EATAKU

I travel for work. I eat for fun.

Posts tagged Japan

91 notes

KFC Karaage, Tokyo

Togoshi-Ginza is this amazing shopping street in Tokyo where small “mom & pop” vendors sell all kinds of local delicacies to passers-by. It’s become a beloved destination for many of the city’s foodies. One of the main foods the pedestian-only street’s become known for is its “karaage”, or Japanese-style boneless fried chicken. There are several shops that sell regional varieties from around Japan, featuring different marinades and spice blends, like Torian from Oita.

I hit up Togoshi-Ginza on my last trip over in June and was shocked to find that Kentucky Fried Chicken has quietly opened a branch on Togoshi-Ginza! But this is not your average KFC. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only KFC that specializes in Japanese “karaage”, which they don’t even sell at their normal outlets in Japan…

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KFC “Tori Kara Te”, or “House of Chicken”, only offers four things on their menu, four different types of boneless fried chicken…

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The four flavors are Original Recipe, Spicy, Crispy Rice & Pepper and Soy Sauce…

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100 grams, or about a quarter pound, will run you around three bucks, which gets you about 3 or 4 pieces. They also offer a special box with two pieces of each variety…

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I have to say, the chicken wasn’t half bad. KFC is clearly putting their best foot forward to compete on Togoshi-Ginza.

If you do go to try the fried chicken, please eat at some of the street’s other karaage places first! You’ll find some of the best in all Japan right here on these Tokyo blocks!!

Filed under Tokyo Japan KFC fried chicken karaage

229 notes

Tonkatsu Taihou, Meguro, Tokyo

As the Disney Japan offices are located in Meguro, I obviously spend a lot of time in that area when I’m in Tokyo. However, whenever we go out for lunch, we end up leaving the Meguro area as my colleagues always say there’s really nowhere good to eat near the offices. But after doing some research and exploring a bit more on my own, I’m discovering that that’s just not true. There are some GREAT eats in the Meguro area, as long as you know where to look!

I actually had, and I do not say this lightly, THE BEST piece of tonkatsu ever in Meguro when I was there in June…

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Yes, I’ve eaten at Maisen and Butagumi and plenty of high end tonkatsu places around Tokyo, but Tonkatsu Taihou raises the bar far above all of them…

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With only an eight seat counter and small table in the back, when you walk into Taihou, you feel like you’re walking into an intimate sushi restaurant, not a fried pork place…

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Taihou opens at 11:30am for lunch. Folks start lining up around 11. First person in line gets the first seat at the counter, the next person gets the second seat and so on. And that’s the order the chef serves you in. I happened to be first in line so got seat #1!

As soon as you sit you get your tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and salad…

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Your “condiment” selection: Taihou’s special tonkatsu sauce, hot oil, mustard and salt…

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Once you order… I went with their “tokujyo roast”, aka “top cut pork loin”… the chef prepares every piece from scratch. First using a “pig sticker” to poke holes in the pork…

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Tossed in homemade flour…

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Next it goes into the eggs, freshly beaten with chopsticks…

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Removed…

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Into the pan on panko bread crumbs next…

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This is where my piece of pork spend the most time, as the chef would cover it in panko, then press down hard, dig it out and do it over again. He repeated this action about four times…

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Then it was into the hot oil and fried until golden brown, cut and served…

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The eight plates lined up on the counter for the people sitting in the eight seats…

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Pork perfection on a plate! Crisp, thick and juicy with just the right balance of meat and fat…

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Don’t forget the sauce…

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The memories of how good this was brings a tear to my eye even now…

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Served with all-you-can-eat white rice and cabbage, and a bowl of miso soup for about $18!

The chef believes that there’s no need to do anything special or fancy with pork. That if prepared properly, the flavor speaks for itself. He says he buys the best pork from the same butcher every day and strives for consistency by keeping his recipes and cooking techniques simple. The same way that was taught to him. No adjustments. And by doing so, hungry fans keep lining up on a daily basis…

TONKATSU TAIHOU

1 -6-15 Meguro

Tokyo 153-0063 

Japan

+81-3-3491-9470

http://www.tonkatsu-taihou.jp

Filed under Tokyo Japan Meguro tonkatsu pork loin

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KFC Japan’s New “3D Chicken” Contest

As a way to help celebrate Colonels Sanders’ birthday, which was September 9th, and also increase their number of Twitter followers, Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan has launched a new contest where they’ll be giving away 50 one-of-a-kind 3D-printed KFC collectibles.

All you have to do in follow them on Twitter at @KFC_jp and tweet out as much as you like from now until September 24th using the hashtag #KFCカーネルズデー (which translates as “KFC Colonel’s Day”) and the URL back to their homepage, bit.ly/1qUR3SV . Each tweets enters you another chance to win.

The unique 3D-printed prizes you could win by doing so are:

A customized KFC fried chicken keyboard…

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Only one will be made.

A KFC drumstick mouse…

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And only one of these will be made as well.

A KFC drumstick USB drive…

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And again, only one will be made.

Ladies who love KFC get a little luckier though as the remaining 47 prizes will be pairs of KFC drumstick earrings…

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Finger clickin’ good!

Images via http://www.kfc.co.jp

Thanks to @foodiebuddha for the heads up!

Filed under KFC Japan Kentucky fried chicken contest 3D printer keyboard mouse USB earrings

193 notes

Burger King Japan first tested “Black Burgers” about two years ago, so when I saw their press release about another go-round starting next week, I didn’t think it was even worth mentioning. Been there, done that, right?
Boy, was I wrong!
Just saw this story mentioned on NBC! A Japanese gimmick burger on national news?! (So many of you may have already seen this by now.)
I guess what’s different this time around is the black cheese.
Yes, black cheese!
Made with the same bamboo charcoal they use to color the buns, supposedly.
These new versions also are also topped with a squid ink and garlic sauce.
The patties are made with copious amounts of black pepper, just like last time.
The “Black Pearl” comes plain for maximum blackness. It’ll set you back about five bucks.
The “Black Diamond” is topped with lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo to help make you feel healthier downing one. It’s also about two dollars more.
On sale September 19th nationwide.
Image courtesy of burgerkingjapan.co.jp

Burger King Japan first tested “Black Burgers” about two years ago, so when I saw their press release about another go-round starting next week, I didn’t think it was even worth mentioning. Been there, done that, right?

Boy, was I wrong!

Just saw this story mentioned on NBC! A Japanese gimmick burger on national news?! (So many of you may have already seen this by now.)

I guess what’s different this time around is the black cheese.

Yes, black cheese!

Made with the same bamboo charcoal they use to color the buns, supposedly.

These new versions also are also topped with a squid ink and garlic sauce.

The patties are made with copious amounts of black pepper, just like last time.

The “Black Pearl” comes plain for maximum blackness. It’ll set you back about five bucks.

The “Black Diamond” is topped with lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo to help make you feel healthier downing one. It’s also about two dollars more.

On sale September 19th nationwide.

Image courtesy of burgerkingjapan.co.jp

Filed under Japan fast food Burger King black burger black pepper squid ink black cheese

117 notes

It seems blueberry was the flavor of choice for Japanese Oreos this summer…

In the first pic here, you have the Blueberry Yogurt Mini Oreo Bars, topped with white chocolate. You’re encouraged to freeze them before eating.

The second image is a bag of Blueberry Cheesecake Oreo Soft Cookies.

I loved the Blueberry Yogurt bars, especially frozen, but the soft cheesecake Oreo cookies were disappointing.

However, Japanese Oreos continue to leave Japanese Kit Kats in their dust of late!

Filed under Japan Oreo cookies Oreos Kit Kat blueberry cheesecake yogurt

189 notes

Code Name Mixology, Tokyo

The “Willy Wonka of extraordinary cocktails”, that’s how Japanese food and drink writer Melinda Joe referred to Code Name Mixology owner and head bartender Shuzo Nagumo in her recent Japan Times article. As I’ve been known to enjoy a cocktail or two in my day, when I visited Tokyo last month, I knew I had to go…

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I popped into the Akasaka outpost, which can be a little difficult to find in its second floor location, so look up…

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With it’s warm lighting and dark wood design, you instantly feel comfortable upon walking into Mixology…

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Unlike other cocktail joints you’ll find in Tokyo, Mixology’s counter and walls are covered in bottles, glasses, shakers, spirits, barware and all kinds of fun clutter that helps makes you feel more at home…

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Yukino Sato was our bartender that night and she was simply wonderful!

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While they do have a cocktail menu, at Mixology you’re encouraged to simply tell Sato-san what sorts of flavors you like and she’ll mix you up something special with your favorite alcohols and seasonal fruits & vegetables. I started with a gin-based, fresh watermelon cocktail…

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Topped with salt foam…

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Then it was on to a rum and passion fruit Tiki-themed number…

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The bar has a rotary evaporator where Nagumo-san infuses and distills a myriad of fun flavors into all kinds of alcohols…

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Like his foie gras vodka that tastes just like foie gras!!

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Which Sato-san made me a marvelous martini from…

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Last up was a Bloody Mary made from scratch using a fresh tomato, prepared and served in the most entertaining of ways…

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You can see a video of the show you get if you order this drink here.

Now that takes skill!

Codename Mixology also serves food and their talented chef, Takahashi-san, prepared us plates of house smoked snacks, like duck breast, A5 grade Japanese beef and bottarga…

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The winner though was this smoked clam from Hokkaido. If you ever go and see this on their menu, do not pass it up…

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Thank you, Sato-san, for a most entertaining and eye-opening evening!

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Here at Code Name Mixology, everyone gets a golden ticket… in liquid form!

CODE NAME MIXOLOGY

3 −14−3 Akasaka, 2F

Minato-ku, Tokyo

Japan

+81 3-6459-1129

Filed under Tokyo Japan Akasaka cocktails cocktail bar foie gras vodka Bloody Mary passion fruit clam beef