Category Archives: Japanese Food

Aya Usagi White Bean Cakes

Aya Usagi White Bean Cakes

I remember meticulously photographing my box exterior and pictures of the full cake before doing a cutaway shot. I far less meticulously transferred the images to my computer and lost track of them (or accidentally threw them out). So, I pilfered this picture from a review on Yelp. I’ll replace it when I find my own shots. :-p One of the big differences between my blogging in Japan aboutMore

Porinki Asari Corn

Porinki Asari Corn

My friends and I have an inside joke about corn. I’m not exactly certain how this happened, but it is a lot like being a Monty Python fan. The more you say something, the funnier it becomes, but only to you and everyone else thinks you’re a dip. So, it’s hard for me not to extoll the virtues of anything which is corn flavored in a humorous way that will not be funny to anyone outside of meMore

Emilia, Jingumae エミリア神宮前

Emilia, Jingumae エミリア神宮前

Emilia is a neighborhood restaurant in the quiet end of Jingumae specialising in northern Italian cuisine. I have been a couple of times in the last few months, and on both occasions left quite impressed by the quality of the ingredients and cooking, as well as the value for money. It’s not a super-cheap restaurant but the chef really puts on an amazingly luxurious spread for his 6,500 yen menu – a soup, two entrees, two pastas, main, dessert and coffee. I also haven’t had a bad wine there either.If you’re hungry definitely go there!Vichyssoise Carapaccio Quail ‘pie’ Stuffed squid Truffle tagliatelle Stuffed …More

Yuzu Zarame Rice Cracker

Yuzu Zarame Rice Cracker

One of my students used to come for her lessons after working and it was close to dinner time. This sometimes benefitted me because she would bring some treats with her and share them with me as we talked. I would ask her occasionally if she was hungry during the lesson due to the timing and she would say she was on rare occasions, but often said she sated her hunger with a rice cracker (More

MarechiAro, Nishi Azabu マーレキアーロ西麻布

MarechiAro, Nishi Azabu マーレキアーロ西麻布

I’ve found another delicious and friendly Italian restaurant, the newly re-named ‘MarechiAro’. This time, tucked away in the backstreets of Nishi Azabu – where I haven’t been in quite a while. Walking around, I saw so many new places to try!Their basic omakase course is 8,500 yen which I think represents amazing value.Fried prawn with corn (delicious) Sea urchin with onion mousse Assorted fishy bits and pieces Bouillabaisse style fish soup with condimentsDuck ragu tagliatelle Aomori beef Chocolate dessert http://www.marechiaro.jp/english/index.htmlTel: 03-3486-6310More

Surprise Find: McCormick Matcha Green Tea with Ginger Seasoning

Surprise Find: McCormick Matcha Green Tea with Ginger Seasoning

I once read a piece written by someone who was attempting to be culturally sensitive which focused on the existence of "matcha lattes" in American culture. After explaining how happy she was with it on the menu, there was much hand-wringing over how the beverage she was enjoying was almost certainly a form of "cultural appropriation" and how the Japanese were likely offended by thisMore

Maybelle Lemon Donut

Maybelle Lemon Donut

I was both looking forward greatly to this donut (because it’s lemon!) and wary about how it was going to be (because, Japanese). I am not a huge eater of donuts, but I did find that packaged donuts in Japan had some very predictable problems. It’s not that American shelf-stable donuts are any great bargain either, but they don’t suffer from the same distinctive issues as Japanese ones. TheMore

Hanafubuki, Izukogen 花吹雪伊豆高原

Hanafubuki, Izukogen 花吹雪伊豆高原

The name Hanafubuki is quite a mouthful, but hey why not? There’s a lot contained in this beautiful ryokan in Izukogen.One of the best features, apart from the food, which is superb, is that there are a range of different baths and they’re all private. When I went my dining (and bathing) partner were able to try out as many as we liked.The pictures are, in themselves, a feast. Enjoy!http://hanafubuki.co.jp/e/Tel: 0557-54-1550More

Bli Made, Kita Aoyama ブリマデ北青山

Bli Made, Kita Aoyama ブリマデ北青山

I had never really tried Balinese cuisine before I went to Bli Made. If this is what it is, I like it! This is a small, casual restaurant in Jingumae that is great value for money. One of my local favourites. There’s no website. It’s not that kind of place.Tel: 03-5410-1933More

Le Sputnik, Roppongi ル スプートニク

Le Sputnik, Roppongi ル スプートニク

Le Sputnik is one of Tokyo’s hottest restaurants right now and it’s not hard to see why. Absolutely stunning. I was lucky enough to be treated for lunch there by a good friend. I will let the pictures tell the story. http://le-sputnik.jp/Tel: 03-6434-7080More

Tohato Caramel Corn (with peanut)

Tohato Caramel Corn (with peanut)

Caramel Corn in Japan has been around for donkey’s years. I actually don’t know how long a donkey’s year is, nor do I know who actually uses that phrase anymore. The last person who regularly used it that I knew was my late former manager in Japan (R.I.P, Darryl, I think of you every day). It turns out that donkeys actually live quite a long time. One of the older ones lived over 60 years.More

Fratelli Paradiso, Omotesando フラテリパラディソ表参道

Fratelli Paradiso, Omotesando フラテリパラディソ表参道

Fratelli Paradiso is the latest Aussie transplant to land in Tokyo. It’s very swish and located in the temple to swishness known as Omotesando Hills. Think of the Italian version of The Apollo and you’ll get the concept.Food’s very nice, portions are tiny~ http://fratelliparadiso.im-transit.co.jp/Tel: 03-3408-0800More

Arcana Izu

Arcana Izu

It’s a three hour journey to Arcana Izu from Tokyo but absolutely worth the trek. Located beside a beautiful river, Arcana is a modern interpretation of the Japanese ryokan experience. It is just a few kilometres down the road from Tofuya, one of my favourite ryokan in all Japan, but a very different concept – Japanese but international.I’ll let the pictures tell the story of this perfect experience… http://www.arcanaresorts.com/Tel: 0558-85-2700More

Okei Sushi おけいすし神宮前

Okei Sushi おけいすし神宮前

OK Sushi (this is really what the name is – a play on the English OK), is the epitome of the Japanese sushi experience. Old place, falling apart, expensive, garrulous old chef with a big knife serving whatever the hell he pleases with a mix of regular customers and lots of beer and sake to keep the banter going with him and each other.I thought it was a great experience and that the food was very good. My Japanese dining partner who thought the meal was just OK, strongly disagreed although I thought he was too tough. I will admit though that the chef had a big hunk of tuna he seemed to want to…More

Shiro, Jingumae しろう神宮前

Shiro, Jingumae しろう神宮前

Shiro is situated about three quarters of the way to Gaien Nishi Dori (from Omotesando) in Maisen Dori. I hope that means something to you as I find Tokyo a bit hard to explain sometimes! Anyway, it’s not hard to find and a little oasis of Japanese culture and cuisine in a cute little traditional house in the midst of all that trendiness.Their soba ryori cuisine is all perfectly good and completely unremarkable. For dinner on the evening I visited they only had an omakase course for 5,000 yen. I would have preferred to be able to order izakaya-style, but was more than happy to fall into line as it’s just easier sometimes if you don’t need to think about…More

Salt Grill and Tapas Bar, Ginza ソルトグリル アンド タパスバー銀座

Salt Grill and Tapas Bar, Ginza ソルトグリル アンド タパスバー銀座

I’m a big fan of Salt in Marunouchi and have been countless times over the years. So as soon as I found out about the opening of its younger brother in the sparkly new Ginza Six complex in (you can guess where), I was right onto making a booking.My dining partner and I were shown to an excellent corner table with a view of the streets below and once settled in we opted for the 5,000 yen lunch menu. Their menu offers excellent value for money and the food is delicious. It’s hard to imagine how they can deliver such sophistication and quality for such a modest price.I will certainly be back.Yayoi Kusama strikes again in the Ginza Six atrium!The view…More

Vincent, Roppongi ヴァンサン六本木

Vincent, Roppongi ヴァンサン六本木

Vincent may be one of Tokyo’s best kept dining secrets or, more likely, just a secret from me! I have been driving and walking past it for at least ten years, with its beautiful sign ‘Vincent’ (in the style of Van Gogh’s signature) and the accompanying ironwork always catching my eye– obviously the brainchild of someone with attention to detail and more than the average level of passion.On a recent business lunch I was able to confirm that this passion runs through everything in the restaurant. I found everything to be impeccable: the ambience, the decoration, the service, the food (especially the food). And …More

Maken Gummy (Cola flavor)

Maken Gummy (Cola flavor)

This gummy’s packaging lets you know very well that it’s made for kids, especially those who think they need to put up a peace sign any time a camera is pointed at them. That is something that I always associate with life in Japan and I can say that I haven’t seen someone do that since returning to the U.S. No, instead of peace signs, I see duck faces and people sticking their tongues out orMore

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