EATING TOKYO | PART 1

I've been telling people that if Seoul made me lose weight because of how little I could eat from the menu due to spiciness, I promptly put all that weight back on in Tokyo. Because you shouldn't let me run rampant around Japan when it comes to food.

TOKYO 2014

POMME NO KI

Searching for a place to eat on our first night in Shibuya after an exhausting journey from Narita, overwhelmed by the choices of Center Gai and wishing very much for Cissy's first Japanese meal to be a good one, I was very relieved to discover Pomme no Ki has a Shibuya branch. There's nothing like finding a store that has been tried and tested when you can't be bothered to search for good options and Pomme no Ki cemented its reputation in my head as a reliable, go-to place for omurice cravings with this visit. The winter special was Borsch flavoured, which added a nice bit of sour tanginess to the sauce and makes for a generous, hearty meal on a cold winter night. The corn soup was quite creamy and flavoursome too.

Quite a few restaurants in Japan expect every diner to order at least one dish, which may hamper your food-sharing-with-travel companion plan. Dish sharing is not often done in Japan and I do sometimes feel a certain sense of guilt about the ‘cheap’ vibe that comes with it, but if I had to choose between the ‘norm’ and wasting food (because I genuinely can’t finish entire portions of food in many Japanese restaurants), I’d rather have a momentary moment of judgment. Not that waitresses judge you. At least not visibly. Maybe it’s all in my head. On the plus side, most restaurants will accept if your companion orders a small side dish or dessert.

SIGN CAFE

We popped into this little café after our hairdresser adventures and shared the lunch special. Apart from traditional cuisine, Japan really likes to do ‘Japan-style’ Western food, that is usually dainty and Italian-inspired and Sign is similar to that, but with a cool vibe (and the crucial free Wifi!). There wasn't a terrible amount of food to our dish but you'd be surprised at how little you feel like you need to eat, in Tokyo. Add a bit of potato salad, share a quiche cake slice...thing and you're good to go.

Special mention to the delicious little crème brulee with a gorgeous top layer that cracked loudly when hit. This was another 'everyone must order one thing' cafe but we were thankfully just able to order a dessert, which was this cutely decorated chestnut cake. Nothing too fancy but not bad.

CAFE PALAZZO

Palazzo's lunch special is definitely one of the best value meals I’ve ever had in Japan and is a definite, definite Shimokita recommendation. Best of all, it’s located within a two minute walk of the station’s South Exit. My lunch set combined a teriyaki chicken salad with spaghetti and curry rice, with bonus coffee/tea that arrived speedily and piping hot. And it tastes good, to boot. Not world-shattering but a solid lunch with good flavours and a good portion size. Both our lunches were only 500Y each (!!!)