Take me back to Tokyo already! In London it can be hard to find real good food wherever you go. You can easily walk into average food places that look pretty – but in Tokyo it’s hard to not stumble into amazing fresh food whilst wondering around the city.This post is going to be food related (surprised I know). This is only a smidgen of the fantastic food I tried whilst I was there, there was still much more I missed out on. I will refrain from babble, lets face it all you want is foodporn and where to find it.
1-1-7 Ebisu | 117 Bldg.1F – Shibuya Station
If you’re looking for snazzy dining, then this isn’t your place. There’s often a queue outside, you shuffle along till you finally reach inside and then pick what dishes you want from the vending style machine which produces a ticket of your order for you to pass onto the waiter.
Afuri ramen was fresh, light and almost floral. I went for the classic grilled pork which was so delicate and so good.
The only place to sit in Afuri is at the bar which curves around the kitchen so you can watch all the talented chef prepare your dish.
Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten
4-8-5 Jingumae, Shibuya 150-0001 – Omote-Sando Station
Tonkatsu is beautifully light and crispy whilst filled with juicy flavoursome pork. This is a classic must eat in Tokyo, not only because it’s gorgeous but because you will not find it anywhere in London (I’ve tried hard, even the foodie network can’t help me out). You will get unlimited (bitter) iced tea, a small starter, a plate full of shredded cabbage and unlimited refills of sticky rice, not to mention a free scoop of sorbet as a palette cleanser to finish.
There are many different dishes with different quality of pork and prices, but even the ‘standard’ pork dishes are beautiful!
1-22-7 Jinnan | Iwamoto Bldg. B1F – Shibuya Station
Out of all the ramen I tried, this has to be my favourite, mainly because the broth had so much flavour I could have it all by its own. Just like Afuri you will wait in a queue, order from the machine and wait to be seated. One tip, this place gets ridiculously busy, we had to abort our first visit one evening as the queue was too big, so make sure to go early!
You get your own little booth to eat in (you can move the side doors if you are with friends), your own water dispenser on the left and a button to press if you wish to order more food (if you have left over broth you can add fresh portion of noodles to finish it off). A waiter will lift up the blind if you want more food, it’s a bizarre experience as you can’t see the waiters face, so the human interaction is next to none, but I found it quite refreshing as your sole attention is focused on your food and what you’re tasting, not your surroundings.
-14-12 Roppongi | Roppong 3Chome Building – Roppongi Station
If you’re looking for an impressive and reasonably priced udon, then this is your haven. In terms of experience, atmosphere and food quality all in one, this was one of my favourites. You can choose from the smoking and non-smoking area (yep it’s still legal to smoke indoors in Tokyo). Choose the non-smoking because you will sit in a traditional style room at the back. We took our shoes off before entering and put them in a shoe locker, if you need to go to the toilet they will give you clogs.
One of the novelties of this place is the HUGE udon bowls you get, they’re massive! But don’t worry they’re not filled up to the top. However, for the same price you can choose from 1 portion, 1 1/2 portion, 2 portion, 2 1/2 portions or portions. Now, don’t get brave, I have a big appetite and 1 portion was enough for me, I would say 2 portions max if you’re a big eater.
This was the carbonara udon choice, being part Italian made it hard for me to accept udon carbonara… but it was actually very tasty. However I would recommend the beef curry style udons, utterly divine
Unlike London, Tokyo aren’t big on their desserts being served in restaurants, instead you find an array of solely dessert places. However we went for this, doughy rice balls covered in sweetened soy sauce, which wasn’t to my taste but interesting I have to say.
Name in image below
This was one of those classic good joints we stumbled upon whilst in busy Shibuya. The food was super cheap but fresh and tasty. Here I had a simple gorgeous ramen which was served with loads of pork (unlike most other places).
Sadly I don’t have the translation for the name of this place, but it’s about an 8 minute walk from Shibuya Station (anyone that could translate this for me would be amazing – name in image below).
[Check out my other Tokyo posts for more food, cakes and coffee]
© Amelia Hallsworth – Photography, Coffee, Food & Recipes 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amelia Hallsworth – Photography, Coffee, Food & Recipes with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.