Valentines: Got Myself an Ice Cream

Like Rock Hudson who promised that he would treat himself for an ice cream if he gets the acting-role he first-time auditioned for, I too promised myself in the past that I would treat myself for an ice cream in case I finally found my “significant other”.

smiling today! haha!

I am writing this because it is Valentine’s Day today, the day of hearts, the day of love and the day to celebrate with a “significant other”.  Unlike other Valentine Days in the past where I would just stay indoors, be quiet, sometimes be cranky and do nothing, I this year mustered a lot of chutzpah to be seen in public. 

With testicles the size of asteroids, I stepped out, I went out and smiled outdoors!  I decided to be cheery and light-hearted!  A good amount of it was spent in my office so as to beat a deadline, shop at the biggest people-infested mall for larger-sized shirts because I’m getting plumper and do a little grocery at a nearby hypermarket.  Included in my grocery haul was a pint of ice cream.

Yup, I decided to treat myself today for a big calorific amount of ice cream.  You may be wondering now if I finally find my “significant other”.  Let me answer it then…

ice cream!!!

Did you know that Rock Hudson went to his nearby diner and ordered for an ice cream despite knowing that he was not chosen for the acting role that he auditioned for?   Though sad and down he was nevertheless was full of hope.  Rock Hudson treat himself for a big goblet of an ice cream because he was proud of the courage he showed during the first time he auditioned.  

I got the strawberry flavor!  Happy Valentines everyone!

Tastes of Asahikawa

One unusual thing that I and my colleagues did in our most recent trip to Japan is that we decided to stay in a minimally advertised destination in Hokkaido.  Instead of staying in a more popular Sapporo or Furano, we decided to stay for 2 nights in a remote place called Asahikawa. 

And since there are limited tourist spots to go to (aside from going to a mall and a zoo), I and my colleagues decided to explore Asahikawa through its food.  Our first destination was the ramen house our hotel has recommended, the Ichikura Raman. 

with the asahikawa gang just outside ichikura raman (edwin, malou, gie and dominic) 

surprisingly clear to the palate yet with a distinct flavor of a ramen

 Since Isahikawa seem to be popular with shoyu-based ramen (shoyu: Japanese soy sauce), I settled and ordered the Okhotsk Shoyu Ramen.  This ramen according to the menu is composed with unique Hokkaido ingredients like Namuro dried salmon flakes, Esashi dried herring and Rishiri kelp from Oumu.  I was really happy that Ichikura Raman was the ramen place our hotel has recommended.  And aside from their ramen, one surprising dish in this joint was their Gyoza.  It was one of the best gyozas that I have tasted!

A lot of people say that it would be a sin for a tourist in Hokkaido if he/she failed or refuse to try the Hokkaido ice cream.  This soft frozen dairy is one plain ice cream that is simply made of milk.  It has no fancy flavor, no fancy add-ons and no fancy flairs for an ice cream.  For me, its plainness makes Hokkaido ice cream remarkably exquisite and amazingly elegant. 

happy crew handing me my creamy ice cream 

savoring every moment of yummy-ness!

Then, one of the highlights of our Asahikawa stay was the dinner at Jingisukan Daikokuya.  This restaurant is the top rated local-cuisine restaurant in Asahikawa as per Tripadvisor.  It is so popular people would have to wait and queue outside before they be given a table.  Specialty of the house was Hokkaido’s grill icon called Genghis Khan (also termed Jingisukan).

Like their sophisticated ice cream, Jingisukan is a must try in Hokkaido.  It is a unique style of yakiniku in which mutton and lamb are grilled on a convex skillet shaped like an upside-down bowl.  Since the meat are grilled over charcoal, we were surprised to see and experience the amount of smoke inside the popular restaurant.  We nevertheless did not complain because the smoke actually added up to the character and atmosphere of the establishment. 

outside the resto, waiting for our turn

 

an asahikawa highlight

I personally prefer beef over lamb, but the marinated flavor and the stunning taste of the meat served to us gave me some second thought if I really do prefer beef over lamb. Genghis Khan was strikingly delicious!

Asahikawa may not be of the same level as that of Osaka, Tokyo or Sapporo where there are tons to see and marvel at.  Asahikawa nevertheless has loads of gustatory surprises that tourists can taste and talk about.

Para maiba naman!