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eating in Japan


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#241 Sneakeater

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:24 AM

I read these posts about eating in Tokyo, and I can't decide whether I want to kill you guys or myself.
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#242 aek

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:27 AM

I read these posts about eating in Tokyo, and I can't decide whether I want to kill you guys or myself.

I had a chicken liver/negi yakitori at a random street corner. It was reheated and kind of cool in the middle. Not even close to as good as Totto. Feel better?

#243 prasantrin

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

I had to eat cheaply during my last trip, but the best things I ate were:

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Aoyuzu Gindara Hohoniku Set (Y1700, or maybe Y1500?)

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Nakaya Uni-Ikura Donburi (less than Y2000)

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Super Duper Strawberries (from Fukuoka--Y1200 for two packs)

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Omotesando Koffee Cappuccino and Kashi

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Spoon Daily Fish Selection and Onsen Tamago Salad with Chinese-style Balsamic Dressing

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Ichigo Daifuku (Shiro-an)

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Kuromame Okaki (my favourite Japanese snack!)

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Jean Francois Boulangerie Croissant (1st place in the regular croissant taste test)

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McDonald's Fried Apple Pie! (it's fried. . . how could you not love it?)

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日本料理 岡谷 Nihon Ryouri Okatani (Okaya?) (Coolest votive candle holder ever--the white is daikon, the reddish orange things are made of are carrots)

#244 foodie52

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

Beautiful.
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#245 Sneakeater

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:03 PM


I read these posts about eating in Tokyo, and I can't decide whether I want to kill you guys or myself.

I had a chicken liver/negi yakitori at a random street corner. It was reheated and kind of cool in the middle. Not even close to as good as Totto. Feel better?


Yes, I think I can go on now.
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#246 aek

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

Wow.
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#247 Orik

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:21 PM

I still don't know how that sesame sauce happens.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns


#248 aek

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:12 AM

I still don't know how that sesame sauce happens.

Yes, that was probably the best thing I ate the entire trip. I think the ankimo on its own was a bit better at Seizan (not much, but I don't have a ton of experience with it), but that dish was incredible.

Also, they were shocked that I arrived on time, because apparently even Japanese people have trouble finding it. From their map, this was probably the easiest place to find on the trip.

#249 aek

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:54 PM

One last thought... Has baumkuechen always been popular in Tokyo, or should we expect it to be next years cupcake/macaron-like trend? It seemed hard to go anywhere without seeing it for sale.

#250 prasantrin

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 11:04 PM

It's been popular forever and a day, but it has seemed to increase in popularity over the last few years. It was always well-known, but more of a special treat, but now you can get it at your local Muji or even Lawson's.

#251 prasantrin

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:37 AM


not a single malt, but the best value for money is probably nikka's "whisky from the barrel". 500 ml in a very attractive square bottle.


I just saw it at Donki for 1980. The bottle is nice but the cap isn't really, I'd probably bring it in a gift wrap.

pra -- turns out that okonomiyaki place is in the basement of the building where Viron is. Not any better or worse than other okonomi I've tried, a large lunch at around Y1000

p.s. I'm officially protesting this morning's earthquakes - 7:36, 7:43, 7:46, 8:04... like an alarm clock with an extra annoying snooze feature.


I never followed up on this.

I found "whisky from the barrel", but i was worried about buying a big bottle of something my friend might not like. I noticed a bunch of little bottles of whisky, so I decided to get an assortment of those. Not a frugal choice, but more fun, I thought. And then the next time I go to Japan, I can get whichever one she liked best.

These are what I bought--I just picked one of each mini bottle they had (and there's a special treat in the picture just for mongo!).

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#252 aek

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:56 AM

Picked up some books to learn more, and for a bit for motivation to learn hieroglyphics beyond hiragana. From a brief glance, Kadowaki's food looks amazing an really interesting--it looks like he isn't afraid to color outside the lines in terms of ingredients.

Unfortunately Okuda and Kanda are text only, but at least they were <$10 each.

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#253 prasantrin

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:09 PM

On Twitter, Grant Achatz is writing about his trip to Japan (in preparation for the next Next menu). Apparently Aronia de Takazawa is closing--the last service being tonight.

I had not heard anything about Aronia closing--is it shuttering for good, or will it be reinvented? Anyone know what Chef Takazawa's plans are?

#254 aek

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 07:38 AM


Seizan Mita
http://seizan-mita.com/course/

Seizan is a new (Opened June 2011) Kappo-Kaiseki place that's been receiving great reviews on tabelog.

Those reviews are fully justified and you should try and go before it becomes very difficult to book (at this point it is also fairly inexpensive, with the most expensive menu at Y15000 and the least expensive one at Y7000).

Stylistically it is closest to Ishikawa from all the places we've been (although a bit more traditional), and it is a unique demonstration of Japanese skill - four guys cook and serve an elaborate meal to about twenty-four diners (although sitting at the counter you wouldn't know there are two private rooms). No waiters, no busboys, no dishwashers, no general managers, all without breaking a sweat and all while being extremely nice (in particular, a young gay couple were there celebrating on of their birthdays and clearly excited about it - they were treated like royalty and more or less upgraded to the most expensive menu, and this is in a country where you see gay couples not always receiving the best of treatment at restaurants).

As for the food (all of it beautifully presented, of course):

An appetizer of sea urchin, yellowtail roe, lightly smoked tofu, and yuzu jelly

Clear dashi with a shrimp ball and daikon wrapped around a carrot and some green - the shrimp ball was the best we've had in this format (and this includes Koju) - it had every feature desirable feature of a good matzoh ball, but without the matzoh :)/>/>

Sashimi of Kuruma ebi, snapper topped with shiso flowers, and the fattiest, most amazing piece of ankimo in existence - it seemed like the liver was very good to begin with and then steamed until the center was just cooked.

Anago on top of a grilled ball of almost-mochi (the rice grains were still there in tangible form) with ginkgo nuts in a kudzu thickened sauce.

Meat from a large crab, served in its innards (in the shell)

Ebi-imo cooked then fried, bottarga, miso broiled cutlass fish, arrowhead chips, king salmon ikura on rice


Raw flounder with its own roe - an exercise in restraint - you only feel texture initially but the flavor builds with every bite. I believe the only addition was a tiny bit of yuzu.

Raw potato noodles with crunchy roe<br class="Apple-interchange-newline">
Grilled duck breast from a kind of sea duck with slow-grilled negi

Crab rice, soup, pickles

Matcha flan topped with "black gold" sauce and strawberry with whipped cream, some unfamiliar citrus (like a very small pomelo), and a jelly I think was described as passion fruit but was some other tropical fruit.

No English spoken. Highly recommended.


Many thanks for this recommendation. Really great, and still easy enough to communicate with extremely limited Japanese (pleasantries and some food terms), pointing, and smiling. Special thanks to the clerk at Lawson's Fresh that got us back on route from the subway.

Menu, mainly so I can remember, and try to add a bit back.

Ebi with mountain yam, dashi jelly, mountain vegetables
Tai Soup with Tai Collar and Bamboo Shoots
Sashimi (Tai, Ika, Ankimo, Salmon)
Abalone--this was incredible--they bring out a hollowed out tube of charcoal, with a bowl of abalone, a sauce of it's liver (pretty sure) and some greens. You dump the lot of it in, stir it up, and take the meat out when Yamamoto-san says so. Then they bring out a mochi, which gets added to the charcoal/innards/greens liquid, and stirred in. Just great.
Anago broiled with more mountain vegetables. Fiddleheads even painted on the dish.
Grilled Wagyu with leeks. Simple, but great.
Grated potato or radish.
Simmered Shirako, A fried grated potato thing that I couldn't quite catch the japanese for, fuki, fava beans.
Rice with Uni and bamboo shoots (leftovers pictured below)
Very Good Strawberries with Mascarpone
Some fancy orange juice. Super sweet, seemed to almost lack acidity--very round in taste I guess if that makes sense.


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2 Stars from the tire-man. Congrats to them.

#255 Orik

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

2 Stars from the tire-man. Congrats to them.


Very appropriate.

sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns