Japan Trip 2010: Tokyo Part II

All posts in this series:

This is my last Japan photo post… I revisited Tokyo on the last day of my trip and it was truly bittersweet.

The last hotel: Touganeya hotel in Ueno

(If you’re ever in Tokyo I highly recommend this especially if you’re on a budget… reviews here)

Breakfast at Bubby’s near the train station

Bubby’s originates from New York?

And their pink lemonade is “FUCKIN’ FRESH” apparently. I notice that English cuss words are “trendy” in Japan.

Choco mousse pie:

Flavored Kit kats at the train station:

Iced tea? I’m not even sure of this but I didn’t buy it:

Lunch at a small but multi-story tonkatsu restaurant in Ueno (our lobby manager said that tonkatsu originated in Ueno):

US tonkatsu doesn’t even compare… even when its made at ‘authentic’ Japanese restaurants or markets.

Visited the Tokyo Zoo (my little sister loves animals)

Yup these elephants were attempting to mate and it was a HUGE spectacle but the male got stage fright and nothing happened. LOL.

Next stop: Akihabara (electronic mecca of Tokyo aka geek paradiiiise)

Pachinko!

We went to a giant electronics department store.. think Best Buy but 8 floors and the most high tech gadgets you can imagine in the most colorful designs ever!

Nintendo DS:

Cute pink Canon photo printer:

Many of the staff spoke English and they really try to push hard at selling to foreign buyers. Not in an impolite way of course but they are very eager and happy to help with questions.

Yes this is a Winter Sonata Korean Drama Nintendo DS game!

Colorful touch screen phones:

I was SO TEMPTED to buy one of these tiny Sony Vaio laptops in white! Look at the size relative to my hand… and I have pretty small hands at that:

A little egg shaped mouse (I bought a white one to use with my little pink netbook)

Touch screen net book! BOTH screens are touch-screens.

More crane game prizes:

Halloween-themed Capybaras

REALLY super cute cats

The sheer number of cat design is mind boggling. Creativity is unconfined in Japan!

Girls dressed up in maid costumes to promote their maid cafés! My friend said prices were exorbitant ($8 cup of coffee?)

I don’t quite remember what company this mascot is from but he is damn cute.

Another meal at the swanky Ginza district. We had chazuke which is essentially rice with green tea.

Chazuke sounds like a really plain dish but our waitress explained to us that this certain type of chazuke was more refined and ‘special.’ Basically… this type of chazuke was for more wealthier people back in the day.

Here she is explaining what the different mounds of food are: mashed egg yolk, finely ground white fish, and finely ground egg white.

The spread:

Various side dishes to the left, chawanmushi (steamed egg) in the top middle bowl, and agedashi tofu in the bottom middle bowl.

The next photos will be of my last and most memorable experience in Japan.

An old college friend of mine is good friends with this Iron Chef, Mr. Hirano, AKA “The Captain.” I’m unsure if he was in an American Iron Chef episode or a Japanese one but they kept replaying this Iron Chef opening on a TV in the corner. My college friend said apparently he got a perfect score.

(photo via)

Here’s a more recent photo of him… my friend was laughing because Mr. Hirano went to Hawaii and became SO TAN that an African American man stopped him and asked for a photo because Mr. Hirano was DARKER THAN HIM. LOL

Doremi of Tokyo is located in the Ginza District of Tokyo and its main cuisine focus is teppanyaki, or the style of cooking where an iron grill or plate is used to cook your food.

The menu changes with the seasons. This is basically the ENTIRE kitchen:

We got the “Expensive” Menu set:

Expensive
*3 Appetizers
*NY-Style Pan-Fried Breaded Garlic Scallops
*Cod with ‘Saikyo’ Miso Doremi-Style

Please choose one of the following:
*Beef Fillet with Foie Gras Kabayaki-Style
*Beef Fillet with Korean Kochijan Sauce and Kinzanji-Miso Alan Wong-Style

*Acqua Pazza of Homard Lobster
*Ultimate Chicken Cheese
*Doremi’s ‘One Spoon’
*Please select an Okonomiyaki of choice from the a la carte menu
*Dessert
6,000 yen

Spicy egg drop soup:

NY-Style Pan-Fried Breaded Garlic Scallops:

Cod with ‘Saikyo’ Miso:

And one GIANT pepper mill for a dramatic effect.

Doremi’s ‘One Spoon’ dish. Basically you eat this in ONE bite. Oyster, pork cheek, monja Flakes with truffle oil. SO DELICIOUS.

The finished product:

My most FAVORITE dish of the night was beef steak with foie gras and dried mango slices. Seriously this was so incredibly amazing. I’m not a huge food snob but this was pure. unadulterated. HEAVEN.

A salad with roasted cheese crisp:

Another salad:

Okonomiyaki:

Lobsters cooking in a foil bag on the grill:

The finished product: Acqua Pazza of Homard lobster:

Mr. Hirano tried to do this trick at least 10 times during the night.. basically he spins a raw egg on his spatula, then launches it in the air and turns his spatula 90 degrees so the raw egg lands on the blade…

I wasn’t able to catch a successful attempt but I managed to catch one of his mistakes.. can’t blame a guy for trying! He did manage to do it correctly a few times. Still amazing!

And something so amazing and memorable: Towards the end of the night Mr. Hirano asked my sister and I to wear some official chef garb! I was so shocked and I felt so privileged to wear it!!!!! He said that he had never seen someone so enthusiastic about taking photos of food before… lol. So I guess that made him happy.

He insisted that we do the Iron Chef “pose”…He even asked us to go behind the kitchen counter!

And that’s the end of my Japan trip series! Thank you so very much for following me on my journey through Japan… I encourage you to visit if you can :)

I can’t wait to go back!

♥ E&I