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Foods

Visiting Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Most of you probably have seen the cool documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The documentary tells us the story of Jiro Ono, one of the greatest sushi chef in the world. He received 3 stars from Michelin. For more story about him, you could watch the the trailer or buy the movie above.


After watching the documentary, I made the promise to myself when I am travelling to Japan. To make reservation, it is not easy thing to do. Many magazines or blogs mentioned that this place is the most difficult place to get into. They only have 10 seats in their stores and we have make the reservation 1 month before. The rule number one: you have to know somebody that speaks Japanese in Japan to reserve it. I did countless phone calls to concierges and hotels, none of them are willing to help me to reserve it. There reason was that if you miss the appointment, the person who make the reservation has to pay 10,000 yen /$100 cancellation fee. I almost gave up go somewhere else for sushi. Fortunately, I found the hotel that could make the reservation. Hint: Book a room at expensive hotel like Ritz Carlton, not in cheap hostel or love hotel.

Once I have received the confirmation, I bought my ticket to fly to Japan. My appointment was for dinner at 7pm. They have 2 locations, one in Ginza and the other one in Roppongi Hills. If you don’t speak Japanese, they usually send you to the Roppongi location. If you are Obama or Katy Perry, you probably could meet Jiro.

The chef in Roppongi location is Jiro’s younger son,  Ono Takashi. He is really friendly guy and speaks English.


OnoTakashi

During my visit, I was not the only foreigner in there. All of them are tourist that came from Europe and Brazil. When they asked me if I do not eat any certain sushi, I told them that I would eat anything (I just don’t want to miss any of good stuff >.<) . Usually for a meal you will get about 20 pieces of sushi, you are not gonna be hungry for sure.

These are the sushi pictures in the order they were served:

hirame
Hirame (flounder)
sumi-ika-cattlefish
Sumi-ika (squid)

 

The fish quality are the best one in Japan. When I bite the sushi, it was chewy and rich in flavor.

Mushi Awabi
Mushi Awabi (Abalone)

He served the the blue fin tuna sushi, from the cheap one (less fat) to the most expensive one. It was super amazing. I have never tried blue fin tuna that has rich taste and not fishy before. They found the secret to make the fish taste rich does not have fishy taste.

Akami
Akami (top part of blue fin tuna)
Chu-toro
Chu-toro (medium fatty tuna)
Oo-toro
Oo-toro (super fatty tuna)

 

 

kohada akagai IMG_2658 ikura kuruma-ebi Uni IMG_2666 IMG_2667 IMG_2670 IMG_2671 anago IMG_2675

Their Anago or salt water ell was super awesome. It was the first time for me and was delicious. It has rich and sweet flavor inside.

tamagoyaki

And for desert don’t forget to eat, Tamagoyaki, a cake made of egg. It is different from what I usually eat in US. In US, Tamagoyaki is similar to omelette. This one is more like a cake and sweet. The total bill was 28,000 yen or $280. It was probably the most expensive dinner ever for me, but it was really worth it. Definitely will come back.

CHERUBSCORE: 10/10 

Categories
Foods

Ramen Adventure in Tokyo: Ichiran Ramen

Now I am going to share with you all about my little adventure in Tokyo, Japan. I went there last year (2012) during spring season. The main reason of my trip was to visit the most populated city on earth, go to Mount Fuji, and enjoy the cherry blossom. One of the thing that i should not miss is to try their local food. So, i did google search and looked for the popular ramen shop over there.

After couple hours of researching, i found this place called Ichiran ramen, located on Ueno Station (7-1-1 Ueno Taito-ku Tokyo-to 110-0005). The place was not too far from the hotel where i was staying. Tokyo is really convenient city. Basically, you don’t need car to go everywhere in the city. They have really good public transportation.

Please check this map of Tokyo subway system
Tokyo Metro subway map

Subway Map [English]

Back to the topic, So i went to the station where this place is located. Was it easy to find this place? 🙂 I got lost in this station.

Fortunately, there is a nice janitor that was willing to direct me to the place. My Japanese was not that good at that moment. What i did was showing him the name of the place on my phone 😛

Finally, I found the place!!!

The place is not big. It has 27 counter-seats and 10 table seats. When I came to the restaurant, the employee greeted me in Japanese, he told me to sit in one of the cubicle there.

He explained how to order the food (in English). I had to do my order from the ticket vending machine. He also gave me the form to specify my ramen preference. I could specify the thickness of the broth, the softness of the noodle, the saltiness of the soup, etc.
You could find more instruction from this website http://www.ichiran.co.jp/english/html/oshokuji.html

I ordered the tonkotsu ramen with extra meats. After waiting for about 10 minutes, they brought the ramen bowl to my booth.
ichiran ramen

The ramen was perfect. The broth has really rich taste, the meat was tender. The noodle was cooked perfectly, you can feel the texture and the softness of the noodle. The Ramen came with their signature red sauce on the ramen. The red pepper sauce did not kill the taste of the ramen, It has a good balance.

CHERUBSCORE: 9.6
Note: This place opens 24 hours. So if you are hungry at night or lost in subway station, this is the good place to go.