Not a traditional post but I know several were following my photos yesterday as I literally ate my way across Tokyo! So here was the rundown of where we ate and my thoughts on each. The pictures are all from my iPhone as I wanted to stay “in the moment” as much as possible (which can sometimes be hard with a dSLR attached to your face).
On our Tokyo Birthday Celebration, the first stop was lunch reservation at Kimono Wine Bar & Grill. I have been dying to check this place out. Not only does the menu look great but they are always hosting themed nights like wine pairings, creatives, movie viewings, and more. I love any place that combines programming with good food! After finally making my way here, I have a feeling this will be a routine stop on our Tokyo trips. They describe it as an “oasis” and I think this is a perfect description. We were in the heart of Tokyo yet the street and neighborhood was laid-back and removed from the daily bustle of one of the world’s largest cities!
I made reservations because I have heard it fills up quickly on the weekends but when we showed up for a late lunch, we were the only ones (a few trickled in afterwards). Not sure if it’s because we visited on one of the few non-holiday weekends in September/October but it gave us the option of eating inside, or on the patio. Since the air has finally begun to cool off, we sat outside and enjoyed the gorgeous weather!
Now to the food. The food is described as Euro-fusion. We only had the brunch menu, which has been extended to include Saturdays and Sundays till 4PM. The menu offered a diverse blend of American and European style dishes. There was chorizo, eggs benedict, bagels, and burgers to fill your stomach along with special brunch cocktails and an extensive wine and beer list. I opted for their swordfish “burger” which I have heard great things about. The swordfish was grilled and then topped with a tomato/onion salsa, avocado, and a special Thai-inspired sauce. My husband selected the pulled pork burger with cole slaw. We thoroughly enjoyed both dishes but the dessert was what took the prize for me! When it came to the final decision of making a choice on where to eat, I opted for Kimono Wine Bar & Grill because they mentioned their famous almond cake with brown butter sauce was back on the menu. Hmm…I love almond cakes so I had to try it. Wowser, even my husband was wanting “just one more bite”….
After lunch, we meandered the half kilometer to the National Art Center Tokyo where there’s a special exhibit (through October 2013) on American Pop Art. The admission price was 1500 yen but worth every penny in my eyes. This private collection of John and Kimiko Powers included artwork from all the Pop Art Masters including Andy Warhol and Roy Lichenstein. No pictures were allowed inside so all you get is this picture of a 3D replica of the 200 Campbell Soup Cans. On a random note, I found it hilarious that the museum’s gift shop was selling actual Campbells’ soup cans for a pretty high price!
Then it was off to find Sadaharu Aoki patisserie. I discovered him while I was researching for our Paris trip in May. I was intrigued because he was a Japanese man who was told he would never open a French pastry shop. As a dramatic show of defiance, he went to Paris where he opened several shops that were well-received. In recent years, he’s returned to his homeland and opened several shops in Tokyo. We went to the Midtown location since it was the closest. We got the 6-pack macaroon box at a whopping 1840 yen! (As my husband says, I have expensive taste!) We selected the Japanese-inspired macaroons that you typically don’t find elsewhere. Flavors such as matcha (green tea), yuzu (Asian citrus), hoija, black sesame, and wasabi.
We then headed outside to the lawn of Midtown where we enjoyed our macaroons with Spanish cava. Yes, a sparkling wine bar has been set up on the lawn. Do they do this all year round?! I don’t know, but I think it’s a brilliant idea. And for the macaroons, I loved the Asian-flavored combinations but was slightly disappointed with the filling. It was incredibly dense and seemed almost gelatinous to me. My preference is flavored fresh cream fillings. That being said, I will return for the black sesame and yuzu macaroon!
After the sugar rush, we were in need of some substantial food so we hopped the train to DevilCraft. It’s a craft beer bar that serves up pizza including Chicago Deep Dish pizza. They recently opened a new location but we went to the original restaurant near Kanda station. The first floor bar has seating for approximately 12 persons in a trendy, albeit tight, space. The restaurant does have two additional floors but all were reserved for Saturday night. We ordered a small Chicago deep dish pizza to share. What came out would be classified as a personal pan pizza by American standards! However, it is deep dish and we had plenty to eat beforehand so we were fine with the smaller portions. Can’t wait to head back here soon with an empty stomach!
So with that, we decided it was time to leave Tokyo and head back home for the day. It was an absolutely wonderful birthday! I was so happy to finally get to try these restaurants and stores, however, I may need to be head that way more often because my stomach is growling again…