Day 1 seafoodie venture@Tsukiji Market, Tokyo

Time to dive in some delicious seafoodie foodie venture! Sadly the market wasn’t open that day. Crowd was less, but still substantial to keep the entire place lively. We walked around just seeing all sorts of foodies, dried, fresh and cooked.

We passed by this restaurant, Tsukiji Sushiko, which has several branches within the Tsukiji area itself, and also in other parts of Tokyo.

This restaurant was either new, or recently refurbished. The smell of wood was strong, I loved it. And the place was very clean, common for most places in Japan. We sat by the bar to see the chefs in action prepping the food.

First up: chirashi don! The sashimis were crazy fresh. Crazy fresh!

See how the layer of sashimi slice just almost falling out from the gravity. The rice was pretty amazing as well. Nicely cooked, each pulp plump and sweet.

Next up: grilled eel. Just lightly marinated. A rare sight as the grilled eels I usually have are very dark in colour, marinated with dark soy to mitigate the greasy petrol like flavour of the eel flesh.

Very light, tender meat. Yums! But so little per portion. It was gone within 1 minute.

What’s next? Sushis. With scampi, swordfish and sea urchin. Scampi was quite sweet but cannot beat the sweetness of the scampis I had in Sydney fish market. By far, best scampis ever. Unforgettable till this day.

The other two were pretty alright, fresh. But not excellent enough to rave crazy.

Guess the chefs saved the best for last for us? This grilled cod was…Butterylicious amazing! The meat just broke down the moment your chopsticks dived into the meat. The cod was grilled just nice enough that the flesh retained its tenderness and its buttery flavour was strong. One of the best cods I’ve had in my life.

Total damage: 4000 yen. Urks. And not full too. Bye bye, Tsukiji Sushiko. Continuing on…

Tons of people were crowding around this grilled eel shop. The pungent aroma of soy and smoke was likely the cause of catch peoples’ attention. Mine included.

Hmmm, average. Nothing to really rave about. About 250 yen. Not cheap urks.

Just like the saltbae chef, theatrics work to get people curious about your food, and when curiosity comes, the dollars follow suit. The gigantic fish head and the guy slicing off the meat caught my curiosity and the maguro meat displays were also amazingly fresh looking.

Decided to buy a pack of freshly sliced sashimi tuna. Total damage : 2700 yen.

It was aaaaaaamazing! May not need to look nice in presentation like what we had in the restaurant earlier on, but the freshness, tenderness, sweetness of the maguro was just amazing.

Japan is a country filled with citizens who are so hygiene conscious and I really respect that. People take their trash home and separate them accordingly for recycling and ease the disposal process.

So, if you are getting the food to go..My advise is to eat there itself and throw your rubbish at the bin outside the shop you bought your food from, otherwise you will end up holding the trash for a long, long time as trash bins are hardly found throughout the city.

Again, theatrics worked. This man cooking those gigantic scallops lightly dashed with soy, and torched with the burner…Made peoples’ tummies growled! Scallops sold here are generally huge! Kinda felt conned over the scallops we eat back in KL, half the size, double the price.

Tsukiji, I’ll be back. To see you again, when the fish market opens for Ms Foodieventura!

Madly delicious takoyaki@Gindaco, Harajuku

One of the must-eats in Harajuku, as well as in Japan itself is..Takoyaki, gooey octopus balls! I rarely had a good eating experience with most Takoyaki stalls in Malaysia.

But after coming across Gindaco by chance while we ventured about the Harajuku area, I’d thought I’d give this a try, seeing many people reviewed about this place favourably. There was already a long queue when I arrived. It was easily a good 10 over persons leading in queue prior to my turn.

The wait took a good 20 minutes or so. A wee tad too long for Takoyaki. My patience could have gone real thin. Thank goodness that the working area was visible to patrons and while waiting, I had a good look over how they cooked the the balls and these guys were very serious about ensuring their Takoyakis were cooked to perfection.

Finally my turn came! Nearly 30 minutes wait. Kinda crazy as I usually will not do such things back home. Each pack comes with 8 Takoyakis and minimum cost is 550 yen.

I took the original flavour, with bonito flakes and teriyaki sauce.

It could be that I was hungry, or the greediness built up after queuing up for 30 minutes, but it was the BEST Takoyakis I ever had. Thin brownish layer of super crunchiness wrapping in the gooey soft chunky octopus bits inside. It was really amazing to have this at 5 degree weather. We were sitting at the road side, over a couple of mouldy bricks while munching ’em away. 

A few days later, I saw the branch at Ueno station with no queue at all. I would try this again at other branches instead of the Harajuku’s to avoid the long queues. 

BEST-EST TAKOYAKIS! 

Address:

Gindaco,

1 Chome-14-24 Jingumae, 

Tokyo 150-0001, Japan