After Eating in Japan – Tsumago, Takayama and Shirakawa-go, we travelled north to Kanazawa.
After checking into our hotel, we wandered through the Omicho markets which had gigantic oysters and other seafood items for sale. I had read that snow crab in Kanazawa was worth ordering but sadly we had missed out on mud crab season. I regret not ordering one of the massive (I’m talking about the size of my hand) oysters or taking a photo of it.
We headed towards Kanazawa Castle to do some sightseeing when we came across this small park with several street food stalls set up.
My sister purchased some baked sweet potato for ¥300 which were carb loaded and very filling.
Huge corn on the cob was being sold at the stall next door.
I was interested in checking out Kenjotei, a sweets bar in the middle of all the food stalls and shops, after seeing instagram photos of a gold leaf ice cream.
Kanazawa produces gold leaf for the majority of Japan. It’s everywhere! At Kenjotei, this set me back ¥1,000, or about AUD$11! Ouch. It was simply vanilla soft serve covered in a whole sheet of gold leaf. Not happy when I found it for half the price at the train station. It’s also cheaper if you just want gold flakes rather than a whole sheet. The gold does nothing to the flavour of the soft serve. It’s purely for looks.
After wandering around, we realised we were close to a patisserie that I had looked up earlier – Le Musee De H Kanazawa. We placed our names on the wait list and it turned out only be a 30 minute wait until our names were called. We were able to peek into the window and watch some donuts being dusted and readied for selling.
Inside, there were various cakes we could choose from.
We picked three cakes to share between the two of us. I also ordered a matcha latte which came dusted with sakura (cherry blossom) powder while my sister ordered an Earl Grey tea.
The most popular item at Le Musee de H was the c’est la vie. It was a white chocolate mousse encasing layers of pistachio and raspberry chocolate on a biscuit base.
The strawberry tart was pretty average. I’ve definitely had better versions in Australia!
The yuzu cake had a mixture of yuzu mousse, citrus gel and sponge. It was nice but nothing spectacular. We were both just glad we had found a patisserie we could sit down in! They were really hard to find.
It was a great time to be in Kanazawa as the cherry blossoms were in full bloom! They hadn’t yet bloomed in Tokyo while we were there.
We were only in the city for one night and my sister said it was about time we tried a sushi train. She looked up Morimorizushi, known for its affordable sushi, located at a multi-storey shopping complex. The queue was out the door and wrapped around the corner. Luckily there was a long bench for people to sit while queuing. After about 50 minutes of waiting (at least we weren’t that hungry!), it was our turn to go in.
The eatery was tight fitting with a few stools around the one counter. A touch screen had been fitted to make special orders. As we sat there watching the little plates go by, I realised I didn’t actually like the look of any dish. After all that wait! But we were hungry so we had to just pick a few dishes to satiate our hunger.
We started with the tobiko ship roll which had plenty of fresh red caviar on top bursting with juices.
The squid ship roll was very fresh. The texture was firm but chewy.
I’ve forgotten what the below ship roll was – I think it was either diced scallop or some other odd seafood that my sister wanted to try.
The mackerel nigiri was nice with plenty of rice in each mouthful.
I don’t remember the type of fish for this aburi but I remember it being a little bit chewy in texture.
The crab salad ship roll had a lot of mayonnaise in it which I didn’t like and tried to eat around.
After Kanazawa, we travelled to Hiroshima and stayed for one night. We did the usual sightseeing spots – starting off with the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and museum. A real eye-opener.
Then strolled across to the Atomic Bomb Dome – the only building that survived the blast.
We had read that Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki was a must try. There was even an okonomiyaki food theme park called Okonomimura – a building with three floors (floors 2-4) and 25 stalls selling okonomiyaki! Where to start? We thought we would just start at the 4th floor and work our way down.
There was stall after stall that all looked similar with about 8-10 stools around a cooking station.
The plan was to try two different stalls and share one okonomiyaki between the two us. Without much knowledge of which stall to go to, we saw a sign showing that Takenoko had been in the 2013 Michelin Guide. That was good enough for us to start off with. The chef was very friendly and gave us an English menu.
There were eight types of okonomiyaki available on the menu. They weren’t the cheapest items but that’s because there was so much packed into each okonomiyaki!
After some batter had been poured onto the hot grill, a massive mound of bean sprouts were added.
I took a video of our chef making our Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki.
We chose the Hiroshima oyster okonomiyaki filled with noodles, onion, pork, egg, bean sprouts and cabbage (¥1,566) to share. This was not the flat okonomiyaki that I was used to eating in Australia. Oh no. This version was piled super high with ingredients and had noodles in it!
I loved eating okonomiyaki with noodles. It was also crunchy from the fresh bean sprouts and cabbage in the mix. It was so big that we were both absolutely stuffed after eating our halves. Too full to try another stall and go for a second round. I would definitely love to go back to try more another time.
After that lunch, we continued our sightseeing and headed to Hiroshima Castle.
I had researched Floresta, a bakery selling cute animal-shaped doughnuts, and really wanted to try it out. Luckily there was one close to our tram stop and Okonomimura. The doughnuts weren’t the nice fluffy types that I was expected, rather they were quite dense. But I visited more for the cuteness factor than anything else.
After reading about Not Quite Nigella’s recent visit to Hiroshima, I decided to try one of her recommendations, Reimenya – a tsukemen restaurant. The eatery was so hard to find. Googlemaps was saying we were at the restaurant but we were actually in a back street of a group of apartments. We had just about given up when I spotted an old man crossing the road and asked/pointed to a picture of the shop front. Though language was a barrier, he kindly indicated for us to follow him. We walked a little further and rounded a corner, where he then pointed to the shop front. He kept smiling the entire time and was just so friendly. We were very thankful.
Reimenya is the second oldest tsukemen restaurant in Hiroshima. The inside of the restaurant was very spacious with a long open kitchen and counter with stools. Tissues, jugs of tea, chopsticks and condiments were at the ready.
My sister and I both chose the ‘normal’ option (¥970) on the menu as it seemed to be the most popular.
The dish was piled high with fresh cabbage and cucumber, some slices of pork and cold noodles sitting underneath. A separate bowl of chilli sauce was provided to dip the cold noodles into. The sauce looked very red and very spicy so I was bit hesitant at first. Thankfully, the sauce was very mild and didn’t burn my mouth. I thought the dish was very fresh, natural and healthy. However it lacked any punchy flavour and was almost bland.
I believe there are different spiciness levels to the chilli so for those that like it hot, I’m sure you could ask for more spice. I noticed that the chilli sauce was being bottled perhaps to be sold.
Well that concludes my trip to Kanazawa and Hiroshima. Next, we travelled to Miyajima Island…
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