Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thai Buffet And Laksa Matsuri

It actually started by a simple status posted by my senior, Andrew at his Facebook profile.
In the end of the day, we found ourselves making plans to gather at his place and cook laksa together over the weekends. I later found out it was an instant laksa; nevertheless, it is still better than nothing, especially for us who are living abroad. You will never understand how much we long for local food until you experience it yourself. Besides, it is an opportunity for us to have a get-together session for once as we hardly manage to do so.
I made the trip down to Tokyo at midnight and caught up with another senior of mine, Ben at Shinjuku Station. It was still in the wee hours of the morning and he was just back from the Summer Sonic Concert at Chiba. I was tired from the long hours of the train ride as I hardly manage to sleep inside the train; Ben was exhausted as well from spending the whole day shouting and yelling at the concert haha. We reached his place and both of us went to the 7 Eleven store next to his house to grab some drinks first. The next thing that happened to us if I'm not mistaken was that we both dozed off to our wonderland, till noon.
After we got ourselves ready, we headed to Chiba, to Andrew's place, which took us around three hours. Well, it actually doesn't take that long to travel from Tokyo to Chiba, but well, we decided to stop at Kichijyouji (吉祥寺) to have Thai buffet as our lunch. Ben recommended the restaurant - Aroyna to me, situated on the first basement, within walking distance from Kichijyouji Station.
The interior gives an impression that you are in Thailand.
These two Japanese stared so long at the food on their plate before they finally put them into their mouth haha.
The food wasn't the best, nonetheless, I guess it was worth a try for 990 yen (RM 35) per person. After all, it is a buffet and you are having a meal in one of the largest metropolitan in the world. I guess the location of the restaurant doesn't affect its business at all because we noticed people keep on coming non-stop. People from all walks of life, not just the foreigners but Japanese as well.
Food wise, I cannot say they come any near to authentic Thai food because they have been modified to suit the taste bud of the local people. I didn't find anything that tasted hot, most of the food has been sweetened; even the curry. Besides, the food are quite similar to Chinese food; the pork and cabbage soup being an example.
Clockwise from top left: Pork and cabbage soup, pad thai (rice noodles), fried dumplings, fried popia, pad pak ruam (stir fried vegetables), khao pad (Thai fried rice), shredded papayas with lime juice and meat. In the middle is the famous nam pla (fish sauce)

Clockwise from bottom right: Green curry which is supposed to be one of the spiciest Thai curries, but it tasted sweet here, white jasmine rice, red curry which was slightly spicier that the green curry.
For desert, they serve lychee and sliced pineapples, and a mixture of sugar and chilly powder as to be sprinkled on top.
Not wanting to waste any more time, we headed to Andrew's place after our lunch. It started to drizzle already and it got heavier along the train ride. However, the rain subsidded by the time we reached Andrew's place. It was my first time going to his place and I'm amazed by the size of his house. We rested there a while and chit chatted while waiting for the rain to stop before going out to grab our laksa ingredients at a nearby supermarket.
It so happened that Teck Soon was around and he's staying just nearby. So, we invited him to join our laksa festival. We got to work immediately after we reached home. Ben was in-charge for cooking the laksa gravy and noodles. Teck Soon helped us to buy a few extra cans of sardines and noodles because we found out the noodle at home turned out to be Chinese vermicelli (tang hoon), not rice vermicelli (bee hoon) haha. As for me, I helped on the vegetables cutting department.
Two house-husbands busy at the kitchen haha.
The preparations are almost done.
Asam laksa with extra sardine fish haha.
Look at how happy Andrew was.
Before we started our laksa festival, we of course had a kanpai session first. But the funny thing is that there were just too many things to be celebrated; Andrew who got into his new company, Ben was offered a place into the MOT, Teck Soon moving into a new place and me passing my Chiba University entrance exam. So, in the end, we took the simplest way by saying just one simple phrase.
Yes, only one short phrase, two words - "For whatever!" haha.
Ben and Andrew, indulging on their asam laksa.
Teck Soon and the man in black.
After we had a satisfying dinner for some time, we just hang around and chit chat. Some wathced the tv while some online using Andrew's laptop. That was when we suddenly felt the floor was shaking and yes, it was an earthquake. Not something surprissing initially, but when it continued for more than twenty seconds and we realised it getting stronger, we knew something wasn't right and four of us ran out immediately. However, one guy went back in to post something on Facebook.
Randy suggested that perhaps that one guy thought, "OMG!!! EARTHQUAKE man, I gotta get back inside to tell the world!" Haha!


Anonymous said...

i still beat u in hensem

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
haha, alright you are the best-looking guy on this planet. who are you then? i'm sure girls will certainly wanna get to know you =P

Kae Vin said...

laksa without haer kor is not laksa :P

naqiubex said...

Yeah man.. I heard about the earthquake! How is the situation over there!?

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
that is why i said it's just instant laksa. yeala, i know nibong tebal's laksa the best xD

calvin said...

@ naqiubex:
i bet it was a huge quake since it was even reported in malaysia. in fact, my mom messaged me to ask whether i was alright on that night. but everything was fine, no damages or casualties as far as i'm concerned =)