We literally walked a few steps to the right of our hotel for this traditional Jap restaurant as everyone was tired and still a bit hung over.
We sat in a booth with a touchscreen to order our meal from. It was only in Japanese but lucky it had pictures! First up we ordered a cold ramen salad with pork which was huge! It was the first time I had cold ramen and mixed up with the dressing lettuce and egg it was really nice.
Then we had to order sashimi. It was beautifully presented. Salmon, octopus, tuna, squid, some type of white fish and conch meat. The little purple leaves on the squid in the picture were really nice and peppery; in fact it’s called “Tade” water peppers to be eaten raw with sweet fish because they have alkaline properties and can balance the acidity of the fish in the same way as other raw vegetables do.
Pretty much everywhere we ate I wanted to try the chicken karage to compare to the first lot I ate. This one was pretty good, not the worst and not the best. The skin wasn’t crunchy enough. I think the next dish was beef? Not sure. Then good old agedashi tofu, which was really silky inside and crunchy on the outside and dumplings which were tasty as always. Was pretty full so I didn’t order dessert, but the others did. Crème brulee was really yum and then the Japanese style cheesecake which I didn’t taste.
In contrast to this delicious meal, there was one night where we were struggling to find a place to eat open late on a Sunday night. This place was opened and looked a bit busy so we walked up to a find a grumpy fat man as the only staff there. We ordered off a Japanese menu and a few pictures. It was a yakitori joint so we couldn’t really go wrong with charcoal cooked meat right?
Within the mixed yakitori plate we ordered two of were liver bits, possibly heart bits and some type of tubular innard from an animal. Lucky one of them was normal chicken meat, one was chicken skin, and maybe the third edible yakitori stick was beef. . . . It was a fun experience nevertheless. The accompaniment dish was conch meat and some type of roe which was really fishy and not nice.
This lovely picture above was of another chicken karage we ordered at an Izakaya in Shibuya. This is also like a tapas place. You order lots of side dishes to share while you drink. I had this with sake and the others had beers. If I remember correctly this chicken karage was pretty good. Next to is yakitori of pork and shallots which were also very tasty.
And ramen! How can I not write about this delicious, tasty, salty, broth of goodness and noodles? I think in the 6 days we were there I ate about 6 bowls of ramen! I ate mostly the chilli pork one which I had never had in Sydney before. It came with a round mound of mince pork, shredded shallots and spinach. The broth was the perfect balance of oiliness to I guess clear brothiness, chilliness and saltiness. It didn’t make you really thirsty afterwards either. It was so good and for only 800yen, $9AUD you get a whole set of the ramen, a bowl of rice and dumplings! Such good value on all levels!! At this one place where we had this ramen, it was a vending machine restaurant. We had a bit of trouble working the machine and matching up the pictures on the wall to the button, but it all worked out and by the last bowl, we had it down to a tee!
We also had tempura udon for lunch one day at a traditional noodle house. This prawn was the biggest fattest tempura prawn I had had. So meaty and juicy!
Here are my last pics, the combination chow- mein I had at the airport ( by this stage we all felt like something non Japanese), it was pretty good, the grilled fish with rice and veges on the plane. Not very nice, the fish was too fishy. And then for another meal on the plane I had these soba noodles which were really nice. Mixed with the sweet soy, wasabi and shallots it was a good last Japanese meal of the trip.
I think I have already said this but Japanese food is really a cuisine that one can never get sick of. . . .