I love love love cakes…. so obviously, I visited one of the most famous pâtisserie in Tokyo, Hidemi Sugino. In the French pastry world, Hidemi Sugino is so renowned and has won the prestigious Coupe de Monde de la Pâtisserie award back in 1991.
I read about the long lineups and potential shortage of cakes so I was extremely worried .. but when we got there, there was no lineup!!!
Hidemi Sugino is famous for his artisan mousse cakes which is made with limited amounts of gelatin. These cakes are very delicate and temperature sensitive and must be consumed immediately… which is one some of the cakes are only for “eat-ins.”
We waited for a table in the cafe and ordered a few of the “eat-in” and “take-out” cakes.
Sicilie (pistachio and blackberry mouse cake)
Geometrie (pink grapefruit and mint mousse)
La harmonie (cherry and lemon mousse)
Everest (base: fromage blanc mousse, top: chantilly cream, middle: red fruit confiture)
Ambre noix (starting with the base: biscuit au noix, mousse au chocolat au laitm mousse au caramel with a layer of biscuit joconde au chocolat sandwiched in between, topped with caramel glaze and a piece of walnut…..)
Charme (black forest)…
Since I’m typing this entry almost 10 months later, I forgot the individual taste but I remember that these cakes were in a league of its own. Seriously! The texture is so different than the others. The consistency’s like flan.. kindly jiggly.. and I would say it borders on jello/tofu… but more moussy than jello. No wonder these cakes must be eaten immediately! It was like eating a work of art… all those intricate layers and flavours blending into a masterpiece. It’s certainly worth the expensive price (around 600+ yen per cake!)
I didn’t know that photos weren’t allowed until the staff informed me… oops.. my bad!
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
京橋大栄ビル 1Ｆ, 3-6-17 Kyobashi, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0031, Japan
Depachika, also known as a department store’s food hall, is the food mecca for foodies. An entire floor (sometimes two) devoted to all things sweet or savory.. and traditional Japanese or Western. I love going to depachika’s because of its sheer size and diversity, but mostly because of the gorgeous display of the food.
The must-buy item from the food hall for me is Fukusaya’s Castella cake. Fukusaya is the famous bakery that has been making castella cakes since 1624! The cake is intricately wrapped in boxes and layers of wrapping paper… oh the anticipation of finally uncovering the cake!
this wrapping paper depicts the founding date of Fukusaya, the shop’s various locations, and its bat-shaped logo..
Castella is a sponge cake made with sugar, flour, eggs and syrup.. which as a honey taste to it. My mom went through a crazy castella-baking phase when I was a kid and I clearly remember her frustrations on making a perfect tasting/looking castella…. so I fully appreciate Fukusaya’s castella. It’s so moist and fluffy with the perfect amount of sweetness. Yummmmmm….
This time, we also tried out the takeaway food counters at the depachika. Once again, we were shopping till very late at the Damairu Department Store and like always, I needed to take a walk in the amazing food emporium before leaving. We came across people snatching up sashimi bento boxes. Apparently the prices are slashed by half! We ended up buying 3 boxes (the best of the remaining) and ate it back at the hotel.
Even around store closing time, the sashimi still looked so fresh.. and it tasted fresh as well!
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
After eating at the most popular ramen joint in Tokyo, we still wanted to try other ramen restaurants.
In Shinjuku, there is a branch of Menya Musashi which is named by Frommer’s as one of the Top 6 ramen joints in Tokyo. Musashi, along with Ippudo, is one of the icons of Japanese ramen.
We waited in line (for the ticket machine and seats) along the back wall, which is filled with swords and samurai masks. I’m guessing musashi is some kind of samurai….
Going along with the samurai theme, the staff were very animated and often yelled out Japanese idioms. The chef in charge of the noodles let out two very loud yells as he drained the noodles and put it in the bowl. An interesting ramen experience.
I ordered the tsukemen…. the portion here is larger than other places! lots of chewy noodles and two thick chunks of flavorful tender pork. The soup base is shoyu (soy sauce) and is made with pork and chicken bones and dried fish Unfortunately, the soup is a bit spicy..
The parentals didn’t like the cold noodles with tsukemen ramen, so they opted for the ramen in soup.
FAIM? OUI OUI!!!
Menya Musashi 麺屋武蔵
Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 7-2-6, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan, Tel: +03 3796 4634
In Tokyo, there’s a street called RAMEN STREET and it’s located underneath Tokyo station. It has several ramen restaurants but the most famous one is Rokurinsha 六厘舎, which is also currently the most popular in Tokyo.
Unlike the usual pork-bone ramen (tonkotsu), the ramen served here is tsukemen-style (dipping ramen).
I read that there are crazy lines so we decided to go at non-peak hours. We went at 4pm and there was a lineup! crazy!
Rokurinsha is popular with both salary-men and tourists..
I ordered the Ajitama Tsuke-men (dipping noodles with egg). The tonkotsu broth is made up of both pork and chicken and the toppings include BBQ pork slice, fish cake, bamboo, seaweed and bonito powder. The noodles are served separately from the broth and is meant to be dipped into before eating. This method of eating ramen is supposedly to prevent soggy noodles and allow the noodles to have a stronger flavour.
Mom ordered the spicy version.. and for 100yen more, you get a side of spices…
After finishing the ramen, you can ask the server for soup stock to add to the condensed ramen broth to make drinkable soup! Cool!
The way of eating tsukemen is interesting but personally, I like my ramen in soup. With this way of eating, both my noodles and soup get cold halfway into eating. Also, the soup is too strong and flavourful; however, the noodles are indeed more chewier.
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Station Ichibangai Basement Floor, B1F Yaesu South Exit)
To continue with my izakaya-dining itinerary, this meal was a bit different.. we had robatayaki at Musashi 武蔵.
Robatayaki is a method of cooking where food is slowly grilled over hot charcoal.
We requested to sit at the counter so we’ll be closer to the action. You pick whatever you see and it only costs ￥290 per serving!
After the food is finished grilling, the chef hands it over with a paddle. So interesting!
Because it was only￥290 per serving, we ordered a lot!
grilled scallop… so fresh and flavourful! We each had two!
grilled clams…. X2!
grilled pork skewer…
grilled aji fish…
grilled chicken skewer…
grilled pork ball..
steamed enoki mushrooms in broth and butter… so yumm and fattening!
Loved the food and the whole atmosphere. The bill turned out to be 8000+ yen cause the beer was expensive.
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
Shimbashi 2-9-17, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel. 03 3580 3550
It’s hard to believe but we spent 8 hours in a single department store in Shinjuku!!! By the time we finished shopping, it was already 8pm… and we didn’t have lunch. Even though we were starving, we decided to head to the area’s red-light district, Kabukicho, to look for this robatayaki restaurant we ate at back in 2005.
entrance to Kabukicho
We were going in circles trying to find this restaurant. There are no street names in Japan but instead, there are block numbers. I didn’t know that back then, so we asked so many people where block 22/building #3 is. We actually walked past it a few times, looking at a photo of it on my iphone.. before realizing that a new restaurant took over!!! There’s no point of finding another restaurant, so we ate at the new izakaya.
another seafood izakaya! had lots of fresh seafood displayed outside..
It’s very local.. all the menu items are posted on the walls.. but luckily, they had a picture menu..
grilled uni.. I ordered this because I have never had grilled sea urchin before. I think I like raw uni more because the heat from the grill cooks it and the uni becomes hardened..
grilled octopus..so yumms that I forgot to take a photo..
grilled aji fish..
fried mini shrimps..
grilled prawns… it’s still not as big as the ones served at its predecessor…
tamago with tobiko inside!! This was amazing! Hot and silky tamago with crab-roe filling.. oh ma gawd!!
uni baked rice… pretty flavourful but I don’t really liked cooked uni..
kani fried rice.. the crab tasted so sweet!
Pretty good 2nd choice!
FAIM? OUI OUI!!
Nihon Sengyo Kokakurui Dokokai Shinjuku Ebi-dori Honbu 日本鮮魚甲殻類同好会
1-3F Kabukicho 1-22-3, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
opens 24 hours!
Another izakaya we went to was Uoshin Nogizaka 魚真. I actually found this on Cnngo’s best izakayas in Tokyo list and it’s another izakaya specializing in seafood.
It’s located on the site of the old Coca-Cola shop and Uoshin has kept some of the old decorations.
Nokezushi (¥1,500), 8pcs of kappa maki sushi (cucumber) topped with kani (crab), uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe) and negitoro (minced tuna)…. It tasted really fresh but the colour of the uni wasn’t as golden as I would have imagined). Spoonfuls of the most decadent kani, uni, ikura, negitoro.. heaven! The kappa maki was forgotten until the end….
sashimi plate (haibut, sablefish, tuna, mackeral)..
rice topped with salmon in daikon broth…
fried tofu.. so yumms that we ordered 2!
crab… We were actually full by then but the table next to us ordered this and we saw that the crab was already deshelled. No work for us! So we ordered this. The crab meat was really really sweet and juicy.
FAIM? OUI OUI!!!
Uoshin Nogizaka 魚真