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Feasting My Way Through Japan


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I thought, when I started tonight's reading of this thread, there was no way you could top the beef cutlet, which does not resemble anything I had on my trips to Japan but looks MARVELOUS. 


Then I saw the above tonkatsu.


I'll make you a deal. You come visit, cook that for me, and I'll cook you all the honest-to-God, Southern vegetables and pork and chicken and beef you can hold.


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Don't ask. Eat it.


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@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.



Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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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. :( 

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9 hours ago, rarerollingobject said:

If I won the first price lottery, I will buy an apartment right next door .

Do you see many fat Japanese in Japan?





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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.




Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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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!



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You went to Itoya, I imagine?

I try to stay away from there, because I have a leetle problem with paper lust.

Seriously approve of the ankimo/prawn roe tofu breakfast. We didn't get further than finding some central Japan "oyaki" - fried/steamed dumplingish buns filled with miso-flavored vegetable mixes.

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31 minutes ago, helenjp said:

You went to Itoya, I imagine?

I try to stay away from there, because I have a leetle problem with paper lust.

Seriously approve of the ankimo/prawn roe tofu breakfast. We didn't get further than finding some central Japan "oyaki" - fried/steamed dumplingish buns filled with miso-flavored vegetable mixes.


I did go to Itoya..I might've spent five hours and $200 on stationery.. :o


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. ;)


Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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 I might, given a few years, save up the airfare to get to Japan. In another few years I might even pull together enough money to cover accommodations and food. But never in five lifetimes could I save enough money to get out of that stationery store. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 minutes ago, helenjp said:

Don't laugh, but I have never been to Yoshinoya. It's one of those places that I feel a little bit uncomfortable in as a foreign woman! But then, there is no place where a woman with a Kindle cannot eat.


?? Why, because they're always full of salarymen? 

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