Our flight to Narita arrived circa 8pm, which meant that by the time we got into the city, checked in our hotel and got ready for dinner... it was the next day. Not really, but almost... We made it to dinner around 11 pm Tokyo time, 10 pm our time. Jon's friend Yuki was extremely hospitable and showed us a secret spot nearby for dinner. One minute we were walking along the busy Shibuya streets and the next we were taking an elevator and being transported into a Japanese garden. Yuki did all the ordering (obviously there was no Ingrish menu here) and left us to eat alone. If you're asking why we didn't invite him, he had a club event to go to for his *birthday* He ordered pretty "safe" dishes for us - an interesting salad to start, followed by a fresh sashimi platter, then came some yakitori sticks and we finished up with steamed fish. The fish was first served raw, and we steamed it ourselves. You can see the transformation below :)
Jun 28, 2009
In search for something sweet to cap the night off, we found a restaurant that was still serving late-night orders. We originally wanted crepes, but none of the creperies were open :( I forgot where we ended up, it was a loungey like place serving what seemed to be Western food. We headed straight for the dessert menu, which was in English accompanied with pictures - score! This made it easy to order a few desserts to share... Until our waiter told us, "One person, one order." Ohhhhhh, so each person has to order something. Here I am thinking *Yes! 5 people = 5 desserts* Looks like we stumbled into my kinda place ;)
If you want to take a meal off from Japan's local cuisine, at least try their take on Western fare... We took a chance at Freshness Burger, and WOAH our stomachs almost thought we were at an In-n-Out! Freshness Burger is a [semi] fast food joint that makes burgers fresh to order, using all natural and organic ingredients. Throw in there the original potato fries, organic coffees, teas and freshly squeezed juices! The World Spice rack I assume is popular for those who have their own personal favorites when it comes to condiments and sauces. Im gonna need me some more freshness when I make my way back to Japan!
The website is here - for those of who you can understand...
Jun 27, 2009
The Japanese are very creative with anything involving packaging and presentation... Look at how they laid out these berri-colorful fruit tarts, they practically made our eyes pop. We were at Shibuya Seibu Loft, needing a little sweet-fuel to keep us going until dinner time when we saw Cafe Comme Ca. How could we pass this up! The tarts are prepared whole and a slice gets cut off once you place an order. We chose two: a chocolate berry tart and a very berry tart :)
Let me just start off by saying it's very hard to get a bad meal in Tokyo. All the restaurants we ate at during our trip were fantastic, from the quick meals to the sit-down dinners. Nevertheless, we were somewhat limited to places that offered a translated English menu, or "Ingrish menu" if you will. Japanese characters got us nowhere and the plastic food/picture menus can only get you so far if you want to know what exactly is served on top of that rice bowl.
This is the first meal we had on our own (the first meal in Tokyo our friend Yuki from Japan took us to and he did all the ordering aka no English menu) and I must say, we did pretty good for ourselves! Obviously we used the English menu as a guide, but we were able to make killer choices. Lookie lookie below...
Jun 26, 2009
Just like the fro-yo obsession isn't limited to LA, neither is the cupcake trend! While browsing a mall (I forgot exactly where we were) near the Shibuya Station, my cupcake radar went off when I saw a cute little setup called Ciappuccino - small-sized cupcakes in an array of flavors topped with pastel colored frostings. We, the girls, tried the cookies & cream cupcake; vanilla sponge cake with semi-chilled cookies & cream flavored frosting plus a mini chocolate oreo. The reason I say semi-chilled is because the frosting was a bit cold, its texture was similar to cool whip. It was a tasty on-the-go sweet fix while exploring the malls of Shibuya!
Looks like the fro-gurt craze isn't just in our own little LA bubble... Enter Tokyo's frozen yogurt concept *Razzle*Berry* It was hard not to miss this store-front while walking along the streets of Shibuya. The girly-baroque interior is decked out in shades of pink with a black chandelier hanging from the ceiling. On the particular day we visited, 2 flavors were available: natural yogurt and chocolate. The toppings are displayed as "gems" and the sizes come in Cute (S), Sexy (M) and Glamorous (L). The three of us girls enjoyed our treat while listening to the catchy pop tunes playing in the background. You gotta hear it: *Razzle*Berry* website
Whether you've been working too late into the night, partying too late into the night or are just plain hungry late into the night Gridskipper has suggested some spots that are open and willing to serve 'round the clock (almost).
Check out the post here.
Jun 25, 2009
The second of Jon's birthday dinners was celebrated in a different fashion - at Manila's newly opened Trilogy Boutique + Canteen. In fact, Jon and his two sisters Vicky and Rosario are partners in this new venture along with Steve Aoki and Chef Fernando Aracama. Trilogy Boutique blends together the trio of important elements in youth culture today: apparel, books and accessories. Trilogy Canteen rests on the concept of "simple and good food."
For Jon's birthday, Chef Fern - who is so warm-hearted and incredibly talented in the kitchen - so kindly cooked up a feast for an intimate group of Jon's friends. It was the "official unofficial" debut of Trilogy Canteen :) When I asked if I could get little hints of the birthday menu, I was told, "I'm just gonna cook you food, place it in front of you, and hope you eat it." Um, more like we inhaled it!
There are a few favorites worth mentioning: chopchop chicken salad, beer battered fish with chips, homestyle spaghetti with meatballs, and bananas foster a la mode. Now isn't this a dinner you wish you were invited to!
For more on Trilogy Boutique + Canteen check out these links: