Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trip to Japan (5)

今日は両親と一緒にボストンに持って帰るお土産を買うために四条までやって来ました。まずは祇園近くを歩いていたのですが母が鍵善さんでくずきりを食べたいというのでへ行くことにしました。今まで何百回とお店の前を通っていますが実は中に入るのは初めてです! 写真は喫茶室から見える中庭。

Today my parents and I came to the city center (Shijo area) to buy souvenirs that I will bring back to Boston.  When we were walking around the Gion district, my mother requested to visit Kagizen,  a Japanese sweet shop famous for "kuzu-kiri" (noodle-like strips made of the starch powder from the root of the kuzu plant, served with brown sugar syrup for dipping).  I passe by in front of the shop several hundred times, but never tried their kuzu-kiri in my life.  This was the first time for me!

Their tea salon was decorated beautifully with flowers.
席に着くとまずお茶とお干菓子 (菊寿糖) が運ばれてきます。

As soon as we sat at the table, a cup of tea and the dried confectionery (called "higashi") were served.

My father ordered the namagashi (antonym of "higashi", freshly made Japanese sweets) and matcha.  You can pick one namagashi out of 5 or 6 choices, and my father chose this one (chestnut).

This is the matcha - real one (contains no sugar), not something you find in the US that is very sweet.  

My mother and I ordered the kuzu-kiri, which was served in this two-layered, big container.

Open the cover, and you find the small container with the brown sugar syrup (you can choose brown sugar or white sugar, but definitely brown sugar is better).
黒蜜の入っている容器を取り外すと、くずきりが出てきます。これを濃厚な黒蜜につけて食べると最高! もちろん吉野葛を使っているので歯ごたえがすごいです。

Take out the container with the syrup, then you see kuzu noodles swimming in the cold water.  Transfer the noodles into the syrup with chopsticks,  then eat it!  Mmmm, yummy.  The syrup is very rich and the noodle is chewy (in a good way).

This is the root of kuzu plant decorated at the entrance of the tea salon. 

After the shopping, we decided to have the late lunch at Owari-ya, a soba noodle(buckweat noodles) restaurant.
母はしっぽくそばのセット。私は子供の頃このしっぽく (私はおうどん派ですが) が大好きでした。

My mother ordered the set menu with "shippoku soba" (buckweat noodles with fishcakes, shiitake mushroom, egg and green vegetable).

The set came with the rice.

My father ordered the cold buckwheat noodles served with the dipping sauce on the side.   I ordered the same thing but with tempura.  Everything was very tasty.  Ahhhh, I love Japanese food.  I don't feel like going back to Boston!!

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