Monday, July 11, 2005

Fast food fast pay

The well-travelled visitor to Japan must have seen countless of these things, but I'm still fascinated at coin-operated anything, including this intriguing machine that swallowed C.'s payment for his dish of rice-and-curry in one of the fast food establishments in Sanjo.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lipton Tea House, Sanjo, Kyoto

Lipton doesn't conjure up visions of splendour and dining ecstasy, but the Lipton Tea House in the arcaded maze of the Sanjo shopping district in downtown Kyoto is a pleasant well-lit coffee/tea parlour. I cannot be happier at the Japanese passion for pastries and baking. I let myself go today with Lipton's torte of the day, a matcha pudding on a sliver of cream and sitting on a rich chocolate fudge tart base. It was an unmatchable (pun intended) welding of bitter-sweet flavours.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Lunch in Kibune

We heard the thing to do in the village of Kibune, just 20 minutes by train from Kyoto, is to dine at one of the many restaurants perched precariously over the stream that runs through the town. We found this little restaurant, the cheapest of the lot (some set menus started at $60!), but almost didn't get to sit and eat over the stream because the day's only slight drizzle was starting. Luckily for us the drops faded, so we were allowed to sit under the cover of straw and have our late lunch next to a tiny waterfall. We had the gomoku (vegetable) and also the tori (chicken) kamamesi, a pot of rice steamed in the respective broths. The soup contained the strangest little bit of plant specimen, some sort of root or tiny branch that was covered in a gelatinous goo. The meal was just about enough to energize us for the walk down to the station to train it back to Kyoto, but it was quite something to dine with the soothing sound of running water.