Category Archives: FOOD

Tanaka Shoten – Best Tonkotsu Ramen in Tokyo?


The best tonkotsu ramen in Tokyo? Many Tokyoites would bestow this title to Tanaka Shoten. Their Hakata style-tonkotsu ramen is unapologetically heavy and one of most authentic outside of Kyushu.

Tonkotsu Broth that doesn’t Pull any Punches

Hakata Nagahama Tanaka Shoten (博多長浜らーめん 田中商店 本店) ticks all the boxes if you’re seeking a heavy, superbly rich bowl of tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen.

Chashumen: ¥970

Their soup is boiled for 3 days and they only use pig’s head. Behind the counter you can see the industrial-sized vats where this happens. They’re not messing around.

Tonkotsu Factory

The result is a broth with a strong gamey flavor and a funky smell that accompanies it. You’ll smell it all as soon as you walk in the door. In short, this is messy tonkotsu that doesn’t hold back!

High-Grade Noodles, Toppings

The bowl’s toppings include ornamental green negi (spring onions) from Hakata, urajiro kikurage (wood ear mushrooms), runny egg (if you order it), grilled, fatty chashu pork to match that fatty broth, and a seaweed sheet with “thank you” printed in 7 languages.

Tonkotsu Ramen in Tokyo - Tanaka Noodles

The noodles are your …continue reading


REVIEW: Bokksu Snack Box

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Bokksu, a Japanese snack subscription box service, to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their Hokkaido box of snacks. I’d seen ads for this box a few times before, and I’ve subbed to snack subscriptions in the past, but I’ve never tried Bokksu before.

When the Bokksu arrived, I knew I might be in trouble. The box is one of those boxes that are so nicely made that you just can’t bring yourself to throw the box away. (And I was right, because it’s been a few weeks, and it’s still sitting empty in my dining room, waiting patiently for a reuse. Probably as a gift box.)

Seriously, though, it even has a smooth opening experience. Very sleek.

Bokksu has different options available based on your budget, with a smaller 10–14 snacks box and a larger 20–25 snacks box. Bokksu was kind enough to send me their larger box, and this one was theme to Hokkaido.

The snacks come with a really nice booklet that tells you what each snack is and a bit of history behind it. My daughter and I recognized the bun in the middle, as these are sold all over Hawaii in convenience stores, and the Hokkaido cream version Bokksu sent is actually one of our favorites. There were corn snacks, rice crackers, teas, gummies, pastries, fry chips (which we love!), and sweets.

I had told Mikia that we should go slow and try a few things a day, but that went out the window as soon as she saw everything, and we’d tried a bit of everything except for the teas within half an hour. Some were yummy, some were just okay, some were tasty. There was one …continue reading


Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich Bento

I’m so behind on blogging now, but the good part of that is I don’t have to stress so much about having pictures. I just have to find time to process them and write a quick post! When I have nothing queued up, it’s so much stress.

I made this lunch for Mikia last week, and when she got home, she told me the sandwich was really good. I used cold sliced Costco rotisserie chicken, La Brea wheat bread, and provolone cheese.

When packing sandwiches, I’ve found that using sandwich paper is a good idea, simply because it can be hard to 1) pack cut sandwiches in a tight space and 2) it’s hard to get them out to eat! I bought this pack of sandwich paper quite a while ago, and it’s lasted me a long time. If it’s too big, I simply fold it and tear it with a knife. There are cute newspaper prints available too.

I bought the bread at Safeway on a whim, and it’s super yummy. I’ve been enjoying sandwiches and toast with it for the last week. She said it was a tasty bread too.

Halloween soon! I’ve got a preliminary menu settled, and of course, it’s way too much. So now I have to pare it down because I currently have… five desserts written down. Oops!

…continue reading


Meaty Niboshi Ramen in Nakano – Saikoro

Ramen in Nakano - Saikoro Outside

For ramen in Nakano, Saikoro delivers a meaty punch! A relatively light niboshi soup meets meaty toppings at this high-level ramen shop.

Ramen in Nakano – Among the Best!

Saikoro (肉煮干し中華そば さいころ 中野本店) is for carnivores. Their niku niboshi chukasoba features countless thin strips of pork chashu. Delicate and fatty, they melt at first contact with your mouth. It’s only ¥800 for this filling ramen.

Ramen in Nakano - Saikoro

An extra ¥100 will get you a baseball-sized minced chicken ball. I’ve never seen this at a ramen shop. It soaks up the niboshi (dried sardine) broth and it’s almost like you’re eating tuna when this happens.

As mentioned, the broth is niboshi based. They use a relatively light shoyu (soy sauce) seasoning and the niboshi fish flavor isn’t as intense as other bowls can be.

Ramen in Nakano - Saikoro Noodles

The noodles are thick, slippery and somewhat soft.

Niboshi Abura Soba

They also serve an abura soba (soupless ramen) that’s only ¥650! It’s savory and the niboshi flavor amount is just right. The toppings are similar (minus the chicken baseball).

<img data-attachment-id="5233" …continue reading


Sake Diary – Kogane: Gaienmae


This very hip late-night dining bar near Gaienmae might be the best place in the neighborhood for sake after 11pm. The kitchen specializes in organ-meat dishes, and a glance at the menu reveals a diverse lineup of creative dishes – tempura-fried calf sweetbreads, stewed beef tripe with tomatoes, spaghetti with cod roe, oxtail soup with champon noodles, grilled beef tongue, kakuni braised pork.

There are plenty of salty, sake-compatible snacks as well – seared mentaiko, chashu slices, grilled ray fins, dried mullet roe. The excellent french fries come with your choice of three different seasonings – consomme, seaweed-salt, and truffle-cheese.

In addition to around a dozen seasonal sakes, drinks options include organic-lemon and other fresh-fruit sours, highballs, shochu, Italian house wines and beer. Budget around Y4,000-5,000 for a full meal, or less if you just want a couple of drinks and snacks. Last order is 1:30am on Fridays, 12:30am other weeknights, and 11:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. …continue reading