La vie en Cafe

La vie en Café is located in  a very odd little building behind the Okayama City Symphonic Orchestra. If you spend enough time in Japan, you quickly realize that there is not many old buildings in  Japanese cities.  This building seem to be  clinging to another age among a sea of new constructions since it survived the bombing of Okayama.  (Okayama castle which is about 5 min away was severely damaged)

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Ajisen: Taipei in the Heart of Kurashiki

I’ve been to Ajisen ramen  shop 4 times in the last month or so, it’s that good!   Ajisen ramen is often on my mind and as I write this, I am wondering when I can go back.  Why is it so good?

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Daruma Kushiage: Food on a Stick in Osaka

There is a special place in my heart for food served on a stick: corn dogs, lollipops or perfectly grilled yakitori, it’s just a great and easy way to put food into your mouth.  So it pretty obvious that I had to try kushiage on my last visit to Osaka.

Kushiage or Kushikatsu is a speciality of Osaka.  The idea is simple: impale some food on a bamboo stick, dip it in batter, deep fry it very carefully and serve it burning hot . It’s the perfect bar food!

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Link: Caffeine Heaven in the Osaka

Coffee is addictive and finding a place to drink some is  even more addictive.

I’ve drank coffee pretty much every where I ever been and my last visit to Osaka brought me to Link Handmade Roast Coffee just off the popular Shinsaibashi.

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Hitachino Nest Beer Nipponia

Finding beer in Japan is never a problem, you can even purchase a can of Asahi Super Dry in a vending machine, but finding microbrewery beer is often a challenge if you don’t live in Tokyo or Osaka.

I found a new liquor shop in Kurashiki last weekend and I was really happy to see Hitchino Nest Beer on the shelves.   The Nipponia caught my attention with its 550 ml size.

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Poko Bagel: the cure for home sickness

Have you ever been away from home for a very long time? I’ve now been away from Montreal since late July 2008 and I’ve noticed that what I miss the most from back home is food.  Maple syrup, smoked meat and poutine seem to be part of my DNA.

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Kurashiki Coffee-Kan

I have walked in front of this discreet coffee shop on numerous occasions without really noticing it.  Kurashiki Coffee-Kan is located right in the heart of the historic Bikan area of Kurashiki city in  Okayama Prefecture.  I think I might have found my little  coffee heaven only 20 min from my house.

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Tottori pear and Izushi soba

How far would you drive for food?

I woke up last Sunday with no intentions of going further than the couch, but I ended up going on a 500 km car ride just for the sake of buying Japanese pears and eating the famous Izushi soba.

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Hiranoya Okonomiyaki

Before I came to Japan, I had never eaten a okonomiyaki.  This all changed on my first visit to Hiroshima city and since then I’ve been trying to find great okonomiyaki places.

Hironoya is one of them and according to my co-workers, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Hironoya is located in Fuchu city, just outside of Fukuyama. Fuchu is not a big place, but there is a small country road that pretty much goes from my village in the mountains all the way to this okonomiyaki shop.  The route 417 is one tight scary road barely larger than my miniature Japanese car.

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Vittorio Pizza shop

Pizza, pizza, I want to eat a pizza!

I got hit by a violent craving for pizza yesterday.  I sat all day at work revisiting my favorite pizza: New York pizza, Montreal 1$ slice after a night out drinking, my favorite spot in Paris on rue des Canettes or the numerous pizza I ate in Italy.

Having so many references doesn’t help me appreciate Japanese pizza since I find most of them blend and topped with corn and other items which I believe don’t belong on a proper pizza.

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