Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beans in a Bun, Fish on a Stick and Girly Drinks up High

Well, I continue to indulge my love for the ubiquitous red bean paste, and for breakfast got meself another soft roll filled with the good stuff and another individually wrapped banana to top it off. I also tried two small donuts from the shelf to see what their deal was - one was filled with a sweet-cheese like substance, and speaking of substance, the other was a purple sweet potato filling in a poppy seed rice dough... it was good, especially for its new and different appeal thanks to the light purple filling.
Unfortunately, dad's feet are worse and we had to leave the poor guy at home as we made our way to Miajima, the island off of Hiroshima famous for the huge Torii gate rising from the water and the temple that appears to float at high tide. We were there for low tide, but it was still a cool thing to see. We spent the rest of the day walking the island and visiting another tem
ple and then doing some window shopping, and for lunch I finally got me some Japanese street-food. We were walking past a stall selling numerous varieties of what appeared to be some kind of kebabs. Imagine my delight when it turned out to be my beloved fish sausage! I was sold there and then and ordered a Ginger-Scallion and Mom ordered an Asparagus Bacon. We split a Shrimp one. The woman heats them up in the deep fryer for a second and then serves them in a bag or on a stick, and if you're a cool guy like me, you enjoy it with the spicy seasoning from the table-side shaker. This went well with a Honey-Lemon Fanta (we need this in the states) and would have gone even better with a beer.
After that we rentedsome bikes, rode around the island, saw a wild monkey and went to the beach where we did more standing-in-the-water than swimming, and finally headed back to the ferry and Hiroshima and the Hotel, where Dad was laying up, waiting for us.
It must have been a day sent by some benevolent god to indulge all my culinary loves in Japan, because for dinner we got to have Japanese Curry again, the rich, savory brown curry, so deliciously different than its Indian yellow, red and green counterparts. This time the restaurant wasn't a chain, and was a small one-man affair with a very hardworking curry master who appeared to be owner, chef, waiter and bartender all at once. But if he was stressed, the food didn't show it. The curry comes out still boiling in it's own little cast iron pot, along with a large helping of yellow (saffron?) rice, to be topped with the salty-sweet daikon pickles and whole pickled baby onions, whose sweetness cut the spice of the curry. I got an Eggplant and Okra Chicken Curry and washed it down with a couple of beers served in chilled mugs, and after the second time around, all of us are in agreement that WE LOVE CURRY.
I wish we had this in the states and am toying with dreams of becoming a stateside curry master...
When we got back, the good vibes of the curry carried us up to the lounge on the 21st floor of the hotel where we ordered cocktails and looked out over the glowing lights of Hiroshima, extending in all directions around us. Mom had a wine with her Creme Brulee, but Dad and I went for "Girly Drinks" in the form of a Bahama Breeze (rum, orange juice, pineapple and grenadine) and a Gulphstream (vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice). In our t-shirts, we were under-dressed for the atmosphere, and the tab was expensive, but it was nice to sit and sip drinks and look out over the lights on our last night in Hiroshima.

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