Category Archives: Japan

New Friends at The Roastery, Shibuya

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There are so many good coffee specialty places these days we are getting way too spoilt for choice. Most of these coffee specialists boast swank interior design, top-of-the-range equipment and most certainly all sorts of single origin arabica royalty. But every once in a while, you stumble upon one which has all of the above…and more. Continue reading

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Jack Dreams of Sushi Sho

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Hello all! I am finally awake from my slumber. If you like nice food, you might know of Chubby Hubby. I am a fan of his blog. He eats well, he writes well, his pictures are pretty, and I also really trust his taste. Some months ago, he declared Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Sho the best sushi chef in the world. That was a huge compliment paid. And truly well deserved I found out. Continue reading

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Bridge by Sturdy Style

If the kitchen is your favourite room in the house, then you will be right at home at Kappabashi Dori in Tokyo. Every time I visit, I spend hours eagerly trawling the entire stretch of the street, fascinated by the myriad of kitchenware displayed in the shops Kappabashi is so famous for. From the sharpest Japanese knives, to realistic plastic food-lookalikes, to exquisite ceramic ware; if you need it, I’m sure Kappabashi has it. But for a street that has everything to do with preparing food, there is nary a spot for weary shoppers to rest and grab a drink to recharge. I am in for a pleasant surprise this time. Continue reading

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Nogizaka Uoshin

While in Tokyo, we asked a couple of new friends made over dinner to recommend a restaurant they would go back to time and again. In a heartbeat, Nogizaka Uoshin. Why? For freshness, good service and great value.

Uoshin is a fish izakaya chain and the Nogizaka outlet is a favourite for its character. A hop, skip and a jump away from the upscale Tokyo Midtown complex, Uoshin is a popular after-work hang-out for office workers from the neighbouring business districts of Akasaka and Roppongi. Continue reading

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Winter Wonderland Niseko

Snow sports fashion is mind-blowingly awesome; the variety of designs and styles out there are certain to awaken your inner shopaholic. A trip to a few snow sports shops to browse last year very quickly turned into an uncontrollable shopping frenzy. After three hours…jacket, check. Pants, check. Inner wear, check. Goggles, beanies, socks, all check. All that remains now is just some snow. Not so easy if you live in the tropics or suck at predicting weather! Continue reading

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A catty business

Yes, literally. Tokyo never fails to amaze me with her eclectic mix of cafes and today I was pleased to discover yet another hidden gem. I spent a wonderful half hour at Hapineko in Dogenzaka, Shibuya, a cafe where guests chill out in the company of cats. Continue reading

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Death by Kohii

Flying red-eye into Tokyo is not much fun, especially when you arrive groggy, water-retained and not able to check into your hotel just yet. Such was my predicament last Sunday morning; I figured there was perhaps one thing that could solve all these problems for me.

Coffee.coffee.coffee

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The Great Burger, Tokyo

(Clockwise from top L to R: Avocado burger, Cafe Hohokam; Burger, Ark Hills Cafe;  Hamburger with sunny side-up, The Great Burger; Avocado and Mozzarella Burger, The Great Burger)

Our concluding post on Tokyo is on a topic very close to our hearts – BURGERS. But what exactly makes a really great burger? After chancing upon a cafe in our Shibuya Cafe Magazine with that exact name, we knew we had to hunt it down immediately. Tucked away in an obscure side-street along Cat Street off Omotesando, The Great Burger is not the easiest cafe to locate, but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait (and persevere!). Continue reading

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Foodie Haven: Akasaka, Tokyo

Being a brisk 15 minutes’ walk from my apartment, Akasaka was the natural dining destination for us on many of the frigid days and nights during our recent stay in Tokyo. Not that we were complaining. Akasaka, one of Tokyo’s several central business districts, is lined with hundreds of restaurants concentrated within four blocks bound by Sotobori-dori and Hitotsugi-dori.

While we could only cover a mere fraction of the restaurants in the area, we did find some very very good chow indeed. Here are our top 4 favourites, excluding Aronia De Takazawa which is also located in Akasaka (and our obvious ichiban!). Continue reading

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Neighbourhood crawl: Kappabashi Dori, Tokyo

Kappabashi is popularly known as Tokyo’s ‘kitchen-town’ and is truly a place with shitamachi (old-school downtown) flavour. There are dozens of shops lined along Kappabashi Dori selling kitchenware and anything and everything you need to start up a restaurant – think specialty shops offering plastic food, blackboards and menus, chef knives, yakitori grills, chef uniforms and large ice cream cone fixtures, to name a few. Even if you just love to cook, this street will drive you wild – this is, by a mile, my favourite place in Tokyo and I can spend as much as half a day here each visit.

A day after last Friday’s earthquake, I hurried down to Kappabashi Street, concerned how the store owners and their wares were keeping. I had just been to Mashiko the day before the earthquake stuck and read that many of the stores and museums had suffered substantial damage.

At Kappabashi, business was as usual on Saturday for most stores. While some reported minimal damage to goods, thankfully, most had escaped unscathed. I highly recommend this wonderful stretch of shops just one station away from Asakusa if you are thinking of setting up a restaurant or cafe, love cooking or simply want to marvel at the many offerings on display – one of the most meaningful and fulfilling ways spend an afternoon, in my opinion!

Nearest train station: Tarawamachi Station on the Ginza Line, exit 3.

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