March 16, 2023

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 6: 3 cafés

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It's our second morning in Tokyo, and time to get ourselves some coffee. We were starting to feel a little tired from the traveling, so we got ourselves out the door around an hour later than I had planned. No matter. Still plenty of time to hit two cafés, both in the Tsukiji (築地) neighborhood.

I first came across Coffee Amikane (コーヒー網兼) in 2014 when Fergie and I were wandering around the Tsukiji Outer Market (築地場外市場). It's a cute little hole-in-the-wall, and back then Hatsue baa-chan just looked soooo cute in her apron, working the enamel pot and heating the coffee cups in a water bath over a gas stove with two hobs. The coffee was simple and cheap, but Fergie and I just loved the place with the vibe. It had been open for more than 50 years by then, and it was just a piece of Tsukiji's history. I managed to return the following year for another visit, but hadn't had to opportunity to go back since then. With each subsequent visit to Tokyo, I wondered about the lovable grandma, especially considering her advanced age. Was she still with us, and was she still running the shop?

March 15, 2023

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 5: the reunion

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It's been more than 4 years since this gang met up, and now that borders have opened up, it was time to hang out with Cow, Chicken, and H-man. As usual we asked H-man to choose a restaurant, with the understanding that BYO is not an issue and the food doesn't break the bank. Odajima (小田島) is a wine bar that serves Japanese kappou (割烹)-style cuisine, and I was happy to check out a new place I haven't been to.

Bottarga with mochi (唐墨と餅) - this is always a good combination, especially when wrapped in a piece of nori (海苔). But not for anyone who dislikes having things stick to their teeth...

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 5: the first experience

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Our mission this morning was, once again, shopping. We had discovered some time ago that there are shops in Japan which sell utensils designed for lefties, and there's a left-handed spatula in our kitchen which needs replacing. I had done some research and found a shop in Kappabashi Dougu Street (かっぱ橋道具街) which has a section for people like Foursheets.

I had long heard about Kappabashi but just never got around to check out the area, because buying kitchen utensils or professional equipment for restaurants somehow just wasn't a priority. So it was fun to come check out the different types of shops, including ones that sell those plastic fake food items that are in the display windows of so many restaurants across Japan.

March 14, 2023

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 4: bongwater Vietnamese

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I'm flying solo in Tokyo tonight, as Foursheets is meeting up with one of her besties. As luck would have it, Big Mac is in town on business. So it was a perfect opportunity to catch up with him after more than a year. I was, of course, tasked with choosing the restaurant, and I did something a little out of the ordinary this time.

A few of my wine friends in Tokyo have been frequenting a place called Ăn Đi, a place serving Vietnamese cuisine which has a well-known sommelier. I had always been curious about the place, so I decided to book us seats to give it a try. I also booked the wine pairing.

Bánh mì - with mashed potato and purple cabbage, mint leaves, a big cashew nut, and lemon sauce.

Everything everywhere all in my tummy: legendary pain

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It’s out last morning in Fukuoka on this leg of the trip, and we decided to take in a full breakfast at Hotel Miyako Hakata. Restaurant XXXX on the top floor of the hotel provides a decent view of the city, provided one can snag a table by the window.

We chose the Japanese breakfast, which included a range of little nibbles starting from sashimi, mentaiko (明太子) - a local specialty in Fukuoka, grilled cherry salmon (桜鱒)… etc. It was pretty filling, and would give us a good start to the day.


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