Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tokyo Trip Part 4: The Food

Harajuku Crepes

The Savory
There is literally so much good food to each in Japan. It's hard to choose, but I would saw the shabu-shabu was the best food I had in Japan. Shabu-shabu is basicially a thinly sliced beef and vegetable hotpot.  We went to a very traditional place and was served in a tatami room, which was expensive but worth experiencing once. The beef literally melts in your mouth and everything is very traditional and formal. I especially enjoyed the konnyaku with was moist and chewy. 

Japanese pasta is delicious as well, different from the typical Italian style because they often put their own twist like adding fish roe or the likes. The second night, my friends and I were so weary and hungry we stumbled into any restaurant in Odaiba. It was a chance find, but it's a place I would definitely go back again. The night view of the harbor was gorgeous, and I ordered a salmon and spinach cream sauce pasta which was heavenly--abundant salmon. Usually, cream sauce makes me queasy after a while, but this was not too heavy, and I finished the entire dish. Plus, the staff was super friendly and seeing that we were tourists, they let us enter the back portion of the restaurant which was closed off, and let us take pictures of the gorgeous backdrop of Rainbow Bridge, seen below.  

Of course, more casual eating can be done at local izakayas. I especially love gyoza, pan-fried meat-filled dumplings, which can be found in China and Korea too, but I still love all variants of dumplings. I wanted to to go Tsukiji Fish Market known for their fresh sashimi, but there was no way I was waking up before 5AM and eating raw fish first thing in the morning. But all the sushi I did have was delicious--melted in my mouth. I didn't get a chance to go to a proper donkatsu or ramen place, but hopefully next time. 

The Sweets
Japan is known for its sweets. Their delicious puddings and mochi and crepes and cakes. If I had more time, I would have tried everything, but the room in my stomach was limited. I tried sweet potato soft-serve ice cream in Asakusa which was delicious. I'm an ice cream mania. I've even tried wasabi-flavored ice cream before. The best soft-serve ice-cream I've ever tried was during the Hokkaido Fair at Mitsuwa, New Jersey, a Japanese market in New Jersey. I had milk-flavored and pear-flavored swirled together, and I swear, it was the softest, silkiest ice cream I had ever had. (Hokkaido is known for its milk-flavored stuff), and I loved the rich, round, milky taste left in my mouth afterwords. I do love anko (red-bean) and black sesame and kinako (soy) and green tea flavored ice cream out of the Japanese flavors, but not so much wasabi. 

Of course in Harajuku, we had the crepes filled with strawberry, vanilla custard and whipped cream. It was pretty huge, so three of us shared it. In Japan, be sure to try out the royal milk tea (one of my favorite drinks). They also so have interesting ice cream floats, like the melon float (putridly Shrek-green, but delicious).  

Basically, everything I put in my mouth was delicious. Even the airplane food, and I hate airplane food. I rode All Nippon Airways, a Japanese airlines competitive with JAL, and on my way back, I had for early dinner a little bento-style box complete with vanilla pudding for dessert. I unfortunately did not get to try nearly every that I wanted to try, but hopefully next time, I can try everything I didn't get to this time. Because we walked around so much, I think we burned off all the calories pretty quickly.  Of course, I brought back home half a trunk full of snacks ranging from castella (kasutera), mochi (rice cakes filled with sweet red bean and white bean filling), yokan, a traditional Japanese dessert consisting of sweet jellied azuki beans (I got the ones embedded with chestnuts), Hokkaido Shiroi Koibito, white chocolate sandwiched between two cookies that simply melts in your mouth, hiyoko, savory manju shaped like little chicks filled with sweet white beans (a favorite of mine as a child). If it isn't obvious, food is one of my favorite subjects to talk and write about.


  1. And now I feel like I've just travelled over Japan and experienced everything myself. Thanks for the tour ^_^!

  2. Japanese food is one of the things about Japan that I would approach warily. Because fish makes me ill (my mum is severly allergic to it and I have a psychosomatic reaction to it because of that-the taste, smell and texture all make me sick).

    I know Japanese food isn't all about fish, but it's very prevailent-especially in popularly exported foods. I've never tried sushi because people in Europe don't seem to understand that sushi doesn't mean 'raw fish' and that you can get vegetarian sushi!

    The shabu-shabu sounds nice, though!

    And those crepes and sweets look so yummy!

    But that melon ice cream float reminds me of the Cream Soda in CCS (from the Sakura Card Arc when they went to the pool!). That was bright green too, if I remember correctly!

    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed Japan so much! It looks like you experienced a lot in a short time!

  3. @Selenityshiroi

    Aww... It's a pity about being allergic to fish (though I have a friend who is likewise to meat, and that would make me cry). There are plenty of food to eat in Japan besides fish... And definitely, many different types of sushi without raw fish.

    Oh, do they drink cream soda in CCS? Now I seem to vaguely recall the episode. Yup, that's exactly what it was called. Melon-flavored cream soda.