It’s time to share a few photos of some of the best food ever to have tickled my palate. As for many tourists the food was one of the highlights of our trip to Japan, and to think that it took me a while to fully appreciate sushi when I had it for the first time. Pfff!
Of course, Japanese food is a lot more varied than sushi and sashimi, and while in Tokyo we tried to sample as many dishes as possible. Some photos of the most photogenic meals below:
Taking a chance on a weird-looking drink from one of the many vending machines. I tried sesame water which was (as the name suggests) roasted sesame-flavored water, various green tea and jasmine drinks which were very refreshing and a salt and lychee drink which was mostly weird but not bad.
We went to Bill’s three times in the 10 days we stayed in Tokyo – the food is that good. Everything on the menu is scrumptious and the location is airy and full of light. One floor below there is a Starbucks which opens on a wonderful terrace overlooking the city (see last photo below).
The famous crepes from Santa Monica. Much smaller IRL than you’d imagine, but a must after strolling on Takeshita Dori.
Sushi No-Midori near Shibuya (Tokyo). This was our first Japanese sushi experience, and it did not disappoint. There were loads of weird types of fish, some with a very bizarre consistency and taste. None of us enjoyed the sea urchin though, I guess our palate was not ready for all of Japan’s delicacies.
Lauderdale in Roppongi (Tokyo). We went here for brunch one sunny day. They are famous for their soufflés, which are light and airy – also a bit sweet which was surprising. The decor was on point (hence all the photos) and the lovely terrace provided some instagram-worthy dappled light.
One of the many and very realistic window displays of what’s on offer.
Roppongi Joumon, a first izakaya (Japanese gastropub) experience. We sampled many dishes here, including some sesame pudding which was weirdly delicious although I must confess I’d never eaten anything charcoal-colored before.
Hirota bakery (Tokyo). You can find it in the Omotesando subway station – just follow your nose, you can’t miss it. It sells these weird black cream puffs with googly eyes on them. I mean, how can you resist?!
Honke Owariya noodle restaurant (Kyoto). This is the oldest noodle house in Kyoto, everything we tasted was delicious, including the rice-based translucent dessert (2nd to last photo).
Best grapes I’ve ever had. I’ve never found this flavor in North America, but it exists in Europe, although the grapes are not this gigantic. It’s an unmistakeable flavor that will keep you drooling when thinking about it for the rest of your life. This one cost $11 (yes!) but it was so worth it. It’s a meal in itself.
Okonomyiaki (mix between a pancake and omelette with noodles and veggies), somewhere in Kyoto, close to the Gion (geisha district).
World Breakfast Allday (Tokyo). This was such an amazing find, especially since I was seriously craving some hot oatmeal after all the raw fish I’d been having. It’s a very small place, located 15 minutes away form Omotesando. Each week they serve a certain type of breakfast from around the world. When we went it was Mongolian week, but we didn’t feel like having any yak milk so we settled for British and Swiss breakfasts. They were both filling and delicious.
Gonpachi izakaya in Aquacity, Odaiba (Tokyo). Another izakaya experience and this one was also a 5/5-star experience. We had a very early dinner there and we were the only clients in the restaurant, and I think this added to the experience and made me appreciate the place even more.
Numazuko sushi bar in Ginza (Tokyo). Another item on our “must try” list was a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. This is what we chose after reading up on it. Ginza is a pricey neighborhood, and Numazuko is located in a multi-storey shopping center, but surprisingly is reasonably priced (~ $100 for 4 persons, pretty much all you can see in the photo below). I still remember the tuna sushi with green onions – buttery smooth and very fresh.
Shirube Shimokitazawa (Tokyo). Yup, another izakaya. But sadly this time I did not take any photos of the food because we were sitting right in front of the chef and it felt awkward to pull out the Canon. I did snap these photos as we were putting our shoes on when leaving the restaurant. We chatted with the waiter who was taking a cigarette break outside. He asked us if we were from Vancouver (the only city he’d visited in Canada) and when we replied we were from TO actually, he said “Ohhh! Cold, very cold.” Yup. That sums it up.
For more Japan-related posts, go here.
All photos were taken by me, with a Canon 5D III, and a Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4. Please do not use my photos without permission.