Sunday, April 05, 2009

Tokyo Tastings Part 2

Day 1

We arrived after lunch due to some delay in our flight schedule.

Our first meal in Japan was at Starbucks, whilst waiting for our train to take us to the hotel. A lovely selection, but we just shared a poppyseed cheesecake.

And I had a matcha (green tea) frappucinno,cos DH told me that the green tea drinks in Starbucks are made with Japanese green tea from Japan, whereas elsewhere (like in Singapore) the green tea is imported from US and is not as fragrant.

After checking in, we ravenously scour the area for eateries. Thing is, not many places are open because it is after lunchtime. We ended up at a non-English speaking small little restaurant near Shinagawa station. By pointing at pictures, we each ordered lunch.

My Chicken Katsu-don with Udon. Quite nice, and piping hot. Did its job of filling my stomach. Cost about S$20.

We had meetings with our Japanese colleagues in the late afternoon, and then asked for recommendations for dinner. Our gracious japanese friends took us out to dinner instead. This is a little japanese izakaya (like a pub) called Ni (which means one or first) near Roppongi Station. It was our best meal of the trip.

First, little bowls of starters and pickles. They all tasted different and clearly homemade. Some were crunchy, some were meaty. I liked the pickles with japanese black beans. I also liked the chilled braised snails. All delicious.

Next, this beautiful and fresh platter of sashimi.

Look, just look at it. It came with a whole conch shell!

I don't know how much it cost, but my guess is that it probably isnt cheap because it was such a huge and delicious platter. There was Toro (wow!!!), Akagai (Ark Shell, wow!!) and some other fresh fish that I didnt recognise. Those that I did recognise, I know they aint cheap. So yums. I savoured every single bite.

Then all the fried stuff came. All typical izakaya fare, I am told.

Fried chicken. Crispy and not greasy at all.

Fried Oysters. The oysters were huge, just huge. The size of my palm. and so juicy.

Fried fresh sardines. Never tried sardines except in a tin can before. Delicious.

Korubuta (Japanese pork) belly. Wow, this one was powerfully flavoursome. It was savoury, crispy, chewy. I am salivating at the recollection of this. I have not eaten this before in SG.

Fried Mushrooms. Also very juicy. Had a fresh mushroomy taste. Strange, but I find that Japanese produce tends to be very sweet and tasty, compared to what we can get here locally in SG. Better than Australia even, and I used to think that Australian produce is very sweet and tasty.

Then some japanese speciality of fried fish fin - it's sort of like soft cartilage / bone of stingray, but very crispy. Interesting, and quite fun to eat. especially with Asahi Super Dry.

We ended off with some yaki udon, fried noodles, and stumbled back to the hotel, sated and very pleased.


Barista said...

Hi, hi! Long time no see. Kelvin from Walk of Food and Coffee. Great to see u being in Japan. Waiting for my turn! ^^ Btw, the green tea powder that we have in Singapore Starbucks is also from Japan, fyi haha. The matcha powder comes from Osaka. It's the same Macoy as the the one they have in Japan.

Chocolate Reindeer said...

Barista: Hi! of course I remember! wow, thanks for the tip, now i can indulge here as well!

Chocolate Reindeer said...

Barista: Hi! of course I remember! wow, thanks for the tip, now i can indulge here as well!