Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant

Posted July 2nd, 2016 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »


Another Indonesian restaurant in Perth after a post about Manise Cafe.  Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant has also been in Perth WA for a long time. After moving from Northbridge many years ago, now with a new owner the restaurant is located on Lord street in Highgate.

Although the restaurant is pretty small inside, I like going to this restaurant because the food is nice, the price is pretty reasonable and also there’re ample parking spots on the side streets.

As soon as you go inside the restaurant the friendly staff would greet you and take you to the seats.  The owner is not Indonesian but he is very nice and during my visit there’re lots of laughs and smiles from customers.  🙂

At Sparrow, I ordered Laksa Ayam (yes, it’s not really an Indonesian food but I couldn’t resist it) and my partner ordered Nasi Kuning.  We also ordered Tahu Tek to share.


Nasi Kuning – combination yellow rice with friend chicken, egg, and chilli pickles.


Tahu Tek – fried bean-curd omelet with peanut sauce.

The omelet was nice but the peanut sauce was bit too rich for me.  My partner (Indonesian) really enjoyed it though.

While I was there, the owner was talking to all the customers that 10% discount would apply to new customers.  I hadn’t been there since the owner had changed but my husband had gone there couple of times with his friend so he told the owner it’s not his first time, but we received 10% discount anyway.

Great service, great food, and great price.

Try to avoid a peak lunch hour or book a table beforehand as the seats are limited.

Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant
301 Lord Street, Highgate, Perth,WA
(08) 9228 2238

11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM


We recently went there for lunch again and here are some more photos:

Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken in tasty soy sauce)


Mie Goreng with vegetables.  Kids shared this dish.


And, as usual we ordered Tahu Tek.  On my last visit I didn’t really like it much, but for some reasons I started to crave for it few days later.  Now it’s one of my favourite dish!


Family Restaurants in Japan

Posted January 13th, 2012 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

While I’m in Japan I often went to family restaurants to have lunch or snack. The top reason is the price! I can easily get a coupon for free drink bar (unlimited drinks) online.  Not all family restaurants have good drink bar though.   D loved matcha latte at Big Boy and Gusto, but we didn’t see matcha latte at Saizeria.

Saizeriya is a Japanese chain of Italian family-style restaurants.  I used to go there often when I was a student because the food there is very very cheap.  Pasta, gratin and pizza starts from 280 yen each.  Plus, they have drink bar (which is normally 190 yen).  Although their pizzas and pasta are with just few ingredients and don’t really look nice, students like us were happy with those foods.  We could kill time with just few hundreds yen after school 🙂 I saw many students at Saizeria when I went there have lunch the other day.  Food there is much cheaper than other family restaurants such as Coco’s and Gasto, It could be even cheaper than McDonald’s.

I went to Big Boy more than 5 times during this stay.  I’m actually quite fed up with their menu now :p.  D wanted to go there because of Matcha Latte at their drink bar.  At some Big Boy they gave us a toy for Hiro too, and it was nice.  They do “Kids Members Card” as well where you can chose one item from their selection as a gift to your kid after earning 5 points (1 visit = 1 point).

One thing I was surprised was that Gusto now has few different versions – normal Gusto, Ohashi-Gusto, and Steak Gusto.  Ohashi-Gusto serves all the foods with chopsticks (ohashi = chopsticks).  I loved their food menu than Big Boy.  They had matcha latte at their drink bar too. (the one near my house)  And I won a free vanilla pudding as they were doing “instant win” scratch for New Year. 🙂  Steak Gusto serves steak, and it’s cheap!  It comes with salad bar & drink bar, and you can enjoy it under 1000yen.  I should go there one more time before I go back to Perth.

Oh, another thing I noticed when I came back to Japan was that some Japanese fast food restaurants, such as Yoshino-ya, Nakau and Matsuya, now have drive-thro facility!  It’s just like McDonald’s and KFC.  People can take-away beef donburi etc through the drive-thro.  Many people are using it, actually.  Japanese people work hard, and just want to eat up one donburi in the car then head back to office, maybe!


Posted December 19th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Betokon is name of a small stall selling ramen noodles, gyoza, etc near my house.  I don’t know if I can call it “a stall”, or should I say “a shed”.  The place looks just like a small shed, really.  They open only at night time, and there’re only 2 staff (son & mother) working.

My dad and brother likes going there because it’s very close to home.  My dad always have one or two glasses of beer when eating out, so being close to home is very convenient for him.  (even though my brother who doesn’t drink usually drives)   Penalty for drink driving is severe in Japan too.

Another reason for them going there is, of course, the food.  They don’t have much variety on thier menu, and the place is awfully small (just counter table + 10 chairs), but they serve pretty good food.  Some say the food is bit oily, but it fills you up when you are really hungry and want to eat FOOD.

Son is in charge of cooking, and mother serves customers.  Oden is ready in front of the counter, and customers usually eat oden while waiting for other foods they ordered.

They mostly serve Chinese food, including Changhai fried noodle, but most of them are “Japanese Chinese” food.  Cha-han (fried rice), tenshin-han, gyoza, chicken karaage etc…

It was Wednesday night, and we didn’t expect to see any other customers there.  And, so did the staff.  There was only son in the shop/shed, relaxing on a chair.  He said mother’s coming at 9PM.

My dad ordered 3 x gyoza, 3 x oden, and 2 x fried rice to start.  Yes, we eat A LOT.  The staff was moving around very fast, cooking all the food we ordered and serving us at the same time.  His speed became much faster when other customers came in.  After 30 minutes we arrived, the place became full.  And, there was only one staff!  I felt sorry to place order to him… :p

I love their gyoza.  The skin is crispy and chewy, and inside got juicy meat stuffing.

Fried rice was ok.  Not the best…  but still tasty 🙂

We ordered 1 x omelet and 2 x ramen noodle too.

Their omelet contains stir-fried pork and vegetables inside.  Bit too much tomato sauce to me…

By the time ramen noodle was served, I couldn’t eat anything already.  I just watched my dad & bro eating the noodle.

Oh, I forgot to mention that D was staying at home looking after Hiro.  Hiro was sleeping tight, and we didn’t want to wake him up just to go to the narrow space.  D said he’d stay home, so we bought souvenir to him – chicken karaage and Changhai fried noodle.  Karaage was stir-fried with garlic and spring onion after being deep-fried to add aroma and also drain excess oil.  It smelled so good.  I will try it next time !

Lunch at Katsukura

Posted December 15th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

D, Hiro and I went to Katsukura in Kusatsu city, Shiga to have lunch with my friend.  I haven’t seen her for a long time… probably around 5 years.  We used to go to same collage in Osaka, then flew to Perth to study English at same TAFE campus.  After that she went back to Japan, then came back to Australia to travel around, then went back to Japan again, flew to Europe to travel around, and now working in Japan 🙂  She brought her boy friend to lunch 🙂

I chose Katsukura because I had craving for katsu when she asked me what I wanted to eat.  Katsukura is in Kintetsu building which connects to Kusatsu train station, so easy access was another reason I chose this place (as we both traveled by train).

Inside was bit stuffy and narrow, but maybe I felt so because I had Hiro.  He didn’t want to sit still.  I thought they might have zashiki (dining area on tatami) but they only had tables and chairs.

D ordered normal tonkatsu-zen (pork katsu set meal), and I ordered wakadori-zen (young chicken katsu set meal).

First, small bowls of sesame seeds were brought to the tabel.  We need to grind the sesame seeds at the table, and pour choice of katsu sauce into the bowl.  It’s going to be the dipping sauce for katsu.  Freshly ground sesame seeds are very aromatic.



Rice was served in a big container, and we scoop into our rice bowls by ourselves.  So was pickles.  Bottles of Sauces and salad dressing were set at the table.  Rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup are all unlimited.  Yes, you can order as many times as you want.

I could just eat rice with the katsu sauce.  Very nice.  The meat was juicy and soft too.


Posted December 13th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Hi there, happy Hiro from Mister Donut.  We’re having afternoon tea 🙂

Three donuts and OJ for ¥500.

At MisterDonut, they are selling these “Christmas donuts” right now for limited time only ↓↓↓

Snow-man-looking donuts (the face is coated with icing), and Christmas-wreath-looking churros (one is coated with icing, others are with chocolate).  The icing donut is sweet, but it’s kind of addictive!  I love the icing Christmas wreath churros.

I went back there in few days to eat another icing churros.

They’re collecting the orders for Mister Donut Christmas Set (¥1000), and I wanted to order one, but I couldn’t…..   They were all sold out by the time I went to submit the order sheet. 🙁

The donuts are yummy….  Unlimited drinks (cafe au lait etc) make afternoon tea perfect relaxing time of the day!

Big Boy

Posted December 11th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

We had lunch at Big Boy the other day.

I remember staying here for hours with friends when I was a student, just by purchasing drink bar.  It’s sometimes ¥100, so it was the best place to kill time and have a chat with friends.

I ordered daily lunch menu (¥580).  It was a set of grilled chicken, prawn katsu, and stir-fried pork dish came with unlimited soup bar and a choice of rice or a bread roll.

D had big hamburg set (¥780)which came with a choice of sauce and a choice of rice or a bread roll.  The hot black stone on the right front is to sear the meat if you want to cook more.

I had ¥100 coupon for drink bar, so we ordered one.

A piece of paper was placed around the hamburg plate to avoid any oil spill.

It was pretty volumy…  I was full after having 3 cups of soup, meat plate, drinks, and bit of rice.

D was eating the hamburg as hamburger…   sandwiching slice of hamburg inside a bread roll.

McDonald’s Big Mac 200yen

Posted December 9th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

We went to Jusco store (a shopping centre) yesterday, and had a bite at McDonald’s.  Right now, they are selling a Big Mac for ¥200, so D ordered one.

I didn’t feel like eating burger then, so I ordered small vanilla shake. Just ¥120.

The staff was so friendly and polite 🙂  I love thick shake….  I sometimes get a craving for it.  Always vanilla flavour.

They had high chairs for babies.  Hiro had snack (milk) there too.  Looks comfy 🙂

There is one sink to wash hands, and one for little people too.

A bottle of hand soap with McDonald logo.

The tray came with some discount coupon and a flier saying that they are selling Chicken Tazta Burger again soon.  Chicken Tazta Burger!!!  My favourite….  I just love the combination of chicken tazta and shredded cabbage 🙂  And this time, they have two kinds – one is an usual Chicken Tazta Burger, and another is Chicken Tazta Wafu Oroshi (with grated daikon radish and some soysauce-based sauce).  I must try it!!  I also want to eat their limited-time-only burger, Tomato Gra-Koro Burger (a gratin-croquette burger with special tomato sauce), so I will need to come back to McDonald’s at least twice within this month!

Trip to Shigaraki and Koga -Part2-

Posted December 6th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | 2 Comments »

The restaurant was located just in front of Shiragaki train station.  We couldn’t miss the place because there’re lots of big red flags around the restaurant saying “MATSUTAKE”.  And there was loud music coming out from the restaurant.

Apparently, this place is very famous for ALL YOU CAN EAT matsutake course menu.  Matsutake is only available during Autumn, so they serve crabs and fugu dishes in winter. All-you-can-eat as well.

There’re many photos of famous actors/comedians/sumo restler taken with the owner of this restaurant at the entrance.  They came here to eat matsutake dishes!  The place was all tatami-floored, and you sit on zabuton (cushion) and eat the food.  Lucky we made booking – there’re so many people inside.  Our table was upstairs.

Our couse menu was Matsutake and Ohmi Wa-gyu Beef Sukiyaki with Matsutake Gohan (seasoned rice with matsutake), Matsutake Dobin-mushi (seasoned steamed matsutake), and dessert.  Meat, matsutake, vegetables for sukiyaki, eggs, rice were can be ordered as much as we wanted.

We were expecting them to bring warishita (sukiyaki sauce) to pour into the pan, but at this restaurant we actually cook by yourself at the table.  There were sugar, cooking sake, soy sauce and their home-made sukiyaki sauce next to the pan.

First, sprinkle sugar on the bottom of the pan, then place wa-gyu beef.  Pour soy sauce and sukiyaki sauce over the meat, and eat the meat first – by dipping into raw egg.

OH MY GOSH….  The meat was so tender, and delicious!!!  I hadn’t eaten such delicious beef for a long time!!!

Then add other ingredients such as matsutake, tofu, other mushrooms and Chinese cabbage.

We ordered lots of wa-gyu beef and matsutake to top up. Many times.

And lots of rice too.

Wa-gyu was great, and Matsutake was also great!  Great fragrance, and very thick, dense body.  The texture was amazing.

I loved the chopstick stand (racoon shaped Shigaraki ware), and they were selling many kinds of souvenirs downstairs, so we bought few things for ourselves.  My dad bought matsutake to take home, and my brother bought some sweets.  I bought the Shigaraki ware chopstick stand. 😀

They gave us a bag of gift when we left.  It was part of the course menu deal.  And, because we bought some souvenir, we could do the garapon lottery (You could win a prize in a lottery by turning a small round machine. The prize depends on a colour of the ball dropped from the hole of the machine).  We did 4 times, but didn’t get big prize.  They gave us packs of sweet chestnuts and bananas for thank-you.

The food was very very nice!  And the service was great too.  My dad loved the place, and he said we’ll come back here again on Christmas.  Around Christmas they do all-you-can-eat crabs and fugu course meal.  Despite the amount and quality of the food, the price was not that expensive.  That’s amazing too.

First Kitchen

Posted November 23rd, 2011 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | No Comments »

First Kitchen, known as City Convenience Restaurant, is fast food chain serving variety of foods including burgers, soup, and pasta.  It’s not a place I go often, but D and I had lunch inside food court in a shopping mall.  The price for burgers is bit more expensive than McDonald’s and other chains, but we both liked the food.

D ordered teriyaki burger meal, and I ordered kid’s chicken nuggets meal.  Teriyaki burger meal came with fries and drink, like other chains, but you could chose the flavour of the fries – called “flavour potato”.  It’s like shaker fries of McDonald’s.  The flavours are unique: corn potage, flame-grilled mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock), soy BBQ, sizzling butter and soy sauce, butter, consomme, and French fries.  D chose soy BBQ.  It was good 🙂

There is sauce bar at the counter where you can get any sauces as much as you want.  The sauces are BBQ sauce, mentaiko mayonnaise, cheese sauce, and garlic mayonnaise.

I love Japanese fast food because their drink menu has more varieties.  I always chose tea (usually oolong tea).  You can also get hot/iced lemon/milk tea and cocoa with meals with no additional cost.

It may be just because it was weekday and there’re not so many people around, but they made all the food on order including fries and nugget.  Crispy and super hot.  With kid’s meal I got to chose a toy from a basket, and I got Stitches stationery kit.

We were thinking of getting some sweets there as well, but didn’t.  Their tapioca coconut milk float and shiratama cream zenzai (chewy dango with stewed sweet azuki bean and soft serve) looked yummy!

Japanese Curry House

Posted December 1st, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

I haven’t had craving for curry for a long long time – any curry including Japanese, Indian, Thai and Indonesian.  But, I suddenly feel like the saucy curry and I can’t stop thinking about it!

The curry restaurant first came up to my mind was Curry House Coco Ichiban.  It’s a curry restaurant chain and is currently in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Hawaii.  

I started browsing the website, and their limited time special curry look so nice….  There are 7 curry including Oyster Katsu Curry and Sukiyaki Curry, but this Hash De Beef & Mushroom Curry is the one for me!

Like other family restaurants, Coco Ichiban has a huge variety of menus including salads and desserts, and the curry menus are more than 50!

IF, you like Japanese curry (I know some people hate Japanese curry) I recommend you to go to Coco Ichiban and try the curry. You can adjust the rice size, spiciness of the curry and add extra toppings if you like.  At Coco Ichiban the level of the spiciness starts from mild, and as the level goes up it becomes spicier.  There are 12 levels of spiciness to chose from, and the top 5 levels are only available to people who have eaten the one level below in the past.  You can’t order mild, then next day level 10!  According to the menu the spiciness is deadly and you may need to call an ambulance…

They also have breakfast menu – of course all curry dishes.  I remember eating curry in the morning when I was a kid…


Posted November 3rd, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »


Again, about Mister Donut… Mos Burger. Mos + Misdo = Mosdo!

Their first collaborated item was sold in 2008 : Mos Burger sold “hot chicken burger” and Mister Donut sold “hot chicken pie”.  In 2009, as their second collaborated items, “donut burger” donut patty and wasabi sauce, and “petit burger” the smallest burger in the world (possibly) were sold. 

And, this year, they actually opened up a shop which sells both burgers and donuts!

You can actually purchase/dine-in Mos burgers and Mister Donut donuts in one shop.  

Their set menu looks awesome!  Mosdo Set comes with one choice of Mos burger (or soup or salad) and 1 choice of donut and one choice of drink. (¥580)  Tea Time Set comes with a choice of donut parfait and a drink (¥390).  I’m curious to try their “okonomiyaki-style salad”.  Does it taste like okonomiyaki?

Ahhhh, I miss Mos Teriyaki Burger!!! (>口<)/


Free Service – Go to Mister Donut!

Posted November 2nd, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Mister Donut is giving away 1 free NEW donut for the first 300 customers between 01 and 03/November at the shops across Japan!

The new flavor donut is made with rice flour (chewy texture mochi-mochi) coated with kinako, sweet soybean flour.  This donut will be sold from 04/Nov at shops after the campaign.


Yoshinoya, the largest chain of beef bowl restaurants in Japan, is also giving away 1 free egg for the customer who orders the new menu kimuchi kuppa. (until 08/Nov)  So cheap… 280 yen!  

onaka suita~… (I’m hungry~)

Eating Bread Everyday

Posted March 31st, 2010 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | No Comments »

I do eat rice too, of course, but, I’ve been hunting on bakeries here.  I love bread ( well, I love any food :p ) especially Japanese bread ♪

A photo from a cafe.  Going to a cafe with dad for breakfast on weekend is my routine 🙂

Normally Japanese bread loaves are sold thickly cut.  I love thick cut toast.  And, Japanese bread sold at supermarkets are somehow much tastier than those here… (to me)  There are many kinds, such as “chewy”, “double aged dough” etc  I love the chewy one (もっちり) 🙂

Here is my another favorite bread “melon-pan”.  You can buy it at most bakeries, supermarkets, convenience stores and other shops that sell bread in Japan.  You can guess how popular this bread is.

Melon-pan contains two different dough – the base is normal bread dough (sweetened) and the top is cookie dough.  It’s sweet bread and it tastes different depending on the bakery/brand.  Personally I like the cookie-part to be very crusty.  Some of them are pretty soft.

The reason why it’s called “melon-pan” is that the bread has patterns and it looks similar to a melon.  There is a character in Japanese cartoon called “melon-pan-na chan” too .

Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs

Posted March 30th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

Beard Papa has been franchising in foreign countries (it may be in your home country too) for a while.  There used to be one Beard Papa’s shop in Centro Galleria in Perth few years ago, but it closed its door. Shame! 🙁

Being famous with the Yellow Signage and Papa’s face, Beard Papa is now known as the bakery of the “World’s Best Cream Puffs”.
Each day we bake choux pastry shells that are made up of two special layers. The inner layer is a choux pastry shell and the outer layer is a pie crust. This unique structure creates a light, crunchy shell.  They use handpicked vanilla beans from Madagascar, and their whipped custard cream takes 2 hours to prepare.

Once you are around the shop you can already smell the sweet custard 🙂

This is one of my favorite sweet in the world!  They’re selling sakura flavor for a limited time only.  Matcha and caramel are also nice 🙂

Club Harie

Posted March 29th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Taneya Group started its business in 1872, and now you can find its products across Japan, mostly at big department stores.  Taneya shops sell wa-gashi (Japanese sweets), and Club Harie sells you-gashi (Western sweets).  (I talked about Club Harie’s baumkuchen here)

As Taneya Group started from Shiga, there are many Taneya/Club Harie shops in around my house.  I went to Hikone city (15 minutes from my house) to go to its Hikone shop.  … there are 3 buildings; one is Club Harie, one is Taneya and another is cafe and museum. (these buildings are connected)  I went to the bakery to try their bagel!.

I knew they only sell bagels on weekends, so I went there on Saturday.  There are sooo many people, and only 2 bagels were left when I arrived.   They only had plain flavor.  I bought one, and tasted at home.

Again, pretty small.  As I opened the package film, I could feel the bagel was soft.  I squeezed the bagel with two fingers and the dough sprang back.  I had a bite, and it was really soft, moist and chewy.

I liked it!  I mean, I could taste the sweetness of the flour, and as I chewed the sweetness became more condensed.  The body was pretty light, and I think it’s quite different from an American style bagel.  Ummm… interesting!

Boulangerie Pommes de Terre

Posted March 27th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

The other day I went to my favorite bakery called Pommes de Terre.  (not that famous one in Tokyo, this bakery is in Shiga :p )  My favorite at this shop is Mentaiko France (photo)!!! (>v<)/

This Mentaiko France has hard crust, and chewy body.  The mentaiko paste is seasoned with high quality butter and it is very yummy!  You can’t eat this if you like soft bread as this France-pan (baguette) is very very hard: sometimes it scratches your mouth.  I love hard bread!

… and, a happy surprise!  Their bagels just got out from the oven!  I asked the staff if I could buy them (as the bagels were still hot and couldn’t be placed in the display shelf yet), they said “ok” .

I bought a matcha bagel and a cheese bagel.  Nice and hot 🙂

As you can see, the bagel is pretty small.  Japanese bagels are about this size.  I had a bite on each bagel…

My feedback :  I thought their bagels were more like normal bread, not heavy and not really chewy.  I could taste butter in the dough. As a snack bread, it was really yummy ( good taste, sweetness and the texture) but I didn’t feel it was a bagel.

My time is running here (>0<)  I want to taste Japanese hard bagel while I’m here if I can!

Japanese Bagels

Posted March 18th, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

Apple Tea Bagel;To tell the truth, many things in Japan surprises me... The flavors of bagels are one of those. There are sooooo many flavors of bagel available in Japan. ... very different ones.

ori (seaweed) x cheese, mentaiko (marinated fish roe) x cheese, miso paste x cream cheese, etc etc.  That’s the thing in Japan.  As there are so many shops selling bagels now, they had to come up with new flavors.

Bagel sandwiches also have many flavors…

Bagel Sandwiches

Bagel Sandwiches

Duck x Potato with Citrus Pepper Sandwich

Duck x Potato with Citrus Pepper Sandwich

I really want to try this roasted duck x potatoes x citrus pepper sandwich.  The popular flavors of bagel sandwich in Japan are mashed pumpkin x cream cheese and smoked salmon x cream cheese x spiced lemon peel.  Toasted bagel with cream cheese is also still the best for some people 🙂

Ogori Cafe – Japanese Unique Rule-

Posted October 14th, 2009 in Eat out in Japan, Ume's Interests | 1 Comment »

What would you feel if you get something different from what you ordered at a cafe?  You may feel confused, disappointed, and some may feel upset.  Actually, there is a cafe in Japan which has very unique rules for its customers.

At this Ogori Cafe in Kashiwa (CHIBA prefecture) in Japan, customers will not get what they order.  At this cafe, you get what the person before you ordered.  The next person gets what you ordered.

I find it very very unique, and bizarre… but very interesting.  Let’s say, even though you have something particular that you want to eat/drink , you won’t get it.  Instead, you will get something the previous customer ordered.  How unique the system is! 🙂  I wonder what the first customer on the day will get…  

I found about this cafe from someone’s blog, Cabel.  According to his story: “my friend went up to the cafe, and ordered a little bit of everything: some ice cream, some snacks, some candy, some drinks: worth about 2500yen (AUD$25) for the next lucky customer. (After his order, he received single iced coffee.)  After a while he heard an extremely excited “arigato goazimasu!! thank you so much!!” yelled in his direction, from an ecstatic mom and her equally excited young son. They truly appreciated the surprise.”  

I like this type of unique system!  And establishing the system in an actual cafe is fascinating.  The owner must be an unique person too 🙂

BTW there’re a few rules at this cafe:

Rules :  

  1. Let’s treat the next person. What to treat them with is your choice.
  2. Please form a single-file line when your order, and you can’t buy twice in a row.
  3. Please enjoy what you get, even if you hate it.  (If you really, really hate it, let’s quietly give it to another while saying, “It’s my treat…”)
  4. Let’s say “Thank You! (Gochihosama)” if you find the person with your Ogori cafe card.
  5. We can’t issue a receipt.
It would be a great thing to do something good for strangers!

Mister Donut

Posted June 22nd, 2009 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

Mister Donut is my favorite donut shop in Japan.  I just love their whole concept : their characters, color theme, variety of food…

They don’t only serve donuts, but also rich shakes, puddings, ramen noodle, yam cha food, pies, muffins etc.  You get point every time you purchase some items, and you can exchange the points to receive character goods.  The round lion (Pon De Lion) is Mister Donut’s main character, and he (she?) is so cute!  I’ve collected its mug, plate, bath towel and aprons so far.

One reason I like Mister Donut is their price.  Very reasonable.  And, you can easily download coupons through their website.  They often do campaign too – ¥100 for the regular donuts.  Cheap and delicious.



Their new menu is so exciting!  “Donut Burger” and “Pote-Do” are on my things-to-eat list for Japan trip.  Donut Burger is sweet – consisting donut, chocolate pate and sweet sauces.  


It’s summer in Japan now, and they are doing summer noodle fare.  Everything is ¥399.

Theme Restaurants in Japan

Posted February 25th, 2009 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

This Ninja themed restaurant is located in Tokyo, and their menu looks so interesting, such as: Shuriken star-blades grissini, Turban shell bombs a la escargot, Ninja-style grilled lobster with black bean sauce etc…  Umm sounds delicious! (and expensive)  I would love to go to this restaurant.  

“Ninja” thing is not only their menu, of course.  The entire restaurant is designed in the image of a Ninja house, and waiters are dressed up like Ninjas too!  I’m curious.. how it feels like to be served by Ninjas?? :p 

There are many theme restaurants in Japan, like “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, “Cinderella”, “Prison”, “Hospital” etc.  

I’ve been to this “monster house” themed restaurant in Osaka before, and it was a frightening experience (seriously!).  First, the place seemed to be a normal restaurant except for their menu (cocktails in test tubes, weird naming for food such as “human experiment carpaccio”…)  I was about halfway through the meal, then alarm started ringing.  According to the restaurant staff, a “monster” from their basement escaped and was heading to this restaurant.  I hate scary things, I can’t even go to a haunted house in a small amusement park.  I was so scared but the “monster” (actor) came to me and tried to kidnap me.  I was seriously screaming!

I wouldn’t go back to the “monster” restaurant, but would love to try other fancy restaurants 🙂

Love Toast

Posted February 19th, 2009 in Eat out in Japan, Food | No Comments »

Do you eat toast for breakfast every morning?  How would you eat them, simply just with butter?  or with eggs and meat?  

While I’m in Japan my dad and I always have breakfast in the cafe on weekends.  We wake up quite early every morning, and drive a car there.  “breakfast at cafe” = “morning” in Japan, for example we say “hey, let’s go for morning.”  I read an article about the “morning” culture the other day, and I found out that middle eastern – middle western Japanese people go for morning more often than people in other regions in Japan.  (I’m from Shiga, centre of Japan island)  

The basic morning menu is : one drink, one piece (or half piece) of thick sliced toast, one boiled egg, and small bowl of salad or seasonal fruits.  Very simple menu, and it costs around 250~500 yen.  (depends on the cafe)  Of course there are more menus there, such as scrambled eggs, sandwiches etc, but I always go for basic “morning” menu.

I love Japanese bread.  Texture and taste are different from ones in Perth or other countries.  Moist, kind of chewy, yet soft…  And the toast you get from cafe is really really thick! (about 5 cm)  Very nice :p  I usually enjoy them with just butter, or sometimes spread jam/boiled red bean on.

In Perth I sometimes make morning type breakfast.  One boiled egg, one piece of toast… but the bread is different :*(  Ummm.. but what can I do.

BTW you can enjoy toast menu in some of  Izakaya as well.  I love “toast tower” … which is a whole loaf of bread with lots of butter, syrup, ice cream (usually vanilla) and sometimes with red beans or chocolates on the top!  They are served on a plate as stood up in lengthwise, and there is a hollow on the top where ice cream and some other food are served in.  It’s toasted, so ice-cream and butter are melting…  Sounds very high calorie food (it is), but it’s yummy…!  It looks huge but just two girls can eat it up.  … well, I can!

Osaka Food

Posted December 29th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 6 Comments »

In Japan every area has its speciality food, but I believe that Osaka food is very unique.  The famous ones are Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki.  In Osaka you can find takoyaki / okonomiyaki shop everywhere!

They use this special grill plate for takoyaki; pour mixture into the grill, and make them into ball shape.  You will need a skill to do it!  In Perth you can only get deep-fried takoyaki from Japanese restaurants (they just deep-fry frozen pre-made takoyaki) but originally takoyaki is supposed to be “grilled”.

Takoyaki means octopus balls, but nowadays you can get many flavors (not just octopus); cheese, mochi (rice cake), corn, meat, fish etc…  So fun! 🙂

If you go to okonomiyaki restaurants you will grill okonomiyaki by yourself.  Waitress brings the mixture to your table, and you grill the mixture on the grill plate (which is attached on your table).  All the condiments (sauces, bonito flakes, nori powder, beni shoga, mayonnaise etc) are prepared at each table, and once okonomiyaki is cooked you eat them straight from the grill plate.  Yes it’s hot, but very nice (>v<)!

Eating out

Posted December 27th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

On the next day we arrived Japan, I had dinner with one of my best friend.  I was taken to this neighbor Italian restaurant “Cannery Row”:  one of my favorite place 🙂

We ordered cheese fondue, chicken pizza and fresh basil & smoked salmon pasta as main; salad, drinks, entree and dessert are in buffet section, they are “all you can eat”. 

All the food is very nice!!  but the reason why I like this place is their service.  Staffs are so polite and friendly:)  Love their uniform too:)

Cheese Fondue

There are millions of restaurants in Japan and the places I’m showing in this blog are just one of them.  During this holiday I went to buffet style restaurants quite often.  This Cannery Row is also buffet restaurant, and other place I went was an organic and slow food buffet restaurant “Hinano”.  It’s a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine, and they only use organic food 🙂  I think their target is women (as most of their food was vegetable, not so many meat), and I love all the food!(I’m a girl :))  Japanese style salad, udon, grilled fish, tempura, pizza, few kinds of rice, etc etc….   They keep serving different food every 30min so we didn’t get bored.  I ate a lot…  OMG :p

(these plates are not only for me!  a table of my family (9 ppl) :p)

Their interior and plates are also nice; I think this type of restaurants “natural” “slow food” “healthy” “organic” “buffet” are Japanese trend now. (maybe?)  Inexpensive too!


Posted October 25th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 7 Comments »
Izakaya Food

As my holiday to Jakarta/Japan is just around the corner, my friends are organising a gathering for my homecoming:)  The friends are my classmates from a college in Osaka, and most of them went to America to go to university after graduating the college.  Some of them, including myself, chose to come to Australia.  Everyone except me and one girl is now living in Japan and working happily 🙂

When they asked me “where do you want to go?”, I answered “Izakaya!” straight away.  Izakaya is a type of Japanese bar and they serve Izakaya foodIzakaya food is more substantial than that offered in normal bars and snack bars.  They have yakitori, salad, noodle, rice dish and some snack food to accompany the drinks.  They also has dessert menu.  Even though the place is supposed to be for drinking, people sometimes bring their children along as well.  I think Izakaya is kind of Family Restaurant + Drink Bar ÷ 2 .

The reason why I love Izakaya is the atmosphere, as well as the food and the price.  I don’t go to Izakaya by myself, but I always go there with a couple of friends.  We talk loudly, lough loudly and eat & drink!  All the stresses go away 🙂

Unfortunately there is no Izakaya In Perth:=(  …Correction, actually there are few, but the food and drinks are very very very expensive.  I have been to this Izakaya-like Japanese restaurant in Perth city once, and I was surprised by their price.  One small tiny salad ( the plate was smaller than my palm) costs A$8.90 (>0<).  In Japanese Izakaya this type of food is usually free (tsukidashi).

I know there are so many Izakaya (quite cheap) in Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.  But not in Perth 🙁  …Perth is pretty isolated city compared with Eastern states.  Is there Izakaya in other countries too?

Looking at the pictures makes me really really hungry! ↓↓↓




I love Chu-Hi 🙂

And cocktais.

McDonald’s in Australia and Japan

Posted October 23rd, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 9 Comments »

I believe that McDonald’s is the biggest fast food chain in Japan.  You can find McDonald’s everywhere, even in train stations and some sport gyms.  Apparently they have different menus in each country and there are few menus that I can’t have in Perth.

In Japan, their menu is magnificent!  Along with their standard menus, they have campaigns for new or seasonal items quite often and there are always something new/special.

Let’s talk about my favorite:)  I love their Chicken Tazta Burger!  The burger is only available in Japan (I assume so, as Tazta means a kind of karaage) The Chicken Tazta Burger is one of the standard menus and you can buy it anytime.  (There might be a possibility that they don’t sell Tazta anymore after I left Japan… :p)

They sell Teriyaki Burger as well.  Teriyaki is typical Japanese cuisine and other fast food chains like Mos Burger also sells Teriyaki Burger of their own recipe.

In Perth, we have few Mcdonald’s products which you can’t find in Japan.  They are trying to have “healthy image” on their products (I guess all McDonald’s over the world are same) and they sell Lean Beef Burger, Avocado and Tomato Mac Burger and Chicken Tandoori on Multigrain etc here.  They used to sell McOz which contains beetroots as well.  I love their concept, but the price at McDonald’s in Australia is unbelievably EXPENSIVE (>x<)

For example, I remember cheese burgers and hamburgers were less than 80 yen (about $1.20 now) in Japan.  Happy Meal was about 500 yen, I guess.  Also, you can easily download coupons from the website and get Regular French Fries, Mac Shake and more for just 100 yen each.  That was normal price in Japan.

However, here in Perth you have to pay about A$3.00 to get just a hamburger.  We rarely get a coupon or special price… actually, it’s never happened since I came here!  So we always pay at normal price :p  Since I know the price in Japan, I feel that McDonald’s products here are expensive…. although it maybe just because of the currency matter.

McDonald’s has McFlurry over the world and I’m a big consumer of it, but the variety is also different in Japan and Aus.  In Japan you can get McFlurry Caramel Macchiato (McFlurry Caramel Macchiato), McFlurry KitKat and McFlurry Oreo Cookies.  In Aus you can get McFlurry M&M’s Minis and McFlurry Oreo.  I don’t know about other countries… but I guess they have different flavors??

It’s actually interesting that you can try out the country’s specialty even at fast food chain.  I hear that there is Rendang (Indonesian Coconut Beef Curry Dish) Burger in Indonesia.  I’d love to try it out (^0^)/

My favorite bakery in Japan-2

Posted September 6th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | 4 Comments »
Boulanger Bakery 

Boulanger Bakery


This bakery, Naoki’s Boulanger has many shops in Western side of Japan. (around Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Shiga …)  The reason why I love this bakery is not only their variety and the taste, but also their price:)  ALL the products in this shop is 105yen (about A$1.00).  Everything, even a roll or sandwiches!!  And I can’t believe they are all 105yen, the size of the products is not small, and the every product uses lots of ingredients such as mango, sausages, potatoes, egg etc…


Everyday the shop is full of people, especially with mums and kids.  They also have dine-in area and you can order a meal set as well.  

In the kitchen there are 3 sections; one is for baking, one is for wrapping the rolls & sandwiches and finishing the decoration of products(like glazing danishes), and another is for cooking.  Yes cooks work there as well.  They roast the chicken and deep-fry the prawn flitter.  Those food are for meal menu and sometimes used for rolls.

Why I know so much about this shop??  It’s because I used to work there before :p  I know how many denominations of bread they have!

They also make yummy drinks such as iced moca and coffee, smoothies and hot tea.  Further more, they have special sweets menu too.  Parfait and some Japanese style sweets.  They are really really popular!

My favorite bakery in Japan-1

Posted July 29th, 2008 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »
***Pommes De Terre***
Danishes with fruits

Danishes with fruits

Crusty Bread

Crusty Bread

Character face

Character face

Plain croissant & Anchovy croissant

Plain croissant & Anchovy croissant

This is one of my favorite bakery in Japan.  This shop is located in Shiga, my hometown, and I love their variety:)

In Japanese bakery, you usually pick up the bread you want to buy by yourself.  These good-looking yummy-smelling bread make you want to buy all!!  I always get trayful of bread, but can’t get enough:p

In this shop you can dine in as well, of course they serve nice drinks such as coffee/tea etc…  PLUS they do  “morning service” here: between 8am to 10am 2 buns and drink (coffee or tea, you can ask for refill as many times you want!) for 380 yen.  It’s very cheap, isn’t it??  The bread in the morning is very fresh, just came out from the oven and still warm (>v<).  I go there in the morning, and spend about 30min ~ 1hour there with few cups of coffee and 2 buns.  

Their variety is amazing, for instance…

The left is croque-monsieur, and the right is focaccia with burdock root!!  YES Japanese people eat burdock root, they are high in fiber and very healthy.  I love the texture too.

The left is croissant with Italian pasta chicken, and the right is croissant with vegetable curry.  The presentation is very cute:)

Croissant with hamburg and gravy!

And also!  As I mentioned before I love hard crusty bread, and this shop sells them!:)  Thin French stick is nicely baked, very crusty and chewy inside!  Sometimes it hurts my teeth but I still love it.  They have few variety in flavor as well; thin French stick with cheese, Mentaiko (fish roe), seaweed, chocolate etc…  I love the one with Mentaiko:)  Very nice!

French stick with Mentaiko

French stick with Mentaiko

If you have chance to come to Shiga….