Ramen Fest at Makan Decatur

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The food scene has exploded in Atlanta since I last lived here 10+ years ago, and my calendar is filled with one food festival after another – not that I’m complaining!  It’s such a great way to get acquainted with the city again and the many amazing restaurants.  Last week, my cousins and I couldn’t wait to attend the ramen fest hosted by Makan, a new modern Asian restaurant in Decatur.

Most of you know my love for ramen (evidence here, here, here, here, and here).  I’ve shied away from it since moving back to the US since.. who could do ramen better than Japan?  Well, I’m happy to say that although ramen in Atlanta isn’t as steeped in tradition or honed to perfection as in Japan, it’s definitely more innovative and imaginative with unconventional flavors.  It’s like coming up for fresh air after a month of eating nothing but your grandmother’s (very tasty) home cooking.

ramenfestmakan_by_ohmyomiyage

ramenfestmakan_by_ohmyomiyage

8 different restaurants served up their version of ramen in trial-sized bowls.  My favorite was the one from Makan (top photo), served in a flavorful overnight duck broth and served with a tender slice of duck breast.  I also loved the one from Victory (below), topped with perfect shiitake mushrooms.  Congrats to Makan on such a fun event.  I’m sure the next one will be even bigger.  Prepare your stomachs!

ramenfestmakan_by_ohmyomiyage

Firefighter Party: Adult Tablescapes

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Here’s just a couple shots of the adult tables from the firefighter birthday party I posted last week.  There were separate tented areas for the kids tables and round adult tables, brought together with similar colors and the firefighter theme!

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All adults went home with cookie favors from Diddy Riese, a UCLA favorite.  They also helped to decorate the table!

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Custom signage directed guests to the drink table, set up with lemonade and flavored water.

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Happy hump day!

Firefighter Birthday Party

Hey y’all!  (Do you hear my southern twang?) There’s been a lack of posts because… I’ve moved back home to Atlanta!  It’s been a whirlwind of moving and settling in.  Thank you to all who have followed me in Tokyo.  Although I’ll be posting less on Japan, there’ll still be lots of parties, food, travel, and DIY.  My first project back was my dear friend’s son’s firefighter-inspired 4th birthday party.  It was peak summer in LA so I had decor to match – bright, happy, and fun-filled!  There were separate tented areas for the kids and adults, brought together with yellow and red decor.

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What kind of cake do you have for a firefighter party?  A fire engine of course…

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.. topped off with adorable minions.

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And matching water bottles!

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I’m kicking myself for not taking photos of the party favors – fire house books and Diddy Reese cookies in custom-made fire engine canvas tote bags.

dallas birthday party

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The topping of the party?  A real fire engine complete with real firemen from 5 Alarm Fire Engine.  These guys were awesome – great with the kids, prepared with tons of activities, professional, and patience galore for the 40+ (yes FORTY!) kids that attended.  I highly recommend them if you’re having a similar party in the LA/OC/Inland Empire area.  The kids and many of the parents were thoroughly entertained with fire hose water shooting, tug of war, dressing in all the gear, and fire engine rides around the neighborhood.  Fun for everyone!

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Tomorrow, the adult tables! :)

Throwback Rice Packaging

Spotted: awesome throwback rice packaging.  I’ve been seeing this packaging more and more around town from specialty Japanese food and/or rice shops.  This 2kg bag of rice from Arobo in Hiroo is a more modern take on the design.

Note: Japanese rice is a great omiyage (souvenir).  It’s flavorful with a great texture that’s hard to find outside of Japan – especially if it’s from this year’s harvest!  Visit one of the specialty rice shops like Suzunobu in Meguro.