What do you when after 3-months long, you finally get the keys to your new home and a friend from Penang came to town?
We drove down to San Diego on a Saturday evening to see our very jet-lagged friend Soon Aun and decided we'd bring him out for dinner. Hushby found this Japanese restaurant called Okan meaning "Mom, I'm home" (correct me if I'm wrong), and of course, they serve home-cooked food the Japanese style. So no sushi, sashimi crap this time, pure Japanese food from the the everyday Japanese themselves. Needless to say, I was delighted! Food is my gateway to heaven!
We actually ordered 12 types of different small dishes that is enough for two or three person to share. They are not pricey at all, averaging about 3-4 dollars per dishes. But here are some of the special ones that shouts for attention.
Goba Salad with fried strips of yam I believe. It has a sweet taste in the end and its so yummy when paired with the Japanese vegetables and its soy sauce dressing. This one dish could turn me into a vegetarian.
Fried chicken gizzard - taste nothing like gizzard at all. When chewed, it taste like chicken breast. The way they fried it is to perfection, soft, tender and juicy that is unbelievably tasty when dip with a little bit of fragrant salt on the side.
Lightly grilled scallop is another thumbs up and one of our favorites. The outer part of the scallop is obviously, a little bit cook but it is so sweet and soft, and rare on the inside, you can't have enough!
Marinated tuna with sesame oil and soy sauce and I believe they have a secret ingredient that is not written on the menu - SAKE. I usually love to order tuna salad in every Japanese restaurant I go, especially the one next to our apartment building which are known for their Poke Bowl (another name for marinated tuna) and this one did not fail me. It is comparable and it's much simpler than the one next door. Still, it is packed with goodness.
Lastly, the 11th and 12th course - Tofu pudding, which is so much like our chinese version of "Tau Fu Fa", drizzled with black honey and in the glass is Strawberry Panna Cotta drizzled with condensed milk. Man, if you have chocolate cravings and can't find one, these do the trick too. Such a sweet ending!
The diners had a good time too and here's proof:
We talked all night long, reminiscing good old times when we were younger adults, studying in Penang and what they boys did when they were bachelors. The boys were friends that long and of course, because Yew Wai and I were childhood friends, I knew who and what they were talking about. So it was fun to catch up. Nevertheless, the night ended with lots of fond memories to keep and I wish I could do it again some time soon as Soon Aun is leaving in a few weeks. But if I slack every Saturday just going out, my homework will pile up and I might drop out from school. haha Don't worry though, I will not let that happen.