うまい鮨勘 Umai Sushikan @ Tokyo, Japan

When in Tsukiji Market, what shall one eat? Sushi of course! (besides the many snacks you can find there). We visited Tsukiji Market on day 15 of our Japan trip. It was our last full day in Japan before flying home.

I skipped those famous sushi shops where throngs of sushi fans form the long lines. I’m not at that sushi fanatic level. I can’t/don’t really eat raw and don’t know how to appreciate it. So, we randomly choose a sushi shop away from that row of famous sushi place. We went to Umai Sushikan うまい鮨勘. Sadly, there’s a line too. It should be good news, right? Means, it’s famous. LOL Time was around 12.05pm. So, I guess lunch crowds.

Umai Sushikan うまい鮨勘 @ Tsukiji Market, Tokyo
We were seated after about 30 minutes of waiting.
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キッチンオリジン Kitchen Origin @ Tokyo, Japan

We discovered a treasure place for dinner not far from our hostel, Nui in Tokyo on day 14 of our Japan trip. Every time we passed by Kitchen Origin, the food inside always looks so tempting. So we decided to give it a try before flying home soon. Kitchen Origin, owned by AEON, is a take-out only bento shop. It just opened less than two weeks prior to our visit actually. I found out about it at their Toshu website. Previously, it was occupied by Origin Bento オリジン弁当, a sister company also by AEON.

Unlike Hotto Motto, there’s no ticket meal machine here. In Kitchen Origin, you either order at the counter and the food will be cooked for you or you take your pick at the already prepared bentos and side dishes.

Kitchen Origin @ Tokyo
These are the side dishes, sold by weight.
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Tsukemen At 麺屋武蔵 Menya Musashi Bukotsu @ Tokyo, Japan

We went to Menya Musashi Bukotsu near Okachimachi Station on day 14 for our lunch. This place was recommended by a friend. As I’ve not tried tsukemen before, I was really excited for my first experience. Although it was past lunch (around 3pm+), there was still quite a long queue. So yeah, my expectation jumped up quite a bit.

Tsukemen つけ麺 is a type of ramen dish where the noodles and broth are served separately. Unlike the typical ramen, where you have noodles sitting in the broth all in a bowl, in tsukemen style, you are given two bowls with noodles in one and broth in another. How you eat it is by dipping some noodles in the broth. Literally, tsukemen is called dipping ramen.

Meal Ticket Machine @ Menya Musashi, Tokyo
Meal ticket machine at Menya Musashi. Gotta say, this ticket machine was the most difficult to decipher! LOL We guessed the red ones are warm tsukemen (2nd from right) while the blue one (right most) is cold tsukemen. Went for the cheapest since we guessed it’s the smallest bowl. Just before writing this post, I tried translating the characters… and turned out the pricing differences are for the flavors.
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How To, Soup

How To Make Pork Stock

Have you ever wondered how a bowl of Chinese pork/chicken/prawn noodles from hawker stall is ever so rich in taste? Okay, msg might be one of the reasons. But then, have you ever wondered how they are made; the authentic kind? It always start with a stock. It’s the base of every soup. For this post, let’s learn how to make a simple pork stock. I’ll also show you an example of what I use the pork stock for.

Pork Stock
My beautiful pork stock!
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Bento Lunch From ほっともっと Hotto Motto @ Tokyo, Japan

I visited the University of Tokyo for koyo on day 12 of my Japan trip. University of Tokyo or Todai is known for its beautiful ginkgo trees during fall and indeed it was REALLY stunning! After our visit, we realized it was time for lunch. Without any idea what to eat, we checked out the shops opposite the university and settled on this particular one called Hotto Motto ほっともっと where its main customers are mostly students.

Hotto Motto is a fast food restaurant that serves take out bento aka lunch box. Hotto Motto is not a dine-in restaurant, hence you can only find chairs for you to sit and wait for your order.

Buying Meal Ticket @ Hotto Motto, Tokyo
Use the ticket machine to buy meal ticket.
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Thumbs Up For 銀座 篝 Ginza Kagari @ Tokyo, Japan

Updated 2nd Feb 2018: This main shop is temporary closed for relocation.

There’s one really famous ramen shop located at a small alley in Ginza, Tokyo that’s been garnering lots of fans and curious gastronomers in recent years. Ginza Kagari is the name and its signature ramen, the tori paitan soba (chicken soup ramen) is really no joke! What more? It has a Bib Gourmand status awarded by Michelin. Bib Gourmand means exceptional good food at moderate prices (Wiki). My other Bib Gourmand’s adventure were at Kiji and Fukutaro (both at Osaka).

So on this faithful day 11 of our Japan trip, we arrived at 10am to make camp at Ginza Kagari’s front door. We were first of course. Tsk, it opens at 11am. However, because it was raining, we decided to take shelter at the nearby Matsuya Ginza 松屋銀座, a classy department store. We were all particularly fond of the basement level (read = food!). We went back to Ginza Kagari at 10.40am and were still first in line. Must be the rain. Hehe.

Do note that you cannot queue for others and they only accept cash. So come prepared with Yen and patience.

Ginza Kagari @ Tokyo
The front door of Ginza Kagari. It’s not opened yet. While waiting, take the menu and decide what you want.
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