I have to admit, I have definitely been lazy in keeping my blog up to date but one of my goals for 2019 is to do just that. I always find it easier and quicker to just post to my Instagram so if you want to find things out quicker, head to my insta: spooksnbubbles.
To kick of my travel blog goals for 2019, listed below are delicious places that you should check out whilst you are in Tokyo. I love Japan and everything about it, the food in Japan is simply amazing and I love that everything is always done to perfection.
Uoriki Kaisen Sushi
Address: 2 Chome-24-1 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002 (located on B1 - Tokyu Department Store)
Opening hours: 10:00am 9:00pm
If you are staying in the Shibuya area, this little sushi shop in Tokyu Department Store shouldn't be missed. It was the perfect spot for breakfast after a 10-hour flight from Melbourne. I ordered the chirashi don and loved how everything was fresh and there was a good variety of sashimi in my rice bowl. When I was there, the sushi chef was just the sweetest, he made mini sushi for me...they were super cute!
Shiro-Hige's Cream Puffs
Address: 5 Chome 3-1 Daita, Seagaya, Tokyo 155-0033
Opening hours: 10:30am - 7:00pm (closed on Tuesday)
If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli and an even bigger fan of Totoro, you should not miss a trip to Shiro-Hige's Cream Puffs. How are their cream puffs any different to other cream puffs? Well, the main difference is that it comes in the shape of Totoro! It is cuteness overload, even a grown-up of 30+ (me) couldn't resist smiling at them. Besides their cream puffs, they do sell other type of foods if you are after something more filling. Do try their matcha latte and hot chocolate, it's actually pretty good.
Sushi Bar Yasuda
Address: 4 Chome 2-6 Minamiaoyama Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Opening hours: 6:00pm - 11:00pm
The hardest decision you have to make in Japan is where to eat, like where you really really want to eat because you are surrounded by so much good food. As for omakase places, there are so many to choose from and one of the annoying things is that, some of them you have to get your hotel/accommodation to help you secure a reservation in advance over the phone as they don't have online reservation. When I was in Tokyo, I weighed up my omakase options heavily and decided to go with Sushi Bar Yasuda for my first experience in Japan and boy, I was not disappointed. Also, because you can book online which made it easier.
Yasuda-san was entertaining and exceptional behind the counter; he remembered what he has served you even when it's a full house and this was all done whilst chatting to everyone and giving them knowledge on what real sushi is.
Yasuda-san once used to be a bodybuilder in NYC before deciding he wanted to be a sushi chef but as he puts it, "I have no chef friends, I am the first generation and the last generation and I just want to serve delicious sushi". He taught himself how to make the rice, the ginger and soy sauce, it's all his original recipe.
And if you need any other reason to come to Sushi Bar Yasuda, Anthony Bourdain himself has been here and was good friends with Yasuda-san so you know you will be served delicious food that is not pretentious.
On a side note, when I was here for dinner, there was a group of Jewish guys and Yasuda was checking what they can and cannot eat, the black sheep of the group said out loud "I'm not kosher, I am a bad Jew". I couldn't help but laughed out loud because he was so open and honest about it.
Address: 1-9-30 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Opening hours: 11:00am - 9:00pm
In Japan, there are no pancakes like the ones from Cafe Gram or is there? Cafe Gram has really good premium "souffle" pancakes, three of them stacked high and because of the height of the pancakes, it's mesmerising to watch them jiggle.
Their premium pancakes are served three times a day, the serving times are at 11:00am, 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Make sure you are there early so you don't miss out as they only have a few serves per time slots.
Address: 3-25-12 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Opening hours: 11:30am - 10:00pm
There's the roast beef bowl and there's the steak bowl, I highly recommend the roast beef bowl - topped with lots of roast beef, egg yolk and their special sauce. It's a winning bowl that you will chow down happily, that roast beef is so soft combined with the sauce and raw egg yolk, AH-MAZING!
Don't make the mistake that I made and come here an hour after opening time on the weekend, the lines were crazy and I had to wait patiently for over an hour. I highly recommend getting there 15-20 minutes before the opening time and queue up.
Sembikiya Fruit Parlor
Address: 日本橋三井タワー内 2 Chome-1-2 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chūō, Tokyo 103-8265
Opening hours: 10:00am - 7:00pm
One of my ultimate food goals when I visited Tokyo was to visit the Ferrari of fruit shops. It met more than my expectations, after spending $250 on fruits, I can say it has ruined my tastebuds for melons and strawberries.
The musk melon cost me $150 and I must say, it's the tastiest melon I have eaten to date and nothing has since come close. When you bite into the melon, you can help that it gets a bit messy because it's so sweet and so juicy that the juice will run down your fingers.
The strawberries are the most perfect, the tastiest and most fragrant strawberries I have ever eaten. They are also the most expensive box of strawberries I have ever paid for at $70. These berries traveled with me from Tokyo to Mt Fuji and every time I opened the fridge, the sweetest smell of the strawberries would permeate the room that you wish your kitchen would smell that nice every day.
The apple was firm and had the crunchiest texture that made it addictive. As for the persimmon, it was delicious but I couldn't really tell the difference between the Sembikiya one and a normal one.
Address: 2 Chome-24-9 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031
Opening hours: 11:30am - 2:00pm, 6:00pm - 10:00pm (closed on Monday)
Tonkatsu like you've never had before. At Butagumi, it's about that pork and this place is unique in the sense that they offer over 50 different varieties of porky goodness.
How do one choose? For starters, I had my eyes set on the Iberico 100% Bellota from Spain and for the other two, we ask the staff for their recommendations.
Iberico 100% Bellota from Spain
Imo-Buta from Chiba
Watanabe Berkshire from Kagoshima
I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to have normal tonkatsu again without thinking of how amazing the Iberico was but in saying that, this would break my bank if I had it on a regular basis. Once in a while, it will definitely put a smile on our face if you love tonkatsu but I'm sad that I'm so far away from it.
Beforehand, they also serve you with appetizers and the cherry tomato was the juiciest and most delicious tomato I have ever eaten. The tomato was an explosion of flavour that was delicious and very refreshing.
If you love eating pork and you get the chance, I highly recommend trying Butagumi.
Address: 〒150-0041 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jinnan, 1 Chome−11−5 ダイネス壱番館渋谷102
Opening Hours: 11:30am - 3:00pm, 6:00pm - 10:00pm (closed on Wednesday)
This is not your average bowl of ramen, it's blue. Even though it's blue in colour, the chicken broth has nothing artificial in it, it's all natural. The broth was delicious and it paired perfectly with the perfectly cooked ramen, chicken and egg.
Taishoken in Higashi Ikebukuro
Address: 2 Chome-42-8 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-0022
Opening hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm (closed on Wednesday)
Tsukemen at its best at Taishoken.
The late Kazuo Yamagishi was called "The God of Ramen" as he is the one who invented tsukemen back in 1961.
I may not have eaten at any of the Michelin starred ramen places but this place has an amazing tasting broth that paired so well with the noodles. The noodles were perfect, springy with the right amount of bite and I enjoyed dipping the noodles into the broth before slurping it all up with much gusto.
Address: 3 Chome-5-12 Nihonbashi, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 103-0027
Opening hours: 12:00pm - 1:00pm, 6:00pm - 9:00pm (closed on Sunday)
I'll admit the main reason I ate at Shima was because I wanted the infamous steak sandwich. I had no regrets because it was a beautiful sandwich that was so damn delicious. The steak was soft and tender and I savoured every mouthful of it especially when it also cost $75. A bit steep for a steak sandwich but trust me, you won't have any regrets.
On a side note, if you want to wine and dine yourself with some delicious steak, Shima is the place to go. When you ring up to make a reservation, just ask to be seated at the counter where you can see all the action. And don't forget to order the steak sandwich to go.
Address: Tokyo Station Ichibangai Basement 1, Tokyo Ramen Street, OGGI JR
Opening hours: 7:30am - 9:45am, 10:30am - 10:45pm
Are you a tsukemen or ramen fan? Either way, this place should not be missed.
This bowl of broth did not disappoint; it's been simmered for more than 10 hours - pork and chicken bones, dried baby sardines, smoked mackerel flakes and bonito flakes. It was rich, flavourful and so delicious.
The founder of Rokurinsha, Ryosei Mita trained under the master of tsukemen himself, the late Kazuo Yamagishi from Taishoken.
I have tasted and thoroughly enjoyed both of their tsukemen but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Taishoken's tsukemen. I don't know how to really describe Taishoken's broth except that it's distinct and absolutely fantastic.
Address: 〒151-0053 Tokyo, Shibuya 代々木2-14-3 北斗第一ビル 1F
Opening hours: 11:00am - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 9:00pm (closed on Sunday)
Fuunji has been around since 2007 and it's still going strong.
The tsukemen comes with a creamy broth of chicken and fish topped with smoked fish powder, it's delicious and comforting.
Address: 6 Chome-16-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001
Opening hours: 11:00am - 7:00pm
I thought I found love when it came to Cafe Gram's souffle pancakes but the pancakes from Micasadeco&Cafe神宮前 is on another level.
These souffle pancakes are made with ricotta cheese, they were so fluffy and pillowy soft. They tasted absolutely amazing, it felt like I was on a pancake cloud.
Address: 2 Chome-7-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0002
Opening hours: 11:00am - 7:00pm (closed on Tuesday)
Hojicha x Matcha - my favourite ice-cream pairing when it comes to Japanese flavours.
At Nanaya, you can get 7 degrees of matcha richness with no.7 being the richest matcha favour in the world - they use the finest green tea leaves from Shizuoka.
I got no.7 and it was definitely rich, bitter but there was a hint of sweetness to it. I wouldn't want a whole cup of it by itself but when paired with the hojicha, it was a good choice.
Address: 3 Chome-4-3 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032
Opening hours: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Same same but different to Nanaya Aoyama. I felt that the matcha no.7 here is more bitter and creamier in texture. As for the hojicha, I felt that the one at Nanaya was stronger in flavour.
Compared to Nanaya, Suzukien was super busy and had long lines but I guess because it's right next to Senso-ji.
Address: 1 Chome-15-6 Nihonbashiningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo 103-00113
Opening hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm
At Kanmidokoro Hatsune, the shiratama anmitsu is their signature dish.
Anmitsu is a traditional Japanese dessert of kanten jelly topped with red bean paste and other ingredients - shiratama, gyuuhi, kuromame and seasonal fruits.
You get a choice of shiro mitsu or kuro mitsu (clear or dark syrup). I prefer the kuro mitsu as it wasn't as sweet and had a slight earthiness to it.
Address: 8-4-4 Ginza, Miura Bldg. 1F, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Opening hours: 12:00pm - 2:00pm, 6:00pm - 10:00pm (on Sunday 12:00pm - 8:00pm, closed on Monday)
Omakase lunch at Sushi いわ .
The chef was a delight to watch as he moved swiftly in his zone and even better,w hen I had the best seat in the house. Not only did I manage to have the best seat in the house, I somehow managed to receive extra attention from the chef. Besides noticing I was left-handed and arranged everything to suit me, out of everyone else who only received one refill of pickled ginger, I got three.
The omakase here is very different to the one I had at Sushi Bar Yasuda, the flavours at Sushi いわ was more subtle but still thoroughly enjoyable.
There are still so many places to eat at in Tokyo, just not enough time to conquer all the places on my wish list.
Stay tuned for my post on where to eat in Kyoto!