Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good Food Finds in Tokyo, Japan

This trip to Tokyo, I discovered a few restaurants and eateries that I really love.  

One unexpected discovery was found in Ameyoko Market.

We were so tired from whole day of shopping that we just stumbled into a Yakitori restaurant that is situated nearer the Ueno end of the market.

In there, I tasted the best Yakitori I had in Japan so far. The Shitake Mushroom is a must try!! It was simply so juicy and succulent!

The rest of the items we tried in that restaurant tasted really yummilicious too. We ended up eating more than we should even though we were to have a Robatayaki dinner in 2 hour's time.

The Sasami no Ume on the top left of the picture above is really good too. This cozy eatery is run by 2 old ladies and it felt quite quaint to see ladies bosses only in a Yakitori restaurant. 

My Favourite Yakitori Store In Japan

One side of the entrance to the shop looks like this. It's beige in colour; plain and easy to miss. If you pass by it, do step in and try their superb cooking.

We had about 6 sticks of Yakitori and 1 big bottle of beer. All these added up to only 1310JPY. This is definitely one Yakitori restaurant that I am coming back.

And of course, there's my all time favourite Robatayaki store in Shimbashi. I've dedicated one whole post to it here


We also had the best sweet crepe in Harajuku. It was from a store located right at one end of Takeshita Dori; on the other end from the JR Harajuku Station. 

Maybe it has got to do with the weather. The crepe skin was crisp throughout and it was slightly sugared. It left such a deep impression 0n us (and I am one girl who lacks the sweet tooth) that we went about searching for a nice crepe throughout our stay in Tokyo. 

Sadly, we gain some weight in the process and yet, we didn't find anything that came close to this one. :|

SHINJUKU (West Shinjuku)
We also went back to the same restaurants at Nishi-Shinjuku to have my dry Udon, finally. The last trip, bf added soup unknowingly so we both had the dried ones this time and it was really tasty! We found it much better than the soupy ones.

And of course, we went back to the fresh seafood store by the road at night. The Oyster Sashimi BF had was huge! And the Scallop Sashimi was so fresh and tasty.

Here's a short video that captured the vibrancy of the place. And that's what we love about it; The fresh seafood that they serve up accordingly to the catch of the day and the energy there. 

They even have an English speaking staff that can assist in ordering food.

To find out how to get to these 2 restaurants, you can view my previous post here.

This trip, we also found the elusive Yakitori Alley in Shinjuku also known as Shinjuku Yakitori Yokocho or Piss Alley. I believe there's quite few of these Yakitori Yokocho in Tokyo, besides this one in Shinjuku.

Click here and here for pictures taken by other people.

 Green Signs Mark The Entrance Of The Yakitori Alleys

We did come across this place the last trip but didn't venture in. It's not as hard to find as some may say. Just take the West Exit from JR Shinjuku and walk past Uniqlo. Right after Uniqlo, turn right and walk down a little and turn left into one of the 2 alleys that run along the JR line in Shinjuku.

I've marked it out with a red circle on the map above. From across the road of the big cross junction, you'll see the bright green signage, indicating the entrance to the 2 Shinjuku Yakitori Alleys.

Having read that some of these eateries cater only to regular and discourage tourists by having a cover charge of sort to sit down, we looked out for a friendly invitation before entering the store.

The one we went to was run by Chinese, so we didn't get the authentic feel. But it was way easier to choose our food.

Yakitori Alley is indeed an interesting place to visit after work hours. It is run down, dingy, squeezy and hidden in some small alleys. Yet, this is where many Japanese working man come to unwind after a day of hard work.

For the price, it may not be worth to eat there but it's definitely interesting to go there at least once to experience Piss Alley for yourself!

SHINJUKU (South Shinjuku)
Another place that I enjoyed was Exceisior Cafe which looks like just another coffee house at Shinjuku. 

What I really like about this cafe is the big round table on the 2nd floor. It makes one feel less lonely when enjoying a cuppa alone.

Big Round Table Behind

On the last day, we were still crazily eating away before leaving Tokyo.

We made our way early in the morning to Tsukiji Market and bought some fried Fugu when we spotted this store.

Fried Fugu @ Tsukiji Market

The pieces were rather bony and didn't contain much meat but the batter was really fragrant and it kick started our morning hungry for more food.

Sashimi Breakfast in Tokyo

It is a must to do a Sashimi/Sushi breakfast at Tsukiji so I just went along with it even though the thought wasn't particularly appetizing to me that morning.

We simply ordered a dish without knowing exactly what it was. We only knew it comes with some Tuna Sushi.

Horse Sashimi

But this turned out to be the best sushi bf ever had. On 1 side of the plate is the raw meat sushi and one the other side, the same meat comes slightly cooked. It was very well done with only the top layer cooked and the freshness of the raw meat still well intact at the bottom.

I was kind of shocked when I ate a sushi that tasted like raw red meat. Before bf could ask the chef what meat it was, I gulped it down for fear of confirming that it was raw red meat that I just swallowed. And it was indeed raw horse meat! =O

Our last meal in Tokyo was also a fantastic one. It was fantastically mouth-watering and fattening!

The Omelette Rice tasted really creamy because of the cheese and sauce. And it left a lasting impression of our last meal in Tokyo.

I also tried Tokyo Banana for the first time and found it to be overrated. It is nice but there's a lot of other nicer food in Tokyo that's worth a try! I think I simply lack the sweet tooth.

In case you want to know, there's a store inside the JR Shinjuku Station near the South Exit that sells Tokyo Banana. Or you can simply purchase it tax free inside Narita Airport.

I really enjoyed eating in Tokyo this trip! Yumz!


Mary said...

Thank you so much for these restaurant ideas. We will be in Tokyo next week and are making plans to stop by that Harajuku crepe store. Our kids love crepes so they're very grateful to you too. I would love to go to that Yakitori restaurant in Ameyoko too.

Mei said...


Glad to hear that! There's a lot of creape stores in Harajuku and I hope you'll find one that your family love! =)