Saturday, December 24, 2011

KAWAII & OISHI Part 1

An eye-catching Hello Kitty snack kiosk inside Universal Studios Japan
Fancy some piping Hello Kitty buns anyone? 
 


In Japan kawaii or cuteness sells like well...hot cakes! Of course it helps that the food is oishi (delicious) too. Coupled with the Japanese masterful art of packaging, how can anyone resist from lugging home packs and packs of confectionery, cakes, pickles, tea, pastries, seaweed and even fish cake?

Onigiri - Japanese rice balls are quick, tasty and convenient to eat when you're pressed for time
While waiting to get into Universal Studios, we decided to breakfast on some Onigiri - Japanese rice balls that feature different fillings from a little kiosk adjacent to the theme park entrance. Mine was packed with Takoyaki - Osaka's favourite snack of piping hot batter balls filled with chopped octopus! Laced with mayo, a sweetish tangy sauce and lots of bonito flakes, they hit the spot in the chilly weather.

Hungry like Snoopy? Stop for a bite at this Peanuts-themed cafe at Universal Studios
Whimsical snacks featuring Snoopy and the Peanuts gang to keep hunger pangs at bay
Pop corn tubs adorned with Elmo on the lid and a flashing Christmas tree within
Once inside, we discovered how irresistible the kawaii factor is. Whether it's a burger and fries from the cafe or a tub of pop corn from the many kiosks that dot the place, you'd happily fork out money to indulge the child in you.

Fresh waffle are made and sold on the spot at this rustic Elmo-themed shop
Lovely to see and eat...miniature Hello Kitty & Daniel cakes
Make no mistake about it...Hello Kitty is HUGE in Japan. The top cat icon touts everything from phone dangles and jewellery to candies and rice cakes. We spotted these adorable kai tan koh (eggy sponge cakes) filled with red bean paste in Universal Studios and later we'd find many more food items with this cute kitty image on the packaging everywhere we go.

Have a ball in Osaka with different variations of Takoyaki
Great balls of ... Takoyaki 
In Osaka, Takoyaki reigns supreme. There's even a little Osaka Takoyaki Museum next to Universal Studios!

These batter balls similar in size to golf balls are cooked in moulded pans with bits of chopped tako (octopus) in them. Toppings vary from stall to stall and can range from seaweed strips, katsuoboshi (shaved bonito flakes) and mayonnaise to spring onion, crispy tempura batter bits and ponzu (tangy citrus-based BBQ sauce).

A map depicting takoyaki hot pots in Osaka
Entrance to the Osaka Takoyaki Museum

Trust me these taste waaayyyy better than they look ^^




Cute bear cakes and luscious cakes in a patisserie in Osaka
We also noticed that the Japanese have a penchant for French-inspired pastries and cakes. Throughout our trip we came across scores of boulangeries and patisseries that proffer the most divine cakes, rustic breads and meticulously crafted sweet confections that are a sight to behold and a dream to savour.

In keeping with the Yuletide spirit, sweets in Santa and snowmen shapes


This cream puff is from Beard Papa's! The real deal in Japan...yummylicious!!!
Little cakes moulded in the form of popular Japanese cartoons are always hot

More photos and notes on our Japanese culinary expeditions coming soon! In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all my followers and blog readers! *hugs*

1 comment:

babe_kl said...

really kawaii neh! lol happy holidays to you and your family and have a blessed Christmas