Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cook it your Damn Self

So I'm here in this new place and of course I want to try all the exotic food and cooking. Then why are they making me cook it myself? More importantly, why am I giving them all my money to do this? Shouldn't I be the one getting paid? Enough of me griping...

First stop: Shabu-Shabu.

We all sit around this table with built in electric burners. Then servers beautifully dressed in kimonos bring in copper bowls which we'll be using to make our meals for the night. First came the crabs, which I quickly tried to eat raw before I realized what the copper bowls were for. Then came huge platters of various vegetables and noodles along with the most perfect slices of beef. It felt like an endless stream of food, all cooked communal style in the same pot of boiling water.

Cost: 7,000 yen ($70)

Second stop: Okonomiyaki.

The table in this place has an electric grill instead of a burner. Here we make Japanese-style pancakes - the scariest pancakes I've ever seen. This one is not for picky eaters. You get these bowls with all sorts of unidentifiable objects to be mixed in and grilled. It's impossible to pick it apart to remove all suspicious objects. The mixtures are made into big fat pancakes and coated with Japanese barbecue sauce, swirled with mayonnaise and then topped with dried fish flakes. It wasn't too bad. Of course it was also accompanied with lots of vegetables, seafood, and sausages.

Cost: 6,000 yen ($60)

Great! Now I need more cash...

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