Tsukiji Chuka Soba Inoue

UPDATE – Tsukiji Chūka Soba Inoue is currently closed due to a fire at Tsukiji Market. (Aug. 2017)   Our favorite ramen at Tsukiji is Inoue. This tiny stall that has standing only tables for dining has been in business for fifty years. There is only one bowl that is made from (I believe) chicken…

Shibuya Joto Curry

Katsu curry is a great fusion dish of two Japanese classics, tonkatsu and curry. Near Shibuya station is Jōtō Curry, originally from Osaka. When you come into the 2nd floor shop, you’ll find the vending machine for tickets just to your right. There are photos for the main dishes. The signature katsu curry button is…

Convenience Store Sandwiches

Japanese convenience store food is surprisingly fresh and reasonably priced. In particular, I am a big fan of the sandwiches, which come with many fillings, like tuna or egg salad, katsu (fried pork cutlets), or as seen above, ham and cheese with lots of fresh iceberg lettuce. The sandwiches are about 250 JPY. When I…

Nihonbashi Gela C Fruit Breakfast

    In Japan fruit shops and cafés are a great spot for trying blemish-free and perfectly ripened fruit. One thing to put on your radar are morning sets at these cafés. A breakfast of fruit in Japan will feature seasonal fruit and confiture. Gela C in Nihonbashi Muromachi Coredo building has a bargain breakfast…

New York Pizza at Shibuya Pizza Slice

Having lived in NYC I was spoiled with many options for pizza by the slice. My favorite was Two Boots and there was one in the West Village near my home. I would have taxi drivers bring me there if were returning home from an overseas trip. In Tokyo we have incredible pizza, like Nakameguro…

Tsukiji Fishmongers’ Breakfast 築地気まぐれ屋

Kimagureya is a popular sandwich shop for the workers at Tsukiji Market. Most of the workers get the sandwiches to go. Often a worker from a stall will come and pick up a big order for him and his colleagues. The simple menu includes fried items like shrimp, chicken or croquettes, and more standard sandwich…

New York Bagels in Nakameguro

Growing up in Minnesota I thought frozen Lender’s Bagels was the standard. That was until I moved to New York City and lived in Chelsea. Murray’s bagels was a short walk away and finally I understood what the fuss was over a bagel. I have fond memories of eating an everything bagel while carefully perusing…

Tsukiji Kitsuneya 築地きつねや

One of the most popular stalls at Tsukiji’s Outer Market is Kitsuneya. It does not sell any seafood, but it is famous for offal stewed in a savory soy broth until tender and served over a large bowl of rice (800 JPY). If you are not in the mood for offal, Kitsuneya also does nikudōfu, tofu…

Isomaru Suisan 磯丸水産

A friend and I needed to grab a quick lunch before he jumped on the shinkansen to Kyoto. We popped into Isomaru Suisan near Ueno station and had colorful and fresh sashimi donburi. Donburi are large bowls filled with rice and toppings, a great one-bowl meal. He had a tuna and avocado bowl and I took a chirashizushi with…

Shibuya Shunju 春秋 – Colorful Vegetable Salad Bar

** Updated Sunday, 16 April 2017. Shibuya Shunju no longer offers the vegetable salad bar. The restaurant is still a good choice for lunch in this part of Shibuya. Arigato, to David Richards for letting me know the buffet was not there when he went recently. Buffet lunches abound around the city. Some of my…

Shibuya Torikatsu Chicken とりかつチキン

Katsu refers to panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) encrusted and deep-fried goods. Tonkatsu, deep-fried pork, is the most popular, but there are many others such as torikatsu for chicken. Furai is another Japanese word that is used to describe the same preparation, and is often seen with seafood such as kaki (oysters), aji (horse mackerel), or ika (squid). Torikatsu in Shibuya is hidden on the back streets,…

Shibuya Tare Katsu Don

The signboard outside of this small shop near Shibuya station caught my eye. Vegetables and thin slices of pork dressed in panko bread crumbs, deep-fried, and dipped in a sweet and savory soy sauce over a bowl of rice. Donburi are large bowls of rice with toppings. Tare refers to the sauce that clings to the vegetables and…

Manseibashi Hofbackerei Edegger-Tax

Tokyoites have yet another European bakery to add to a rich list that includes Viron, Maison Kayser, Peck (exclusively at Takashimaya), and Gontran Cherrier. What makes this new shop unique is that I believe it is the first bakery in Tokyo from Austria. For German bakeries there is Linde in Kichijoji. (Musashino-shi, Kichijoji Honcho 1-11-27). Hofbakerei…

Nakameguro Onigily Cafe

The Nakameguro area is filled with many great restaurants, including my favorite pizzeria, Seirinkan. Just a short walk from Nakameguro station is Onigily Cafe. Onigiri is perhaps the quintessential comfort food in Japan. Rice stuffed with a savory filling that is often wrapped with nori. I almost didn’t go in as the spelling of onigiri…

Nihonbashi Soba Yudetaro 日本橋ゆで太郎

For the longest time I avoided the tachigui soba shops and other casual dining soba restaurants. Tachigui are restaurants without chairs. Diners order a bowl of noodles and stand and slurp quickly. Tachigui can be near train stations or even on the platforms. When I first lived in Japan in the late 80s I wouldn’t even part the…

Shibuya Uobei Train Sushi

Uobei near Shibuya station is a fun spot for sushi, especially if you are dining out with your kids. This is a new trend in Japan based on the kaiten-zushi, conveyor belt sushi, model. In this new style sushi is only prepared once the customer orders it. So there is zero waste with any sushi being thrown…

Shibuya Curry House Tiri Tiri

It is hot and humid in Tokyo. A great time to have curry as the spices helps you to sweat, cooling you down. Curry House Tiri Tiri is a popular shop in Shibuya, about a five minute walk from the station along Meiji Dori. While the shop has pork, chicken, or shrimp as options for…

Shibuya Adenia

Adenia in Shibuya is home to one of my favorite burgers in Tokyo. Chef Masafumi Irie was the sous chef at the Park Hyatt Tokyo at the same time that I was the sommelier. The bistro is a short walk from Shibuya station. It is on a quiet residential street. The daily lunch menu, reasonably…

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…

Tokyo Station Sushi Sei

Sushi Sei is a popular sushi shop at Tsukiji Market that has a branch inside of Tokyo Station. There is often a line of salarymen outside of the shop before it opens at 7 a.m. The breakfast options include sashimi or donburi (sashimi over a large bowl of rice). There are also two versions of ochazuke….