIMAS!!! END of the "Omodie" Piss Alley Session.
This is Mos Burger, my new favorite burger joint. I wish we have a Mos burger back where I am from.
And this is why we need Mos Burger at the bay area. Yeah a crispy rice burger with awesome random stuff inside dripping with secret sauce that will make you want to get up, get in line and order more (but I didn't).
It's like we are back to when we are dating again. The look in her eyes, the flintiness from my voice and all the enjoyment we've had so far. I am so happy to be with this beautiful person. Thank you so much for taking me here. This is going to be the best time of my life. Wait I sound like this is the end, no it is not, this is the start! END of Mos Burger Restaurant Session
Aah this day was the most walking day I have ever dared to do. Of course my lovely girl, was with me and she made sure that we get to eat along the way. This is a No-name restaurant (because I didn't think to write down the name lol) oh this was breakfast by the way. One of those arcade front restaurant … where you go in, theres this ATM arcade looking thing and you choose your food, order, and pay on it. Get your stub, that is the most important. Sit down, someone will come by and get your order stubs and then you wait a minute. Yes, the food arrives...
Burger steak over white rice and super dark curry next to it. This is my favorite type of meal. Let's eat this everyday!
Jenny's dish: pork something or beefy dish with kimchi, seaweed thins over a happy dose of rice! Ohayo Gohsaimasuh! END of ATM Arcade Choice Restaurant Breakfast (sorry the name was in Japanese Characters... and we didn't find the english name lol)
Oh look a Mister Donut. not really a have-to-go shop for me. donuts. heh. but we did see something that looks interesting, green match cronut-looking donut. Jenny liked it.
It looked like a cronut with chocolate on top. NOPE, its not - it was a regular donut with chocolate on top. END of Mister Doughnut Session
Cheap thrills. 100Yen, you get a shot at these rilakkuma buddies. (sorry Sienna, i will try again another time lol) I don't know why, but I am a sucker for these kinds of games, however in my ... BLANK number of years in existence, I have never won anything from an arcade game like this.
One of my personal required restaurant to visit is KFC. So naturally we had to go there and taste something ….
Fish Stick. It's pretty good. END of KFC restaurant Session.
Aah the Ninja Restaurant. This is cool. I was however sworn to secrecy so I am not allowed to divulge any of their techniques & powers. I was however, being an honorary foreigner genin ninja - were allowed to share my food images - please enjoy.
Ninja throwing star? NO! that is a ninja cracker!
Ninja star shaped brick? NO! That is a ... PATTE for the ninja star cracker!
I am so sorry - I don't remember this dish at all !!! I believe there was some memory loss secret ingredient in it ... I recall that my wife loved this dish!
Ninja Conch shell - super tasty!
Ninja Soup - made from stone! Aaah the story I used to tell my best friend - has finally come to life. Our Ninja Genin friend - placed all the ingredients mixed them - in this bamboo cup... then at last placed a stone (crazy ultra hot stone - temperature wise) and that cooked this cool (or hot) concoction! Super Kawai
Ninja Frothie Surprise. I think this one also contains the memory loss ingredient ...
Ninja Yakitori Powers!
Ninja turtle ice cream! (or frog) = totally open for interpretation! but it was savory sweet and good! At the Ninja Restaurant - we met up with our good friend Natsuko-Chan (who lives in Japan). We met her in a Scott Robert Lim - International Photography Workshop (in HongKong & China) so of course at the exit part - we needed to take photos. PHOTO CREDIT TO the genin ninja who served us at our stay! ARIGATO GOSAIMAS! END of the Ninja Restaurant.
Here we are. 5am-ish. Tsukiji Fish Market. I suppose you know what that means. If not - please google it lol. Hehehe (or see the tour blog about this place). Lots to talk about this place - so we had another separate blog about it. In this one however, we will stop talking... and only show you images. I believe my words will eventually fail the appreciation dues required for the powers of the art. Notice the chefs. Three of them, vision wise it seems we have three generations of sushi masters here.
ARIGATO GOSAIMAS! For the best sushi I will probably eat and devour and enjoy in this lifetime woohooo! I am trying to figure out if this guy was happy or maybe irritated that I took longer than everyone else to eat (and shoot photos). END of Tsukigi Fish Market Sushi Restaurant Number 1.
THIS was the face that Jenny gave me, when I suggested (right after we finished eating at the first sushi restaurant) that we eat at another one. WHY would I suggest that? Well, we arrived at the fish market a little past 4:30AM - only to be denied access at the TUNA Auction thingy, so we walked around looking for these world-known sushi restaurants nearby the Tsukigi fish market. I reckon, "hey we're here and I know know when we will ever return here again, We might as well try as much sushi as we can." … also that fact that = It will not get any fresher or authentic-er than this mates. Also we had two more hours to kill, since we're waiting for the Public Fish Market to open. See more of that adventure at the Japan tour blog.
At around 6AM - this is part two of the line for the sushi restaurant. I think we can safely estimate about a hundred or so people waiting for the sushi places. They have about 10 people seating and most of the menu is simply sushi (nigiri style) by type of you can get them as a set meal and they simply prepare and hand it to your plate. Here we go, get ready for round two. at a different restaurant, just right next to the very first one that we ate at! LOL … some places were more popular than others. Some had a hundred people waiting, some had no wait … guess what we just hopped right in, "SUMIMASEN, two seats pls?" and you are in! here is another set of sushi for your eyes. message me later to tell you which one is my favorite.
Conch shell sushi? I didn't try it (muts) I should have... life regret #245,987.
This is the face of someone who just realize... (I get to eat another round of sushi) woohoo!!!
Here we have two chefs. (NUTS) Didn't capture the looks of the other dude, sorry mate. But we have here seems like a same generation younger looking guys - maybe my age or a bit older than me - why does this matter? well... I wanted to compare the two sushi places that we ate at - assuming they get their food as fresh as possible from the Tsukiji Market (literally a block or two from the restaurants) - if the ingredients are of the same top quality, then only skills and technique will be the deciding factor. meow. let's eat. no more talking again.
Did you notice that the sushi's were cut in half? LOL... i wonder if that was normal to people? - nothing special. We simply asked the chef master to cut it in half so we can easily share between me and my partner!
Looking at my left this is my awesome view. Another Sushi chef, preparing the unagis. (look closer) - i watched this dude prep a few of those - I would have wanted to shoot and talk to him but our time here at the sushi restaurant was short and brief - nevertheless much loved and appreciated! ARIGATO GOSAIMAS. END of Tsukigi Fish Market Sushi Restaurant Number 2. LOL.
Wow… I cannot feel any more blessed to have experienced these wonderful morsels. Sometimes, you just have to eat with your eyes. Unfortunately for us, we had to eat these with the rest of the senses, so that we can deliver these images to you! We hope you enjoyed part 1 …. yah part two is coming. We hope you look out for that! More food and more adventures!
Rufino Josh ONG - a husband and now a dad with a camera, is an international award winning photographer from the San Francisco Bay Area, offering photography coverage in Lake Tahoe Nevada, San Francisco, the Bay Area and destinations worldwide.
All Images - taken with a SONY RX100Mii (OR) SONYA7+35mm (OR) SONYA7+16-35mm
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