Monday, April 06, 2009

Tokyo Tastings Part 4

Day 3 Dinner

Last dinner in Tokyo, as I was flying back next morning at 1130 am. We couldn't decide what to have.

first course - Shabu Shabu

This is beef shabu shabu, a delicious meal to have in cold weather.

First, they served a complimentary starter of squid in a savoury sauce. Quite nice. A little sweet and savoury.

See how marbled the beef was? It was tender and fresh. The restaurant takes pride in its fresh sashimi grade beef. We were asked to first eat the beef fresh, dipped in a garlicky soya sauce. It was tender and light, not a strong beefy taste.

Yup, very very marbled.

You can choose to dip the beef in either a sesame sauce (goma) or a vinegary sauce (ponzu). I liked the sesame better, it seemed to make the beef more fragrant.

The set also came with a serving of vegetables, tofu, fish cake etc. Well, they tasted pretty normal to me, tasted like boiled vegetables.

Then the waitress offered us some udon cooked in the shabu shabu broth. It was served with some scallions, some sesame seeds, and it was very tasty.

We ended with a yuzu ice cream that was more icy sherberty than creamy. It was a refreshing end to a delicious meal.

This meal was delicious but very affordable. The whole meal cost us about $$85 per person.

2nd course - yakitori

There is this little lane, rather cramped and uneven, near shinjuku station that is frequented by locals. All the shops in this lane serve kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and are small little shops with a counter and less than 10 seats around the counter. No tables. DH and I have walked past this place when we were in Tokyo, because we stayed at Shinjuku each time we came here, but we never stopped by because 1. we were with cutie and this place obviously wasn't a baby friendly place and 2. it seemed too local and we were afraid of the language barrier.

Well, this time, I came with my colleague who comes to Tokyo for business so often, she is considered part Japanese already. So she has come here before and is in fact good friends with the proprietress of one of these little shops.

There was barely enough space for us. The 3 of us and 2 caucasians next to me (who helped to take this pic) took up the whole row of seats.

We ordered quite a number of things to share.

some edamame beans. Sprinkled liberally with salt, it was quite a tasty treat, although a bit cold.

Grilled enoki mushrooms wrapped with bacon. Always a tasty treat. My friend tells me that she did this for a family bbq and it was very well received. I think this should be quite simple to make at home. Maybe I will try it sometime.

The grilled giant scallop with butter. Very tasty and chewy. I liked the chewier bits around the scallop, rather than the meaty scallop itself.

We also had tsukune, minced chicken. This is usually served on a skewer, and served with a sauce and raw egg, but as this lady makes it herself, she puts in a bowl, and cracks the egg in the middle instead. Interesting way of serving it, tastewise, it was just ok. Not as smoky or fragrant as I would have liked. I am also a little wary of eating raw egg in such conditions.

Grilled chicken wings, always popular at any party. These were polished off quickly because they were tasty and salty.

This is grilled fish, saba I think. It was very salty but otherwise quite fresh. The lady goes to the market every morning to procure her ingredients and closes the stall once her food is sold out, so the food is freshness guaranteed.

Total cost was about S$80 for 3 of us.


D said...

Very nice!
Thoroughly enjoyed your little food report on your Japanese trip. With food like this, I'm sure your 3 babies understand =)

Chocolate Reindeer said...

D: hey how are you! yes I think they did. I brought back Japanese goodies for all 3 babies, so all is well and good now!