Have you known about Japan Food Town in Wisma Atria? I’ve heard it before but never been inside and look around. Last Wednesday I met my friend in Singapore and we walked to Food Republic in Wisma Atria to get a drink and have a seat. When it was time for dinner, we chose Japanese Food since it was there already. Japan Food Town is located at the same floor as Food Republic, which is on the 4th floor of Wisma Atria.
There are some restaurants inside the area, selling all different kind of Japanese cuisine. We got hooked at one of the menu there. My friend wanted to eat warm meal, me as well. Also the price mentioned was reasonable enough. It was a Saba Fish Restaurant called SaBar. The place is hidden at the corner. We almost went to wrong restaurant! lol.
At first we sat in front area, but as more people were coming over we had to move to bigger table inside. The two of us started to order first because we were so hungry suddenly! I was interested in Fried Squid. My friend wanted to try Toro Saba Hitsumabushi and also shared jelly fish and green salad. Then another friend came and ordered a fried chicken (tori karaage). It took a while for them to prepare our food but it was worth it.
I LOVE the Fried Squid. Crispy on the outside (thin batter) and soft inside, cooked perfectly. The jelly fish was fresh and yummy. Even the green salad tasted delicious, especially the dressing. Toro Saba Hitsumabushi can be eaten in 2 ways, dry or wet. Both were delicious! I prefer the dry one but it got too salty at one point because of the sauce. Still delicious though! The fried chicken was also crunchy and tasty, but a little too salty. Another 2 friends came and ordered Unagi Hitsumabushi and it was delicious as well! All of the food were cooked really well.
I will definitely come back here to try another dishes, and will recommend this place to all my friends as well. They are quite new restaurant which was established in 2014. So I want them to stay around for a very long time! I think they are able to do so, as long as they maintain their quality. Right now it is quite packed already on dinner time though.
Have you tried their food? How was your experience there? Let me know in the comment below!
Today is another trip outside of Fukuoka. Nagasaki it is! Pris planned to visit Kumamoto actually but my Japanese friend told me to visit Nagasaki instead. The first reason was that Kumamoto is not safe at the moment, still have earthquake going on. The second one was because Nagasaki is the most beautiful city in Kyushu according to her.
For breakfast, I bought croissants from Il Forno Del Mignon. I tried their mentaiko croissant and I liked it. This time I bought all flavor! It was empty in the morning. Usually, they always had a lot of people lining up whenever I passed by, especially for chocolate croissant and sweet potato croissant.
We bought 2 tickets at the machine for 3800 yen but couldn’t enter the gate. The officer said we need to get the fare ticket as well. The one we bought was only limited express ticket. Since I didn’t know how to buy the fare ticket via machine, we went to counter. The person struggled to understand us and we tried so hard to explain. But he finally got the message! He changed the tickets and gave us the new one. 6180 yen for 2 people. Now, this is about right cost. We only paid the difference. I was wondering why it was so cheap when we received our first ticket from the machine.
Looked up at the sign for Kamome 7 (the train to Nagasaki) at 7.53am. It was at platform 4. We boarded the train. It was very cozy and comfortable. It has a unique floor pattern as well.
Arrived at Nagasaki, we went to information center and bought a day-pass tram ticket for 500 yen (adult) and 250 yen (children). Single trip for tram is 120 yen (adult) and 60 yen (children).
We followed the sign for ‘streetcar’. Across the fly-over and get down to the platform. Our first destination was the kimono rental place. The name is Kimono Hoppen. Located near Sianbashi tram station. Pris already made a reservation before via online and got the confirmation via email. The rental fee was 5420 yen per person. The hairdo was extra 1600 yen.
We chose kimono from their collection, then we put on the kimono with the help of the lady. There were only 2 persons working there when we came. I took the hairdo as well since my hair was not in proper shape lol. But I didn’t like the result of their hairdo though. After finished all, we needed to choose bag to match the kimono and to bring some stuff. We left our backpack in the shop and went out with a smaller bag.
There are a lot of temples around that area. A whole row of temples. We visited Sofukuji temple first and took some photos there.
On the way back to Kimono’s place, we stopped by at Daikoji temple and only took few photos since we already starving. Couldn’t climb another set of stairs..
We had lunch at Garan resto. The only restaurant in that area that was opened. I ordered Chicken katsu curry. It was not bad but not special as well. It was good enough to refill my empty stomach.
After lunch, we went back to Kimono Hoppen to return the kimono. We actually could rent it until 6 pm but we didn’t want to walk around the city with that! Very tight and hot as well, also it looked like gonna rain. Walking under the rain in kimono is not a good idea for holiday xD
We took tram to Oura Catholic church, stopped at ouratenshudo-shita station. Just followed the sign on the street until we saw an inclined road with many shops along the way, including the famous brand for kakuni manju (Nagasaki delicacy). At the end of that street, we saw Oura Catholic church.
Entrance fee is 600 yen. We got the English book. It is not allowed to take a photo inside the church. On the right side of the church, there is an exhibition inside an old building. Free of charge.
Continue walking to Glover garden. We didn’t enter because if we did we would not have enough time to go to other places. On the way back to tram station, we stopped by at souvenir shop and ate kakuni manju at Iwasaki Hompo shop. According to my Japanese friend, it is the best manju in Nagasaki. And it is! Pris loved it. I don’t like the bun though.
After filling up our tummy, we continued our trip. Next destination was atomic bomb museum. We took the tram and stopped at station number 20 (hamaguchi-machi). Again, we just followed the sign to museum. But we only saw Nagasaki National peace Memorial Hall and no sign of bomb museum. Apparently we need to go inside the gate of Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall first then on the left side, there is a pathway to go to atomic bomb museum.
We used the coin locker to put our bags away because it was too heavy. It costs 100 yen. And we got it back when we took out the bags! Worth it 😆
Entrance fee to atomic bomb museum is 200 yen. We needed to go down to B2 (ask the information lady if you can’t find the way). We bought the ticket from machine and just scan it on the gate. We are allowed to take photos but can’t use flash. It was a very interesting museum and made me cry.. The message (some might say propaganda but for me it’s pure message) is too deep. Especially when I read the testimonials from the survivors.. It is a must visit place in Nagasaki.
We planned to go to the memorial hall as well since we already there but canceled because we didn’t have enough time 😦 We needed to see Urakami Cathedral and it is closed at 5 pm. Although, we could take photos on the outside still. Urakami Cathedral was one of many building that got destroyed at the time of the bombing, and they rebuilt it. It was the biggest cathedral in Asia before the bombing.
Around 6 pm we rushed back to Nagasaki station. I wanted to go to Mount Inasa and seeing the night city view of Nagasaki which I heard very beautiful, but it was time for dinner and we need to catch up the train as well. In Nagasaki Station, we went to Amu Plaza, to the 5th floor. That’s where most of the restaurants are. We picked one of the Japanese Restaurant from Directory (and I forgot to note the name! but it was number 5 on the floor directory).
I ordered fried chicken (tori karaage) and it was delicious!! The price was a reasonable as well! Happy tummy 😀
After dinner, we went to ticket counter and bought a ticket for Hakata Station. It was 3090 yen per person. Easy and no more mistake made 😀
The Souvenir shop (next to entrance) was closed at 9.30pm. But the other shops around it were closed by 8 pm mostly. I bought castella cake from Fukusaya shop. There are a lot of castella cake brand but this Fukusaya was recommended by my Japanese friend who was growing up in Nagasaki. So it should be a valid recommendation! The cake can only last for a week though!
I found the kakuni manju shop as well at Nagasaki station. The same one as the one we found near Oura Church, Iwasaki Hompo. The seller was really nice. He explained to me that the manju can be taken around for 12 hours and can last for 1 month in freezer or 10 days in the refrigerator. I was thinking about my trip and decided not to buy it because it was not possible with my flight schedule and transit time. I’ve really appreciated that guy! He couldn’t speak English, yet he tried so hard to explain to me so that I didn’t waste my money, in case I don’t have enough time to get it in the freezer. Love Japanese people!
We sat down in the train back to Hakata and just rest for the day. I even fell asleep quite fast! From my experience in Nagasaki, it was not enough to go there for a day. You need at least 48 hours in Nagasaki to really enjoy the city and culture.
If you like meat, especially grilled meat, and you are happened to be in Saigon Center Shopping Mall, you should try Gyu-Shige. We tried it out of curiousity when we were there. The place is crowded but we were only need to wait for 5 minutes and they got us a table.
I like how they have vast option of beer and other drinks. I was surprised they have Asahi beer as well. But since it was imported, the price is high for a beer! I ordered Sapporo instead.
Their option of meats are not that many, but it is enough for us. We ordered the usual dish we ate on Japanese or Korean BBQ restaurant. It’s kind of he standard for us to compare the quality of the meat and also the taste. Can you guess which are they? Yes! They are Karubi (Beef Ribs) and Samgyeopsal (Pork Belly). We always ordered this especially on new restaurant that we haven’t tried before.
My husband ordered a salad as well, because he didn’t order steamed rice. We never thought that the portion was quite big! And it was also a fresh salad.
Compare to Korean BBQ, Japanese BBQ didn’t have many side dish comes with the main course. This plate of vegetables and a plate of kimchi were the only thing for our side dish. We used lettuce a lot, to eat with the meat. Make a wrap and put the red sauce inside. And I must say, this red sauce is the best I’ve tried. It was really yummy. I couldn’t stop eating it.
The karubi was also good quality. It was juicy and no weird ‘beef’ smell. It tasted delicious as well. I like to grill it medium, so it would still juicy. Yum!
The other menu was Pork Belly. This was the first time I grilled pork belly by myself. Usually we had the servant to do it, or it came in small pieces. This one is more korean style. So I had to grilled it to half-cook then I cut them with scissors to smaller piece and grilled until well cooked. I LOVE their pork belly. It was not dry and it was marinated really well. Very recommended to order this.
Overall we were happy eating in Gyu Shige. The price also affordable for a restaurant inside a shopping mall, and comparable as well. The only thing that they should improve would be the grill. They let us use the same grill for beef and pork. It should have used different type of grill for different kind of meat. Pork has fat that easily burned on grill, and it also can cause the fire to raised up to the grill if we used the grill for beef.
Thanks for reading. Ciao!
Address : L5-16 Saigon Centre, 65 Le Loi street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
As a fan of Japanese Ramen, I never missed out information about good ramen in Saigon and of course went there to try it! First time I read about this ramen was last year, from one of the group in Facebook called Foodies in Saigon. Many people seemed to like this place so I went there, but they were closed for renovation 😦
After a while, I read that they were opened again after renovation, but I hadn’t had time to go there. Until recently…
I invited my husband, who is a ramen lover as well, to join me on ramen testing! We came there just in time before all seats were taken. The customer after us were sent away because they were full. It’s interesting though how they treat the situation. They prefer to send the customer away rather than asking them to wait. They are really allowing time for existed customer to finish their food without hurry. So if you would come there in group, it is better to make reservation.
The waitress gave us menu and we had to write down our choice on order sheet. One sheet per person. Customized for each person.
I ordered Chasu Tonkotsu Ramen without additional topping. Noodle stiffness level was medium. And everything else was normal/medium as well. I used to do it to know how the taste should be. I didn’t order drink because they gave us cold water already. For free.
While waiting for the ramen to be cooked, I looked around at my table. They have beansprout dish, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and red chili to be added to our food, if we want. They also provided rubber band! How thoughtful. Ladies, don’t worry if you don’t bring hair clip! You can use rubber band and eat ramen comfortably!
Tadaa! I mixed the red sauce with the broth and then sipped it. Yummy!! This ramen is really delicious! Something was not feel right for me when I ate this ramen. Apparently, the noodle. I should have ordered stiff noodle. I tried that noodle on my husband’s ramen and it was soooo good! Next time I will order stiff noodle instead of medium. The pork was sliced thin and was yummy as well. It’s a complete package!
We tried their fried chicken as well. And it was awesome! The chicken was cooked really well but still soft and juicy. They marinated the chicken so it didn’t taste plain. Had some flavor on it. I used the salt pepper and the mayonnaise as well ! I like salty food 😀
All in all, it was a great ramen experience! Definitely come back and recommend it to all of you!
For you who loves Japanese food or just want something different in the city, you should try Manmaru. Their menu is more to the home cooked style. There are sashimi, sushi and rolls as well. And they were delicious. Fresh fish.
They have 2 branches, one at Ly Tu Trong street and the other one at Mac Dinh Chi street. I went to the second one. The design of the restaurant is unique. It gave me the feeling of eating in Japan (with some background Vietnamese voices..). I read on one of the review that if you want quieter place, you should go to second floor.
They put the menu in Japanese on the wall, but they also have normal menu book 😀 If I remember correctly, there was no English translation for the menu. But if you are familiar with Japanese food, that should not be a problem. Or you can always ask the waiters.
Yaki Soba Manmaru
Sashimi Moriawase Manmaru
We ordered sashimi set and yaki soba (fried noodle). They were delicious! We were very happy to eat it. Definitely will go back there. Even my husband said he would invite his staffs to eat there one day because it has different ambience.