i love the way that restaurants in japan concentrate solely on one dish – so you go to a ramen restaurant and there are maybe 2 choices, but thats it – we used to do that in england with say fish and chips and pizza, but now we seem to offer everything else – choice seems to be a vital factor for us westerners. yuki has taken us to the best tasting and authentic restaurants, and because the pound is strong, they are very affordable, around £15 a head. here are a few of the ones that we ate in.
in Meguro, we ate tonkatsu at tonky – served with finely shredded cabbage – this restaurant is very busy, you cannot book for the downstairs restaurant, which is a bar around the chefs preparing and cooking the whole meal in front of you – its a wonderful spectacle, a family run restaurant – its worth the half hour wait. note that people in japan tend to eat earlier, so restaurants are busy even by 11.30am or 6pm.
there is a lovely restaurant to eat lunch at in the converted Maach arches on the ground floor – converted train station, just near the ‘electric’ area – the area for buying everything electrical. the maach arches sell gifts and design items.
asakusa soba noodles – very popular noodles place just up the road from the temple in asakusa.
miyagawa tempura restaurant, just at the end of the street with the designer shops come des garçons and prada. serving only tempura, this tiny restaurant sits about a dozen people, but if you can sit round the counter, you can watch the lovely old man preparing and cooking the tempura right in front of you.
Fumin chinese restaurant in omate-sando, – chinese food with a japanese twist, very delicious.
lunch at Tokyu foodshow – lots to take away, but little places to sit and eat; we had set sushi for about £7 per head and it was very tasty. tokyu foodshow is tokyo’s equivalent to selfridges food hall – you will find the best of tokyo’s artisan biscuits, chocolates and cakes all under one roof.
for a mid afternoon break, have green tea and typical dessert of gelatine, tinned fruit and red bean in nihonbashi – with 60’s interior. dont know the name of the restaurant, but its just by the metro station and before amaze yokocho avenue, you will notice the lovely wooden windows with the traditional tracing paper on the windows. japanese traditional architecture is wonderful design and especially so from the 60’s.
dinner in teppanyaki restaurant, matsunami which you cook yourself on a hot plate – very old fashioned sitting on tatami mats in Nihonbashi, which is a lovely area of old fashioned local trades, including omelette making, beautiful sweets and rice crackers and kimonos.
all the shopfronts in nihombashi are the beautiful original wooden fronted style and it seems that most of these traditional family run restaurants and tea houses are good quality and inexpensive. its an area that i recommend walking around to see old tokyo – sometimes referred to as downtown.