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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Week 13 part 5 - birthday in Tokyo

Our Tokyo stay started off with a great lunch recommended by our good friend K. As soon as we checked in and connected to Wifi I found a message on my phone from K. After I told her the location of our hotel she said there's a fish restaurant nearby that she frequents with great lunch menus. I entered the address in Google map and lo! It's all of 300m away! There was no question that we were going there, pronto!

The restaurant Ginbei was tucked away on a back street of Ginza, on the 5F of a non-descript building, with not much of a sign. There was no way we would've found the place if K hadn't told us. 

J again goes for the biggest set there is, and I chose a seafood sashimi donburi (kaisen-don) set.

A big vat of silky tofu steeped in soy milk came out first for us to share. You could eat it as it is, or pour some light soy sauce over it. It was creamy and full of soya flavors. The sashimi in my donburi was super fresh with a lot of silver fish in it. The tempura was also lovely, with a nice crunchy coat. Soba was delicious, although not as good as the one we had in Kurokawa.

J's sashimi platter deserves it's own photo. Not sure if this is exactly appetizing if you're not used to looking at a whole fish, but it sure is fresh!

The rest of his lunch set was equally impressive. He had a choice between grilled and braised fish and he chose braised. It was half of a very large fish head. Again, I think you need to be used to eating every part of a fish to enjoy this meal ;oP

After lunch we went to meet our friends T & A for tea. I chose a place called Glaciel that specializes in gelato desserts in Omotesando when I saw their sakura season specialty.  The menu is extensive and there's a daily rotation of ice-cream cakes that you can sample. A ordered two scoops of gelato: passionfruit and coffee cinnamon. T opted for the dessert platter, which consists of your choice of either two or three ice cream cake/dessert from the daily roster. The friendly staff also brought out a platter of mini palmier for us to sample.

Of course I had to order the seasonal special cake called Sakura. It took 15 minutes to prepare but when it was brought out we couldn't stop woo-ing and ah-ing. Would you look at this?

Each of the perfectly shaped cube is a little bite of sakura flavored peach sorbet, piled on top of a ball of mascarpone sorbet and sakura ice cream in a meringue bowl. The whole thing is then doused in two kinds of sakura syrup. 

On the way out we checked out all their ice cream cakes available for ordering. If you order online there were only a limited choices (which is already a lot if you ask me), but if you make your way to their Omotesando shop you have the whole range to choose from. They deliver to all parts of Japan, for FREE, but not internationally =o(

I'm a creature of habit and always climb to the top of the La Foret building and take in the view when I'm on Omotesando, and today we caught a beautiful sunset!

Since we've been doing so much eating and not a lot of exercising, we decided to walk to Shibuya. We thought about skipping dinner because we were still so full from the late lunch and even later tea, but once in Shibuya nostalgia hit J. He started looking for the tiny yakitori place we used to go once in a while under the train tracks. So this ended up being my birthday dinner.

Department store basements (depa-chika) is a unique experience not to be missed when visiting Japan. You are surrounded by all kinds of beautiful, mouthwatering food, and if you're lucky, some counters will be handing out samples. We went to Toyoko depa-chika after dinner and I picked up a chestnut pie from Henri Charpentier, and two mochi from a Japanese store: sakura and kusa mochi.

This is to be breakfast tomorrow =o)