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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

JAPAN 2012 PART 3: Tokyo

First night in Tokyo, we found this restaurant close to our hotel around Asakusa-bashi Station (East Exit).
Everything 299Yen~
You use a touch screen to order at the table. Everything is in Japanese but they have pictures which is helpful...
- Salad
- Ramen
- Chicken Karaage
- Yakitori: Crispy Chicken Skin, Chicken, Jumbo Chicken and Green Onions

Yakiniku Gyu-En. The hotel found this place for us. We wanted an all-you-can eat place. And we actually lucked out cuz the waitress didn't speak any English and they didn't have an English menu. So after some awkward staring and gesturing, she hesitantly asked if I was Chinese. YES!! Turns out she was born in China and so explained everything to me in Chinese and I ordered in Chinese. Awesome!!! :)
All You Can Eat for 1,280Yen/Person (60minutes). They usually put a time limit on all you can eat places since most places have high traffic and need to have fast turnaround.
- Chicken, Pork Belly, Sausage, Beef, Steak, Pork Chop
- Side of Bean Sprouts, Kimchi, Salad, Rice
Sooooo full! And sooo delicious! :)

Vie De France Cafe - Akihabara
- Melon Cream Cake 179Yen~ Didn't buy, just thought it was interesting.
- Flower Shaped Chocolate & Custard Bread 168Yen~
- Milk Tea and Green Tea Latte (the drinks here are so tiny... Their large is the same as a tall at Starbucks. :( And more expensive.

Matsuzo Potato - Tokyo Station
- Roasted Sweet Potato 231Yen~ per 100g. Looked good but a bit too pricey so we didn't get it.
- Sweet Potato and Peach Tart 241Yen~ Really yummy. Tasted like a roasted sweet potato/pie. The slices of peach with it was an interesting combo.

Italian Tomato Cafe Jr. - Tokyo Station
I love Asian Italian food. They always cook the pasta PERFECTLY! :)
- Bolognese (Meat Sauce) 550Yen~
- Pepperoncino of Grilled Salmon and Mushrooms 580Yen~
- Avocado Salad (sm) 330Yen~

Walking around Harajuku:
- Pearl Milk Tea 190Yen~ Tiny!! And they didn't even fill it all the way to the top! T_T You can skip the pearl milk tea in Japan (IF you can find it).
- Italian Street Food: Gelato Bon-Bon (Chocolate) 360Yen~ Fluffy fried donut with ice cream and chocolate sauce in the middle. What could be bad? hehe.

Genpin Fugu - Asakusa
Fugu is blowfish (which can be poisonous...kind of.) So it's kind of a cool thing to try and I was excited to try it. My bf had tried it before when he went to Japan and said it was a very memorable experience.
"Kiwami" Course Menu 5,780Yen~
- Yubiki (Boiled Chopped Skin, with ponzu sauce)
- Butsusashi (Thick-cut Sashimi with green onion and cabbage)
- Yakifugu (BBQ with Charcoals)
- Tettiri (Hot Pot) The water in paper and basket is a really cool way they do the hot pot. Nothing leaks! The water boils in the paper and you cook everything in there. Neat!!

- Zousui (Porridge of rice and eggs with soup) My favorite course in the meal and it had no fugu in it.. :P

- We added Torafugu Karaage (Deep Fried Fugu) My favorite fugu dish.

- Hireshu (Hot sake with dried fin of blowfish) 780Yen~ Pretty cool. They torch the fish and dunk it in the sake. Then you close the lid for 10+ minutes then drink. It's a HUGE cup of sake... I only managed to drink half since it still tasted gross to me. haha. But the longer you let the fugu soak, the stronger the effects of alcohol. I was totally feeling it at the end of the meal...
- Walnut Ice Cream and Tea
Fugu wasn't all that. haha. It's a very bland fish and kind of chewy. Reminded me of alligator? It was very expensive but I was glad the restaurant let us share a course meal instead of getting one individually. I wouldn't hype this up one bit. I didn't think it was worth the money.

Asakusa - Sensoji Temple Area
This was my favorite area in Tokyo. Mainly because there was so many shops and STREET FOOD!! I was a little surprised that Japan doesn't have a lot of street food like other Asian cities, so I was bummed. This place made my dreams come true. haha.
Street Food:
- Red Bean Filled Dessert (7 for 500Yen~)

- Ice Cream Rice Cake Sandwich (Soy bean powder ice cream) 300Yen~

- Pumpkin Fried Bun 170Yen~

- Sweet Potato Ice Cream 300Yen~ Everything was yum! They had so many different flavors of ice cream everywhere!! I wish I had a bigger stomach to try more flavors. Tofu ice cream? How interesting and weird is that?!?

One morning we got up super early to go to Tsukiji Fish Market. They conduct tuna auctions there around 5AM, and you need to be there before 4:30AM if you want to get in line to see it. Unfortunately the subway doesn't run until 5AM and cabs are uber expensive so we didn't make the auction. We still went hella early though. Arrived around 5:45AM...
Daiwa Sushi - Tsukiji Fish Market.
This was one of the 2 popular places for early sushi breakfast. The other place had a line around the corner so we went to this one. Tiny little place with a sushi counter. Maybe 8 chairs or so?
- Set Menu (7 pcs Nigiri Sushi, 1 Roll, Miso Soup) 3,500Yen~
The Nigiri are: Squid, Fatty Tuna, Prawn, Tuna, Egg, Uni (Sea Urchin), Eel.
OMG! Probably the freshest sushi I've ever had in my life. And not like these tiny pieces we get in Dallas. Each piece had a thick slice of fish on top. The prawn was ginormous! So amazingly delicious. And it was my first time having Uni (I've always heard it's briny and fishy and not that great...). AMAZING! It was by far my favorite piece in the meal. I don't know if I want to have uni here now... don't want to taint my memories of it. haha. It's a pretty expensive "breakfast" but my bf and I thought it was totally worth it. Can't get anything fresher than just caught at the fish market! Definitely something worth trying!

Misc Food. Some I saw, some I ate. Everything looked yummy tho.
- Doughnut Plant: Green Tea Donut. I'm kicking myself for not trying these... Guess I'll just have to go back to Japan! haha.

- Green Tea Ice Cream from Vending Machine 200Yen~

- 7-Eleven: Fried Chicken Stick 105Yen~, Croquette (fried potato cakes) 80Yen~

- Chocolate Milk Tea. Sounds better than it tasted. Needed more creaminess.

- Wasabi Pretzel Sticks. Wooo! These got a nice kick!

- Danish Bar 120Yen~ The smell from this place drew me in. Smelled heavenly. It was like a croissant/donut/churro. Super yummy!

- Starbucks Kyoto Matcha Latte 290Yen~ The best green tea latte I've ever had in my life!! I sooo wish we had them here... :(
- Green Tea Oreo Sticks 190Yen~

- Pancake Pastry (with maple syrup and butter inside) Just like a portable handheld pancake!

- Maccha Tiramisu Chocolate (green tea white chocolate covered almonds). Awesome! Very expensive but I bought 2 bags of it.
- Blueberry Cheesecake KitKat. Tastes just like blueberry cheesecake!

- Raspberry KitKat. The flavored kitkats are sooo expensive. But it seems like you can only get it in Japan, so we had to! :P

Kushiya Monogatari - All You Can Fry!
We found this place from a blog. Our last night in Tokyo... need to go out with a bang! 90 Minutes All You Can Eat for 2,625Yen~ a person. SO. MUCH. FUN! You get your own personal fryer built into the table and you batter and fry your own food!! Genius!
- Skewers for frying
1. Dip in batter
2. Coat in breadcrumbs
3. Fry!
4. EAT!! NOM!!
- Salad Bar

- Rice, Noodles, Curry

- Drink Machines, Soft Serve Machine

- Dessert Bar
- Chocolate Fountain
This was one of the most memorable dining experiences on the trip. It's so much fun. I wish we had it here... I ate 30 skewers! Can you believe that? Pretty impressed with myself. hahaha.

Japan food is sooooo good! Stay tuned for my last Japan post. ALL ABOUT RAMEN!!! :)


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