Posts Tagged ‘akihabara’

Kouryu Ramen, Akihabara, Tokyo

Yes, we went back to Japan! Our 8 day trip has just concluded. Today is day 1 back in the States and already I’m missing good curry, ramen, and the miles of walking and subways. Kyung and I had falafels today and we were discussing how it felt so weird to not be eating a katsu or something. We also wondered if we brought falafels to Japan, would we make it big? We decided no, because one thing we’ve noticed is how homogenous the food tends to be.

Anyway, the first time we went to Tokyo, we found a ramen place in Akihabara which we really loved. It was raining that day, and it was a haven for us from the wet. We went back again this time to see if it was a fluke but it wasn’t, we actually loved it! Kouryu is like a typical ramen shop – vending machine outside with various ramen options, toppings, and sides, and you enter your yen and receive a little ticket for each dish, side, or topping you order. Then you head inside, find a seat at the counter, and hand your tickets to the staff. People are in and out under 15 minutes. And I also found that most people in ramen shops are men. Very often I’ve been the only girl at a counter full of businessmen or teen boys. Kind of weird.

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I have no idea what I ordered, since I just randomly picked based on the picture. But – once you order your bowl of ramen, before they prepare it, they give you a sheet where you fill out things like how much oil do you want in your broth, if you want thick or thin noodles, etc. They had an English version of that luckily, so while I can’t tell you what soup base I had, I can tell you it had little oil, thin noodles, thick slices of soft pork, green onion, and a boiled egg. I also ordered a side of chicken fried rice (it was only 100 yen, which is a little over a dollar). The broth was delicious – light and savory, and it complemented the hearty pork with the thin and firm noodles. The rice was great!

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Kyung customized his noodles with thin as well, lots of pork, spicy sauce, and more oily sauce. He loved his ramen and was very glad that it was just as good as the first time. He also ordered a roe rice, but he said it was just ok. Oh well, I think it was like 200 yen (cheap!).

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If for some reason you run out of noodles, or want more sides, you can order it by placing some coins into this machine. They’ll then bring it to your counterspace so you can slurp up more things happily.

We rounded out our scrumptious meal with my favorite – glass bottle Cokes.

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I don’t know the address but if you exit the Akihabara station, it’s near one of the exits. It’s very small, so you may need to keep an eye out. Or you can ask the JR station staff. They’re usually very friendly and understanding if you don’t speak Japanese.

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Donuts in Tokyo

I love donuts. It goes to figure we would look for donuts while in Tokyo. Before heading over, I was curious to see if there was any difference. In a nut shell, they are less sweet than their American counterparts, and have different presentation and flavors. Overall though, I think I prefer the super junky donuts of the US, but for variety I’d go to Japan.

First up is Doughnut Plant. This isn’t a Japanese chain, it actually started in New York, but it is prominently displayed in several subway stations, so I figured I’d give it a try.

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I tried the pumpkin cake doughnut, the apple cinnamon glazed donut, and the kinako glazed donut. The pumpkin and kinako ones were fails. No flavor, strange after tastes. The apple cinnamon one tasted the most like what I would expect a fatty donut back home to taste like – it was moist, cinnamony, and soft.

Next up is Mister Donut, which apparently wasn’t always an Asian company but became a predominantly one when an Asian company bought the franchise/chain. These donut shops are all over Tokyo. We went to the one in Akihabara.

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I ordered a chocolate dip crueller which was sliced in half and filled with light creme, and a strawberry cake donut. The strawberry cake donut was pretty flavorless as well, but the crueller was delicious – the chocolate was perfectly hardened and had the right crunch when biting into that and the soft donut filled with creme that wasn’t too sweet. A good afternoon treat!

Here’s a better shot of the entire counter:

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Okay, for something a little less donut looking but still a donut, we went to a bake shop called Kimuraya. This was in the Matsuya Ginza shopping mall on one of the bottom floors. We ordered a curry bun, and an azuki (red bean) bun.

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The curry bun was delicious, even when cold. Kyung and I each ordered one, and it came in a deep fried bun filled with fragrant and delicious curry with bits of meat.

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The azuki bun was even more delicious – chock full of red bean that was not overly sweet, in a deep fried soft bun covered in sugar. I love eating these azuki ‘donuts’ and I eat them at home all the time too!

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Cobara Hetta – Akihabara

Would you believe there is Indian food in Tokyo? Not a lot of it, but enough to pique Kyung and I’s interest. Since we’re from Indian food heaven in Silicon Valley, how good could Indian food in Japan really be? While shopping in the major shopping mall Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara we decided to find out.

First, this Indian restaurant has fake food outside so you can see what you’re potentially ordering!
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Not something you see at home. In fact, you’re lucky if your menu even describes what you’re getting!

We ordered bhatura (unfortunately, does not come with cholle or channa), garlic naan, daal, and spicy chicken curry.
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The food was actually surprisingly really good! The food was prepared by Indian folks for one, and the food was pretty authentic tasting except for the fact that the spices were toned down a lot and the sauces were slightly more watery/thin than the Indian food at home. My daal had chunks of spinach and tomatoes in it, and was pretty satisfying. The bhatura was thick and fried just right. The garlic naan was very garlicky, and had the proper flavor and texture. The chicken curry was not that spicy, and didn’t come with as much chicken chunks as you’d expect, but Kyung ate all of it and was very satisfied with it.

That wasn’t all. We HAD to order the dessert when we saw CHOCOLATE NAAN.
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Naan filled with thick melty chocolate that was rich but not too sweet, and accompanied with vanilla ice cream with raspberry chunks. Wow. This is one of the best desserts I’ve had in Japan yet. We need this back home!

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