Being pregnant makes me think of food all the time and I couldn’t help but reminisce about our food trip in Japan last March. So allow me to go down food memory lane to take you through a few of my favorite food memories of Tokyo (I’ll do Osaka another day).
We took a Shinkansen (bullet train) from Osaka to Tokyo and back. Since it was about 3 hours per way, we had to buy food from their food stalls in the train station. We just chose the safe bets – Tonkatsu and Katsudon. My husband and I shared each meal and we weren’t disappointed. The pork was not soggy despite being in a packaged container. It was crunchy. There was no fat. The pickled veggies tasted fresh. The dill sauce was amazing. 10 thumbs up!! (What am I – an alien?)
There was a day we were so hungry from walking all over different districts, I wanted to eat beef or steak but we had no cash left and we were in the Asakusa Nakamise shopping district which mostly had cash-only restos. Thankfully, we spotted a Yakiniku resto. Once again, fresh beef, not at all greasy. (Somehow the local Yakiniku restaurants leave a greasy taste in my mouth).
We had the most amazing yakitori on earth in this Yakitori Alley in Shinjuku where my husband ordered Sapporo beer. We were wondering why a bottle was so expensive (650 Yen) and then when the bottle arrived we understood. It was huge – something like 600ml. My husband didn’t want to drink that much so he offered some beer to this Japanese guy beside him who was already a little drunk. He happily accepted of course. 6 sticks of yakitori later, we get a huge bill (yes, it was pretty pricey despite it being, literally, a hole in the wall). However, Mr. Drunken Businessman, who was obviously touched with my husband’s generosity, insisted on contributing 1,000 Yen to our bill, way beyond the amount of the beer he drank. Kindness does pay!!
Maisen is this out-of-the-way tonkatsu restaurant in Omotesando. My OB was raving about it and she said it was a must to eat there. It was a bit of a challenge to find but we got there and it was good! Other typical Japanese fares like Hamburg Curry or Gyoza or Tempura were similarly amazing. We loved all the places we ate in.
Although we didn’t binge, we still ate a lot and my husband and I noticed that despite all the food, we never felt bloated or full. The food didn’t taste oily and didn’t leave a greasy feel on your chest (like all the oils are stuck there). NOT EVEN A QUARTER POUNDER FROM MCDONALDS!! (I can’t eat a quarter pounder here without feeling like I want to turn bulimic after)
What do they put (or not put) in their food? They ate pork, beef, the same things we did. They put sauces. They cooked in oil. It boggles my mind. And when we came back, I actually lost 4 pounds despite all the food. There was a lot of walking though but we also ate a lot.
I really can’t think of a local Japanese resto which can match the food quality and somehow the trip has spoiled my taste for local Japanese food. Well, maybe Keizo in The Fort (near Burgos Circle) comes close. Yum, anyone care to join me for lunch?