A few weeks ago, my friend Marc of No Recipes asked me to join him on the Tokyo stop of his eating frenzy across Asia, an offer i couldn’t refuse of course. Do you remember how much fun we had in Kyoto last year? So after a long journey halfway across the globe (what we wouldn’t do for food) we met up at the Cerulean tower in Shibuya and started eating our way through this amazing city.
There’s so much to say and so little room here to share with you all the sights, the smells and the sounds that make an eating adventure complete and unforgettable but i will do my best to scratch the surface and hopefully inspire you to book a ticket and go and explore for yourself.
Oh, and by the way, i almost ended up on the hood of the taxi for that photo. A blog is a dangerous business, my friends.
On our first night out we found a smoky “hole in the wall” joint in Shibuya that serves the lesser-known to westerners, Horumon Yaki. You can think of it as a yakitori place that specializes in grilled organ meats. The different morsels of meats are simply grilled over Japanese charcoal with perfect seasonings and eaten with lots of sake or shochu. Fantastic! Also we had raw beef liver, nabe and rice with a raw egg that night because we were on a mission.
A random bite, a sweet Japanese potatoes in a thick syrup with black sesame seeds. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the outside. A perfect mid-afternoon pick me up on the way to the Asakusa Kannon Temple.
Later that night we were lucky to meet up with Rachael and Brad of Tokyo Terrace fame. Not pictured is Tally, the cute dog would loved me. Don’t they look like the coolest couple ever? After having drinks and snacks at their place they took us to one of their favorite neighborhood restaurant they call “the plywood place”, a seafood Izakaya the real name of which was lost in translation. The translation of which was lost in translation too.
This was the perfect hang out, between the excellent company, the friendly staff, the raucous crowd, delicious food and sake a gogo we had a heck of a good time. It made me wish i had a place like that around the corner.
After feasting on copious amounts of clams, sashimi, grilled local fish and nabe, we did the unthinkable. We walked a few blocks and sat down at a popular ramen shop counter and all had a bowl of delicious ramen in a rich pork broth – and beer.
Yes, we did! I think it’s time for us to join Overeater Anonymous: “Hi, I’m zenchef! [in unison] HI ZENCHEF!”
Thank you Rachael and Brad for the great evening!
Err.. What? .. Oh yes, too much sake and pork fat last night. This is the view from the lobby of the Park hotel in Ginza.
Of course, no visit to Tokyo is complete without a visit to Tsukiji market, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. We risked our lives criss-crossing the market looking for a food stall Marc remembered from one of his previous visits and after nearly ending as canned tuna, we finally found it.
Oh Toro over rice with the freshest uni and salmon roe over rice. That’s what’s for breakfast!
I could get used to this lifestyle.
After nearly a week in Tokyo eating through my savings i put on my hat and went out to beg for money to buy a train ticket to Shizenji in the Shizuoka province, about 2 hours south of Tokyo. But let’s save that for part two of this adventure… til’ then!
Domo arigatou gozaimasu!
Tags: Zen Eats!