Tokyo would probably be a strange city if you try to taste all the famous things here. The reason is that this city is renowned as an eating capital especially with 160,000 restaurants that are registered and the 230 restaurants that have one Michelin star.
On my trip, I tried typical Japanese food, which makes Japan’s cuisine famous, such as udon, ramen, tempura, tonkatsu, omurice, sushi and takoyaki, and Japanese curry. I have to say that there’re many things to talk about food in Japan. But don’t worry I would just focus on food basically.
Sushi, of course, my first time to try sea urchin
Sushi is obviously the most iconic dish in Japanese cuisine. I don’t think I have to describe how it looks or tastes cause we all know that well.
What I want to mention here is just my first time try sea urchin in a restaurant called Sushizanmai near Sensoji Temple. I have probably experienced sushi made from the gonads (which produces the roe) of a sea urchin which I was sure, it is not something everyone “gets” the first time they try sushi.
And I loved this dish at the first bite, the yellowish-orange “flesh” – I think, is so good. It’s like butter but more flavor and greasy in an attractive way. The only thing I disliked is that the dish was too small and the price’s higher than my high.
Elegant look and bold flavor noodle: shin udon and dip ramen
Another legendary food in Japan is noodles. As I know, there’re 6 or 7 types of noodle in Japan. But the two most outstanding are ramen and udon. I don’t know why but I ate in two famous restaurants recommended in TripAdvisor. The sad thing is that both of them offered a salty broth. It was a little bit disappointed, but then I just thought this taste may be Japanese’s favorite.
In my first day, I try udon in well-know Udon Shin, the chewy and shiny noodles attract me right after I saw the bow. I chose udon with pork and a soft-boiled egg, while my friend ordered udon with roe and seaweed (which I saw in youtube). My bow was quite ordinary, and I think it’s just salty a little bit. But saltiness of the udon with roe was at another level.
Despite their gorgeous look, the dishes did not satisfy both me and my friend. Actually, it’s quite disappointing because we have to wait in the row for almost 20 minutes to get seats in this restaurant.
The next day, I tried dip Ramen in Menya Musashi Bukotsu, even though I know that the dip ramen may have saltier broth, but I still wished it can be lighter to fit my taste. (Thank god, free water’s offered to help me!). If the broth is lighter, I will put this dish in my favorite list. However, the tender pork saved the day. The meat melted in my mouth, it’s just like you swallow the protein-made silk. And the soft-boiled egg is a plus, I let it absorb the broth and then it became a boom of flavor.
After two dissatisfied noodle experiences, the only noodle bow impressed me came from a restaurant in Narita airport. It’s simple and very elegant with a lot of radishes, onions, beef and some slices of jellyfish.
I also tried soba made solely of buckwheat flour. The fried version did not really impress me, while the dip soba I try in tempura restaurant was just so-so.
Simple and fast restaurant chains
The affordable price is the lovely thing about food in those chains. You can find different branches of them in different parts of Japan. They always located near subway station as well. Let enjoy good and delicious food at a cheap price!
I try some of the restaurant chains such as Tendon Tenya for tempura and Gindaco for takoyaki. The tempura is good with this affordable price, especially the shrimp tempura.
The takoyaki gave me a different vibe compared with takoyaki I ate in Taiwan. The one in Taiwan is chewy with more flour inside, while the takoyaki I ate in Tokyo was more crunchy outside and stuffed with octopus inside.
Omurie, the classic Japanese comfort food of rice wrapped in omelette, is a combination of western and Japanese food. With the Japanese style from rice and egg and the spirit of western cuisine coming from sauces. That’s why I chose Rakure – a chain restaurant that specializes in omurice, mainly opened in Kanto region in Japan. I expected a york exploring as what I had seen on Youtube, but it’s just some thin more simple. However, it’s still good, especial the sauce. This shining and flavor-full sauce can make everything tasty.
My new favorite: gyukatsu
Classic tonkatsu consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet. It is often served with shredded cabbage. In my opinion, it’s basically is home-made food which you can ask your mum to cook at home for dinner. So that’s I wanted to try something special: Gyukatsu Motomura, Shibuya.
This restaurant gives you freedom to decide how many steak you want to eat, and how the beef is cook. I was glad I did come there. The meat was Tender, BEAUTIFULLY marbled and unforgettable. The sides were also very good, they melted like butter. I especially loved the way the beef was served rare, then you can cook it to your liking on a hot plate in front of you. They have soy sauce with wasabi, horse radish and pink salt to add flavor as well.
Great memories with food in Tokyo, I’ll see you next time for more food!