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Another Japan trip report - Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima

sophielu | Apr 24, 201511:54 PM

Just finished our trip in Japan and the food was just amazing. Ate way too much but no regret. I especially love the small restaurants where you sit at the counter, watch all the action and can chat with the staff.


*Nihombashiisesada - walked by this place while searching for somewhere for lunch on our first day. The unagi was good but not mind-blowing.

*Kanesaka (Ginza) - our first sushi experience in Japan. Loved all the food. Highlights: uni w/ baby shrimp and maguro cheek.

*Butagumi - about 10 different pork to choose from onthe day we're there. We choose 3 different cuts and each one is distinctive. The coating was light and crispy, not greasy at all. The best tonkatsu we've ever had. A must for all tonkatsu lovers.

*Narisawa - a glorious meal in both flavors and presentations. Just about everything was perfect. Hubby didn't care for one dish much, the duck. Apparently, that has been a problematic dish, according to someone who works at L’Effervescence. If we would have known, we would probably have requested the alternative, beef, as it looked absolutely divine. The use of unusual ingredients, such as mold that is found exclusively in Japan, is just amazing.

*7chome Kyoboshi - the best tempura ever. The coating is so light and crispy. Every piece was fried to perfection. No tempura sauce in sight for dipping. You're giving lemon juice, powdered salt and a dish of daikon (I think with lemon juice mixed in) to cool down your tongue in between bites. My favorite was the quail egg.

*Tapas Molecular Bar - a fun, interactive dinner. Food was really good. People who love molecular gastronomy would enjoy this place. Highlights: Mushroom, Cigar, Bisque.

*Ryugin - it was an exceptional dinner. Highlights: Owan Soup (prawn and bamboo dumpling, rice cake), Grace of Hometown (Sanuki Olive Beef) and the desserts (one piece of strawberry and hot sake and cold sake).

*Maison Paul Bocuse - this seems like an unlikely choice. However, I wanted a more traditional French meal and that is what I got. The V.G.E. truffle soup was lighter in flavor than expected. Sea bass in flaky pastry was delicious. Mother Fillou’s Bresse chicken en vessie had great flavor.

*L’Effervescence - overall, an incredible meal. However, as we had lunch at Narisawa the same day, I can't help but to compare the two. Personally, I like Narisawa just a little more. Highlights: From an idea of apple pie #19, selection of vegetables.

*Jiro - 20 pieces in about 20 minutes and we enjoyed every single piece. Some unexpected flavors and textures. I've never tasted sushi so good before. It was an honor to have Jiro serve us.

*Mandarin Bar - it has a great atmosphere. Enjoyed a lovely bonito infused sake.

*Albatross - I think this place may have become a tourist trap. Not a bar I enjoy hanging out at.

*New York Bar - we just wanted to check out the bar. Nice views, good music. Staff couldn't communicate too well in English when I asked about whiskeys. The bar just feels a little crowded and smokey.

*Bar Masion @ Henri Charpentier Ginza - enjoyed wine and coffee with some nice dessert.

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