Haikyuu!!

Haikyuu

I still remember the day when I started watching Prince of Tennis and how I wanted to learn how to play tennis because of it. Does that ever happen to you? I think this is what happens every time I watch any sports-themed anime.

I read a little bit of the manga and watch the first season of the anime, and the anime follows the manga closely. I love the artwork in both platforms because they capture the intensity of the sport while having moments of comedy. Haikyuu!! is an anime/manga that centers around Karasuno High School’s volleyball team and teamwork.
one of many hilarious moments in Haikyuu!!
I don’t think I have laughed so hard watching an anime in a while. In fact, I somehow gone through all 25 episodes in a day because the storytelling is enticing and all the characters are lovable. I have a soft spot for Suga and Nishinoya and Tanaka… basically all of Karasuno. The soundtrack for the anime is catchy and gets my blood pumping; it’s great workout music. I admit there are a few moments where I wished the plot would move faster. However, there is a good amount of tension and buildup to the point where when it’s the climax, I have my hands flailing in the air and I’m screaming at the screen in excitement. Maybe I’m just easily excited about things, but the show does have me at the edge of my seat. The same goes for the manga.

Head over to crunchyroll or hulu to watch Haikyuu!! I honestly cannot wait for season 2. I would keep myself busy by reading the manga, but I’m trying to keep myself from binge-reading it over at Casonova Scans because it’s only updated once a week.

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Matcha Mochi Ice Cream Madness

Mikawaya (left) and Maeda-en (right) green tea ice cream mochi packaging
Mikawaya (left) and Maeda-en (right) green tea ice cream mochi packaging

What is mochi?
For those who do not know, mochi is a glutinous rice cake that has been pounded into a paste and molded to a shape. The texture is sticky, sometimes gooey, and chewy. It’s often used to create confectionery such as daifuku (mochi commonly stuffed with red bean paste). You can read more about mochi here.

I still remember the day when Costco started selling ice cream mochi. A mob of people surrounded the food sample booth, trying to snag a sample before it ran out. After tasting the delicious morsel, my family immediately bought a vanilla flavored pack. I still stand by the belief that the chewy, sticky goodness of mochi encasing a chunk of ice cream is revolutionary.

A lot of American supermarkets sell ice cream mochi ranging from vanilla to green tea (matcha). Unlike American supermarkets, Japanese supermarkets, at least the ones that are around the area I live, sell two brands of ice cream mochi: Mikawaya and Maeda-en. Serendipitously both brands of ice cream mochi were on sale one week; my mom bought Mikawaya’s green tea ice cream mochi at Safeway and I bought Maeda-en’s green tea ice cream mochi at Marukai.

Mikawaya

  • comes with 6 ice cream mochi
  • mochi has stiff consistency which holds the form better, and immediately becomes chewy in the mouth
  • green tea flavor is very subtle, it’s practically nonexistent; taste has a bit of mint and other weird leafy flavors (I can’t really describe the exact taste but it’s not as pleasant as Maeda-en’s green tea ice cream)

Maeda-en

  • comes with 6 ice cream mochi
  • mochi has sticky consistency which makes everything fall apart after taking a bite into it
  • green tea flavor has the perfect balance of matcha which is no surprise because their green tea ice cream is the best thing ever
  • comparing the price at Marukai, Maeda-en is cheaper than Mikawaya; this could vary among location and stores

Ideally if you combine Mikawaya’s mochi with Maeda-en’s green tea ice cream, I would be like

I hope this doesn’t deter you from trying Mikawaya’s matcha mochi ice cream; the taste might be more suitable for you than Maeda-en’s. Both brands offer an array of flavors, so if matcha isn’t your thing, then you can try chocolate, mango, or even plum wine. Trust me, you can never go back to ice cream sandwiches once you tried an ice cream mochi… maybe you might, but do definitely try ice cream mochi once in your life.

La Fondue

My brother was visiting town for Memorial Day weekend, and our family decided to head to La Fondue to have a late Mother’s Day dinner. We had a three-course meal: cheese fondue and salad for appetizers, Le Freak which is a taste of all the meat/seafood they offer (i.e. 2โ€“3 pieces) for the main course, and chocolate fondue for dessert.

4 Cheese
4 Cheese

We chose Four Cheeseโ€”which consists of Ementhaler, Gruyere, Fontina Surchoix, and Champagneโ€”and Spinach salad. As the name suggests, the fondue is absolutely cheesy. I think if it had less cheese, it might have been perfect for my palate.

Spinach salad
Spinach salad

The Spinach salad contains an assortment of chopped and sliced vegetables with feta cheese. It’s delicious with or without dressing. Lemon Tarragon complements the salad well in my opinion.

grilling meat meat meat
grilling meat meat meat

The meat/seafood could be cooked in a variety of methods. We went for the lobster bisque and grill. The Lobster Bisque is an extra $20, but it looks tasty judging from my mom sneaking spoonfuls of the soup. I lost count how many times she did that because I was too busy staring at the meat cooking on the grill.

Le Freak offers a lot of exotic meat/seafood. I can finally say I tried kangaroo, alligator, elk, venison, and antelope, which to me, all tasted like steak. I guess that is because I overcooked all the meat. It’s quite difficult to tell if the meat is done in the restaurant’s dim lighting.

With the meat comes six different sauces: teriyaki, BBQ, mango chutney, teriyaki with a hint of wasabi, garlic butter, and sour cream with chopped chives. We used a lot of garlic butter to grease the grill and it gave the meat a wonderful flavor. My go-to sauces are mango chutney and BBQ.

The Decadent One
The Decadent One

We chose The Decadent One for our chocolate fondue, which is Milk & Dark Chocolates,
Espresso, Kahlua, and Creme. I think the subtle bitter taste of kahlua and espresso balances out the sweetness of the chocolates. This fondue goes well with the cream puff, fruit, marshmallows, and cinnamon covered cheesecake balls.

Overall it was a wonderful experience and I’m eternally grateful for Groupon because without it, this meal would have cost $300. The cost is quite high, but I still recommend going to La Fondue if a groupon offer arises, or if you want to share a romantic experience with your companion/significant other/partner (who can say no to chocolate fondue?!).