Tonki Tonkatsu

Old school #tonkatsu in a #Ginza basement. Grated daikon and ponzu is recommended by the shop and was delicious. #Tonjiru #miso soup of pork and vegetables. とん㐂 #Tonki Chūō-just, Ginza 6-5-15

Ginza Kikunoya

Kikunoya in Ginza came up with the idea of dry confectionaries for tea time and this colorful fukiyose was developed. Presented in colorful tins the sweets have a long shelf life and are a fun omiyage gift for friends. Opened in 1890 Kikunoya is a busy shop in the heart of Ginza (Ginza 5-9-17). The…

Food Sake Tokyo

Three years ago today I had the pleasure of taking Alton Brown on a tour in Tokyo. We did a book exchange at the end, he gave me a copy of this newest cookbook and I gave him Food Sake Tokyo. It was such a pleasure to meet him and help him find knives at…

Sadaharu Aoki

Sadaharu Aoki is a Japanese pastry chef who first made his name in Paris before moving back to Tokyo. His retail shop with a café near Yurakucho station is a nice spot to rest your feet and rejuvenate with French pastries, some with Japanese flavors like yuzu, mattcha, and wasabi. The mattcha served at his…

Ginza Sakagura Kengyo

Drinking spots for saké in Japan can range from super casual to sleek bars. I tend to veer towards to easy places where I don’t have to dress up and where saké is at the heart of the shop. Sakagura Kengyo is a retail shop in Higashi-Ginza that is also offers saké and shōchū by-the-glass…

Keisuke Fugu Ramen

Fugu, a fish that has many names: torafugu, pufferfish, tiger blowfish, blowfish, porcupine fish, or globefish. Regardless of what you call it, you probably know that it is the fish that one could die from if it is not handled properly. Nowadays fugu farmers in Japan have figured out how to raise poison-free fugu. As for…

Nagato Cheese – Nagano

There are a handful of Japanese cheese producers that I am a big fan of and one of them is Nagato from Nagano. It’s on the top of the mountains, the air is clean and crisp and there are cows. For this Minnesota girl, it was like visiting a friend’s home growing up, but with…

Midori Sushi

Midori Sushi is a sushiya chain, popular both with locals and tourists, that is known for its basement bargain prices. When we query our preschool son to pick what to have for meals out, it is often sushi. Our go-to place is Choshi Maru which is in our area. Choshi is a famous fishing port…

Ginza Hageten Kushiage

Hageten is a popular tempura and kushiage restaurant in Ginza. While many are familiar with tempura, kushiage is another great dish that is deep-fried, but covered with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) instead of a flour and egg batter. Hageten’s “service lunch” starts at only 820 JPY for 6 skewers, salad, rice, miso soup, and pickles….

Yamagata Dashi

One of my go to side dishes this time of year is Yamagata Dashi, a classic kyōdo ryōri (regional dish) from where my family is from. I didn’t eat it growing up, and only came upon it once I lived in Japan. It’s the perfect dish for summer as the vegetables for Yamagata Dashi are…

Gotta Get – Okinawa Ryukyu Glass

Selecting tableware is a very important part of the Japanese dining experience. Glassware is also an integral part of regional expressions in Japan. I am a big fan of the Ryukyu glass from Okinawa. Okinawa is a tropical paradise in Japan. Ryukyu is the name of the former independent kingdom, which is now Okinawa. Ryukyu…

Ginza Akomeya

For one-stop shopping for food, tableware, kitchenware, and lunch, I highly recommend Ginza Akomeya. The restaurant offers a colorful lunch rich with small dishes. While not vegetarian, it is vegetable-friendly and nourishing. The retail part of the store is curated offering great products for the pantry. Essentials like mirin, sesame oil, and soy sauce as…

Ginza Bareburger

One of the best burgers I have had in a while is at Bareburger in the new Tokyu Plaza in Ginza. The organic burger is made from Aussie beef. It’s a meaty and hearty burger. I had the Standard (1,380 JPY) and Shinji had the Buck Wild with a fried egg and fried onions (1,640…

Gotta Get – Furikake Pen

We have just returned from a trip to Western Japan and one of my favorite things I brought back as an omiyage for myself is this furikake pen that happens to say yukari on it. Yukari is a furikake made from red shiso leaves that are dried and minced with salt. I love it as a topping over rice, but it…

Kyobashi Domenica Soup Curry

Hokkaido’s soup curry is a great change-up on the regular Japanese curry. I remember the first time a girlfriend served this to me. I thought she had messed up the recipe as the curry was so watery, but she explained to me that this is what soup curry is. Once I got over the mind…

Gotta Get – Kokuto Black Sugar 沖縄黒糖

Do you know about kokutō? Black sugar that is harvested on the islands south of Kagoshima in Okinawa. It is a dark sugar that is rich in minerals and is 100% natural sugar cane. We often keep a jar of kokutō on the counter. It makes a nice little snack. Kokutō can be cooked with water to make a syrup…

Rose Bakery – Ginza and Marunouchi

I am a big fan of Rose Bakery. An English bakery that first opened in Paris and is now dotting Tokyo. This casual cafe has a large delicatessen-style refrigerator in each shop that showcases the colorful salads and baked goods. While the cakes and sweets are tempting, I am always come here for the salads….

Ginza Kagari Ramen 銀座篝中華そば

My favorite ramen at the moment is Kagari in Ginza. The shop does a tori paitan, creamy chicken ramen. This is perfect for those of you who don’t eat pork. 🙂 I come here mostly for the thick, rich soup made with lots of chicken fat. The noodles are thin, which I prefer. Recently Kagari has…

Sukiyabashi Jiro and Masuhiro Yamamoto

Jiro Ono, master chef and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro recently celebrated his 89th birthday. Yesterday it was announced that the Japanese government is awarding him with a special honor for his contributions and hard work as a sushi craftsman. Today there was a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan and here are…