Ramen Fest at Makan Decatur

ramenfestmakan_by_ohmyomiyage

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

Sobatei Takenoko

Sobatei Takenoko Restaurant in Taketomi Island Okinawa by ohmyomiyage

You don’t think I’d post about Taketomi without some foodie posts, did you? :)  My husband is a noodle fanatic so he tried to get as many bowls of okinawan soba in his stomach as possible.  Sobatei Takenoko on the northwest side of ‘downtown’ Taketomi was one of our favorites.  Friendly service, a homey atmosphere, great noodle texture and homemade soup make this place a must-eat!  Plus, it’s just a stone’s throw from West Pier, which makes it convenient too! Continue reading

Honmura An – Best Soba in Tokyo

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Honmura An has long been one of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo.  It’s one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants here and specializes in handmade soba.  The soba here is sublime.  It’s the perfect smooth and chewy texture, and you can really taste a deep buckwheat flavor.  The dipping sauce is even more elegant here.  They serve a wide variety of soba on their menu – from plain soba served in a bamboo box or soba topped with uni. Continue reading

Marbled Pork at Tonkatsu Butagumi

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I can honestly say that I have never had good pork until I came to Japan.  Although Japan is famous for its beef, the pork is also high quality, marbled, juicy, full of flavor, and oh so tender.  There are many ways to eat pork in Japan, but one of the popular dishes is tonkatsu – a lightly breaded, fried pork cutlet.  I’ve been wanting to try Butagumi in Nishi Azabu for a long time.  It’s rated as one of the best places in Tokyo for tonkatsu, and I have to agree that it’s my favorite so far!

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Warayakiya: Bonito & Chicken

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Always busy and inviting with its outdoor patio, Warayakiya features food from Kouchi Prefecture – specifically charcoal-grilled bonito and chicken hot pot.  It’s always full of people who appreciate the quality of the food and the great atmosphere!  There are many locations all around Tokyo. Continue reading

Kitsuneya Tsukiji (きつねや 築地)

Kitsuneya Gyudon at Tsukiji きつねや by oh my omiyage

Before Yoshinoya became Yoshinoya, it was just a small street stand in Tsukiji.  It’s since blown up to the international chain that it is,  but Kitsuneya is here to take its place!  Despite the 100 degree weather and only outdoor standing room, the man stirring the huge pot of gyudon sauce looked too appetizing.  If you’re not familiar with gyudon, it’s one of the most common dishes you can find in Japan – a bowl of rice topped with soy-sauce marinated beef and caramelized onions and drizzled in the most deliciously hearty, thin beef broth.  Yum to the max.  I also noticed many people eating beef tofu with a side of white rice.  You can’t go wrong with either! Continue reading

Oatmeal: A Comeback!

I love it when old things become popular again (that’s also why I’m a hoarder, but that’s for another day..).  In Tokyo, granola is hot hot hot!  I’ve taken to making granola at home to avoid the exorbitant prices and so I can make it juuust right.  Maybe it’s because of the Costco-sized Quaker Oats man staring at me from my dining table, but I’ve been searching high and low for rolled oats recipes.  That’s when I came across this cute Oatmeal Bar in NY – Oatmeals!  What an adorable, throwback idea!

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