Taste Tokyo: Raw Snow Crab & A5 Beef

 

Rangetsu, Ginza

It’s always nice to treat yourself! Tonight we went to my favorite Ginza restaurant, Rangetsu, famous for their premium A5 Japanese beef. The beef is so tender that it really does just melt in your mouth as soon as it touches your tongue! The sauce they use for the sukiyaki is also delicious. It’s like a sweet soy sauce mixed with sweetened Japanese cooking rice wine that really brings out the flavor of the meat and veggies. I know I’ve already posted about this restaurant before (so you can read more about it here ♥︎Taste Tokyo: Rangetsu♥︎), but I just wanted to note that they also had a special Snow Crab Sashimi dish tonight. I personally prefer to eat my crab cooked and with butter, but this was the first time I’ve seen raw crab on the menu!

Taste Tokyo: Rainbow Bagels

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New New York Club, Jiyugaoka

I know this trend is a little outdated, but I thought I would post about my rainbow bagel experience in Tokyo last summer, so please bear with me. When the craze first broke out last year, I was dying to try these fun-colored bagels myself (I was a huge bagel fan in college… Till this day jalapeño cheese bagels are my favorite ♥︎). Anyway, it took a few months, but Japan finally got its own rainbow bagels store, New New York Club! This little trendy boutique restaurant is located in Jiyugaoka, and it’s about a 7 minute walk from the station. They only serve a limited amount of rainbow bagels on Saturdays and a few chosen holidays . In order to ensure they didn’t sell out, I made sure we were there at 11:05 (the store opened at 11:30). There was a line of about 3-5 people in front of us, so it wasn’t too bad. This was also back in July, so the bagel craze was already dying out.

We ended up ordering two bagels. One strawberry bagel and one of their signature rainbow bagels; plus their mac & cheese dish. They had a couple other flavors, but it would’ve been way too much food for us! I would say the bagels were normal. Quite tasty, but nothing super extraordinary. I preferred the strawberry flavor over the rainbow one (mainly due to the strawberry cream cheese). The rainbow bagel itself had a really sweet light cream cheese filling that I wasn’t a big fan of. The mac & cheese was delicious though and overall the restaurant had a cozy ambience. It had a vintage old American diner feel to it, and the counter was lined with boxes of American candies (Nerds, Reeses, etc.) for decoration.

I would recommend trying out the New New York Club for anyone in Japan looking to get a taste of the rainbow bagel. I’m really curious though as to how the Tokyo rainbow bagels compare to the original New York ones!

Taste Tokyo: Ginza Shabutsu

Ginzatsu Shabushabu Course, Ginza

You can never have enough meat! Aside from Rangetsu, the high-end sukiyaki restaurant I wrote about earlier, my second favorite Ginza restaurant would have to be The Ginza Shabutsu, known for their shabushabu or hotpot dishes. We normally order the Ginzatsu Shabushabu Course, which is about 5,000 yen per person (plus we don’t need to tip in Japan so it’s quite a good deal for the amount of food you get)! The course includes top grade A5 kuroge wagyu beef, Japanese pork loin, an assortment of vegetables, noodles, and dessert. The restaurant also offers all you can eat courses for about 6,000 yen (although they don’t include the kuroge wagyu beef)!

Taste Tokyo: Boulangerie Mont-Thabor

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Boulangerie Mont-Thabor, Azabujuban

The one thing I love about Tokyo is its plethora of little bakeries scattered around the city! The Japanese have always admired the French for their aesthetic tastes and culinary arts, so it’s no surprise we can see a lot of French-inspired Japanese bakeries and patisseries in Tokyo. My all-time favorite bakery is the Boulangerie Mont-Thabor, located in Azabujuban. I used to frequent here often when I lived in the area, but now I only drop by occasionally for a sweet treat. It was also featured on the popular TV show, Sekai Banzuke, for its Hokkaido Milk Bread, which is my favorite (it’s quite delicious)! Made with the famous creamy and buttery Hokkaido milk, the bread is filled with layers of thin sweet cream between the soft warm bread. I would definitely recommend stopping by if you get the chance!

Taste Japan: Homemade Soba

Countryside Teuchi Soba in Yamanouchi

On our way up to visit the snow monkey park, we passed by a small soba or buckwheat noodle specialty shop …in the middle of nowhere. The restaurant was small and cozy, and really gave off a true inaka or countryside vibe. The soba was all handmade and fresh, making it extra delicious on a hot summer day! Soba is definitely one of my favorite Japanese foods. It’s such a simple dish, but I never get tired of eating it. Plus, my grandparents used to say it’s relatively healthy for you (although I’m not sure how much of that is backed by science, haha). If you do get the chance to try soba in Japan, please go to a regular soba shop, as the convenience store soba does not do the dish any justice!

Taste Japan: Butter Corn Ramen

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Butter Corn Ramen at Sapporo’s Ramen World

Beer, seafood, ramen…. and milk products! Four delicacies everybody must try when visiting Sapporo. Unfortunately for me, the last time I went to Sapporo I caught a severe case of the flu, leaving me unable to drink beer or milk…. but luckily for me, I was able to get my hands on some of Sapporo’s famous butter corn ramen! On our last night, we were able to visit the famous Sapporo Ramen Kyowakyoku, otherwise known as Ramen World, and I was able to order the famous dish. The buttery warm soup broth was absolutely delicious and perfect on a chilly Hokkaido night. The corn surprisingly meshed together well with the noodles! I will say that butter corn ramen is definitely second on my favorite ramen list (after tonkotsu ramen, of course)! For all those ramen lovers out there, I would definitely recommend going to the Sapporo Ramen Kyowakyoku if you get the chance. There are tons of little ramen shops to try with all sorts of specialties to choose from!

 

Taste Tokyo: Rangetsu

 

imageWagyu Beef at Rangetsu, Ginza

One of my best Tokyo secrets is the Ginza lunches. While most high-end restaurants in Ginza can cost up to hundreds of dollars per person for dinner, these restaurants give crazy discounts on their menus during the day. My dad loves high quality meat, so we often visit Ginza to get our fill of A5 wagyu. Rangestu, one of our favorite restaurants, is famous for their sukiyaki dinner. It’s quite pricey ranging about 15,000~20,000 yen per person for dinner, but I can honestly say it’s worth the price! The beef is seasoned perfectly and simply melts in your mouth. The waitresses also dress in traditional Kimonos and cook your food at your table creating quite a lovely experience. During lunch, the restaurant sports a more casual feel and the lunch sets (pictured above) go for around 1,500~2,000yen. Despite the drop in price, I can assure you the beef is just as delicious!