Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Japan Experience

All I can say at the moment is WOW!!!.... We could not have asked for a better start to our adventure than in Japan. For simple Adelaide folk, like me and Cara, we could not have had a bigger culture shock. Our travels take us to the city of Osaka. The main thing you notice when walking the streets of Osaka, is the people there love to eat. It seems like every place we pass, they were offering some kind of food. Being a foreigner you can't help but try everything. So far I've had things like pork tongue, fish eggs, fried octopus balls, chicken heart, plenty of sushi and there is sure to be much more. But the traditional meal of Osaka is Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is like a big pancake but filled with cabbage, shrimp, pork and almost anything else you can think of. It's smothered in BBQ sauce and topped off with shaved fish. Sounds interesting but we both loved it. We are always keen to get into the spirit of Japan and try all the exciting things they have to offer.

While we explore the city and eat the food, we need to wash it all down with some Japanese beers. Asahi is the local beer of Japan, but i also had the pleasure of trying Yebisu Beer, Kirin, Sapporo and the Suntory range of beers. All of these beers were nice and refreshing and definitely quenched the thirst, but i must admit they all possessed similar qualities. We are lucky in Australia to have such a wide variety of local and boutique beers. Most of the popular beers I've tried before but the Yebisu Beer was a new one for me, it was little different, not so much in flavour, but more in it's texture. It had a soft creamy head, similar to a Kilkenny. One beer that did take my fancy was one from the Sapporo range. It was a chocolate flavoured beer. I've heard of stout and chocolate working well together, but that is more when making a beer cocktail. This was a can of beer infused with Creme de Cacao. It was really nice but certainly the type of beer you couldn't drink for an entire night. Very sweet and a little heavy, like an ale. Definitely worth trying though.

Of course everyplace that we go we have to check out the local cocktail bars. My parents had done some research before our arrival and told us about a great little cocktail bar called "Absinthe Solaar" (I liked the name straight away). One thing I must add about Japan, is the service is exceptional and the people are so welcoming to foreigners. So when we arrived at 'Absinthe Solaar" we were welcomed with a smile and were seated in a prime position at the bar. After looking at the cocktail menu for several minutes, Cara was the most adventurous an ordered a tropical absinthe margarita.  This blended cocktail consisted of 30ml tequila, 30ml cointreau, a dash of absinthe, fresh mango, orange juice, pineapple juice and a dash of sugar syrup. Add ice to the blender and blend until smooth. Another dash of absinthe was washed around the glass before serving. When we took a sip of this, it was just the right combination of tequila and absinthe. The hint of absinthe was not to over powering but just enough to know that it's there.

So it's been a busy first few days in Japan, and we have not even begun to scratch the surface yet. There is still so much more to discover.

Absinthe's Solaar's
"Tropical Absinthe Margarita"
In a Blender add:
30ml Tequila
30ml Cointreau
Dash of Absinthe
Fresh Mango
Dash of Orange Juice
Dash of Pineapple Juice
Dash of Sugar Syrup
Add ice and Blend.
Rinse your glass with another dash of Absinthe
Serve and garnish with a sprig of mint

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