Friday, December 5, 2008

Eating Out In Tokyo

I didnt take alot of pictures in this trip to Japan since it isnt a sight seeing trip.
All I did was to walk around, shop and eat. I don't quite know where to start with this post, so I guess I will start with food. Because I have to deal with almost all the meals on my own this time, I didnt end up in any fancy arse restaurants. Instead, I sure darn well gobble up many dessert cakes.....

Starting with dinner the first night, we ended up at Gonpachi (Add: 1F,2F1-13-11 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031 ), which was near to Hyatt where we were putting up. It was within walking distance and we wanted something causal after checking in late.

Frankly, I am neither impressed nor disappointed by the place. Any place in Japan which is not served by Japanese chef but other races is not a place I would revered, if you know what I mean. It is more like a place patronised and customised for westerners for a local taste but in a "familiar" environment, "familiar" language. The food were mainly grilled. It's ok but average. I have tasted better Japanese food definitely in all my trips there. The most memorable was the clams. Damn they are good and delicious and succulently sweet.... The ambience wasnt my sort of place, and too many expats/ tourists. Never a good sign when u hardly see locals.... In case u are wondering, the second picture is suppose to be prawns with wanton wrap fried....

Somewhat reeling from relative "dissatisfaction" by the forgettable meal, we went back to the contenporary Italian cafe Fiorentina in the hotel for some chocolate dessert. I honestly think anyone eating at this place is either too unimaginative, unadventurous or sadly lacking in tastebud. This is the first and last time I ate there the whole trip. Plus get this, non smoking and smoking section are all in the same area. So u will smell the cig no matter what. So despite the fancy nice ambience, I finished my another average choc cake in a huff and headed straight back to my room for a hot bath. The night is chilly at about 11degrees, discounting the cold piercing wind.

One of the nights, after having too much sushi... I started to crave for pasta. It has to be seafood tomato base pasta as well. So the conceige recommended me to this dining spot round the corner - L'Estasi ( 東京都港区六本木6-11-1 六本木ヒルズ 六本木けやき坂通りゲートタワー3F)

Service was impeccable and friendly, and even though this dish wasnt exactly on the menu, they conjure it up for me anycase because I really crave for it :P All i can say, it was excellent!

For a couple of lunch, I was alittle lost as to what I wanted to eat. Somedays, I headed straight for cakes which I know was sinfully bad for my fat waistline. So some days, it was good to go simple with soba. Hence I found this little store along a quiet road, and calmly brave myself for lunch in Japanese menu. What the heck, what can possibly go wrong right?!! Its noodle place isnt it? What is the worse that can happen? Since I had gotten immensely sick of tempura prawn by now, I got adventurous and went with the pork belly soba, and there was also a duck option. Both tasted yummy to me, except the pork was prob better as it was thinly sliced and not as tough as the duck. However, the japanese lady next to me got me regretting tremendously for not going with the tempura prawn soba because hers looked completely heavenly.... I wanted to kick my own butt but well, I was happy with what I had.

(PS: It was only belatedly that I realised they had English menu. By then, I was already stuffed with food, paid and ready to go. And oh, there was NOT a single tourist in this quiet but popular local spot)

As you would notice much later, I am in love with strawberries. Only with Japan's stawberries. They are so sweet and even though I was told they are not in season, they were sooo good that I would never buy another united states strawberry packet from supermarket ever again in HK or Singapore or Sydney. I didnt know what the differences were between the two below so I got them both. One at 1000yen (left) and the other at 700yen(right). Apparently, they are much cheaper during season as much as 400yen. But they are still much cheaper than what I have to pay through my nose in SG and HK, whether they are in season or not. Its all about perspective...and relative comparison:)

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