All posts tagged: japan

Discovering Tokyo’s Trendy Wine and Dine Scene: L’AS ラス

L’AS ラス is a gem of a restaurant in the quiet backstreets of Minami-Aoyama. Boasting a diverse wine list and creative Franco-Japanese menu, L’AS is an absolute must-visit with its fresh ingredients and stunning flavors. My friend Mizuha and I dined there on a Sunday night and the restaurant was buzzing with energy. The animated chatter of diners enjoying their wine pairings pleasantly echoed throughout the restaurant. After the first couple sips of wine and bites of my caramel foie gras sandwich (it tastes just as phenomenal as it sounds), I wish I discovered L’AS earlier. Highlights of our meal include the crab miso with potato purée and the roasted duck with figs. Definitely start the night off with some champagne, sit back, and enjoy the culinary adventure created by Chef Owner, Daisuke Kaneko. At L’AS there is only the omakase menu but every so often it is changed to accommodate new seasonal ingredients and recipes. As we visited in September, we were excited to find traces of late-summer and early-fall ingredients in all our dishes–cherry, fig, pumpkin, etc. For my fellow wine drinkers, I highly recommend getting the wine pairing to go with each course …

Devour Amazing Chirashi at Ginza Sushi Marui

If you’re shopping through Ginza and suddenly crazing amazing chirashi or sushi, you don’t have to go far. Ginza Sushi-Dokoro Marui is tucked behind the main pedestrian crossing in Tokyo’s glitzy shopping district and one of my new favorite eateries. Tokyo can be overwhelming with its endless amounts of sashimi and sushi options but if you want a high quality yet affordable (and very filling!) lunch break, definitely grab a bar seat at Ginza Sushi Marui and watch the sushi masters perform their magic. A little tip: lunch sets are the best way to sample a Japanese restaurant’s various foods, as prices for dinner can skyrocket at least double or more! Keeping that in mind, Ginza Sushi Marui is wildly popular with the lunch crowd so get ready for a short wait on the weekdays. While the more popular lunch option is the sushi platter, I switched things up a little and ordered a Zukeana Chirashi-Zushi, a hearty bowl of tuna and conger eel over rice. Verdict? Absolutely amazing. The large bowl was filled with surprises under the rice–little sweet tamagoyaki pieces, snow crab …

A Tokyo Food Winter Guide: Sushi Zanmai, Ginza Maru 銀座圓 and more!

Tokyo, ただいま! People say the best time to visit Japan is in the Spring for hanami, the cherry blossom viewing festival; or in the Fall, to see the country’s beautiful Autumn foliage. But a true foodie knows Winter in Japan means two things: Ramen tastes even more amazing than usual (cold weather, hot bowl of noodle, go figure). Tsukiji Fish Market in the Winter time is a FIESTA! (Fish fatten up in the winter time so it’s one of the best time of the year to get sushi and sashimi). Plus, with the traditional marketplace moving sometime in 2016, another reason to go visit now. While I adore my previous summers in Japan, which were filled with cold soba noodles and sweet kakigori in the sweltering summer heat, I love wintery Japan. It is the perfect season for warm comfort food. I’m looking at you ramen, oden, and fried-everything. Plus, this time around, winter fashion was in full swing and Japanese girls really rock the furry coats and beanie look–some great food fashion for thought! Below, you’ll find a round-up of the foods I chomped on …

Freshly Brewed Matcha at Ippodo Tea House 一保堂茶舗

A piece of Kyoto in New York City Ippodo (一保堂茶舗) is a venerable Kyoto tea house that has specialised in Japanese green tea for more than 300 years. In other words, Ippodo is heralded as the Japanese tea industry’s crème de la crème. From matcha to hojicha, Ippodo sells a variety of loose-leaf teas; although I haven’t tried all of them yet, I’ve been told each boasts strikingly distinct flavors. Anyways, when Ippodo finally decided to open a store outside of Japan, tea enthusiasts were ecstatic (check out another blogger Alexis’ post here!). Ippodo NY offers freshly brewed teas of your choice, alongside seasonal drinks such as Matcha Slushies and Green Tea Lattes. A short post because I haven’t done one in a while. Moving to NYC is a whirlwind of fun but it just keeps me so incredibly busy. Hope you get a warm cup of Japanese tea to-go because it’s getting cold now! love, eatprayjade x. Ippodo Address // 125 East 39th Street, New York, New York 10016 Website // http://www.ippodo-tea.co.jp/ Tel // (212) 370-0609

2014 in Review: Eating, Traveling, and New Year Resolutions

Goodbye 2014! 2014 was the year I finished my year abroad in London, traveled to Greece and Italy, spent a summer in Tokyo interning for a NGO, and started my last year of University back in Baltimore. I’ve pursued so many of my passions in 2014, it’s surreal this whirlwind of a year is coming to an end. Throughout everything, starting eatprayjade (and buying my coveted camera!) has been a concrete reminder of places I’ve loved, food I enjoyed, and why it’s worth pursuing all your passions–even if it’s the desire to start a food blog! I’ve always believed in the cliche ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ so here’s my 2014 in review through a collage of photographs. Top Moments of my 2014: 1. Turning 21 in London My birthday brunch at Duck and Waffle with girlfriends that made my year in London incredible! Girls that love to brunch are always the best ones right? Check out my fabulous fellow blogger Lilybelle and her blog post on our brunch here.  2. British Afternoon Tea with a Twist Celebrating Talia’s birthday with afternoon tea at Bake-a-Boo …

Sushi Dai 寿司大 at Tsukiji Fish Market

Sukiyabashi Jiro might be the ultimate sushi master, but if you can wake up amazingly early in Tokyo and make your way to Tsukiji Fish Market, you’ll find yourself lost in the buzzing excitement of the world’s largest seafood market. I’ve had such amazing sushi in Tokyo but Sushi Dai, located in the busy lanes of Tsukiji Fish Market, is one of a kind (and yes, this is where Jiro and other renowned sushi chefs come to select their fresh fish!) Lines can stretch up to 5 hours, so bring some entertainment or simply come to enjoy the good company you’ll meet–I’ve truly met the most interesting and international people in line before. After all, as Julia Child so wisely reminds us, “people who love to eat are always the best people.”

Indulging in Matcha Eclairs at Sadaharu Aoki 青木定治

Sadaharu Aoki is a highly acclaimed patissier I’ve been dying to try since I arrived in Tokyo. If you adore classic teatime pastries the way I do, you’ll definitely find Sadaharu Aoki’s exquisite Matcha Eclairs irresistible. By infusing traditional Japanese ingredients into French pastries, a visit to Sadaharu Aoki is a sweet-tooth culinary adventure for sure! Excited to try out Sadaharu Aoki’s lovely array of pastries, Mizuha and I embarked on yet another afternoon full of sweets this past week. As usual, we couldn’t decide on just one tea set to get, so what better than a degustation cake sampler? Located in Roppongi Midtown’s B1 Level, Sadaharu Aoki offers a colorful cake sampler if you dine in–a definite worthy splurge. But of course, since summer is the perfect time for kakigori, and I also had my eyes set on the rows of lovely eclairs–we decided to try a little bit of everything!

A love affair between Croissant and Taiyaki at 銀のあん

Croissant Taiyaki Croissant meets Taiyaki, and a love affair later, I think I’m in love too! 銀のあん, following Dominique Ansel’s wildly popular inventions (cronuts, milk and cookie shots, etc.), adds its own twist to a traditional Japanese dessert. Taiyaki たい焼き is a Japanese fish-shaped pastry, stuffed with sweet Azuki Red Bean paste. Traditional Taiyaki dough has a pancake-like consistency. After grilling it, it’s nice and fluffy, with a golden finish. However, Croissant Taiyaki has more of a croissant-like consistency, meaning layers of flakey goodness and a crispy almond-brown color! The original flavor Croissant Taiyaki is with the sweet Azuki Bean paste, but they happened to have a summer special when I went today–a Green Tea Croissant Taiyaki! Filled with green tea custard, the Green Tea Croissant Taiyaki is extra lovely with its candied red beans on the outside and green-tea flavored layers. Don’t miss this fantastic twist on a delicious Japanese dessert, because I was in a solid 5-minutes of food heaven before it was all gone. *Directions: To get to Croissant Taiyaki, take the East Exit when you get out …

Spirited Away to Gero, Japan (Part II.)

In Japanese, frogs make the ‘kero kero’ sound (ribbit ribbit essentially). So in a cute word play, one of Gero’s symbolic animal is the frog–‘gero gero!’ Our second day in Gero was mostly spent exploring the town’s various stores for local snacks–a very worthy endeavor if you’re a foodie because there are endless things to try! We woke up to clouds rolling in from the mountains and some light rain, but fear not since our ryokan had already prepared for us large umbrellas for our day of exploration. As we made our way towards town, I think the prettiest thing about Gero is how it’s nestled between mountains and still retains much of its traditional small shops look. Of course, we had in mind a couple of things we wanted to eat and buy so without further ado, I’ll let the pictures tell most of the story! (Tip #4 Do not miss Hida Beef buns, ‘gyu-man,’ because meat buns don’t get better than this!)

Spirited Away to Gero, Japan (Part I.)

Although Taiwan’s Jiufen is the original inspiration for Hayao Miyazakai’s Spirited Away, Gifu Prefecture’s enchanting Japanese bathhouses will leave you with the same sense of awe Chihiro felt when she first stepped foot into Yubaba’s bustling bathhouse. Gero, located in Gifu prefecture, is considered one of the top three hot springs location in Japan. With a myriad of public foot onsens, traditional bathhouses, and the gorgeous Hida river running through, Gero is a quaint town with big views to boast. Alex, my beloved friend from university that I met through my Japanese class, is here for the week and we thought, what better way to start a Japan tour than some hot springs exploring? (“Alex Who Came From the Stars,” is the funny title I came up with for Alex’s quirky eating and traveling habits–I swear I’ll make it into a movie one day Alex!) So with a location in mind, and a reservation at a gorgeous ryokan, we set off for Gero, Japan. Tip #1 for traveling in Japan? Buy some snacks and an お弁当 (bento box) for your long journey because …