Sunday, 29 May 2016

Top things to eat in Tokyo

I've never been to a country that I truly truly love the food. Japan is my first and it made me go against all my principles that I decided I must write this food post to express how awesome the food is here. Throughout the entire trip, the amount of rice I have eaten is probably more than what I eat in a year. ( Not a rice person even :S)

Sharing with you some of the tasty finds throughout Tokyo. I've sectioned this posts by area so it's easier to find the food if you're around the vicinity.


Everywhere around Tokyo 

1) Haagen Dazs Crunchy Crunch Green Tea Crumble- This is a MUST EAT. It's available in most Lawsons, Family Mart and 7/11.


Green tea ice cream with a green tea white chocolate shell and nuts. So so good!


2) Another awesome find is this Meiji Rich Matcha but their matcha is 71% and way richer than Haagen Dazs. I actually like this one better because the Matcha is so nice but it's so hard to find this. I only stumbled upon this once while trying to find for the green tea crumble. Hahhaa 


3) Godiva Matcha White Chocolate Ice Cream Tarts- This is so good too! 


Harajuku/Shibuya Area

1) Red Rock- If you're a beef lover, this will  rock your world. Look at the pile of beef they have to offer and it's rather cheap for such a huge bowl. We initially started with a regular bowl each. After trying for the first time, we went back twice more and on both occasion we just went for the large.

Their number 1 best seller is the roast beef rice which comes with rice drenched in a super addictive onion sauce, topped with a mountain of thin slices roast beef, egg yolk and yogurt sauce. (Regular size Y880 and large Y1150). They offer a japanese roast beef version which we tried as well. Same concept just that the Japanese Roast beef was more tender ( Large was around Y1600).


Their Sliced steak was also nice. A generous portion of medium rare cooked steak. ( Regular- Y950, Large- Y1250). 


They also offer the Japanese Slice steak version ( Large Y2100). The amount of steak covered the top of the bowl. Yes I know we were greedy but we couldn't resist! This was the last place we visited before departing and was also the reason why we missed our train and ended up rushing for our flight. HAHAHAH memories but it was worth it. 


Address: Jingumae Shibuya Tokyo
               東京都 渋谷区 神宮前 3-25-12 フジビル B1F
Opening Hours: 11:30~22:00


2) Luke's Lobster - NYC famous lobster roll in Manhattan finally opened a branch in Tokyo and it's undoubtedly one of the best lobster rolls I've ever tried. The huge chunks of meat sandwiched between that roll taste so sweet and the lemon buttery sauce that is drizzled on top of the meat is just heaven. 




You can opt for a Japanese size lobster roll ( Y980) or a US size lobster roll (Y1580). Both sizes use the same 6" bun. The difference is that for the US roll, you get  lobster claw meat from 5 lobsters compared to 3 for the Japanese ones. I suggest not sharing because the roll is rather small.. They do offer shrimp and crab rolls as well but none look as good as the lobster. 

Address: 6-7-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 
Opening Hours: Daily 11am-8pm. 



3) Dominique Ansel Bakery-

Have your ever heard of the cronut? YES! Dominique Ansel is the owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC and is the first inventor of the famous Cronut and cookie cup shots. He's one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the US and his creativity in pastry is the reason why I adore him so much. When his shop opened in Tokyo, I made it a goal ( actually it was a must) to visit.

We were there rather late around 4pm and there was already a longg queue right outside the bakery. People standing in line were given yellow umbrellas to shield them from the scorching sun. Imagine queueing in summer. But I guess, when it comes to food, weather conditions sometimes do not deter people from doing the crazy.


It took us 35 mins to get to the cashier. The reason why it took so long was because everyone wanted their frozen smores and that takes up alot of time. The smores are torched right infront of you, leaving you time to video down the entire process. 

This frozen smore consist of vanilla icecream coated with chocolate crispies and marshmallows that is torched to golden brown. It is nice!! Unfortunately the cronuts were all sold out. So do consider going early if you want to get your hands on some of his special cronuts! 


Address: 5-7-14, JINGUMAE, SHIBUYA-KU, TOKYO 150-0001 
Opening Hours: Daily 10- 7pm 


4) Kyushu Jangara Ramen

Kyushu Jangara is one of the more popular chain ramen stores for Tonkotsu Ramen. Alongside Ichiran, it serves a decent bowl of ramen. The broth is rich and tasty. They offer many varieties and you get to choose what sides ( Bamboo shoots, Cod Roe or mentaiko, pork slices etc) you want in your bowl. We ordered the Mentaiko and extra runny eggs. ( The eggs here are way better than those at Ichiran for sure) and the free flow red pickles placed on each table is so spicy and addictive. 




Address: 1-13-21 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan 
Opening Hours:10am-12midnight 


5) Pablo


Just round the corner from Kyushu Jangara is Pablo. You need to turn into a secluded alley to find it but there were signs so it was rather easy to spot. Everyone seems to be crazy over cheese tarts now. With Bake opening a shop in Ion basement with an outrageous queue of 2 hours, I felt rather, infact super satisfied that I managed to get hold of Pablo's mini tartlets that tasted just as good and we didn't need to queue for it. In my own opinion, I prefer Pablo's cheese tart compared to Bake. The filling is just so creamy and flowy and in addition to the original cheese tarts, they also have Matcha and Chocolate flavors. Matcha and Original flavors were for the win. The chocolate just didnt make it for me. Not rich and chocolatey. I would rather buy a Godiva tart. Note that only the Harajuku and Akihabara outlet sells mini tarts. The rest of the Pablo shops only sell the large 6" tart. 

These were so good that on the very day of departure, i bought some home for my family and friends. Glad that they managed to survive the trip! 

Address: 1-14-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10-9pm 


Tsukiji Market Area

Everyone goes here at least once during their visit to Tokyo but we went here thrice in our 5 days stay because we couldn't get enough of the fresh sashimi. Tsukiji is one of the largest wholesale markets for fish, fruits and vegetables. You can practically get everything from here. Hearing how insane the queue was for the Must go Sushi Dai restaurant, we went to take a peek at the queue and in a few seconds, we turned around and headed in the other direction. ( QUEUE was insane. The line went in a few loops with some people sitting on floor mats and holding umbrellas). I thought they were queuing for a concert. 

We detoured to a sushi bar recommended by a friend which is a standing sushi bar right beside Lawson. The shop front looks like the picture below. There's only enough room for 4 decent size people to stand but the SASHIMI is awesomely fresh. We went back here 4 times hahaha - loyal customer ;) 

As you can tell, we were not really fans of the other kinds of fishes only salmon, eel and tuna. So most of our orders were repeated. I especially love the torched salmon. The other fishes like the red snapper, uni, inari, mackerel were good too because the Japanese people eating beside us went like Oishii many many times.  


Along the same stretch as this standing sushi shop- somewhere in the middle is this shop selling beef rice bowls. Some sort of yakiniku. We were first drawn by the smell and then we eyed the people eating the rice bowls and they looked so delicious. I mean the smell is enough to entice us to take out some yen to buy a bowl. They however do not speak a word of English, so we just pointed to the bowl the person at the counter was eating.

Words can't explain how delicious this bowl is. Everything that is right is in this bowl. Soft and tender sweet onions mixed with tender beef slices accompanied with the goodness of Japanese rice. If you don't grow fat in Japan, something is wrong with you. 



Another must visit stall in Tsukiji is the shop that sells all different grades of tuna- Normal red to medium fatty to super fatty. It's the first shops you see opposite the fish port. It's quite easy to spot as they will be slicing up the tuna fresh on the spot and there are a whole range of tuna to choose from in the big fridge in front of them. There's often a bunch of people crowding around there to watch them slicing the tuna. 



As you can see, they offer generous chunks of tuna. I've never tasted such fresh fatty tuna.


On our 3rd visit to the store, the owner gave us free tuna because they recognized us WAHHAHAHAHAH. ( See, it's always good to be regular customers):) 


Last but not least, walk around Tsukiji and try random things you see such as Tamago ( This is the land of Tamago- The have cold or hot version), scallops, uni crab, unagi etc. 


Tokyo/Ginza Station Area: 

1) Standing Sushi Bar 

Recommended by Sis. This place as the name suggests is a place where you stand around the counter, place your order and watch the chef infront of you prepare your sushi. This is conveniently located at the basement of Tokyo Station where all the food are. The sashimi is great as well. Good to pop by if you're around the area. They have a few other branches but we found this one easily accessible since it's right at the station. If you wanna pop by the other branches, you can check out their webby



Address: B1F TokyoStationIchibangai 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 
Opening Hours: 
10:30 to 23:00 (Monday through Friday)
10:30 to 21:30 (Saturdays,Sundays, holidays)


2) Taimeiken is one of the popular places for omurice in Tokyo. We figured that if we had lunch at a weird hour, the queue will not be so crazily long and so we were right. At 2.30pm, there was no queue so we were ushered right to our seat. There were many varieties of omurice but we went for the number 1 best seller which was the Tampopo omurice which was simply fried tomato rice with chicken pieces and a silky smooth omelette. The way to eat the omelette is to slice the egg in the middle exposing it and then flipping both sides down on the rice


It should look something like this. It is really really good if you like eggs that are cooked to perfection. They will give you a saucer of ketchup for you to eat together with the rice. 


Please note that this restaurant does not allow sharing. You have to order a dish by yourself. But they do allow you to order either a drink or dessert ( it's considered a dish).

Address: Nihombashi 1-12-10, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat ( 11-9pm) 


3) Hidemi Sugino -  Hidemi is the first person to win the La Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, the world cup of pastry in 1991. Undoubtedly one of the best pastry chefs in the world. He specialises in  mostly mousse cakes that are light and easy on the palate  and too delicate and pretty to look at. 

Every of his cakes is a piece of art. You can tell by the even layering that he is very precise and detailed. Which is why I admire him so much! This place brings back memories. It is the reason Why I started to get so serious in perfecting every cake I bake. It's the reason why I love my cakes to be made out of so many components and evenly layered. 


Few years back, I bought Hidemi's book because I was so impressed by him that I wanted to recreate whatever recipes he had. The book was entirely in Japanese and French. I had to use my basic French Language to translate each recipe. HORROR! 

We got to the shop slightly after 1.30pm and his signature Ambroise and most of the popular ones was already sold out! *Cries* but I couldn't leave his shop without trying at least one of his beautiful creations so we settled on the B-Caraibe ( Orange chocolate with a layer of banana mousse and vanilla chantilly) and Framboisier ( Raspberry buttercream, almond cake and red currant jelly). After tasting his other cakes, I can only wonder how great his signature cakes would taste. NVM next time.  


Address: 3-6-17 Kyobashi (Kyobashi Daiei building 1F), Chuo-ky, Tokyo
Opening: Tues- Sat (11-7pm) 


Roppongi Area: 

1) Koshitsu bistro Shirube



Thoroughly enjoyed shirube. This restaurant serves an interesting appetizer of crackers with avocado and Tuna sashimi dip( this is so good!!! A must order) almost every table had that. We also tried their oden- winter melon in a tasty broth. The wasabi is a true killer so eat sparingly. The next dish we tried was the beef tendon and eggplant which were pretty good as well! 

Thanks sissy for the great recommendation. Do try and make a reservation as it can get quite crowded. Incase you're wondering how the shop looks like from the outside, I have so kindly included a picture!! 


Address: 4-11-4 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture


Asakusa Area: 

Suzukien- To die for. This is one place I will forever return to when I visit Tokyo. Matcha Heaven for those who can appreciate the richness of Matcha. They opened a branch in Tokyo early this year and we were fortunately enough to be able to taste the strongest Matcha Gelato in the world.

We were greeted by a long queue again as usual ( Good Food usually involves some queuing) but the line moves pretty fast since the staff there were quite organised and scooping ice cream does not involve alot of time. You have 7 levels of Matcha to choose from. 1 being the least intense and 7 being the most intense. There are also other flavors such as red bean Azuki, strawberry, Hoijcha (Roasted green tea), black sesame, black tea latte and brown rice gelato. The rest tried the Azuki bean which they really loved, Matcha level 2 was bleh just like any other Matcha ice cream you can get in Singapore. Now What Did I choose. After much contemplation, I finally settled with Hoijcha ( Which I really really liked ) and LEVEL 7 Matcha obviously which was hmmmm seriously mind blowing. No Joke.


You can see the color difference as you go ----> along the scale. Number 7 was so rich that it had basically satisfied my Matcha cravings for the entire day. If you're a hard core Matcha fan, try this. If you're a so so Matcha fan, I'll suggest you go for number 3 or 4 and don't try and kill yourself.





Shinjuku Area: 

1) Ichiran Ramen- One of the most popular tonkotsu ramen in Tokyo. Ask anyone to recommend a nice ramen place in Tokyo and chances of them mentioning Ichiran is probably pretty high.

They only specialise in Tonkotsu Pork Based ramen. That's the reason why they are so good at it. Their broth is rich in collagen and supposedly trans fat free. The noodles are all handmade and you get to choose the texture of your noodles from extra firm to firm to medium, soft etc. The spiciness of the soup can also be adjusted by choosing from a scale according to your own preference.

The only con about this place is the individual cubicles you sit at, which doesn't allow room for much interaction. Reason could be they want you to solely concentrate on enjoying your noodles or maybe don't want you to linger around for too long as this ramen chain is known for drawing quite a large crowd during peak periods.



That's it for now. Will be updating more when I go back to Tokyo ( REALLY REALLY soon). Hope this helps for now! Feel free to comment below if you have more yummy places to recommend! YAY


Follow me on instagram: Sherbakes for more tasty treats around the world or just some of the random bakes I do during my free time :)







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