Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tokyo Travelogue #17: In Ginza. In search of a seriously old cup of joe.

We read about Café de L'Ambre in The New York Times, and immediately put it on our travel plan as it just seemed too amazing to miss out on. The shop opened in 1948 and specializes in aged coffee, which the 95 year-old owner still roasts himself in the store. Just as expected, the place was impeccable: Dark interior with old wooden furnishings and a couple of regulars hanging out at the bar, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. But the aged coffee? I don't know quite what to say. Johan tried a roast from the 80s and claimed it to be bitter. I, in turn, tried a house blend which I'd describe as extremely sour. Of course we didn't want to lose face to the coffee-savvy and cool baristas, so rather than flee out of there in search of some franchise Americano, we sat at our table for a good half hour and manifestly enjoyed our café créme.

Tokyo Travelogue #16: Tokyo City View (and observation deck) at the Mori Tower

It was cloudy the day we went. Can only imagine how far you'd be able to see on a clear day.

Tokyo Travelogue #15: Public Transport

If we had buses this cute in Copenhagen, I'd ride it way more often.

Monday, April 16, 2012

this is how I'll be eating pizza from now on

Tokyo Travelogue #13: Coffee

We had some really good coffee at a place called Streamer Coffee Company. The owner, a famous barista (specializing in lattes, if I got it right?) has two shops in Tokyo, one of which is a three story house in Harajuku. Quite dashing, don't you think?  

China from Japan

We got some new bowls in Japan, and whatever you serve in them, it looks really nice I think.
Last night we had rice with fried cod, veggies and cilantro. Yumdidum.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tokyo Travelogue #11: "If it lives in the sea, you'll find it here"

Even though we missed out on the 5 am tuna auctions, the Tsukiji fish market was just a thrill to experience. All the while we were there I sounded like a sad and broken record as I kept saying to Johan: "Wow, doesn't this just make you feel alive?!!!" And I wasn't even joking one bit! ;O)

Those clams were bigger than my face.
This was all the tuna that was left by the time we arrived.

At the risk of sounding like one of those kids that are surprised to find that the Titanic was real, did you ever stop to wonder what imitation crab meat is actually attempting to look like? I don't think I ever did to be honest, but now I know.

Tokyo Travelogue #10: Kushiage in Ebisu

Kushiage, I've learned, literally translates into something like "skewer" and "fry", and that's exactly what it is. Or rather, it's food put on a bamboo skewer, dipped in batter and breading and then deep-fried. You'd think that wouldn't make for all that interesting a meal, but really it was quite delish. My two faves were the beef sirloin and the lotus root - so yummy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tokyo Travelogue #9: If it's full of locals, it must be good

As our Lonely Planet had warned us, Roppongi is a peculiar Tokyo neighborhood - part tourist trap and part modern (predominantly Western) high end. So when we were looking for a place to lunch after a visit to the Mori Art Museum, we found ourselves left with the choice of $50+ entrees at some fanciful French bistro or a strip of fishy eateries serving up a sad mix of kebab, Chinese and anything deep fried to suit the foreigner's palate.*

Naturally, we settled on Mickey D's, which turned out to no longer be serving up fast food of unknown origin, but rather farm-to-table burgers, fries and nuggets. It was all very convincingly staged: Sleek interior design, sculptures of poultry and cattle all around, drawings of fresh-from-the-ground potatoes and lettuce, etc. And to top it all off, no single Ronald MacDonald or golden arches were in sight - apart from on the wrapping, which was branded as usual.

Very interesting, I think. And I wonder if the long-term corporate plan is to give all their stores an overhaul?

Acute observers will perhaps note the blue balloon in the bottom picture, thinking to themselves: "Hey, at least kids still get a balloon with their happy meal". I too thought that for a second before noticing that that its proprietor had received it after at visit to handbag heaven Furla.

*Disclaimer: I'm sure there were better options around - we just couldn't find them:O)