This was our last full day to spend, exploring the culinary scene of Tokyo, so we made sure to eat as much food and see as many sites as we could in our time left in Japan.
To kick-off the final day of our COOK SNAP WIN 2018 journey through Tokyo, we embarked on a tour of Kappabashi. We learnt all about Japanese produce and ingredients, but this was a chance for us to get acquainted with the equally important Japanese cooking utensils. Kappabashi Street is known for being a haven of cooking utensils and kitchenware. So, the Kappabashi Cooking Tools Adventure was the perfect tour to complement the ones we’ve had had so far in Tokyo. There was a seemingly infinite number of plates, bowls and chopsticks in every store, as well as some unique Japanese tools, like knives, Tamagoyaki pans and plastic food for displays seen all over Japan in front of restaurants.
We then got to see some of the implements used, in action, at a restaurant in Ginza. At Ginza Onodera, the chef cooked right in front of us, allowing us to see a professional Japanese chef at work. We weren’t sure what we were going to eat, but we certainly weren’t expecting crispy prawn legs as the first dish—and they were really good too! Another stand out dish was the tempura shiso leaves with horse mackerel filling. We probably ate a little too much…
Next up for us was Azabujuban—a hub of Japanese snacks. One of the places we stopped by on our tour was Kibundo—a bakery that’s been making snacks like ningyo-yaki (small cakes with doll faces), kibun rice crackers and fluffy custard-filled waffles for over 120 years. Naniwaya was another stand out for us, their taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes) were perfectly crispy on the outside and filled with a warm red bean paste inside—they’ve been perfecting this recipe since 1909. We were still a little full from lunch, so we unfortunately couldn’t eat much.
From all the eating that we had been doing, we needed to walk off some of those calories, so a short detour to Asakusa was the perfect solution. There were plenty of tourists around, no doubt also exploring the Nakamise shopping strip, taking pictures in front of Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) or visiting the famous Sensoji Temple.
We then travelled to Monzennakacho for more food! This time, we were trying out some of the Izakaya (a type of Japanese pub) food on offer. The small dishes were perfect portions for us, and allowed us to try out a bunch of different things without getting too full too quickly. Fresh tuna and salmon sashimi kicked-off our Izakaya adventures, we also got try some rare nodoguro (black throat seaperch or rosy seabass) grilled to melt-in-the-mouth perfection and crispy horse mackerel tempura.
Our Izakaya tour led us down some dimly lit and very narrow alleyways of Omoide Yokocho. The small Izakaya were filled with people enjoying a night out with something to eat and drink. We found a place to settle for a bit and tried out some yakitori grilled over charcoals, getting a proper feel of authentic Izakaya fare.
For the final destination of our COOK SNAP WIN 2018 tour, we went for a stroll through Goldengai—a collection of small and intimate bars— to relax and enjoy our last evening of the trip. We were exhausted from our days of travelling around and eating our way through Tokyo, so it was time to rest before the end of our trip.
Yakitori (Grilled Chicken)
- 600g chicken thigh fillets (cut into 2.5cm dice)
- Bamboo skewers
- 6 tbsp sake
- ¾ cup dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp mirin seasoning
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil to burn off the alcohol.
- Thread the chicken onto skewers and brush with the yakitori sauce. Grill, basting regularly until cooked.
- Your yakitori is ready!