Mandy’s baby: roasted plum (from their garden) and cinnamon oat crumble.
Belgium milk chocolate and marshmallow.
Dark chocolate and sea-salt sorbet. Vegan and delishasssss!
Coconut and black sesame seed. It’s vegan everybody! And my new favorite. Life is so sweet.
I was so good you guys! Just look at these teeny tiny scoops. Plus, I think me eating the ice-cream is great advertisement, don’t you think? Here we have three vegan coconut-cream based ice-creams: coconut, blueberry and vanilla, coconut and dark chocolate, and coconut and black sesame seed. Send help!
Okayama AKA the ‘Sunny Land’ is known for its delicious fruit and in particular, its white peaches. The folk tale of Momotaro, a boy born from a peach who became a warrior, originated in this region. Here, as well as actual whole fruits, an extensive variety of fruit (in particular peach and grape) products are on offer. These include, fruit jams, fruit chocolate, fruit jello-like desserts, fruit tea and even fruit curry! Not sure how I feel about the latter but hey! We ought to give everything a go, right? Perhaps most popular of all fruity products though, are Okayama’s fruit parfaits. These as you can imagine, can be seriously good and are often served with a combination of cream/ice-cream/sponge cake and oddly, corn-flakes – go figure? And range anywhere from 600YEN to a whopping 2200YEN.
So, where is the BEST fruit parfait in Okayama you say? Kurashiki Momoko is my answer (In Kurashiki – well, duh). Kurashiki Momoko is a farm direct outlet located in the Historical Quarter of Kurashiki, run by the Okayama Prefecture Vegetables and Fruits Sales Group. The two-story building is a retail space on the ground floor and an adorable wooden furniture fitted café, on the second. You know a place knows their shizzle when there’s a line out the door!
One of the most popular items on their menu is the fruit parfait, which is available only during the peach season. Fruit options include: peach (well, of course), grape, fig, pear and mixed fruit. They are generously proportioned (especially the 22000Yen one) and seriously GOOD – I mean look at that picture! The café also serves smoothies, gelatos and other cakes/sweets as well as a range of edible souvenirs, all made with locally grown Okayama fruit.
We ordered the fig and pear parfaits and ohhh boy.
However; I do have one tiny complaint though. When we finally reached the counter, after having waited our turn like civil folk, we were escorted all the way to the back of the line again! What had happened is that the shop assistant had assumed (as unfortunately often happens here – sorrynotsorry) that the foreigners had pushed in line. Thanks to a lovely Japanese woman (who with her family had been waiting behind us all along) speaking up, we were apologised to and escorted to the front again. Here’s hoping you won’t have the same experience – A minor glinch compared to the epic sequel, though!
My friend Hannah and I (yes, I’ve made a friend!) went “strawberry picking” in Okayama today. To our surprise, it wasn’t strawberry picking as we’d previously experienced! We were given a plastic container/plate with two compartments. One was filled with condensed milk and the other empty, for strawberry leafs/tops. In other words, this was not PYO strawberries to take away and enjoy later but instead, we were given 50 minutes to eat as many strawberries as we could handle for the price of 1800 yen – a kind of strawberry buffet, if you will. And OH MAN, was the tummy ache worth it! On our way out, we were given a pamphlet advertising peach and grape picking/eating available from mid July which shall no doubt be featuring on iaccidentlyatethewholefarm. What fun!
Le Panier Bread w Karakaas butter
Poached courgettes w popcorn, sweet corn, paprika & coriander
Slow roasted carrots & honey w tomatillo, black walnuts, hazelnut & junket
Ellesmere wasabi turnips w peas & cherries
Brown butter potatoes w sauerkraut, hot chilli & parsley
What if I told you, you could wine and dine to your heart (and stomach’s) content and at the same time, do your bit for the environment too? Sounds too good to be true? Not at Shop Eight Food & Wine. Located on the oh-so-adorable New Regent Street, Shop Eight is an eatery/experience you wouldn’t want/can’t afford to miss. Several aspects make Shop Eight so special. The first being there is no set menu – instead, meals are decided and published online each morning. With a daily changing menu, it’s evident chef Alex Davies’ focus is on highly seasonal produce. However; upon arrival we were also told that almost all ingredients were locally sourced and organic too! Meaning, their beautiful produce-driven menus will always include fresh, delicious and creative flavour combinations – most of which diners may never normally select for themselves.
As if all this couldn’t get any better, for the entire month of February, Shop Eight has gone vegetarian in order to raise awareness of the immense damage the meat industry has on our environment. With their website clearly stating that “no animals or fish were killed in the making of this menu”. Last Saturday, for the price of $50pp, my mother and I embarked on a delectable journey (of 5 dishes) through the menu option “a taste of everything” (FYI: I haven’t included a photo of the final cheeseboard as I demolished it within seconds – oops) and were honestly impressed. The flavour combinations were unusual yet creative and minimalistic yet surprisingly flavoursome! A truly unique experience like no other, I wholeheartedly recommend you go.