Tokyo Trip Report

Night 1 dinner

Made reservations at the most well known, 1 Michelin star tempura restaurant Kondo 90 days in advance. I decided to cancel it in favor of the lesser known Seiju after getting a tip from a Toyko businessman who said the ingredients are better at Seiju and that at Kondo you’re more likely to be seated in front of an apprentice than with the head chef.

Seiju is a one man show and the chef trained at the very famous Raku Tei. Dinner was amazing and easily the best tempura I’ve ever had. Not cheap at 16,500 JPY pp but also not as absurdly expensive as Tempura Endo LA.

The anago was out of this world amazing as was the mushroom with sweet shrimp.

Service is impeccable. New paper towels were used every 3-4 pieces. We had a lefty in the group and we noticed utensils and dishes placed accordingly. The complexity and flow of each dish and the total dinner was as good as any Michelin 2 star in many of the restaurants in Europe.

Highly recommended.

Ridiculously good clam soup with large meaty clams

So they give you salt and lemon as dipping and also the tempura dipping sauce with daikon. You were given 2 pieces of everything which I assumed was so you could try one with salt/lemon and one with tempura sauce/daikon. I saw that the other Japanese patrons only used the salt/lemon and actually used the brown dipping sauce to soak the daikon in before eating, sort of as a palate cleanser. In any case, I preferred the tempura with salt and lemon since it allowed flavor of each ingredient to truly shine.

Delicious kuruma ebi x 2

Tempura spring bamboo. So simple with a touch of salt yet such a treat.

Uni wrapped in shisho

Thinly sliced raw squid paired with the roasted fins. Awesome.

Really amazing shiitake and kuruma ebi. They were whole shrimp and not shrimp paste like at some of the places back home. Much more difficult to get whole shrimp to stick and cooked perfectly.

Seaweed with crab

Best anago I have ever had. The skin so crispy it was like anago chicharone.

7 Likes

No sushi yet?

Any plans to visit Tsukiji?FYI they will be relocating to a new facility at the end of the year. If you decide to go, get the early am tuna auction tix for the best experience. It’s mind blowing the variety and quality of seafood on display

Sushi on the last night.

Maybe some breakfast sushi tomorrow at Tsukiji.

Night 2, 2nd Dinner

Went back to Toritama Shirogane at our scheduled time.

Tried to order as many unusual cuts as possible. All really really good.

Highly recommend this place.

Liver and meatball. Meatball had little bits of cartilage included which added a great textural component.

Chicken soup.

Chicken neck. I love this cut. Like thigh but with a nice chew to it. It’s a shame we don’t get this back home.

Best chicken don ever.

Aorta (aka special heart), chicken wing

Trachea and unformed egg. Both excellent. Trachea had a nice crunch. Informed egg was just the yolk and attached is the ovaries, uterus, etc. I don’t know how they grill it without popping the yolk. It’s liquid inside.

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Chicken rice and soup

Diaphragm. Like the next portion but chewier.

Inner thigh. More tender than the entire thigh.

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Ramen Alley at Tokyo Station.

We actually couldn’t find ramen alley initially so ended up at a shop in the corner with along line of businessmen. The pictures showed good shio and shoyu broth so this was our pick.

The rule of following the lines worked perfectly. Broth was very complex with many ocean notes due to the bonito, dried sardine, and seaweed component in the broth. Broth was a touch salty but not overbearing lot so. Noodles were thin and perfect. Chasu was again perfect. Thick but even the lean park melts in the mouth.

Then we headed to ramen ally which boasted 8 flavors of ramen. Again we chose shio. This was part of the Setsgaya chain. Cleaner and very correct technically but the cha shao chasu was tough compared to the previous version. My sister got the milkier richer version which was better than the shop version. Gyoza was perfect. This one had the second longest line after the tsukemen line next door.

Gratuitous shot of a McDonald’s rip off. Reminds me of McDowell’s in Coming to America (aka best movie ever).

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Porthos…Baller extraordinaire. .

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Night 3 dinner.

Kanda. One of the few Michelin 3*s that would take a party of 5. We got our own private room.

Service was impeccable. Staff to patron ratio is 1:1 if not more.

Cuisine was spectacular. At $300 all in which included 3 rounds of junmai daiginjo sake x 4 pours each and 10% service charge, it is the best QPR 3* out there and one of the best tasting food wise.

My sister was under the weather and didn’t feel like eating raw stuff so they switched out all her raw dishes and made some pretty amazing dishes on the fly.

Many of the ingredients used are seasonal.

Grilled baby ayu.

Uni wrapped in Tai and shiso flowers for us

Fried Spanish mackerel for my sister. Light oatmeal like coating but finer (? rice) and the fish was pristine sweet.

Tai sashimi with lightly torched skin for us

Tai en papillote with shiso for my sister. I liked this dish even better than the one we got!

Amazing sweet shrimp dumplings with edamame again.

Amazing chu toro brushed with a thicker slightly sweet soy glaze and kasugo (baby snapper) belly. Wow. So tender and the kasugo may have been even better than the chu toro. I could do an entire sushi meal from this chef.

Braised baby snapper head for my sister

Sawara grilled with miso and topped with fried wild vegetables

Shabu of wakame flown the same day from the chef’s home prefecture of Tokushima. The wakame was thicker and had more texture than your regular wakame. It was dark brown initially and turned green upon cooking. The resultant broth with the clams was better than ambrosia.

http://www.pref.tokushima.jp/english/attraction/food/index08.html

Mizayaki beef. Coated with that thin corn meal or rice meal. Really nice and really tender. I think it was sous vide so it wasn’t overly fatty. I don’t typically like Kobe beef but this was excellent.

Fried Sakura shrimp over rice and seaweed. So good it’s hard to describe.

A duo of desserts. Strawberry custard with Sakura jelly and hojicha ice cream(amazing).

Pacing was perfect and 2.5 hours passed rather quickly. Highly recommend this for traditional high end Japanese fare.

5 Likes

Before heading to the airport.

Tsukemen at Tokyo station’s ramen alley. Really good. Like Tsujita annex level.

Really good Chu toro at JAL 1st Lounge. Like Kiriko level good.

1 Like

great stuff - thanks P