「じんわり, バリリッ.」 (Jinwari, Bariri.)
“Moist, Crispy.”

The first question people always ask me when they find out I’m a foodie is – what’s your favorite food? The second question is usually, what is your least favorite food? Well that ladies and gentlemen, is actually Chinese food. My least preferred cuisine is the very food that most people would think… is my favorite. It’s not that I hate it per say, but it’s definitely not what I gravitate towards and regardless of what restaurant, or what country I’m in, I just don’t find myself enjoying it to its fullest extent. That is especially true when it’s Chinese food for dinner. I don’t mind dim sum, dumplings, noodles and what not, but when it comes to eating a full 10-course meal with pork, seafood, rice and more stir-fry? I get turned off. So now that my rant is over, I’m sorry that I cannot relate to Kirin’s love for Chinese food. Unfortunately for Ryou, that also means that Kirin would not be keeping Ryou company this week. The reason felt weak – until I thought about it again, and there are several occasions which I would consider food > all other plans. Shiina’s excuse for avoiding the rain was also farfetched for me but you can never call out a sick person. Getting wet and then catching a cold almost immediately? That’s definitely worse than spending the weekend alone.

That leaves Ryou all alone this week – but I didn’t mind because I actually like her character a lot (and Shiina’s). Her walk down memory lane reminded me a lot of my own experiences with my grandmother growing up. My parents are a prime example of folks that would just throw together boiled broccoli and rice with egg and call it a meal. I don’t blame them because they have other commitments and it’s not that the food wasn’t edible. My grandmother learned how to cook as she got older and since she was the one taking care of me, all her recipes were altered to suit my tastes. I say all this because I can relate to Ryou’s nostalgic feelings of eating her grandmother’s food or even just spending time with her. My grandmother raised me for a good chunk of my life and I too, get reminiscent when I recall the moments that we shared – either walking in my neighbourhood or going out for early early breakfast. Today, my grandmother is still the best home cook that I know and this episode just makes me want to call her up and eat with her again.

Not as much foodporn in this episode as I anticipated, but still some good slice-of-life moments that shine through. Koufuku Graffiti is such a calm show compared to the heavy conversations and feelings that I get blogging Death Parade. I like how it focuses on developing who Ryou is rather than being nonsensical comedy or exaggerated girls doing cute things. She’s not the most interesting character; nor does she have a deep-dark past, but each episode is a step towards knowing who she is. I liked learning more about Ryou’s grandmother too – whom didn’t know how to cook before Ryou came into her life. I always assumed that grandmothers were natural chefs since they’re always portrayed as such on TV, but it goes to show that everyone has to learn from somewhere. Overall, the episode was sweet and a little sad but mainly reminiscent of good times. I guess the rain can do that to you.

Author’s Note: Sorry for the delayed post this/last week. I’m in the process of moving and this weekend has been tough. I’ll be more timely with this series from here on out. Also, I realized that subs for this series doesn’t get released until Sunday anyway so this post should be considered timely =)



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  1. Food porn is still food porn regardless of quantity.
    On a different note, grandmothers. Funny thing that when you grew old you tend to become a nicer person especially for your children’s children. Love how the trip down to memory lane is similar to my experience with my grandmother. It was touching. That sales clerk though.

    To note, the only thing hateful in Chinese dishes, grease. The way most restaurants alternate margarine instead of cooking oil or even butter is horrible. Good, for the first bite, but as far I know about those dishes, they’re served in heap-full!

    1. LOL! That Sales Clerk looked so hilarious =P
      I don’t know about where you live – but Chinese food is supposed to be cooked with oil most of the time, especially for stir-fry. I don’t think Chinese people use butter much =S if they use much dairy at all. It’s good and bad because all this grease is delicious but when it looks so shiny on a plate, I’m like X___X. I tend to like my food steamed from Chinese restaurants lol

      1. Hi, forgive me. It might just be one shop I visited. They use normal cooking oil, but that one shop that uses margarine made me wonder about the taste. Anyway, that’s what street vendors use, the “authentic” ones mixes pig fat instead. It taste divine, but a part of me tells the reason for it is because it actually gets you to meet the Divine.

        Of course, steamed buns are always a fave. At least for my circle. 😀

  2. I have to say, the usual meals that is served in Chinese restaurants here in Germany as “Chinese Food” à la the ‘all you can eat’ buffet fits indeed into the fried fast food category. But after going to China and eating the authentic cuisine it’s like a revelation of how awesome food can be. I guess in Germany it is even harder to find a restaurant which serves authentic Chinese meals than in the US due to less immigration, but some restaurants actually do have a menu in Chinese for their Chinese guests. And with the help of the staff it should be possible to get a taste of the real stuff.

    random dude
    1. It’s unfortunate that a lot of countries don’t get to experience Chinese food for what it really is. I think a lot of people still have the misconception that it’s chicken balls (which I NEVER heard of until I grew up by the way lol), sweet and sour pork and fried noodles with soy sauce. I’m glad you got to try what China “Chinese food” tastes like =) It’s much better and the range of food is huge. I love going to China and eating dumplings or street vendor food and it’s cheap! =D

  3. The animation of Ryou and the cashier at the convenience store after the credits is one of the cutest scenes I have seen this year.The scene of the karaage man tearing a piece of chicken from his head and Ryou attacking the onigiri girl was kind of disturbing though!

    I seem to be the opposite to you when it comes to Chinese food. It’s dim sum which I’m not a big fan of! It is probably because my family goes there way too often, and I always end up feeling like crap afterwards due to the amount of oil used in a large number of dishes. Still love my Ha Gao and Sui Mai though. I prefer dinner only cause we don’t go too often so its like a special occasion, and we usually have a good balance of different foods and go for stuff that isn’t drenched in oil. I do have mixed experiences with 10 course meals though. Some I had a few years back were pretty terrible, but I just had one a few weeks back that was amazing.

    1. I used to go for dim sum A LOT when I was younger too and even to date, I won’t be super excited to go but my family likes it =S I like the food more because it’s steamed rather than stir-fried or deep-fried (sometimes) and I just feel healthier… but depends on what you like to eat I guess.
      I don’t like the dinners because I actually don’t like rice >_> ha…ha… and a lot of the times I’ll only eat the veges or my favorite is actually the peking duck lettuce wrap! Do you know what I’m talking about? After you eat the peking duck with the flour wrap, they take the meat and dice it up and serve it with lettuce and veges? Omg, that’s my favorite… =9 *salivate some more…

      1. Yeah definitely prefer the steamed stuff, but we usually go with family friends and they love the deep fried crap >_< Even without the deep-fried stuff there really isn't much vegetables with dim sum. It just feels like I've eaten a whole bunch of meat disguised in tiny dishes.

        My gosh I love rice. A day without rice feels so empty to me! But then it would also depend on the type of rice. Growing up in south-east asia I've always preferred the sticky type of rice like Jasmine, or the short-grain type used in Japan. Never really got into basmati which is why I never really liked Indian food that much, also cause the only Indian places around here serves western-style Indian curry (i.e. butter chicken and the crap).

        Your second round of peking duck sounds more amazing than what we usually get around here. Usually the second round would be the duck meat stirfried with bean sprouts. I hated it cause the bean sprouts ends up being soggy and soaked in oil. Since then my family usually only goes for the first round! We don't eat it all that often anyway. Usually it would be a tofu dish, some veges, and two meat dishes (usually some sort of roast chicken or pork and beef on sizzling plate).

      2. I know a lot of Asian people grew up eating rice and love it and can’t live without it… my family is like that too =X But I guess I’m just different haha! I don’t get much satisfaction from rice unless it’s with curry or some sort of sauce that I love. Fried rice isn’t my thing either =( I’m a disgrace to Asians lol.

        The lettuce wrap looks like this (just google Peking duck lettuce wrap):
        The lettuce is fresh and crisp and there’s like duck, veges, and some white fried noodle crisp thingies. You should try it the next time you get the opportunity =) it’s usually a few bucks extra because it’s not the typical complimentary dish for the Peking duck but so worth it!

      3. Yeah, not sure if its available here 🙁 Looks so much better than the bean sprout stir-fry. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JCKZxLmjYp4/US6jhQL3nNI/AAAAAAAAy30/HP5VA_XArYQ/s1600/IMG_20130226_172924.jpg

        Looks decent on the surface until you notice how shiny it is…cause of all that oil D:

        I hear ya with the rice with curry or sauce thing. We usually have some dish with quite a bit of gravy to go with the rice. If not, then I usually cut down on it. More of my body not being used to missing rice even for a day 🙂 Not a big fan of rice porridge though because I usually find it very plain, and I am not a big fan of dousing my food with soy sauce.

      4. Personally, I love rice.
        Possibly for the very opposite reason for Cherrie disliking it; I grew up with potatoes on my plate and only got to eat rice as I got older. I mostly buy basmati myself, though jasmine is good too. I chose jasmine when I’m planning to make stuff like sushi, of course.

        Meanwhile I absolutely hate potatos in most forms while most people around me wouldn’t be able to imagine dinner without them…

      5. haha, my mom doesn’t like rice either. I really didn’t have much of an opinion of rice, though it really helps what you add to it, as that’s what makes rice delicious. Then again, it’s also all about the rice you buy. I grew up eating very average rice, and I didn’t even know till I went to a cousin’s house recently and had 3 elephant thai rice. That rice is so delicious by itself and with a little salt it’s ridiculous. Probably best I didn’t know about that stuff in the past!

        Also you can get some pretty expensive Japanese brown rice that’s really good and is almost like white rice. These days I eat more Korean style rices, a mix, of brown, black and other grains. Pretty good stuff, especially if you need to replace white rice in your meals, and don’t like the awful hard to eat brown rices available in regular stores.

        Impel Down Hippo
    2. I’m not a big fan of dim sum either. It’s a texture thing. Too many soft meat dishes that don’t really have all that much flavor. I prefer the much more unhealthier fried dishes! Deep fried salt and pepper squid, the fried chickens, the fried fish…must, stay, away…

      Impel Down Hippo
    1. Have you been to Japan, Korea, HK or China? If you walk into their convenience stores, their display of buns and “fast food” actually LOOKS so good o_o It’s nothing like America’s 7-11’s hot dogs or Slurpee’s lol

      1. For the record, my first visit to Japanese convenience store was more or less “… How can this look and taste better than home-made food!?!”

        It was a huge culture shock, I tell you!
        (On the other hand, Shana’s favorite melon bread was a huge lie.)

      2. @Erimaki:
        Ya! I don’t like melon bread =S omg… the first time I had it, it didn’t taste like much to me lol
        On the other hand, if you’ve ever seen Cardcaptor Sakura or Kanon, they depicted takoyaki and taiyaki and both are so delicious =3 omg… two of my favorite Japanese foods ever.

      3. I found a lot of the breads in convenience stores are a tad too sweet, with the melon-bun being the worst of them all. But still very delicious anyway.

        When I was there on holiday, we usually started the day with 2 buns, 1 onigiri, and a drink each (about 500 yen or 5USD). My god those onigiri were amazing! The tuna mayo or the prawn ones were the best, though there were plenty with interesting flavours such as pickled veges etc.

        My one regret from all the photos I took of my trip to Japan, I never took any of the food at convenience stores.

        Question – had you ever tried kansai-style and hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, and if you have which is your favourite? Mine is the hiroshima-style just cause I like all the different layers to it compared to the kansai-style which has everything mixed together usually.

      4. @Cherrie: Melon bread tasted like half of it was artifial flavor essences. Sure, it was better than non-Japanese bread that tastes like half of it is artificial essences, but still… Another dissapointment was the choclote Cornet thing from Lucky Star. Too much chocolate and tasteless actual bread. Then again, I’m not very fond of chocolate on its own =S

        Taiyaki is great! The place I was staying at had a vending machine with frozen foods in the lobby and a microwave to heat it, and they had taiyaki. Heating some quickly became my morning routine, though I would imagine I could have found better. The red bean paste was surprisingly tasty. Anpan might have been my favorite convenience store bread just for that.
        I’ve only had takoyaki once at a local restaurant and wasn’t very convinced. I think it wasn’t properly cooked though.

        @Taiakun: Onigiri are like the best thing ever! Seriously, all the variety! I liked the salmon one, and the beef one with rice cooked in beef broth was great too. I don’t think I ate tuna or prawn though. I regret not seeing ones with pickled plum anywere, it’s supposedly a classic.
        Bento boxes were really nice too, the amount of different ones they had was really nice, you never had to buy the same one! I like the thing about train stations having their own unique bentos too =)

        Sadly, I’ve never had okonomiyaki… Didn’t even know there were different styles, although it feels obvious now.

  4. I’m not the biggest fan of typical “chinese food”, but that’s because I grew up with the homestyle stuff which is absolutely delicious.

    I wonder if they’ll do an episode with xiao long bao…if any food gave foodgasms in real life, that would be them.

    1. I grew up with the homemade stuff too… but I see that my city nowadays is quickly adapting to what is “real Chinese food” so I see more authentic stuff that I would get in Hong Kong or China. I see more xiao long bao (although really expensive sometimes -_-‘), noodles/ramen (huge fad now), and steamed whole fish (which I love!).

      My grandmother’s cooking is still the best though. She makes my favorite tomato/egg/pork sauce with rice (do you know what I’m talking about?) and mapo tofu =3 omg delish.

  5. I’m a middle case with the “typical Chinese buffet food” . I do enjoy it from time to time, but it’s not really anything great. Actually had it for the first time in about one and half years today 😀 I blame you Cherrie

    Unfortunately, where I live that’s the only Chinese you’ll ever find. even Masterchef judges approved it
    The sole place with actual steamed manjuus and other such stuff went down because people didn’t like the “wrong” Chinese food… I felt like ragequitting my country when I heard.

    The shameful memory of eating 10 fried chicken balls and some fried crab balls as a kid will never go away

  6. I love my chinese food, due to me being chinese. but then my favourite is Japanese food. My least favourite would be… well anything spicy. I can take a little, but too much will leave a hot sensation in my mouth for hours, and i dont like it. Thats why wasabi is ok for me.

    Though I can understand why you dont like chinese food. Usually a lot of oil is used, and the taste may be too strong. I know some of the weird stuff that people dont like are chinese. Century eggs for example, are really delicious, but most non-asians dont like it.

    Also reading some of the comments reminded me of something. “Shokugeki no Soma” is such a cool name, and then you get the english translation of the title “Food Wars”. What the hell?! Thats so lame!

    1. I can’t eat spicy either!! WOOT! *high-five! XD People always make fun of me for it though T_T
      My tolerance has gotten better after my trips to Asia and mainly Korea because I love Korean food (and Indian food is yummy too) but I don’t want to destroy my stomach or tongue by eating too much. I find that a lot of people lose their taste buds if they eat spicy things every day.

      I love century-old eggs!! Especially in congee… *droolsss =9
      I don’t consider anything “weird” any more because I grew up accustomed to it, but there are a lot of things that I wouldn’t openly talk about eating. It also depends on how open-minded and understanding people are to your culture. For example: deep-fried smelts are some of my favs but people find it weird that you eat a whole fish… or cold pig ears >_> and beef tripe… omg I love tripe in my noodles…

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