Taste of Culture – The Tohoku Kitchen Workshop

Elizabeth Andoh’s school, Taste of Culture, is a wonder school in Tokyo for learning about Japanese cuisine and food culture. This class was on the cuisine of Tohoku. My mother is from Yamagata and I still have family there. It is always so impressive to see that the cuisine is so rich in Japan as…

Pickles at Tsukiji Market’s Nakagawaya

Miso cucumbers, bamboo shoots, and field mustard pickles from Nakagawaya. Nakagawaya at Tsukiji Market, a purveyor of pickles, has a colorful array of vegetables pickled in salt, vinegar, miso, rice bran, kōji, miso, and more. The selection changes throughout the year and this time of year one of my favorites, pickled takenoko (bamboo shoots) are available. Takenoko…

Japanese Kissaten – Ginza Tsubakiya

Some twenty years ago friends brought me to this coffee shop in Ginza. It was my first time in one of these classic kissaten 喫茶店 (coffee shop). I had no idea that such places existed. It felt as if we had stepped back in time. The coffee was (and still is) expensive, but one could order…

Kichijoji Satou

If you have been to Kichijoji’s famous shōtengai on the North side of the station, most likely you have walked past the long lines at Satou. The shop is famous for its menchi katsu, seasoned ground beef patties covered in panko and deep-fried. The line is infamously long. I have never seen Satou without a long line,…

NY Croissant Donut at Mr. Donut

So Mr. Donut Japan has brought its version of the Cronut to Japan, the Mr. Croissant Donut. It’s not as good as the cinnamon-dusted New York Rings at the Roastery in Omotesando, but a huge improvement over the version made by Banderole. It is crispy and flakey and the whipped cream was pretty skimpy. It is…

Nuts and Nori

Nuts and sea vegetables are a new snack for me. The idea was introduced to me by chef friend of mine. My friend was in Tokyo and while here she was on the hunt for a special type of aonori. We looked throughout Tsukiji Market and finally came across what she was looking for. She said…

Rocco’s New York-Style Pizza

Rocco’s New York-Style Pizza has been on my radar for a long time. We have great pizza in Tokyo, like the classic Italian Neopolitan style, cooked in wood-burning ovens, as can be found at the famous Nakameguro Seirinkan. What is harder to find is the New York-style, baked in a deck oven, and sold by the slice….

Monzennakacho Monz Cafe

Monzennakacho is a very cool neighborhood that is close to the heart of Tokyo. Accessible via the Tozai or Oedo subway lines. Part of the area abuts the Sumidagawa River and there is a river that runs through it that offers boat rides under the cherry blossoms in spring.  I lived here for a few…

Tsukiji Market Breakfast – Onigiriya Marutoyo おにぎり屋 丸豊

Onigiri or omusubi is the quintessential comfort food in Japan. A ball of rice that is stuffed with savory fillings. I grew up eating this and it makes for the perfect quick bite. Onigiri-ya Murotoyo is a famous shop in Tsukiji Market known for its handmade onigiri. A television show recently featured this shop and my curiosity was piqued. Marutoyo is…

Baked Kit Kats

Japanese food companies are brilliant at marketing their products. Kit Kat has teamed up with a famous pastry chef, Yasumasa Takagi, of Le Patissier Takagi. The latest product to hit the supermarket shelves is Kit Kat that is meant to be baked in the toaster oven. The television commercial shows chef Takagi baking the Kit Kats…

Tokyo’s Best Banh Mi

Thanks to a tip from JapanEats I finally found what I believe to be the best banh mi in Tokyo at Banh Mi Sandwich. The bun has a nice crust but is chewy inside. The pate and ham banh mi (550 JPY) remind me of what I had in Chinatown in NYC and there is…

Japanese Fried Chicken at iro-kara

  I have been craving Korean-style fried chicken ever since listening to Rick Bayless talk about it on The Feed Podcast. When I lived in New York City and Singapore I could get my fix. For some reason, Tokyo, which has amazing kara-agé (deep-fried, seasoned, boneless cuts of chicken) hasn’t caught on to it. And, there…

3rd Burger

3rd Burger recently opened in the Ark Hills South Tower. I thought it was a new restaurant to Tokyo until I came across a second shop in the Aoyama/Omotesando area. The clientele in Aoyama is young and hip. Diners are given a buzzer after placing their order. Not exactly fast food, but the food does…

Tokyo Station Breakfast – Beef Stew

Nihon Shokudo, literally the Japanese Dining Hall, serves a beef stew made with a rich demi-glace for breakfast. The middle of the stew is a seasoned rice and the bread is a buttery croissant-like dough. A sumo wrestler would be happy to start his day with this meal. Located inside of Tokyo Station, the restaurant…

Beacon Brunch – closed

** Updated Dec 2016 – sadly Beacon has closed. A new shop, Crista, has opened in the same space, also by the same owner and chef. Brunch at Beacon is a taste of America in Tokyo. David Chiddo works his magic at this urban chophouse located between Shibuya and Omotesando. I picked Beacon for Sunday…

Best Steak in Tokyo – Dons de la Nature

The assignment came from my boss in London, to seek out and eat the best steak in Tokyo. Tough assignment from Chowzter, but Shinji and I were up to the challenge. We were surprised when we called Dons de la Nature and got in within a few days. Seems that this restaurant is not yet…