25 June 2008

丸亀製麺- Marugame Noodle Shop


Recently Sho-chan and I have become enamoured of a new noodle-shop on Rte. 176 It's called Marugame Seimen, and they have udon, udon and more udon.

What's unique about this shop is that they actually make the noodles right in front of you. The front 3rd of the restaurant is a noodle-making kitchen where you can watch a battalion of immaculately-clad noodlistas ply their trade. There are several different work stations, from dough-making, rolling, stretching, cutting and boiling, so you can see every step of the process and know that your noodles are super-fresh.

And are they fresh! They have the best udon I've ever had, and it's boiled to a perfect al-dente. They have about 10 different styles of udon, but my current favorite is kama-age udon. Kama-age udon is noodles served in hot water which you then dip into a hot broth filled with ginger and green onions. Yummy, yummy, yummy! It's Sho-chan's favorite too. They also have a variety of seafood and vegetable tempura.

Anyone living in the area should go and check it out!

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23 June 2008


Ok- I know I'm super-late to the party, but I've just recently become addicted to "Heroes". My Mom recommended it to me several times, but unfortunately it was impossible to find in Japan. However, last week when Sho-chan and I went to Tsutaya they had a big Heroes display with all the episodes from the first series. We rented the first two disks and watched all 5 episodes on them in one go!

After that I was well and truly hooked and I went back the next day to rent the next 4 DVDs, then back 2 days after that to rent the final 5. I watched the entire first series in less than a week, and now I can't wait until the second series comes out over here. Of course Hiro is my favorite character. He's so adorable with those little chubby cheeks and those glasses and that childish smile of his. I just want to pinch his cheeks and give hima big hug.

It was interesting to watch the various scenes in Japan, because whoever the set-designer was, they've obviously never been here. All the outdoor sets looked like they came from some weird 1980s bubble version of Japan, and other scenes, like the office cubicles were just plain wrong. (Japanese offices don't usually have individual cubicles they have blocks of desks set up facing each other.) Also a lot of the cultural refernces that Hiro makes (X-men, Star-trek etc.) would be unknown to a Japanese guy of his generation, even a big nerd. I realize they had to use characters American nerd viewers would know, but why not go with Astro-boy or Gundam or Macross something else popular with geeks in both countries?

Also, although Hiro's Japanese is quite good (apparetly he's fluent), all of the other actors' Japanese is bad to the point of requiring subtitles, (apart from his sister Kimiko, who is actually Japanese.) The police "interpreter" in the first episode was especially egregious as was the waitress Charlie. George Takei is stilted but understandable. Ando is obviously trying hard, but his intonation is really weird, which makes it hard to follow him, and since he's Korean he has trouble distinguishing between some voiced and unvoiced sounds. He gets an A+ for effort, though.

Are there really so few actors that can speak Japanese that they had to cast Chinese and Korean actors instead?

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