Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mother Leaf Zenzai Stand

My friend Christina first introduced me to Mother Leaf Zenzai stand. Neither of us had heard of Zenzai before, so we looked it up, and discovered that it's a Japanese cold dessert, perfect for summertime!

Zenzai starts out with a huge mountain of shaved ice with Japanese sweet beans. You can top it or accessorize it with mochi, sweetened condensed milk, a flavored syrup, or a few other options (different beans, sugar topping, etc), if you like.

When I went, none of us were in the mood for Zenzai- to most Americans, beans just don't really go with dessert! Luckily, Mother Leaf also serves a variety of Kakigori- which is the Japanese word for shaved ice or a snow cone. They serve the typical Japanese flavors: Lemon, Melon, and Strawberry; and also Mango, Grape and Hawaiian Blue. You can choose a few different options, including sweetened condensed milk and red beans.

Lindsey isn't very fond of milk, so she chose a plain Lemon kakigori.

Christina and I chose Lemon kakigori with sweetened condensed milk. We were surprised at how well the milk and lemon flavors went together! It was very good.

The Mother Leaf Zenzai Stand is located on Route 75 just north of Camp Courtney. It's a little hole-in-the-wall place next door to the Family Mart. They accept yen, and when we went the staff spoke pretty good English. I couldn't find their hours, but their phone number is 989-0780.

To get there from Courtney, simply turn right out of the main gate, and look for the Family Mart on the right hand side of the road.

From McTureous, Take a right onto Route 8, then take a left on Route 75 to make your way past Courtney. Again, it'll be on the right.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Rose Garden Tea Room

After another long interlude, I've finally gone out and had another awesome food adventure! Today I went to check mail with my friends Lindsey and Christina. After that, we decided that we didn't want to go home yet, and they were both hungry for lunch. On a whim, I suggested we try the cute little garden cafe just outside of Courtney's commissary side, which we learned later is called the Rose Garden Tea Room.

The building has a large tower with the word Coffee painted across the side, and a few conical spires reminiscent of a Disney castle. The beautiful garden the restaurant is named for has a wide array of flowers and marble statues that lend it an almost Victorian feel.

When you walk inside, you will be greeted with a vast array of whimsical statues, fascinating trinkets, artificial flowers and porcelain dolls. The decor feels like a fancy British tea room- the perfect atmosphere to have a high tea party with gloves and hats. There are sunny window tables with lounge chairs in the front, secluded areas with couches and tables, and cute little tables with windows facing the beautiful garden.

We expected a selection of teas and coffees and a few teatime snacks, but were pleasantly surprised when we saw the amount of options on the menu. They offered soup, salad, a few sandwiches, cake, cinnamon toast, and more than four full meal options.

Lindsey chose the ginger chicken meal, which cost ¥800, and mango juice (¥420) to drink. Her meal started off with a bacon corn chowder and a small side salad with a sweet Japanese dressing. The main course was a mix of sauteed onions, green peppers, and chicken in a ginger sauce.

Christina was brave and tried an egg sandwich that I couldn't quite read the kanji for. It turned out to be a fried egg sandwich with lettuce and tomato and mayonnaise. It cost ¥600, and included two sandwiches. She said the bread was very light and fluffy, and the sandwich was amazing. There was even a cherry in the middle of her sandwiches as a garnish! She also tried the mango juice, since mango is one of her favorite fruits.

I had already eaten lunch, so I chose the cinnamon toast and an iced caramel cappuccino for ¥1,020 total. The toast was a large piece of lightly toasted fluffy white bread with butter, whipped cream, cinnamon, and a cherry on top. The cappuccino was creamy and sweet with a large amount of whipped cream and caramel on top as well.

The Rose Garden Tea Room is open from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, and they only accept yen.

To get there from Courtney commissary side, go out the gate, and turn left at the stop light. Take the first left, and you'll see the tall building labeled "Coffee" on your right.

From McTureous, turn right out the gate. Take a left onto 75, and continue just past the commissary intersection. Take the next left.

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