One very unforgettable aspect about our trip to Tokyo was its food. After all, we spent about 40% of our cash on food. So many delicious food, everywhere, around every corner. And because we wanted to sample as many variety of food as possible, we decided to adopt the strategy of only ordering 1 portion of anything (whenever possible). We also try to order 1 expensive portion and 1 cheaper portion from the same restaurant to sample their difference. This way, we can maximize our wallets, our stomach capacity, as well as our aim to try many different types of food. This is not a complete list, it is just some of the more memorable ones. So, let’s begin, in chronological order.
1. Ryokan dinner @ Ichinoyu Honkan, Hakone
Our dinner consists of never ending rice, numerous side dishes, and shabu shabu pork.
This is our boiling pot, very much like steamboat except that the ingredients are Japanese style.
We order an extra chef’s recommendation – boiled sea bream fish.
We had our first big dinner at the Ichinoyu Honkan. Ryokans like these normally includes dinner as part of an overnight stay package. And if you watch Japan Hour a lot, you would have realized that whenever they talk about a ryokan, there are 2 items that always must be featured – onsen and dinner. So this is it, a traditional ryokan dinner.
For this dinner, the rice was surprisingly good, very strong in flavour and very appetizing. In fact, Dear2 had a second helping, which was rare because she’s not exactly a rice person. I had 3 bowls. :P
The pork was nothing to rave about, just good pork in steamboat soup. Luckily, the portion was not stingy.
Now, the so called highlight of the night, the boiled sea bream fish. This one was a chef’s recommendation and supposed to be a ryokan specialty, which was why we decided to order it (at a charge). Perhaps expectation was high, but we both felt it was not very nice. In fact, we thought a normal wedding dinner fish would taste better. Vietnam fish is still the best. Now, what’s wrong? The fish meat felt tough and not tender. It didn’t have that great first impression where you immediate know it’s a fresh fish. It was just passable and we manage to finish the whole thing. But come to think of it now, it may have been because of the climate. We live in South East Asia and are so used to the local fish we have here. Maybe the climate and species of the fish is just different because Japan is a different climate altogether.
2. Lavender soft cream @ Herb Museum, Kawaguchiko
We decided to seek shelter from the freezing winter outside and sat down for a purple lavender soft cream in a warm cafe. Ironic. :D
This lavender soft cream (they named it soft cream) is a specialty in Kawaguchiko area, so we just had to try it. It tasted quite weird at first, maybe because it was new to us. But after a few slurps, it started tasting better and better. In fact, it was quite addictive. There was a light lavender scent in the soft cream which was quite soothing. And being able to taste *and* smell lavender at the same time created quite a relaxing mood. For once, it didn’t make me want to gobble down the whole thing because it was delicious. Instead, it made me want to enjoy it slowly.
3. Teuchi udon @ just outside Fujiyoshida station, Fujiyoshida
Dear1 had tempura udon. All that crispy deep fried vegetables. Crunch crunch.
Dear2 had tamago udon. Whole cooked eggs actually tasted better than beating it into the soup.
We know that Fujiyoshida is known for their famous handmade udon, so we had to try it out since we’re in the area. There’s a tourist catalog at the tourist centre at Fujiyoshida station. From the attached map, we found this udon shop that is just 1 minute away from the station, and so that’s where we decided to eat. Also take note that these udon shops in Fujiyoshida only open during lunchtime.
We ordered 2 types of udon, the tempura and the tamago version. It tasted great. The soup was clear and sweet, while the udon was soft and easy to chew (unlike those instant udon sold at some foodcourts in Japan). It was only later that we discovered there was another ‘special’ udon on the menu where the udon will be deep fried in tempura style but still served with soup. In fact, it was featured in a food magazine as the shop owner showed us a photocopy of the magazine article. But at that time, we were rather full to order another bowl of udon, a pity. If anyone happens to be in Fujiyoshida area, I would definitely recommend trying out the local specialty there, teuchi udon.
4. Strawberries @ supermarkets, Kawaguchiko & Mito
Very normal looking on the outside but very sweet and juicy on the inside. Dear1 and Dear2 both became strawberry lovers despite disliking strawberries in Singapore.
Strawberries like these can be easily found at any supermarkets in Japan. We bought ours at Kawaguchiko, and later bought another pack at Mito. The strawberries came in many sizes and prices. We bought the 2nd cheapest option on sale just to try out the taste. Wow! It was sweet. Somehow, we’ve never tasted sweet strawberries in Singapore before, but those in Japan was surprisingly delicious. No wonder they produce so much of strawberries related food, such as cakes, drinks, ice cream, waffles, etc.
5. Premium beef @ Steak house satou, Kichijoji
The cheapest item on the menu, oil yaki set, consists of sliced beef from various cuts of meat.
The second most expensive item on the menu, premium beef steak, cooked using the high grade marbled beef.
We’ve heard about this restaurant in Kichijoji that sells premium beef at affordable price. And knowing how Japan is famous for their beef, we decided that we should at least splurge a little bit and try out this luxury food.
We arrived at the restaurant promptly at lunch opening time and were the second group of customers in the restaurant, so no queuing time, yeah. We decided to order the lunch special which is the oil yaki (less than JPY1000 (SGD16)), and one more premium beef. The chef offered 3 grades of beef. The best one cost around JPY8000 (SGD130) while the second best cost around JPY5000 (SGD80). Feeling a bit heartache at this point, we decided to go with the latter choice.
We ate the oil yaki first. The sliced beef was very good, the meat was tender and the spices wasn’t too strong. I would think it’s well worth its price, but nothing jaw dropping. Then we decided to eat the main course, our chunky premium beef. First off, the serving was quite generous so we felt a little less heartache. When we pick up a chunk of the beef, we noticed that the inner portion was rather raw (we ordered medium), so we half expected it to be a little intangible to the bite. We pop a chunk into our mouths and chewed, it went through, our teeth easily tearing through the tender meat. We chewed again, sweet fatty juices ooze from the meat, coating our tongue and gum. Mmm… So good… This was the first time we ever paid so much for a serving of beef and we were really enjoying it. It was beyond our expectations (but then maybe we had rather low expectations). And after we tried the first chunk of premium beef, neither of us wanted to eat the sliced beef anymore. Gee…
If we have the chance to pass by Kichijoji again, we’ll surely return to this restaurant for another round of premium beef.
6. Mixed stew @ Echigoyuzawa station, Yuzawa
Hot steaming vegetable and intestines stew was such a big welcome considering it was snowing outside.
There were rows and rows of food stalls within Echigoyuzawa station and this particular one caught our attention. We were at Yuzawa to visit its snowy mountains and for our skiing trip. Naturally, it was cold and snowing outside. We just returned from exploring the town and saw this group of young people with skis on their back, sipping away at this bowl of steaming soup. As we were also freezing, we decided to try it out.
It was a simple stew with radish, turnip, onions, carrots and some pig intestines too. Maybe the weather was affecting our perception of food but the stew tasted great as we gleefully sipped away at the bowl. Hot stew on a cold day just tasted so much nicer. And I’m sure that’s what the group of skiers we saw were thinking about too.
7. Hotel breakfast @ Hotel Yanagi, Yuzawa
Rice and miso soup breakfast is a standard in business hotels. But the half boiled eggs was a surprise. A yummy kind of surprise.
We had breakfast at our business hotel at Yuzawa. The last business hotel breakfast we had was at Toyoko Inn at Yokohama, but it was nothing special. They served steamed eggs there. So we were rather surprised at the half boiled eggs at Hotel Yanagi, another first for us.
It was different from our Singapore half boiled eggs in many ways. First, it’s cold. Next, it had a larger yolk to white ratio and it looked more cooked than our local version. Lastly, it was served with Japanese soya sauce, not dark sauce and pepper we were used to. The result? Fantastic. We can taste the natural sweetness of the egg, especially the yolk. The egg yolk was a more intense orange colour, yet it was clear and fluid, unlike our viscous and murky version in Singapore. Since this was a business hotel breakfast, I’m sure it’ll taste even better if we had the chance to eat it at a specialty restaurant. But we didn’t come across any during our trip, so this was the only time we had this half boiled egg.
8. Tonkatsu @ Tonki, Meguro
The crispy looking tonkatsu is the star of the show. But the supporting cast of shredded cabbage is good too.
Another famous restaurant that came up during our research. We dropped by this restaurant late one night before retiring to our hotel. It is one of the few restaurants that actually open until late, 10.45pm iirc.
Upon entering the restaurant we were asked to place an order immediately, while we were still standing, and so we order one tonkatsu set meal to share. Next, we were ushered to sit at the waiting bench that stretched along the entire wall of the restaurant, and just behind the backs of customers sitting at the counter. As we were at the end of the bench, we expected the people to shift themselves along down the queue and to be served when we finally reach the head of the bench. But that was not the case. In fact, we were queuing for the seats immediately in front of us. Then, as and when the customer in front of us leave, we’ll take their place. So you can imagine an element of luck was required to determine our waiting time. Luckily, we were able to get our seats after about 15-20 minutes.
Another thing we noticed about this restaurant was that the oldest chef, who was timing the deep frying of the tonkatsu, picks up the tonkatsu from the boiling oil using his bare hands. :O Veteran chef indeed.
The tonkatsu tasted good. It was very well fried and marinated. The fried skin detached from the pork beneath it and created a very nice bite to the tonkatsu. The pork itself was a bit on the tough side for me. Overall, good but fell short of its perhaps overhyped reputation. The shredded cabbage was surprisingly tasty. I think its filled with natural cabbage sweetness and the thinly shredded pieces made it easy to chew. I think Dear2 liked the cabbage more than the tonkatsu itself.
One thing to note was that the set meal cost JPY600 (SGD10) more than the alacarte and the difference was for bottomless rice and miso soup which I thought was a bit overpriced. Next time, if I ever visit again, I’ll just order the tonkatsu alacarte.
9. Unagi @ Izuei honten, Ueno
The Prince bowl. There are 2 big pieces of unagi on top of the rice… and 2 more pieces of equally big unagi under the rice!
And here u see the additional pieces of unagi hiding under the rice. Wuahahaha…
Dear2 order a different unagi set meal. This meal has just 2 big pieces of unagi on the rice, but it also comes with sashimi and an exotic looking raw egg mixture.
Dear1 is a big unagi fan. Whenever we ate at a sushi restaurant, Dear1 will without fail order the unagi sushi, and anything else that has unagi on it. So we just had to splurge a bit on a famous unagi bowl in Japan. Our pre-trip research led us to this restaurant about 5-7 minutes walk from Ueno station, and in the direction of Ameyoko too, very convenient location. We also printed out this coupon (if its still available) from the Internet that gave us free drinks each.
Let’s just ignore the nice fresh sashimi, the exotic but not too bad raw egg and the sweet and clear fish soup. Let’s just focus on the unagi rice bowl. Firstly, the unagi bowl was huge, at price tag of around JPY3500 (SGD60). And so was unagi. Just seeing the size of the unagi already had me drooling. The first bite came as a surprise, the unagi was warm. Maybe I was too used to eating cold unagi, but then it just made me realized that warm broiled unagi tasted so much better. Dear2 liked her unagi too and was quickly munching away at her unagi bowl. The unagi tasted fresh and soft, and the flavour was strong without being overwhelming. It tasted authentic and was way better than what I’ve eaten before in Singapore.
We both enjoyed our unagi bowl and leisurely chatted over our early dinner. I was sort of conserving my piece of unagi, taking only small bites, and making sure I distribute my unagi evenly over the amount of rice I had. Dear2 was clearly doing the same, savouring every bite of her delicious unagi. And then it happened! As I plunged my chopsticks into the rice near the bottom of the bowl, the feedback from the chopsticks indicate a different consistency there. It was not rice, and it was not the bottom of the bowl either. I pushed away some rice to reveal the culprit, 2 more pieces of unagi beneath the rice! OMG! Suddenly I felt this meal was thoroughly worth its money. And after conserving the top 2 pieces of unagi for the entire bowl of rice, I now have more unagi than rice! Upon seeing this, Dear2 quickly dug through her bowl in search of the prize. But there was none. The hidden unagi only came with my bowl, the -Prince Bowl-. Slurp! And I was drooling again.
We had a great meal, and a memorable one too. Even now that we’re back in Singapore, we would occasionally fondly remember the unagi bowl we had at this restaurant. Truly yum yum.
10. Sweet potato apple pie @ Lapoppo, Ueno
Sweet potato on the inside, apple slices on the outside, drools.
We just happened to stumble upon this stall while wandering around in Ueno station. The concept was interesting and definitely not something we’ve seen before. Sweet potato apple pie? I wondered how that would taste like. No use wondering, let’s try it out. And so we bought the smallest pie on sale for JPY777 (SGD13).
Its a bit hard to explain. There’s a kind of sweetness from the top glaze, some fruity tasty from the apple slices, some citric sour which was nice and some sweet potato softness. It was very flavourful and tasted great as our late night supper. By then it had already turned cold but it still tasted good. This made us really want to try the freshly baked version. But the portion was a little bit too large and generous. We had already ordered the smallest pie and yet it was too much for the two of us to stomach. In the end, we had to keep 1 quarter of the pie for breakfast the next day. The sweet potato was just too filling. Good for maybe 3 persons to share.
11. Baum kuchen @ Matsuzakaya, Ginza
Baum kuchen, aka King of Cakes, is a kind of layer cake much like our kueh lapis, but drier and also it features a special crust.
While we were walking along the very upmarket Ginza area along Chuo-dori, we passed by this shop on the ground level with a long queue. And so curiosity killed the Singaporeans in us, and we had to find out what the queue was for. A peep through the stall’s glass window revealed this odd looking longish log-like thing with uneven surfaces. And it was rotating on a stick in the baking oven (or heater?). We thought it was a kebah. After some more observation, we realized that it was in fact a kind of cake know as baum kuchen. We’ve never heard of it before, but since so many Japanese locals were queuing for it on a rainy evening in Ginza, it must be good. And so we joined the queue.
The packaging on this cake really left an impression. First, we ordered a quarter slice (which was the smallest slice on the menu). Then, it was packed in a box, and then into a paper bag. Everything was standard affair so far. And then, the salesgirl put a transparent raincoat over the paper bag and meticulously taped it down to the underside of the paper bag. And this was because it was raining outside. Talk about excellent service culture.
The baum kuchen itself was crispy and sweet. The texture was a little bit dry but nothing to affect the taste. I would say it was quite nice and I would like to try it again if the queue is short. Yum.
12. Curry rice @ Curry house, Kamakura
Pork curry rice set, and look at that gigantic mountain serving of rice.
Scallop seafood curry rice, the most expensive item on the menu. You can spot little pieces of scallops in the curry ya.
So we were wandering around Kamakura, hungry, but didn’t know what to eat. *sniff* Nice. *sniff sniff* And our nose brought us across the street and into a small alley. Oh, there’s a queue here. Smell + queue = food. So we joined in. :P
We ordered 1 standard pork curry rice and the specialty of the restaurant, the scallop seafood curry rice. The first surprise was that the curry didn’t occupy half the plate. In fact, it was served beside the rice. And the rice serving was huge! I thought one plate would be enough for the 2 of us. But I was wrong. It turns out that the curry was so yummy that we just couldn’t stop eating and soon the rice was all gone. Every single grain.
Dear2’s pork curry was very fragrant and rich. It wasn’t like normal Japanese curry rice, so I have to assume that they’re using a different style of cooking, Kamakura curry maybe? The curry was thick and the pork had already ‘dissolved’ into the curry. Traces of meat chunks could still be seen and it’s really soft, literally melted in our mouths. Dear1’s scallop curry was even better. The taste was even richer with very strong flavour of scallops and a taste of the ocean. It was very refreshing and very addictive.
This was really a surprise find for us and we felt so satisfied after this meal. The portion was generous and the curry was so alluring. Definitely recommend this restaurant to curry lovers if u visit Kamakura. Just follow ur nose.
13. Sweet potato croquette @ on the way to Great Buddha, Kamakura
It’s purple, it’s fried, it’s a sweet potato croquette. :D
As we were walking towards the Great Buddha from Hase station, we came across this interesting purple stall. Everything was purple. Purple ice cream, purple chips, purple mochi, and purple croquette. But it’s a different purple from the lavender soft cream that we had earlier. So we decided to try the croquette to warm ourselves up in the cold weather.
Wow! So sweet. It was freshly baked (fried) by the stall owner just as we were placing our order. The crust was so crispy and it left a satisfying crunch in our mouths. The inside was soft and moist and it felt good seeing the steam escaping from the croquette with every bite. It was much sweeter than normal potato croquette, and it was not from sugar but from the natural sweetness of its main ingredient, purple sweet potato. Best croquette we’ve had thus far in Japan.
14. Ice cream @ Baskin robbins, Tokyo Tower
Fresh strawberries on strawberry milk ice cream with pink spoons. We went mad about strawberries ever since arriving in Japan.
Baskin robbins can be found all over Tokyo but we just happen to crave for ice cream when we were at Tokyo Tower. There was some promotion going on for the strawberry ice cream cone so we ordered that one. Next, we were asked to choose a flavour of ice cream from the mind boggling menu of endless flavours. We decided that why not just make the whole thing strawberry, and so we picked the strawberry milk flavour.
It was mouth watering. The ice cream was very solid and smooth, not much ice in it. The strawberry and milk flavour was quite well balanced, I particularly enjoyed the milky taste. Dear2, who don’t really take much ice cream in Singapore, really liked it as well. It was very rare for an ice cream to receive compliments from Dear2. It’s that good. The fresh strawberries were just as good too, very sweet. To top it all off, we get to keep the pink plastic spoons, and we brought it back as a souvenir. :D
15. Omelette rice @ @home cafe, Akihabara
Meow~ The cutesy maid drew a cat on our omelette using tomato ketchup. See the cat paw?
This cute little omelette rice deserved an honourable mention. We visited a maid cafe to get a feel of a real maid cafe and the otakus. And this omelette rice seemed like quite a standard item when it comes to maid cafes. The maids really possessed great drawing skills, being able to draw this cute cat using ketchup. There’s even a chicken nugget cat paw at the side, very well thought out.
Taste wise, it was average at best. The rice was a bit soggy and there weren’t much ingredients either. The nuggets were just plain cold chicken nuggets. One thing good about the omelette covering the rice was that it kept the rice warm while we slowly ate our meal over the 90 minutes limit that we were allowed to stay in the cafe.
Overall, we had fun casting magic on our food and drinks, observing other otakus mingling with their maids and just taking in the culture of Akihabara.
16. Monjayaki and yakisoba @ Sakuratei, Harajuku
The raw ingredients of monjayaki was nothing more than simple cabbage, mushrooms, corn and onions. Raw ingredients?
Yes, becos we had to fry our own monjayaki!
Noodles, prawns, cabbages and meat. What could this be?
Ta-da! Dear2’s homemade yakisoba. Yum.
We wanted to try something local to Tokyo and monjayaki was a clear choice. However, most of the famous monjayaki restaurants were at the Tsukishima area which was rather inconvenient. So we decided to go to this restaurant in the heart of town, Sakuratei at Harajuku.
First, take note that this was a teppanyaki restaurant where the customers had to fry their own food. So needless to say, it was very smoky and will definitely stink our sweaters and jackets.
The menu came with a user friendly cooking instructions which we followed to cook our monjayaki. We made quite a mess of the whole thing, but the monjayaki turned out to be not bad. Must be because it was made by Dear2. Yum yum. On the whole, it’s a bit softer and more ‘flow-y’ compared to Osaka’s okonomiyaki. And the natural sweetness of the cabbage can be tasted throughout.
Since we hadn’t had a chance to try some yakisoba so far, we decided to cook some ourselves. The finished product looked quite professional with all the right ingredients. Haha… The noodles were much more ‘rubbery’ compared to our local noodles. Dear2 didn’t like it, but Dear1 think it was ok.
Still, I think its not a fair judgment as it was not prepared by a trained chef. If there was a chance again, we should really try out the real thing where the chef actually cooks for us.
17. Sweet potatos @ roadside pushcart, Harajuku
Eating hot steaming sweet potatoes while shopping along Takeshita-dori is great.
Dear1 and Dear2 are easily attracted (distracted) by crowds. And so we saw this group of young trendy people gathering around a steaming pushcart. We went over to take a look and found them eating steamed sweet potatoes. Naturally, we bought one too. Gee…
It’s very very very good! The skin was well scrubbed, no trace of dirt at all, and can be eaten together with the rest of the sweet potato. There was no fibre at all, making the whole eating experience uninterrupted. The sweet potato itself was very soft to the bite and very sweet. Its a wonder how Japanese are able to cultivate such sweet and fragrant fruits and vegetables. This natural sweetness beats our Singapore sugar dipped steamed sweet potatoes hands down.
18. Gourmet cakes @ Ginza Cozy Corner, Shibuya
Our late night supper, beautiful strawberry cake and cheese cake that we almost couldn’t bear to eat.
Ginza cozy corner is a chain cake shop which can be found in many places in Tokyo. I remember seeing one inside Shinjuku station. It so happened that we bought ours at Shibuya, right next to the famous Shibuya road junction.
Of the 2 cakes, the strawberry one left the greater impression. The top coat of the strawberry cake looked like cream but was actually some kind of cake coating. It tasted like cake crumbles and it was soooooo soft and fluffy that it felt like I wasn’t biting anything at all. The cream was not greasy at all and complemented the cake well. Too bad that we only had 1 slice to share. Huhuhu…
The cheese cake was also different from what we have in Singapore and I’ll be inclined to say this cheese cake was better. Its not as thick and the consistency was more like a cake. The taste of the cheese remains strong and a bit on the salty side. Nice.
19. Sushi @ Sushi Dai, Tsukiji
The most sought after fatty tuna (otoro) in front and some other fish I can’t remember at the back.
This is something different. Rice *inside* the sotong.
Sea urchin on the left and… yellowtail, I think, on the right.
I can’t remember the name of this fish but the pleated sushi is a work of art.
Free steamed egg that the sushi chef offered to us (and everyone else in the restaurant) half way through our breakfast.
The eel is overwhelming my rice. Good.
Which Japan trip can be complete without a sushi feast! We finally made our way to the Tsukiji market to visit the famous tuna auction as well as patronize the freshest sushi in Tokyo. When we arrive at the restaurant block at around 7am, Sushi Dai was the only restaurant that had a queue. On closer examination, half the queue consisted of tourists while the other half were locals. This must mean good food since the locals were willing to queue for it. This also meant that we’ll also join the queue. Luckily for us, we were able to get inside the restaurant after about 20-30 minutes wait.
We took 2 different set meals to try out as many different types of sushi as possible. The pictures above came from a combination of the two set meals. Dear2 commented that the sushi looked bloody and that she didn’t know fish could be so bloody. I found it was ok because I thought the ‘blood’ was actually sauce. Haha… I wonder who’s right. It was an expensive breakfast but nobody’s complaining. The sushi was generous and the fish normally overwhelming the rice underneath.
The chef was also kind enough to explain every sushi he served to us in English, and also taught us the proper eating method. Actually, I liked nearly every sushi, including the exotic looking sea urchin. It turned out that the one I enjoyed the least was the most prized sushi in the market, the fatty tuna or otoro. It was a little tough to bite for me, a bit intangible. But on the whole, the fish were all very fresh, the meat was firm, and all so very delicious.
20. Tempura @ Daikokuya, Asakusa
Ebi tempura consists of 4 large prawns. And its more expensive than the rice bowl below.
The signature black tempura mixed rice bowl. There’s 1 prawn, 1 fish and some mixed vegetables.
Our pre-trip research brought us to yet another famous restaurant, right next to Sensouji. There was supposed to be a long queue everyday during lunch time, but we arrived early and walked right in.
Dear1 had the ebi tempura and loved it. The prawn was fresh and the meat was very succulent. The tempura crust was very loose yet crispy. Dipping the tempura into the clear sauce will help to remove the greasy feeling but without affecting the crispyness.
However, Dear2 liked her black tempura bowl better. The black tempura tasted a bit saltier and less crispy than the normal tempura. And it went well with the rice. In the end, we both had our preferences and enjoyed the rest of the meal. The food fell a bit short of our expectations but still good tempura nonetheless. We should really learn to expect less from so called famous restaurants.
21. Ramen @ Aquacity, Odaiba
Clear broth ramen with char siew. See the rich colour of the egg yolk. Also see the thoughtful spoon design.
Miso based broth ramen. It uses a wooden spoon, not too sure why. Look at the large pieces of meat.
We went to Aquacity at Odaiba to visit this ramen competition where ramen chefs from across the country set up their ramen restaurant right next to each other at Aquacity to compete for the title of best ramen. And this made a great opportunity for us to try ramen from different parts of Japan without actually going there.
There was only 6 ramen restaurants competing. Still, it was a difficult choice. We decided that we should try one ramen of clear soup and one of miso. Dear1 like the miso based ramen while Dear2 like the clear soup version. Haha. Luckily, there was enough choices of ramen to go around. Both ramen tasted good and we finish both bowls down to the last drop.
However, neither left a lasting impression. It was definitely better than any Japanese ramen we had in Singapore, but it felt more like an incremental improvement rather than a giant leap. Or maybe its the fact that both ramen stalls had (Chinese) staff who communicated with us in mandarin that diminished the whole feeling of eating Japanese food. Dun think we’ll ever visit this place again.
22. Donuts @ Krispy Kreme, Shinjuku & Shibuya
We got 2 free original glaze just by joining the queue. Yeah!
Assorted donuts that we dabao back to our hotel. Not that fantastic.
We had our first taste of Krispy Kreme in Hong Kong. It was great, better than any in Singapore. We ate it twice, at Mongkok and at the airport. In Japan, we spotted Krispy Kreme again, we just had to taste this wonderful donut again.
We caught sight of a Krispy Kreme restaurant between Takashimaya Times Square and our hotel in Shinjuku. There was a short queue outside the restaurant, out in the snow, but we decided to join the queue anyway. Moments later, a waitress from inside the restaurant brought out a tray of original glaze donuts and started distributing to the people in the queue. Arigatou. Arigatou, the patrons went. Arigatou, we said too. The taste of warm, freshly baked donuts while waiting out in the cold was just heavenly. The best part was it was free! I dunno if this was a winter-only thing or a one time promotion. The Japanese girl behind us in the queue was just as surprised to receive her free donut. So we ate our free donut while still in the queue and went in to order 4 more assorted donuts for a takeaway supper.
Sad to say, the assorted donuts wasn’t nice at all. The donuts were far too hard and dry and the fillings wasn’t really satisfying either. In fact, J.CO donuts tasted so much better.
But the original glaze was fantastic. We liked the original glaze so much that we queue up for it again when we spotted another outlet in Shibuya. This was the only restaurant (minus convenient stores) that we visited more than once during our whole Japan trip. This time, we got our 2 free original glaze in the queue, we held on to it, and order 1 more assorted donut for eat in. So that’s 3 donuts for the price of 1. And the original glaze still tasted so much better against the assorted donut even in the warm indoor restaurant environment. So the conclusion is, we’ll only eat original glaze from Krispy Kreme next time. Yum yum.
That’s it for the restaurants part. Let’s see when I will get around to cover the food we ate from vending machines, convenient stores and ekibens. Gee…
Thank you readers for staying with me and reading this very long Japan food review all the way to the end. I’ll always remember this wonderful food feast we had in Japan. And I look forward to going to Japan again! When can we visit Japan again dear? This time we’ll go to the Kansai region. ;D