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I work in Senri Chuo and have been to many restaurants there, but I haven't found Ume No Hana yet. Is it near Senri Chuo station, with all the shopping malls? I don't recognize the address, I don't understand Japanese addresses one bit... I keep forgetting my own address...


What a beautiful meal! (Gorgeous dishes, too.) I love seeing your pictures of food because it gives me an idea of what to aim for when I try a new recipe.

I was surprised to see tofu shumai! I made them recently and liked them quite well, but I thought that perhaps the author of my Japanese cookbook had invented them—she includes quite a few recipes she's adapted from the West. It's amusing that the title of her recipe is "tofu daisies." She even has the cook serve them on a bed of greens and the effect is that you are eating little flowers.

I've made sobazushi, but before I started blogging about cooking through this book, and that reminds me I should make them again. They are not really difficult. To get the soba noodles aligned, you have to tie one end with string. Cook one bunch of noodles at a time, and wash the strands gently, comb the strands straight on plastic wrap...


As usuall, it all looks beautiful. But it seems like so much food - how can you get down so many courses? I thought it was us Americans that had the reputation for such eating. (but not such pretty food or so many courses)


Louana, it's right next to the monorail Senri Chuo station on the north side, and a short walk south of the Hankyu line Senri Chuo station. Here is Ume no Hana's map:
And here's a Yahoo map:
Hope that helps!

Tess, I saw your tofu daisies yesterday and was just as surprised as you! I was about to comment, but I thought I'd better post this first so I could add a link to my comment. But here you've beaten me to it!
I did like the tofu shumai, but it was a little blah to be a signature dish. Maybe they are purposely under-flavoured in order to showcase the ponzu dip? For something to make at home it would be outstanding though, and yours look great. I like your idea of making them smaller and will try that if I ever make them myself.
And I can't believe you've made sobazushi! You know there are people in Japan who don't even know what that is? It's pretty rare and looks so difficult to make that I'd assumed it was a restaurant-only dish. But my husband loves the stuff, so I might try making it. Did you get the recipe from The Japanese Kitchen?

Joe, keep in mind that the servings are small. It's hard to get the scale from the pictures but the dishes themselves are tiny, with the food inside them even smaller. It's also eaten over a few hours, which helps. Still, we were all pretty full and I didn't finish my rice, and anything more than the sherbet for dessert would have been too much.
By the way, the website lists the calories for all of their various course menus: http://www.umenohana.co.jp/ume/menu.php?no=119&kind=regular We had Ume no Hana Zen, 4th from the top, which weighs in at 1136 calories. Not bad at all!


So happy you are back home and posting again! I am impressed by the sobazushi, they don't look like they'd even have a chance of falling apart on the way to your mouth. Not that I'm a Japanese food expert by any means, but I've never seen sobazushi before, so I really hope to try them someday (soon).


Hey! You could still comment about the "Tofu Daisies!" My few readers might be interested to know that it is not a fake recipe! Mine were flavored with ginger, scallions, and sesame oil which is not unusual, but the presentation with the greens is interesting. (oh, I hate "cute" but...) I think it was the texture, more than the taste that made them interesting, but I'm not running a signature restaurant and I look for easy and tasty...plus they are cute.

The first time I made sobazushi, it was from my project-book. She just has you cook the soba as normal and then scatter the noodles over the nori. The second time, I used a recipe from "Washoku" by Elizabeth Andoh. She uses the technique of cooking the noodles tied together so they all line up, and they turn out much better/neater. It's funny because Ms. Shimbo (my project-book author) describes the same technique to stuff a fish fillet—sorry, I have not blogged that recipe either, though I did it in the CT forum... I'll try to post about them soon, but I'm sort of caught up in work obligations right now.


What beautiful and interesting food. And as for the dishes themselves, I'm besotted !


Yo, I agree, such a beautiful meal, i am now hungry, LOL! And i didn't know sushi rolls can be made with noodles before!


Marie, tastewise I prefer regular sushi but the sheer novelty of sobazushi makes it worth a try.

Tess, it's interesting that the recipe by a non-Japanese turned out better. Has that ever happened before? Looking forward to your sobazushi post!

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