Category Archives: FOOD

Customizable, Savory Shrimp Ramen in Shinjuku: Ichigen

Customizable, Savory Shrimp Ramen in Shinjuku Ichigen 1

Visit Ebi Soba Ichigen for a savory bowl of shrimp ramen in Shinjuku. You can choose your broth’s flavor and richness, and even choose thick or thin noodles. Ebi Soba Ichigen is also very affordable – only ¥780 for any bowl of ramen!


Every bowl at Ichigen has a distinct shrimp flavor, thanks to ama-ebi (sweet shrimp). On top of this, you get to choose from 3 broth flavors:

  1. Shio (Salt)
  2. Shoyu (Soy Sauce)
  3. Miso

You also choose from 3 levels of broth richness, determined by the amount of tonkotsu (pork bone):

  1. Weak (sono mama)
  2. Medium (hodo hodo)
  3. Strong (ajiwai)

Walls littered with signatures of celebrities

Lastly, choose thick or thin noodles.

Their shrimp ramen broth has a slightly burnt flavor, making it hot! The toppings are excellent, including ground shrimp.

Shrimp Ramen – Shio (Salt) Base

With the lighter shio base, my recommendation would be weak or medium richness. This permits the shio to shine through and not have the tonkotsu take over.

Thin or thick noodles are fine.

Shio with medium richness

Shrimp Ramen – Miso Base

Being a miso guy I prefer their miso to their shio. With miso, I feel like any of the richness levels would be fine – even strong.

Customizable, Savory Shrimp Ramen in Shinjuku Ichigen 5

But bear in mind that a weaker richness allows the shrimp to stand out more, …continue reading


Sake Diary - Ginza Nagano: Ginza


If you’re looking for sake, wine or specialty foods from Nagano Prefecture, you’ll find an impressive selection here at this well-stocked antenna shop. There’s a small bar area at the front of the shop where you can try local wines (from Y500 per glass) and sake (Y1000 for a three-glass tasting flight) along with sake-friendly snacks like miso-marinated cheese and horsemeat sashimi.

Beers from several Nagano craft brewers, including the excellent Shiga Kogen brewery, are available by the bottle or can to take home. They also sell fresh produce (including fresh wasabi root), dairy products, fruit and vegetable juices, frozen steamed pork buns, and wooden crafts and pottery made by local Nagano craftsmen. …continue reading


Hatos Bar: An American BBQ Oasis In Tokyo

With summer days upon us, the smoky charred flavors of “good ol’ fashioned” American BBQ may sound nostalgic to some, but foreign to others. Either way, you slather it, it’s a flavor that pleases any food lover with a big appetite. It just so happens that tucked away on a tiny side street of Nakameguro, Hatos Bar is serving near perfect American BBQ and craft beer (a lot of it!) to satisfy your needs.

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From Texas to North Carolina: Real USA BBQ

Any American BBQ connoisseur will tell you that the varieties of BBQ are vast. Depending on where you are in the South, you can expect to find entirely different flavors and styles. That being said, Hatos Bar seems to have combined the best of the best serving all the staples, from the meanest and messiest North Carolina style pulled pork sandwiches, to Kansas City style baby back ribs so tender, you don’t even have to chew them.

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In the hands of Japanese Chef Sou Ieki, who lived in the US for four years, baby back ribs get smoked for hours upon hours, continually brought out tray after tray for the hungry expats who fill up the restaurant.

Walking into this place feels like a scene of see and be seen within the expat community. Artists, hipsters, businessmen, and families alike all come here for the same thing: the ribs. At times, Tokyo can feel a bit uniform, but this colorful little BBQ joint feels like a genuine melting pot of people coming together for the simple pleasures of good BBQ and good beer.

Artists, hipsters, businessmen, and …continue reading


Crista: A Culinary American Dream With Japanese Hospitality

It’s hard being at the top. You’ve got to be charismatic, influential, perform up to a level above the standard, constantly develop new ideas, skillfully deal with even the pickiest folks out there, and live up to everyone’s expectations. But most importantly, you have to stay true to your roots and even manage to be humble about it — if you’re really all that, other people will be talking about you anyway.

I sit at the bar of Crista in Omotesando having my second cocktail for the night as these thoughts run through my mind. This is my second time here and I’m already jealous — how can a restaurant be all that?

A bar with a view: Situated next to Crista’s spacious patio, the bar offers a relaxing view of greenery at the backdrop of the city. It also has the most addictive smoked nuts in the city.

So I start digging further for hints — I check the relaxing patio outside the restaurant, the dining, the bar (again), the food, the desserts, the service — and after a night at Crista, it all started to make sense.

The House That Built Me”: A Touch of Home

It’s amazing to discover food as an expat in Japan, getting to taste all the yakitori and learning the difference between Osaka and Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, but after a while you start feeling like you want a taste of back home.

American at its heart and Japanese in its hospitality, Crista carefully incorporates the best of both worlds.

Re-opened in 2016 in its current look (after serving Tokyo customers as Beacon for a number of years), Crista, located in a hidden alley between Omotesando and Shibuya, was revamped as the “crest” of all Tysons & Company restaurants in Japan, serving as a model for …continue reading


Perfect for Summer: Ice Cold Ramen in Ginza

Perfect for Summer Ice Cold Ramen in Ginza 2

This summer in Tokyo, cool yourself down with a bowl of ice cold ramen. ​At Pour Cafe in Ginza, the soup stock is literally part ice cube!

Ice Cold Ramen

Pour Cafe does a Yamagata prefecture style ramen. It’s soy sauce-based with a strong presence of fish stock. Yamagata is known for its chilled ramen, but Pour Cafe takes it to another level with the giant ice cube.

The ramen broth is rather salty, including the ice cube, carrying an intense fishy (bonito) taste. But it’s a perfectly soothing meal for the hot summer months in Tokyo.

Tomato Ramen

If you fancy something hot, try their tomato ramen. It’s not a watery tomato broth, but a thick one. It’s closer to a tomato pasta, topped off with cheese.

Perfect for Summer Ice Cold Ramen in Ginza 4

Rustic Interior

Pour Cafe is a funky little establishment.

Perfect for Summer Ice Cold Ramen in Ginza 5

Like a half-baked Parisian cafe, it has a rustic feel, complete with Grandfather clock and artsy, framed pictures on the walls.

…continue reading