Off The Menu
Japa Bowl

An intimate group of eight joined us at Cafe Japa Bowl where Steve, the owner, shared some of his personal favourite dishes with ingredients available to them locally. This was our first event, and the feedback we got so good we decided to keep on doing them!
 

Since it was such a cold evening, Japa Bowl greeted us with warm Macha tea. Once we had warmed up they served a lovely sake, welcoming us with an overflow pour. The sake cups (called ochoko) are placed into a wooden Masu box. The sake is poured until it overflows into the box. This is a traditional way to show appreciation and express generosity. It is also an act of celebration, suggesting we should live in the moment, and enjoy the fleeting moment being shared.

Marinated Lotus Root

We started with an amuse bouche – marinated lotus root.  We love this dish, it is actually made from the stem of the lotus flower. It has a crisp taste and texture similar to jicama marinated in a sweet soy based sauce.

 

Spicy Pork Salad

The spicy salad was served with an option of pork belly or marinated beef. Here they let their love of Korean cuisine come through with the tasty dressing.

Buttered Scallop

Next, we were served a delicate buttered scallop with red pepper and green onion. In Asian cuisine, the scallop is served with more of it left intact. A couple of our dinner guests found this off-putting at first, but they were brave and tried it – and loved it! That’s part of what these Off The Menu events are intended to do – introduce people to new things, give them a chance to learn, and push their boundaries!

Kake and Shrimp Tempura

This was followed up with tempura kake and shrimp. Kake refers to a mix of vegetable strips which are fried in tempura batter. It’s very popular in Japanese homes, where it is often a way to use up vegetables to prevent food waste. A favourite comfort food for many, reminding them of home.  

Soba Style Ramen in Sweet Wasabi Sauce

We were thrilled to be served soba style ramen noodles, which is a personal favourite of ours. The ramen noodles were served in a very rich sauce that had the heat of wasabi contrasted with a delicious sweetness. This was served with nori (roasted seaweed) and green onion. This is a much-loved summer dish in Japan as the broth is served cold. Rumour has it this will make an appearance on their menu come spring.

Karaage Chicken

We were thrilled to be served soba style ramen noodles, which is a personal favourite of ours. The ramen noodles were served in a very rich sauce that had the heat of wasabi contrasted with a delicious sweetness. This was served with nori (roasted seaweed) and green onion. This is a much-loved summer dish in Japan as the broth is served cold. Rumour has it this will make an appearance on their menu come spring.

Mochi Ice Cream

For the last dish diners had an option of ice cream: mochi, red bean or green tea. Mochi is pounded sticky rice that is wrapped around ice cream. It has an addictive soft and chewy texture.

Subscribe to Mailing List.  We respect your inbox and send emails infrequently.
Choose your interests
Choose your frequency

About Culinary Slut

We are not professional chefs; nor are we professional food reviewers or travel writers. We are, however, food and travel obsessed. Food is more than fuel, and we experience it (whether at home or abroad) through a lens polished by our travel experiences. Food is tradition, history, family, celebration. It brings us together, it reflects the world we live in and where we came from. In many ways, food defines communities and our cultures. It can be creative, joyful and comforting. Food is life.   

We come from humble backgrounds and that allows us to appreciate humble noshing; at the same time
, we have achieved some small measure of success that allows us to travel and gives us access to culinary artistry. We both come from cultures where food is central to community and family and is symbolic of friendship.
 

A quick word about reviews: you will not find negative reviews on Culinary Slut. While we may poke fun at times, it is as much at ourselves for risking food and travel experiences that are a bit "off the wall" (or the beaten path).  That sometimes leads us to experiences that are a bit less-than-perfect (and that's putting it mildly). But, if we don't like something, we just don't post about it. Instead, we’re here to have fun and share our experiences with you in the hopes that you'll find them as fun and wondrous as we do.

Site Map

Instagram