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Jun 20, 2009 08:58 PM

Next weekend in Tokyo: What's in season?

Have a weekend of gluttony ahead in Tokyo, am finalizing the list after researching the postings on this board. Wanted to say thanks to everyone on the Tokyo board for all the info, with so many good restaurants in Tokyo, would have been impossible to shortlist otherwise. Also wanted to check, what's in season currently - any particular seafood or fruit or seasonal dishes I should check out? Previous trips to Japan were during Xmas and recall having superb strawberries. Will be staying in Shinjuku.

To-do list:
Sushi: Kanesaka (did a booking on the phone in Eng, hope they understood). Would have liked to try Mizutani but figured my next-to-nothing Japanese vocabulary won't get me very far.
Sukiyaki: Yoshihashi
Teppanyaki: Imahan
Izakaya: Toss up between Toki no ma, Daidaiya and Yuian (does this work for a solo diner?). Is it possible to eat at a few places in one night - do izakayas mind if diners just 'graze'?
Also plan to squeeze in a couple of ramen meals, Tsukiji morning sushi (2 days after Kanesaka, hope it's a long enough gap), Pierre Herme (for ispahan), sake at Buri, wine at Elevage.

Have left out high end tempura and steak this time but had a very memorable meal at Ukai Omotesando (fantastic beef, very fresh ingredients overall and dessert quality actually matched up to the rest of the meal, with top notch service) and Ten-ichi on a previous trip.
Finally, if anyone has the Japanese word for indigestion tablets, that would be most useful.

Arigato gozaimasu.

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  1. Awabi should still be in season when you're there! Kanesaka will probably have some Kuro Awabi for you when you go.

    Kusuri ga hoshii (I want medicine for)

    Shooka Furyoo (Indigestion)

    Bempi (Constipation)

    Geri (Diarrhoea, although this shouldn't be a problem with what you're eating)

    Kochira Koso. (My pleasure)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

      This may be weird, but I have tons of leftover indigestion medicine that you can have. It's just OTC stuff, exactly what you'd get if you asked using the above language.
      Since I came I managed to get myself on prescription medicine, so if you want some free medicine, just let me know (it's sealed shut!)

    2. Whitefish like hirame, suzuki and kochi are all happening now. Ayu, a small river fish, usually served whole, grilled, is also in season.

      Various types of summertime parfaits-green tea ice cream, shiratama (kind of white mochi ball), azuki paste with a black sugar syrup, for example are quite refreshing and lovely. If you can track down some true warabi mochi it's also worth a try. It's not rice mochi, it's more like a jello-y cube made from bracken. The bite-sized blocks are then tossed in toasted soy powder or dipped in black sugar syrup. It's usually served chilled and sometimes you can buy it from a singing truck. There are cheap versions available at convenience stores, probably made from gelatin, but they don't taste like much.

      1. Just had an incredible sushi breakfast at Ryu Sushi in Tsukiji Market this morning. Seasonal seafood today was: torigai, hamaguri, shirauo, kinmedai, hirame (see if you can get some engawa of hirame), tairagai (amazing), kohada and other silvery fleshed fish are great this time of year like iwashi and aji.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Yukari

          Thanks v much! Will note down all these seasonal seafood and desserts and tick it off as I eat my way through the list. Hope i don't have to take up lost squirrel's kind offer on indigestion tablets :-)
          Am guessing that sushi/sashimi at Tsukiji will beat even the best Japanese restaurant in my country, Malaysia.

          1. re: Yukari

            Hi Yukari,

            Nice! :) If I may ask, how does Ryu Sushi rank in your favorite spots at Tsukiji? Thanks.

            1. re: exilekiss

              Ryu Sushi ranks there with Sushi Dai and Daiwa. I actually prefer Ryu as it is more comfortable seating and the service isn't as rushed.

              But there are so many other great eats, non-sushi, including Tenfusa for anago tempura, Toritoh for chicken.

              And, so many great places for sushi outside of the market of course...

              1. re: Yukari

                Tourist throngs or no, I remain a big fan of Tsukiji and Ryu Sushi sounds like a good bet, I'll be adding it to the list for my next Tokyo visit.

                Are these the co-ordinates/details?

                Ryu-Sushi Ichigokan, Chuo-Oroshiuri Shijyo Tsukiji Shijyo, 5-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku; 3541-9517.

                Always imagined that the non-sushi options within Tsukiji would be good catering as they mainly do to the market traders and myriad Tsukiji employees.

                1. re: Yukari

                  Some Tsukiji guidebooks I have (translated into Chinese from original Japanese book pressings) say that Ryu Sushi encourages the use of using your hands to eat, neta and shari are on the average, bigger than most other sushi-ya's in the area, and focus on sourcing natural/wild seafood.

                  Have you been to Sushi Bun? I'm wondering how that compares with the other big name places. The same book also recommends Iso Zushi (they specialize in using tuna from Indian Ocean).

                  Other mentions include

                  -Yamahara for the only place open only at night 6 pm to 10 pm

                  - Iwasa Sushi for their clam and shellfish themed nigiri combo (~3300 yen) that from the pictures I see hotate, akagai, torigai, kobashira, aoyagi, himo-kyu hosomaki (himo probably from the aoyagi), tairagai, and another clam that looks similar to torigai.

                  And here are some more picks from the book (non sushi)

                  Ankouya Takahashi for what looks like kinki nitsuke and another kind of stewed fish (I want to say monkfish or anko), as well as ni-anago don.

                  Washoku Kato for Kinmedai Nitsuke (atama / head) teishoku, sanma shioyaki teishoku

                  Edogawa for stewed cod (four pieces), aji no hiraki

                  Tenfusa (already mentioned) tempura specialist place

                  Nakaya for kaisen don (of high popularity seems to be the Hokkaido uni don, some variants paired with toro and ikura).

                  Oedo Shokudo for various uni themed kaisen don's.

                  Yonehana for Unadon (1200 yen), unaju (2200 yen), unagi kabayaki (2300 yen)

                  Yoshinoya (flagship store)

                  Fukusen for unagi and yakitori don

                  Tomiena for Yoshoku (cwhole crab on shell and tomato spaghetti)

                  Yachiyo (near Sushi Dai) for Chashu, egg, and rice (teishoku), agemono (ebi furai)

                  Takeda for stewed tuna tail

                  Nakaei for curry rice

                  Toyochan (another yoshoku place) for omurice

                  Odaysau for ebi furai with egg donburi

                  Fujino for chashu ramen (is this place good?)

                  Yajima for what looks like a Japanese Chinese place, signature dish giant shumai, and egg and chive noodle soup

                  Ramen Kiku

                  Fujimiya for zaru soba (also soba with duck meat)

                  Aiyo for (drip) coffee

                  Senriken for coffee and sandwiches (the tonkatsu sandwich looks nice)

                  Any comment on these, as the pictures on the book make me drool but true hounds might feel otherwise. There's more, although the remainder listings are market vendors/outside boundaries shops/gift shops etc but I don't want to bore all of you :-)

            2. Sorry this is off topic, but my japanese vocabulary is in single figures, but I've enjoyed Mizutani both times I have been, so it is still worth doing IMO.