The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

'Asian' dining at Frangipani (Kanazawa)

After an early morning start and a long-ish train ride back from our snowboarding trip in Nagano, we arrived in Kanazawa around lunch time, feeling pretty weary and hungry. We went in search for food at the new Forus centre by the eki (train station), and settled for having lunch at Frangipani Asian Restaurant. It was pretty popular and we had to wait perhaps 10minutes for a table.

The decor was quite nice - looks quite exotic, and you feel like you're somewhere in the warm tropics (well, not really, but close enough). Service was very friendly, polite and faultless, as is typical of the Japanese. All the waitresses were cute and chatty, eager to practice their English with us and to compliment us on our Japanese. One of them was even kind enough to offer to take a photo of our group when she saw me with my camera.

As far as I can tell, Frangipani serves dishes adapted from Thai, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines (I say 'adapted' because the dishes are not authentically prepared). Although not authentic, the food was very tasty in their own rights. The lunch menu was a bit limited but all of the offerings were affordable and under 1000 yen each. And the desserts were less than half price if you have it with your main meal.


Rob ordered the Nasi goreng special which came with salad and an egg on top. 'Nasi goreng' is the Indo/Malay title for fried rice. There is the option of ordering "1-hot", "2-hot" or "3-hot" (as the waitress had put it) and Rob went for the highest (but of course!). To my pleasant surprise, the rice actually had a little bit of spicy kick. This was very tasty.

Nasi goreng:

Kim and I ordered the Green Curry set, which came with rice and salad. We knew that it wouldn't be as spicy as we like curries to be, so we asked for extra chilli but they only had chilli ketchup so we made do with that. Surprisingly, the sauce went quite well with the curry. The curry was rich with coconut cream with some chicken and capsicum pieces floating in it. Yummies..

Thai green curry with salad

Richie went for the safest offering on the menu, which was the Pasta special. It was spaghetti carbonara which was super rich and creamy.


We had a bit of trouble trying to figure out what each of the desserts were meant to be. Katakana words can sometimes be difficult to comprehend especially for words in a language other than English. This was where my limited Malay knowledge came in handy. Two of the desserts were pisang goreng (deep-fried banana fritter, a popular snack available from street vendors in Malaysia) and dadar (a Malaysian Nonya kueh with sweet coconut filling). Mmm yummy, how I miss eating all the yummy Nonya kueh. Perhaps I should learn how to make them. Hmm.. maybe I can take an extended vacation back to Malaysia and spend all that time learning how to make kueh from my grandma (who is of Nonya descent). Or perhaps I could spend that time gorging on kueh from street vendors. But I digress..

Dadar - which doesn't look like what it's supposed to, probably due to the lack of pandan leaves. It was yummy but not quite the same because it was missing key ingredients like gula melaka (palm sugar) and pandan:

Coconut ice cream in coconut milk with sago seeds - tasted exactly like the description:

All in all, it was a good feed after a long train ride. Very affordable too :) Oh how I miss eating Malaysian food. Wish it was more popular in Japan..

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