[Tokyo] Pineapple and Chocolate Ramen?! Papapapapine!

May 21st, 2016

if you’re a hardcore rocketnews24 reader, you might’ve run across this restaurant that serves pineapple ramen so good, they came out with the instant noodle version of it and it can be found at selected convenience stores. except I’ve yet to come across it during my 7 month stay in Japan.

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so Papapapapine is known for their pineapple ramen. but what’s that above? kakakakakao. get it? well, other than its famous pineapple ramen, it is also known for its notorious innovation when it comes to ramen. they had strawberry ramen, banana ramen.. well.. you name it. while their seasonal menu changes all the time, you’d always be able to find pineapple ramen in this shop.

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since it is located at a humble town called Nishi-Ogikubo (not to be confused with Shin-Okubo), the lines weren’t that bad despite the 7 seated bar.

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like every other ramen shop, you need to buy it with the vending machine. but fret not, because I was once a tourist (still kind of am) and I once had no idea what was written on the machine, I just simply went in and seek for help from the very kind and friendly ramen guy. =D.

their best selling is the shio (salt base) and they have it cold too for the summer!

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the interior was.. everything that relates to pineapple. there’s even pineapple wine if you want to try.

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this was the first time when I went. and I ordered the Pineapple ramen. and guess what? I actually loved it! instead of the salty ones with a strong taste, this one was rather light and refreshing! I wouldn’t say that I like this better than the Tonkotsu ramen, but this place really gives ramen a great twist from the usual ones when you’re bored with it.

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and this year, I went back and in conjunction with the valentines week, I braced myself and ordered myself a bowl of.. kakakakakao. you got it right, chocolate ramen. but chocolate ramen?! really?! EW! and with PINEAPPLES?!

well.. it really tasted like chocolate and it was like nothing I’ve ever had before. the first few bites were really good but uhhhhhh…….. towards the end I just kind of gave up hahahaha. still a good experience though.

until the next time.

Tokyo, Suginami-ku, Nishiogiminami 3-12-1
3 minutes walk from Nishi-Ogikubo station.


[Mitaka] Ghibli Museum

May 12th, 2016

I am not sure if you know, but I am actually a huge Ghibli fan. other than the few latest movies I watched almost all of Hayao Miyazaki’s popular creations and I LOVE IT!!! up till the point that I need to restrict myself from going into a Ghibli store before I spend all my savings on fan items I know I shouldn’t buy.

but this time, since my sister came to visit me in Tokyo last winter, I decided to go online (you can check the availability here) and book the tickets 1 month prior to her arrival. holy cow! one month?! yeap. one month.

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so how do you get the ghibli museum ticket? well.. it’s really easy for those who’s living in Japan. and for those who isn’t living in Japan, you may want to find someone to help you get it in Japan. there’ll be a machine that looks like an ATM machine in LAWSON (a convenience store) and you can buy your tickets there! there are 4 time slots a day and the earlier ones tend to get sold out quickly. and weekends gets sold out faster than the weekdays too.

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so about the museum. every little detail was carefully and perfectly made. and I especially liked their washroom. it was very ghibli. the only drawback is that you can’t take pictures inside the museum. so as a blogger, I can’t show you much. but I would like to say that it was a great experience for me as an avid fan of Ghibli movies.

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at the entrance, you’d be greeted by Totoro!!!

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and these cute little furballs =3.

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had to take a picture here xD.

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even with the pre-booked ticketing, the queue was long. seems like nobody forgot their ticket!

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the whole building itself was very pretty. and it resembles a lot of the houses in many Ghibli movies!!!

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there was a merchandise shop inside the museum where you can go crazy with. there was a Ghibli watch where I was eyeing on but too poor to buy it T_T. sigh. they have stuff that you cannot buy outside of the Ghibli Museum like badges and plates that are very very unique. so if you have money and you love Ghibli, you MUST come here.

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me with the giant robot from Castle in the Sky~ this is probably the only place you can actually take pictures with something iconic.

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and uh well.. I found some other spots too. please excuse my horrible fashion sense. hahaha.

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and here too!!! and a glimpse of the inside. I highly recommend it to other Ghibli fans like myself! =D

directions to Ghibli Museum: the site tells you to get there by Mitaka where you can either choose to walk or take the bus. but I am a stingy person and I am fairly familiar with Kichijoji. hence I went to Kichijoji instead (it’s located in between Mitaka and Kichijoji) and walk through the Kichijoji park to get there. there were signs on how to get there and there was also Iseya (a cheap and yummy Yakitori place) at Kichijoji so I just HAD to use the Kichijoji route xD.

[Samcheongdong] Bukmakgol HUGE RIBS!

April 24th, 2016

so there’s this place in Seoul where you can devour beef ribs like as if you’re a cartoon character.

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and it’s this place called Bukmakgol located at the end of Samcheongdong.

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and the best part? you get to dine in an old fashioned looking hanok!

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the banchan! as in side dishes. they serve AMAZING side dishes. like, that marinated mini octopus!!! we loved that so much I think we asked for refill like 3 times. D=.

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AND THE MAIN DISH!!! the great and majestic BEEF RIBS!!! called Wang (king) Galbi Jjim don’t you just want to eat it right nowwwwwwwww? that sauce though. it went really well with that tender beef. this would be like the literal love at first bite kind of dish. MMMMM. and the damage to this is 39,000won (63,000won for the bigger one!). although it’s pretty pricey but I ASSURE YOU that it’s worth every won. you’ll literally finish all those vegetables even if you do not eat vegetables because of that amazing sauce hahaha.

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and their famous bossam. I like it because it was different. the quality of the pork was definitely great and the sourish onions went very well with it making it feel like some sort of light appetizer. BUT, I kind of prefer the normal kimchi and pork bossam as it is heavier =X. this costs 28,000won. the bigger one will cost you 38,000won.

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also for sides, we ordered makguksu! (10,000won) this was pretty good too! very homey feeling and they weren’t stingy on ingredients ^_^. the meal here was for 5 of us!

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strongly recommend this place! so if you’re visiting Samcheongdong, be sure to stop by here for their phenomenal beef ribs! =3.

[Tokyo] AFURI Ramen

April 1st, 2016

recently I got the nickname “ramen girl” from my Japanese friend because he stated that Ramen isn’t normally loved by women. but if you look through my instagram a month before I leave Japan, you could probably see my love for ramen, which made me the “ramen girl.”

while the best ramen I’ve ever had was still the one from Osaka, from a chain called.. I forgot (update: it’s called 藤平) but it was near Fukushima station, Tokyo has the widest range of ramen in my opinion. it is like, you can find anything in Tokyo. and I love Tokyo for that reason. if you are living in Tokyo and loveee ramen, then Afuri shouldn’t be a name that is unfamiliar to you as it is literally ONE OF THE BEST ramen available in Tokyo.

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you should know how no ramen in Japan would taste the same, Afuri takes a huger leap away from the weird. they are known for their Yuzu ramen, or in other words, Citrus ramen. how would the citrus’ tangy taste taste like with salty ramen? well, that’s why I went to find out!

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you might be really pleased to know that Afuri (located in Ebisu and also in Harajuku! and a few other places I think) opens throughout the week and it serves awesome ramen from 10:30am to 3:00am. yeap, 3 in the morning!

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there are two choices of broth and I chose the recommended Tanrei!

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unlike many other ramen bars, there are actually women working here! you normally see manly looking guys serving you the hot bowl of goodness but it was really different here.

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and the famous Yuzu Ramen! it was really good. I was actually very skeptical about it because I ate Yuzu ramen at another popular place at Kabuki-cho which copied Afuri and boy was that a disappointment. this one though was really good! it is quite funky since it’s sour, bitter and salty at the same time. but the noodles were cooked to perfection and the yuzu freshens up my whole meal!

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and this is the Yuzu dipping sauce Tsukemen! I actually preferred this as it was more refreshing. love how Tsukemen noodles are so chewy and the way they serve their dipping sauce cold complements the Yuzu very well in my opinion. it’s more sour and the way the pork was cooked until tender and diced up like that made the whole slurping experience even better.

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the dipping sauce!!! very citrusy but yet less bitter than the Yuzu ramen.

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look at those yummy pork!!! I actually preferred the Tsukemen over their store specialty. so I urge you to try the tsukemen instead!

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went with Ryuta Saru-chan again! (saru means monkey. he looked very funky in this picture so I hid him before he comes complaining to me heheh) long live our ramen adventures!!!

[Ginza] Midori Sushi. is it worth it?

March 17th, 2016

I’d like to label people who come to Midori Sushi as.. smart. because for 3,000yen, you can get as follows:

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12 pieces of sushi, egg + one handroll and a miso crab salad!

although the queue would be quite a misery (normally 2 hours. I only queued for 80 minutes ahahhaha ONLY.) you can actually take a number and come back an hour later and wait for only about 20-40 minutes! depending on which branch you go to really. I went to the Ginza branch and I heard the Shibuya branch has the longest queue whereas the one in Kichijoji has almost no queue!

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with uni, chutoro and otoro on the list, I think it’s pretty worth it already. there’s also a 2,000yen set with lesser pieces of sushi.

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I ordered the 2,500yen set where I get my own bowl of fish liver MMmmm I absolutely adore it as it tastes something like foie gras except with a tinge of fishiness!

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the 2,800yen set also comes with a mini bowl of miso crab salad which was amazing! super yummy. highly recommended!

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although most of the sushi on their sushi platter ain’t like top quality, they were all descent! I mean, for 2,500yen, I’d say it’s a steal. it’s a satisfying meal. especially for those who’s visiting Japan for the first time (and had never had super high end sushi abroad), Sushi Midori will probably the best sushi you’ve ever had in your life!

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especially their chutoro. not their otoro. their chutoro literally melted in my mouth D=. I mean, I think the chutoro here’s better than the otoro in Sushi Dai. it’s that good!

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so, itadakimasu!

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the walls has everything illustrated to help you in ordering and seems like there were a lot of locals in Midori sushi too despite this restaurant being all over the foreign media. most locals prefer to order only one set of sushi to share and have a lot of individual dishes like sashimi, grilled fish or salad.

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at the end of the meal, a yummy bowl of yoghurt ice cream was served ^^.

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also, all the sets comes with chawan mushi. and boy was it smooth! probably the best chawan mushi I’ve ever had. since the restaurant caters a lot of foreigners, they have all kinds of American sushi like the dragon roll, caterpillar roll, California roll etc where I’ve NEVER seen in Japan while having lived there for around 10 months in total. except for Midori sushi of course. hahaha. they do not usually serve chawan mushi alongside with sushi sets but they do overseas like they do here!

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the two individual menu’s which I think are the best to order if you feel like the sushi ain’t enough! =3.

verdict: if you are on a budget and want to have some good sushi, go to Midori sushi as their deals are as good as it can get! but if you are into something better and is willing to spend a bit more, I recommend you Hideyuunigouten! I also went to both Sushi Dai and Daiwa! read it here!

[Sinsa] Jangsarang

March 16th, 2016

to balance things out between my Korean and Japanese posts, here’s a 5 month old outdated post on one of the best Jeongsik (Korean course meal) restaurants in Seoul, Jangsarang.

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salad and acorn jelly appetizer for starters! (and a lot of side dishes!) that kimchi acorn jelly appetizer was the bomb. I finished it all. hahahaha. salad’s just salad.

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this place was made famous by their many dishes but this was my absolutely favourite, the Baasak Bulgogi! which literally translates to crunchy bulgogi. served with crunchy seaweed with a generous dash of sugar and mushrooms, this bulgogi is like no other. while bulgogi’s supposed to be served on a curved pan, the bulgogi here is served like a pancake. but it was oh-so-delicious. it was a little sweet but the taste of the marinate was amazing and together with the crunchy seaweed and mushrooms? simply the best.

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there’s also the half kimchi half chives pancake which was to me authentic and light compared to the other heavy pancakes which was like a meal to me. the dish behind was perilla seed sujebi. it was quite special and the sujebi (some type of fat and flat noodle) was cooked to perfection ^_^!

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always grateful to JiHoon oppa for bringing me to such authentic places. it seems like I’ve only been to yummy places every time I meet him and also get a whole lot of life and career advises. how can I thank him enough xD.

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stir fried spicy octopus!

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this is literally called the healthy stone bowl rice. hahahaha. it really felt very healthy but at this point I can barely fit anything inside my stomach. there was also a bean paste stew served as a side!

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my favourite korean snack, seaweed with soy sauce! mmm. try grilling some seaweed at home and dipping it in soy sauce, it’s really really good!

I thought I had pictures of everything but it seemed like I missed out the grilled fish which I quickly devoured hahaha. this jeongsik was literally good enough for 3-4 people in my opinion and I had to carry my belly with both my hands home because I was that much filled. D=.

if you’re looking for an authentic Korean restaurant to dine at, I’d say go to Jangsarang! but remember to book because I heard this place’s always filled!

주소: 서울특별시 강남구 신사동 624-47
Address: 624-47 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul-si
Phone no: 02-546-9994