Dinner diary: Cresta president caterpillars

Eating caterpillars was a new and enjoyable dining experience for me. Served as part of the dinner buffet they were really the highlight of the evening and all thats worth reporting on.

Apparently they used to form an integral part of the protein diet of southern and eastern africans when times were tough. Deep fried they were a little chewy with a slightly gummy texture and a gamy, smoky flavour with a slight bitterness similar to stewed spinach.

 

Dinner diary: Palacina Hotel Moonflower restaurant

Dinner diary: Palacina Hotel Moonflower restaurant

The Moonflower provides a wondrerfully relaxing, rustic and pleasant dining experience. It could hold its nose in the air and be irritatingly pretentious, but it doesn’t, it is friendly and down to earth. I think it is the smiley, uber friendly waiters and staff that deserve credit for ensuring those that show up in jeans, tshirt and thongs still feel comfortable amongst the finery of the decore and clientele.

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The veranda
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They also have a live band playing soft jazz tunes

I had the grilled snapper on seasonal veggies.

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Grilled snapper with lime butter sauce
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Spinach side plus complimentary bread!

The grilled options, which also includes lamb chops (also delicious) come with a selection of sides including mashed, roasted or fried potatoes or rice. I asked for extra green vegies and was ingormed I could have spinach, which I received sauteed in a white wine and cream sauce. Perfect.

Best yet, Moonflower does not break the bank. Mains are about 1200 Kenyan shillings, incidentally the same price I paid for a custom smoked salmon sandwich for lunch! I think that is about $15.

Highly recommend.

Dinner diary: 130301 Casual dining in Gotanda

March has arrived with a warm, wet spring shower. Nourishment for all. So I went in search of beef (Gyu-niku no arimas ka?) and a warm, dry cave to eat it in. After walking around the backstreets of Gotanda and being offered multiple ‘massages’ of practically any nationality (Who ever said the Japanese are not multicultural?) I eventually found KanKan*.

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KanKan, Gotanda

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It really was a cave!

Yet again I was rewarded for adventuring into the unknown in Tokyo. You really cannot go wrong, as long as your spirit is in the right place and your willing to eat pretty much anything. Horse sashimi was on the menu here but I was looking for something more comfortable tonight.

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The roast beef, BBQ potato, Onsen black pork and roasted camembert and salmon all went down a treat

You can find KanKan on the south side of Gotanda JR station, around the corner from Mos burger. Its on the 6th floor of the first large cluster of Izikaya and will have a gaggle of menu boys out the front. Of course its opposite a pachinko parlor. Menu available in English.

Not the very best in Japanese dining but that’s why they call it casual dining. All part of the experience.

* Kankan is not the actual name or a translation of the name but was the only part of the name I could recognize!

Dinner diary: 130201, Koenji, Japan

It’s official that I really don’t have many friends in Tokyo. After 9 months I still eat the majority of my meals alone. There are lots of reasons for this, the most of which is language and the least of which is the friendliness of the Japanese or myself. Regardless, I take heart in the fact I’m not the only one dining alone and that the food is amazing.

To capture how bearable this situation is I’m starting a new category to this already diversified blog, being the dinner diaries. Each time I dine alone and not at home I will share with you the… Vibe. Perhaps in this way I will feel less alone!

Tonight I’m in Koenji at El Pato, a quant little restaurant bar on my way to some live music at the Penguin bar nearby.

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The Head chief and proprietor, Kiyoshi is a busy, bustling goateed young fellow with a woven hat, a friendly nature and good English, which is damn helpful. He is supported by his cariganed side kick and an able waitress. All lovely.

All I needed to say was that I was hungry and he recommended a double slice of roast beef with mash and gravy. How could I refuse!

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It was damn good and washed down with a Lost Coast Great White and an Anchor Brewing Liberty Ale. Damn tasty beef and not common in Tokyo. They have a very good selection here and even some recognizable Ravenswood wines for the sommeliers out there.

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Here is desert. What’s more to say? Oh the music was mellow and in tune with the atmosphere, and the smells – tantalizing. I could have stayed the night. A great find and highly recommended. Word from the locals is I need to come back and try the spare ribs!

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