13 April, 2012

Daikanyama Tsutaya

Daikanyama Tsutaya and its nearby neighborhood was one of the places that I really wanted to spend much much much more time at my recent visit to Tokyo. I always loved Daikanyama and it has been my very favorite area to shop and dine in the past decade. I was extremely delighted when Eataly Japan opend in Daikanyama. And this year, I was delighted by this new project (?). Tsutaya is a major book/audio/movie chain known for its selection, affordable price, and convinient hours and locations. But this particular one is extremely chic and stylish. It seem to have its own branding that are completely separate from the rest of the chain. There were also camera store, restaurants etc, all very well designed and chic. The whole area was sort of secluded by lots of trees that reminded me of a part or some sort. It's easy for me to spend hours at any bookstore but for this one, I felt like I needed at least a couple of days to really go through what they have. Great great design/visual book selction, by the way.

http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/venue/10940/Daikanyama-Project







Mushu Mizuki (Ginza)

Mushu Mizuki is a lovely Izakaya located in Ginza, near the new Uniqlo shop and all the other fantastic stores. The store manager is a friend of my family and he was a sake-maker for a while before started to managing this store full time. They work with boutique sake-makers so one can drink very selective and rare sake here. I like drinking sake but I don't know much about them. So we went with OMAKASE style and asked the manager's recommendation for both drinks and food. He let us start with house original. From there, he asked us what we thought of what we just had and took that as a guidance for the next suggestion. He magically showed up just when we wanted another drink and kept making great suggestions that are in line with our liking but with a bit of surprise to expand our knowledge of Sake. The food was amazing as well. Their ingredients were carefully gathered from different farmers with the same picky-ness that they have towards their sake selection. I guess it'd be classified as Japanese style food but its inspiration was taken from all sorts of places. I thought their food was extremely creative but at the same time they were very comforting. This is my new go-to Izakaya. It's stylish but casual, fun and friendly, and it's won't break bank (for Ginza, it's a steal actually). The place to drink and learn sake in my opinion.

http://musshu-mizuki.seesaa.net/






















SEIJU (in Tsukiji) is one of my new favorite restaurant in Tokyo. It's not cheap. If you pair the food with drink and drink as much as we did, the price will easily go over 20,000 yen per person. It's worth it, though. Such an amazing food. I am told that the real good tempra, prepared by a pro, its ingredient is cooked more like being steamed rather than deep fried; meaning the dough serves kind of like a shelter for the ingredient without absorbing much of the oil while ones non-pro prepared are greasy and heavy with lots of oil soaked up in their crust. I don't know if this is true, but tempra I ate here were not at all heavy or greasy. I could taste the subtle nuance of flavors that are in the vegetables (sometimes seafood) in themselves. They were using sesami oil to cook them but I really couldn't even find a hit of sesami when from their tempra.

Place is small but clean and minimalistically beautiful. Service is lovely. Not overly friendly, but they were all very attentive and took very good care of us elegantly.

http://r.gnavi.co.jp/gb44600/lang/en/
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/gb44600/lang/en/map

On a side note, TENICHI is a tempura chain restaurant that are slightly more affordable and equally fantastic in its own way. They also serve wonderful tempura.





























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