KyoTofu Fujino Cafe | Nishijin District – Kyoto

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KyotoTofu Fujino Cafe entrance.
KyoTofu Fujino Cafe entrance.

Within walking distance from the Kinkaku-ji temple you can treat yourself with delicious soy-based desserts at KyoTofu Fujino Cafe. There is also a restaurant serving traditional tofu meals and soy milk treats, but I only had time to visit the cafe during this occasion.

The place serves different types of desserts, all soy milk based and a yummy and creamy ice cream. Which sounded like heaven after walking the whole morning in a heat of 38C degrees. Geez, it was scorching ☀️ in Kyoto that day.

My order

For a quick stop and to refresh ourselves before the next attraction, we decided to have:

  • Hubby: Soy milk ice cream, with mochi, azuki beans paste, fried gluten, and soy milk cinnamon stick.
  • Mine: Soy milk cheesecake with black sesame seed crust.
Soy milk ice cream.
Soy milk ice cream.
Soy milk cheesecake.
Soy milk cheesecake.
Soy milk cheesecake.
Soy milk cheesecake.

As every Japanese dessert, they were just sweet enough. In case you have a strong sweet tooth, you may find it needed more sugar, but for my taste it was amazing! I got a little bit of the ice cream, it was very creamy and you could definitely taste the soy milk.

About my choice, the cheesecake, it was extremely delicate and light. I could feel some lemon or citrus flavour, what gave a special kick to it. Although the ice cream had a clear soy milk taste, the cheesecake had nothing like that. Definitely, a must go if you are around the area. 🙂

The verdict

They say their soy milk and all soy based products sold in the store are homemade. I really liked the desserts and would go back in case I return to Kyoto one day. Ah! For all vegans out there, I don’t know about the desserts (they are vegetarian for sure), but for the traditional tofu meals, they can adapt everything to be vegan, you just need to book in advance.

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate just enough in English.

Bill: 824 yens (A$10) – no drinks.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/EDcM2PjCUaU2

More information: www.kyotofu.co.jp/en/

Food Choices – Documentary

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Food Choices is a documentary about how our dietary choices can affect not only our daily lives and health, but how also they can affect the environment and global ecosystem. According to author and filmmaker, Michal Siewierski, a plant-based diet is the key to achieve a healthy life and to save our planet.

I do believe our choices have a huge impact on the planet, however, the documentary sounded a bit shallow on some aspects for me and didn’t make me change my mind about meat consumption. Anyway, I always like to watch documentaries with different views about food so I can always keep my mind open and expand my own opinions.

The documentary itself is very good and brings exciting topics to the table, such as:

  • Overview on meat, dairy and eggs consumption in the US
  • Processed food
  • Over consumption of supplements (Do we really need them?)
  • Importance of nutrition as a healing tool
  • How expensive is to keep a plant-based diet
  • Organic or non-organic food?

Another interesting topic in the documentary is the difference between veganism/vegetarianism and a plant-based diet. According to Michal and several specialists he interviewed to make the documentary, there is a huge difference between the 3 of them. A vegan/vegetarian person will not necessarily have a healthy diet, perfectly eating processed food instead of whole and nutritionally dense food, which is the plant-base diet proposal.

This documentary can be watched on Netflix. I’ll leave you guys with the trailer below:

Stir-fried cauliflower rice with eggs | Cauliflower dishes #1

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I totally love ❤️  cauliflower, such a versatile veggie. I cook with it all the time, always making something different and delicious. That’s why I’ve decided to create 4 videos with yum recipes using cauliflower, and this is the first one: Stir-fried cauliflower rice with eggs.

Stir-fried rice with eggs is one of my favourite Asian dishes, and although I eat regular rice on a few occasions, having a replacement for it would be amazing. Having said that, I’ve created this version using cauliflower rice instead, and the result is spot on!

This recipe serves two people and you can change a bit adding other veggies, or maybe season it differently. I usually add carrots and capsicum. YUM!

Ingredients
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups of cauliflower rice 
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 cup of spring onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a wok or large frying pan. Then add the riced cauliflower and stir-fry for about 4 minutes.
  2. Next, add peas and spring onions. Stir everything constantly around the pan, for about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and sesame oil.
  4. Back to the pan, push all ingredients to the side of the pan and on the other side, pour the beaten egg mixture leaving it cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Season everything with salt and black pepper to taste. Then, briskly swirl around the eggs to break them up and then toss with the rice. Stir-fry for another minute and it’s done!
  6. Serve right away.

 

Anzukko Gyoza Bar | Kyoto

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Anzukko entrance. If I'm not mistaken it's on the 2nd floor.
Entrance to building where Anzukko is. It’s on the 2nd floor, I think. 🙂

According to the Internet, Anzukko Gyoza is well known by their iron pan gyozas. It seems they are one of the last restaurants that cook gyoza this way, instead of using a grill like other places. As a gyoza fan, I had to try it out!

The place is kinda hard to find – on the 2nd floor of a small building, if I remember it correctly – and only by paying attention to the signs hanging out of it you will be able to find the place. Use my photograph above to confirm the location when you get there. 🙂

My order

Once you get seated, you are served a small appetiser (not for free, though). Then you can proceed and place your order.

There are traditional pork and veggies gyozas cooked on an iron pan and some curious flavour we thought it’d be interesting to try. Our choices are described below:

  • Appetiser: Little portion of seasoned tofu.
  • Gyozas: Anzukko Gyoza, cooked on an iron pan, Camembert cheese gyoza, and Yuzu-citrus gyoza.
Tofu as appetizer.
Tofu as an appetiser.
Anzukko Gyoza, cooked on an iron pan.
Anzukko Gyoza, cooked on an iron pan.
Camembert cheese gyoza and Yuzu-citrus gyoza.
Camembert cheese gyoza and Yuzu-citrus gyoza.

I might say, the iron pan gyoza is AMAZING. That cooked crunchy crust is completely different from a grilled gyoza. I could eat hundreds of them, however, this place has some unusual rule where they allow you to buy more than 8 pieces of gyoza per person. As we got the 12-piece plate to share, we couldn’t get more after that. 🙁

Can you believe that? I had that delicious thing in front of me and I COULDN’T order more! Bummer!
So in case you go there with more people, I suggest each person in your group buying their own 8 pieces plate and then you guys can share the other flavours.

The other gyozas available can be ordered as much as you want, but there is no traditional flavour for these ones, though.

The verdict

The place is good, staff is friendly, iron pan gyoza AMAZING. It’s just the “8 pieces per person” rule that doesn’t make any sense in my opinion. We left the place disappointed and still hungry, having to stop somewhere else for a snack.

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate in English.

Bill: $1520 Yen ($18.00 AUD)

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/sgrfmVQuxKs (2nd floor if my memory doesn’t fool me)

More information: http://www.anzukko.com

DIY: Tiled coffee table (mosaic) | IKEA Hacks

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Tiled Table (mosaic)
I <3 these tiles!

I had this old IKEA Emhult dining table that was just wasting space and gathering dust here at home. I tried to sell it without success, then I remembered this tiled kitchen table a friend of mine used to have and I thought something like it for a coffee table would be very charming and give a special touch to our living room.

Then, after A LOT of thinking and planning, my personal handyman (aka, the husband) and I decided to put our bodies and minds to work and finally built it. The result and everything we used I’ll describe below. I hope you like it! I’m extremely proud of ourselves. 🙂

Things you will need:

  • An IKEA Emhult dining table – length: 118 cm, width: 74 cm, height: 72 cm (or any table you happen to have)
  • 15 tiles, 20*20 cm
  • 3 sheets of white mosaic, 2*2 cm
  • 500 grams of white grout
  • 16 nails
  • All-purpose glue
  • Patience and skill 😛

Tools:

  • A jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Sponge and piece of cloth

Step 1: disassembling original table.

First, we had to disassemble the table, keeping only the four legs and the table top.

Step 1: disassembling original table.
Step 1: disassembling the original table.

Step 2: shortening legs and creating a central gap.

Then, as our idea was to transform it into a coffee table, we had to shorten the legs making them 35 cm tall. As the centre tiles were taller than the edges ones I had to create a gap so in the end they would be all even.

Another thing we had to do, but you can totally skip it, was the creation of an 1 cm gap in the middle of the table (using the jigsaw). We needed to do it as the tiles I bought to use in the centre were taller (1.5 cm height) than the ones I got for the edges (0.5 cm height). By doing that, it the end we would have an even surface for our table. 🙂

Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten to take a photo of this part, but when shortening the legs we’d also created a 1 cm gap in half of it. Like an L. So we would have half glued to the frames and the other half to the deeper centre area.

Important: the following measurements were based on the size of my tiles, and also the design I had in mind for the table. Depending what you have in mind and the tiles you are planning to use, these measurements can change.

Step 2: measurements.
Step 2: measurements.
Step 2: shortening legs and creating centre gap.
Step 2: shortening legs and creating the gap in the centre.

Step 3: assembling it back.

After everything was cut into the sizes we needed, it was time to assemble everything back. The process was very simple, just a matter of using the nails and the hammer to fix each leg to the table top.

We used 4 nails for each leg. Two holding the middle area and the other two for the frame. We didn’t add anything else and the table looks pretty stable until now. 😀

Step 3: assembling it back.
Step 3: assembling it back.

Step 4: extra white layer.

I love an extra work so I decided to paint it in white to have a better finishing result. This is totally optional. 😛

Step 4: extra white layer.
Step 4: extra white layer.

Step 5: placing tiles.

Now is the fun time! Before gluing the tiles to the table, I’ve first placed them all (the central ones) and confirmed I was happy with the composition, then I just moved up one of them at each time, added glue on the space and put it back. Repeating until I had all of them well placed.

Next, I did the same with the small ones all around the edges.

Step 5: placing tiles.
Step 5: placing tiles.

Step 6: applying grout.

After we had all tiles in place, it was time to make things even more professional with some grout. This one was just a matter of preparing the grout following the package directions and then placing it all over the table, making sure to fill every empty area. It will look a mess, but trust me, in the end it will work!

Next, using a piece of cloth I just removed the excess and let it dry around 20 minutes. Then using a kitchen sponge (of course, a new one) and a bit of water I cleaned all the grout excess out.

Step 6: applying ground.
Step 6: applying ground.

Step 7: It’s done! Final view.

Here it is the final result of our long weekend experiment. I love it so much! Have I already said how proud of us I am? Not only because it looks very pretty and gives a special touch to our living room, but also all the work, planning and fun we had over the weekend to get it done.

It brings me very good memories everytime I place my cup of coffee over it and have my afternoon snack. 🙂

Step 7: It's done! Final view.
Step 7: It’s done! Final view.

So, I’m waiting here to see who got excited and created something like this. Please, let me know by commenting below. 🙂