Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tokyo Eat List ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In case you haven’t checked Instagram lately, Japan has become the new Hong Kong. With reasonable airfares, easier travel requirements, and the Japanese yen at a record low, more and more people have been vacationing in the land of the rising sun, and the bustling city of Tokyo is always the first destination.

People travel to the Japanese capital for several reasons: cherry blossoms, Disneyland, fashion, the energy, or like me, fabulous food, food, and food. It is not true you can get great meals anywhere in Tokyo. Trust me, I wish I skipped a few. For a 100 percent foolproof gastronomic trip, exercise prudence in making restaurant choices, or just trust me when I share my list of favorites. Book them now, thank me later.


Come early or be prepared to wait in line (but it’s worth every second) for the best tsukemen, with noodles so perfect and dipping broth so addictive. I can only imagine how long the simmering process was to bring the chicken and fish broth to that level of depth and richness. Multiple layers of flavors cling to each fat strand of the chewy, bouncy noodle. Fuunji is not for the faint of heart as there is just too much sensuality and satisfaction in every slurp.

Fuunji is located at 2 Chome-14 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 03 6413 8480
See detailed post on Fuunji here.


Unlike the sukiyaki places you are familiar with, where the staff dump everything into a pot, at Imahan, they do things slowly but surely, and ever so gently. My server waited for me to finish my first piece of perfectly marbled meat before he started cooking the next, always making sure to give me a fresh bowl of raw egg to dip each new slice of Japanese beef. After I had consumed all the meat, he prepared the fluffiest, runniest scrambled egg in the same pot, the yellow goop soaking up all the precious beef sukiyaki essence.

Imahan is located at Odakyu Daiichi Life Building 1F, 2-7-1 Nishishinju-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo; 81 3 3345 1470
See detailed post on Imahan here.


Go ahead, order the signature eight-course abalone and Ukai beef set and indulge in one of the best meals of your life, starting with a shrimp cocktail in avocado mousse, masterfully cooked fish, foie gras topped with black truffle (Wow!), chilled onion cream soup, tender abalone in seaweed butter sauce, and the main event–tremendously rich, flavorful, fatty ukai beef. Finish off the extravagant meal with dessert in the tearoom. I highly recommend the velvety, luxurious chocolate cake.

Ukai-tei is located at 5-10-1 Omotesando Gyre 5/F, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo; 81 3 5467 5252
See detailed post on Ukai-tei here.


Located at a quiet residential area, Butagumi is not the easiest place to find, but the search for it will end your search for the best tonkatsu in the city. The restaurant carries around 40 varieties of pork. I decided on trying the Hakkin-Ton sirloin from Iwate Prefecture. It is said that this pig’s parents have kurobuta blood. “Like royal family,” my server said. I was sold. Baby soft, delicate, tender, supple, porky, meaty, and rosy, it was unlike any other fried pork I’ve had before.

Butagumi is located at 2-24-9 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo; 81 3 5466 6775
See detailed post on Butagumi here.


I wish I could insert the intoxicating aroma of grilled meats here so you can experience the magic that happens in this place. The menu at Torishige is in Japanese so I had no choice but to put my trust in Chef Sakamaki, who wowed me, stick after stick, with pork tongue, pork intestines, pork tsukene, and large intestines. Grab a seat at the bar to enjoy the kitchen action and don’t forget to treat yourself to that amazing Japanese beef topped with uni and caviar. 

Torishige is located at 2-6-5 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; 81 3 3379 5188
See detailed post on Torishige here.


Book early at this no-menu, seven-seater sushi bar and let Chef Masahiro Yoshitake take you on a sublime sushi journey. Expect a beautiful progression of sashimi, sushi, rolls, tamago, and soup, each piece showcasing the outstanding knife skills of the chef, his creativity, and his meticulous attention to detail. To this day, I still think about the abalone served in thick and creamy abalone liver sauce. It was like nothing I’ve ever had before, I wanted to hold the plate up and lick it clean.

Sushi Yoshitake is located at 8-7-19 Ginza, 3/F SuzuryuBuilding, Chuo, Tokyo; 81 3 6253 7331
See detailed post on Yoshitake here.


Go for the tasting menu and be ready to sample different cuts of meat—yes, including the male genital organ! My server spoke perfect English and pointed to the corresponding body part of the cow before she cooked each piece of the heart-wrenchingly tender meat, tableside. On her third reminder to eat the beef folded, I asked her why. She explained that because the meat is so fatty and marbled, if I ate it in one single layer, it would just melt, within seconds, in my mouth. Enough said.

Yoroniku is located at B1F Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03 3498 4629
See detailed post on Yoroniku here.

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