TORIGEN (鳥元) (MITAKA)
Torimoto was on the top level of Coral Mitaka, a small, quaint shopping centre next to Mitaka station. Post-Studio-Ghibli, a warm bowl of curiously savoury, tea-soaked chicken rice, glutinous rice wrapped in bacon and yuzu-infused fried chicken skin (though they turned out more like chicken fragments) was exactly what we needed.
The interior decor is beautiful and you essentially get a small room to yourself, full of dark lacquered wood and gentle lighting in that typical traditional Japanese style.
NALU CAFE (OMOTESANDO)
Influenced by repeated mentions of number76 on Cheesie's blog - I never pretended to be above blogger marketing okay?
The interior decor was simple, with a slightly rustic feel to the concrete walls and red accents everywhere. There wasn't much hairdressing influence, except for the hairdressing chairs that served as meal-eating chairs. But hey, they were wide and white-leather comfortable so I'm not complaining. And we also got a small hair mask sample when paying out bill, which was nice (:
The karaage was very nice - not as piping hot as Toriyoshi but more refreshing because it was flavoured with the tang of ponzu and a citrus sauce.
Nalu Cafe (Omotesando branch) Website 1F, 4-9-2, Jingu-mae, Shibuya, Tokyo Opening:
Mon - Thurs: 11:00 ~ 23:00 Fri - Sat: 11:00 ~ 24:00 Sun: 11:00 ~ 21:00 Lunch: 11:00 ~ 17:00
EKIBEN (TOKYO STATION)
You can find ekiben (literally 'station lunches') anywhere but especially in major train stations. They basically are pre-prepared obento lunch boxes, although packaged infinitely more prettily than your typical takeaway affair.
Some of the ekiben we saw were 'designed' by famous Japanese chefs and this one was apparently the 3rd most popular one in Tokyo station? V and I shared a curious assortment of vegetables, scrambled eggs and chicken pieces.
Most of them are meant to be eaten cold, which may be a little surprising given that they involve rice and vegetables.
This beef ekiben had a self-heating function, which we thought was really cool!
Overall, the ekiben was fairly okay but I do infinitely prefer slightly warmer foods when the temperatures are below 15C. There wasn't much of each portion but it's enough to be filling and it's probably much healthier than a bowl of ramen or pork don.
Definitely recommended just as an experience, probably on some shinkansen journey between cities so you can get the full 'busy salaryman' experience but probably not for all meals.
Have an eclectic blend of Tokyo Station snaps to give you an idea of the bustling place where you can find these boxes.
(☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞ JAPAN 2013 MASTERPOST