Friday, April 12, 2013

Kamakura Weekend

My wife and I recently enjoyed a wonderful getaway weekend in Kamakura, timing it perfectly with the sakura in full bloom.  But along with the cherry blossoms, we indulged ourselves in the local goodies that Kamakura has to offer. 
Our first find was at Café Campanella.  Please click on the restaurant name for a detailed post.
Later, while strolling down one of the main touristy avenues (click HERE for a map), I noticed a crowd of people congregating at a little hole-in-the-wall croquette shop.  I believe the name of the shop is 鳥小屋, which fries up an assortment of breaded goodness, each for only 200 yen:  meat, purple sweet potato, black sesame,  chocolate, maccha,  yuzu, and ume-shiso.

Crispy goodness!

I’ve never really been a fan of croquettes, but apparently Kamakura croquettes are a local specialty so I decided to try one, and I’m sure glad I did!  
I chose the meat croquette and found it to be delightful!  Fried to crispy perfection, the breaded coating crunchy and flaky, with the meat and potato minced filling seasoned nicely, yet surprisingly, not very greasy.  I would’ve loved to try another one but I decided to save room for any other specialties I would run into.  Click on the name of the restaurant for more information about it:  鳥小屋.


My next discovery was just down the street (click MAP) at 腸詰屋, or Schinken & Wurst Hot Dog Bar.  I’m really not sure what the name of the place is, but it seems to be quite popular as there were two other locations that I saw in my short time in Kamakura.  Schinken & Wurst grills up five different varieties of sausages (plain, chorizo, curry, parsley, and paprika & herbs).   Each cost 350 yen for a sausage sans bun, but if you’d prefer it with a bun it’s 400 yen.  I only wanted the protein and not the carbs so I opted for a bunless plain link.

Notice the little piggies?

At first glance, it seemed as if the sausage had barely been near the fire, as there were hardly any grill marks on it.  But upon first bite I realized that it was hotter than it appeared, and the snap of the outer casing of the sausage was quite nice.  Who likes a limp, cold sausage?  I don’t know if it was worth 350 yen, but it was a mighty tasty wiener!  For more info, please click on the name:  腸詰屋. And just to confirm its tastiness, I went the next day to another of its locations HERE.  It proved to be just as delicious as its sister location.

Wonderful Wiener!

Another nice surprise was the apple pie at Little Mermaid (click name for information).  Tart Jonathan apples, butter and caramel mixed with an almond cream baked inside a wonderful crispy and flaky crust for only 280 yen.  This provided ample nourishment as we were trekking from temple to temple.

Little Mermaid Apple Pie

While on our return trip from Kenchōji Temple, we treated ourselves to some of the best vanilla soft cream I’ve licked in Japan at いも吉館.  Only three flavors are available at this ice cream joint, vanilla, purple sweet potato, and mixed, and the cost is 300 yen.  But after the many trails behind Kenchōji Temple, this luscious soft cream was a welcome treat.  Click HERE for a map.

おばあさん sneaking out with her ice cream.

Velvety Smooth!

We ate a satisfactory bacon and egg breakfast at 上島珈琲店This chain restaurant also has a Sendai location on Higashi-nibancho dori near Chuo-dori.  The buttered toast was quite nice, with the bread being soft and fluffy.  However, the egg was lacking salt and pepper, and I seemed to throw the staff into a panic when I asked for some salt and pepper.  Click on the name of the restaurant above for the Kamakura location.  

Good, but needs salt & pepper.

I saved the best for last, as our greatest discovery was Burosso in Ofuna.  Burosso deserved its own posting so please click on the name to link to that page.
We had a wonderful time savoring the sights and flavors of Kamakura and its surroundings.  Although cherry blossom season may be over by now, the great tastes still remain.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

KAMAKURA: Ōfuna Burosso 大船ブロッソ 0467-50-0525

Address:  神奈川県鎌倉大船1-20-14三友ビル1F.   Located about a five-minute walk from Ōfuna JR Station.
Map:  Scroll down below.
Open:  Lunch: 11:30 – 2:30 Dinner:  6:00 – 10:30
On a recent trip to Kamakura my wife and I were at a conundrum on where to dine for the evening.  I Googled 「鎌倉食事」and narrowed down our choices to what was in the vicinity of our hotel.  Burosso looked interesting so we called and made a reservation.
Though the restaurant appeared easy to find on Google Maps, we walked up and down nearby streets and couldn’t find it.  We called Burosso again and were instructed to walk down a small side street where the kind waitress came out of the restaurant to look for us.
I have a theory that inconspicuous restaurants are very often hidden gems.  Well, Burosso took the hidden part to a whole new level.  I advise you to look closely to the map on the Access page of Burosso’s website for the most accurate directions, as Google maps had us on the wrong street, but less than twenty meters from the place.
Ordering turned into a huge ordeal for me as I was quite overwhelmed by all the tantalizing selections available.  The menu board listed twelve varieties of pastas, fourteen different pizzas, eighteen appetizers, along with a slew of meats, gratins, risottos, and salads to chose from.  Burosso’s Menu page on their website is currently under construction, and I can see why due to the wide assortment of entrées they serve.
We started off with a green salad (600 yen) that came with Romaine lettuce, red cabbage, big chunks of tomato, and as a pleasant surprise, thick avocado slices, all topped with parmesan cheese and an excellent tangy Italian dressing.  


I ordered the grilled pork roast (1400 yen), while my wife decided upon a margherita pizza (1100 yen).
The grilled pork was thick, tender, and basted in a savory gravy sauce, alongside a risotto-like rice serving with cheese flavoring.  Due to my pickiness, I really don’t care for cheese but I found this to be palatable.  My wife helped herself to a couple of generous spoonfuls of my rice and loved the cheese flavor!


The homemade Margherita pizza’s crust, which was made with whole-wheat flour, was very crispy, and this tactile feeling with the crackling sounds made it even more delectable.  Again, my wife raved about the rich mozzarella cheese flavor.  We sprinkled a little olive oil with togarashi chili pepper that was in a bottle that was brought to us, and this proved to be a stunning supplement to the pizza.  


My wife appreciated that they offered her two wines to choose from when she asked for a glass of house red wine.  She chose the Italian wine over the Australian and praised its flavor.  
If Burosso was located in Sendai, I’m sure it would make my Favorites list quite easily.  It’s unfortunate that I probably won’t be in Ōfuna again, but I feel fortunate that I feasted on their fine food!

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