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Hello! Why Cliff(y), you ask? Well, a lot of people I've met since primary school till now have always called me Cliffy! Unless specifically mentioned, I personally paid for whatever chargeable stuff featured in my blogs. Anyway, for every 50 posts I come up with, and every 25,000 pageviews, I'm donating a sum of money to the World Food Programme. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Monday, February 10, 2014

JPN: New Year Food Stalls @ Fushimi Inari Taisha

Huge grilled squid during new year!

Since young, I've been a fan of this manga (lit. Japanese comic) called Kobo-chan written by Masashi Ueda. It encapsulates the daily life of a Japanese family in a light and humorous way, from which I've learnt quite a bit about Japanese culture. I recall reading a part when Kobo went to a temple during new year where lots of food stalls were set up, and the most notable was the grilled squid stall.

When I reached Fushimi Inari Taisha, a famous Shinto shrine in Kyoto, on the very first day of 2014, I felt as if I were Kobo-chan who was filled with joy and enthusiasm in absorbing the festive mood and sniffing the good aroma of the food around. True enough, I did find a stall selling grilled squid there. Anyway, today's food review is in the order I consumed them that day.

Grilled Squid (いか焼き) ¥600 (~S$7.40)
Taste: 8.5/10

The big-sized squid, although definitely not as big as a giant squid, was grilled to the point that it gave off a nice smoky aroma, but still retained its moisture content. Most of the parts weren't rubbery, but the sauce could be sweeter.

Fried Soba (やきそば) ¥500 (~S$6.20)
Taste: 8/10

I enjoyed the chewiness of the buckwheat noodle topped with katsuobushi (Japanese dried bonito flakes) and red ginger bits. The Worchestershire sauce used to stir-fry the noodle could be sweeter though.

Bacon and Egg Taiyaki (ベーコンエッグたい) ¥300 (~S$3.70)
Taste: 8.5/10

Alright, we can't see the fish shape from the picture, but that perhaps-made-to-be-a-new-breakfast-item filled with bacon, egg and mayonnaise did win my heart. My only gripe would be the fact that the dough wasn't crispy enough.

Sweet Rice Wine (あま酒) ¥300 (~S$3.70)
Taste: 9/10

The non-alcoholic drink made from fermented rice warmed my body and soul. Topped with finely grated ginger, the adequately thick, mildly sweet drink was truly aromatic. By the way, it's considered to be an effective cure for hangover.

Chicken Skewer -L- (やきとり) ¥500 (~S$6.20)
Taste: 8.5/10

Although there were supposed to be three different sizes of the chicken skewer, only the large ones were left when I reached the stall. The meat was tender, while the leeks retained their crunchiness. The sauce was enjoyably sweet, but it could be slightly saltier for a nice balance of flavours.

Sweet Potato Sticks (サツマスティ) ¥500 (~S$6.20)
Taste: 8.5/10

Not for diabetics, the deep-fried sweet potatoes were coated with sugar as a finishing touch. However, I have to say that they weren't as sweet as I thought they'd be. The tubers were earthy and starchy enough.

Fried Chicken -M- (からあげ) ¥300 (~S$3.70)
Taste: 8/10

I hardly see such a big-sized karaage (Japanese deep-fried food) outside Japan. Anyway, the chicken karaage I had was quite juicy, but there wasn't anything special about it in terms of taste, save for the crispy coating which was pretty much starchier from the ones I usually eat.

Melon's Rating
Taste: 8.5/10

To be able to visit Japan during new year on my own (without participating in a guided tour) was my dream since young, and there, I did it! Pika's advice: When you have the time, you may want to hop from shrines to shrines (the big, famous ones) during the new year period for nice snacks!

New Year Food Stalls @ Fushimi Inari Taisha

68 Fukakusa, Yabunouchi-cho
Fushimi, Kyoto
(I'm not sure about the operation hours of the stalls...)

*Prices quoted are nett prices.

Have a nice meal,

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