Friday, 15 March 2013

Mirakuen Japanese BBQ, The Pungency and doing the laundry

After we got back from our stroll to the castle I grabbed a couple of beers for beer o'clock drinks. I thought they were beers. The Suntory was obviously a beer but "The Pungency" was something I took a punt on. "The Pungency" is probably not the most enticing name for a drink in history. I'm still not sure what it actually was. I think it was milk tea.
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There's no Michelin Guide to Matsumoto so we're at the mercy of hotel receptionist recommendations or the Lonely Planet for dinner. I can't recall if this Japanese BBQ place was a recommendation or if it was something we just stumbled upon. Either way it was awesome. Of course no one spoke English but the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The menu has Yakiniku written across the top of it. It could be the name of place but I have a feeling it means something like grilled meat because we have hit the jackpot by the look of it when it comes to meat. Whatever this place is called it is a Izakaya style food joint. The menu has pictures and is bilingual but the descriptions are beautifully vague - "Beef of Ribs" and "High Quality Beef of Ribs". From the pictures the "high quality beef of ribs" looks like delicious wagyu. And it was. We tried a few different plates of meat and we cooked them on the grill in the middle of the table. Extraordinarily good it was.
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All this was washed down with sake. Georgy had a ball and even posed for some photos. Nothing quite like getting some great food in your belly to make you happy.
I painstakingly searched for pictures of yakiniku places in Matsumoto so I could get this wonderful place's name. I finally found a picture of the front of the restaurant that matched my photo. It is called Mirakuen. They're on Tabelog here and have their own website here.
Doing the laundry is one of those painful things you have to do when you're travelling. We usually try and book a hotel with a coin laundry. The laundry does build up after a few days to a week. The laundry tonight took a number of loads, and I was still doing it way after midnight. I sat on a stool next to the clothes dryer making use of the free hotel WiFi and catching up on emails and eyeing off the beer vending machine to my left. There was some sake in the vending machine. Or, I was hoping it was when I pushed the button. Some bloke came in as I picked it up and laughed and said "Japanese sake'. Waiting for the dryer to finish wasn't as boring after that. P1010841 2013-03-15 23.46.59

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