Three days ago, I wrote a prequel to Wong Eats Tokyo, where I stressed that I would be diligently updating this blog so that I can best provide you readers with an up to date account of all the things I have eaten in the greatest gastronomical city in the world. Unfortunately, that has not been going according to plan as one simply does not have the energy to write when he is on holiday – please forgive me. But fear not, I have been eating extremely well, and here is a brief recap of some of the things that I have eaten in Tokyo so far… (Full reviews will come soon, I promise!)
Lunch – Tempura Tsuhanachi (Shinjuku Main Store)
After dumping off our luggage at the hotel in Shinjuku, we went out for lunch at Tempura Tsuhanachi, one of the oldest, and most esteemed tempura joints in the city. Come here for spotless pieces of deep fried seafood encased in the lightest of batters. Anago (Sea Eel) is a signature, with the buttery flesh melting in the palate; but if you do not order the tempura egg yolk (JPY150) off the a la carte menu, you and I will never be friends.
Dinner – Omoide Yokocho & Kabuki Cho
To get a real sense of what locals eat, head your way down the busy streets of Shinjuku to Omoide Yokocho – dubbed lovingly as piss alley thanks to all the drunkards there – where you can truly get an authentic taste of Japan. Yakitori (chargrilled chicken skewers) is the main feature on menus, but do make sure you choose one that is full of locals rather than tourists (The one I went to had no tourists, nor did it have an English menu). Order wobbly bits of chicken, wash it all down with a refreshing glass of beer or Umeshu soda and talk to the people around you. Also good is the Chinese food, all fire and spice, which I strongly recommend if you ever want something different.
Lunch – Sushi Kanesaka
It was always my intention to have a Michelin starred sushi lunch in Tokyo. Unfortunately, all the three starred restaurants were either fully booked out for lunch (The concierge for my hotel solemnly told me that they have never ever successfully booked a table at Sushi Saito before), or they were only open for dinner and the omakase menu was gut wrenchingly expensive. With time running out, I threw myself at the mercy of Kaori, my hotel concierge, and she successfully booked me into Sushi Kanesaka, a Michelin one starred joint in the basement of a nondescript building in Ginza. While Kanesaka lacks the lustre and fame of some of the city’s other sushi joints, Kanesaka-san used to be the mentor of Saito, who is widely regarded as the best sushi master in the entire world, and did possess two Michelin stars before the French guide demoted him for being too occupied with his overseas ventures, so the quality of the restaurant is apparent. It was here that I had the best sushi meal of my life (I won’t write too much on it here, as the place deserves a full review). Picture buttery pieces of tai (sea bream), succulent toro that melts in the mouth, and a live, seasonal torigai (Japanese cockle) that is the sweetest and most tender piece of mollusc I ever had the fortune of eating.
Dinner – Villa Bianchi
Dinner was a reunion with a very old friend of mine who now studies in Tokyo, so we chose a friendly, small Italian joint, where we dined on freshly baked pizzas and comforting plates of pasta rich with cream, cheese and olive oil. While the steak was a let down, the Capellini with Arrabbiata Sauce more than makes up for it, with its pungent, spicy kick.
It’s only been two days, but there is no way you can convince me that there is a better food city than Tokyo in the world. It is belly heaven, almost as if God created the city for his own dining purposes. There is a restaurant for every purpose, expensive or cheap, and it is simply impossible to have a bad meal here. This concludes my recap for the first two days of Wong Eats Tokyo, do follow my Instagram for more pictures, and I will be writing another recap soon. Until then, cheerio~