food

Could one of Osaka’s Most Famous Dishes Actually Originate from Tokyo?

Here’s a story that’s bound to ruffle a few feathers down south. According to those in the know, okonomiyaki – a savoury “pancake” dish loved by millions and one of Osaka’s most acclaimed culinary delights – may in fact have been created in none other than Tokyo.

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Ronald McDonald and Donald Duck’s Illegitimate Love Child Discovered in Myanmar

This is the end♪My only friend the end♫

“Yangon… $#@%. I’m still only in Yangon!” Kuzo thought to himself as he awoke in his hotel room in Yangon (aka Rangoon), the largest city in Myanmar (aka Burma). He had been sent on a mission from RocketNews24 to find the fabled spawn of forbidden love between two high ranking mascots – Donald Duck and Ronald McDonald.

Code named Ronald McDonald Duck, it was rumored to be doing small-time rep work for a fast food joint around the city.

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Sapporo Restaurant Fines Customers Who Don’t Finish Every Last Bite

Most of us grew up being scolded about cleaning our plates at dinnertime. Some of our parents used enticements like dessert to get us to eat all our food. Others used guilt, talking about the starving children in Ethiopia. But chances are you never had to pay a fine for leaving a few morsels of food uneaten. But that is exactly what will happen if you don’t bring your big-boy appetite to Hachikyo, a seafood restaurant in Sapporo. Read More

Japanese Convenience Store and Yahoo! Launch Ready-to-Cook Meal Delivery Service

When it comes to preparing a gourmet meal you can be proud of, an investment of time and a good recipe book are often required. If you’re a busy parent or living alone while working full time, just dashing out to gather the ingredients — not to mention actually preparing the meal — can prove rather time consuming and, let’s admit, a little bothersome.

The intricacies of it all leave many abandoning hope, opting for the greasier ‘ready prepared’ meal option or dining out at a local restaurant. But even those who do make the effort to cook have probably found themselves saying “This just doesn’t have the same impact as the dish I tried at the restaurant the other day,” every so often. If only there were a way to replicate the same taste at home!

If you live in Japan, a collaboration between convenience store chain Lawson and Yahoo! (yes, that Yahoo!) may be the answer to your culinary conundrums: a new home delivery service that offers not ready-to-eat meals, but rather a combination of ready-to-cook dishes that can be thrown together to create a tasty meal of your own.

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Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

Unveiled earlier this week, the “Tohoku Emotion” is a train unlike anything ever seen before in Japan.

Combining “food, art and scenery”, on board this train the journey itself takes the main role and passengers are able to cruise through Northeastern Japan’s beautiful countryside while sampling food freshly prepared before their very eyes.

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McDonald’s Japan’s Texas Burger: Our Reporter Takes One for the Team

McDonald’s Japan’s Texas burger is back, but it won’t be around for long! Having missed out on the chunky beef sandwich the last time they invaded the country, our man Kuzo headed down to his nearest restaurant and grabbed a couple to poke, prod and shove down his gullet. The experience left him confused: there’s plenty here to delight burger fans, that’s for sure, but not everything about this little slice of Texas is worth writing home out. Kuzo’s full impressions after the break.

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Japanese Magazine Offers Advice for Avoiding Life’s #1 Disappointment: Bad Ramen

Consumers are always hoping to get more than they paid for products and services, but in reality, the reverse is just as common. We’ve all been suckered in by a wily shopkeeper at one point or another, but what knowledge and preparation can we arm ourselves with to avoid being taken advantage of?

There are a bounty of goods and services available to us, all of which are marketed with beguiling strategies. Some of them will be such good values our hearts will delight in our own cleverness, while others will simply satisfy with their averageness. Of course, the remaining products, for all their appeal, will be deeply disappointing. Maybe billionaires can just spend for the joy of spending without worrying if something is really a good value, but for common people like  you and me, making a poor decision can impact our wallets and our self-esteem for a long time to come.

In the hope of protecting their readers from it, Japanese weekly magazine SPA! has set out to discover what exactly is behind this buyer’s remorse in all its complex forms. Read More

Make Tracks to Tokyo’s Train Bars

There are train hobbyists and then there are train hobbyists. Japan’s particular breed of railway aficionados are referred to by the somewhat-affectionate term densha otaku, or train nerds, and are famous for feats like memorizing complex, phonebook-size timetables or visiting every single one of the country’s almost 10,000 stations.

Of course, when they aren’t trying to increase their encyclopedic knowledge of all things rail-related, they are out looking for like-minded people to impress with it. As it turns out, Tokyo offers the densha otaku a wide selection of appropriate watering holes, or perhaps we should call them bar cars. So grab your subway map and let’s go see this elusive creature in his natural habitat. Read More

Lotteria’s Two New Burgers Go Big on Taste, Provide Plenty of Hangover

I think we’re gonna need a bigger bun.

Japanese fast food chain Lotteria, home to the mountain of melted cheese that was our own 30-patty cheeseburger tower, announced yesterday that it will be providing diners with an altogether larger eating experience as of February 22. The above burgers are part of the chain’s “hamidashi” (meaning to jut or hang out over the sides) range, but we’re  affectionately dubbing them the “hangover” series.

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Our Gluttonous Reporter Mr. Sato Devours a 65-Strawberry Parfait Tower!

From 18 January 2013,  Japanese sweet specialist Cozy Corner released a dessert that will leave anyone with even a slightly sweet tooth wiping the drool from their lips and exclaiming, “I’m witnessing a dessert revolution!” Just what type of dessert could we be talking about? None other than a gigantic 65-piece strawberry parfait weighing in at, wait for it, a shocking 2,000 kilocalories! Shortly after hearing this announcement, our reporter Mr. Sato carried himself off to the establishment in question to see what all the fuss was about.

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All-You-Can-Eat Fermented Soybeans for $8.50! Choose From Eight Types of Natto!

Natto, also known as fermented soybeans, is a unique food hailing from Japan. The smell alone (often described as smelly feet or chemicals), not to mention the slug-like texture, are enough to turn even the most adventurous eaters away. But for some, natto is a delicious and healthy treat that is enjoyed daily.

A restaurant in the Setagaya ward of Tokyo is now offering patrons all the natto they can fit in their bellies for 780 yen (US $8.50). The all-you-can-eat natto lunch gives natto lovers a great deal on a delicious meal and natto haters a cheap way to challenge themselves to eat as much fermented soybean as they can before throwing up. Why would you want to do that? We don’t know, but now you can if you want to.

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Girly Noodles: Is Japan Witnessing the Start of a Female-Oriented Instant Noodle Revolution?

Instant noodles – also known as cup noodles and what this writer lived off during most of his university days – have been a food staple for the busy, cost-conscious and kitchenphobic since their inception back in 1958. Peel back the lid, pour in some hot water, wait a few minutes and you have a hot, filling, if not especially nutritious meal for about the cost of a cup of coffee.

But with the handy meals being something that many associate with students and lonely bachelors, many women shy away from instant noodles, regardless of the fact that they’re just as pressed for time as their male coworkers. And all stigmas and stereotypes aside, few women in their 20s and 30s would be especially happy about replacing their nutritious mid-day meal with a plastic cup of rehydrated noodles swimming in a salty broth.

Enter the girly noodle.

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English Listening Exam Question Spawns Culinary Invention with “Delicious Kimchi Meat Sauce”

The world is full of countless foods and ways of eating them. It’s impossible to keep track of them all. I was surprised to discover salty watermelons, just as other people were surprised by my preference of putting peanut butter on waffles.

Such an incident happened on 19 January when a Japanese test maker unknowingly confused thousands of university entrance exam students with a recipe for a meat sauce calling for a “delicious kimchi base.”

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Domino’s Pizza’s “Shortest Sale in the World” Being Held for 0.1 Seconds

Domino’s Japan enjoys coming up with promotions that sets them apart from other pizza joints. Whether offering luxury pizzas or giving discounts to bearded twins wearing Bon Jovi T-shirts and/or carrying a parakeet, the chain tends to grab people’s attention.

Limber up your index fingers because Domino’s Japan has started the “Shortest Sale in the World” from 1-3 February. While three days doesn’t seems so short, the actual sale occurs for only 0.1 seconds at a time.

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Better Than Kobe Beef? 【You, Me, And A Tanuki】

You, Me, And a Tanuki is a weekly featured blog run by Michelle, a Californian who is currently one of only two foreigners living in Chibu, a tiny fishing village on one of the Oki islands in Japan. Check back every Saturday for a new post or read more on her website here!

There is a very special restaurant on Ama, the island closest to Chibu. The sign outside reads, “Island born, island raised. Oki Beef Shop.” The beef served there is said to be even better than Kobe beef, the delicately marbled beef from Hyogo prefecture.

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Surf While You Slurp: Anti-Loneliness Ramen Bowl Promises Relief for Singles

Salty tears roll down your cheeks as you spend yet another night alone eating instant ramen. You despondently stare at the ripples formed as you continue to sob into your noodles. The broth takes on a miserable taste you are all too familiar with.

Singles rejoice! Your nights of eating alone will be made a little less lonely thanks to this new invention: the anti-loneliness ramen bowl!

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A Very Berry Ramen Experience — “Susususustrawberry Ramen”

Here at RocketNews24, we’ve certainly brought to you our share of stories on unusual ramen noodles, from chilled blue ramen to ramen that’s too disgusting to eat. Well, once again, one of our reporters was brave enough to try another very, shall we say, “interesting” ramen. And yes, as you can tell from the picture, it contains … strawberries. Read More

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We Get the Dirt on this Season’s Fad Ingredient. Hint: It’s Dirt.

There is a chic French restaurant in Tokyo’s Gotanda district known to those in-the-know. It’s called Ne Quittez Pas, and it is famous for using high-quality seafood and produce from Kanagawa’s Misaki region. However, they’ve just unveiled a new full-course menu created around a rather peculiar ingredient: actual dirt. Of course, we had to check it out. Read More

Tired of Holiday Leftovers? Why Not Try Some African Curry! 【Recipe】

Had enough turkey and chicken over the holidays? Or if you’re in Japan, maybe you’re tired of the traditional osechi food that you’ve had to eat the first few days of the New Year.

If so, here’s something a bit different you may want to try to spice things up a little — a curry recipe from the African island of Mauritius. Our reporter from our Japanese sister site Pouch gives us the following lesson in “curry à la Mauritius” (taught by a native Mauritian no less), and the resulting dish certainly looks good enough to feature in your next meal! Read More

McDonald’s Guarantees Your Order in 60 Seconds or You Get a Free Burger, Employs Actual Hourglass

From January 4 to January 31, McDonald’s Japan will run a marketing campaign they’re calling “Enjoy! 60 Second Service”, where customers who are made to wait any more than a minute for their order during the hours of 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM will receive a coupon for a free McDonald’s burger of their choice. 

Even if staff are able to prepare the order within a minute, all customers who visit during the 4-hour time frame will receive a coupon for a free small-size ‘Premium Roast Coffee’.

To prove that the campaign isn’t all talk and no substance, staff at each of the 3,300 participating McDonald’s restaurants will be required to flip over an hourglass measuring one minute each time an order is placed.

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