Lately I've really had a crush on ramen. And by lately I mean since November. No, I'm not talking about the kind you buy for .50 a pack and toss in the microwave and live off of during college (ahem, university for you abroad people). I'm talking real-deal, almost positively tastes slightly like fish even if there is no fish, comes with a boiled egg, RAMEN. Now that I've lead with that... this title is slightly misleading. I'm going to talk about ALL food in the wonderland known as Tokyo. Let's break it down by meal.
I have to be honest. I'm NOT a breakfast gal. I know, I know... most important meal of the day, blah blah. I get it and I know. I just don't LIKE most breakfast food. Especially anything sweet - get it out of my face! I'm 100% not kidding when I say that my favorite brecky is an avocado. Just straight up avocado. So when I became full on obsessed with Japanese breakfast I was blown away. Rice! Miso soup! Broccoli (and other cooked veggies)! I passed on their choice of broiled fish, but other than that I was on board. Now for my pretentious recommendation of the day: if you find yourself in Tokyo, go have breakfast at The Ritz. It has the most amazing view and offers the best Japanese options (and also have non-Japanese options for your anti-adventure friend). I did add some fruit... but comeonnnnn, everyone loves fruit! (or you should, Zach Berkman!)
My babes... this is where the magical ramen happens. While perfectly acceptable for dinner, there are SO many quick ramen spots for lunch. The Japanese don't mess around with their time, so the vast majority of restaurants have an ordering machine right when you walk in the door so you don't waste a second... and don't have to talk to anyone! You just make your selection, sit down, & wait for it to appear. Not being able to read Japanese makes it a bit tricky, but they do show photos of everything, so if you want to roll the dice, it's fun to do. Hands down my favorite Ramen place was one we stumbled upon in Harajuku. Ron got traditional ramen and I got dipping ramen. Out of this world.
"You still want dinner after all of that food?!" Yes. I always want dinner. It is my favorite meal of the day. I'm not even going to lie about it even though I know better. I will NEVER skip dinner. So, obviously, it was our honeymoon so we went a bit fancier some nights than others, but there are two things you need to do if you are going to tourist around Tokyo. One: Kobe beef. Two: Omakase sushi. Omakase means "I'll leave it to you" - which means the chef gets to choose. Yes, this is terrifying in sushi... even for a sushi lover. Have you seen "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" on Netflix? If not, I highly suggest it. If you have... that's where we went!! Well... to the son's restaurant. Sukiyabashi Jiro is an experience in and of itself. It's a 12-seat restaurant that requires reservations months in advance. There are two locations - one run by Jiro and one by his son. You're lucky if you get into either, but it's a bit easier to visit his son's location. The process takes about 2 hours and you are treated to the BEST tuna course in the world, melt-in-your-mouth eel, the most perfect scallop, and TONS of fish I had never heard of (admittedly, some of it I enjoyed more than others).
Now onto the Kobe beef... I have to say, after a long period of not eating meat, if feels so weird (STILL) writing about how awesome it is. However, if you are going to be a discriminatory omnivore, this is definitely the place to do it. While they might rush ramen, they don't rush beef. Sushi and Kobe beef are things they are extremely proud of and they have perfected their art (yes, art) in ways I've never experienced before anywhere else in the world. THIS is where we went (Ginza location). I wish I could describe this to you better. All I can say is that this ranks as the #1 or 2 meal I've ever had in my life. This is the realest dealest hibachi. No cheesy tricks - just perfection. Salad? Perfect. Vegetables? PERFECT. Beef? CAN'T EVEN ARTICULATE. No overuse of butter or salt. No reliance on sauce. If I ever have another steak that matches this, I will be shocked.
There are so many great places that I didn't even touch on here. That would be like trying to write about the best New York food in one post. Not possible. Before I go, I'll leave you with this gem (Ron, sorry, you can kill me later):