Kobe (神戸)

Okay, i’m trying to rush and complete my travel journal so that i can keep up with the current time.

On 19 May, i travelled to Kobe with my classmate Liu Chu (nicknamed ‘Chu Chu’). Chu is currently choosing a school to do her graduate studies and she is going to Kobe to seek out her mentoring professor. I am simply tagging along. (HAHA!)

And as you know, Okayama is considered a rather ‘inaka’ (countryside) place if you compare it to Kobe, which is a big coastal city. People ride the subway instead of bicycles and there is a convenience store like every 200 metres.

Caution: This is gonna be mostly about food!!

We basically went crazy when we arrived at Kobe. It’s as if we had been so deprived of all the city atmosphere!!

Our first stop:

RAMEN – Sanpoumen さんぽうめん

Actually i know nothing about this ramen shop. We went in simply because of the magazine feature pasted out their shop (which says they are famous for smth right?) and it turned out that they really are famous. After we started queuing, people just started lining behind us and it became quite packed. In this shop there is ‘mu-ryou kaitama’ (無料買玉) which means you could keep asking for second, third servings of noodles for free! (*Waves to all the Kuishinbos out there*)

I’m a self-admitted kuishinbo but i have never ordered extra helpings of noodles because 1 bowl is filling enough but a small-built guy in his 20s, who was sitting next to Chu kept raising his hand for second and third servings (and more).The both of us simply stared at each other in disbelief. (0.0)

Anyway, this ramen has a very thick soup base made from Tonkotsu (pig bones). It’s sooo thick it’s almost creamy. They are famous for their tsukemen (つけ面) which you have the noodles and the soup separate and you dip the noodles in the soup and slurp it. People who love their noodles and soup thicker would really like this shop. The taste is strong yet fragrant. Tonkotsu soup base are usually oily so don’t expect it to be healthy. If you’re interested, you can locate this shop near the Sannomiya station. Here’s a map:

Kakigori (Crushed Ice)

Chu loves crushed ice, i love sweets and pastries. Kobe is the ultimate sweets haven apart from Tokyo. I cannot live without soft cream and she cannot live without her crushed ice. Imagine our delight when we passed by Eikokuya (英国屋) which featured a huge crushed ice topped with soft cream! (OMG)

Matcha milk ice and Strawberry milk ice

It is seriously huge. I couldn’t finish it all by myself and yet Chu could and she helped me with my remainder! She is a kakigori fan after all.

This milk ice costs about ¥650 if i remember correctly and it’s really the best kakigori dessert i have ever tasted in Japan, in terms of taste and price.

Morozoff

Before i left for Kobe, i had asked Fumie-san for suggestions on the must-eat sweets over here. The first that she mentioned was this — Morozoff. Apparently, it’s pretty famous among Japanese people.
Of course we can’t miss it out!

Rare cheesecake (front), Matcha pudding (back)

The place actually looks pretty high-end and the price is the same as what you can expect from the looks of the place. However, it is packed on a Sunday afternoon. The cheesecake and it’s pudding are the recommended menu items and so we gave it a go.

Everything is good but i like the pudding the most. The taste of the matcha is strong but not artificial and the adzuki beans are not overly sweet. No wonder the pudding is it’s signature!

I’m sorry if i made the two of us sound like pigs because it is true that we didn’t do anything else apart from food hunting. Chu has a much greater appetite than me and this is how our conversation usually go after a meal:

Me: Gosh, i’m stuffed. Are you full?

Chu: Me? Hmmm.. No feeling actually.

Me: (Shocked face)

In the evening, we went to the Chinatown in Kobe.

It really feels very Chinatown isn’t it? With all the lanterns.

By this time, i already have no more space in my stomach to eat further. But guess what we saw?!

Kurobuta bun

Black pig? Eat!

Chu, with black pig bun in her hands
Black pig bun (zoom shot)

Even though it’s black pig, the meat is not black… (-.-)

Panda bun

So cute….! Eat!

Panda bun (inside)

Actually it’s just normal red bean bun.

And since i haven’t eaten dim sum for a long time, we continued… (Eat!)

Chives dumpling & Har gow
Fried mochi

Don’t eat this cold because it’s not nice. Be sure to ask for a hot one!

Finally, the eating spree stopped. I had to. I need to rest my stomach. The same conversation went with Chu,

Me: OMG! I cannot take it anymore! Are you full already???

Chu: Hmm… I can still eat though.

Me: (Jaw drops)

I remember telling Chu that i had been having a craving for this yolk custard bun which is common in dim sum restaurants but i couldn’t find one in Okayama so i’m so gonna eat this in Kobe.

And it just has to happen at this time when i’m already 120% full.

WE PASSED BY A DIM SUM RESTAURANT. WITH CUSTARD BUNS….

Chu: You sure you don’t want to eat? We’re going back tomorrow, you won’t have another chance by then.

Me: B…But i’m 120% full already..

Chu: You SURE you don’t want?

Me: (Internal struggle) O….Okay (Surrenders)

Result:

Custard buns (non-flowing type)
Pan-fried carrot cake

I was pretty disappointed that the custard doesn’t flow in the buns because i am craving for the flowing type. In Singapore you can easily find this kind but not here. Chu later on told me that the Hong Kong version also is not the flowing type so i gathered that the Sg one is still the best.

We didn’t want to order the carrot cake but the restaurant staff told us that we cannot order just one! So we just got another one to fulfill the order. Nevertheless, it tasted not bad.

Okay, by the time we walked out of the dim sum restaurant, i was already so full, i was walking like a pregnant woman. Don’t you find that the human stomach is amazing? Wow, i think i have eaten 3 day’s worth of food.

We returned to the hotel:

Hotel Tor Road

It’s a very British/ European design-influenced hotel.

Bed

Here is the bed. BUT the main focus is not the bed, it’s e pajamas!! We had cute checkered long pajamas that looks so teddy-bearish!

And so the camera action begins.

Haha it was sooOOOOOOOO FUN.

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