Saturday, November 23, 2013

Android Maid Cafe and One Piece Restaurant Baratie

Androidol CafeEarlier this year (2013), another maid-type cafe opened up with a new twist.  The android idol cafe, where your server is a humanoid android woman (acted by the waitresses there).  As you interact with them they become more human and show more emotion towards you.  It is an interesting concept and I think the ladies must be darn good actors.  You can also pick a personality type for them and pay extra for some on stage karaoke, etc.  Pictures of the cafe make it look like a pretty nice establishment that is hoping to attract the salarymen in the area for a bit of relaxation.  Not located in Akihabara, it is in Akasaka.


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Androidol Caffe
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Akasaka 3-17-1 KDG Building 1F

Official Site: http://androidol-caffe.com/


http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html

Baratie, One Piece Restaurant at Fuji TV
Fuji TV opened Baratie, a One Piece themed restaurant, at their headquarters building in Odaiba in June, 2013.  Seems like all kinds of anime themed stores and restaurants are opening these days in Tokyo.  There is also the One Piece Store in Shibuya, the Shonen Jump theme park in Ikebukuro, and all of the Shonen Jump stores to see too.

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Baratie is based on a restaurant that appears in the One Piece anime/manga and it is located on the seventh floor of the Fuji TV building on the rooftop garden.   There are many One Piece themed dishes and it kind of sounds like a Disney theme restaurant as there are life-sized figures, cosplay, character voices coming from the kitchen, etc.  However it is a full restaurant and I don't believe it is cheap, but if you're a Luffy fan, it is probably going to be worth it.  The Fuji TV building is a cool piece of architecture with an observation gallery in the big ball there, and it is right near Pallet Town, and the giant Gundam / Gundam Front too.  You can do a lot of sightseeing and eating here.

Oh yeah,  Fuji TV has a big gift shop on the main floor too!

One Piece Restaurant Baratie 
Address: Fuji TV Building 7F, 2-4-8 Odaiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Official Site: http://op-bt.com

More Tokyo Highlights and Anime Attractions on this site.


More Recent One Piece News
http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/06/17/one-piece-themed-restaurant-named-baratie-to-open-in-tokyo
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/11/02/limited-edition-one-piece-gum-gum-fruit-treats-on-sale-at-7-eleven-japan/
http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/11/20/one-piece-celebrates-300-million-copies-with-cruise-across-japans-prefectures



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nissin Kitsune and Tempura Instant Ramen + KING Cup Chicken Ramen

I ordered a bunch of stuff from Japan awhile back and have been slowly eating my way through all sorts of instant ramen goodness (yes - I'm using that term for what some people call junk food).  Today, I'm posting about three more kinds of instant noodle in a cup or bowl and talking about the miracle of adding boiling water and waiting three measly minutes for some noodles to be ready in a savory broth.  The Kitsune and Tempura Instant ramen are usually available year round, but I'm not so sure about the Giant Cup Chicken Ramen.

If you're looking for a fix and cannot find it in your area, check out HLJ.com as they have good ordering, packing, and shipping system.  As a business analyst myself, I think they have one of the more interesting systems for determining weight and optimal packing, and then shipping than most vendors.  Their system seems to be quite reliable too. Just remember to ship your bargain ramen at SAL rates to avoid making your ramen even more expensive.


Donbe Kitsune Instant Udon Noodle Bowl
I should have been a fox (kitsune) as they love deep fried tofu.  This instant ramen has a simple soy broth and the thicker udon noodles.  The highlight of the noodle bowl is a nice big hunk of fried tofu or inari that is both sweet and savory.  This is a very tasty noodle dish, but you have to not mind a piece of slightly soggy and spongy tofu after it has absorbed some of the broth.  In Japan, Kitsune can be the messengers of the gods and they are supposed to love eating inari tofu!


Kitsune Udon

A piece of dehydrated tofu and a simple flavour packet.
Add hot water and wait 3 minutes.
Nice thick noodles! Yum.

http://tokyoexcess.blogspot.ca/p/my-sf-writing.html

Donbe Tempura Instant Soba Noodle Bowl
This is another tasty bowl of instant noodles with a nice big disc of tempura to put on top.  This is another simple soy type broth with instant buckwheat noodles (soba) for noodles with a different taste and texture.  The noodles are firmer with a chewier consistency and there is a nice sized tempura disc in its own little package.  Dump in the flavour packet, add boiling water, wait three minutes, then put in the disc of tempura.  I don't do it too early because you'll end up with completely soggy tempura instead of crunchy fried goodness with little pieces of vegetable. Was quite yummy.

If you can eat the real thing, there is also an app in the Apple App Store from Nissin to simulate this instant noodle bowl!  Click here to see my Apps page and look for the Itadaki Donbei link.

Instant Soba and Tempura noodles
Tempura disc, flavour packet, and soba noodles.

Tempura disc on the old noodles!

KING (Gigantor) Size Chicken Cup Noodle
I really enjoyed this particular cup of noodle as it was actually a lunch at work with some fruit and veggies one day.  It is a BIG cup of noodles of Nissin's traditional chicken ramen flavour with many extra fixings to go with it.  I like chicken ramen flavour a lot and was actually quite happy to see this particular cup noodle on offer for awhile.
King Chicken Cup Noodle
 The picture below shows that there are plenty of toppings for this ramen. Included are big chunks of chicken, green onions, eggs, cabbage, and some red peppers.  It was a tasty treat. Just like their regula  instant chicken ramen, the flavouring for the ramen is coated onto the noodles.  I need to see a factory secrets show to see what kind of processed food magic is being worked here.   I wrote about the original chicken ramen here.
Chicken ramen toppings.
Chicken Ramen done!

Size comparison between regular and King sized.
Closeup of the noodles!



Monday, November 11, 2013

An Anime Figure Classroom Diorama

This is quite the busy classroom that I put together from a bunch of mini-figures that I had from capsule toys, etc.  There are figures in it from Lucky Star, Evangelion, Please Teacher, Kamichu, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. I think it would be a madhouse if you were actually in this class.  So we have cosplayers, aliens, shrine maidens, time travellers, a goddess, clones, mecha pilots who pilot Evas, etc.  Nothing like diversity in the school.



A Display of Japanese Culture With Hatsune Miku and More

It is pretty obvious from this site that I like Japanese culture.  Their soft power export definitely works for me!  In the last little while we were redoing some display cases and here are a few photos of some of the displays.  The first one with a scifi Hatsune Miku in the foreground is one of my favourites!  Also, I finished my first draft of my scifi novel Neo Ace today! Hurray!  I'm now onto revisions before eventual publication at Amazon. Have a look here if you're interested in reading the draft for free or want to purchase an ebook.

I've been collecting the cute little Japanese coffee cans and other beverage cans for awhile and used them for a backdrop for the Hatsune Miku figure.  All around her are little Japanese food models from Rement of various displays you would typically find for a restaurant.  Very fun to set up, but fiddly with all of the little things and stacking.
A figure of Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere and Saber in fancy armour.  Again, there are some little models of traditional Japanese foods / meals and some tiny models of Japanese castles.

Some Japanese samurai armour, a kotatsu with all the fixins, and more little food models.  Some nicely detailed bento boxes in the foreground.
That's all for now.  I'll post another article about the little Rement food models later!  They're so detailed for their size.