Posts tagged ‘Tokyo’
I’ll spare you the suspense, the last meal in Japan was great. Stumbling past On Yasai we descended the stairs and decided to eat there. We were shown to a booth (western style seating) on the side of the room, while larger groups were sitting Japanese crosslegged style on the floor. Picking each a spicy and a clear broth from the selection of four, these are brought to your table and filled into a type of hotpot. This is similar to Shabu Shabu, but the selection of items is more eclectic and and there is more than one broth in the divided dish on the table. The quality of the vegetable, fish and meat was very high. This meal was a great showcase to experience the difference between Japanese and Western meat. The Japanese beef especially is always marbled much stronger and has less bite to it than the Western counterpart. It is also less heartier and subtler in taste. Since the meat is then dunked in variants of soy sauce, garlic, sesame, radish and other condiments to suit your taste it becomes a rather complex bite and balances the flavours well. The more you wait and as the soup reduces and picks up flavors of the stuff you’ve braised in it, the better it gets. This is certainly a meal which anyone having doubts about Japanes cuisine can try and like without any weirdness attached to it. The only weird, yet funny thing was the group of business people dining on the floor next to us, one elder lady was so drunk she almost fell on our table, when she tried to walk out.
The Tsukijij Fishmarket is a must see in Tokyo and what do you get for breakfast afterwards ? A bagel and a Starbucks Lappucino, if you’re a real tourist. Less adventurous people will have some Sushi at 06:00 in the morning. It is difficult to get fresher fish than here. Theres a whole lot of fish I’ve never even hear about, which the chef is happy to roll and cut for you. The most interesting thing was trying different types of tuna with different fat contents. A sublime experience in weighing and tasting the different subtle flavors. Prices are cheap for this type of quality:
Before dining in new cities, seasoned diners do meticolous research and come up with a selection of must try restaurants. I didn’t and ended up wandering around Tokyo. I walked past an interesting place and decided to eat there, I was asked to come back in an hour later and got a seat Roppongi Robataya. Sometimes I just am a truly lucky bastard, this place was a big hit. The “kitchen” is a couple of barbeques on a pedestal, which is operated by two cooks sitting cross-legged, with dozens of vegetables, meats and fish strewn around them. The seats are organized like a horseshoe around the pedestal. There’s no menu and you just order by selecting whatever is available on display. Drinks and food are handed to you by the guys sitting on the pedestal by means of a large paddle. Sake flowing, chit-chat going, and when the waiter found out that the guys next to us are from Germany he smiles and says “Bundesliga”. Food is right up my alley. Grilled, simple food done right. My favourite were the Enoki mushrooms. The slender and soft mushrooms do really well on the grill and the coal aroma mixes well with the natural Enoki flavor. The strangest thing were the crabs. Small ones which one would eat whole. No flavor, almost no smell but a huge crunch were the deal. I didn’t quite understand why one would eat these. Prices are above average, a dinner for two cost roughly 250 CHF including sake and beer. I told this to a colleague who was there a couple of days later. He went for dinner with a hungry buddy and they racked up a bill of 550 CHF by ordering everything off the menu twice….
Sitting in a luxurious economy seat, I’m finally happy to leave behind Heathrow Terminal 3. Seldomly have I experienced such a dump – old, unkept, dirty, and full of tacky stores. Asides from that three thousand regulations and now you’re not even allowed to swear and ramble at the security check due to some great british law…. The meal from London to Tokyo was very nice, they served cold soba (buckwheat noodles). I wasn’t crazy about the rest, but happy enough that there was one decent item.