Monday, March 4, 2013

Eating my way across Japan (well through Tokyo and Kyoto): Part 4

Part 4 - Back to Tokyo!

We met up with Alec's skiing group in Tokyo but still had time for some amazing food! Japan is famous for their beef (which some people don't realize). Wagyu beef is incredibly tender and a bit fatty. I like fat in meat (my downfall) so I loved it. You can see in the photo below how marbled the rare beef is. I think US beef has been prohibited for import in Japan nowadays. Beef is incredibly expensive there.

A random restaurant near the Imperial Palace that we went to. We ordered lunch sets. This beautiful beef was served cold. It was delicious!

The sashimi and 3 vegetable meal that I ordered - From top right (Clockwise): Fresh sashimi - octobus and a white tuna, cold mashed pumpking, an edamame, corn, greens, salad, roasted eggplant with a dark soysauce sauce. 

Both of our meals came with brown rice, pickles, and miso soup. Needless to say, we were stuffed! 

We went out to the Ghibli museum, - a truly magical place. Its a children's museum but its devoted to the art and animation of Hiyao Miyazaki and the Ghibli studio. They created such beautiful films as: Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and Princess Mononoke.

At the end of the day we stopped for a drink in the Straw Hat Cafe. The food was as magical as the museum. I had a "sunset ice cream soda". As you stirred it, the chemicals reacted to turn it from blue to pink. And it was delicious! And the sipping straw was made from a real straw!

For more information about this fantastic museum, check out this blog: Haikugirl or go to their wikipedia entry.

The low light of the culinary feast across Japan was a very expensive yet underwhelming dinner at the R2 Supper Club in Roppongi. The company was divine but the fish was overcooked and not warm. I didn't even take a photo of the indifferent hummous and something masquerading as babaghanouj.  The warm cheesecake with strawberry ice cream was fabulous however and saved the meal. I had two Shochu-tinis which did not even give me a buzz yet managed to cost me $15 each. The place is much better as a place for overly expensive drinks than for dinner although to be fair, we were a group of 20 people so perhaps that caused the fish to dry up but there's no excusing that baba ghanouj.

Boring and dry.
 The last day we spent together, we went to a gorgeous open air sculpture museum in Hakone. It was snowing but it was a gorgeous way to experience all the beautiful art work - sculptures by Calder, Henry Moore, and a large Picasso collection. They even have a warm foot bath! Perfect for those 'barking dogs'. Oddly, they float oranges and lemons in the foot bath.

Catch the orange in the footbath.
Alec in the bath!

Everyone loves the footbath! 


I think this bison knows that I enjoy buffalo meat. 

On a clear day, you would see Mt Fuji which we didn't but they did have Mt Fuji cookies!

Hello Mt Fuji! You look delicious!
and the last night I spent in Tokyo I spent with a lovely friend who took me out for Teppanyaki. But first we walked by one of the famous Fugu (puffer fish) bars. We didn't stop in but I was tempted to play Russian Roulette!

That's how you know they serve Fugu.
Not quite as pretty as their big brother on the sign above the door. 
My friend's relative took me to her favorite place to eat in Tokyo - Dante's, a place made famous by a visit by Michael Jackson! The Teppanyaki was fantastic. The steak was rich and tender, the scallops perfectly done, and the rice delicioius. They put on quite a show for us.

Preparing to make a nice medium rare dish for us.

The first flaming! 

Perfectly cooked!

 It was an amazing food adventure across Japan. There were lots of things I didn't get the chance to eat but I'll be back for sure! Luckily, I live in Bangkok which has lots of Japanese restaurants so I hope to head out for more Japanese cuisine soon! 

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