02 January 2010

Glorious food in Japan

I visited Tokyo, Japan for the first time last month and I absolutely loved it! The people were so nice, the sights amazing, and the food, oh the food almost made me cry with joy. It was a short visit but I managed to try a variety of foods. The most wonderful part about my trip was that I had the opportunity to meet up with old friends. They were all wonderful hosts and introduced me to wonderful foods. Having good friends to share meals with make the dining experiences more memorable. Thank you very much to Juita, Tomomi and Juntaro, and Noriko (FES '01).

Here is my food diary for the 2.5 days in Japan:

Sushi dinner in Yanaka with Juita who impressed me with her Japanese. The sushi looks almost like plastic in this picture, don't they? They are so perfectly shaped. Well, they definitely did not taste plastic; so amazingly delicious!

Traditional rice set at the Bamboo Restaurant near Ueno Park. Lovely lunch with Tomomi, her husband, Juntaro and their adorable children, Koreto and Miyu. So many different dishes that were all sooooo good. My favorite was the mackerel stewed in miso (at 2 o'clock in picture).

Dessert that came with the meal. A tea infused milk pudding with a thick honey/caramel topping. Smooth and creamy.

A pit stop for some homemade crunchy rice cracker snacks while exploring Yanaka (old part of Tokyo)

Late night dinner in Shibuya. It was raining outside and a hot bowl of udon was just perfect. Udon with mix tempura (vegetables and shrimp).

Some green tea and giant fruits for dessert back at the ryokan (inn). Local grapes, pear and orange from the friendly local grocer.

Early morning steaming bowls of matcha with sugar-coated rice crackers in Kamakura with Nori. We sat by a ridge overlooking a beautiful view of fall colors while sipping our strong matcha.

Giant rice cracker snack while walking through Kamakura.

Did I mention the rice crackers were freshly grilled and then dipped into a tub of sweet sticky soy sauce? Very addictive. Though I have to say, they were so huge that I had to save half of mine for later.

Mushroom soba for lunch in Kamakura. There must have been at least 6 different types of mushrooms in this dish. This one is for you, Jo (the mushroom hunter) :)

Tea time with Nori in Ginza Shopping district. Very elaborate tea service at the Shiseido cafe. We sat amongst lovely ladies wearing silk kimonos and pearls.

Matcha cake to have along with tea. A medley of light white cake layered with matcha with fresh cream and chocolate ganache. Heavenly.

For dinner my last night in Tokyo, Nori took me too this super cool, jazz, sake bar/ cafe near Shinjuku. We had a medley of "small bites" that were all so good. Above is a salad with tofu and lots of shaved bonito. I have to try making this soon. So refreshing and tasty.

Shishamo "pregnant" fish. I know that sounds awful, but they were very tasty. The fish all had roe inside their bellies.

Konyaku and eggy tofu. Interesting textures. Nice and comforting.

Fish cakes. I do not usually like fish cakes but this was delicious. It actually taste of fish rather than stodgy dough (the ones I usual encounter here).

Eggs! I love omelets but this was exceptional. Who knew eggs can be so deliciously savory, moist and fluffy. Looking forward to buying one of those square pans (not pants) to make these. Nori gave me pointers how to make them fluffy.

And finally-- sashimi: octopus, sea urchin and tuna (I think). Yes, folks, the last 6 pictures were all part of one meal!

Aahh, Japan.... I wish I had more days and more meals. I can't wait to go back!

1 comment:

  1. Ate some good sushi today - especially the BBQ eel!