お久しぶりですね - It’s been a long time but without any more delay, here are a few yummy recommendations if you’re in Tokyo or plan to go!
Place: Santa Monica crepe
Location: 9-31 Jingumae 1-Chōme, Shibuya, Japan
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Mini crepe cafes are very popular and super common – nearly every block in the popular parts of Harajuku had them!
They’re all heavenly and most venues have over 100 combos, but this was my favourite (though I don’t particularly recommend their tapioca drink menu).
Place: Azabu Sabo (麻布茶房)
Location: 2nd floor, Wing Takanawa, 4-10-18 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo (They have other locations, too)
My Rating: ★★★★★ (dessert only – I didn’t try their food/ drinks menu)
All of their amazing (and healthy) desserts are made with Japanese traditional ingredients such as matcha (抹茶, green tea), shiratama (白玉, white dumpling), (餡, sweet beans paste), and tokoroten (ところてん, seaweed jelly). My dessert cost about $9, but the quality I assure you is the finest, and the proportion was HUGE.
Place: Gindaco Takoyaki
Location: South exist of Harajuku station – hard to miss and many locations !
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (If you want Takoyaki, THIS is the place)
500JPY for an order of 6 dumplings or 12 for 1000JPY. You can choose from a wide variety of toppings from mentaiko cheese to curry sauce and with new flavours introduced every month or so. I went there at least twice in one month and I blame their amazing taste for not having photos of the actual food – it was gone before I could even take out my phone.
Place: Sanuki Udon Hanamaru (はなまるうどん 新宿東口モア街店)
Location: 3-23-14, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Cheap (Large bowl and a side-dish easily under $10), delicious + quick. Despite their cheap prices they are DELICIOUS! Also, their Udon dishes variation are very traditional Sanuki styles.This was the first thing I ate upon arriving in Tokyo and it was great. Many udon houses such as Hanamaru, as you can see from the pictures bellow, are located bellow ground level in a small, fast-paste and welcoming atmosphere. We went very late at night (they’re open until 1am) so we saw mostly salarymen eating alone and hurrying home from work.
Place: Sembikiya (http://www.senbikiya.co.jp/ebisu.html)
Location: Atre 3F, 1-5-5, Ebisuminami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
My Rating: ★★★★★
This is the place to go for brunch or dessert to chat and gossip for hours with your girl friends. Kind of a cute atmosphere for a date brunch, too~ They have a parisian and contemporary Japanese cafe atmosphere with a hybrid of western and Japanese desserts (and a small selection of dining dishes that are also amazing). As you enter you can smell freshly-put baguettes and feast your eyes on tiny to-go desserts behind the glass display. Although the pricing is not considered cheap (more like Starbucks menu prices where things are just a tad over-priced but you indulge anyway). According to another review: “There are so many amazing places to get sweets and desserts in Japan but Senbikiya is one of the most famous dessert shops because of their high-quality premium fruits (which are inside of all of their desserts!). They also sell the fruits separately but they can get quite expensive, like 8400 yen for a watermelon… yikes!” We had shaved mango ice and curry rice – YUM. こちらは私の好きな場所 !
I apologize for the butchered quality, these just happened to be taken on my phone…That is all for part 1 of 2!