Hello ANA, APA & yakitoris@Ginza Torigin

The long awaited time came. For a week of culinary adventure! Haven’t really gone on a proper holiday last year, I kicked started it with the land of the rising sun πŸ™‚

My first time taking ANA airlines. Seats were somewhat small but thankfully, front seats were available for extra leg room space. Food wise was kinda normal, but way better than MH.. cold noodles was rather delicious. The stewardesses were very attentive to the passengers, and most importantly, the toilets are amazingly clean! 

Too excited to sleep. 6.5 hours. 3 movies. Wide awake. What to eat when I land?

Arriving just a little too late for the direct train to Higashi-Nihombashi, we had to settle for the next best thing, the train with multiple stops. Gotta say, first time sitting in a train with such open adverts. Haha. Train ride: 1100 yen/pax.

Looks normal eh, but it was one friggin delicious sandwich. Think it’s due to the fluffy white bread, mustard mayo mix spread.

This country has a high growth of aging population. So many elderly people were seen in the packed train. I gave up my seat for an obacha, and I was kinda surprised at how thankful she and her obacha friend was. She even gave me a pack of biscuits as an expression of thanks, haha. Well, I was touched too..Never had someone thank so much for giving up my seat. Give thanks for the little things, Father says.

After checking into APA hotel (room was so small, I felt I had to do acrobatics and revive my younger ballet days skills to move around), first stop: yakitori!

Trying to lock in as many places in Tokyo, Ginza was first up. And after doing research for food reviews in the past week, Torigin is first in the list.

It was rather hard to find, especially in a country where there is limited English available for directions. Having roaming internet is a must, and Google maps come in real handy. After a good 15 minutes going around, Torigin was finally found, hidden in a tiny alley, and a stairway that leads to the restaurant at the basement.

The place was packed with people, mainly locals, and also smoke : both from the yakitori and cigarettes. Hey, there were Bangladeshi workers where too which could speak English well. 

We sat by the bar, and watched the masters grilling the yakitoris over the hot burning charcoal grill. One chef’s face and hands were red all the time,  the heat must have been intense, standing over them for hours, everyday, every week. Respect!

They had the 14 yakitori sticks set, and not knowing which was the best choice, we let the chefs chose the 14 sticks. 

Display was eye catching. And they were not overly seasoned, or heavy on the marination sauce, just nice. One of the yakitoris was a kushidama egg stick and the description in English, was, egg before the shell was formed. Okay, don’t know how that was done and there is little information about this online too. 

My ultimate fav was the chicken wings. About the juiciest wings I’ve ever eaten, ever! Something about their chicken meat here that tasted really good, and strangely healthy, as if the chickens were feared properly.

Total damage: 3200 yen.
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ginza-Torigin/184516194955126

Website: htttp://www.torigin-ginza.co.jp/eng

Opening hours: daily, 11.30 am – 10.00 pm

Tel: 03-3571 3333

Finally, in bed. At 9pm local time, which is 8pm back home. Haha. I’m usually still at work at 8pm. Anyway, exhausted from the long hours travel on plane, train and gonna take it easy tomorrow and just foodventura around the city. 

Good night peeps, gonna flip channels over Calbee pizza, and sour cream & onions.

Double celebrations! Mama J’s baby shower & my birthday bash@Princess G’s home& Ekkamai, Jalan Batai


Without the presence of our artsy fartsy origami expert Ms Lilow, the thought of decorating Princess G’s home for JJ’s surprise baby shower was rather daunting. Each of us chipped in here and there to do up a girly pink theme for the coming of little baby Lara into the world.

Baby Zs were really helpful as sticker troopers to glue up all the decors on the floors and we played some really funny baby games too, hosted by Princess G herself!

Not to mention those cupcakes were crazy delicious, apart from being ultra adorable! Vonnie knows where to get the good stuffs man. Even the pastry puffs, were crazy crunchylicious! 

So yes, we survived the daunting decor task and also facetimed origami expert Ms Lilow to show her the outcome haha.

Coincidentally, JJ’s baby shower is also a day before my birthday but the girls had their own plans (supposedly), but it was really fine by me since we’ve spent the whole afternoon together. My date for dinner was with JJ and we were heading off to Jalan Batai. When we reached Ekkamai, there was a long queue outside but JJ just walked in like she owned the place. I thought preggers hot mamas get free passes and skip queues. She said she knew someone inside who could get just a spot. Then, I thought she knew the chef or something.

I was pleasantly surprised that princess G and Vonnie were nicely sitting inside! Double surprise indeed!

It was my first time here and the entire place was packed. The decor is rather quaint, dim and cozy,a little noisy tho’ but hey, after a couple of drinks you do start speaking a little louder than the usual.

The ladies did the ordering of the food. The chicken dishes came and boy oh boy they were amazing. The pandan leaf chicken, once opened, the strong whiff of the pandan leaf smell opened up your taste buds. The chicken was tenderlicious, crunchy on the outside and super tender inside. Needless to say they did the same to the chicken chunks for the green curry. Tenderlicious bits nicely coated with the thickened, creamylicious green curry gravy, so good you want to drizzle ’em gravy just about everything you eat!

The Tom Yam Gung was mind blowing. Not for the spicy faint hearted. Very fragrant, and the flavour of the herbs was very strong. This was my first time having Tom Yam with salmon belly, and got to say, they were an amazing combination! I wished I could throw in some Maggi noodles and slurp them up in front my my TV now.

This was my personal order: Phad Thai has always been a must for me in any Thai restaurant. And when I took the first slurp, spot on! The wok hei from this fella was pow-wow! Not often I get a slightly sweetened wok hei dish. The seafood ingredients were nicely cooked too. 

The grilled squid was stuffed with some minced meat, was also nicely done. The charcoal smokey aroma was locked in yet the squid was still soft and juicy. Kudos to the chefs, it’s really hard to find a place that serves everything good!

I don’t know the total damage but I reckoned it should be at least about RM50-70/pax. For the good quality food and ambience, it is a nice place to come and chill and catch up over wine! Ekkamai, I’m definitely coming back again!

Address:

Ekkamai,

8 Jalan Batai,

Bukit Damansara,

50490 Kuala Lumpur.

Opening hours: 11.30 am – 1.30 am daily

Website: http://www.ekkamai.com.my

FB page:https://www.facebook.com/ekkamai.my/