My entire trip to Fukuoka and Hiroshima was quite a gastronomical experience, but I think my tummy was happiest on Day 3.
We started the day by having breakfast at Ichiran Ramen. We shook off all that ramen goodness by roaming around and shopping – window shopping, to be exact – at Yodobashi with random stops to convenience stores, bakeries, confectionery shops and the omnipresent vending machines, until our tummies are ready for the next meal of the day: Lunch.
Yodobashi Camera Store – not just a camera store but several floors of anything and everything you can think of – has restaurants at the 4th floor of the branch we went to. It’s almost a case of option paralysis: everything looks yummy, and actually tastes so yummy, that it took a while before we decided on what we want to eat. We entered a tempura shop which seems to offer a promo on top of their set meals. We found out later that the promo turned out to be unlimited rice and miso soup, for only JPY860 (a little above php400).
It’s self service, too, so you have control over how much rice, soup and side dish you want. Rice and soup lovers will certainly have their money’s full worth from just the extras.
But hey, it’s not like the main course, which is tempura, is not good. In fact, it’s GREAT.
It’s great for two reasons: (1) it comes with a small pitcher – yes, PITCHER – of tempura sauce which I totally love. I usually ask for extra sauce whenever I eat tempura here in the Philippines, so having an entire pitcher of it within reach is just lovely. (2) I marveled at how the Japanese manage to make their tempura with minimum levels of oiliness. Especially the eggplant tempura, as eggplant tends to suck up a lot of oil when fried.
As we were finishing up our lunch, one of my companions – let’s call her M – said, “I want dessert. Pancakes!” Our other companion – let’s call her A – threw her hands up in the air and said that after ramen and tempura, she’s already too full for pancakes. Of course, she was thinking of the usual flat pancakes that we have here in the Philippines. Our third companion, the Japan expert whom I’ll call V, did a quick Google for pancake houses and found one at the nearby Kitte department store. We decided to walk off all that tempura by passing by a thrift shop (you might notice that the general theme of this trip is eat – shop – repeat) before reaching The Original Pancake House.
Nope, not THAT Pancake House. Don’t order for chicken and tacos here, they don’t have it.
What they DO have, are these:
To quote A, “These aren’t pancakes!” Not the ones we know, anyway.
These are called fuwa fuwa pancakes, and they are light and fluffy cakes from heaven. Not too sweet, and blends well with the tangy-ness of the fruits. My only complaint is that I don’t dig the bananas that much, and that’s only because we have much better bananas in the Philippines.
A quick Google search tells me that The Original Pancake House actually originated in Oregon, USA, but I think the fuwa fuwa is a Japan exclusive.
I don’t remember how much we paid for this meal. All I know is that it’s worth every penny we spent on it.
And if you think the happy tummy experience is over for Day 3, NOPE. The best is yet to come.