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Everything posted by rarerollingobject

  1. Nah, I like rich food and upsetting people!
  2. I had a mission today, to go and find Ame-shin - a shop I’d read about for awhile now that sells traditional Japanese hand-pulled sugar craft. Nothing traditional about the shop itself, though - a young dude, at the ripe old age of 23, decided to single-handedly revive the dying craft. He makes EXQUISITE gold fish, frogs, octopus, squid..you name it. I bought the goldfish and the koi (the top two photos), and a bunch of beautiful circular lollipops as gifts. And no, I’m not going to eat them..I’m going to admire them, study them, and maybe give sugar-pulling a go myself, eventually. aren’t they lovely?? Here he is: After that - ubiquitous sushi, at the shoutiest sushi train I’ve found so far in Tokyo (it’s a Hokkaido chain, and shouting is kind of a Hokkaido thing.) Video (needs sound): This food court (!) also had an incredible wagyu beef place, and I was SERIOUSLY tempted by the 5 cheese tonkatsu, but given the cheese-in-eye incident I had in Kyoto, I decided not. Then I went and spent a zillion dollars at Issey Miyake, and the less said about that the better, and then on the way out, I saw this lovely modern blue-and-white plate, so I um, bought it.. Dinner - Japanese curry. A black curry from Kanazawa, with a tonkatsu fillet buried in it, because of course there is. Incidentally, @helenjp, it seems to be another kind of place only men eat in. At least, the dude at the back there visibly jumped and gasped when he saw me, and nudged his friend. WTH? Where do all the women eat in this city?!
  3. A busy day of festival-hopping for today - I set off early for the, um, fertility festival at Kanamara Shrine. OKAY, OKAY - it’s a penis festival. And it was quite fun, though as usual I was more interested in the people who take part in festivals than festivals themselves. They had all manner of penisphernalia, including (food-related) penis-shaped kebabs, deep fried potato penises, and penis-adjacent radishes. Though I really had trouble with the sight of tiny kids all over the place being given life-size penis lollipops to suck. Cultural differences notwithstanding, I work in child protection and in my world, that smacks of normalizing/grooming behaviour.. Anyway, one enterprising stall also sold vulvas, and not, as I felt the need to correct a pack of about 20 American teenage boys, vaginas. I’ll attach two pictures here for reference, but if you want to see the rest (that are in varying degrees of NSFeG-ness, but nothing actually RUDE, they’re here.) Then I hopped back to Shibuya, ate a bit of sushi: And moved on to Yoyogi Park, for a double whammy of the Japan Paella Association Festival (and competition! And free paella- I had three bowls; oyster; salmon roe; and squid ink): And the happy craziness of hanami parties in Yoyogi Park: No dinner. After penis-potatoes, three bowls of paella, and all that sushi, I am CARBED OUT. Am now home, drinking sake, and flipped the TV channel over to a Japanese food channel..to see Alice Waters, talking about how lettuce “speaks to her." Which is exactly the sort of thing I expected her to say as soon as I saw it was Alice Waters! Haha.
  4. Not a single polite thing about me! I do like making them uncomfortable in return though; in Japan, that really just takes flashing them my most dazzling and inviting smile. That doesn't so work well in the West..
  5. Yeah. I just wade in. I get stared at quite a bit, but then, I just stare back, not breaking direct eye contact while I eat - which nicely freaks everybody out.
  6. ?? Why, because they're always full of salarymen?
  7. I did go to Itoya..I might've spent five hours and $200 on stationery.. On the other hand, I'm now sorted for presents for every kid I know (and considering I have 5 godkids, that's an achievement). Seriously amazing shop, look at this Rube Goldberg machine made solely out of stationery supplies!! Plus, on a food-related amazement, they have a hydroponic farm on the 11th floor! Other food the things of the day; a simple beef gyudom (thinly sliced, well-marbled beef simmered in soy, mirin and sake on rice), with a raw egg, green onions, kimchi and all you can eat pickles..for ¥670! Which is US$6 or AUD$8. Amazing. And that was the large size! Like everything else in Japan for which I cannot make sense of the economics, I can only presume it's down to scale. I do love that they give you your own egg separator and empty bowl, lest you not want the raw egg white (which I didn't.) Then a kouign amann and biche aux citron from Maison Kayser in Matsuya Ginza, a stop at Mariage Freres for some yuzu and indigo flower green tea, and home. Predicting (correctly, as it turns out) that my Saturday evening would go to hell with work dramas back in Sydney and that I'd be doglocked to the laptop all evening, I stopped in at the local supermarket on the way home and bought this pack of lovely, fatty salmon belly strips for US$3/AUD$3.50, and pan fried them till the skin was blistered and crispy, and ate with some simple rice and spinach. And my ubiquitous (beloved) sake, of course.
  8. More real-timing; a bite of actual seared foie gras sushi, and the only acceptable use of Starbucks in my opinion; the matcha frappe. Needed a rest after tearing through an 18 storey (12 storeys in one building, 6 in its annex) stationery shop!
  9. Real time breakfast - ankimo (monkfish liver, it's so creamy and unctuous; the foie gras of the sea) and prawn roe tofu
  10. So I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I didn’t end up eating any dinner last night - I got so caught up in a work crisis back in Sydney that I spent the night on the phone and email with nary a break to have even a wee dram of sake..so woke up this morning ravenous, and took myself straight to Shinjuku; target – Shinjuku Isetan’s food hall. Japanese food halls are NOTHING like we conceive of them in the West. I tell people about them and they say things like, “The West has those! There’s Selfridges, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason in England, Macy’s used to have a foodhall in NYC, and now there’s places like Eataly.” And I say, “I have been to literally ALL those places and they having nothing on even the most pedestrian Japanese department store food hall.” They’re wonderlands (horror shows) of abundance (excess) and consumerism. Just mind-boggling. And Shinjuku Isetan is the most mind-boggling. Not the biggest, but the most astounding quality. Every kind of food you can imagine – Japanese, Chinese, Iberico hams, cheese rooms the size of swimming pools – and patisserie. Many Parisian patisseries have their only other outlets in Tokyo. And they have the most beautiful luxe Japanese kitchenware department, and such a gorgeous range of indigo clothes and fabrics (another of my many weaknesses): Anyway, I needed strength to face all that, so first, some fortifying sushi: And then I stopped to buy my friend a gift of a silk/cotton blend men’s kimono, which is the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought and come to think of it I think I might be subconsciously in love with him to have spent that much – I’d show you, but it’s so beautifully wrapped. Including an outer plastic wrapping they cocooned it in (within the three carry bags they then put THAT into) because “it might rain today.” (And it did.) And then I bought ME yet another cup, this time a heavy Japanese tin sake cup that is intentionally malleable and meant to shape-shift slightly with every use: And then braved the foodhall for Henri Le Roux caramels beurre sale: A kouign amann filled with caramel beurre sale: A sakura (cherry blossom) éclair from Sadaharu Aoki: And six macarons, which you can see tomorrow, because if I open them tonight, I’ll eat them. And lo, dinner is pastries and sake, which is totally fine and everything, because I'm a full-grown adult. Yeah.
  11. All I have done today is eat sushi, scoff French patisserie, and spend money. Basically like every other day. But stay tuned anyhow.
  12. No, I am definitely the fattest person around.
  13. Was it my sushi consumption or my coffee ingestion that convinced you?
  14. This might give you SOME idea, but it's very impossible to convey just how amazing they are: https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=tokyo+depachika&rlz=1C5CHFA_enAU696AU697&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBmqmcr_7SAhWJvLwKHatwDCQQ_AUICCgB&biw=1278&bih=676
  15. None of this is ANYTHING compared to the amazements of department store food halls..THEY are foodporn such as one can only dream. They're absolutely mindboggling, even to me, and I've been to a zillion of them in Japan. And unfortunately they're photography no-go zones, so I can't show you. You really get properly told off, which is saying something in Japan.
  16. Actually, I've just found the sushi doco on YouTube - skip ahead to 12:11 (and turn the sound off, it was much less annoying in Japanese!)
  17. @kayb - especially for you - a bit of film I caught of an utterly hypnotic sushi show on TV here - sorry about the camera wobble, I was overcome with sushi lust: So after my yakisoba for breakfast, I went wandering my neighbourhood, which is very lovely - and only 5 minutes from the most famous coffee place in Japan, Koffee Mameya (formerly known as Omotesando Koffee). It's in this custom-built cube house, and they are VERY serious about their coffee - but utterly friendly and smile-y and lovely to talk to. They were SO chuffed that I said I came all the way from Australia to try their coffee (which is not untrue.) A very rich and lovely espresso, good for what ails me. I basically spent the rest of the day wandering around and shopping for things, none of which are particularly eG-related - but I DID have a wee bit of sushi: And then a stop in at Dominique Ansel's Tokyo outlet. It was madness! I had a delicious frozen s'more - it's chocolate custard ice cream, frozen around sponge, with caramel praline for crunch, covered in marshmallow and torched to order. And a hot chocolate with a blossoming flower marshmallow- I wasn't quite quick enough to get video of it, so here's somebody else's video. I also got one of his famous kouign amann's to take home, which is where I now sit, peeling it directly into my mouth. And because I don't like any of my apartment's coffee cups either, I bought myself this lovely concrete espresso cup at the Tokyo Centre for Design.
  18. It's the following me bit that I really hate. But pervs are universal - the most hassled on the street I've ever been was in NYC, actually. A bit of study at school, which really helps with the grammar basics (tense, sentence ordering etc) and everything else I've picked up on my multiple trips here. I have a 'sticky' brain when it comes to languages; I hear it and it makes sense to me and I almost immediately can grasp it and remember the word for next time. Asian languages only though; I'm pretty functional in Japanese, Mandarin, bits of Korean and Cantonese, and I can get by in basic Vietnamese. European languages I can't 'hear' at all though. Real time breakfast post! Since I have a kitchen now, last night at the local supermarket I bought yakisoba noodles, carrots, pickled ginger, a shrink wrapped (!?) cabbage, and some beautiful fresh pork belly, to make breakfast yakisoba!
  19. I love it - there's even a lit-up sign board when you first go in, showing you which seats within the restaurant are empty, so you just make your way to a seat number and don't have to ask or wait to be seated. And the booths have dividers between them, for extra privacy, but the people in my photo were dining together or something so folded theirs back (inconceivable!)
  20. A bit of a tiring day today – a travel day, between Osaka and Tokyo. Don’t get me wrong, travelling in Japan is amazingly easy and efficient in general – not least because of the wonderful Japanese custom of takkyubin. It’s one of the things I love most about this blessed country, one of the things that appeals most to my orderly, efficient, love-of-good-logistics heart is the takkyubin/luggage forwarding service..for AUD$16, a nice man will come and pick up your suitcase or whatever else you'd like conveyed from wherever you are, and deliver it to wherever you're going, mostly same day or overnight at most, so that YOU don't have to wrangle suitcases into taxis or onto trains or up escalators or whatever and whatnot. Here's my suitcase, waiting to be picked up. It’s amazing. There’s even ‘cold takkyubin’ for when, say, you’re on a day trip in another part of Japan and you decide to buy a crab or whatever, but you don’t want to lug it around with you for the rest of the day, so you send it home ahead of you, refrigerated all the way. The people are mad geniuses. Anyway, be that as it may, it's still tiring by the time you walk around stations and change platforms and squeeze through crowds and hurtle about the country, and since I was starting off early today and had already sent my suitcase on ahead of me via takkyubin, I went to one of the many 24 hour ramen joints in Osaka at 8am, Ichiran Ramen, for a bowl of THICK, rich tonkotsu ramen. I love this place because every part of its ordering system and layout has been designed to minimize any interaction between staff and customers – intentionally. It’s ramen for introverts. You even get a private dining booth, and the kitchen is behind the booths, and your order slip is taken (from which you’ve paid into the vending machine at the front and then circled your preferences on a sheet) and your food delivered to you from behind waist-high curtains, which then drop again to render you in blessed privacy. You never see a face. Anyway, I circled – strong flavour, ultra rich soup, 1 clove of garlic, extra green onions, with char shu pork, with medium spicy sauce, soft noodles. They DO have this form in English, on the back, but I like to practice my Japanese and see if I know what I’m doing (I mostly do.) This is a picture from the web of the English side. Not sure what it says that their toilets had this much toilet paper.. And this was the line for ramen, at 8am!! Then, I had a weird experience at Shin Osaka station – my first run in with a Japanese sex-pest! I’m not totally unused to being hassled by men in general, but this was my first persistent Japanese harasser, following me off the train I was on and through the station for about 10 minutes, walking VERY close to me and asking me over and over if we could have a coffee, if we could go on a date, if I “like romance” (hint: I don’t). Interestingly, apparently when highly annoyed with Japanese sex-pests, I turn VERY and uncharacteristically Aussie: "Listen, mate, yeah I get that you're trying it on and I don't want to get agro with you, but you might want to have a punt on another chick; I'm in a deadset hurry and I have to shoot through, OK?? WHO AM I. Anyway, feeling now more than a little peevish, I finally managed to lose him by ducking into this beef restaurant and once there and hiding in a booth, felt obliged to order something, so I had this amazing bifu katsu sando (beef cutlet sandwich). DELICIOUS. Then I bought a beautiful temari sushi bento to eat on the train (it’s about a 3 hour journey; a girl could starve, you know.) But the irritation of the morning was cancelled entirely when I arrived in Tokyo and - you know how sometimes you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason you both start giggling within the first 30 seconds and just don't stop? After a very hilarious and immediately chortle-y conversation with this legend in half Japanese, half English, he said, "Wanna see sakura?? I take you on hanami-tour now! You are my friend!" And he turned off the taxi meter and took me for a 45 minute sojourn zooming around Tokyo to look at the cherry blossoms of Aoyama, Jingumae, Naka Meguro and Shinjuku, and then cheerfully dropped me at my Airbnb and got out of the taxi and stood beside it and waved and beamed and bowed until I was out of sight. So that was lovely. I’m now here, in my Airbnb, which is very nice – and the kitchen is big, by Japanese standards, so I’ll get some cooking done. Bit worried about figuring out the recycling though.. Dinner was a non-event – a snack bag of squid soft cartilage – yes, the beaky bit, can’t really recommend them – and another beef bento I bought at the station, because I knew I’d be tired tonight. And some sake – although I was a bit sigh-y that this apartment only seemed to have giant water glasses, which don’t feel at all right for sake – and then I remembered the sake glasses I bought yesterday. And so have christened them.
  21. I probably won't, it might go to his head
  22. (Thanks to everyone who's been commenting, btw; like most things in life, things are a lot more fun when they're interactive )
  23. Thank you! Sounds like a very good time. Yes, I'm coming back to Tokyo tomorrow for another week. Going to haunt that reprobate @Blether for awhile. I think I've recovered from the head bump. Went to bed early and quietly last night - no wild eating, no thirsty drinking, not a bit of loose morality in any regard - and woke up ravenous, so went (at 7am!) to the Osaka Fish Market, where I ate a giant amount of sushi. This place is a little unusual in that you order by the plate (of 5 pieces) and you brush on your soy sauce with a paint brush a communal pot. I ate four plates, because I'm hardcore: Then I went on a mini coffee crawl, around a couple of the new wave Japanese coffee joints of Osaka. Japanese coffee is usually drip, a terrible custom I assume they learned from the Americans, and I hate drip coffee so I'm always excited when I find places that do proper espressos. A triple shot espresso here, at LiLo Coffee Roasters: Followed by a ristretto: Followed by a doppio at Streamer: Followed by a double shot latte: So I was VERY cheerful after all that. Walked around Shinsaibashi a bit after that (non food shots on my Insta), and found an amazing kitchen/homewares shop and bought myself these beautiful sake glasses and this plate, and a wooden spatula: And a snack of Beard Papa choux buns; filled to order with vanilla bean custard mixed in to whipped cream: Then I had to do four hours of actual work work so didn't really get out for lunch, but for dinner had this amazing rare steak donburi; such perfectly tender, fatty rare meat. The same place also sold 1.5 pounds of meat in a bowl, but that's just obscene, right? (Just forget about the sushi.) Walked around Dotonbori for a bit, and because unless it's some serious French patisserie, I'll always go for savoury over sweet, dessert was a plate of takoyaki fried octopus balls, some more of my beloved fried chicken and a canned sour grape highball, in bed. Of course.
  24. Hmmph. The only things I've done today include walking straight into what must be the only non-automated sliding glass door in Japan and smacking my forehead on it HARD like a budgie flying into a window, and about ten minutes after semi-recovering from that, biting down on this pork katsu roll filled with molten hot liquid cheese in JUST the right spot to squirt a geyser of said boiling cheese directly into my eye. The restaurant staff freaked the eff out and I got taken to see the Kyoto Station medical officer against my will, who to be fair spent 10 confused minutes trying to understand how I got a huge red egg-sized bump on my forehead from squirting cheese into my eye. Anyway, I'm mostly alright now and I think the REAL takeaway here, is, yet again...this Tom Ford eyeliner is more or less invincible.
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