Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Thursday, April 05, 2007

And Now for a Double Header...

I hope y'all will bear with me. I have to catch up on my Selba tags, as I currently have two pending (and am too soft-hearted just to ignore them). Anyway:

The first is to answer the question:

If I were to be marooned on an island, what five bloggers would I want to have there with me?

That question is a very difficult one, as it brings up all kinds of complicated issues such as survival necessities, psychological needs, group politics, social realities, sexual orientation, etc.. I also had to assume that, since she tagged me, Selba herself is automatically disqualified. Anyway, after a lot of careful thought, I came up with the following list:

Pandabonium - His impressive volume of wisdom would definitely come in handy when trying to survive on a tropical island, particularly since he has experience living on one!
Olivia - We could definitely use a touch of class to help keep us all sane (unless she goes insane first). Plus, I figure she could probably use a break from the madness that seems to be surrounding her these days.
FH2o - The master kayaker from Kuching would definitely be an asset, I think. He is experienced at sea kayaking around Pacific isles...and also seems to have a knack for turning just about any situation into an interesting experience.
Snabulus - I've known him a long time, and I trust his smarts, his outdoor skills, and his level-headedness (if you don't mind an occasional comment of "ass-wipe" or something of the sort). He'd also be very good at keeping us entertained.
Selba - Okay, I gave up and included her anyway. The first reason was that I figured we needed another (non-American) female member so Olivia wouldn't go nuts surrounded by all these eccentric, American guys. Also, since this whole thing is Selba's doing, anyway, it's only appropriate that she be dragged (drug?) into this, as well! I just hope she remembers her camera...

Okay, that's five. I hope we enjoy our island vacation with a minimum of bloodletting.
*** for tag number two. The rules:
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you.Include the state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
The Moody Minstrel (Namegata in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan)

Okay, that's done.

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

Ack. This is more difficult. I don't go out to eat nearly as much as I used to, and there's not really a whole lot in this area. Well, anyway, the places that I can think of are:

Wordsworth - My wife and I (and also apparently Pandabonium and his wife) are crazy about this place. It is a tiny, little Italian restaurant that is easy to miss if you blink at the wrong time (not to mention hard to get into during peak's quite popular and only seats a couple dozen at most). However, the food is excellent and the prices are reasonable. Their forte is spaghetti, of which they offer an interesting and very wide variety. They have a number of other dishes as well as some very good soups, salads, antipasto, and dessert. It's also a good idea to look at the blackboard encircling the main dining room to check out the day's specials.

Hananoren (華のれん) - This is an Osaka-style pub-restaurant which is only about a five-minute drive from my home in Namegata City. It is mainly designed as a venue for parties, but it also has a number of regular, private tables for ordinary dining. It is famous for the fact that it has over a hundred varieties of sake (rice wine) available, many of which are produced by small, local makers. However, my family goes there because they have an excellent variety of traditional Japanese food. Their selection of sushi and traditional Japanese pub food (much of which would qualify as fish bait in the West but is very tasty) is very good. I especially like their tokudai ebifurai teishoku ("jumbo fried prawn set menu"), a mixed course which includes some of the largest batter-fried prawns I've ever seen! My kids like their onigiri (rice balls), which may sound like ordinary fare, but theirs are HUGE! It's a little on the pricey side, but not bad, and I'd say it's worth it.

Yamucha - This colorful, little Chinese restaurant is one of a few scattered around our area. Unlike most Chinese restaurants I've seen here, it is actually owned and run by Chinese. It includes a few party rooms, a bar, and several tables for regular dining. The prices are a bit on the steep side, but not too bad, and you do get a fair amount of food for your money. We mainly like the place because it's convenient, but they do offer a good selection and make an enjoyable meal.

Bamiyan - This is a Chinese restaurant chain owned and run by Skylark (a very cheap family restaurant outfit). There are a number of them in our area. My wife and I can't decide whether we like it or Yamucha (above) better for Chinese food (each has its own good and bad points), but Bamiyan is certainly the less expensive of the two. It also has a lot more tables available, though its popularity means it's probably not any easier to get in. Its self-service drink bar includes several varieties of Chinese tea in addition to the usual soft drinks, and its seasonal specials are often a treat.

Mos Burger - There are many hamburger chains here in Japan including the familiar American favorites McDonalds and Wendy's (but NOT Burger King [aka Hungry Jack's] anymore!!!! WAAAAAAAH!!!!!). However, the best by far has to be the homegrown chain known as Mos Burger. They make hamburgers the way they should be: nice and gooey. They also have chili burgers and chilidogs as well as onion rings (rare here) and all-Japanese rice burgers! "Mossu", as it is affectionately known here, often has really good seasonal treats, such as nachos (with real guacamole...a rare treat in these islands), Indian-style curry-nan hotdogs (YUM!), and other surprises. Generally speaking, I don't eat hamburgers as much as I used to, but Mos Burger is a nice weekend treat when we go shopping at the big Besia shopping center at the other end of Namegata City.

<3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states)[..and let them know they’ve been tagged]


Pandabonium - since he also lives in my area.
Leilouta - since she's a Tunisian woman living in the U.S..
YD - since she's a Malaysian woman living in the U.K..
Tooners - since she's an American woman living in Bahrain.
Ladybug - since, being the gourmet that she is, I'm curious to see what she comes up with.

Now...I'll be surprised if any of those tags are answered, but's all clean fun, right? Okay, that's a wrap.

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  • I'm level-headed. I'M lEvEl-HeAdEd. oooo-bay-gwah-hee-hoo-hahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasswipes at United.

    Where was I?

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 4:29 AM  

  • Ok, ok-I'll do it, but I need some time first....gimme a coupla hours at least!

    (Gotta get the dinner minisnab around to various activities, avoid some marketing guys going around the neighborhood-I think they're selling windows or heat pumps)

    Also, am I supposed to do all the tags? or only the Restaurant one?

    By Blogger ladybug, at 6:22 AM  

  • Great work there...MOS BURGER IS ZE BEST!! Is much better than mcdonald (and I'm a great fan of mcdonald!!!)

    By Blogger Nicole Tan, at 9:04 AM  

  • *claps*

    You did your tags!!! Thanks alot!!!

    *big grin*

    That's so nice of you to bring me along to the island... :)

    Eh... how come there's no any food pics? Not trying to make me drooling? hehehe....

    By Blogger Selba, at 9:52 AM  

  • Here in Jakarta, we used to have Burger King and Wendy's but closed for more than 5 years. Anyway coming soon, Burger King will re-open again, yay!!!

    Too bad, no more Subway.. no more Taco Bells...

    By Blogger Selba, at 9:56 AM  

  • I like MOS burger, esp the rice "Bread"

    A bit like sushi and a bit like burger..


    By Blogger Robin, at 12:42 PM  

  • Ah, sweet! I'd love to get stranded on an island for a while with the gang, learn a few things, go a bit mad, and re-evaluate my priorities!

    I can muck in with the rest of them - you may not believe it, but I wanted to join the Navy when I was in high school. And I know how to dissect cats. But yes, I could try to keep up a bit of class ;)


    Wordsworth? I thought you were going to say it was in English pub. Is it run by Italians? One of my Jp friends here says that they like Italian food a lot, no wonder that place is so popular.

    Also, Japanese fish bait, that's my fave kind. My old friend used to bring me little bags of tiny dried sweetish fish mixed with sliced almonds. Yum!

    Mos Burger sounds good. I wanted some Wendy's when I was in Dallas the other day, but never got around to it, even though there was one right outside the hospital!

    By Blogger Olivia, at 12:07 AM  

  • Haha... Selba as a (drug)... ;)

    Japanese spaghetti is very good. Don’t they have a soy sauce version, that blew my mind but it was very tasty.

    MOS Burger is great place. I like those rice burgers

    By Blogger Swinebread, at 1:09 AM  

  • That post must have been a lot of work, going around and photographing your favorite places to eat. Or did you get all that off the internet?

    You don't know a country until you have eaten their food, and slept in their beds.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:30 AM  

  • Marooned on an island? I'm honored. So When do we leave? (But you'll find my impressive volume of wisdom greatly diminished if there isn't an internet cafe there where I can use "THE GOOGLE".

    Tagged about food? Ouch. We hardly ever, ever, eat out, but I'll give it a go.

    Thanks for your haunts, I've only been to two of those - Wordsworth as you know and MOS Burger.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 9:10 PM  

  • Snabudon
    Okay, never mind. Bye!

    Well, now it's too late to answer your question, I think! BTW thanks for answering the tag!

    Nicole Tan
    Hello and welcome! Yes, I really appreciate Mos Burger! Do they have them in Australia? I didn't see any when I was there (in Brisbane and the Sunny Coast region).

    You'll have to check out the links to see the food pics. Frankly, I wasn't really all that impressed with them. They didn't do the food justice.

    It's a uniquely Japanese take on the hamburger, and I appreciate it a lot!

    So, m'lady, you are a good girl who can be naughty when she likes? (Uh, Chris reading this?!?)

    I always thought "Wordsworth" was an ironic name for an Italian restaurant owned and operated by Japanese. The walls are decorated with posters with Wordsworth's poetry (bloody daffodils...).

    I must admit, just when I think I've got you all figured out, you never cease to amaze me.

    Wordsworth has soy sauce spaghetti on their massive list. Yes, it is interesting...and so is natto spaghetti.

    I didn't have any really good pictures, so I got all those off the internet. Sorry!

    You don't know a country until you have eaten their food, and slept in their beds.
    That could be dangerous!

    Oh, well...a Google break might actually do you good.

    I'm anxious to hear some more about some of those natural and organic restaurants you've mentioned in the past!

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 10:11 PM  

  • I've been food-tagged!! Like panda, it seems quite a hard task for me as we normally cook at home too. But I'll give a try as well.

    However, I can only do the tag a bit later, as I'm preparing for final exams looming near in about a week's time. Hope u don't mind... ^_^

    By Blogger YD, at 9:42 AM  

  • No kidding... I felt like jumping in to the picture of Hananoren :D Looks like a comfortable place.

    MOS BURGER... we used to have it here. But not anymore. :(

    By Anonymous velverse, at 10:31 PM  

  • wow... just seeing this. i'll think about this and blog about it. :)

    By Blogger tooners, at 4:20 AM  

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