Surrounded by music, relaxed vibes reminiscent of the Mediterranean, a spoon full of paella in one hand and a glass of sangria in the other, you’d almost start believing that you’re on the stunning beaches of Spain. But here you are, sitting in the very heart of Tokyo, enjoying your meal at Xiringuito Escriba, a brand new restaurant import from Barcelona.
Although not positioned on the beach like the original Xiringuito Escriba, the Tokyo branch is located inside the new shopping and dining complex Shibuya Stream, strategically overlooking the recently revamped Shibuya river and boulevard. Cleverly designed to replicate the fresh breezy feel of the beach that first inspired chef and owner Joan Escriba, Tokyo’s Escriba branch is officially the new little sister to the Barcelona original.
A long (but steady) road to Tokyo
Joan Escriba’s road to opening a restaurant in Tokyo is far longer than he would have ever imagined. Almost 30 years ago while following in his father’s chocolatier footsteps, Joan came to Japan hoping to share his love and passion for pastry culture. He instantly fell in love with Japan and always hoped to return and open his own original restaurant here.
While he had an obvious flair for desserts, at a certain point in his career Joan felt that chocolates were a seasonal business (just think of Valentine’s in Japan!). But just when Barcelona was busy reconstructing and establishing new areas ahead of the 1992 Olympics, the idea struck him — he was going to open a restaurant in a seaside area that could operate year-round and invite people to experience Spanish food right on the beach. The rest is …continue reading
This cozy American-style gourmet diner serves one of the few lamb burgers in town, and they do a terrific job. With minimal dressing on the burger, it’s all about the very flavorful meat, beautifully grilled and lightly seasoned. They also serve 100% beef burgers, and meaty main dishes like grilled lamb chops, skirt steaks, Hokkaido pork confit and Iberico pork sausages.
Balancing out all that meat are appetizing vegetable side dishes like sauteed broccoli in anchovy butter, steamed-cabbage bagna cauda, and a lovely Caesar salad. The home-made tortilla chips make a nice starter for the table, served with excellent dips like pico de gallo, black-bean hummus, and some of the best guacamole in town.
Most wines are priced Y2400-6000 per bottle, Y600 per glass, or you can opt for mojitos, frozen margaritas or other cocktails. Happy Hour (6-7pm) drinks are just Y450. There’s an English-language menu and take-out service, and Sunday is doggy day, when you can bring your pet with you to lunch or dinner. Budget around Y3000 for dinner with drinks, Y1200 for lunch. …continue reading
Source: Gaijin Pot
If you’re like me and you live in an old style Japanese house (once referred to as structurally similar to a portacabin by my Dad), you’ll know how hard it is to keep warm in the winter months. For me, the three best ways to warm up are: to have a long hot bath, to cradle a hot water bottle and to eat Nabe.
Tounyuu Nabe is a soy milk hotpot; it’s healthy, nutritious and a delicious winter dish, which you can make at home quickly and easily. I was lucky enough to first try it in an authentic manner at a close Japanese friends’ of mine Ryokanesque style house in Chiba.
I was so impressed by the delicate taste that I thought I’d give it a go. It’s pretty straightforward to make with the added bonus of being healthy.
Ingredients you need are:
Cut the vegetables, aburu and tofu into bite sized pieces. Then set aside.
In a cooking pot heat 500ml soy milk on a …continue reading
Source: Falling for Japan
Regardless of where you live in the world, you’ve probably eaten a Kit Kat chocolate bar before, or have seen one, or at least have heard of them. However, you haven’t really eaten/seen/heard of a Kit Kat bar until you eat/see/hear about Japan’s!
My current stash of Kit Kats!
Since moving to Japan, I’ve seen dark chocolate, pumpkin, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry cheesecake, green tea, dragonfruit, citrus golden blend, cookies and cream (my favourite!), hot Japanese chili pepper… You name it, Japan has a flavoured Kit Kat for it! I’ve even heard of wasabi-flavoured ones!
Some of these Kit Kats are dyed to match their flavour, too, such as the sakura matcha (cherry blossom-green tea) Kit Kats that I bought at Narita Airport during last winter vacation. Despite their green colour, they were actually really good!
Green sakura matcha Kit Kats! Don’t let the colour fool you – they’re actually delicious! (Source)
And not only can the colours and flavours be unique, but so can the method of eating them. In fact, Kit Kat Japan has even made a bakeable Kit Kat.
As a Westerner living in Japan, …continue reading
100% Beef Burger
That’s what caught my eye as Doc was driving back up the eastern side of the island.
We had been out enjoying the sun and shooting cameras, before the typhoon hits.
Not to worry, we only expect a bit of wind with lots of rain.
Luckily, a red light, stopped us just as we passed the place.
The artist who made that hamburger sign, knew what he or, she, was doing.
We were both hungry and the only way to reach the place was a U-turn into a parking lot.
So, that’s what we did.
For those who haven’t mastered English slang as well as me:
U-ey means, a U-turn and hadda, means, had to.
Yadda, yadda, yadda, class dismissed.