When you're in Japan, one of the things you have to do is try out the food. Especially regional specialties. Practically every prefecture has their own special produce and even within towns and cities there might be variances. Let's start with a food review of what we had in Hiroshima/Miyajima. Be prepared for lots of food pics and preferably don't continue scrolling on an empty stomach lol!
Our first stop was an okonomiyaki place. Both Osaka and Hiroshima are known for okonomiyaki although there's a difference between the two types. Hiroshima usually has a fried egg on it whereas Osaka doesn't. Okay so google tells me this is the difference.
We arrived quite early (maybe around 10-11am?) but there was still a small queue. The menu was placed outside so you can decide while waiting. It's perfect for me because I always take forever to choose what I want. I think I was waffling between the Deluxe and the Special but decided to go for the Special because I wasn't that interested in having cheese and rice cake in my okonomiyaki.
Everything is cooked in front of you on a giant iron hot plate. We chose counter seats so that we could watch the action. Otherwise you could just sit at a table (which also have their own mini hot plates) and they bring the finished product to you.
We chose this place because the Hiroshima tourist map had it as one of their recommendations. If I'm not wrong, Lonely Planet Japan also has it listed.
This was pretty much breakfast for us because we arrived the night before and when we woke up we didn't want to eat breakfast so as not to spoil our appetite!
Since we were at the counter, they just place the okonomiyaki in front of you and you cut it up with the little spades and serve yourself.
What did we think of it?
It was absolutely delicious! Everything was nice and fragrant and the sauce was yum! I even liked the spring onions that they had on top.
Our next stop was at the Hiroshima shopping street. We stopped at a store selling sakura mochi which is basically mochi tinted pink (possibly from sakura?) and wrapped in a sakura tree leaf. Yes, you eat the leaf.
Lots of Japanese mochi/dango and quite a few people buying them. Sakura mochi is usually only eaten in Spring (duh!) so it's a seasonal snack/sweet.
We bought just one of each type so we could sample them all! All of them had red bean paste in them. Only differences were the mochi flavouring.
The white one was just normal mochi, the pink one was sakura, the green one is yomogi (a type of green herb) and then the last one resembled a fried doughnut. The sakura one wasn't too bad - the leaf is kind of sour. The kashiwa leaf was too hard - didn't like it much with the mochi. The other two were normal tasting :P
The next day we had oysters for lunch! Hiroshima is famous for their oysters so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Personally I'm not a huge oyster fan. I just don't enjoy shellfish such as oysters or mussels because I don't like knowing that I'm eating their intestines i.e. their poo. On the other hand, I'm fine with scallops because they usually don't contain that yucky bit. Anyway, I digress.
We chose this restaurant which was located in the train station shopping area because it was also recommended on the Hiroshima tourist map. I think there are two branches: the train station and then there's another one where the restaurant is on a boat/by the river. The boat one is more fancy and costs more so we stuck with this one.
They had an English menu! We ordered the oyster lunch~
The food was really fresh and the oyster rice had a lovely aroma to it. The fried oysters were super juicy and the oyster gratin (not pictured) was really good! Super creamy!
Overall, MF enjoyed it a lot more than I did since he loves oysters. As you may have noticed, we only ordered one lunch set between the two of us. This was one of the ways we tried to save money because 2900 yen isn't super duper expensive but if you're travelling for two months and ordering two sets of each... it slowly adds up!
Last thing on review is this snack that we got when we went to Miyajima.
We were just walking along when we saw this stall selling grilled rice balls topped with either oyster or anago (conger eel). I just realised that the paper signs on their door say that their shop was featured on Hirunandesu! And also on Kanjani8's Ariehensekai! Some Japanese shows go around to different places to find good food places and if they find something, they show it on TV (which usually results in a huge increase in popularity and queues for certain places).
We chose the oyster one as we thought we're in Hiroshima so might as well have the oyster. Also I wasn't sure if conger eel was a specialty thing...
The sauce was soooooo good! It was sweet and savoury and just went really well with the plain rice. Again, we only bought one between the two of us but this was sooo good I wouldn't have minded getting another one! And I may have attempted to lick the wrapping too...
Definitely a must-try if ever you're in Miyajima.
Till the next meal or snack....