Monday, February 28, 2011
Tokyo is…Part 2: all about food
I was only able to spend two days in Tokyo - not nearly enough time to get a real big bite of it but just enough of a taste to know that I loved every minute and I want more! Etsuko-san, my Japanese tour guide and I spent the day doing something I love: eating and shopping for food. I have never had a guide before who was as into hanging out in all these different and uniquely Japanese food shops and knife stores (I wanted all the knives I saw - oh there were some beautiful Chefs knives just wanting me to get my hands on them) and department stores with entire floors dedicated to food (like we used to have in Canada which sadly no longer exist and please don't say food court - it is NOT the same thing). The things they sell: like perfect strawberries and I mean each one of them were perfect. Visually beautiful but I wondered about these Frankenstein creations and how they would taste. At 20 bucks a package for 12 strawberries I wasn't that curious. I saw beautiful, beautiful cuts of Wagyu (Kobe) beef, just lined and veined with white fat - so much so that you knew the minute that meat was cooked it would melt like butter in your mouth. Stores with Japanese curry which got me wanting some so we had it for lunch. It's thicker than the Indian style but still very good. We had fish soup with shaved pieces of katsuoubushi (dried fermented tuna which usually comes as whole fillet and shaved on special machines or you can get it in a package already pre-shaved ) which gives the broth that unique flavour found in Japanese soups and sauces. It is in everything, believe me!
If the place had food and its production at centre stage, Etsuko-san found it and as a result we had such a great day together capped off beautifully with plenty of sake at a sake store and bar she found on a street just off the Ginza. Etsuko is a self-confessed sake geek, but sake geek or not she knows her stuff and she is my go to gal if I have ANY questions about it. I'm hoping I can do a write up on her and knowledge of sake in the coming weeks because not only is she an expert but she also organizes sake tours in Japan which I think might be of interest to some people! Sake is non-pasteurized so it's an issue when it comes to shipping it to Canada – surprise.
So that was my day - not bad eh? So after two days of hanging out in this amazing city and a week in the country overall, it was time to hit the road again. I'm scheduled to head back to Seoul, Korea and then onwards to Indonesia.
Next up: Orangutans - uncomfortably up and close and very personal.