In preparation for the Azabu Juban Noryo festival happening in our neighborhood this weekend, where I plan to eat my way from street-to-street for 3 straight days, I thought I’d clear some space on my camera and share a few food pics I’ve had in the vault. I’m not sure our hurry-and-take-the-photo-so-I-can-shove-this-in-my-mouth photography really deserves the label “food porn,” but in any case, I thought these few photos were worth sharing. Itadakimasu! *
A few weeks back, I was wandering the streets of Kappabashi (the kitchenware district, this site does a great job of describing it) and it was sooo hot and I was sooo hungry. I stepped into the only restaurant I could find, where, alas, there was no English to be had, so I ordered the daily special, which was a gigantic plate of tempura. Luck be a fried shrimp! (Two actually, along with mushrooms, okra, eggplant, and shiso. This meal was also served with rice, soup, pickles and tea. Oofdah.)
Dan and I discovered this place while wandering the streets of Shimokitazawa, a hip neighborhood of Tokyo that has been compared to Williamsburg in NYC. May I present a ball of rice wrapped in bacon (!), sort of like a meat version of onigiri. I may have put mayonnaise on mine.
Last weekend we found the ramen shop Gogyo, where the ramen is served black! I had the kogashi shoyu, Dan went for the kogashi miso. Both were “burnt” ramen, and I’m not sure how they got it that way, but the open kitchen had big flames and the ramen had that delicious almost-burnt, grilled-meat flavor. We’re definitely going back for the black (alliteration is irresistible!).
Tokyo summers — the bad part is that it’s hot, the good part is that there is kakigori, a shaved-ice mound of sweet deliciousness much like the slushie I wrote about a few weeks ago. Kakigori is seasonal, so I plan to eat as much as I can in the next month.
There you have it. Don’t get me wrong, we eat a lot of weird and perhaps not-so-good things too (including the random mystery vegetables I try to cook at home), but those aren’t as fun to share. Or are they?
* Your language lesson for the day: Itadakimasu いただきます roughly means “I humbly receive,” and is a traditional greeting before a meal.