The last time we were in Kyoto our visit was slightly interrupted by Typhoon Vongfong, I promised the Missus that we'd return and finish off the plans we'd had. And so we decided to visit during autumn, where we'd see the wonderful changing of the seasons.
But first, let's have a Mt Fuji break. As I mentioned previously, when leaving Tokyo for Kyoto or anyplace in Kansai for that matter, get a seat on the right side of the Shinkansen....... On a clear day, there's nothing more picturesque than passing a snow topped Mount Fuji.
We left from Tokyo Station quite early in the morning.....I call this shot; "Onigiri at Sunrise".
And a little something from the "Ekiben Stand".
One of the really great things about train stations in Japan is....well, besides being super clean, are the availability of lockers. We stowed our luggage in a locker and headed off, back to Tōfuku-ji. I guess checking out the autumn colors is serious business here as we walked past quite a line to get in.
Of course everyone wants to view things from the Tsuten-kyō Bridge (The Bridge to Heaven) which looked absolutely packed.
As were the trails....though things were covered by the autumn foliage.
And yes indeed, the crowds were no joke.
Though this is Japan, so things were rather orderly.
And views were quite stunning.
And in spite of the crowds, things were rather quiet. So you could find that little peaceful space to admire.
Satisfied we left and headed back to the station to catch the train back to Kyoto Station.
Stopping at a few temples along the way like Taiko-an.
Back to Kyoto Station, they were gearing up for Christmas.
The chill in the air called for ramen and we headed up to 10th floor of the Station Building to Kyoto Ramen Koji, basically Kyoto Station's own "Ramen Street". There are 8 different ramen shops on this floor. Having already had Seabura (Pork Backfat) Ramen, flame torched chashu Miso Ramen in Sapporo, and Iekei Ramen, I wanted some nice Fukuoka style Tonkotsu. So I talked the Missus into Hakata Ikkousha. Yes, I know they have a location in Orange County, but I believe the menu is slightly different.
They were also the busiest place on this floor. We went to the ticket machine and put our money in and got our ticket and waited in line for about 10 minutes.
As is somewhat typical for us; there's no way I can finish a whole bowl myself; we got the Ajitama (soft boiled egg) Ramen and a side dish to share. The presentation at Ikkousha is interesting. They lie four thin slices of chashu on top of the bowl, making it look like a single large layer of pork.
Man, that egg was just a perfect soft, runny boiled thing of beauty. The pork was not my favorite, especially after having so much during this trip as it was on the bland side and rather dry. The noodles were good, a tad past how I prefer them prepared, but way better than anything here in the states. The broth was rich, but I found it less satisfying than Ippudo (we'd go to the Kyoto location later during the trip). I found it less porky and not quite as rich, even though it seemed nicely viscous. It was not bad by any means; quite good, as it still had that "aaaah" factor.
The Karaage was decent, good flavor, but the texture was a little too soft for our taste. Again, we'd have our favorite version again while in the city.
Overall, a nice bowl, decent karaage, it was autumn, the air crisp, our bellies warm.....
Hakata Ikkousha Kyoto Ramen Koji Kyoto Station Building (West Zone), 10th ﬂoor
A few nights ago, I got a late start on dinner. Like I've mentioned before; I usually like to have an early dinner. I slowly hit a couple of places, but each had a waiting list, or the parking lot was full. By this time, I'd pretty much lost any motivation to go out of my way. On the way home, I passed Nazca Grill. It had been nearly two years since my last visit and over six months since we got back from Peru. The place was empty, so I decided to stop and have some dinner.
The place is starting to look a bit faded and I noticed several dishes; specifically the Causa Limeña, possibly the item I thought they did best was no longer on the menu.
I just went for the simple Lomo Saltado ($13.95).
Good lord, what happened here? I'm used to the beef here being a bit more chewy, but this one had that semi-metallic taste, a bit off. There was but one slice of tomato, you need more to really give a nice tangy punch to lomo saltado. The papas fritas were just dumped to the side, not mixed with the stir fry like it should be. This dish looked nothing like what I'm used to having here. The sauce lacked any tanginess and had a bitter after taste. Sadly, this place has fallen even farther than Latin Chef.
Man, looking back over the last couple of weeks......I really haven't been "Little Miss Sunshine", huh? So let's turn things around a bit. Here's the Missus's current date night spot for us. We both have hectic schedules right now and are working like crazy. While my usual routine is to come home and cook multiple dishes of "quick" things and supplement with leftovers (La Rou is always welcomed). We try to save at least one night of the week for the both of us. The Missus was really missing France for a while and our good friend Candice suggested Et Voila! So we decided to check them out and have been going on a regular basis since then.
Located on Adam's Avenue next to Tajima and Hawthorne Coffee, we enjoy the early dinner times....yes, you can call us the "Blue Plate Special" folks these days....but my day at work usually starts around 6am and on recent evenings, I haven't gotten home until almost 6pm. So, on that evening where I can get home at 4, I'm usually already pretty hungry, and having dinner at say, 445pm doesn't sound bad at all. Plus, we don't have to worry about reservations.
We like the atmosphere, while the lighting on the dark side, it's nice and unpretentious and we usually get one of the more comfortable tables when we arrive early.
Recently, the Missus has been getting into cocktails......I do see danger ahead with this one. We enjoy the cocktails here, while not cheap at $12, they are $7 during Happy Hour. My favorite is the Huckleberry Bourbon.
For the Missus, it used to be the Celery Gimlet.
But now, She's starting to enjoy Bourbon, so it's the Blooming Manhattan.
The bread here is simple and par baked baguette which is surprisingly good. Still a bit light in the salt department....we'd gotten used to the yeasty-salty-savory French Baguettes.
The Missus enjoys some butter on Hers and enjoys it, though She'd really like it if there was some sea salt sprinkled on top.
Off to the food! The Missus had always told me She hated Escargot. Heck, if I knew this before we got married....nah, just kidding! But once in Burgundy, I told Her She just had to try them. And of course once She had 'em.....we had to order them during just about every meal in Dijon and Beaune.
This version uses Pastis, which adds an interesting, though not offensive amount of light anise flavor. Being the garlic lover, I'd love a bit more garlic. The Missus just wants more sauce, period. This is a very nice rendition overall, though it doesn't come close to what we had in Burgundy.
We got the Pork Belly, Poached Egg, and Frisee ($13).
This was very nice; the truffle vinaigrette really shined and we loved that the frisee wasn't over-dressed. The pork belly was crisp on the exterior, creamy inside, quite lovely. And the Missus loved the gooey egg yolk all over the greens. Not a big fan of the toasts as the flavors seemed to clash with the pork and salad. But this was a very nice dish.
Going with the "all apps" approach. Something that we really enjoy doing since we just can't away all that food anymore, we ended with, well, what else? Duo de Foie Gras ($26).
We've had so much Foie Gras, that perhaps I should have a category for it. We both adored the foie gras terrine; smooth, rich, perfectly funky, it was decadent and delicious. The regular sautéed version was dry and overcooked having an unpleasant dry-mealy texture. We decided to stick with the terrine on future visits.
Which came around quite quickly, as in the following week.
Starting this time with the Burrata and Beet Salad ($11).
Man, the plating was bit over-the-top for us. Sort of like they hired Jackson Pollack to design this dish. The burrata was delicious though, creamy, slightly milky, with just that hint of acid. Loved the beets, perfectly sweet. Again the greens were nicely dressed, though the balsamic dressing was a bit on the sweet side for us. Still, a nice dish.
And of course, the Foie Gras Terrine ($23).
While a bit "busy" in terms of presentation, that foie gras terrine is really good. I really don't need any of the garnishes, though the Missus likes what I believe is fig chutney. I just like eating the pears by themselves, ditto the brioche, as we almost prefer the baguette for the foie gras.
Man, two rich dishes and we were out.
Only to return a few weeks later. Of course we got the foie gras terrine, but also decided to try the Ravioli aux Champignons ($13). Which had us wondering why we hadn't tried this before.
My goodness, the deep earthy mushroom tones....think porcini, a touch of truffle oil, tempered with a hint of sweet flavors, with a shaving of Parmesan for saltiness. This has become something we order on every visit now. And though the composition seems to have changed, with more broth and cheese; I actually think this is an improvement. The Missus has been bugging me to make my Mushroom Risotto after this meal.
Because there was a special Perigord Black Truffle menu on this evening. Now, having been to Dordogne, how could we resist. In spite of my loathe of par cooked restaurant style risotto. So we got the Black Truffle Risotto ($25). It was actually a good sign that it took over 25 minutes to get to us. And what we got was delici-yoso!
Man, this was so good. The risotto perfect in texture, tender, with a slight chew, no hard granular core. The combination of truffle and mushroom flavors is one made in heaven. And we were definitely there on this evening. And of course we had the foie gras terrine....man, talk about a rich meal.
Next time around was kind of funny. I usually avoid places during Restaurant Week. No offense, but I enjoy visiting a restaurant when it's not totally slammed, or when they don't have a pared down menu, and many places aren't able to show their real capability because, well, they're trying to turn a profit too, right? And in spite of always being offered freebies during RW.....you know how we feel about that here. With all of that in mind, we ended up at Et Voila during RW! Go figure. The menu looked fascinating, so we went for it, along with the wine pairings, which were pretty good.
The Gravlax de Saumon D'Ecosse was superb, I mean really, really, good. I had misgivings because it seemed cut too thick.
But holy smokes, that texture was excellent, meaty, but still silky and sublime. Loved the understated brininess and the mustard was just enough to cut through everything else. You know how we feel about the greens here. We loved the simple perfectly dressed arugula.
Having just had some good Jambon de Bourgogne in Burgundy, I was interested in the Terrine de Champignon en Croute.
First off, the pickles were excellent, simple, but each had it's own unique personality. The pastry was a bit too mushy for my taste; but that mushroom pate was very good; earthy-mushroom tones, just a touch of richness, a bit of pungency to cut down the richness.
I chose the Pan Seared Duck Breast as my main.
There were some nice elements to this dish; the Swiss Chard Gratin was so good; rich, slightly buttery potatoes, but balanced by the light bitter-sweet flavor of the chard. The duck had been lightly smoked and the texture was outstanding; it was still tender and hadn't firmed up too much. Served medium was perfect for this. My only problem was that the sauce was way too salty. I gave up after a few bites and the Missus traded dishes with me. She plowed through this like there was no tomorrow.
What She got and I ended up with was the Braised Shortribs.
The Missus wanted this a bit more tender; but I enjoyed the beefy flavor and the slight toothsomeness of the beef. So I ended up with this. I enjoyed the Red Wine sauce and the charred broccoli. This was a nice dish.
Dessert is the Missus's department and She enjoyed them both.
The Missus enjoyed this so much that She made reservations to return the next night with a friend. Unfortunately, the friend cancelled at the last minute. The Missus was really looking forward to getting the duck again, so I decided on being "plan B" for the evening. This time though, I was going to go a bit easier. While the Missus got the duck, I got the ravioli and the Beef Tartare ($13).
Man, this was at least 6 ounces; quite large. There was a bit too much filler in this version, along with being a bit heavy handed on the mustard for my taste. There was something in this that gave it almost a fishiness that both the Missus and I didn't care for. I may try this again in the future, though I'm not so sure.....
We've been back a couple of times since then, mostly ordering the same old items. Though one night we went with both the foie gras terrine and the charcuterie and fromage plate ($22).
Man, this was a lot of food. Loved the pate as it was earthy and delicious. That camembert also hit the spot.
We enjoy the vibe here; a bit more grown up, unpretentious, the service genial and professional. That's perfect for us.
The price point is not cheap; we haven't spent less than $80 for a meal, even with just appetizers here....but of course, we love those cocktails. We've been to many of the more well known places in San Diego, but have never wanted to return (hence no posts)...Et Voila though...well it's on the rotation.
After having a wonderful time visiting Kamakura, we were pretty hungry. We arrived back in Tokyo and freshened up. We had one more night left and the Missus still hadn't had Her share of Yakitori yet. Isehiro had been a recommendation I received and we even tried to get in on our first evening in Tokyo, but they were strangely closed. So we decided to give it another try.
My understanding is that all the tables upstairs are usually reserved, but the tables and counter downstairs are not. There was not a single soul in the place when we arrived.
But the gentleman behind the grill was cooking like crazy, then placing items in containers. The Missus and I looked at each other and got a feeling that this wasn't going to be a particularly stellar meal. Items are precooked, then reheated.
Next little thing. We were told that there were two "set" menus available.......you can do extras, but no a la carte. The full course was 6480 ¥ (about $60/US at the time) and the "healthy" course was 5832 ¥ (about $54/US). Man, that's not cheap. Each course had 9 skewers, the healthy course had some vegetable items.
We decided to stay the course and just go for it. Though at this point, I'm thinking this better be good. I decided to get a Highball to start.
After the traditional oshibori, the hot towel, things started coming fast a and furious....I mean why not? Most of it was premade.
We both got the Sasami (Chicken Breast) to start. This has never been a big favorite of mine and this version was dry and needed much more salt as well. I first thought that this might be tori-wasa, which would be tender and medium rare, but this was overcooked.
One item that I thought was good here is the Kimo; the chicken liver. The Missus loves this, but I'm not too fond of it. However, this was very good, not too minerally in flavor, without that mushiness I'm not a big fan of.
The tare added a nice sweet-saltiness that deflected all the flavors in chicken liver that I don't like.
We both also received Sunagimo, chicken gizzards.
I usually enjoy how gizzards really absorb the smokiness of the bincho; but instead of being crunchy, this was hard, and strangely didn't have that smokiness I enjoy.
Next up for the both of us was the negi-maki, thigh meat wrapped in scallion.
The meat was very moist if a bit on the tough side. The bitterness of the incinerated scallions was rather unpleasant.
Next up for the both of us is one of my key favorites when it comes to yakitori; tsukune (chicken meatball).
In complete contrast to other items that were basically burnt, this needed a bit more color. What little tare was used on the meatball brought nothing to it. The meatball was toughr than I prefer and there were hard bits as well.
Next up for the Missus, Cherry Tomatoes.
Innocuous, tart, could have used a bit more time on the grill.
I received another of my usual favorites; "kawa", chicken skin.
The burnt bits were crisp, but the rest dry and gummy. This needed more saltiness, or at least a good tare.
The Momoniku (thigh) was quite good.
Except for the scallion being burnt bitter again. Great sweet-salty flavors for the toothsome but not tough chicken thighs. The slightly smoky flavor lifted the dish.
Next for the Missus, Shiitake.
This was fine, but really didn't have any seasoning....it was almost like it hadn't been grilled. Check out the skewers, no blackening on it. Odd.
I received the Aigamo (Duck).
This needed more seasoning and was overcooked for our taste, making it tough and rather stringy.
The Missus finished up with Nankotsu; chicken cartilage.
This was decently prepared, if a bit on the dry side. The amount of salt used was perfect.
My last dish was another favorite of mine; Teba, chicken wing.
Dried out, rubbery, and too salty. Not my favorite combination of textures and tastes.
The Missus and I left somewhat disillusioned. I've always said that it's hard to get a bad meal in Japan and while this wasn't terrible, it wasn't close to being good. I'm wondering if it was just a bad night? Luckily, we'd get some great yakitori later on during this trip.
Isehiro Kyobashi Honten 1-5-4 Kyoashi, Chuo 104-0031 Tokyo
In my post mentioning that Great Wow looked shuttered; "GT" mentioned the Hillcrest spot, which I posted on back in November. At that time it seemed to me like Wow was expanding....after all, this spot seemed maybe one-third the size of the Convoy location. This weekend, I had to pick something up in Hillcrest for the Missus, so I went to check the place out.
Well whaddya know; the place had opened. In need of some lunch, I decided to check the place out.
They've really packed it in here! The tables and chairs looked exactly the same as the restaurant had on Convoy.
There's a small bar area here as well. The really nice young man manning the front told me that right now; "it's happy hour all day"!
The current menu looks quite temporary; a bunch of stapled together pages with photos......there were only three varieties of jiaozi available, 1 vegetarian, 2 with shrimp.
While looking thru things the older gentleman dropped by this for me.....
Man, when had I last seen this in San Diego? Seven Layer Meat Cake. Basically layers of thin scallion bread with a light sprinkling of seasoned, ground meat between the layers. The flavors were pretty good, on the rich side. Enjoyed the crispness, but this looked a bit over-cooked and was the exterior was on the hard side instead of crisp. Nice try though.
My hot tea arrived; which helped to balance out all that richness.
I went ahead and placed an order for the Shrimp and Chive dumplings.
And this was brought to my table. Wow; a Xian Bing!
This was deeply browned, but was nice and crisp with a light chewiness. Not a big fan of the filling though, it was just rather bland.
Meanwhile, since I was the only customer in the place, the nice young man dropped by and we had a nice chat. It seems that they've bought into the Trinitea franchise at this location. They are paring down the menu while trying some new items. I did mention how much we enjoy the radish version of Xian Bing; like we've had Beijing Pie House, though I'm not sure how that would go here in Hillcrest. They are trying a few more vegetarian options.
I had noticed that they were making my jiaozi to order....very nice.
I finally broached the question about the Convoy location and was told that yes, that shop is indeed closed. It is going to be (yet another) a hot pot restaurant.
Meanwhile, yet another sample....a hot and sour soup was brought to my table.
Man, I was getting full just eating samples!
I didn't think I'd be able to finish my Shrimp and Chive Jiaozi.
So, how did these measure up? The wrappers were a bit thicker and had less chew to them than I recalled. Very plump and moist....super moist. Like the Shrimp, Pork, and chive I had at Convoy, the chive flavor came through quite well, but the filling was quite salty.
Still, not bad.
I'm still wondering how Hillcrest is going to do with Xian Bing, Jiaozi, and items like that. I'm hoping they give them a try. The Trinitea take out window was doing good business though.
Trinitea & Great Wow 3865 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92103
I saw this interesting little diner as we got off the train.
Spam Musubi....malasadas....loco moco...hmmm.... But of course the Missus was having none of that. Plus, I was still stuffed from breakfast.
We strolled on over to Hase-dera which was already starting to get pretty crowded on this fall morning.
The temple is built on the slope of a mountain. So while folks were headed to the Kannon Museum to view the statue of Kannon.
We decided to head up the "Prospect Road".
Which was still quite peaceful on this morning.
Which ended with a wonderful view of Kamakura and Sagami Bay.
We just meandered around the temple grounds.
Coming across the Benten-kutsu Cave.
Which contains bas-reliefs of Benzaiten and other Buddhist Gods.
There's something about the temples in Kamakura that just puts me at ease. I'm able to relax and mentally regroup and feel that yes, I am away from work.
The air seemed so fresh and clean that we decided to walk back to the Kamakura Station area. We walked along the large, but relatively quiet street, stopping along the way to buy some wagashi and also to just take it all in.
Reaching the relatively busy shopping street heading back to Kamakura Station we stopped for a coffee in a random Café.
And the Missus had Her kimishigure.
Feeling energized the Missus decided that instead of catching the train to the next stop up from Kamakura Station and get off at Kita-Kamakura; we would just walk.
Engaku-ji is right next to Kita-Kamakura Station and right behind Kencho-ji is ranked second among Kamakura's five great Zen temples.
The Butsuden displays a wooden statue of Shaka Buddha.
The Shariden displays what is supposed to be a tooth of Buddha.
This Juniper Tree is named Biyakushin and is said to have been planted by the founder of Engaku-ji, making it over 700 years old.
It's great fun wondering around the grounds of this good sized complex.
Up this hill resides the Ogane, the "Grand Bell", which of course has a story.....
And the Bentendo......
Fairly close by is Meigetsu-in. Meigetsu mean "bright moon", so you'll see representation of rabbits, (remember the Japanese children's story Tsuki no Usagi?) on the grounds. We found this one, right near the entrance to be quite charming.
The area is rather small, but hosts some important items. Kamakura was not well known for having a good fresh water supply. Therefore, any good drinkable water supply was considered a blessing. Kam--no-I is one of the ten wells of Kamakura.
There's a cave here as well; known as the Meigetsu-in Yagura. Yagura are human made caves that were used as tombs.
It is said that this is the tomb of Uesugi Norikata who is said to have founded this temple.
Along one of the walls were little "squirrel houses". There actually were squirrels scampering from house to house to grab a bite.
Speaking of grabbing a bite. Many of these temples have tea houses....which seemed kind of touristy to us. But we needed a short break so we thought why not.
This turned out to be a nice break for us.....
A nice bit of tea......a not so sweet confection.
And all on the grounds of a lovely temple in Kamakura.....
I'm sure that not having too many folks visiting when we were added to the "atmosphere". But things surely seemed serene to us....and that's what really mattered, right?
Noticed when I went to pick up lunch at Beauty Hunan. Ready for more ramen?
8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M San Diego, CA 92111
Continuing my "Hut Streak":
So, "Sandy" left a comment on my Noodle Hut post, after I mentioned doing "Two Huts in Three Days". She asked me: What's next - Pizza Hut? Apparently, Cathy read that comment and thought it was a hoot. So, I thought, "ok, why not"? The only problem was.....I don't recall the last time I actually saw a Pizza Hut and let Cathy know. She believes that I just block those places out. So, after doing a Google search, I found a Pizza Hut nearby....doesn't seem to have too many of them left, in Clairemont Town Square. I headed on over......by the time I reached the parking lot, I already had....hmmmm......how to describe it, "buyer's pre-morse"? And upon finding that it looked like a take-out only shop, I decided to turn around and head back to the car.
Yes...you could say that I....."chickened - Hut".
Still, wanting to keep my "hut-streak" going for one more day, I found a place that fulfilled the criteria.
It must have been fate, because I found a parking space in the worst lot on Convoy.
And had some Wings - "Naked"....sauce on the side. Nicely fried.
So there you go. I think three "Hut posts" in a row is enough.
I decided to visit when the weather was running on the cold side. The place had just opened their doors and I was curious.
Man, they've gone full bore with the wood paneling thing.
Though the light fixtures and the chairs are the same, the table tops look a bit different. There's now a noodle/dumpling making booth in the back corner, though I never saw anyone amking either on any of my visits.
Being a bit chilly; I decided on the Lamb Hand Ripped Noodles ($8.99).
Like Kirbie, I thought the noodles were quite good, a bit of spring to them, good chew, very nice texture all around. The lamb was decent, on the chewy side, and only fairly gamey. For some reason, I didn't enjoy the cabbage in this soup, which was perfectly scalding hot! The broth also had too much white pepper in it, causing it to be too bitter for me.
This was decent, the portion size generous....at least in terms of noodles and soup. So I returned a few days later with Calvin in tow. I'd first introduced him to Yang Rou Pao Mo at Xi'an Kitchen. Turned out he loved it. So he was eager to try out Noodle Hut.
While looking at the menu; Calvin noted that it really did resemble that of Xi'an Kitchen with a few exceptions.
We started with the Preserved Eggs and Tofu a bargain at $4.99.
While not as good as the version we had at Shan Xi Magic Kitchen, this was still decent. The tofu had been adequately drained, the earth-sulfuric tones of the pidan, matched with the scallions and Peppercorn Oil was vey nice. The tofu added a refreshing layer to the dish. I'd been trying to get the Missus to try this at Shan Xi Magic Kitchen, but She wasn't interested. Last time I went, they didn't have it on the menu. I took the leftovers home and the Missus really enjoyed it........go figure....when will She trust my taste?
Of course we got the Yang Rou Pao Mo ($8.99).
Aside from the waxy, totally wrong bread (hopefully one day they'll get it right here in the states), which I've gotten used to; there were some hard pieces. The broth was too watery and bland. The lamb was nice and tender, but like the broth really lacked the "skatolic" barnyard essense that makes this dish so rich and hearty.
We asked the young lady for a recommendation and she suggested the Spicy Chicken Soup...so to her surprise we ordered the Szechuan "Pork Gut Soup in Casserole" ($10.99)
While there wasn't much intestine in this soup, and what there was didn't seemed to be prepared very well, it sure was spicy....though on the thin side and we both missed the "ma" (numbing) sensation that we enjoy from Sichuan type dishes like this. Again for eleven bucks, the portion size was quite generous.
And so, this would basically be it. Except for all the long days I've been working. At the end of one particularly long day, I told the Missus that I wasn't up to the task of making dinner....so She requested that Pidan and Tofu dish. Take-out on the way home.
The portion size was well worth the $4.99.......until I opened my big fat mouth and said that we could do better just making this ourselves. Sigh. So now it's organic tofu, preserved egg, scallions from the yard, and Sichuan Peppercorn Oil at home.
I also ordered the Cumin Lamb.
Man, this was a good sized portion. Though for my taste, there wasn't enough cumin, nor enough flavor overall. The lamb was thick sliced and rather tough. Thin sliced onion is a nice addition, but the red and green bell peppers seemed like filler. I also missed cilantro in this as well. This was more quantity over quality for me.
Which kind of describes Noodle Hut. I think most folks prefer that. Sorry to say; that's not our preference. Though I'm thinking I need to try the jiaozi here. One of these days.