Tokyo’s Coolest Tea and Spirits Bar

One of the most magical tea tastings I have experienced was at Souen Sakurai Tea. The original shop was in Nishi-Azabu at a terribly inconvenient location. Souen has moved to Minami-Aoyama’s Spiral Building on the 5th floor, which is easy to access. Woo-hoo! Souen offers a simple tea with wagashi tasting, but the flight of tea…

Aoyama Coutume Coffee

Parisian coffee shop Coutume has a branch in the fashionable Aoyama district. I am impressed that they got a nice location on Kotto Dori (street). Coutume offers both single origin pour-over coffees as well as espresso-based drinks. In photos the shop looks brightly lit and white, which it is in the front of the shop….

Aoyama Cicada

At Cicada in Aoyama, near Omotesando, I always order the mezze plate. I love the variety of small bites, often with lots of vegetables. If you have allergies, or prefer for an all vegetable mezze, the kitchen is great to substitute something. I sometimes come by myself and sit at the bar.  In New York…

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

For my birthday we went to Dominique Ansel Bakery’s Cafe on the second floor of his shop. The menu has always intrigued me, especially since I saw a photo of his avocado toast. New on the menu is chicken pot pie, which was the best pot pie I have ever had. A crispy golden crust…

Aoyama Cicada

At Cicada in Aoyama, near Omotesando, I always order the mezze plate. I love the variety of small bites, often with lots of vegetables. If you have allergies, or prefer for an all vegetable mezze, the kitchen is great to substitute something. I sometimes come by myself and sit at the bar.  In New York…

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo

Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo has finally opened. The local media has been leading up to this event for several months so it is no surprise that there are long lines. The first customers started lining up about 9:30 p.m. the night before, on a wet evening during rainy season. Staff brought out umbrellas for the…

Aoyama Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle has arrived to Tokyo. The first shop, in Kiyosumi, is on the other side of the city for me. So, even though I live in Tokyo it is about an hour from where I live. Blue Bottle’s second shop has opened in Aoyama. It’s a busy shop and not the best place to…

Aoyama Farmer’s Market

Food Sake Tokyo is delighted to host guest blogger Janice Espa. Janice is passionate about food and Japan. She is a great photographer and all of the photos here are from Janice. Janice’s most recent guest post on the Best of Japan Tour now being offered at Coredo Muromachi in Nihonbashi, is very popular and some followers…

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…

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…

Gotta Go – Utsuwa Kenshin

  Asato Ikeda-san’s gorgeous pottery. I first came across these at Den in Jimbocho. Saké tastes better when served in something this beautiful. Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi of the Tobin Ohashi Gallery first introduced me to Kenshin Sato-san of Kenshin Utsuwa. When I asked chef Zaiyu Hasegawa-san of Den about these cups he too said…

Art on the Table by Asato Ikeda

It was the first time in my life that I held a cup in my hand and immediately fell in love with it. The light sky blue color, the rough and smooth texture that my fingers fell into, and the taste of the saké while holding something so beautiful. I couldn’t put it down. I…

Urban BBQ Smokehouse by TY Harbor

 BBQ and sauces Chef David Chiddo of the TY Harbor group has several successful restaurants in the city including Cicada and Beacon. His most recent shop, Smokehouse, is an urban barbecue with a great list of craft beers, both domestic and from the USA, as well as one of the city’s best selection of American…

Tokyo’s Best Mamé Daifuku

Wagashi, traditional Japanese confectionaries, are often made with azuki, tiny red beans, and mochi, sticky rice pounded until its like a taffy. While I grew up eating some of these, I was never a big fan until I tried the mamé daifuku from Mizuho in Harajuku. The smooth azuki paste is not too sweet. But what makes…

Le Pain Quotidien

For one year I lived in Brussels. Just down the street from my apartment was a Le Pain Quotidien. I went about two to three times a week. Some nights for a baguette to have with wine and cheese. Mornings I could pop in and pick up a croissant. There was a small garden in…

Omotesando Hills Kurkku 3

Kurkku 3, is part of the Kurkku restaurant group that has several restaurants in this neighborhood. Located just as you enter the main entrance to Omotesando Hills is this sleek and bright shop. The lunch menu is simple and focuses on soba and seasonal vegetables. Here is the cold soba topped with pork and vegetables…

Tokyo Pancakes and Morning Sweets

Pancakes are the hot, hot item in Tokyo now. While they are being served all over the city, for some reason many of the restaurants seem to be near Harajuku and Omotesando. Perhaps to reach out to the young, female market that come to this area for shopping? Eggs ‘n Things in Harajuku, Matsunosuke NY…

Toraya Cafe in Omotesando

    There is no better way to beat the Tokyo heat in the middle of the day than with an ice-cold sweet. This suika (watermelon) mizore at Toraya Cafe in Omotesando Hills hits the spot. What caught my attention to this when I first spotted it on a friend’s facebook page was that it comes…