Thursday, 25 November 2010

Japan: Bento, Conbini & Supermarket food (1)

I didn't realise that my Japanese trip has turned into fangirl and food trip. Oh well, not that I don't see that coming since the main purpose for visiting Sapporo was fangirl business and I have been googled for restaurants/reviews for the past 3 months! Anyway, to start off the foodie experience in Japan, I'm going to dedicate the next two entries to the big part of my foodie trip. Bento, combini (convenient store) and supermarket food from Japan. These are simple, most-of-the-time cold food, yet they are simply delicious.

I flew in with late flight from Bangkok to arrive in early morning in Haneda airport. I was served western-styled egg dish on plane which I absolutely detested (Reheat egg dish on plane, WHY?). So as soon as we transit to domestic terminal for our flight to Sapporo, we started looking for our proper breakfast. We found this bento selling stalls outside, just before security check-in so we just bought random bento to eat while waiting for our flight

I bought Onigiri (rice ball) bento with assortment of simmered fish pastes and konyaku, a piece of fried chicken and fried egg. It looked simple but the taste was incredibly nice. The simmered dish has sweetness taste from mirin which went well with the onigiri. The brown onigiri has stuffing inside which was seasoned hijiki seaweed. It was yummy. Everything was yummy although it was cold. I was more than satisfied with my first meal in Japan.


For this trip, we were travelling down from Hokkaido to Tokyo by train so you can say I was associated with eki-bento (Train station's bento) a lot. On the way down to Hakodate from Sapporo, we left so early in the morning that we had to buy bento at train station to eat on train while travelling instead of proper meal. Sapporo station has quite an extent choice of bento for you to choose from. I chose this Hamburg bento to eat.

I was doubting at first coz usually you would have hamburg serving on hot plate so it means that best way to eat is hot. So to buy this cold hamburg bento is like jeopardising my money on food (not just any money since Japanese yen is so expensive these days). Anyhow, I must say although it was cold, it tasted incredibly nice.

The fried fish serving next to it was also still crispy. I enjoyed that a lot. The portion was more than enough that I had to eat twice within 3 hours train ride to finish the hamburg (not the rice though, too much!)


But talking about the best eki-bento of this trip is from Hakodate JR station. It was the stall on the left, in front of ticket gate next to all vending machines. I bought beef bento which has seasoned minced beef, minced fried egg and sukiyaki beef. The sukiyaki beef was cooked very well. You can taste the sukiyaki sauce in the meat which was also tender.

I saw this white ball thing as side-dish and wondered what it is. I tried and found that it was all crab meat inside rice noodle! This has to be the best bento ever and only cost me like 800yen!!! So if anyone will be in Hakodate, do stop by at that bento stall. Absolutely worth it.


Aside from bento food that I've been relying in on, Combini food & dessert were also my cup of tea. The night we stayed in Hakodate, me and friend decided to eat simple combini food instead of anything fancy since we just had late lunch (like 3 pm) that day. So we found 7/11 located on the way back to hotel and bought our dinner which consisted of Oden (stewed assortment of fish ball, tofu, daikon, egg etc which you can choose things as you like), instant noodle and some snacks.

I have had Oden from combini before in my previous trip and I think I like Lawson's oden more. Anyhow, 7/11's one wasn't that bad anyway. I found that food in Japan are usually in good quality even they are sold at convenient store. I'm not sure if I can say the same as food selling at 7/11 here.

One interesting snack I found is "Chikuwa cheese" which I often saw on Ai's blog. Basically, it is like cooked fish paste/ball with a stick of cheese inside. This is quite genius for me as I love Chikuwa and having it with cheese, never thought it will go well together before. I only wish I had a beer with me though. It would go so well together!


(To be continued in next entry)

1 comment:

  1. Yummy yummy yummy! I love bento boxes- they're just so compact and filled with goodies, even if the food is cold. I can't wait to read more about your trip!

    And sunflowers in the middle of Bangkok! Lovely! I haven't been in that area in a while...last I was there was to eat at Somtum Nua, a family favorite :)