March 12, 2023

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 2: shop till you drop

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Despite having a pretty tiring day yesterday, we managed to drag our asses out of bed relatively early this morning for an excursion out of town. But first... breakfast! I managed to grab some goodies last night and we needed to make sure we have enough fuel for the day.

The egg sandwich (たまごサンド) from Family Mart was pretty nice. There were chunks of both egg white and also cooked yolk, with some of the yolk then mixed with mayo. Overall, pretty good.

We are in Fukuoka in March, so of course we had to buy some strawberries. In fact, I wish we had time to go strawberry picking in Itoshima (糸島). These Amaou (あまおう) strawberries from the supermarket in the train station were so, so ripe and sweet!  Ripened all the way to the top, just below the calyx.

Our main activity today is... shopping! We had a lot of fun at Tosu Premium Outlets on our last trip so we decided to go back for some more shopping. This time around, though, I chose to book tickets on the direct bus to the outlet. Makes things so much easier.

We really shopped up a storm, picking up shoes, shirts, jeans... etc. A lot of the basics that are of decent quality, which can be glaringly missing in Hong Kong, but at very reasonable prices.

There aren't enough restaurants here for the crowd that has come on a Sunday, so we ended up at the food court. I haven't had Freshness Burger ever since they closed down in Hong Kong, and I really do miss that kind of burger. I decided to pick up a Classic Double Burger, because one patty just isn't enough. Not when the patties are so tender and juicy. I actually grew up eating mom's burgers, and hers are just as juicy as these. McDonald's may have their Big 'N Tasty, but it just doesn't hold a candle to this.

I had never seen the long potato before so I wanted to try it. Turns out these weren't that tasty, as they're made of potato mash instead of actual strips of potatoes.

We carried a ton of stuff back to the bus terminal in Tenjin (天神), but had to make an extra stop to do one last bit of shopping - buying ourselves a new piece of luggage so we could fit all the shopping in.

Dinner time rolled around, and it was time to check out another ramen joint. We are in Hakata, after all! The walk to the honten of Hakata Issou (博多一双) wasn't too long, but there was already a reasonable line outside, even in light rain. So the two people who normally refuse to line up for food ended up standing in the rain for about 50 minutes. All this for the second-highest rated ramen in Fukuoka on Tabelog.

I was panicking a little when it came to my turn to buy tickets for our meal. There was no menu to look at while standing in front of the vending machine, I hadn't done any homework on what was available, and I was dumb enough not to ask for help. So I chose the special ramen (特製ラーメン) thinking that it was some super-duper version with all the trimmings. Well... I did get a whole egg, and lots of laver (海苔), and a couple of thin slices of chashu (チャーシュー), but there was more wantan (ワンタン) in my bowl than there was chashu, and that's just wrong!

But the tonkotsu (豚骨) broth was absolutely amazing. Hakata is, after all, the place for pork bone broth style ramen, and this was just very, very flavorful. In fact, there was so much flavor here that the air inside the restaurant smelled like - according to Foursheets - "stinky feet".

I also got us a plate of 10 gyoza (餃子) to share. Bite-sized and decent, but not too special.

It's been another long day, with a ton of walking. We decided to call it a night after dinner, since there would be another busy day tomorrow...

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