おいしい Tokyo! - 美味东京

I’m not a foodie, not at all. But I grew to become one while experiencing Tokyo.

我不是个会为美食而疯狂的人。但在东京这几天,我为日本美食而疯。

Dining in Japan, to me, is akin to appreciating a sacred form of art. One thing which made eating such a joy was the recognition of how much LOVE and PRIDE the Japanese put into their food preparation process. Expect the freshest ingredients, cleanest hygiene practices, most courteous staff and irresistibly mouthwatering food presentation.

这里有最新鲜的食材,最卫生的烹饪过程,最友善的服务态度,最令人垂涎三尺的食物呈现方式。这里,是个让人不禁对“吃”这件简单平凡的日常所需而感到肃然起敬的国家。我揣着如膜拜神圣艺术品般的仰慕之心来用心品尝东京之味。

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First recommended dish – Teppan Okonomiyaki

Let’s take a look at how this piece of art was crafted under the nimble hands of these young artistic chefs.

第一道美味好介绍:铁板海鲜煎菜饼

以下是这个“艺术品”的制作过程:

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Step 1: lay out the “canvas” and “sketch” the foundation

第一步:铺好”画布“,基础最重要。

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Step 2: adorn the canvas with a playful sprinkle of fish flakes

第二步:随意地在“画布”上洒些鱼薄片,上了第一层颜色

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Step 3: Enrich the art piece with bold colours

第三步:以大量的包菜与猪肉片为”作品”涂上亮丽的彩妆

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Step 4: Here’s the test of our food artists’ skill and mastery – swift frying of the noodles and construction of the Okonomiyaki’s basic frame

第四步:这是考验我们“煎菜饼艺术家们”的真功夫的主要步骤。一手翻炒着日本面,另一手已经准备好快速塑造“艺术品”的雏形!

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Step 5: Preparing the key ingredients of the masterpiece – look at how huge the scallops are! Not to mention how juicy and fresh they taste!

第五步:主角登场!鲜美多汁的海鲜在铁板上吱吱作响,我的胃早已等不及了!

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Final Step: Brush a layer of teppan sauce and decorate the final product with succulent seafood bites and the delicious masterpiece is ready!

最后一步:涂上香滑的酱汁,再摆上刚烧好的海鲜,大师级的作品就呈现在眼前!

And right there, the okonomiyaki was presented in front of us without a plate. We were supposed to eat straight off the teppan board – how interesting! While savouring our dishes, the next batch of artwork were being prepared right in front of our eyes, just like an entertaining live performance :)

做好的煎菜饼直接被推到顾客的面前,我们就这么大口地在铁板上大快朵颐,真痛快!眼前不仅有美食,还有忙碌的厨师艺术家们精心地准备下一批作品,十足的味觉与视觉享受。

This shoebox-sized food place is secretly tucked in one of the main streets along the Shimokitazawa area – a laid-back “college town” frequented by the young and the young-at-heart. Be forewarned about the waiting time! My local friend and I stood outside the store for a good 45 minutes before getting in. I was told that on a busy day, the waiting time could stretch to as long as 2 hours!

Hiroki

Address: Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-14-14

Price of my Seafood Yakisoba: 1,260 Yen (about $13 USD)

这间名为 Hiroko 的不起眼的小店坐落在下北泽的一角。由于与好几所大学相邻,下北泽是个充满了年轻人的大学城。少了原宿的吵杂与花哨,多了一份悠闲与自在,这里布满了个性小店、咖啡厅与小吃店。如果想来Hiroki品尝美味的煎菜饼,可得做好排队等待的准备。我跟朋友在店外足足站了45分钟之后才被请进店内,而这还算幸运!听说在最繁忙的时候,等待的时间要将近两小时呢!

地址:东京世田谷区,下北泽 2-14-14

价钱:海鲜煎菜饼 - 1260 日元(13 美元左右)

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Second Recommended Dish:  Oil Noodle @ Abura Soba!

下一道美味好介绍:油干面

Japanese ramen are famous for their thick and richly flavoured broth. Under the recommendation of my local friend, I was brought to one of the Abura Soba chains to try out the latest trend in town – Dry Noodle.

说到日本的拉面或是乌冬面,人们便会联想到重口味的面汤。在当地朋友的介绍下,我很兴奋地品尝到了最近越变越红火的新式“干拉面”!

Never judge a noodle by its appearance! What seemed like a nondescript dish turned out to be one of the BEST Japanese ramen I’ve ever tasted!

The noodles at Abura Soba are basically drained dry and completed with a sprinkle of toppings no more than a few slices of roasted pork, bamboo shoots and seaweed. There was free-flow of chili oil, chili flakes, vinegar and fried onions on the tables as additional garnish. The secret, though, behind its heavenly taste is the special sauce hidden beneath the noodles.

I was taught the proper way of eating this – position the vinegar and chili oil bottles above the bowl and pour 2 circles-full of each over; then stir and mix the content until the texture of the noodle becomes a little “sticky”.

别小看了这碗不起眼的拉面。碗里装着的不只是师傅们的烹饪才华,也是他们对自家面店的满满信心与骄傲。看着许多头一次光临的顾客,师傅们会郑重其事地“教”他们如何享受这干拉面。如果不懂得欣赏,仿佛会亵渎了这美味一餐背后的心思与巧工一般。

这干拉面的正确的吃法是:将桌上的醋与辣椒油以转圈圈的方式倒在面上(量多量少因个人喜好而异,我各淋了两圈)。然后,用筷子快速地将所有食材均匀拌开,直到面有些粘稠为止。

This is again another humble-looking eating place without any waiter. All you have to do is to place the order via the vending machine. The buttons on the top row refer to the original flavour with different sizes (並盛 =Small; 大盛 = Big;W盛 = XL) while the buttons on the second row refer to the spicy flavour. Various additional toppings are also available (if you know how to read Japanese).

小小的餐厅没有服务生,只有一架自动售货机。如果喜欢原味拉面,就按最上排的按钮(並盛 =小碗; 大盛 = 大碗;W盛 = 超大碗)。如果喜欢辛辣口味,就选择第二排的按钮(我选的是小碗的辛辣油干面)。如果看得懂日文的话,还可以选些附加食材,为拉面加料。

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Notice the many alarm clocks on the wall? Every portion of noodle is cooked for 4 minutes and 20 seconds – no less, no more. It’s all about absolute precision.

This was by far the most delicious and memorable ramen experience I have had. So awesome that I even thought of getting a franchise license and introduce it into Singapore! Hahaha. Business partner, anyone? ;)

墙上挂满了定时器是为了确保每碗拉面都只下水煮4分20秒,不多,不少。对火候的拿捏与时间的长短是决定拉面口感的关键。

这里的辛辣油干面是我吃过最好吃,最难以忘怀的拉面。好吃到我甚至想把它引进到新加坡呢!有人想合资吗?哈哈!

Abura Soba (油そば)

Address: Akasaka-Mitsuke 3-10-20

Price of the noodle I ate: 730 Japanese Yen (US $7)

油面店 (油そば)

地址:东京都港区赤坂3-10-20

价钱:一碗辛辣味油干面(无加料)730日元(7美元左右)

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Third Recommended Dish: Shabu Shabu

第三道美味好介绍:涮涮锅

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This was overall the best meal I had in Tokyo.

一人30美元的涮涮锅套餐是我在东京吃过的最美味的一餐。

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When my friendly colleagues in Japan proposed the idea of having shabu shabu (Japanese hotpot), I was skeptical, for I didn’t have any good impression of the shabu shabu places in Singapore. Somehow the visual image of shabu shabu in my mind was a paper pot heated by disposable lighters… (haha, thanks to the bad dining experience in one of the Japanese restaurants at ION Orchard) Furthermore, I’m not much of a “meat person” to begin with. With much skepticism, I followed my colleagues to Shabusen at Ginza Core.

 When I took my first bite, I was BLOWN AWAY.

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我不是一个很爱吃肉的人,而且对日式涮涮锅也没什么好感。所以当我的日本同事们提议去吃涮涮锅时,我怀着的是很不以为然却又不好意思拒绝的态度来到了银座的Shabusen。

经过了这次的经验后,我的心我的胃已经完完全全地被日式涮涮锅给收买了。我对这种无法言喻的美味佩服得五体投地。

Joke of the day: one of my colleagues mentioned that he would love to be a Hokkaido cow in his next life because the cows are not only fed with beer, but also have dedicated masseurs to loosen up their muscles on a daily basis! :D

日本的肥牛不只天天以啤酒下肚,还有专人为它们按摩、松懈肌肉。做一只好命的肥牛其实也不错?但这也再次证明了日本人对餐饮食材有多么的讲究。

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The beef slices were paper thin, the sesame sauce was well-seasoned with a tinge of spiciness, the tofu was so light that it instantly melted in my mouth. And even the seaweed tasted so light and so different from the ones I tried elsewhere! Gosh my mouth is watering all over again recalling those moments!

薄如纸片的北海道鲜牛肉,味道恰到好处的芝麻调味料,入口即化的豆腐,口味奇特的海带。。。想想就让人垂涎三尺啊。

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Shabusen

Address: Level 2 Ginza Core shopping mall, Ginza, Tokyo

Price: 3000 Yen per pax for the promotional dinner set (100g of Hokkaido beef + vegetables + choice of udon or rice)

Shabusen

地址:东京都中央区銀座5-8-20

价钱:促销晚餐配套 - 每人3000日元(约30美元)

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Spotted a Food Avenue and a Kitchen Street in the humongous labyrinth-like Tokyo Station. Good spots for those who seek a quick bite or junkies who wanna indulge themselves  in a sea of candy and Japanese snack stores.

人来人往的东京站有两条食品街。喜欢买包装精美的小零食或是想缓解饥饿的行人不妨到那里溜达溜达。

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Shark fin Hong Kong noodle (2700 Yen) – something interesting, but tastes a little bland

鱼翅香港炒面(2700日元)- 看起来特别但是味道有些淡,而且没有多余的配料。

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Restaurant name: Choujoumen Tsukushirou

All guests have the privilege of using their VIP wash room. To keep this interesting coin, I skipped the tour to their fanciful washroom :)

餐厅名称:顶上翅中餐厅

这个贵宾洗手间的主意很有趣,也很有创意。在这里用餐过后,不妨去看看他们的洗手间有多“贵宾级”,或是像我一样,拿个厕所金币收藏起来 :)

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This is named the #1 dessert in Tokyo Station – Arinco Salt Caramel Roll   (1500 Yen)

Freshly baked fragrant swiss roll with a caramel twist. Thumbs up! However, the portion is a little too much for 1 person to handle, best to be shared among 4 persons.

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Kumquat Jelly Cup (380 Yen)

I’m a citrus fan and this is refreshingly delicious! The lovely presentation gets a double thumbs up from me!

偏爱柑橘口味的我,对这个金橘果冻无法抗拒。再加上精致的包装,我不得不给它打个满分!

The downside to my gluttonous Japanese food adventure? Withdrawal syndrome upon getting back home. That’s not to say that Singapore has no delicious cuisine, in fact, I’m a big fan of the many local delights. But when it comes to the above authentic Japanese food items, you just can’t find the exact replicates here. Above all, it was the magic of being there that enchanted the whole dining experience under an irresistible spell.

回到新加坡后,我仿佛是得了戒断综合症般地思念东京的美食。并不是说本地没有美食,这里是个众所周知的美食天堂。但想要找回跟在日本时一模一样的餐饮乐趣,几乎是不可能的任务。毕竟,“身在其处”便是这段美好旅程的魔法所在。只好等到下一段日本之旅吧!:)

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4 thoughts

  1. Pingback: Home Away From Home #2 – Shangri-La, Tokyo (東京香格里拉) | Travel + Photography

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