Ichiran 一蘭 Ramen Hakata & Green Tea Parfait on 28Feb2015

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

i seldom take ramen in singapore as it is too much carbs & i find it too expensive for me. i can get so much better food at those prices. it’s just my personal bias, haha!^^

in japan i had a few ramen, notably my favourite ramen ever hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) @ dotonbori osaka.

&  toyama black (富山ブラック) stall by menya iroha @ ramen village at kyoto station building.

since we were in kyshu, we wanted to try Ichiran 一蘭. so on 28.1.2015, after walking around tenjin underground city & buying excellent sashimi from mitsukoshi to feast in our hotel rooms, we went looking for & found Ichiran 一蘭 at B2F of fukuoka bank bldg. in front of hakata station.

i don’t think any ramen can ever replace my favourite hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩). but ichiran was really good!^^

in japan, so many eating outlets used vending machines, wonder why they are not more popular in singapore? very few restaurants have vending machines.

 

ichiran ramen

ichiran ramen

we shared one ramen.

& selected firm (al dente), additional pork & vinegar. my wife liked this pork better as it was lean, unlike hanamaruken ramen (花丸轩) & toyama black (富山ブラック).

noodles texture was superb, completely al dente!^^

the tonkotsu broth was fantastic, pork excellent, so overall a very good ramen.

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

greentea parfait

after ramen, we shared a green tea parfait.

really excellent parfait, with green tea cake, green tea ice cream, green tea jelly, mochi, warabi mochi etc.

this day was for bites, so we had ramen, parfait, then went back hotel to have our sashimi omakase. in the evening we went to canal city, ramen stadium, & ate kushiyaki & ramen at yatai 屋台 at nakasu.

c.h.e.f andy

Kaiseki Dinner @ Beppu Seikai 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海 on 27Jan2015

sakizuke先附

sakizuke先附

after visiting beppu’s hell umi-jogoku海地獄, we collected our bags at beppu ski & took a taxi to our ryokan beppu saikei 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海.

after a good rest we went to the onsen before going for dinner kaiseki.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

seikai is a bit modern type, with high rise hotel rooms & english menu.

sake

sake

we ordered sake (chargeable).

poor porridge starter

poor porridge starter

the porridge started was a spoiler, quite tasteless & unnecessary, added nothing to the experience & made us worry about the quality of the kaiseki.

pressed tamago

pressed tamago

ikura+radish etc

ikura+radish etc

the sakezuki (先附) was ok – pressed tamago (egg), some side dishes. i would say quite average.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase looked ok but was actually very poor. i couldn’t decide if this sashimi was worse than the 1st night at Gettoan on 25.1.2015. everything was very tough. was it bad cut or the chef did not know how to cut? i am clueless.

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

aji sashimi 5000yen+8%

we ordered an additional aji sashimi at 5000yen+8%.

i could not understand why the aji was also very tough. it was a live fish, something must really be wrong either with the fish here in kyushu (but we had excellent sashimi from the supermarket at fukuoka later) or with the way it was cut. aji should be very sweet (it was ok sweet not too bad) & not tough. for me, taka’s supermarket aji at 1/3 the price or less, is better than this.

deep-fried aji fish head

deep-fried aji fish head

the deep-fried aji fish head was not nice too.

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

they had asari (littleneck clams or la la) chawanmushi. it was pretty ok. 🙂

asari chawanmushi

asari chawanmushi

some radish i think in the chawanmushi.

mayo prawn side dish

mayo prawn side dish

there was a mayo prawn dish, nothing much there.

sushi with ginger flower

sushi with ginger flower

a sushi with pickled ginger flower (which i like).

yuba side dish

yuba side dish

a yuba side dish. this was quite good.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 with soy bean shabu

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

there was an interesting soya bean shabu shabu with the local bungo wagyu 丰后和牛. this was very good. but by comparison the 2nd night kaiseki at Gettoan on 26.1.2015, with lots more beef & other shabu items, was much better.

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

gohan set with pickles

the usual gohan (rice) with pickles.

noodles in clear broth

noodles in clear broth

this time there was cold noodles in a clear soup. pretty ok.

strawberries + pineapples

strawberries + pineapples

& there was fruits & jelly for dessert.

i guess this kaiseki would be above average, but nothing special & kind of below expectation for the ryokan price. for me, for both Gettoan & Seikai, for the ryokan price they were charging, every kaiseki dinner should be at a standard equivalent to Gettoan’s second night kaiseki! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Ryokan Stay @ Gettoan Ryokan月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 25-27Feb2015

Gettoan ryokan bridge

Gettoan ryokan bridge

except for the appalling kaiseki dinner on 25.1.2015, which was a complete disaster & a blot on an otherwise excellent stay, we were quite happy with the ryokan

we stayed at Gettoan ryokan from 25Jan to 27Jan2015. 🙂

ryokan is a bit secluded & way off from the main attractions like lake kinrinko 金麟湖, which is a 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo.

there is also no walking trails near the ryokan.

we called the ryokan after the check-in time 3pm & they picked us up from yufuin eki, also the hotel provide transport to town (they dropped us directly at lake kinrinko the next day at our request & provided us each with an umbrella), but not the return pick-up.

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

macha & sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

yuzu sweets at Gettoan ryokan room

the service was good ryokan standard.

we had a reception party, & we had welcome macha & sweets etc in the ryokan room.

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

connecting walkway ryokan living room to bedroom & onsen

ryokan attached onset

ryokan attached onsen

our room had an attached external onsen.

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

ryokan private yu汤

& the ryokan has the usual public & very nice private onsen.

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

free macha, coffee & mochi at ryokan lounge

there was also free coffee & tea at the lounge area.

on the second day 26.1.2015, we returned from lunch & lake kinrinko, in addition to the free coffee & lake which was always available, the service staff served us macha & mochi.^^ really enjoyed that.

woods at back of ryokan

woods at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

ryokan dining rooms viewed from back

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

brook at back of ryokan

the next morning, before having breakfast & checking out, we walked from the dining rooms area to a brook at the back just before the woods. very nice & tranquil environment.

c.h.e.f andy

Another Wonderful Breakfast to Savour @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 27Jan2015

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

this time we were expecting a wonderful breakfast on the second day on 27.1.2015.^^

it proved to be as great as the wonderful breakfast the day before. 🙂

i looked at the dishes for both days and surmised that both basically had rice & good pickles and 4 side dishes.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

the pickles included a tasty seaweed dish in the middle (i drank up the sauce) + konbu, some veg pickles on the right & another on the left.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

one more with radish, veg & seaweed.

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

1st side dish was a steamed tofu dish. you scooped it out onto a bowl, and added some sauce from the curve beak pot. it was tasty & had excellent texture. i added just enough sauce so i could finished off everything including the sauce.

simmered veg

simmered veg

the second side was a simmered veg with sweet peas, pumpkin etc was very good. this is a common dish for japanese breakfast & course dinners.

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

the 3rd side was a braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam topped with a dash of grated wasabi & a shiso leaf. this was excellent though the braised wagyu side dish for the dinner kaiseki on 26.1.2015 was even better.^^

grilled fish

grilled fish

the 4th side was a grilled fish, not saba this time but nice too.

pot of rice

pot of rice

gohan (rice)

gohan (rice)

there was some special rice with toasted sesame and dried scallops. i added the pickles. very nice.

raw egg added to rice

raw egg added to rice

the server told us we could cracked an egg & add it over the rice. i did that. i liked it as i liked the silky texture of egg yolk.

the rice was quite fine on its own. & it was nice too with the egg. i liked it both ways.

orange & yuzu jelly

orange & yuzu jelly

dessert was orange & yuzu jelly, nice & refreshing.

great breakfast, this!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Breakfast – A Redemption @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 26.1.2015

Gettoan japanese breakfast

Gettoan japanese breakfast

after a totally underwhelming sub-par kaiseki dinner, we could be forgiven for lowering our expectations to base level for the following day breakfast on 26.1.2015. not a great feeling when you are staying 2 nights in an expensive ryokan.

fortunately this time, the breakfast surprised & delighted us, as it should jolly be.^^ redemption!

fresh mixed fruit juice

fresh mixed fruit juice

we started with a freshly made mixed fruit juice which was very good & refreshing.^^

excellent fish with miso & shiso leaf

excellent fish tartare with miso & shiso leaf

then we had an excellent fish tartare with brown miso, decorated with a shiso leaf (edible). this was good!

egg, saba dish

egg, saba dish

egg

egg

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

there was a dish of egg, grilled saba (horse mackerel), some grated radish. well i guess this time “normal service (i.e. expected good japanese food)” resumed.^^

grilled saba was good, not special but good.

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

the deep-fried tofu was very good – crispy skin, tasty inside, and looked great! this how good japanese cuisine ought to be.

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

the yuba tofu dish was excellent too, in flavours, texture. i drank up the sauce.

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

pickled veg with bonito flakes

pickled veg with bonito flakes

the mentaiko, potato dish & pickles was the usual good standard.

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples & jelly were refreshing.

this not a kaiseki dinner, just a simple breakfast, but it showed some delightful fineness & execution befitting of japanese cuisine. ^^

so finally, we were looking forward to the kaiseki dinner later.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Wagyu Yakiniku @ Yufuin Wasaku Kyushu Trip on 25jan2015

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

this the start of our short kyushu vacation. today my wife & i arrived yufuin 汤布院 oita prefecture about noon time, taking the 1hr 40mins highway bus from fukuoka airport.

check-in at our yufuin ryokan Gettoan was not until 3pm, so we planned to take the 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo to lake kinrinko 金麟湖.

we had googled about yakiniku restaurants for lunch, and found wasaku, which was just few minutes walk from yufuin eki along the way to lake kinrinko.

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

restaurant was empty & we were the only lunch customer throughout.

it was a nice setting on the usual tatami & with very powerful exhaust suction. 🙂

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu + chicken

kuroge wagyu + chicken

the kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 karubi set (i think 1640yen+8%tax) was very good. the wagyu + chicken set was 1760yen+8%.

chicken seems very popular in many parts of japan for both shabu shabu & yakiniku, not sure why. we found it tough & nothing special. the plain wagyu set was better as it had  7 pieces whereas the combo set had 4 or maybe 5pieces.

salad & sauce dip

salad & sauce dip

wagyu yakiniku set

wagyu yakiniku set

the set came with the usual salad, gohan with pickles, miso soup, & sauce dip for the yakiniku.

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

we thoroughly enjoyed this first restaurant meal on this kyushu trip (had ramen at fukuoka airport on arrival earlier while waiting for our bus to yufuin). there was no opportunity though to go back. we had kaiseki dinners & breakfasts as part of our 2-day ryokan stay at Gettoan, and we had a nice steak lunch at lamp sha 1561 kawakami yufuincho next to lake kinrinko the next day. ^^

the 2 sets came to about 3672yen or S$36++, a very good deal compared with wagyu yakiniku in Singapore, or even just australian or NZ beef cuts.

c.h.e.f andy