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.
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!
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.
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
Many places on Ishigaki have a laid-back island feel that’s just so darn relaxing and cute. It’s surprisingly under-developed, which makes you feel like you’re in the country – a countryside with an ocean view. One of my favorite spots that epitomizes this atmosphere is a little gelato shop MiruMiru. We went every day! Continue reading
If you’ve ever been to the Mt.Fuji area, you’ve no doubtfully seen or tried one of the many houtou restaurants! Houtou is a local specialty in Yamanashi close to the hot tourist spot, Mt.Fuji. It’s a hearty and nutritious miso and pumpkin-based broth cooked in a large cast iron bowl and filled with chewy udon and vegetables. Although it’s served year round, it’s my favorite in the colder months when nothing satiates your stomach like a piping hot bowl of noodles! Continue reading
Well that didn’t take that long! You can now find cronuts in cafes around Tokyo supplied by Banderole. The craze hasn’t hit the radar of Japanese trend setters yet so don’t expect the long lines that you’d find for pancakes or brunch spots. I’m not sure if this will become a fad in Japan as even cupcakes haven’t made a big splash. But we’ll see! Sometimes these food trends take awhile to catch on here (like pancakes). Continue reading
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