Okana-minyaki dinner. A specialty in Hiroshima. We called it "the fried pancake" dinner. It was so much better than that sounds, because the only thing that makes it a pancake is the shape. Think stir fry cooked in one piece on a hibachi grill. We shared three: veggie, seafood, and pork. Though it is prepared in the kitchen, it is served off a hot grill table. This small restaurant on a side street was recommended in the Lonely Planet travel guide. We might have passed it by otherwise. (Yes, we left our name and date on the wall, too.)
Our Shabu Shabu dinner in Tokyo. It is similar to fondue. Two broths are served over a flame. Plates of thinly sliced beef and pork are brought to the table, and we helped ourselves to the salad bar to bring our choice of vegetables to cook at the table, too. What makes this different from a fondue restaurant in the U.S.? You select the amount of time you plan to eat, either 90 minutes or two hours, and they keep bringing the food. (Great shot of the girls with Uncle Mike, Aunt Robin, and the food.)
Happy Birthday, Uncle Mike. We wish we could take you out for Shabu Shabu.