Posts Tagged Asian Food

Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten, Omote-sando, Tokyo, Japan

My final day in Japan had arrived and I jumped on the train and headed out towards Meiji Jingu.

I wandered up the slight hill from Meiji-jingumae Station towards Omote-sando Station with no firm intention other than to have one final great meal.

A quick recon of my map app showed me there was a highly recommended tonkatsu restaurant up in the side streets behind the Omotesando Hills shopping centre.

I took a leisurely stroll through the back streets past a number of upmarket shops and finally found Tonkatsu Maisen. I actually walked past it at first but soon the GPS had me doubling back.

The restaurant was busy when I arrived with most of the seats at the counter already taken. I was offered one of the spare seats. By the time I left there was queue of people waiting.

I ordered a beer while I looked through the menu.

If you like pork you will love this place. As the name suggests Tonkatsu is the house specialty.

I ordered a crumbed and deep fried Black Pork loin with rice, miso and cabbage.

It took about 15 minutes for my meal to be ready and it was worth the wait. It was one of the best tonkatsu dishes, and most memorable meals, that I’d had during my trip.

And with that final, splendid lunch my eating adventures for this Japan trip, apart from some small snacks and a couple of drinks in the JAL First Class Lounge at Narita Airport, are over for another year.

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Craft Tap Beer, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan

For my 2nd lunch after the yakitori at Kanoya I went upto the restaurant floor at Yodabashi Camera in Akihabara and headed for Craft Tap Beer. I’ve been here once before and I thought it was overpriced that time… that’s now been confirmed.

I shouldn’t have gone back, but I knew they had a decent, yet very overpriced, selection of beers on tap.

I ordered the days special which was a quite decent ribs dish. It took about 30 minutes for my meal to be cooked – atleast I knew it was fresh!

The beers were OK but at ¥1250 for 330ml it’s highway robbery!

Much better, and economical, places to spend your hard earned cash on beer in Tokyo.

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Kanoya, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

I was in Ueno after visiting Asakusa and started feeling peckish. I stumbled across a yakitori restaurant and had what would turn out to be my last yakitori meal in Japan this trip, and what would also turn out to be my first of two lunches today.

Ueno is a very touristy area. Being touristy it was easy to find places with an English menu. It wasn’t that busy as I was walking though about midday – probably because it was blisteringly hot.

Again I was seated at the counter overlooking the kitchen area so I could see all the action.

I quickly ordered a selection of chicken, pork and leek yakitori and the requisite beer to quench my thirst.

I watched my meal being cooked and soon I had my piping hot food which I devoured quite quickly.

Decent tasting meal and extremely reasonably priced.

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Toriyasu, Toranomon, Tokyo, Japan

After a couple of beers at the Toranomon branch of the Craft Beer Market I went looking for dinner.

About a block away was Toriyasu, a yakitori restaurant.

Walking in at around 6pm there were already a number of businessmen drinking and smoking while snacking away.

Minimal English here, just like Terako Machi in Nagano but that is what makes travelling fun!

With a webpage I’d found via Google showing the English and Japanese translations for various types of yakitori and the staff knowing a few words of English I was able to order several dishes of yakitori and a beer.

More delectable meat on a stick was ordered and then I spied what I thought were Sake bottles, but the one I picked was actually Awamori. A Shochu like drink.

The staff were great and we tried to converse, what I did manage to find out was that this restaurant has been running for 49 years, and the recipe for the yakitori sauce was originally made by the current owners father when the restaurant opened.

For an authentic meal this is great restaurant.

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Echigoya, Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

You might have heard of Omoide Yokocho by another name – Piss Alley – charming hey!

Piss Alley is a small area adjacent to Shinjuku Station in Tokyo with about 70 small eating establishments crammed into a space not much larger than a soccer pitch.

I arrived just before 5pm so the area was still quiet and probably only a third of the restaurants were open. Those that were open were doing a roaring trade with a number having people standing around waiting for a seat.

When I say small, I mean small, think a room only slightly larger than the size of your bathroom with a kitchen area, a counter and around 10 or so seats.

I chose Echigoya as there were about half a dozen people already dining and there were a couple of spare seats. And it was damn hot and I needed a beer quick!

Yakitori was my fare of choice and I chose a variety of chicken and pork skewers along with a long neck.

I sat in front of the charcoal grill as my skewers were cooked. As they were handed over the counter I eagerly devoured the tasty dishes.

The meat dishes and beer were very reasonably priced, I guess that’s what happens when you are fighting 70 other restaurants for customers.

This is an area to invest more time in exploring which I will on my next trip to Tokyo.

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