EATAKU

I travel for work. I eat for fun.

Posts tagged Japan

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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

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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

112 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

188 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

221 notes

Oreryu Shio Ramen, Kagurazaka, Tokyo

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I’ve walked by this joint a dozen times, usually going to eat at other restaurants in Kagurazaka. However, Oreryu’s recently started to get some serious buzz, so I had to drop in see, smell and savor it for myself.

All the hype has been mainly over one specific bowl they serve, their “Jukusei Shio Ramen”, or age shio ramen, so I went in knowing that’s what I’d be eating…

All the buttons on their ticket machine have pictures and English translations, so non-Japanese speakers need not worry. And priced at only about seven bucks, one bowl won’t set you back too badly…

There are a few tables inside the place, but I always prefer the ambiance of the counter, piled high with bowls here…

The variety of toppings you get once you sit down are one of the other reasons Oreryu’s become buzzed about, as they’re all homemade. Like their yuzukosho, umeboshi paste and spicy garlic paste…

As well as their “rayu” chili oil, dried nori and konbu seaweeds…

You can put as much as you like of any or all them in your ramen once it arrives…

I always tend to go for mine “as is”… (Except at Tenkaipin!)

The broth here at Oreryu is made with shio (salt) and chicken bones, but it’s not necessarily “paitan”, which is usually much thicker, like tonkotsu. This is a lighter, milky broth with an increased saltiness, obviously. It’s much less fatty, which is where a lot of the positive press has been coming from. “Similarly flavored soup, half the fat.”

Oreryu serves theirs traditionally with menma, scallions and roast pork. They also add in some greens.

While it was a little light when compared to how I usually like my bowls, that didn’t stop me from ordering “kaidama”, or another handful of noodles to toss in the extra soup…

We also got an order of their “karaage”, or Japanese fried chicken, which was excellent and went so well with several of their toppings, like the chili oil and yuzukosho…

And you can’t not order gyoza, which were also wonderful…

While I like my ramen soups to be a little thicker and meatier, if you prefer a less artery-clogging experience with just a much flavor, go see this man!

ORERYU SHIO RAMEN

2-11 Kagurazaka

Shinjuku, Tokyo

Japan

+81-3-3266-1050

Filed under Tokyo Japan Kagurazaka shio salt chicken paitan ramen noodles karaage fried chicken gyoza tsukemen