Friday, April 27, 2007

Five Favourite Restaurants

I've been tagged by the lovely Lotus for a Restaurant Meme.

The rules:
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

I had to give it some thought, and I really wish I had some fun, unique little restaurants to gush about, but sadly not. One restaurant that we truly called a favourite unfortunately disappeared during the 4 years we were living in the UK. So the following are simply restaurants that we enjoy going to, and that come to mind when we're thinking of where to eat.

We're in Japan after all so of course sushi must be first on the list! There are sushi shops everywhere you look, and Sushi Zanmai does have other branches throughout Tokyo, but when we feel like making the effort it's always nice to go to the source, as it were, to their main shop in Tsukiji, home of "the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world".
(Pictures of Tsukiji Fish Market by National Geographic HERE).

Next up, if we're in the mood for Japanese noodles, more specifically udon, then Tsurutontan is a good place to go. Their portions are generous and the noodles are delicious.

The Japanese love Italian food (as do I) but they can have some very interesting variations. We sometimes like to go to Kamakura Pasta. They use fresh pasta and as well as some more 'typical' Italian arrangements they have unique Japanese versions like pasta with squid and mentaiko (pollock roe) in butter sauce, or sukiyaki beef pasta. I wonder what Italians would think of it?

We go to Tonkatsu Wako when H is particularly hungry since you can have free refills on miso soup, cabbage salad, and rice! But their freshly made tonkatsu (breaded fried pork cutlets) are usually crispy and filling. I'm not crazy about pork so I usually get shrimp or chicken or something else, also good.

Lastly, a chain restaurant that's hardly special but their prices are extremely reasonable and the food is pretty decent considering. So when we just want some ordinary Japanese food we often go to Ootoya. Just to give you an example of how cheap it is, the meal in the picture is 787yen (approx. US$6.50).

Now, I tag MissSin (because I'm sure she must know some fun restaurants to go to around Tokyo), Bookfool (Mississippi- cause her trips to Oxford and her food pics make me hungry), Andi (Texas- for also making me hungry anytime she talks about eating out), and anyone else who feels like playing along.

*Photos from the respective restaurants' websites.


  1. Thanks for tagging me, Nat! This will be a fun one, although I think most of the places I end up listing won't have websites, so mine will be photo-free. It was really fun reading about your favorites - made me wish I could go there to try them, myself!

  2. Oh man, those pictures made me really hungry. I love udon. And sushi. I don't know if I could do the pasta with squid, unless it was fried like calamari. Fun post.

  3. I loooove Japanese food (the versions of it I get in TX, anyway). :D Especially enjoyed hearing about the Japense take on Italian! Fun!

    I'll jump on this meme as soon as I get done with my thesis

  4. Hi... wow thanks for doing the meme.

    The Kamakura Pasta and Tonkatsu Wako is making me extra hungry now :)

  5. Nat, so glad you were able to do the tag, I have learned so much from this post!

    My daughters love Sushi too, but so far we have only been able to take them to the usual large chain restaurants like "Crazy Sushi" etc. I'd love to try authentic Japanese sushi some day!

    I hadn't realized how popular Italian food is the world over...I love how the Japanese have customized some of the dishes to suit their palate, suriyaki beef pasta sounds wonderful! lol

    The breaded pork cutlets look delicious! It's still early in the morning but I might have to go in search of some Japanese food this afternoon in Chicago (here for a South-Asian book festival)..your post has sure made me hungry for some!

  6. Nicely done post..makes me want to go to Japan now!!!

    ps you did not link me..I started the tag..:)

  7. I think you are very brave to eat Eastern cuisine. Although the pictures look beautiful, and the noodles look safe, some of the items that might turn up (I'm thinking some funky vegetable) would not thrill me.

  8. Bookfool,
    you're welcome. Looking forward to hearing about your favourite places.

    I'm not too crazy about squid either. Luckily there's usually plenty of other choices. I'd love to hear about places you like to eat out if you feel like playing.

    Cool. Looking forward to your post. Yup, sometimes the Japanese version is pretty interesting.

    no problem. :)

  9. Lotus,
    There was a chain sushi restaurant that we went to in London a couple of times- soo different. H refused to eat some of the least authentic ones, deeming them too strange. :P
    The South-Asian book festival sounds fun!

    Sorry didn't realize- I copied the list from Lotus, but I've added you in now.

    Funky vegetable? I'm fine with vegetables generally it's meat that gets me squeamish. I really don't eat a lot of it and I know it's all in my head but I often can't eat things that still look like what they were originally. Besides in terms of diseases, hormones and stuff I think meat is more dangerous. ??

  10. I've been reading all these memes and getting very depressed.

    Helsingborg sucks for restaurants. It's shameful.

    Anyway, good job on your post. My mouth is watering. No, dripping. No, pouring.

  11. Mark,
    Hope your keyboard didn't get too soggy! :P I've only been to Denmark sadly, not Sweden at all. So people don't exactly go to Helsingborg for the fabulous restaurants? Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.


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