That Monday was our last full day in Japan. More so or less we had achieved to experience everything we had set out in our rough plans in which me made prior to the holiday. One thing for sure was that we were surprising quite hungry considering we had ate well the evening/night beforehand. We had had several (more than I can count) ‘proper’, hearty meals during our stay in Osaka, so we thought it would be acceptable to have some fast food as a simple lunch. We went to Lotteria. Ah, it’s not even a Japanese fast food chain: it’s Korean.
Lotteria is immensely different to the original Korean branches. Most noticeably of all the portions are smaller, second of all the beef patties are delicious and peppery though they taste and look more similar to the sausage patties of a McDonald’s McMuffin. I still prefer Korea’s Lotteria when it comes to burgers, but Japanese Lotteria are winning when it comes to french fries. When you order fries, whether it be in a set or singualrly, the server will ask which flavour of seasoning you would like for your fries. I chose triple cheese powder seasoning which you sprinkle into the paper bag containing the chips/fries, then shake to evenly distribute the powder. Why aren’t all fast food restaurants providing fry seasonings!?
A friend suggested that we go to a maid cafe before we leave Osaka, however neither of us seem interested in that type of thing. So… instead we went to a Cat Café! Well it wasn’t the kind of cat cafe where you have a drink and/or dessert with cats around you. It was more like a petting zoo just for cats. Cats everywhere! A dream land. Just look at their faces…
The last activity of our trip was bitter sweet. It was the last meal and meeting I would have with the new friends I had just acquired. I’m sure it won’t be our ‘last ever’ moments together, but it could be quite some time until we see each other face to face again. We entered a rather sophisticated looking Italian restaurant at the Herbis Plaza Entertainment building. The lights were low, a live singer sang alongside the pianist and his grand piano and skyscrapers set an illuminated scenery. We had a set meal consisting of 5 courses in which you share with eachother.
First came along the appetisers: cherry tomatoes with mozzerella, an avocado salad with caviar, brushetta with some sort or a fish and vegetable paste, Parma ham salad and batter balls made with squid ink (-quite tasty despite my expectation). A mixed leaf and dehydrated lotus root salad followed the appetisers before a half margarita and half anchovy with cheese pizza came along. The fourth course I had never tasted before nor heard of: marinated stewed beef with tomato puree, parmasan and other seasonings with olive oil. A mashed creamy omelette sat underneath the meat. It was so tender and juicy. Apart from the texture I quite liked this dish, so much so that I want to recreate something similar at home. Last of all came an array of desserts: miniature brownies, Swiss rolls with pistachio nuts, cubes of Mascarpone cheesecake and mixed exotic fruit salad. Truthfully this is the first time I have experienced ‘fine dining’. I felt a little self-conscious and awkward at first, but I did my best not to feel like I don’t belong in such an environment. If I save money aside, I think going to a place like this once of twice a year would be lovely for couples who don’t generally get to live ‘the high life’. Still, I’d be satisfied enough with home prepared spaghetti bolognese anyday.
The night came to a close with karaoke. I can’t sing to save my life. I’m not tone deaf, I have good rhythm and remember lyrics more effortlessly than remembering what I ate for breakfast a few days ago but I can’t project a singing voice. My voice just cuts out rather than squeaking. As much as it pains me with jealously that I can’t sing with others, I enjoyed listening to everyone else sing their hearts out with prominent smiles on their faces.
Saying a final goodbye to my new friends at the train station was quite rushed because of the limited time we had for getting the train promptly. I hope I thanked them well enough to ensure that they understood my gratitude for all they had done for us on our trip to Osaka. It’s a week I will never forget and will retell many times over.