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.

Food from home

The food in Japan is renowned for its quality. What people may not realise, is that it is not just the food in the restaurants that is good – it is the food in the markets and the supermarkets and the basement floors of the department stores.

For me the food in Japan represents two of the virtues most synonymous with the Japanese –  value and quality. Lucky for me, I think that flowed through to my cooking!

Dinner Diary: Ginza, LIME Balinese aqua bar

These pictures are from two dinners I had at a fusion Japanese-Balinese bar and restaurant in Ginza called LIME. The restaurant is located upstairs (2F) in the Ginza Corridor arcade under the metropolitan expressway and Shinkansen. A map and review is available from Metro.

LIME has  floor to ceiling fish-tanks running the length of the restaurant and provides most of the restaurants moody lighting. The tanks are chock full of tropical fish, including a beautiful zebra striped moray eel, which hides up near the cashiers.

The food was good. Not fantastic and not expensive, it was good value, interesting fusion food. If you want Japanese food, go somewhere else. If you want pure Indonesia food, go somewhere else. If you want something that sounds familiar but is a little different – same same but different – then give this place a try.

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!

When food quality is high, Food qty is low… and so are obesity levels

Food presentation in Japan is amazing, and I’m not just talking about in the restaurants. Here in Tokyo you can buy better food in the convenience stores than you can get in your average deli back home.

United Nations University Farmers Market

Perfect present for White Day? (Japanese Valentines day for men)
Its not just presentation though, its quality. I’m not sure what happens with the ‘damaged’ stuff but it certainly doesn’t make it to the shelves. Given the Japanese penchant for efficiency, I imagine it makes it way to a cannery somewhere or maybe the huge variety of dried fruits they have. 

Huge array of Mushrooms! Yay!

 This high food quality, low quantity consumption is in direct contrast to the USA, UK and Australia. Also in direct contrast are the obesity statistics. In the latest obesity rankings for the OECD USA (1st), UK (3rd) and Australia (6th) all rank in the top 10 with over 20% of the population considered Obese.  Japan ranks last – 28th with only 3.5% considered obese. Eat better, eat less.

Statistics ourtesy of Nationmaster.com

The finished product, with some help from the local butcher

Japaneseish

A small selection of the weird, wonderful & tasty that only the Japanese would invent.

 Mmm, Hot Soba with whitebait & seaweed! The book – “Reimagining Japan” by McKinsey, an excellent collection of essays from those who should know on what the future of Japan should be and what is needed to get there. 
 Cabbages that look like flowers or flowers that look like pretty cabbages?
 Soba noodle making in action
 Soba noodle appetite building!
 Some places remind me so much of that cult classic – “Ghost in the Shell”.
 Earthquake while in Roppongi Hills Tower – Not – Just a zoom photo.
 Tokyo Tower from Roppongi Hills Tower
 Funghi Soba with Pork, beer and notes. How do they make it so tasty?!
Notice anything special here? 2WD bicycle!