It is said that チキン南蛮 Chicken Nanban, originated from 延岡市 Nobeoka City in 宮崎県 Miyazaki Prefecture. More precisely, it all started from 直ちゃん Naochan, a small restaurant which serves its fried chicken breast marinated with Nanban vinegar, without tartar sauce. Nowadays, there are also restaurants that use chicken thigh meat instead, as it is more juicy and tender.
The first restaurant that started serving this dish with tartar sauce was said to be おぐら Ogura, within 宮崎市 Miyazaki City. So it seemed fitting that our first dinner in Miyazaki would be here 🙂
We headed for おぐら本店 Ogura Honten, which was located in a little alley. The restaurant looked like a little cottage, and it was fairly quiet at 6.30pm on a Sunday (and soon we realised that Miyazaki was basically rather quiet all the time throughout our stay :P)
We are back in Japan!
This trip happened because the promotion for 15% off Krisflyer miles for online redemption was ending (boo SQ!), and we wanted to use up our miles (and the discount) 😛
When we started our planning, we had great ambition to cover lots of places, so we decided to fly in to Osaka and fly out from Fukuoka. And to travel leisurely in between so as to cover the whole stretch of Wakayama, Shikoku, Kyushu and not have to backtrack in order to fly back. But as the planning went, we thought we were too ambitious and reduced our ambitions to just Kyushu. 😛
We were scheduled to fly in and reach Osaka like 9:35pm, so we had planned to quickly go through immigration and dashed to take the train to hotel. We planned to stay two nights in Osaka, and only spent 1 Saturday to explore Osaka since we had been here before.
Therefore, we went to the areas within walking distance of one another, where good food and shopping were concentrated at (as well as the crowds!).
お好み焼「美津の」Mizuno Okonomiyaki was opened in 1945, just after World War II, making it the oldest お好み焼き Okonomiyaki restaurant in 大阪 Osaka.
We were there just before 5pm, and there was already a queue.
The staff would offer the menu (Chinese and English menus available) to the customers and take their orders while still in the queue. You are not allowed to add orders once you enter the restaurant, so choose wisely 🙂
The wait was bearable, and the queue moved rather fast.
We took the set (¥2105) which consisted of mini 山芋焼 Yamaimoyaki, and モダン焼 Modanyaki, which were the two very popular items here.
Our second stop today was the nearby Hyde & Co for lunch.
This was a small but popular cafe, and was almost full house at 1pm!
- The Bomb ($13.90 for half portion): We liked that there was half portions (4 pieces) available. The prawns were fresh, and the chye poh (pickled radish) omelette as pizza topping was definitely something interesting, but the samba chinchalok spread was too spicy for us, and the pizza base was too hard. Also, our pizza was kinda burnt.
- Hyde’s Chilli Crab Pasta ($22.90): There was a generous amount of Blue Swimmer crab meat, and the spicy Arrabiata sauce had sufficient kick without being overly spicy. It complemented the linguine well, and we enjoyed the pasta very much.
- My Fair Lady ($6.50): We requested for the iced tea to be without sugar. The iced Earl Grey Tea with milk was light with a hint of rose. Quite lovely.
Note: Wi-Fi and water (including hot water!) is available for free.
We were in the area to collect hubby’s passport and the queue at Tai Hwa looked scary 😮
A quick Google Search showed a promising cafe nearby and we decided to check it out instead.
A nice cosy little cafe, it started to get really busy at around 10:30am. Luckily, we stepped in just a few minutes earlier, and were able to get our seats and place our orders quickly.
- Sea salt spiced Chai latte ($6.50 nett) : After the initial light saltiness, the first sip was actually quite sweet and milky, before the spice settled in and started swirling all over. I liked the layers of taste!
- Skinny latte ($5.50): With beans from Yahava, hubby is a happy man. He felt that this was a slightly watered down version of the one he usually has at Yahava, but still pretty good 🙂
- The ultimate combo ($12): Perfect for sharing as we wanted a light bite, the 2 pancakes were fluffy and quite light. The cheese sausage was awesome and really cheesy, without being overly salty.
Wi-Fi and water is available for free. Also, there was a cute cat inside cafe!
We were all very interested in seeing cherry blossoms, and while hubby had seen the beautiful blooms many years ago in Japan, the rest of us have only seen them online and on TV shows. Initially, we intended to fly into Japan first before travelling to South Korea (the flowers started blooming earlier in certain parts of Japan, and the variety of flowers were different), but the exorbitant air fares made us decide to go for a less ambitious trip 😛
We read about the largest cherry blossom festival in 진해 Jinhae 镇海, and decided that we would focus on 부산 Busan 釜山, and 서울 Seoul 首爾, while keeping things flexible in Busan so that we could go for a day trip to Jinhae, when the cherry trees were in full bloom.
We had been to quite a few cafes during this trip, sometimes just to get breakfast for the next morning, and sometimes, we needed caffeine. And our favourite place gotta be…
카반커피 Kavan Coffee
Of worthy mention is this place, where we had the best Cafe Latte (₩3,000) of this trip. Strong, yet smooth, it had that oomph at the very first sip 🙂
The Green Tea Latte (₩3,500) here was pretty good too.
There are 2 outlets, and the one we visited was near 서면역 Seomyeon Station 西面站 (check out the location map in their website). Do give it a try if you visit Busan!
Website: www.kavancoffee.com (Facebook)
Categories: Busan, Coffee/Tea Break, Seoul, South Korea, Travel
Tags: cafe, carrot cake, croque momsieur, donut, latte, matcha latte, sandwich
We wanted to grab some dinner prior to making our way to the airport, and once again, we went to the nearby 애성회관 곰탕 (Aeseong Hoegwan Gomtang) Aseong Hall Beef Soup, recommended by the hotel.
We got ourselves some 곰탕 (Gomtang) Beef Soup 牛肉湯 (₩8,000 (S), ₩10,000 (L)).
Simple, and super delicious, the beef slices were thick, tender, and flavourful.
We recommend getting the big bowl for the extra beef! The noodles quantity seemed to be the same, and they were worth slurping too. The soup was served warm (not piping hot), and it was very flavourful too.
What a delicious meal to end our trip with 🙂
- Location: 서울특별시 중구 남대문로5길 23 세창빌딩 Seochang Building, 5 Road, 23 Namdaemunro, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Website: www.facebook.com/pages/애성회관/492191597564040
- Directions: See directions here. Take Exit 7 of 시청역 City Hall Station 市廳站 (Subway Line 1/2, Station Number 132/201) and walk around 5 mins.
- Hrs: 10am – 9pm (Mon-Fri), 10am – 8pm (Sat)
Our last day in Seoul, and we thought to just hang around near our hotel.
We wanted to check out the stone-wall road of 덕수궁 Deoksugung Palace 德壽宮, but as we were walking towards the palace, we heard drums going off…
Imagine our excitement when we saw the Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony in front of 대한문 Daehanmun Gate 大漢門 so close to the streets (and traffic lights)!
Too bad it was nearing the end already, so we decided to go ahead with admiring the stone walls, and finding a cafe to chill, while we waited for the 15:30 Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony to begin.
After checking out and depositing our luggage with the hotel, we went to the hotel-recommended 동방영양센터 (Dongbang Yeongyang Center) Oriental Nutrition Center 東方營養中心, that specialised in 삼계탕 (Samgyetang) Ginseng Chicken Soup 蔘雞湯.
Despite the staff who kept saying that the chicken was very small, we ordered only 1 set (₩14,000) as I did not have much of an appetite. I guess they were not too happy with us, but the restaurant was fairly empty while we were there.
The samgyetang really did wonders for my blocked nose 😛
The soup itself was quite light, and the chicken quite tender. Again, it came with accompanying dip and side dishes. Overall, quite a decent meal, and rather filling for 2 of us.
From here, it was an easy walk to 덕수궁 Deoksugung Palace 德壽宮, which was our next destination.
- Location: 북창동 42-2 동화빌딩 서울 중구 세종대로18길 14, Bukchangdong 42-2 Fairytale Building Sejong Daero Road, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Directions: See directions here
- Hrs: 9am – 11pm