Sunday, 26 February 2012

All aboard the sushi train!

--> I definitely could not have missed a sushi train while on the Tokyo trip.   This one was on Omotesando Street near Harajuku.  
So it looked like any typical sushi train with the chef in the middle making to order any sushi you wanted,  but the first thing I noticed that we didn’t have in Sydney was the self-serve, free, green tea.  The green tea came in powder form in a little pot with a cute little spoon and then there is a hot water dispenser at the table built into the counter, so you just fill up your cup and wallah!  Your instant green tea which tastes much better than a tea bag!  Forgot to take a photo of the hot water dispenser, but it is a genius idea.  We shouldn’t have to pay for green tea when having sushi!

The first sushi I had was the grilled prawn sushi with white onion and mayo.  Delish!  Then I had to have the “takoyaki”, octopus balls made to order.  They were so good.  Hot balls of batter and tempura leftovers with the chunks of octopus inside.  Creamy and savoury with hints of spring onions too.  I love these things.  Then I ordered the “maguro” sushi, which is raw tuna.  I love tuna sashimi.  Although this one was light coral colour, it looked more like salmon than tuna.    It wasn’t the beautiful ruby red flesh I imagined, nevertheless it was tasty.  With a splash of wasabi and soy, fresh sushi never tasted better. 

Love this silver and black plate!

There was one that passed us on the train with what I think was a raw quail egg on top with minced raw tuna which I hadn’t seen before, but didn’t have the courage to eat it.  Also I guess it isn’t unusual, but the chef cooked/seared scallop meat in front of us on a marble bench which I thought was pretty cool.
Think this is quail egg . .

When I got back I was kind of sick of Japanese food,  I just craved pizza or Indian.  But since have eaten at Zushi and Sapporo already.
Zushi on Crown Street in Surry Hills is a cute little restaurant that serves up a really good mix of Jap food.  Not only sushi but classics such as Agedashi tofu and chicken karage which stacks up pretty well with what Tokyo had to offer.  The soft shell crab was delicious as was the tuna tataki.  Didn’t take any pics that time but I do recommend Zushi I say it is about a 8 out of 10.  Lots of couples on dates and groups, so it’s a restaurant where you can pop in impromptu style in shorts and tees if you’re lucky to get a table or it can be a dress and heels type of restaurant especially if it’s a Saturday night.
Sapporo in Crows Nest is also a cute little restaurant but the big screen showing the rugby makes it more suburban and has a family vibe to it.  My friend told me the owner is a rugby fanatic so hence the 2 screens.  Anyway besides that it has a good menu.  Something I have never eaten before in a Japanese restaurant was a dish of deep fried baby prawns with a light chilli batter.  With a squeeze of lemon on top I popped the whole prawns in my mouth and crunched away.  It was great!   They serve Nabemono which is the hot pot dishes.  I have to try that next time as I love hot pots.  Maybe when the weather cools down a bit.  I rate this joint 8 out of 10 as well. 
I really do love Japanese food very much!!!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

BBQ’ing and Hotpotting - Shibuya style

-->This was the best meal by far that I had in Tokyo.  And it all came down to the beef!  This restaurant was pretty popular with loud drunk businessmen ordering more and more to couples who came in, ordered what they wanted, ate and left promptly.  We on the other hand were happy with our find and took it all in, the smoke and the whole vibe of the busy restaurant.  We were all wanting a hot pot to warm us up, so we got that first despite everyone else BBQ’ing away.  We were not disappointed!  But our clothes did smell like this restaurant for the next few days.
So the hot pot came out on a portable stove top.  The pot was more like a shallow pan of delicious broth, filled with cabbage, shallots and turnip, and the meat all at the bottom.  Of course we got the beef, and boy was it tasty!  When it was raw, the beef didn’t look like a great cut at all.  But when it was all cooked, it was so tender and melted in your mouth.  The fat content was pretty high and it was really rich, so not good for you, but heck I didn’t get to eat this everyday so I savoured every moment of biting into the soft buttery fat and soft meat.    We totally devoured this and absolutely nothing was left in the pot.

Onto the BBQ.  . . The cute, in a nerdy, not hot way, waiter was trying his best to speak English and when we asked what meats he recommends he said pork neck, “very juicy” with a big smile on his face and we all looked at each other and tried not to laugh in front of him, but it was just so cute and funny.  He was very proud of his recommendation, so we got that and some more beef.  I love that BBQ smokiness, it makes taste everything so good!  This restaurant also served up “hormone in the pot” didn’t go there this time.
The "very juicy" pork neck

After dinner we headed to a bar in the backstreets of Shibuya called Wokini.  I highly recommend this bar if ever you go to Shibuya.  The guys I was travelling with had been here before.  They played vinyl records all night, classic hits to anything cool really and served up the meanest drinks.  Not that I had many the margheritas we ordered were so bloody strong it took me so long to drink it. . . This bar also offered free cigarettes!  What was cool was that there were no little ice cubes here.  They had huge blocks that they chipped down to fit perfectly to the glass.  Like mini icebergs.  They looked very pretty, I didn’t get the best picture of this.  Anyway it turned out to be a fun night and most of the gang were quite hungover the next day.  But it was great to get out and enjoy some nightlife on a work trip for once and not eating by myself in a hotel room!


Mushroom omelette topped with baked beans and home grown parsley and oregano.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

BBQ ’ing in Shibuya!

I was in Japan almost 2 weeks ago now for an inspiration/buying trip and to be honest I was more looking forward to the food than the fashion.  The food did live up to my stomach’s desires as you’ll soon see, but I was also pleasantly surprised that my excitement for clothes and culture nearly went off the Bianca richter scale as well!  The last time I was in Tokyo I was rushed, no time to take it all in and there weren’t so many of the large fashion chains set up either, so this time around I actually found it a worthy, fabulous shopping haven for myself.  After being stuck there for 2 extra days I was in agony that I could not buy everything that pulled at my heart shopping strings due to luggage weight restrictions and to add to it all I kept on seeing these fabulous food joints which surpassed the number of times my stomach could eat in one day, so I missed out on a MOS burger and horse sashimi.  However I did eat some yummy things. . . .

On one of the nights we had this amazing meal at this BBQ place (the one on Level 4) which was set out in little sunken booths with the built in BBQ's.  It was perfect for another freezing night.  I was travelling with 3 colleagues so it was great that we could order a whole variety of things.  As you walked in you can see in the fridge all the chunks of raw meat.  The more marbled the beef the better!  First up we had this mixed plate of meats, pork, beef and chicken, and “lil willies” which were an artificial sausage concoction of tasty salty meat things.  Everything does taste better when it is cooked on a BBQ!  The beef was melt in the mouth and the smokiness on the pork was so tasty!  The Japanese I noticed love their cabbage.  I think we were meant to eat it raw, but heck we BBQ’d it anyway and it tasted ok, but yeah raw was better.  Everything was marinated in this yummy miso, shoyu sesame seed sauce which was delicious.

Then we had the shitakes, enokis and that big toadstool looking one at the back there.  I’ve never BBQ’d these mushrooms before and my lord, they were yum!  The woodiness and butteriness too was amazing!

Then we had to have some rice and got the Korean dish of Bibimap.  It means mixed rice dish and it was literally mixed for us by the waitress in a hot clay pot with gochuyang, the chilli paste and all the veges.  She told us to wait until it was crispy.  They never tell you this in Sydney, let alone mix it expertly for you.   It was worth the wait as the crunchy rice bits were the best bit.

More BBQ’d beef wrapped in I think it was cos lettuce leaves with some type of chilli paste, also very very tasty.

Vegetable and prawn cakes.  These were soft and gooey and tasted better with the chilli paste.

We were too full for dessert.  But after walking around a bit and checking out a book store we stopped by the convenience store near our hotel and I needed something sweet to end the night, so not having eaten any green tea ice cream I had to get the green tea classic crispy sandwich from Haagen Daaz. 

And OMG, seriously this was the best dessert from a packet ever!  The rich, creamy green teay ice cream which was in a to die for hard shell of green tea flavoured chocolate was so yum, and mixed with the super crunchy wafer biscuit on the outside, it was the bestest dessert ever!  Did I already say that, but it was the best.  I want one now!  How do I get this to Sydney?!

There will be more Tokyo posts to come.  Peace.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday night pizza

My usual pizza places phone was disconnected! Oh no! Was starving and didn't what to do. I looked on the net and decided to try Omega pizza. It's ok. Base is a bit soggy. Totally not as good as Salvatores on Glenayr ave. Need to investigate their situation!
Anyway its still satisfied my pizza craving after having eaten Japanese for the past week.  Those posts coming soon.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

I'm even more in love with leopard print!

One of my purchases from Tokyo.  As soon as I saw these I had to have them. Was going to get leopard print canvas Vans, but they were a but exxy for a sneakers, so in the last few hours of shopping I found these and was so happy as they were on sale and in my size!!!  Love printed pony skin and the built in platform.  Looks great and comfy!  Love.

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