Yukisan, Plymouth

Recently, we visited Plymouth for the day. We started off with lunch at Yukisan, Devon’s first and oldest Japanese restaurant. Inside the surroundings are quite nice, with Chinese art on display. For a Monday lunchtime, it was quiet. They have a vast menu, but we opted for the lunch set menu – 3 courses for £13.95. The lunch set menu doesn’t have a large range, and not much details on what is included. I opted for the miso salmon, meat bento box and green tea ice cream. My partner chose the prawn tempura and the seafood bento box.

Our starters arrived. The prawn tempura was a mix of prawn and sweet potato. The batter was quite light and it came with dipping sauces. The salmon was delicious. The sauce was full of different flavours – simply delicious.

What followed was our bento boxes. The meat one came with chicken katsu, chicken stir-fried with ginger and spring onions, edamame and cucumber sushi rolls. I would have liked more variety in terms of meat – beef or pork? Sauce was given for the chicken, but just a small amount, so the chicken felt a little dry.

The seafood came with the same salmon as the starter and the prawn tempura, which we also had for the starters! The menu doesn’t give details of what is included in these bento boxes, but when we ordered, the waitress could have mentioned that the prawn tempura would also be featured in the bento box, so we could have ordered something different.

I had green tea ice cream to finish off. It was ok, but not the best quality ice cream.

People have given Yukisan rave reviews about the food and service. I felt a little disappointed – perhaps it was the dishes that we chose? If we were to return, I would select from the main menu instead. The service was good, if a little slow to start off with.

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London Part 8: National Portrait Gallery and Covent Garden

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We headed to the National Portrait Gallery next (just outside is the Mermans fountain). My sister is a great lover of art and this is the place to be. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to look at everything in details, which just goes to prove how much there is to see.

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Lots of famous painters are here from all periods of history and you can see the change of subject matter and styles as the displays get more modern. It is hard to navigate, so I would suggest paying £1 for a map. If you have a great interest in art, I would also suggest getting an audio guide for a small charge. Unfortunately, there were no more guides in English at the time. The museum is free to enter so it makes a great and inexpensive spot to visit.

Nearby is Nelson’s Column.

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During out short trip, I wanted to go to Covent Garden – it is very good for shopping. In particular, I wanted to go to Artbox, a shop that sells lots of cute items from Japan and Korea. Artbox now features a Tofu Cute concession stand…my favourite online shop for snacks and cute stuff!

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Everything is really cute that it took me a long time to decide what to buy! Items in this shop are a little more on the dear side because they are imported from Japan and Korea, but they are really unique.

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Then we headed off to Shoryu Ramen to eat. Look, each table has garlic on the side!

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When we first entered, we were taken aback when all the staff loudly greeted us in Japanese and someone sounded the gong. It is certainly something I have never experienced in the UK before!

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Heh heh.

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My sister was feeling brave and ordered the flight of sakes (£6.50 for 3). The waiter talked about the taste of each one and recommended the order they should be drank in.

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I went for the summer set menu at £22. This includes a Japanese inspired cocktail (Yuzu Mojito)…

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Chicken Hirata bun…

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and Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu. The broth was so lovely!

The food was delicious and the service was friendly and warm. I was left feeling so full I sadly had no room for dessert, which looked really good! As we left, everybody said bye to us in Japanese!

 

Waku Waku DIY Candy

Japanese DIY Candy sets are very popular – some are very inventive and clever in their ways to help you make some sweet candy! I recently got a few sets from my Tofu Cute Lucky Bag. Today’s post is the Waku Waku DIY Candy set, which allows you to make soft chewy animal lollipops.

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Included in the set are some plastic moulds, 4 lollipop sticks and two tubes of soft candy – one pink strawberry and one yellow lemon flavoured. Instructions are in Japanese on the back of the packet, but there are pictures diagrams too. If you need things making clearer, there are various tutorials on Youtube which are helpful – just search Waku Waku DIY Candy.

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So the aim is to use the soft candy tubes, which are like modelling clay, to make the pattern of the lollipop (in this edition we have a panda and a giraffe). This included making tiny balls for the eyes, paws and ears – which is very fiddly! Then complete with the alternate colour to make the body. Fill in the other half and then compress the two sides together, insert the lollipop stick and hey presto, you should have a ultra cute animal sweet!

My problem is that I am not a refined person nor very nimble with my fingers so I ended up with a bear-like monster. It doesn’t look like the one on the packet at all haha.

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The second animal to make is the giraffe, and if you thought making the balls for the eyes and paws was tricky, take a look at the back of the giraffe! Lots of time and patience required! I ended up with something like this…

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This feels like one of the more trickier DIY candy sets – in theory it sounds simple, but in practice, it was a little difficult and quite frustrating. Someone with a steady hand and patience might like this and get good results but not for me. The taste of the animal sweets was quite nice – very fruity. The moulds are quite cute in themselves too.

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Japanese DIY Candy sets are quite varied and there are some that I have tried which I quite like. The fun is more in the making of the sweets but I didn’t quite like this one, but it tasted ok.