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デブ ダイエット (Osaka/ Kyoto)

デブ ダイエット (Osaka/ Kyoto)

Featuring うめぞのcafe&gallery, Nakamura Tokichi 中村藤吉本店, Tenryūji, Salon de kanbayashi サロンドカンバヤシ /上林春松本店, Red Rock (Amemura), 新八茶屋, 地鶏屋 心, Colonybyeqi コロニーカフェ 西心斎橋アメリカ村店
Vanessa Kou
Vanessa Kou
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Bring me back to Japan!! Around this time last year I was enjoying the stunning scenic views of Kyoto and having the best mitarashi dango at うめぞの Umezono Café & Gallery. Nicely grilled, the chewy and ever so soft dangos were of the perfect texture. Blanketed in the viscous, savoury-sweet mitarashi sauce, the signature square-shaped skewers were also pleasantly warm and lip-smacking - just the thing to snack on when it is cold.

📌うめぞの Cafe & Gallery
180 Fudocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8215, Japan

With an out-of-this-world level of fluffiness and pillowy softness, うめぞの Umezono Café & Gallery Kyoto's Matcha Hotcakes were utterly uhhh-mazing! So excuse me as I take a moment to gush about it AHHHH!

To be eaten with a pair of chopsticks, the delicate yet firm mouthfeel of those tantalising pale green cushions proved to be the best hotcakes I have ever eaten and easily my favourite dessert during my most recent to Japan! Just by looking at the photo brings me back to the delicious moment as I sank my teeth into the cottony stack. Though the matcha flavor is evident, it was not overpowering and worked superbly well with the fragrant batter. Served warm, the accompanying azuki paste and brown sugar butter melts ever so slowly too - lending the moist hotcakes their distinct sweetness.

Oh and don't forget to order a side of their signature mitarashi dango! An awesome add-on, the slightly sticky, chewy and ever so soft dangos were of the perfect texture. But the star was truly the savoury-sweet mitarashi glaze blanketing the warm skewers. So good that I had to use the hotcakes to mop up all that roasty goodness! めっちゃ美味しい~

*Prepared upon order, a short waiting time is expected

📌うめぞの Cafe & Gallery
180 Fudocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8215, Japan

Specialising in dishes prepared using free-range Kyoto "red" chicken, 地鶏家心 Jidoriya KoKoRo was a nice find after visiting Byodoin Temple. And while packed during lunch, we managed to get a seat pretty promptly and was offered the set menu available between 11.30am to 2.30pm.

Having the Tsukune Lunch (1080 Yen), the set came with the minced chicken skewers, fresh greens, sides, soup and a choice of ponzu with grated daikon sauce or a simple egg yolk to dip. But the glaze was the highlight for me as the slightly sticky “tare” really balanced and complemented the succulent meat with its savouriness as well as sweetness. There was also a light char which added to the whole appeal.
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📌Japan, 〒611-0021 Kyōto-fu, Uji-shi, Uji, Myōraku, 宇治妙楽25

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Hence, arming ourselves with a cone in hand, my friend suggested a short break at 新八茶屋 Shinpachi Chaya while we were sightseeing in the area. Though known for their award-winning Premio Pistachio, the gelato and ice cream shop located conveniently at the foot of Togetsu Bridge in Arashiyama also serves a variety of quirky flavours - both seasonal and those available all year round like the popular 桜もちSakura Mochi Gelato we ordered. Mildly fragrant with the distinct yet delicate floral sweetness, it was paired perfectly with its slightly sticky consistency. Finding bits of Domyoji powder (道明寺粉 glutinous rice powder) in the mix added to the appeal of the decadent, semi-chunky cherry blossom gelato too.

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Yet to try the many renditions made available in Singapore, I was pretty excited to get my hands on Red Rock アメ村店 Americamura's Roast Beef Don (815¥) and was glad that it didn't disappoint. Though not mind-blowing considering the many rave reviews and the other exceptional meals that I had in Japan; it was a sight to behold. No tough, dry or overly chewy meat here, the stack of sliced beef was tender and nicely seasoned. Very satisfying, the small heap was also nicely complemented by the tangy white yogurt sauce as well as raw yolk which added a smooth richness to the bowl.

Furthermore, in view that it was my second lunch of the day and was rather full mid-meal, the combination didn't cut my enjoyment of the braised beef one bit. And while there was a snaking queue (I waited about 15 minutes in the cold) with mostly tourists dragging their luggage in line, the service was prompt and friendly.

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Started my solo trip on a high note last week, visiting Uji, Kyoto! Going in for the sweets, the fresh tea jellies at Nakamura Tōkichi Honten (中村藤吉 本店) was certainly on point. Fragrant and nicely textured, note that both the Hojicha and Matcha Tea Jelly (900¥) are limited to the main store. Served with soft chewy dangos and a dollop of sweet azuki paste, their signature items were also surprisingly refreshing. Imagine lingering tea aroma from the smooth bittersweet jelly and robust creamy ice cream. Though the sides were a tad icy, I would definitely recommend trying both and of course pin the place if you are in the area (but be there before noon to avoid the snaking queue)! Not forgetting their Matcha Warabi Mochi (950¥) which were really substantial chunks and went superbly well with their matcha sauce.

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Seated beside the toasty wood stove and with a great view overlooking the main gate of Tenryuji Temple, I strongly recommend having lunch at Saga Tofu Ine (稲 ine) especially if you are in the area and a fan of beancurd. All reasonably priced, the sets offer a good variety of tofu dishes such as my order of 豆乳おばんざい鍋御膳 Soy Milk Obanzai Nabe Set (1980¥).

Presented with an amazeballs homemade Sesame Tofu, silky Tofu Chawanmushi, Kyo-Tsukemono (pickles), Five Grained Rice, White Miso Soup, tangy Ponzu sauce for the yuba, Nama-fu Dengaku (Roasted mugwort and sesame fu covered in Miso paste) and homemade Warabimochi fordessert. The steamy pot holding soy milk and miso sauce (homemade tofu, fried tofu fritter, yuba/homemade soy milk skin and Kyoto vegetables) was also light and delicate. Chewy, savoury and sweet, my first experience with Grilled Namafu was incredible as the miso paste really brought out the distinct flavours of the wheat gluten. Furthermore, made with sesame and kudzu vine, I will visit them again just for the Gomatofu. Truly satisfying, each component was able to complement yet shine, making this a wholesome meal to have at any weather.

📌〒616-8384 19 Saga Tenryuji Tuskurimichi-machi, Ukyo-ward, Kyoto-city

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A lovely place to rest your feet as you take a break from exploring the Higashiyama District, Salon de KANBAYASHI サロンドカンバヤシ /上林春松本店 is safely tucked away from all the hustle and bustle in a corner of Akagane Resort. The two-storey cafe though known for their Matcha Opera Cake 抹茶のガトー・オペラ 枯山水 (700¥) also serves a mean bowl of Matcha Shiratama Zenzai 抹茶白玉ぜんざい - Sweet Matcha Soup with Rice Cake, Red Bean Paste and Candied Chestnut (600¥).

Seated at level two, the attic-like space was also nice and cosy, perfect with the nicely balanced zenzai. Much like warm matcha milk with chewy dangos, it was not overly creamy but deliciously smooth and exceptionally fragrant. And while too pretty to eat, the Matcha Opera Cake with the sweet textured layers was just the right amount of matcha and chocolate - not one flavour overtaking the other. Yums!

📌〒605-0828, Kinen-cho, Higashiyama, 400-1, Kyoto Gion, Kiyomizu-dera

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2 Moods: Hangry & Not Hangry [Instagram: @vanessa_kou]

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