Category Archives: FOOD

Clam Ramen in Ginza – Ramen Ichiro

Clam Ramen Ichiro Ramen - Inside

Clam ramen isn’t as common as you’d think. Ramen Ichiro (らーめん一郎) in Ginza though does a fine job with theirs though. Generous portions at reasonable prices!

Clam Ramen?

Ichiro makes proper use of shijimi clams. These are freshwater clams. Compared to asari (sea) clams, they have an earthier flavor and are much smaller.

Clam Ramen Ichiro Ramen - Closeup

Ichiro’s standard ramen is with a shoyu seasoning. It has a tangy flavor, with help from chicken and fish in the broth. However, it are the clams that provide the most powerful aftertaste.

All toppings only costs ¥980. This includes three slices of deliciously hammy chashu pork, and ample amounts of negi, menma, and komatsuna. We mustn’t forget the egg and seaweed. The seaweed is a potent reminder that this bowl is inspired by the sea.

Clam Ramen Ichiro Ramen - Noodles

The noodles are higher in water content and are fairly thick. Ichiro has some other ramen options – shio ramen, tsukemen, and even a ramen that packs more clams in the broth (no. 4 on the vending machine). I normally get the shoyu though.

Basement Ramen in Ginza

Beneath the shiny surface of ritzy Ginza lies Ramen Ichiro. You’ll find them in the basement of an indistinct building and …continue reading


Craft Beer Bars Japan – Gather @ Eating House: Yokohama Bashamichi


With 250 seats, this is one of the biggest craft-beer bars we’ve been to in Japan, and the spacious outdoor terrace is a convivial gathering spot when the weather is nice. They pour a selection of twenty beers on tap, roughly divided between local Kanagawa breweries and out-of-towners. Hitachino Nest’s very drinkable Nipponia beer is on the regular taplist, as are Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Stone IPA.

For even greater variety they also carry thirty-one craft beers by the bottle, while non-beer-drinkers can opt for budget-friendly wines, cocktails or craft sodas. Draft beers start at Y930 for pints (414ml) and Y780 for medium-size glasses (275ml), with discounts on some beers during Happy Hour, which runs until 7pm. Wines start at Y2,800 a bottle, and artisanal sodas are Y880 each.

Gather’s food menu features grilled-meat platters, charcuterie assortments, and small side dishes like seafood ajillo. We enjoyed some very good grilled pork and chicken, and the garlic and chipotle-infused BBQ-style dips livened them up quite a bit. Our grilled beef was less successful though, and the fries with cheese and meat sauce would have been better received if they hadn’t been advertised as chili fries, which they weren’t.

On average though, the food menu here is much better than the fare at most craft-beer bars, and the beer selection is better than at most casual restaurants, while the spacious setting makes it a nice spot for a group get-together. Budget around Y3,000-4,000 for food and drink at dinnertime, or Y1,000 at lunchtime. …continue reading


New opening – Somtum Der: Toranomon


Original Isan dishes from northeastern Thailand are the specialty at this very international Thai restaurant (they have branches in New York, Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City as well as Tokyo). Squeezed into the bustling Toranomon Yokocho complex, this is essentially a mini-branch of the restaurant, serving a couple dozen representative dishes from the larger menu at their Yoyogi branch.

While there are a few items that will be very familiar to Tokyo Thai restaurant-goers, (Tom Yum soup, Massaman curry), the focus is mostly on original versions of Isan dishes like Tom Saap Kra Dook Aon (spicy Isan pork-cartilage soup), Nam Tok Moo (spicy grilled-pork salad with roast minced rice), Pad Pak Boong (stir-fried morning glory) and a couple of different kinds of Isan sausage. Ingredients are fresh-tasting and spicy salads pack a punch.

They serve four different variations of the shop’s namesake spicy papaya salad – fewer than the Yoyogi branch’s eight types, but still impressive. White and black sticky rice and boiled rice noodles are refreshing alternatives to the usual jasmine rice, which is also available. Despite its small size, the menu is fairly varied, and it’s worth exploring to find your own favorites.

Drinks include Singha beer on draft and house wine by the glass from Y450. You can also pick up a bottle from the wine cellar of the nearby Hand Picking Wine bar to drink here. Budget around Y3,000 for food and drink at dinnertime, and Y1,000 for lunch. A limited take-out menu is available. …continue reading


Tastiest Fanta ever!

I’m not a fan of sugary fizzy drinks, so this list from goo Ranking on the best Fanta flavour ever has lots I have never heard of.

Actually, there’s one sugary fizzy I like, Ginger Ale, but I’m kind of disappointed that there’s no Fanta Ginger in the list. Googling it, there seems to have been such a flavour abroad, but it never made these shores.

Ranking result

Rank Votes
1 Grape 537
2 Orange 257
3 Fruit Punch 109
4 Apple 77
5 Lemon 56
6 Melon Soda *Seven & I only 54
7= White Peach *Vending machine only 52
7= Melon 52
9 Peach 51
10 Premium Grape 43
11 Grapefruit 39
12 Golden Grape 32
13= Adult Fanta Peach 28
13= Tropical Punch 28
15= Green Apple 23
15= Golden Pineapple 23
17 Furufuru Shaker Orange 21
18 Red Passion Orange 17
19 Lemon +C 15
20= Golden Apple & Power 13
20= Muscat 13
20= Cold Cold Satsuma 13
20= Adult Fanta Pear 13
20= Squash Punch 13
20= Japanese Fruit White Grape 13
26= Tropical Fruits 10
26= Luxury Double Cabernet & Chardonnay 10
28= Yokubari Mix Lychee and Salt 9
28= Iyokan 9
28= Zero Grape 9
31= Mellow Acerola 8
31= Zero Cider 8
33= Clear Peach 7
33= Watermelon 7
35= Pineapple Fruit 6
35= Momi-momi Frozen Lemon 6
35= Japanese Fruit Apple 6
38= Strawberry Cream Soda 5
38= Moo-moo White 5
38= Apple Mix 5
38= Clear Pineapple 5
38= Southern Island Blend 5
38= Momi-momi Frozen Grape 5
38= Momi-momi Frozen Orange 5
45= Drinkable La France Per 4
45= Delicious Flavours of the World: Lulo?! *Vending machine only 4
45= Honey Lemon 4
45= Fan Mix 4
45= World Waikiki Hula Pineapple 4
50= Yokubari Mix Mixed Berry 3
50= Snow Squash Strawberry Flavour 3
50= Zero Lemon 3
50 World Italian Peach 3
54= Mystery Fruit 2
54= Lemon 1 Day Multivitamin 2
54= Super Fruit Mix 2
54= World New York Apple 2
54= Fanta World UK Rockin! Peach 2
54= World France Muscat 2
60 Other 51


Between the 27th of May and the 10th of June 2020 1,817 visitors to the goo Ranking site and associated properties completed a public questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

…continue reading