Category Archives: FOOD

10 Places to Go Terrace Tippling in Tokyo

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

The days of summer are officially upon us. You know what that means—sipping wine on a terrace, pottering on a patio, vegging out on a veranda. Throw on some shades, grab a book or your laptop, and head to one of these Tokyo cafe/bar spots with a good dose of vitamin D.
Segafredo (Mita, Shimokitazawa, Hiroo locations)
Segafredo is well known for being one of the best coffee chains when it comes to getting a decent espresso.
At the Mita Bellju Building location, they put tables out on the plaza under the shadow of the skyscrapers around. You can get a draft beer from ¥420 or a gin and tonic and other long drinks from ¥400 a pop.

Segafredo Mita Bellju Satellite
Mita Bellju Building 1F, 5-36-7, S

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Coil: Kanazawa’s DIY Sushi Dinner

Source: Japan Cheapo

A creative and contemporary take on traditional Japanese food, Coil in Kanazawa is a fantastically modern way to enjoy some hosomaki sushi.
A thin sushi roll, hosomaki suits personalization well, and Coil has embraced this entirely. Rolled quite tightly with a bamboo mat, the narrow rolls are usually sliced into bite-size pieces. In Kanazawa, however, they’re are known as an easy-to-eat option served whole. With smart low tatami seating as well as a table area, the combination of traditional and conteporary style is a clear theme.
The restaurant is located on the second floor of the Hakomachi building, alongside traditional tempura and soba restaurants and above the trendy souvenir shops focusing on local products.
Take you

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Tokyo Beer Gardens: Where to Spend a Summer Evening

Source: Tokyo Cheapo

We’re in the thick of Tokyo beer garden season, and summer wouldn’t be complete without a tipple to the tune of late cicadas and a trickle of sweat. There are dozens of choices, but some require an all-you-can-drink buy-in, which as we’ve mentioned before, isn’t always the best deal. Here are a handful of picks that also offer a la carte pricing, and are open until September.
Forest Beer Garden, Shinjuku
This 1000-person capacity beer garden is held in the Meiji Shrine Outer Grounds. Running daily from mid-May to late September, the garden is open weekday evenings, and afternoons and evenings on weekends. The a la carte menu has glasses of beer starting at ¥600. An all you can eat and drink option is offered for ¥4,

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Kisurin: Zestful Tantanmen in Akasaka


Kisurin is king when it comes to tantanmen in Akasaka. Choose soup or soupless and your spice level from 1-5. But Most importantly, don’t forget to add the breaded pork cutlet topping!

Soupless Tantanmen

In the soupless tantamen, the creamy white sesame seems to stand out more than the chili.

But that balance can also depend on the spice level you choose. Even at a lower level of spice (level 1-2), the numbing pepper will hit you a little bit.

The noodles bunched together are creamy pockets of flavor, contrasted only by the crunchy little bean sprouts and kiruage mushrooms.

Tantanmen with Soup

The tantanmen with soup is less creamy sesame, even if you choose a lower spice level. It definitely has more of that spicy Sichuan kick.

The dry, crumbling minced pork topping is top-notch. But the breaded pork cutlet topping is a must order. I regret that I didn’t order it for the soupless tantanmen.

In short, Kisurin has the finest tantanmen in Akasaka.

Shop Hours: 11:00 ~ 15:30, 17:30 ~ 21:00 (closed on Sundays)

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Sake Diary - Mr. Happy: Jimbocho


The mood at Mister Happy is festive, to say the least. The floor staff are relentlessly cheerful, telling jokes, leading toasts and pulling small pranks on unsuspecting customers. But this is more than just a boisterous izakaya – behind the hijinks, Mister Happy is a serious sake bar, stocking an impressive selection of more than fifty different sake from around the country, with a strong focus on sought-after premium labels.

Tasting flights are one of the selling points here, and these include single-kura tastings from breweries like Kaze no Mori and Aramasa. Regular servings of sake come in proper glasses rather than tiny ochokko – a touch that serious sake drinkers will appreciate. They’ll also be happy with the prices, which start at just Y240 for small tasting-size glasses and Y400 for regular glasses.

The food menu is built around grilled meats and small sake-drinking delicacies, with several dishes that feature A3-grade wagyu beef. Some highlights during recent visits were a deeply flavored beef-tendon nikomi, a garlicky vegetable ajillo (served in a bowl rather than swimming in oil), and very tender A3 wagyu rump steak. Potato salad topped with corned beef hash is an unusual take on this ubiquitous izakaya dish, and tiny bites of tuna topped with uni were an appetizing combination.

Non-sake beverage options include a couple of beers from Hitachino Nest as well as more typical lagers and soft drinks. Budget around Y3000-5000 for ample food and drink at dinnertime. …continue reading