Sunday, February 22, 2015

Roller Derby in Yokota!

Last weekend we spent the night at Yokota Airbase because Kerri had a roller derby game there.  This was my (Jesse's) first time to watch an actual game, and it was a lot of fun!  The Yokosuka team won due to overwhelming numbers, skill and solidity, at least, that's why my limited perspective told me.  I'm still pretty new to the sport.  We'll get some pictures up soon.

We decided to stay Saturday night at the base because it's so cheap ($60 a night) and their base store has different (cheaper) stuff than our base's store.  So we were able to get some clothes for our upcoming trip to the Philippines (last two weeks of November).

And of course, there was the food.  Not on base, yuck!  We had heard of a nice Japanese Sakery that brews some beer too, so Kerri and I set off to find it in the rain after the game, leaving Rowan at the hotel happy with Chili's mac'n'cheese and a portable gaming system.  After about 45 minutes of walking we found the place, but it was almost 9pm and they were closing up.  It looks lovely though and we'd like to try to get there some other time (

So we decided to find the first thing we could and eat there.  As we approached the nearest restaurant we saw in front of us a small sign advertising curry.  Now Japanese curry is not like Indian or Thai curry, and while we like it now and then (and used to make it at home at least once a week), we weren't looking for that tonight.  As we got closer, we saw an Indian flag and two guys working behind bar seating in what was likely a repurposed ramen shop.  We went in and were amazed to see, in addition to the usual naan bread, chapati on the menu!  Our hopes were rising.  We had yet to have truly good Indian food in Japan.  Most Indian food is toned way down in terms of complexity of flavor to accommodate the Japanese palate.  Makes good business sense, but the food suffers.  They also rarely have more than naan for bread, and it is slightly sweet, to the point where I refuse to order it anymore.  We asked if we could order chapati and they said yes, and proceeded to make it from scratch in front of us!  We also tried a roasted chicken that was a nepalese specialty, samosas, and a couple of curries.  As each dish arrived we were blown away by the strong and complex flavors.  It was truly the best Indian we've had in Japan.  It's a tiny place with hardly any room to work, but those guys churned out amazing food.  (

Now, finding one "best in Japan so far" restaurant would have been enough to make this weekend a huge success, but two?  Are you crazy?  On the way home that night (another 45 minute walk), we passed by a Thai restaurant just outside the main base gate.  It had a colorful tuk-tuk in front and was brightly decorated.  We decided to give it a try the next day.  As with Indian food in Japan, so with Thai.  While there are some decent Thai places in Yokosuka, none of them are what we would consider excellent Thai, again with the toning down and simplifying of flavors.  So we didn't get our hopes up, but hey, you never know.  The next day before we left for home, we had lunch there, and again...blown away.  The best Thai we've had in Japan so far.  All the sweet/sour/spicy flavors were represented.  You could even order a plate of lettuce and herbs to eat your food with.   Rowan wanted roasted chicken that they were cooking on a barbeque in front.  It was deliciously marinated.  We got some fermented sausage fried rice, red curry, and ground chicken with Japanese pumpkin (kabocha).  Nothing was one-note flavor, every bite was a surprise.  We wished we could have tried everything on the menu, but sadly, we got full, and we don't get out there very often.  (

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