I’m actually writing this on the plane as I’m on my way back home and this is what I see:
The sky outside is absolutely enchanting with the contrast of blue hues and orange embers. Ohmygosh, it reminds me of the background of the graphic scenes in the movie Noah, for those who have watched it! Don’t you agree? However, this doesn’t really match the songs I’m listening to whilst writing this (HAIM and Icona pop)!
I made sure to follow my goals, so here are the meals for days 3 and 4!
This day was mostly spent with shopping in different areas of Tokyo but I did go to two different restaurants that I would like to share with you!
For lunch, this was eaten at the shopping mall Kitte in the “Tokyo” station of Tokyo. *If that made sense * Anyways, this was a traditional sort of Beef Tongue Restaurant that you will find in Tokyo.
For those of you who find this cruel, I understand and respect that, but in areas of Asia, it is much more common to eat other parts of the animal aside from the main meat fillets. If you find this offensive or cruel I suggest that you skip this part, thank you. 🙂
Continuing from there this was absolutely delicious as the tongues were very tender and surprising delicious after being barbequed with the traditional Japanese method of using their certain types of rocks and charcoal.
For dinner, once again we visited an Izakaya (Please check the previous post for an explanation) and this place was in Shinjuku and is called Doma Doma. The things that are special about Izakayas are that they serve very small yet cheap dishes so the customers can eat a very wide variety of small dishes! The Izakayas mix up a variety of Japanese subgroup dishes and add their own twists on them.
This was a mini bowl of cucumber and radish sticks with a spicy oil type of sauce! It was very refreshing as the sharp flavours were slightly tangy and shocked my taste buds!
This was a Japanese approach on this Korean vegetable pancake as there was melted cheese on the top to enrich the pancake and it was served with sesame flavoured, soy sauce and rice wine sauce.
Surprisingly this was said to be a salad on a menu as I’ve never eaten a “hot” salad before but the dried chillies along with the sweet Japanese cabbage complimented each other well, along with the fried garlic bits.
This was a udon dish with fresh clams and a clam and seafood sauce and for those of you who aren’t familiar with udon, this is a Japanese noodle that has a very soft texture-it’s served in both soup and with mixed sauces! I actually eat this occasionally when I come home from school-I just add soy sauce, sesame oil and sauce and already you have a extremely delicious snack!
This was another seafood dish-a seafood paella type dish but the rice wasn’t cooked with saffron etc., like a normal paella would be cooked. The sauce was underneath the seafood, which was under the melted oozing cheese. This was a unique approach to the original dish, as you would mix it together yourself!
Last but not least this is a simple refreshing end to the meal with Japanese milk ice cream with caramel syrup and finely crushed tea biscuits on top!
Aside from this I’ve noticed that Japanese Izakayas are very into parfait styled desserts and this Izakaya had a variety of Crème Catalan dishes, which I only realized what they were until that night, and I look forward to trying to make it in the near future and comparing this to the crème brûlée!
Day 4: The day of cafés
I spent most of this day in Harajuku and Aoyama areas!
Both lunch and dinner was eaten in the same café, as the food was just so good! It was literally the highlight of meals for the entire trip!
This is the A to Z café and a Japanese comic/cartoon artist owns it. Cheap, yet high quality lunch sets were served! There were two different sets with only one difference-the choice of the protein (fish or fried pork cutlets)!
I ate the pork and let me tell you how delicious that was: ohmy… I’ve eaten innumerable Japanese fried pork cutlet dishes in my life. And that was the best one I’ve ever eaten. Often these cutlets make your throat really dry as after they are fried, the panko breadcrumbs are extremely dry though crispy. On the contrary this was not dry, as the meat itself was moist making up for the drier outer crispy layer that literally was so crisp that it melted in my mouth! It was also drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce that was a unique addition compared to the traditional tonkatsu sauce!
This description just my tummy rumble, it really did.
Then after a while of shopping in Harajuku, we went to this pancake café. I’ve visited this place before and the pancakes were absolutely amazing-I honestly cannot make pancakes to save my life *I’m trying hard on not giving up on practicing them *. Therefore I just have to go out and eat them instead.
Pancake days is absolutely amazing as the pancakes are super light and fluffy and therefore slightly heavier toppings can be added without you feeling too guilty haha! We chose a banana and chocolate pancake dish-beautifully decorated with chocolate cream we have caramelized banana slices and pancakes with a chocolate drizzle around the plate.
Yum. I don’t think any other word better describes it.
Oh and I almost forgot-you probably thought that the chocolate whipped cream was way too much but the funny thing was underneath that cream were two scoops of ice cream-this came as a shock to me because with my limited Japanese, I totally didn’t expect it! So I guess I didn’t get a cream overdose! 😛
As an extra, the last time I went these were other classic pancakes that we got to eat:
In the evening, we went back to the café for dinner. There was a series of fusion dishes.
For our appetizer this was a beef salad with typical salad greens but what stunned me was once again the choice of dressing. Japanese people love to experiment with unique and innovative sauces, in my opinion. This was a carrot dressing and I felt as if I was eating actual carrots but the harder crunchy texture was missing, as I was eating lettuce! I wish I could make the dressing, as that was an eye opener to the different dressings I could make! For example what if I made a butternut or pumpkin dressing for a winter salad?!
Next, we had a Japanese walnut and taro gratin, which was very filling but the sauce was very tasty.
For both the main dishes, we chose to include avocados as the café waitress recommended the avocado dishes!
First with a tuna and avocado rice with a sesame dressing this was absolutely amazing as with the tender rice, fresh raw tuna and a mind blowing dressing this was my favourite dish out of all that I had eaten that day. If you had to force me to narrow the description of the dressing to one word I would give you: Addictive. The dressing was addictive, it tasted so good yet I couldn’t seem to identify what it really was but within mere minutes, the bowl of rice had vanished. I hope that when I get home I could experiment and try to make this but I would probably add walnuts as this dish had a variety of ingredients with a soft texture and with nuts, extra crunch would be stupendous!
Next this was a pasta dish: Linguine with small shrimps, avocado and a basil cream sauce. Once again like all the sauces within this café the basil cream had brought out the strong basil flavours that weren’t too overpowering that it covered the sweet flavours of the fresh shrimps. Overall, this was a stunning meal.
An Extra excerpt on Sakura Flowers:
Yes, Sakura Flowers, beautiful Cherry blossoms are currently in season in areas of Japan! However, unfortunately when I arrived at Tokyo, most of the Sakura flowers were gone apart as the Tokyo Sakura season was one of the earliest in Japan.
But, I was extremely lucky to find this odd tree in Harajuku that was still blooming! The sakura flowers are absolutely beautiful as when the wind blows the petals fall off and it rains petals and it looks like snow petals floating around you.
The funny thing was this odd tree in Harajuku was behind a wall of Graffiti so I found this picture quite quirky due to the contrast of the beautiful flowers against the graffiti! Oh there is me being awkward too!
Unfortunately, these are the only days that I’m going to post out of my 6 day trip as the last two days weren’t exactly very interesting meals-I went to Tokyo Disneyland-where I stuffed myself with pizza and junk food, and the last day was obviously spent packing and at the airport. But I hope these two posts gave you insight for Japanese Cuisine or maybe interested you to go there for vacation!
For those who have any questions about Tokyo, please comment below or send me an e-mail as I’d love to help out with any recommendations about places to visit, to eat and I could give you more details on other restaurants that I know of!