TagFood

I found a Pie in Japan!

Finally! I found a pie for sale at the supermarket. Just to clarify for the non-Kiwi people out there, A ‘pie’ is typically made with puff pastry and filled with mince meat. Not apples. Anyway, except for one occasion where I found a pie for sale at a Kiwi pub (700 yen!) I haven’t had a pie since leaving New Zealand four years ago.

Japan does not make pies. Simple fact. I have been looking since I arrived. The bakers have no pies. The convini shops have no pies. The supermarkets have no pies. Even Costco doesn’t sell pies (Understandable as it is a US company). I would make my own if Japan had ovens – they do not. So, imagine my delight when I discovered the first thing remotely resembling a pie from home.

Here she is:

I was fairly disappointed to discover after unwrapping the pie, it was lacking any sort of base, or sides for that matter. This is the first pie I have seen in a plastic cup. It tasted alright, even better than I had expected but it also wasn’t very big. If I were to give the pie an overall score, with 10 being on par with a good old NZ potato top mince pie, it would be around 6. Which isn’t too bad all things considered.

Where can you get this pie you ask? Other than the Aeon near Kaihin-Makuhari station in Chiba, I have no idea. Here is the map:


大きな地図で見る

Taiwan Trip

OK, so I went to Taiwan over the weekend. Typical Japanese style holiday. Leave Friday night, have fun for a day, then come back the following day. Not my kind of trip, but what can you do?

The weather was notably miserable. Non stop rain for the first ~24 hours after arrival. We went up the famous Taipei 101 nonetheless. Obviously there was nothing to see out the window but clouds. The damper was mildly interesting. The elevator was surprisingly fast, about 60kmph if I recall correctly. However, this did not seem to help with the wait to get on it (15 minutes up and down).

The hotel (Hotel New World) was better than I expected. It worked out at about 7000 yen a night. The only bad thing was the mosquitoes. There were at least 15 of the little buggers, and they kept streaming in from somewhere.

We also went clubbing for a few hours (Room 18). Nothing out of the ordinary there. I was playing around with my camera to avoid dancing with anyone and pass the time. It cost about 2000 yen to get in, with one free drink. Kind of a waste of money but the wife wanted to go….

The food in Taiwan was great. The dumplings and pork buns were the best I have ever had. Midnight snacks from the night markets were also really tasty and crazy cheap. I did notice that there was an abundance of fried foods. Not only the usual ones like chicken, but also bread. I even saw someone wrap some fried bread in more fried bread – for breakfast. Not the most healthy food, but damn tasty.

The second best thing about Taiwan was the taxis. They are so much better than taxis in Japan. They are not only significantly cheaper, the cars are newer, have younger drivers (as in not senile) and like all drivers in Taiwan (Or at least Taipei) ignore most of the road signs. Speed limits do not seem to be an issue, nor do red lights or hundreds of scooters. The base charge was $70 (about 200 yen) – the most we were charged for going across the city was around $200 (600 yen)

One other thing that was annoying other than the weather, was the smell. There were so many new smells. Many were pleasant and interesting, but every once in a while I would come across a smell that would make my insides turn. I came across one such smell at a night market, near where they were selling food. Words could not accurately describe this smell, but if you could image a laundry drain pipe (those that have grey gunk sticking everywhere) filled with the remains of a dead animal that had been left in the sun to ripen, you might come close to the intensity of the smell.

It was not an uncommon sight to see dogs lying around the place. Most were sleeping, but a select few were doing their business on the roads or pavements.

This brings me to the most disappointing part of my trip. Prices of electronic / computer products. I assumed that because many of the computer products I buy come from Taiwan, it would mean they would be cheaper. This was not the case. The SD cards and motherboard I was planning on buying cost almost exactly the same as they would in Japan. So, I ended up not buying anything I had planned on buying. This also sucked because when I changed my Taiwanese dollars back to yen, I lost about 4000 yen due to the exchange rate.

To finish up I should talk about the people. I don’t know how to put this bluntly, but I found the Taiwanese to be extremely pushy. For example. when we were lining up to check our photo (in Taipei 101). Two people pushed right past us without even saying a word, to join their friends at the front of the line. The same behavior was apparent with the traffic on the roads. If you need to get somewhere, just push your way through.

These observations are obviously lacking as I was barely there for two days, but you know what they say – first impressions last. If I were to give the trip a rating from 1 to 10, it would be a 5.5.

The Windows 7 Burger from Burger King

Went to Akihabara again today. Turns out they are still selling the Windows 7 burger. Initially they were only going to sell it for seven days.

The Windows 7 Whopper is basically a Whopper with seven pieces of meat. It wasn’t much of a challenge for me, as I have no problem with my usual order of a Double Whopper and two Double BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers. Surprisingly however, there were at least three other Japanese people eating the burger. One small girl had eaten about a quarter, and seemed to be writing about it in her notebook.
The other two had divided it into two and were eating it with a knife and fork.

Other than the fact that it is the Windows 7 Whopper with seven pieces of meat, there is nothing special about this burger.

Forgive me for the quality of the video. My wife does not know how to set the video quality on her phone.

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Couldnt find any burger buns 🙁

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Put spring onion and bacon bits in the potato salad too. Fresh basil to garnish.

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