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Matthew

Amazing Food Stores in Tokyo

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Hi,

I am travelling to Tokyo to look at amazing food shops - I already know about C3, and Comme Ca Cakes in Shinjuku - as well as the obvious Depachika - Takashimaya, Isetan etc - but do any of you know any other mad gems? Obviously food in Japan is all super tasty, but I am looking for anything a bit design, concept driven (gifts, cakes, reinvention of fast food....)

Any suggestions would be most greatfully receieved

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Hi Matt! Dude, you my type of man if you're into food. Its like a jungle here! But, I must admit I'm a ramen man. I suggest to head to the Yokohama ramen museum and curry museum. Both are multi-story complexies which some stalls throughout the museum where you can taste different types of ramen and curry from different areas of Tokyo. Very fun. Also check out 99 Ramen in Ebisu which is the only place I know that sells cheese ramen. Also check out Jyungara Ramen in Shinjuku or Akihabra, its famous for its Kyuushuu ramen and every stall is separated so you can 'savor' the ramen. For very fancy places to eat, I just recently took someone to Higashiyama in Naka-meguro, a great designy restaurant that won't break the bank. Also check out Tsukiji for really fresh sushi. Also a good I've been going recently is Tokyo Restaurant in Azabu-juban, which has a 1930-40s Casablanca feel to it. Really swank. And Cafe Eight in Roppongi, a cheap Chinese joint that is famous for its giant penis statues. A nice bar I went to recently is in Shibuya just above the Gold's Gym, forget the name but you can't miss it. Have fun!

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One of the unlooked for gems of my life in Japan was supermarket shopping for food. Trying to work out what's what and why it's different from whatever it's next to is plainly bananas. Sometimes you get it right, and sometimes you get it wrong. But generally either way it doesn't matter. Except when you're fresh off the plane, confuse canned fruit juice for Chu Hai and end up unwittingly drinking 2 litres of strontium strength hard liquor ... icon_smile_big.gif

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sushi dai in tsukiji

theres a really good gyusuji(beef muscle) curry place in gotanda by the train station

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I second the ramen museum in Shin-Yokohama...8 different regional ramen restaurants each serve their own style of ramen. Also sushi in Tsukiji (gotta go at the crack of dawn, ideal for jetlag). There's a Gyoza Stadium (competing chefs make their own styles of dumplings) in the Namco Nanja Town amusement park inside Sunshine 60 in Ikebukuro. Lots of screaming kids there.

Near Harajuku station, on a little side street which I think is just north of Takeshita-dori (the narrow east-west street that holds ten thousand jostling teenage girls), there is a little place that sells cream puffs shaped like panda heads. They're adorable, and then you eat them, and the brains (cream) squirts out. They have eyes, ears, mouth, everything.

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Dude! Panda head cream puffs! I'm gonna have to head out there sometime this week!

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I was wondering what is a good steakhouse in Tokyo. I am going in 3 weeks and have never been before, but I have heard good things about Japanese steak. Thanks

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The curry museum isin "Isezaki-cho" right off the Kannai station in Kanagawa.

It's 2 stations away from Yokohama.

Oh, and if your looking for food, go to the Tsukishima station and eat

something called monja-yaki. It fuckin looks like cat puke but it's goooddd..

The gyoza at Utsunomiya is good too.

If your ever in the country area, ALWAYS try the regional stuff. For example,

if you go to Niigata, eat anything that has ties with rice(mochi, sake, etc..)

I friggin bet my left nut that you'll enjoy it.

Steak houses really depend on how much your willing to spend.

saturdaynight mongol

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is monja-yaki the hard glutinous rice cake stuff grilled over flames with soy? That stuff is gorgeous. You can buy it here in the UK but it's expensive and you can't bake it the same.

MMMmmmmm.

Japaneeeeeeze foood.

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^^ Hmmm.......grilled rice....I am pretty sure that monja-yaki is the cabbage/tempura/fish and everything in between fried dish.....

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Quote:

Hi Matt! Dude, you my type of man if you're into food. Its like a jungle here! But, I must admit I'm a ramen man. I suggest to head to the Yokohama ramen museum and curry museum. Both are multi-story complexies which some stalls throughout the museum where you can taste different types of ramen and curry from different areas of Tokyo. Very fun. Also check out 99 Ramen in Ebisu which is the only place I know that sells cheese ramen. Also check out Jyungara Ramen in Shinjuku or Akihabra, its famous for its Kyuushuu ramen and every stall is separated so you can 'savor' the ramen. For very fancy places to eat, I just recently took someone to Higashiyama in Naka-meguro, a great designy restaurant that won't break the bank. Also check out Tsukiji for really fresh sushi. Also a good I've been going recently is Tokyo Restaurant in Azabu-juban, which has a 1930-40s Casablanca feel to it. Really swank. And Cafe Eight in Roppongi, a cheap Chinese joint that is famous for its giant penis statues. A nice bar I went to recently is in Shibuya just above the Gold's Gym, forget the name but you can't miss it. Have fun!

--- Original message by djrajio on Nov 24, 2005 04:42 AM

wow, djrajio, you are the first non-japanese person i have met who loves and appreciates ramen so much. living in new york, it is hard to find even decent ramen.

i always wondered why no one made a really good (english) book on ramen (like i'm sure they have for sushi, etc.)

maybe someday you'll be the one!

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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Quote: I was wondering what is a good steakhouse in Tokyo. I am going in 3 weeks and have never been before, but I have heard good things about Japanese steak. Thanks

There is a very good Brazilian steak place called Copa in Tokyo, I know because a Brazilian stripper from Seventh Heaven tried to get me to take her there....but I went on my own instead (you have to accept the fact that no matter how convincing they are, they are not going to bone you):

http://www.copatokyo.com/

Either way, good beef is very expensive in Japan and in the opinion of a true beef conoisseur (my dad owns cattle ranches), is not usually not worth the money you will pay. The Japanese prefer extremely tender meat (often with too much tendorizer) with ALOT of thin marbling. Don't get me wrong, the said beef is usually indicative of a good Kobe or Hida steak, but don't blow your wad. If you do make it to Takayama (home to Hida beef) you can buy the best beef skewers you have ever had in your life for about $2. There is also an amazing Hida beef restaurant there.......I can dig up the name for you if you want.

icon_smile_sleepy.gif

Edited by englandmj7 on May 23, 2006 at 10:26 AM

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monja yaki is basically okonomiyaki but wetter and mushier

ny sucks for ramen, at least theres Santoka in Mitsuwa

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Mizanation,

Yes. I'm a bit fanatical when it comes to ramen. Two years ago, when I studying at Kyodai, for golden week I did a trek around Japan just to eat ramen. We started from Kyoto, went to Tokyo, stayed a night and ate ramen, then took JR all the way to Hokkaido (15+ hours), arrived in the morning, Sapporo beer garden + Sapopro ramen, headed back the same evening, and went all the way back to Hakata/Fukuoka (18+ hours), just to eat the yatai Hakata ramen. We slept on the trains and took baths in onsen. IMO Hakata ramen by the river is the best ramen experience you can ever have; if you can make the trek, I highly recommend it.

Edit:

Yes NYC does suck for ramen. Couldn't find one decent place; Astor place has some decent yakiniku places. For California/West Coast people, you are in luck. For SF/Bay Area - Haru Ramen in San Jose is the bomb. For LA people, Shinsengumi in Gardena is the best.

Edited by djrajio on May 23, 2006 at 05:52 PM

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Mizanation,

Yes. I'm a bit fanatical when it comes to ramen. Two years ago, when I studying at Kyodai, for golden week I did a trek around Japan just to eat ramen. We started from Kyoto, went to Tokyo, stayed a night and ate ramen, then took JR all the way to Hokkaido (15+ hours), arrived in the morning, Sapporo beer garden + Sapopro ramen, headed back the same evening, and went all the way back to Hakata/Fukuoka (18+ hours), just to eat the yatai Hakata ramen. We slept on the trains and took baths in onsen. IMO Hakata ramen by the river is the best ramen experience you can ever have; if you can make the trek, I highly recommend it.

Edit:

Yes NYC does suck for ramen. Couldn't find one decent place; Astor place has some decent yakiniku places. For California/West Coast people, you are in luck. For SF/Bay Area - Haru Ramen in San Jose is the bomb. For LA people, Shinsengumi in Gardena is the best.

Edited by djrajio on May 23, 2006 at 05:52 PM

--- Original message by djrajio on May 23, 2006 05:47 PM

it's great to finally talk to another ramen-head!

your ramen tour is very inspirational.

i am thinking about doing a ramen tour one of these trips to japan.

guess, what? at tsukiji, you can get very good ramen made with amazing fish broth (surprise, surprise). and for what it's worth, i think in terms of convenience, price and taste, ippuudo is my favorite.

btw, in new york, i found one decent rament place (tatany 53 had great ramen, but it shut down). it's a place called ISE in the financial district. however, they don't have it on the regular menu, only on the japanese menu (if you are ever in a new york japanese restaurant, make sure you get a japanese menu, they have better food for cheaper price).

seattle had the best ramen i had in the united states. a place called kouraku. the japanese players on the mariners team would wait in line like everyone else for the incredible shouyu ramen. unfortunately, it closed down a couple years ago.

anyways, man, thanks for the ramen info. i will definitely check those places out!

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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I am going with my brother to tokyo and he has just been wanting to get a good steak dinner, so I am willing to make this my one large expenditure foodwise.

Also, djraijo, I live in San Jose and I have never heard anyone mention Haru Ramen, but I will have to look out for it and use it as comparison. Thanks

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Quote: Mizanation,

Yes. I'm a bit fanatical when it comes to ramen. Two years ago, when I studying at Kyodai, for golden week I did a trek around Japan just to eat ramen. We started from Kyoto, went to Tokyo, stayed a night and ate ramen, then took JR all the way to Hokkaido (15+ hours), arrived in the morning, Sapporo beer garden + Sapopro ramen, headed back the same evening, and went all the way back to Hakata/Fukuoka (18+ hours), just to eat the yatai Hakata ramen. We slept on the trains and took baths in onsen. IMO Hakata ramen by the river is the best ramen experience you can ever have; if you can make the trek, I highly recommend it.

DJrajio, that pretty much sounds like my experience travelling around Japan non stop for a month on a rail pass. Did that a couple times and was exhausted and stressed by the time I finished. Incredible experience though. Plus now I can vouch for the Hakata river ramen, too(amongst a lot of other things) icon_smile_big.gif.

Remembered the name of the grilled ricecake stuff - it's Mochi. England - try it! it comes in a hard cake and you grill and baste it with sweet soy. Tastes incredible.

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Quote:
Quote: Mizanation,

Yes. I'm a bit fanatical when it comes to ramen. Two years ago, when I studying at Kyodai, for golden week I did a trek around Japan just to eat ramen. We started from Kyoto, went to Tokyo, stayed a night and ate ramen, then took JR all the way to Hokkaido (15+ hours), arrived in the morning, Sapporo beer garden + Sapopro ramen, headed back the same evening, and went all the way back to Hakata/Fukuoka (18+ hours), just to eat the yatai Hakata ramen. We slept on the trains and took baths in onsen. IMO Hakata ramen by the river is the best ramen experience you can ever have; if you can make the trek, I highly recommend it.

DJrajio, that pretty much sounds like my experience travelling around Japan non stop for a month on a rail pass. Did that a couple times and was exhausted and stressed by the time I finished. Incredible experience though. Plus now I can vouch for the Hakata river ramen, too(amongst a lot of other things) icon_smile_big.gif.

Remembered the name of the grilled ricecake stuff - it's Mochi. England - try it! it comes in a hard cake and you grill and baste it with sweet soy. Tastes incredible.

--- Original message by sybaritical on May 24, 2006 03:16 AM

sybaritical,

mochi is just the name of the rice cake made out of glutinous rice.

it comes in many forms, the grilled stuff you are talking about is called "yaki mochi." when on a stick, it's called "dango."

it also comes in soup form, "ozouni."

and covered in sweet soy bean powder, "kinako mochi."

although traditionally eaten on holidays like new years, it's eaten all year round.

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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That's it! Kind of savoury and very wholesome. My boss introduced me to it at a party she threw. As I was eating it, she started telling me about how loads of old people die when they eat it because they can't digest it or something? Nice.

I didn't last long in her service.

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If you guys are ever in Oahu, check out Nakamura Ramen, and get the Shio Oxtail ramen.

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That's it! Kind of savoury and very wholesome. My boss introduced me to it at a party she threw. As I was eating it, she started telling me about how loads of old people die when they eat it because they can't digest it or something? Nice.

I didn't last long in her service.

--- Original message by sybaritical on May 24, 2006 06:16 AM

every year old people and (sometimes some kids) die from choking on mochi. it's very chewy and sticky so it gets caught in the windpipe very easily.

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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Quote: That's it! Kind of savoury and very wholesome. My boss introduced me to it at a party she threw. As I was eating it, she started telling me about how loads of old people die when they eat it because they can't digest it or something? Nice.

I didn't last long in her service.

Ah, I know the stuff, I remember that I had some at a Yakitori-ya in Roppongi....I love rice and this stuff is awesome. I also saw them making it at a Yakiniku-ya/Yakitori-ya place here in L.A. For anyone down here, it is on Washington near Lincoln and is called "Sakura House." The food is so effing good its retarded.......

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Mizanation,

Yes. I'm a bit fanatical when it comes to ramen. Two years ago, when I studying at Kyodai, for golden week I did a trek around Japan just to eat ramen. We started from Kyoto, went to Tokyo, stayed a night and ate ramen, then took JR all the way to Hokkaido (15+ hours), arrived in the morning, Sapporo beer garden + Sapopro ramen, headed back the same evening, and went all the way back to Hakata/Fukuoka (18+ hours), just to eat the yatai Hakata ramen. We slept on the trains and took baths in onsen. IMO Hakata ramen by the river is the best ramen experience you can ever have; if you can make the trek, I highly recommend it.

Edit:

Yes NYC does suck for ramen. Couldn't find one decent place; Astor place has some decent yakiniku places. For California/West Coast people, you are in luck. For SF/Bay Area - Haru Ramen in San Jose is the bomb. For LA people, Shinsengumi in Gardena is the best.

Edited by djrajio on May 23, 2006 at 05:52 PM

--- Original message by djrajio on May 23, 2006 05:47 PM

Ahh yes. Shinsengumi.. That place used to be the shit when I was in high school..

Thats about 8 years ago.. As of late, they kinda fell off though.. Santoka's nice,

but I dunno.. I just think their noodles are kinda weak. If only they gave me an option to

make it "kata-men." Now, there's "ko-ryu," "sansui ramen," and "mama ramen" that I feel

are pretty good. Just, not on the same level as they have in Japan. Then again, none of the

stuff in the US is on that level too so... I guess it sux to be in the states if you dig ramen.

Man o man do I miss the ramen in Japan. Ippudo, Rokkakuya, Ichiran, Kamukura

Ramen, Bukotsu, Rasta Ramen, Hachiya... The list goes on. Sumire ramen in Sapporo

was good too..

saturdaynight mongol

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on the real, the best bet in the united states is cooking up a pack of "chuuka zanmai," add some goma, butter, garlic, fueru wakame, and an egg. unfortunately, chuuka zanmai is better than 90 percent of the real ramen spots in the united states.

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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Goota and Ippudo's ramen that they sell in the refrigerator isle at the Japanese market are pretty good too. Ippudo has been rumored to open a shop in NYC for a while, crosses fingers.

Enough with the ramen talk.

Let's talk curry. Is Go Nin Shu the best boil in the bag curry or what?

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if ippuudo opens a shop in new york, it's a wrap!!!

they never have the latest flavors for goota in the states! :(

as far as curry goes, after eating really, really good indian curry, it's hard to eat regular japanese curry (i know it's two completely different things, but that's the way i feel).

unfortunately, nothing compares to curry from brick lane in london. i still dream about the curry i had there.....

http://mizanation.blogspot.com

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l've said it before I'll say it again. Brick Lane serves up honky slop and there's infinitely better curries to be had in other parts of London. Granted - I'm not sure that it was always like this, as I remember eating tasty food down when I lived there years ago, but I think the subsequent gentrification of the area has seen the authenticity and value of the food they serve up dip considerably as it becomes a tourist destination.

These days if you want mind blowing food of that ilk, head to Tooting in South West London or any of the outlying suburbs to the North of the city, all of which have their diamonds.

Back on track. What do people make of Japanese curry? I never really understood what it was made of ...

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