Tag Archives: tokyo

Japan: The Food! Part Four (Finale)

To see Parts 1, 2, and 3, click here! To read all my posts on Japan, click here.

We continue the food journey of Japan in Kobe, where we once again got lost because of the really lame map in our guide book. We were attempting to find a gyoza (dumplings – that’s all they serve) restaurant, with very little success. This kind man offered to help us, and after calling the restaurant multiple times, and wheeling around in circles for about 10 minutes (hey, even he was lost), we eventually found it. Not really worth the effort, but as good as gyoza can be, I guess. Kind of a dive, though.

JP looks unimpressed.

The real reason for being in Kobe was to try Kobe steak. Oh, yeah, baby. We had a reservation at the restaurant recommended in our book, and made sure to find it ahead of time. It wasn’t too hard to find, but we had about an hour to spare before our reservation, and it was chilly out, so we stopped at the local Victorian-style Starbucks.

Finally, time for dinner.


I cannot express just how amazing this meal was. We sat right in front of a grill, watching the chef cook during the whole meal. He was methodical, and precise with every movement. Each little onion ring was flipped individually. Mesmerizing.

Started with a salad and raw scallops.

Then… time for the steak. He only cooked part of it at first, then cooked vegetables, then the remainder of the beef. Perfectly done, melt-in-my-mouth tenderloin steak. It was the best meal of my life. I’ve never had a steak that comes even remotely close to the tenderness, and the amazing flavour of this one. That’s saying a lot because I live in Alberta, home of Alberta beef, which is pretty darn good.

I want to keep talking about this steak, but I really don’t have anything new to add!

So, on to the subway station, where we spotted this gem. From super-delicious to none-to-appetizing (just goes to show how much packaging affects our decisions to buy food!):

That night, JP wanted a little snack, so he went to pick up a banana at the local 7-11. Here’s what he found (there’s no shortage of packaging in Japan):

Finally, to conclude my food posts of Japan, I will end with my birthday dinner at The New York Grill, in Tokyo. This is the restaurant where scenes from “Lost in Translation” were filmed, and easily our most expensive meal ever. It was pretty posh! The food was amazing, and I decided to treat myself with Japanese steak again; it wasn’t Kobe beef, but from a different region of Japan – still freakin’ amazing.

Before dessert, I informed the waiter that it was my birthday, and asked if I could please have some candles with it. I was really pleased that he used two candles: they look like the number “11”, same as my birthday!

I chose the brownie sundae.

Wordless Wednesday: Tokyo

(For more Japan posts, click here. So now this post is officially not wordless.)

Japan: The Food! Part One

For my 40th birthday this year, my husband surprised me with a trip to JAPAN! I knew I was going somewhere, but I didn’t know where until the night before. We just returned a week ago – it’s hard to believe it’s already a memory. I have so much to write about, but I will start with the food. For us, travel is always about the food.

Our first day in Tokyo, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before – I didn’t even know what half the stuff was!

Even though our book suggested getting sushi at the market (“what could be fresher?”), we were chilly and decided to get a bowl of ramen noodles from a very busy stand.

This little place even had a write-up in the New York Times!

As far as I could tell, the cities we visited only had beverage vending machines (with the exception of two: one ice-cream machine, and one snack food, both in a subway station). These beverage vending machines were everywhere, even in little alleys, making it really easy to find water. We did try some of the other drinks, but it was almost impossible to know what it was going to be unless there was a picture of fruit on it. There were even alcohol and cigarette vending machines.

Whenever we stay in hotels, we seem to get a craving for chocolate. I can probably blame the minibars for tempting me, and the fact that I will almost never take anything from a minibar because it’s so outrageously expensive. Needless to say, we made several trips to the local 7-11, but the chocolate bars left something to be desired.

There was not a huge amount of selection, but Japan does seem to have a bit of a love affair with Kit Kat. There were all kinds of flavors of Kit Kat: green tea, dark, regular, some weird one that I never tried and had no idea what it was, white chocolate with Oreo-type cookie, and even strawberry (which tastes like strawberry Pocky).

Kit Kat became the official bar of the trip, and I made it my mission to find the best priced green tea Kit Kat to bring back home.

There were lots of these little cookie/cake places around. I’m not sure what they actually are, but they are usually made fresh (the smell is amazing), they look cute, and they are filled with something chocolatey-ish. We tried one and it was kind of like a not-so-good waffle, and mega disappointing. In fact, many of the baked goods were disappointing, except in the French bakeries, of which there were many – we are still wondering why!

There were so many “fast food” stands, with many things that I had no clue about. I gave one a try and it was pretty tasty. It was a deep-fried rice/sesame batter with some semi-sweet stuff inside.

That’s it for now… but there’s more, much more.

To be continued!!