Category Archives: Travel

Italy is Tasty :)

I may not need to say it loud here as I understand millions of people have already said it. But let me say it once again, Italy is absolutely one of the best destinations for great food! 



I spent three nights and four days skiing at Dolomiti in the north of Italy. The mountains were beautiful and skiing was fun (mostly! except the time I had difficulty in skiing with almost no visibility with a lot of snow falling!) but what I enjoyed the most and miss back in Helsinki is food I had there. (apart from friends I went skiing together ;-) 

クリスマス休暇中、3泊4日をイタリアのドロミテでスキーをして過ごした。雪に覆われた山は美しく、スキーも楽しかった(一部の苦難のときを除いては・・・;-) のだがヘルシンキに戻ってきてまた山に戻りたいと思っている理由はスキーでも山でもなくイタリアで食べた食事だったりするのだ! 


I don't remember that many great dishes I had in Rome, Venice and Milan but have observation that food is great in Italian mountains. At the hotels and mountain huts, they usually offer hal-board and it is inexpensive at all. At the first hotel we stayed at Arraba, each of us paid only 45€ per night including dinner(three course meal + salad buffet and petite appetizer) and breakfast. And at the lovely lovely mountain hut, it was 75€ in the private room (most rooms are shared rooms and private rooms are special!) and it included three course dinner and breakfast. 



The dishes in the photos are only part of what we ate at Dolomiti and I admit, many times, I couldn't finish the meal as it was plenty and my tummy is not big enough. I wasn't worried about gaining weight having such lovely food but wish my tummy have been much bigger! 



I miss pasta and hot chocolate which is not super sweet but tasty particulary. I was trying to find a cafe which serves similar hot chocolate to it in Helsinki but haven't had any luck yet. It is usually super sweet and I feel I am going to have a headache. Maybe I have to wait until I go to the mountains in Italy ,-)

ヘルシンキに戻ってきてからはパスタとホットチョコレートが恋しくて・・・ホットチョコレートに関しては山で飲んだのと同じくらいおいしいものを探して毎日カフェに出かけて試しているのだが・・・今のところヒットなし・・・だいたいがひたすら甘すぎるのだ。あぁ また山に戻りたいと思う日々なのだ・・・(笑。


My Lovely Dining Experience in London Last Week

I had spent one week in Japan and flew to London, mainly, to see a football match. Rather than writing about the football match, I wanted to write about what I ate there (not because the result of match wasn't that exciting but because my dining experience was fantastic 😉


After the football match, we went for dinner to Spanish restaurant, Tendido Cuatro. A friend had told me me their paella is superb! We started with Iberian ham, fried aubergine and Spanish omelet. All of them were very nice, and Iberian ham was superb! If I had a chance to go to the same restaurant, I would definitely have Iberian ham 🙂



And the huge pan of paella was served! Wow! And as the friend told me, it was delicious. Three of us finished it but didn't have any more space in the tummy left for dessert 😉


All the restaurant staffs were native Spanish speakers. Tendido Cuatro is authentic Spanish restaurant, in my opinion.



For the next morning, I searched lovely cafe which serves lovely breakfast in the Time Out web page. (I always look at the Time Out to check out restaurants, cafes and happenings in London.) And I chose to go to a Kiwi cafe Kopapa

翌朝は素敵な朝ごはんが食べたいと思って 私がロンドンでおいしいお店を探すのに愛用しているTime OutのWeb pageで朝ごはんのおいしい店をチェック。(朝ごはん情報はこちら 以前から気になっていたKopapaに行くことにした。


My breakfast, Spiced banana French toast with grilled bacon, orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish & orange vanilla syrup, was lovely without being too sweet! Bacon was cooked in very English way. It was cold rainy Monday morning but the cafe and lovely breakfast uplifted my spirit 🙂

いただいたのはこちらのフレンチトースト (Spiced banana French toast with grilled bacon, orange blossom labne, tamarind raisin relish & orange vanilla syrup)。 とてもさわやかな口当たりのフレンチトースト。そしてベーコンがいかにもイギリス風。晴天で紅葉がきらきらしていた前日とは打って変わって雨模様の月曜日の朝はKopapaのカフェでゆっくり、まったりクオリティの高い朝ごはんを楽しんだ。


In the afternoon, we visited Jamie's Italian restaurant! I like Jamie Oliver and it had been in my wish list to go to his restaurants. I wasn't sure if we could get a table but we tried to have late lunch there. The ground floor was busy and almost full but we got a table downstairs. 


I wanted to have very Jamie dish. My observation on how Jamie cooks and how he uses his inspiration in cooking and ingredients made me choose Jamie's Italian burger. Burger doesn't sound very Italian but it is Jamie, there must be something very Jamie in including it in his Italian menu! 


The burger was huge! And photogenic! Many friends like the photo in my Facebook 😉 And it tasted great and healthy! 

で、出てきたバーガーがこれ! びっくりする大きさ。でも写真に撮るとインパクトがあっていい感じ。味も上々。パテがおいしかったな~。大きかったけど完食。Facebookで写真を見た友達からどうやって食べたのかという質問があったけど、もちろん分解して食べた次第。



After eating such big burger, I didn't have any extra space for dolce though I usually say "You can't say you ate Italian without having dolce" 😉 Luckily, a friend had gelato and I could take a photo and taste it a little 🙂 I thought gelato was really good as scoops were not huge and they tasted lovely!



So, is food but in Britain as bad as its reputation? It might have been so some time ago. But recently, there have been a lot of choices of good restaurants and cafes. Whenever I come to London, I enjoy lovely cafes and restaurants. Looking forward to next time :) 


Twenty-Eight Hours in Munich


On the way back from Belgrade, I stopped over at Munich and spent 28 hours. The captain on the flight from Belgrade told us it was snowing and freezing-point temperature in Munich and I got excited about it (I like snow!). When we arrived at the Munich airport, it was very snowy and windy, OMG! I chatted with the guy sitting next to me about the weather and he told me he didn't have any coat as he didn't expect such weather at all on his way back to Brussels and I told him I was prepared as I live in Finland 😉 Anyway, next morning, I was delighted to see snow covered trees, buildings and ground. Beautiful! Also we had one extra hour to sleep in as the time changed on that Sunday from summer time to winter time (winter time is not the right word as winter time is just ordinary time but we call it "winter time" or is it only me who says so? ;-) 

ベオグラードの帰りに立ち寄ったミュンヘンでは28時間の滞在。ベオグラードからミュンヘンに向かう機内のアナウンスでミュンヘンの天気は雪、ちょうど0℃くらいというのを聞いてひそかに盛り上がる私。雪が好きなのだ ;-) 隣に座っていたベルギー人は、コートをもっていないとあせっていたが、私はもちろん準備万端。なんてたってフィンランドに住んでるからいつでも寒い気候に対応できるような準備ができてる(笑。実際ミュンヘンの空港に着陸するとそこは大雪、っていうか風が強くてまるで吹雪。こんなんじゃなくても、って思うくらい。とにかくそんな雪が積もって翌朝は窓の外にとても素敵な風景が・・・建物も来も地面もすべて白い雪で覆われて、とてもマジカル。しかもこの日は夏時間から冬時間に変わる日だったので1時間余分に眠れたし・・・(ちなみに冬時間というのはあまり正しくない言い方。冬時間が普通の時間で夏時間が特別なのだ。が、冬時間って使うことも多いような・・・って私だけ?)



Breakfast at Frenzy added more fun to the morning. They have a lot of choices in the breakfast menu and  I had gone through the menu before I went to Munich. (I don't understand German and needed to be prepared to maximize the breakfast joy!) I chose pancakes with cinnamon, maple syrup and plenty of fruits and yogurt with (again) plenty of fruits. It was presented lovely and tasted nice 🙂 I loved the breakfast 🙂 Not only the food but also I liked the interior decoration of the cafe, especially the flower wall paper which I forgot to take a picture of as I was too excited about breakfast to document other things! The cafe was all the time full and more people were coming in while we were there. And most people including us seem to have made table reservations. If you had a chance to have breakfast on weekends whatever weather would be, try Frenzy! They offer breakfast only on weekends.

そんな素敵な雪の朝をさらに素敵にしてくれたのがFrenzy 。ここで朝ごはん。種類の豊富なメニューはもちろんドイツ語。というわけで事前に予習をしていった私(笑。(食べるときにはいつも真剣。グルメなのだ!) シナモンパンケーキにメイプルシロップとフルーツ。そしてさらにフルーツ入りのヨーグルトを注文。どちらもほんとにフルーツたっぷりでとても素敵な盛り付け。とってもおいしかった。素敵だったのは食べ物だけじゃない。店内のインテリア、とくにお花模様の壁紙がとってもラブリー。パンケーキで盛り上がりすぎて写真を撮るのを忘れてしまったけれど・・・。もしミュンヘンに立ち寄る機会があればぜひチェックしてみてください。朝ごはんは週末のみ。


After breakfast, we went to visit The Nymphenburg Palace. Everything was white and it was really really lovely! It was really cold though 😉 This was my first snow of the season as I missed it in Helsinki which had snow a couple of days earlier than Munich. I was in Belgrade with a lot of sunshine on the day, which wasn't bad either 😉

素敵なブレックファストの後はNymphenburg Palaceでお散歩。シティセンターに近いところにこんなお城と公園が。こういうところがミュンヘンのよいところだったりする。すべて白く染まったその風景はほんとにほんとに素敵だった。写真もたくさん撮ったし。でも超寒かった・・・なにはともあれ、これが私にとって今シーズンの初雪。この2-3日前にヘルシンキでも雪が降ったのだが、その日は暖かく晴れたベオグラードにいたので雪で盛り上がるヘルシンキの友達に遅れをとってしまった。って、そんな青空の下にいるのも楽しかったけどね。

One of good things about Munich is such lovely places are located close to the city center. You could easily access to the Nymphenburg Palace by tram or bus from the city center. 



I Found A Good Sushi Bar in Belgrade! – Ikki Sushi Bar

As I always do before travelling, I tried to find sushi restaurants which Japanese people recommend in Belgrade. We know about sushi the best in the world, of course! But this time, I didn't find any bit of information written by Japanese. And there were only two choices of sushi restaurants I found in the internet even without recommendation by Japanese (could have been more if I had some more patience, but not much more anyways!) 

ベオグラードに出かける前に、いつものように寿司屋情報をチェック。私がいつも参考にするのは日本人の人が書いているすし屋の評価。特に現地在住の日本人のブログなんかは信用できる。"すし屋 ベオグラード" で ぐぐってみたが・・・なにもめぼしい情報がない・・・しかたなく "sushi Belgrade" で検索すると、2件の店がヒット。(もうちょっと辛抱強く見たらもっとあるのかもしれないけど、なにかと忙しいわたくし。すし屋の検索にそんなに時間はかけられない・・・笑)

One out of two… Following my instinct after looking at their web pages, I chose to go to Sushi Bar Ikki! Very friendly waiter welcomed me when I finally found it after getting lost a bit in Belgrade city centre. And he brought me wet wipe which reminds me of Japan a lot (above picture)

2件のうちから1件。お店のウェブページを見比べてたぶんこっちと思ったイッキ・バールに決定。店の名前はどうなんだかっていう感じではあるが写真がおいしそう。ベオグラードのシティセンターでちょっと道に迷いながらもお店に到着。とてもフレンドリーなスタッフが出迎えてくれた。2階のテーブル席に着くと早速おしぼりが! おしぼりってなんとも日本的(おしぼりの件はイスタンブールのすし屋に行ったときにも書いたけど)。



There were a lot of selections in the menu and I chose small size of sushi set to taste different kinds of sushi. To my surprise, small set has 14 pieces of sushi which is usually large size or more in Finland and maybe in other countries as well.  Medium has 20pcs and Large has 26 pcs, the waiter explained to me when I asked about the other sets from my curiosity!!! Serbians love sushi and they need big portion, he added ;-) 


Having had a first bite, I was impressed by the rice and wondered if there was a Japanese chef. I asked about it but the waiter said the chef was Serbian!!! It was cooked and prepared right!!! Often rice is not done right when it's cooked by non-Japanese chefs though. As to fish, I liked salmon the best 🙂 Even though I had wondered if I could eat 14 pieces, each piece was small enough for me to eat all of them happily 🙂


After finishing dinner, I had to ask for help from the waiter to find out how to go back to the hotel by bus. He was really kind and checked it in the internet. (I went to the restaurant from the other place and didn't know the direct route to the hotel). 


Good sushi and super kind staffs! If I ever had another chance to visit Belgrade, I would definitely go to Ikki sushi bar again!


Awesome Sushi Experience in Sofia, Bulgaria



I ate sushi in Helsinki yesterday. And I ate sushi in Sofia today! I got up at 3am, walked in the heavy rain for twenty minutes to get to the station to catch a bus to Helsinki airport. My flight left Helsinki at 6:35am and arrived at Sofia at 12:30pm via Munich. Hotel staff came to pick me up at the airport. He told me he had been to Japan and enjoyed it a lot! We talked about Tokyo on the way to the hotel though he was originally trying to show and tell me about Sofia 😉 Anyhow, a long morning, I got totally tired by the time I got to the hotel. So, I decided to have a low-key day. 

Main activity on such a low-key day was to try sushi in Sofia as I do whenever I travel. A Bulgarian friend who used to live in Tokyo strongly recommended the restaurant, Sasa. And of course, I trusted such a recommendation! And she was right!!! Their sushi was awesome as well asl the yuzu prawn appetizer I chose as the photo in the menu lookes super. It tasted as super as the photo. Bliss:)
All of the sushi was delicious but among them, fatty salmon was special. It was served with a little bit sweeter soy sauce and grated Japanese radish. The harmony of those were great and I liked it a lot!
In addition to the lovely food, the restaurant had a nice view of Sofia from the 18th floor. Also their customer service was as good as we have in Japan 🙂 Funny to talk this much about Japanese restaurant on my first day in Sofia but it was such as day. Tomorrow, I will go to some famous sights and experience more Bulgalia!

Trakai – Castle and Kibinai (Lithuania)

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I visited Vilnius, Lithuania, last weekend. It was quite a short trip of one night & two days but it is only one-hour flight from Helsinki. I didn't plan to see a lot of sights during such a short trip but wanted to visit Trakai castle located on an island in the Lake Galvė. I saw several pictures of Trakai castle and they looked so beautiful. It is located only 28km away from Vilnius and can be easily reached by bus or train. But I decided to join a tour which is much easier than taking public transport and walk to the castle. I am glad that I took a tour as I could hear a lot about Lithuania's history, economy, food, Trakai and the castle. It was really shocking to hear that average monthly income in the country was only 450€. 

先週末はリトアニアの首都ヴィルニュスに1泊旅行。海外旅行ではあるけれど飛行機でたったの1時間。短い旅行なのでいろんなところに観光に行くつもりはなかったけれど1箇所だけとても行きたいところがあった。ヴィルニュスから28キロ離れた場所にあるトラカイ城。湖に浮かぶ島に位置したその城の様子を写真で見て、ぜひ行ってみたかったのだ。トラカイまではバスや電車で行ってもそんなに遠くないけれど、もっと簡単に行ける現地の半日ツアーに参加。ツアーのよいところは、行き帰りの電車やバスの時間を気にしなくていいということもあるけれど、ガイドからいろいろな話を聞けるのがとても楽しい。トラカイに着くまでの間、リトアニアの経済事情、歴史、食べ物、トラカイとお城について、いろんな話を聞いた。一番驚いたのはリトアニアの平均月収。450€ というのはショックだった。

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Trakai castle was not as big as I expected but it was quite interesting to listen and see the history in each room of the castle. And there were a lot of tourist as I expected. 


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On the way to the castle, the tour guide told us about what we MUST eat when we visit Trakai. It was a pasty called "kibinai". It is almost like cornish pasty but not quite 😉 There were different kind of fillings available but when I asked the waitress, she told me the one with mutton filling was the original. So, I ate the original kibinai. And I also had the "pink soup" which I had read about so many times in the blogs written by Japanese people who visited Lithuania. Of course, "pink soup" is not the name of the soup but only my way of calling the soup 😉 It is cold beetroot soup. And it was cold! I liked both kibinai and the soup a lot. And it was perfect to eat kibinai which was still hot from the kitchen and cold soup. And today, (Monday after the trip) I was thinking of both dishes when I saw the boring menu in our office canteen 😉  


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I googl-ed about kibinai just now and got to know the restaurant I ate kibinai was often mentioned as the best place for kibinai! I had no idea about it but lucky me! I am happy for it : ) It is really easy to find the restaurant, Senoji Kibininė , when you go to Trakai castle. 

ところで、このキビナイを食べたレストラン、実はキビナイならこの店で的なとても人気の店だということを今日発見。キビナイについて詳しい情報を求めてぐぐったところ、一番お薦めのお店らしい。全然知らなかったけど、ラッキー。どおりでおいしかったはず!このお店、トラカイ城の湖をはさんで向かいにあるので見つけるのも簡単。Senoji Kibininė 、もしトラカイに行く機会があったらぜひキビナイをお試しあれ。

Sushi in Edinburgh and Frankfurt.. and a Photo from Frankfurt

On the day Japan won to Spain at their first football match at London 2012, we also had victory in finding great Japanese restaurant in Edinburgh. We were so tired after the return trip standing on the busy train between Edinburgh and Glasgow and watching two football matches in a row. We were so so so tired! We wanted to have dinner to get some energy to go back to Edinburgh but didn't have energy to find a restaurant. Still, we didn't give up eating at good restaurant…



Luckily, I had a good guidebook which listed the genuine Japanese restaurant, Bonsai which was located no far from our hotel. Unlike all other Japanese restaurants I visited in Europe, there wasn't set menu but we chose what we liked from the menu and they were served beautifully! And they all tasted great! It was taste of Japan : ) Among all those delicious sushi, unagi (eel) was outstanding! 

そんな状態でガイドブックを頼りに見つけたこのお店、Bonsai (盆栽)、これが大当たり。ヨーロッパでお寿司を食べるときはいつもセットで頼むのだが、このお店はセットなし。好きなものを頼んで友達と一貫ずつ(日本っぽくおすしは2貫で出てくる)。こんな風に盛り付けられたおすしの登場に、疲れていたのを忘れて大盛り上がり!見かけだけではなく味も上々。特にうなぎがやわらかくておいしかった。こんなおいしいうなぎのお寿司が海外で食べられるなんて期待してなかったし。


There was Japan's football shirt with No 10 and Shunsuke Nakamura's autograph on the wall! He is one of my most favorite Japanese football player and I was happy to know he had also eaten at the restaurant. (And I happened to be wearing Japan's No 10 shirt ;-) 



By the way, I flew from Helsinki to Edinburgh via Frankfurt and had severn hours of layover at Frankfurt. By looking at the information about what I could do in Frankfurt, I thought shopping would be optimal for me 😉 So, I went to the most popular shopping street (according to my search in the internet) Zeil Fussgängerzone (pedestrian street) to look at the shops but didn't find anything to buy, unfortunately. Of course, I ate sushi in Frankfurt.  "Mikuni" was very authentic Japanese restaurant and I had  sushi set which came with small appetizer and miso soup. (25€). The atmosphere was very Japanese with the Japanese staffs and interior decoration but somewhat sushi wasn't as great as I expected from the atmosphere and reviews in the web pages though it was fairly good. My expectation was too high, I guess 😉

ところでヘルシンキからエジンバラに行くときにはフランクフルトを経由したのだが、なんと乗り継ぎ時間が7時間。あまりに時間があるので市内に出て買い物・・・フランクフルトで一番のショッピングストリートという評判のZeil Fussgängerzone (ここは歩行者天国)に行っていろんなお店を見たけれど特に欲しいものが見つからず。でもここでもお寿司を!"Mikuni"(三国)でいただいた。このお店はとても日本風。スタッフも全員日本人だし、インテリアもとても日本。古い畳の座敷もあったり。その雰囲気とインターネットで見た評判がとてもよかったので、とてもとても期待していたのだが・・・たぶん期待が高すぎ、そこそこおいしかったのだが感動!というまではいかなかった。ちなみにいただいたのは25€の上寿司のセット。お味噌汁と酢の物と漬物がついてきた。(そんなところもとても日本的。)


There isn't much to tell you about Frankfurt as I was just in the shopping malls and eating sushi 😉 but here is the photo of the architecture I was impressed most in Frankfurt.



London 2012 – Japan vs Spain at Glasgow

I just came back from Scotland where I saw an exciting football match between Japan and Spain. It was my first summer Olympic experience and I liked it : ) 

The match was held at the Hampden Park in Glasgow. It took about 45 minutes from Edinburgh where I stayed for five days to Glasgow by train and there was the courtesy train running from Glasgow central station to the station where the stadium is located at. 

Even though the stadium wasn't full, there were a lot of people travelling to the Hampden Park. (The photo below is queue for the courtesy train.)

グラスゴーで初めての夏のオリンピック体験。本対スペインの男子サッカーを観戦。私が滞在していたエジンバラからグラスゴーまでは電車で45分くらい。グラスゴーの中央駅から試合の行われたHampden Parkの最寄駅までは無料の電車で。残念ながらスタジアムは満員にならなかったけれど、たくさんの人がグラスゴーの駅から会場に向かっていた。(下の写真が無料の電車に乗る人の列)


Prior to the match, bagpipe played music. Very Scottish!  試合開始に先立ち、スコットランドらしくバグパイプの演奏。


There were many many exciting and disappointing moments! Japan did very very well!  and we WON! Amazing and I am super proud of my country 🙂



By the way, Spain is, of course, one of the best teams in the world and I am happy to see the famous players! It was a long day queueing a lot (especially the queue to the station on the way back was long!) but I am extremely happy for Japan's victory and over all experience of the Olympic football experience. Looking forward to seeing more and more good play of team Japan!

スペインの有名な選手も目の前で見られたし。朝から夜まで1日がかりでくたくたになったオリンピックな1日。(帰りは電車に乗れるまでまるで鈴鹿のF1を思い出す行列) でも行けてよかった 🙂 日本代表、今後も楽しみ!


Luxembourg – Pretty Old Town, Wonderful dinner and wonderful hotel : )

On the rainy Sunday morning a friend who I travelled together in Brussels left for Tokyo via Helsinki and I took train to Luxembourg where I hadn't been. What I knew about the small country was that it is part of BENELUX countries and there is European Court of Justice. Apart from those, I had no idea about Luxembourg. 

雨模様のその日曜日の朝、ブリュッセルを一緒に旅した友達はヘルシンキ経由で東京に向かい、私は電車でルクセンブルグへと向かった。まだ行ったことのない小さな国ルクセンブルグ、知っていることといえばベネルクス三国の1つだということ(中学とか高校とか絶対テストにでるキーワード 笑) と 欧州司法裁判所があるということ。

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 It had a small old town which was pretty. 

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CertificateBut the highlight of the short visit for me was the restaurant I had dinner with a friend with out much expectation. There seemed to be a lot of good restaurants in Luxembourg but, unfortunately, we arrived there on Sunday and most listed restaurants in the gourmet web sites were closed. It took some effort (a lot of google-ing) to find the one but we have got lucky!

The restaurant, Chiggeri, has Guinness World Record for having the most varieties of wine. Honestly, it doesn't concern me in practice when I don't drink it but doesn't it sound good?

そんなルクセンブルグで一番印象に残ったのは美しいオールドタウンではなく、ディナーを食べたこのレストラン。事前調査によるとルクセンブルグにはグルメレストランがたくさんあるのだが、有名どころは軒並み日曜日が休み。ぐぐりにぐぐって見つけたのがこのレストラン、Chiggeri。 なんと世界でもっともいろんな種類のワインが飲めるとしてギネスブックに載っているのだ。お酒の飲めない私には関係ないといえば関係ないけど、なんだか響きがよい感じ。

We had three-dish course and all of them were lovely! We had scallops with "yuzu" taste as appetizer, some white fish with leak as main… And dessert was bliss! Fondant au chocolat was meltingly delicious and framboise ice cream was … I don't find a word to express it exactly…! I mean it was speechlessly yummy! The young water seemed to be delighted to see us enjoying the dishes so much 🙂

3品のディナーコースは柚子味(なんとここで柚子とはまったく期待してなかった)のホタテの前菜で始まり、長ネギが付け合せの白身の魚がメイン、そしてデザート。このデザートがほんとに絶品。今まで食べたデザートの中で一番おいしかったんじゃないかと思うくらい。口の中でとろけるフォンダンショコラ、濃厚、でも軽い、そして甘すぎず。フランボワーズのアイスクリームもどう表現していいのか分からないがとにかく絶品!無言でいただく(笑 ほんっとにおいしかった。


 Just as a side note for those who started to feel like visiting Luxembourg, I recommend the hotel, Grand Hotel Cravat. Great staff, great location and great breakfast. Interior decoration, hotel staff and how the hotel is are something I could only imagine every hotel had in 1940s or 50s (just in my imagination world 😉 oh, also, you don't need many days to explore the town 😉

I stayed in Luxembourg only for 24 hours but it was filled with fun 🙂

参考までに もしルクセンブルグに行く機会があったら、ホテルは Grand Hotel Crava がお薦め。場所もいいし、ホテルのスタッフもとても丁寧で親切、そして朝ごはんが素敵。なんだか1940年代とか50年代のホテルはこんなんだったんだろうな~と思わせるインテリアとかスタッフの服装、ホテルの造りも・・




Brussels for Gourmet

2012-07-14 18.05.01

I have worked with a super gourmet manager. He knew all about food and wine in the world. He told me Belgium was one of the best places to eat great food as they have as good food as in France being located next to France but the prices are cheaper than France not being France. 


First time when I visited the county, I had the best-ever waffles in Brugge. It was light, tasty and even melting in my mouth. Though I thought the piece was huge at the first glance, I finished it easily and wanted to have more. After a while, I was still thinking about the waffles and decided to visit Brussels to have waffles and mussels. (I love mussels, too!) Unfortunately, I didn't know about two different kinds of waffles, i.e. Brussels and Liege waffles, and the one I had in Brugge was Brussels waffle. In Brussels I had Liege waffle and I was totally disappointed. I was almost convinced that I would have to go to Brugge for my dream waffles.


But this time in Brussels, I was lucky to have a friend who came with a guidebook for girls published in Japan (We have all those different kind of guidebook in Japan ;-)  It explained the difference of the waffles and told us where to eat them.


Out of several choices in the guidebook, we headed to the Dadoy at the Grand-Place, for Brussels waffles. They had a shop on the ground floor and a tea room on the first floor. The tea room was quite busy with only one waiter serving. Luckily we didn't have to wait much but more and more customers came in while we were eating waffles. Many of them were, not surprisingly, Japanese tourists ;-)  

でも今回のブリュッセル訪問。日本から来た友達が持ってきた女子のためのガイドブック(名前なんだっけ?)にはそんな情報もばっちり。もちろんお薦めのお店も。そんな中から街の中心グランプラスにあるDadoy へ。1階はビスケットを中心としたお店、そして2階がティールーム。とても混んでいたけれどわたしたちはほとんど待たずにテーブルへ。でもその後もお客さんは続々と。日本人観光客もいっぱい。(そう、このお店はとても有名な老舗!)

This is the waffle I had 🙂 I ordered the simplest waffle in the menu but I will have the one with ice cream next time. I was too excited to think about what else I would have with the waffle, I guess… 😉 Apart from the forgotten ice cream, it was really lovely and melting in my mouth : ) It might be hard to imagine melting waffle if you have had only Liege waffles which are more commonly available on the street shops and in Japan (and many other places, I guess). But, believe me, it melts in the mouth and you could eat more and more. (I am sure you are imagining it now 😉


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Every morning in Brussels, we had either (or both) pain au chocolat or (and) croissant with a cup (or two cups) of coffee. Among the ones we tried, I think the croissant at Charli was the best! I didn't eat pain au chocolat there but according to my friend, it was also great! I just had a look at their web page to put the link to this blog and the feeling I had in the Boulangerie came back. The web page shows how charming the boulangerie is and how passionate they are about what they produce. If you are also bread and pastries lover, check it out even if you don't have a plan to visit Brussels now! You will know what I mean 🙂



We also enjoyed yummy seafood in Brussels. We loved oyster and prawn feast at Toucan-sur-Mer in the very lively atmosphere.

ブリュッセルではシーフードも大満足。Toucan-sur-Mer で食べた牡蠣やえびの盛り合わせには大興奮。

2012-07-13 22.33.15  

And we had tasty mussels at La Boussole merely following my instinct which often works, especially  for great food 😉 In addition to their great food, we loved the homey atmosphere and were happy to be at the restaurant in our last evening in Brussels (this time 😉

最後の夜は直感でホテルの近くのLa Boussoleへ。ここではおいしいムール貝。料理もお店の雰囲気も家族が工夫を凝らして手作りで作っている感じがとても素敵だった。


Oh, I shouldn't forget about lovely dessert we had at La Boussole .そしてこの店で食べたデザートもシンプルでおいしかった。ごちそうさま!