Monday, December 5, 2016

The Food of Japan

So as if it weren't already blatantly obvious by now, I absolutely love food. I love going out to eat, I love taking pictures of pretty dishes, I love learning new recipes and I love cooking for myself and my boyfriend as often as I can. I, for the most part, am a full-on foodie. But the one thing I love the very most about food is Japanese food. Absolutely nothing will ever come close to scathing the love and respect I hold for Japanese food. Not even my love for street tacos at 1:00 am......and that is saying quite a lot, because I love street tacos at 1:00 am. But not as much as I love the Japanese food that I basically grew up on and have been chowing down for the past 22 years now. Thankfully, I've lived conveniently close to Japanese supermarkets for the past three years and LA in general houses some absolutely amazing Japanese restaurants.  I've been very lucky to live close to these resources but obviously nothing beats the real thing. My recent trip to Japan consisted of many delicious meals and of course, even more photos taken of them. We traveled to Hamamatsu, Kyoto and Tokyo and all three cities had an abundance of delicious delicacies to offer. Every time I go to Japan, I always, always, always look forward to the food and whenever I have to leave, it's always one of the biggest things I miss. If you've been contemplating heading over to Japan, hopefully these photos are what finally convince you to go. You and your stomach will thank me later. ;)

One of my favorite snacks as a kid. Dango is basically a sweet dumpling skewer that comes in a a variety of different flavors & seasonings. My personal favorite (and the one you see here) is mitarashi dango, which is a set of rice flour dumplings covered in a deliciously sweet soy sauce glaze. We got this dish in Kyoto and it was literally the best dango I have ever tasted. 

Incredible miso glazed cod I ate in Kyoto. I actually tried this same exact dish at Nobu a few months ago and to no surprise, I found the one in Japan to be tastier (and significantly cheaper lol).

One of my favorite foods: wagyu beef! This was also in Kyoto and I got to cook the meat myself (there was a little portable stovetop to the left of me). As expected, it was super delicious. 

Creme brulee latee I got at Almond Cafe in Roppongi (Tokyo). Yes, it was just as delicious and decadent as it looks/ sounds. This cafe was literally the bakery embodiment of the word "kawaii" as I'm sure you can tell by the ultra cute table mat. It was also in the perfect area too, nestled right in Roppongi's main intersection. 

Unadon I got in Hamamatsu. Super delicious as expected, especially because Hamamatsu is known for having really good unagi. 

Soy matcha tea latte I got in Kyoto after visiting Kinkaku-ji Temple. Not pictured is the delicious cinnamon toast I also ordered with this drink. If you're in Japan, you MUST try the toast. Japanese bread is super thick and decadent and delicious and nothing like the bread here in the States. I cannot emphasize how obsessed I am with Japanese bread. It is the most superior bread to ever exist. I'm not kidding.

My toast from a previous meal. Guys, that is a sideways view of the bread. One regular slice of toast is that thick. It's amazing.

Tiny little bread loaves at the Entetsu department store in Hamamatsu. The basement level is devoted entirely to food and restaurants and just overall deliciousness everywhere.

Afternoon tea in Hamamatsu. That scone was probably one of the tastiest I've ever had. 

Sushi set I got in Akasaka (Tokyo). My favorite thing ever. I love sushi.

Some good old shoyu ramen and gyoza in Hamamatsu.

Cheers! Enjoying a cosmo at Hotel New Otani's Sky Bar. This was a bar that literally revolved in a circle around the building so that you could get a full panorama view of the Tokyo skyline. So beautiful, especially at night!

More warm drinks & cakes at Afternoon Tea Tearoom in Tokyo

Literally the largest piece of gyoza I have ever seen/ consumed. This was at a Chinese restaurant inside Tokyo Skytree and as I mentioned in my previous post about Japan, you absolutely must go there if you are ever in town. Skytree is one of the coolest spots I have ever been to, and the view you get to enjoy from there is unlike anything you will ever see. Aside from offering the greatest view of the city, it also houses a large number of fun shops and restaurants. It's definitely worth a visit, and so is Japan in general. I'll be returning back in April and will most certainly take just as many, if not more, shots of my time there. 

I can't wait! Stay tuned. 

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