Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Fortnight in Japan - Eating in Tokyo and Kyoto

You may have noticed that the posts so far have really been more about the sights than tastes. You might be asking yourself, what happened to them? Were they too busy running around shrines and temples to enjoy the culinary wonderland that is Japan? Never fear, a significant portion of the trip was devoted to seeking out, consuming, and documenting the deliciousness that is everywhere there. I had written out a list of things that we wanted to eat, and we struck off every single item. We took pictures of almost all of it, and put them in a separate photo album on Picasa, all 196 photos. Definitely check them out if you want to build up an appetite quick! In this post, I just want to highlight some of the meals and snacks we had in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara.

Kara-age (fried chicken) buns at a bakery in a train station.
Japanese fried chicken is amazing, wherever you have it. Always
garlicky, flavorful, and crisp, even cold.

A typical vending machine at the entrance of a fast-food restaurant.
Put in your money, pick your poison, press the button and it spits out
a ticket that you give to your server. Genius!

Tasty, refreshing cold noodles in a lightly vinegary, sweet sesame oil and shoyu sauce.

Co-Co curry, a fast food curry restaurant found all over the place.
Huge portions of tasty, hearty curry and rice, with whatever you want
(here - fried chicken, and tonkatsu. We later had it with clams too.)

A huge bucket of fish roe for sale in a foodhall (sampling allowed).

Yesssss... Takoyaki... little balls of custardy batter with octopus
chunks. It starts out all liquidy, covering the whole grill, and then
the cook expertly pokes and flips it into these ball forms. you can
have it topped with mayo, seaweed flakes, bonito (dried fish) flakes,
cheese, and/or tonkatsu sauce. Beautiful.

Sushi at the Y100 restaurant on Pontocho Alley, Kyoto.
Scallops, mantis shrimp, and crab tomalley, all for about $6!

A bruleed egg tart in the shopping arcade in kyoto. It wasn't cheap,
but it was definitely creamy, sweet, and delicious.

Shabu shabu set up in Nara with a subtle, milky broth.

Beef and veggies cooking in nothing but buttah (in Nara).

Is your mouth watering yet?!

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