What’s In Your Bento? Saturday, 11.6.2010

Pre-lunch munchies: Bite-size chocolate cookies. The trip to Hakone today had promised ramen for lunch and a tabehodai (all you can eat) and nomihodai (all you can drink) for dinner so I wasn’t trying to waste any precious space on breakfast.

Lunch: Miso ramen with pork.
My first taste of good ramen so far in Japan. Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t do it justice, as I once again forgot the camera at home and was forced to use my free flip phone to document.

Tabehodai(!!!) Dinner: Easily one of the finest buffets I have ever laid eyes upon (and I’ve seen quite the number of buffets in my 27 years). I know I’m leaving some stuff out but to the best of my recollection the buffet included the following: fried shrimp tempura, fried fish, fried onion rings, grilled seafood salad with oil glaze (shrimp, octopus, calamari, etc.), salad, 5 different kinds of sushi, pasta in a mushroom soup sauce, hard-shelled crabs, fried oysters in the shell with cheese, fried clams, fried scallop skewers, mini hamburger patties in soy glaze, salmon with whipped sweet potato on top, pork belly so tender it melted in your mouth, roast beef cubes, cold cuts of roast beef, tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), yakitori (grilled chicken) skewers, two kinds of fried rice, four types of dumplings, and cheese taquitos. Below is the attempt to capture the carnage that ensued when I was released upon this delectable offering.

Salad (what was I thinking wasting the space?), pasta in mushroom sauce, awesome grilled fresh seafood with oil glaze

from top left: fresh crab, fried shrimp and fried fish, mini burger, tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and salmon with sweet potato topping

Dumpling, fried scallop stick (that's one huge scallop!), yakitori skewer, cheese taquitos, roast beef cube, fried rice

Was I completely and utterly stuffed after gorging myself with multiple plates of dinner and two huge beers? Yes. Did I rally like a true champion and manage to still pack away 2,000 calories worth of dessert? You betcha. The dessert bar included mini cheesecakes, mini pumpkin pastries, soft serve ice cream, creampuffs, a chocolate fondue fountain (which some people, not saying who, attempted to use to put a chocolate coat on their soft serve ice cream), a few types of puddings and milk desserts, and as much fresh fruit (pineapples, cantaloupe, oranges, grapes) as you could eat, a big deal in a country where a single cantaloupe costs you $10.

The biggest grapes I've ever seen without seeds in them.

Mini cheesecake (one of many eaten that night), pumpkin pastry, vanilla ice cream

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