Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tempura Tendon Tenya @ Harajuku, Tokyo

Tempura Tendon Tenya is a chain Japanese restaurant which have fast serving set of noodles, tempura, rice
The restaurant is based in Asakusa, Tokyo. This chain restaurant has nearly 100 branches in the metropolitain area.

My tasty combo of tempura rice and hot soba.

Their quick menu. Rice only or combo soba noodles plus rice with tempura.

Tempura and soba from Tempura Tendon Tenya outlet in Harajuku.

Address: 4-31 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Metro station: Meijijingumae
Coordinate: 35.669064,139.705836 (approximate)
For more info on this chain restaurant, please visit: http://www.tenya.co.jp

Monday, July 30, 2012

Shinjuku at night

Shinjuku at night is a neon light district. This is where all the huge commercial building are in Tokyo. The sight is amazing and it is also known as "Times Square" of Asia. Besides commercial buildings and government buildings, Shinjuku also full with entertainment outlet, red light district, established restaurants, electronics super store and shopping. For shopping freak, you can find variety of latest fashion and high quality food stuff around Isetan & Keio. Shinjuku also have a huge Tokyu Hands outlet which sells many creative & innovative products for daily usage.

Red light district of Tokyo (Kabukichō).

Neon light street. Their advertisement are amazing. Huge, bright colour and with music/announcement.

Shinjuku main street.

Another Labi electronics outlet. This outlet is huge and has "Times Square" style billboard display.

Tokyo metro: Shinjuku-Sanchome station on Marunouchi or Fukutoshin line.
Coordinate: 35.693822,139.70101

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Soba noodles @ Ameyoko, Tokyo

This is the first time that I purchase food using the vending machine which is popular in Tokyo. First you choose the food that you wanted. This is the most difficult part for me as I can't read Japanese. There is a picture of soba display outside the shop. I look at it and remember the wording. Then I enter the shop and match the wording with the wording on the button to choose the correct meal that I want :-) Then I put my coins in. After that, you will get a ticket. You need to pass the ticket to the kitchen counter for the chef to prepare the meal. Once, ready, they will call you. Nice concept, its nice, fast and cheap.

Taste:8/10(Delicious. The soup is nice and they provide fragrant sesame. I love sesame so I put some and mixed it with the soba noodles. Overall its recommended).
Price:6/10(Moderate. The meal priced at 390 Yen or equallent to MYR16.00 or USD5.00).

Good cold soba.

Take the soba noodles and mixed it with sesame.

The customers are enjoying their food.

The vending machine.

This is how the shop look like from outside.

Tokyo metro: Ueno station. The shop is located inside Ameyoko shopping street.
Coordinate: 35.70859,139.773966 (approximate).

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sushi Zanmai @ Akihabara, Tokyo

Sushi Zanmai in Tokyo is a good outlet serving fresh and high quality Japanese food. I like their raw seafood very much. This time I tried their seafood rice bowl. Chirashi-don with 13 kinds of raw fish and shellfish. This dish comes with very good miso soup with lots of seaweed inside.

Taste:9/10(Delicious. Very good and fresh Chirashi-don. The seafood mixed with okra makes it sticky and wow, good).
Price:5/10(Near expensive. Priced at 1500 Yen or equallent to MYR60 or around USD20. It worth the price that you are paying).

My fantastic dinner Chirashi-don.

Capture nearer to make your saliva come out! it contains ikura, prawn, salmon, tuna, eel, tamago and a few types of fish which I not sure their name.

Friendly environment and clean kitchen. The chefs are very skillful in preparing Japanese dishes. Every customer enter and left were greeted. Very well mannered.

Very good miso soup with lots of seaweed.

Tokyo metro: Akihabara station. Walk towards Yodobashi Akiba (the largest electric store in Akihabara). The restaurant is located at ground floor. Be prepared to queue if you come around dinner time at 8.00pm.
Coordinate: 35.699066,139.774825

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Monjayaki @ Tsukishima, Tokyo

Monjayaki is a type of Japanese pan-fried batter with various ingredients. The ingredients are finely chopped and mixed into the batter before frying. It has a consistency comparable to a pool of melted cheese when cooked. It is then eaten directly off the grill using a small metal spatula. I went to Tsukishima, Tokyo to taste this delicious delicacy.

Taste:8/10(Delicious. Monjayaki is taste good and I ordered the most traditional version. Vegetable fried pan cake Japanese style is new to me but its good).
Price:5/10(Near expensive. The monjayaki cost 900 Yen which is about MYR36. If include drink, be prepared to spend around MYR48 or 1200 Yen).

Preparing to fry monjayaki. The main ingredients are cabbage, noodles, seafood and batter.

Chef begins his action.

Batter poured.

Looks good. But make sure you are prepared with oily smell on your shirt. They even have cupboard underneath the chair to keep your belongings so that it don't catch the oily smell.

Manjayaki is almost ready.

Sticky and yummy.

The fried parts below are the best ones as mentioned by the chef. Its good though.

My orange juice. The shop name is Tukusiya Monja.

Cute figures at outside one of the shop.

One of the Monjayaki restaurant.

Two rows of shops selling Monjayaki.

The restaurant looks traditional.

Tokyo Metro: Tsukishima Station exit 7 for immediate access.
Coordinate: 35.663285,139.780993

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Van Gogh Museum @ Amsterdam, Netherlands

In my opinion, this is just an average museum. This museum don't contain much paintings and the focus on Van Gogh is just half of it. The entrance fee of 14 Euro for such a small art museum is quite expensive. I have been to Lourve, Musee d'Orsay & Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) so I know what is the standard of this museum. Both Lourve & Musee d'Orsay only charge 10 Euro and MET only charge 20 USD for such extensive collections. The only good section which I can learn is the painting analysis section on the top floor. Using x-ray and electron microscope, it unveil hidden painting under then main painting of Van Gogh. The analysis is quite detail until it able to tell Van Gogh painting style, material used and behaviour. Besides that, I notice that this museum have quite a weird rule. The visitor can't take photograph of the painting. I never heard of this rule in other art galleries before. This is such a disappointment to those who travel half the globe just to come here to visit and can't have their own photo in the museum as their memories. On the exit, there is this small store selling all the art work and merchandise of Van Gogh. Perhaps this is the reason why photography is not allowed. Other museum also have this but this store seems to have more things compared to other.

Moderate queue in the morning.

Quite expensive for such a small museum.

Its a multi level art gallery. No photo allowed. Perhaps I can only show this.

Van Gogh merchandise shop. The famous Sun flower painting on the merchandise.

Opening hours: Daily 10:00 to 18:00, Friday to 22:00
Public transport: Tram 2-3-5-12 > Van Baerlestraat, 16-24 > Museumplein
Bus 142-145-170-172-174-197 > Hobbemastraat
Entrance fee: Euro14.00

TFOA figures in Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro, Tokyo

In Japan, manga industry is a huge industry and there are many readers as well. One of the particular figures which caught my attention is TFOA (The Front of Armament). TFOA according to the manga series is one of Seven Motorcycle gangs found in the city and one of The Four Powers. A tight-knit group that prioritizes brotherhood over mere numbers, they never use backhanded means when fighting, because they consider that cowardly. Although small in number, they are still widely regarded as a force to be reckoned with.

The figures were moulded in detail and looks so real. The characters in leather jacket looks so cool. Although the price of this anime figures is not cheap, there are still a lot of fan outside there who willing to spend thousands on these.

The character "crows x worst" moulded like real stuff. What a genuine gangster looks!

Amazingly detail. No wonder leather jacket sells so well in Japan. All because of manga influence of Japanese lifestyle.

One of these cost at least 3950 Yen or MYR160.

Looks so cool.

Come here. Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro.

GPS/Coordinate: 35.729831, 139.716450
Tokyo metro: Ikebukuro Station. Walk towards Sunshine city. Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro located just beside entrance to Sunshine city.

Monday, July 23, 2012

390 Yen Restaurant @ Ikebukuro, Tokyo

I found this restaurant by coincidence. As I walking around, I saw this restaurant having all their menu display in the form of food models at the entrance. Choosing a meal seems easy and the attraction of 390 Yen, makes this restaurant the best choice. Finally, I get myself a cold vegetable ramen set with wanton here.

Taste:8/10(Delicious. Cold ramen is something new for me. The broth is normal. The ramen comes with egg slice, some bamboo shots, wet seaweed and cucumber.
Price:6/10(Moderate. However, I don't order the 390 Yen meal. I like something bigger portion which can make me full and energized :-) 680 Yen for the food shown below is reasonable).

Wow, I like the way they present their food. Colourful, nice and clear. Good for me who don't know how to read Japanese characters. Food models can easily tell me what I going to eat.

I choose this dish. Ramen with vegetables. This noodles serves cold.

Wanton with pork mince.

This two storey high restaurant serves many kind of noodles, ramen and rice dishes which starts from 390 Yen (MYR16).

Metro: Tokyo metro Ikebukuro or Yamanote Ikebukuro.
Coordinate/GPS: 35.730362,139.71532
Phone: 03-3981-0260

Sunday, July 22, 2012

KFC @ Ikebukuro, Tokyo

I usually try to avoid fast food chain restaurant when comes to food. But this time, I can't avoid it as I am quite hungry at that time and I can't find something that can satisfy my appetite. Not that I don't want to try KFC fried chicken over here, but the price is wow, so expensive. Anyway, I have tried Japanese KFC and know how it tasted like now :-)

Taste:6/10(Moderate. The chicken is crispy but not spicy although I ordered the spicy version. Oily and the skin has not much taste. The chicken portion is small).
Price:4/10(Near expensive. For two pieces of small chicken with some French fries, it cost me 620 Yen which is equal to MYR25).

My whole meal. Do notice that the French fries is thicker version compared to Malaysian version. As usual they don't have chilli sauce.

My two pieces of chicken. Nothing to shout about.

KFC burger ads.

Its hard to find places to wash hand in Tokyo. So they just provide the convenient wet tissue.

Metro: Tokyo metro Ikebukuro or Yamanote Ikebukuro.
Coordinate/GPS: 35.729535,139.714657

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sushi Zanmai @ Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

Tsukiji market area is always crowded with tourist and visitors who wanted to try their fresh sushi in the morning. The fishes still haven't touch the freezer yet. However, the tourist restaurant like Sushi Dai or Daiwa Sushi in Tsukiji means that you have to wait for hours outside before you can get a seat inside the restaurant. Many people come here because they can get among the best sushi in the world at a reasonable price compared to in Ginza. Here, the premium set of sushi cost around 3,000 Yen (MYR120) but in Ginza, it would probably cost at least 10,000 Yen (MYR400). I wish I can try Sushi Dai but I don't prefer to wait at the long queue.

Finally, I decided to look around Tsukiji market for other options. Then I notice that there are two Sushi Zanmai restaurant there. One is more up scale and while the other is more tourist friendly on kaiten belt. Do go for the up scale one. The kaiten belt sushi is not so fresh. I begin to wonder why their have same restaurant but two different concept there. The kaiten belt version is not cheap either.

Taste:10/10(Excellent. Really fresh sushi and the taste is balanced. Try it to know it).
Price:3/10(Expensive. Although the price is on the high side, but it worth it. Twelve pieces of premium sushi below priced at 3150 Yen (MYR126)).

Really good sushi. Included here is broiled high quality sea eel which is very delicious.

This is first time I tasted raw prawn. Its so creamy and juicy!

Crab claw. Priced at 418 Yen (MYR17). This is very good. Super creamy and succulent.

To get fresh ikura, it must be crystal clear. All the fish type sushi here are from fatty type of fish. Also the first time I tasted chive buds sushi (green). Tamago - sweet omelette and my favourite sea urchin.

Shishamo also known as fried smelt usually full with roe.

Full with roe. Its delicious!

Friendly and skilled chefs.

This is a three storey high restaurant. Begins pack with people as nearly lunch time.

Make sure you come to this Sushi Zanmai restaurant.

Don't come to this tourist targeted Sushi Zanmai restaurant. Its kaiten belt but the sushi don't seems to make on the spot and not so fresh. I actually already seated in this restaurant but when I looked at the sushi, I lost my appetite. Not worth to come to this restaurant. Do make sure you visit the main Sushi Zanmai shop which is 3 storey high in Tsukiji

Metro: Tokyo Metro Tsukiji station or Toei Tsukijishiro station.
Coordinate/GPS: 35.665919,139.770531
Address: 11-9 Tsukiji (near Shin-Ohashi-dori/Harumi-dori crossing), Tokyo.