The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

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Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

I love Sushi lives up to its name

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on June 6, 2010

As we’ve mentioned in a few posts, we’ve been looking for some reasonably priced, good sushi in the Henderson area.  We’ve received some recommendations that we still hope to check out soon, but we made our way to I Love Sushi in Henderson this week for lunch.  We met up with a friend and his wife for an impromptu lunch.  The Husband had been there before with the friend but didn’t blog about it.  I personally forgot my camera but used my trusty iPhone as back up (I apologize in advance for some of the photos).

IMG_0235 Seeing the name, I thought it was quite pretentious of themselves and I was wondering if they could live up to it.  Upon entering the restaurant, we found a very large sushi bar and a good number of tables.  Since it was lunch time, it wasn’t crowded, but it definitely wasn’t empty.


IMG_0237 We took a brief look through the menu but was distracted by catching up with each other.

IMG_0238 I noticed the sushi boat selections – I love when a handful of selections are already made for you in a sushi place as I often have a difficult time choosing.

IMG_0240 There were also lunch specials, but we decided we definitely wanted sushi.

IMG_0241 Under the table glass, there was a sushi a la carte menu.

IMG_0243 We decided as a group to share the Sushi Boat.  Our friends had split the boat for 2 in the past and advised that it was way more than enough food for two and we should get one for the four of us (a boat for 2 that is).

IMG_0244 A boat for two came with two house salads and two bowls of miso soup.  Both were good.


IMG_0246 Since there were only two salads, we ordered two more salads so everyone could have one.  The Husband ordered the seaweed salad.  I had a handful of bites and thought it was amazing.  So very good! Definitely what I’ll order as a salad in the future if given the opportunity.

IMG_0247 Here’s the best photo I could get of the sushi boat.  It was huge! How can they expect only two people to eat this whole thing?!?!

IMG_0249 This plate shows one of each type of piece minus the sushi pieces (fish on top of rice).  The sushi boat included a tuna roll, a California roll, a Spicy Tuna Roll (made differently than others I’ve had but definitely spicy), Philadelphia Roll (great especially after eating the spicy tuna roll as a palate cooler), a Tempura Roll, an Alaska roll, six pieces of sushi (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, albacore, and white fish), and nine pieces of sashimi (just fish – Tuna, Yellowtail, and Salmon).


The food was excellent.  I personally didn’t use any soy sauce (something I’ve started doing at sushi restaurants – I don’t want to overpower them with the salty sauce).  It was so very fresh and at room temperature which we all loved (brought out the flavors more than cold sushi).  The boat was a bit expensive for two people (about $60) but for four people including some pieces left over to take home.  If you haven’t been here yet, we definitely recommend it!

I Love Sushi on Urbanspoon

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

New Zealand Cafe

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 14, 2010

When the Husband and I first got together, he was not a fan of sushi at all.  One weekend we visited some of his friends in Richmond, VA and they took us to a place called Sticky Rice for dinner.  Sticky Rice is famous for it’s crazy sushi recipes and this was how the Husband fell in love with sushi 🙂 In Charlotte, his taste for sushi has increased thanks for the New Zealand Cafe.  Friends had found this restaurant on the other side of the city from us and invited us out early on in our time here in Charlotte.  After one dinner there, we knew this was the place we would go for sushi.  Unfortunately, it’s a bit far for us so we haven’t been too often but we recently made it a point to get there before the big move.  We met up with some friends to share in the dining experience.

From the outside, one has no idea what kind of restaurant the New Zealand Cafe is.  It’s tucked away in a shopping center, next to a Chinese restaurant and near a Harris Teeter.  We would have never thought to check this place out if it weren’t for our friends who introduced us to it.

IMG_2511 Inside, the restaurant is cozy, with only a handful of tables and a small bar in front of the sushi chef. (This photo shows about half of the restaurant.)  There was an employee hanging out at the door and for quite some time we couldn’t quite determine her function.  After a few customers came in and sat near her, we figured out that she was taking To Go orders!  If I lived closer, I would possibly become poor getting take out here (i.e. I would do it often!)IMG_2526

The menus boast all kinds of sushi (as well as non-sushi items – there’s always at least one of you in the group).  Paper menus with text describing the various rolls:



IMG_2515 And a very large photo filled sushi menu (more my style when it comes to sushi):

IMG_2516 We placed our orders, caught up with our friends, and the Husband enjoyed a Sapporo.


The Husband and I got three rolls to share.  We had the Rainbow Roll which was a California Roll draped with tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp, and smelt roe.  Our second roll was the Wasabi Tuna Roll.  It was spicy albacore tuna, crab, avocado, wasabi mayo, smelt roe, and dry tuna.  (<—This one was AMAZING!)  The third roll was a Dynamite Roll.  This was spicy yellow tail, avocado, and crab with smelt roe.  I never know how much sushi to order and this turned out to be perfect for us.


Our friend Katie, a non-sushi eater, ordered one of the chicken dishes.  It looked delish to me 🙂


While we enjoyed our meal, I noticed a number of women appearing to have a girls’ night out or happy hour.  They had sushi on boats and glasses of wine, so it looks like a popular place if that’s something you’re looking for.

The only other place in Charlotte we’ve heard rave reviews about for sushi is Ru San’s but unfortunately I never made it there (the Husband did once but didn’t get a chance to post about it).  If you’re in Charlotte and like sushi, we definitely recommend you make your way over to Sardis Road and check this place out.

New Zealand Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Sydney’s Darling Harbour, and a Train Trip to Brisbane

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on March 12, 2010

After our trip to the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley, we popped back into Sydney to see the rest of the downtown area.  After getting up early, we headed into Sydney to return our rental car.  We popped over to a small cafe for a bite to eat and waited for my brother to come pick us up.


It was a nice little open-air cafe, really.




The orange juice was pretty weird.  At first, I thought it just wasn’t freshly squeezed, but after looking at it, I don’t think that was it.  I think the oranges in Australia are just different than oranges I’m used to.  Perhaps they’re a different variety, or maybe the soil composition simply has a huge effect on the final product, much like grapes used for wines grown in different parts of the world.  Whatever the reason, the orange juice was really odd, and I had kind of a hard time finishing it.


Once Jeff showed up, we headed over to the downtown area to check out Chinatown and Darling Harbour.  It took awhile to find a parking space on a workday morning in downtown Sydney, but once we did, a nice gentleman gave us the leftover time on his parking ticket, saving us about $10.  We then trekked off to Darling Harbour.

Darling Harbour is clearly a tourist-focused area of the city.  It’s gorgeous, but it’s a real tourist-trap.  My brother said that it was mostly a dockyard for large ships prior to the Olympics.  During the Olympic renovations, though, a lot of money was put into building new docks outside the downtown area to provide easier access for the ships, free up otherwise mega-buck real estate, and alleviate big rig traffic in downtown Sydney.



IMG_4026If you’ve ever been to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, it’s really very similar, except larger, and surrounded by a nicer, safer neighborhood.  Take a look.


IMG_4031 The National Maritime Museum was located right there in the harbor.  I would have liked to have checked it out, if I had the time, but we just didn’t have that kind of time to spare.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Australia has a tremendous amount of shoreline to protect.  The strong naval heritage of the British certainly has provided them a fine lineage to draw on for how to manage such a huge national responsibility, but still, there is just so much shoreline.  I was imagining in the Japanese during World War II, amassing a huge army someplace between Darwin and Cairns, with no real way to tell that it was even happening!  Anyway, I digress… but think about it!

Anyway, here is an Australian naval vessel and a Soviet submarine.  If you look closely on the Australian ship’s superstructure, you can see a small red kangaroo (emblem), identifying it as an Australian ship.  This would be like the blue star that American military aircraft have on them, identifying them as American.

IMG_4034This is a sightseeing boat which cruises the harbor.  My brother, who is a competitive sailor (part of the Sydney Yacht Club, and has sailed in several competitive sailing events, including the annual Sydney to Hobart race) says the cruiser is known to terrorize sailboats on the harbor, while giving riders a speedy thrill as they get carted about the harbor.  The boat certainly LOOKS fast.





IMG_4056 During our walk around the harbor, we headed into Chinatown.  It looked like any other Chinatown, I suppose.



IMG_4064On our way back to the car (actually, Jeff drives a pickup truck, called a “ute” by the Aussies), we hit a sushi train.  I had heard about sushi trains before, particularly from my friends that have lived in Japan, but I had never seen one.  Getting to a sushi train was on my list of things to do while in Australia.  If you’ve never heard of one, basically it’s a big conveyor belt hauling sushi plates.  You grab what you want, and each plate is color-coded to let you know how much it costs.  Once you’re done, you take your empty plates to the register, and pay for the sushi you ate.  It’s pretty cool.


IMG_4072To be honest, though, it really wasn’t very good.  The novelty was there.  I’m guessing it would have been better if we had gone somewhere NOT tuck in the tourist area of the city.

After Darling Harbour, it was time to head to the train station to catch our overnight train to Brisbane.  It was a little difficult to get around, to be honest, particularly with five weeks worth of luggage, but the employees were friendly in helping us find where to get to.  We did have to lug our bags up two flights of stairs, which was no fun, but the stairs were wide, and they weren’t busy, so it certainly could have been worse.

IMG_4080 Not really sure what this is, but it was in the train station lobby and looked kinda cool.IMG_4083

IMG_4089 Our train, pulling into the station.

Once we got on the train, we headed for our berth.  We got a first-class sleeper berth for the trip.  We considered some other kind of seat, but we knew that we’d be tired and would lose time in Brisbane if we booked something else.  Besides, it would be an adventure.  It wasn’t my first time overnight on a train in a sleeping berth, but it was the Wife’s.  Always an adventure!


The beds actually fold up into the wall, revealing three seats.  We were able to pull the beds down whenever we wanted them.  The train left Sydney at 4:10, but didn’t arrive in Brisbane until 5:30 the next morning.  Also, Brisbane doesn’t observe daily savings time, so they were an hour behind Sydney.  14 hours on the train, we were definitely glad we got a sleeper berth.  Sorry the picture’s blurry, but you’d be amazed how hard it is to take a picture, in a VERY dark train, while the train is moving and rocking back and forth.

To be honest, I really didn’t sleep well.  The bed wasn’t long enough, and while the gentle rocking keeps you perpetually sleepy, I couldn’t stay asleep for anymore than 15 minutes at a time.  The Wife slept ok, but not great.

IMG_4094The bathroom AND shower.  The toilet and sink fold out of the wall, and the showerhead is behind the towel you can see in the upper left corner.  This is a shared bathroom between two berths, but the other berth was empty, so it was all to ourselves.

IMG_4102 There was some beautiful scenery for the first couple hours, but it was pretty overcast, so it wasn’t the best for landscape shots.  Also, all the motion made some of the pictures a little hard to take.


This is the Hawkesbury river, which dumps into the Pacific not too far north of Sydney.

IMG_4107Our tickets included a couple snacks and an evening meal, too.

IMG_4109Our afternoon snack included an Indian tomato and vinegar dip, along with some crackers, cheese, a Cadbury chocolate, and a small container of spring water.

IMG_4111On my list of things to try was a sausage roll.  I picked on up, along with a Hahn Premium Light beer.  When the Australian’s say light beer, they are talking about alcohol content, and not calories.  This beer is a 2.8%(ish) beer.  In general, Aussie beer is around 4.5%, and light in color.

IMG_4119 This was our morning snack, provided at 4:30 am.  It included some toast, with butter and Vegemite, some cereal, juice (orange or pineapple), and some milk.

As we rolled into Brisbane, we were able to see the sun rise.  It was beautiful.


IMG_2072 It was a nice end to the trip into Brisbane.  We gathered our bags, and looked to find some coffee and a taxi.

Posted in Sites, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Outer Banks Brewing Station

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on September 21, 2009

We were married in the Outer Banks (OBX), NC in 2007.  We had our rehearsal dinner at the Outer Banks Brewing Station.  I think it’s safe to say that any time we go to the OBX from now on, we will make it a point to go to the Brewing Station, so long as it’s still open.




After our rehearsal dinner, my brother and I (who are both homebrewers) got a tour of the brewery from the brewmaster.  The brewmaster was clearly a “going green” kind of guy, so it was no surprise to us that since our wedding, the Brewing Station had put up a wind turbine, claiming to be “America’s First Wind Powered Brew Pub.”


The OBBS has a fun, communal, almost German-style feel to the inside.  You can see the small stage at the front of the restaurant, and one of the brewing tanks (technically the brewpot, if I’m not mistaken) through the glass window on the wall.  It also has a very sizable bar.



The upstairs is where we had our rehearsal dinner.  It’s a large loft with it’s own bar, and it overlooks the main dining area and stage.


The OBBS brews several beers.  During a recent vacation to Nags Head, I started with the homemade root beer, which was very good (we tried making homemade root beer one time here at the house, it’s not hard to make, but evidently it’s hard to make well).   The Wife had the Golden Pale Ale.  I had one later in the meal.  It was very well done, as to be expected.


My sister-in-law had the sampler.  From right to left; the Olsch, Hugh Hefeweisen, Golden Pale Ale, Honest to Goodness Brown Ale, Mack Daddy Chocolate Stout, and Dog House Tripel.


We started out with some bread and olive oil, the crab bisque, and some sushi.  The bread was fine.  The bisque was excellent, but it should be, since we were right on the water.  To be honest, the sushi was generally sub-par, and the wasabi, which we believe is “homemade”, and used to color their famous wasabi mashed potatoes, was so bright that it was a little unnerving.




The Wife had a filet, topped with crab meat, on a bed of mashed potatoes and asparagus, with bernaise AND hollandaise sauce.  It was delicious.


I was in the mood for something light, so I had the steak salad.  It was pretty good, and the dressing was great.


As always, we had a wonderful experience and can’t wait to go back!

For a review of our experience during the rehearsal dinner, check out my original post on my original blog!

(post actually written by the Husband)

Posted in OBX, Restaurants, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »