Category Archives: FOOD

Rich and Thick Miso Ramen in Kamata: Ren


Ramen Ren has perfected a thick and rich miso ramen. They’re the best option for ramen in Kamata, and one of the best for miso ramen in Tokyo.

Buttery Miso Ramen

Before the ramen arrives, you’ll start off with a shot of vegetable juice. Menya Taiga in Kanazawa does this too.

The miso ramen broth is like a richly flavored, powerful maelstrom. In a way, this richness swallows up the miso flavor. But every so often the miso flavor escapes, like it’s gasping for air. This back and forth relationship works so well.

Ramen in Kamata Ren - Miso Ramen
Miso Ramen with Egg and Butter: ¥1,030

Ren’s miso ramen is indeed one of the richest and thickest out there. But it’s also complex. The broth includes 4 types of red and white miso, 40% chicken bones, 60% pork bones, and 5 types of veggies including ginger and garlic. The ace in the hole is chicken oil (chiyu), which gives everything a smooth taste.


If you’re crazy like me and want even more richness, top off your miso ramen with butter or cheese.

My Fave – Miso Tsukemen

Miso ramen is Ramen Ren’s most popular. But my personal favorite is their miso tsukemen. First of all, miso tsukemen is quite rare. It’s even rarer to find good versions of it. But Ren’s miso tsukemen is AMAZING.

Miso Tsukemen: ¥930

It’s really the best of both worlds – tsukemen and miso ramen. It has that signature tsukemen sourness and salty savoriness, along with a fish accent from niboshi and sababushi. …continue reading


Monz Cafe: Monzennakacho


Listed on all the gourmet-coffee maps of Tokyo, Monz Cafe is located along the shopping street leading up to Fukagawa Fudo, a local temple that attracts its share of tourists. The cafe is equipped with a La Marzocco espresso machine, and coffee beans are from the nearby Allpress roastery.

Seating in the cafe is adequate but not exactly luxurious – the best seats are out in front of the shop, or you can get your coffee to go. Most beverages are priced at Y400-500, and they also serve several dessert variations and panini sandwiches, at least until they run out. Cash only. …continue reading


Outstanding Chicken Ramen in Sangenjaya: Garyu


For ramen in Sangejaya, Menya Garyu is first-rate. Their additive-free chicken ramen is as clean tasting as it is scrumptious.

Cozy 8 Seater

First-Rate Chicken Ramen

Garyu specializes in tori paitan (rich and often thick chicken ramen). But their rendition of this style is lighter and more delicate.

Chicken Ramen: ¥800

The broth is still packed with wonderful chicken flavor, owing partially to the use of game fowl. It’s clean tasting and has slight hints of shio and fish between sips.

Broiled Pork Slices

If you upgrade your bowl, you can get 3 lovely slices of broiled pork chashu slices (the ramen to order is the “Aburi Chashu Men”). These slices have a uniquely gamey taste – perhaps in line with the game fowl in the broth.

Chicken Ramen with Broiled Pork Slices: ¥1,050

Chicken Miso Tsukemen, Ramen

They also have miso ramen and tsukemen variations. The miso tsukemen is all about sweet raiyu chili oil. It almost looks and tastes like hinabe, or Chinese hot pot.

There’s a zesty peppery flavor alongside an oily sweetness. Sesame seeds decoratively float about in the broth too. In short, the tsukemen is a solid bowl. But the chicken ramen is undoubtedly the star attraction.

I love how Ganryu feels – the interior and exterior. It brings me back to my childhood. This coupled with a modernly flavorful chicken ramen makes for a wonderful ramen experience.

<img src="×683.jpg" alt="" srcset="×683.jpg 1024w, …continue reading


Genka: Jimbocho


This lively sake-izakaya chain offers a selection of 40 different craft sake at surprisingly cheap prices – they start at Y280, and even premium brands like Aramasa start at just Y314 per serving. Sake comes in cute little 100ml bottles that are much easier to share with your group than typical sake-bar DIY tasting flights. You can also take the labels home with you to remember what you drank.

Genka’s somewhat limited food menu plays a supporting role for the sake, although we did discover some noteworthy dishes during recent visits. The gyoza dumplings in soup are a standout, and the smoked duck with yuzu kosho is quite delectable. The assorted cheese platter may not be as fancy as at other places around town, but it offers a nice variety of flavors to go with your drinks.

You’re mainly here for the sake though, and this is where Genka shines. The sake list is organized according to taste profiles, with accompanying diagrams and color-coded charts reminiscent of a science lecture. Of course you can also ask for advice from the staff, or simply try your luck. At these prices and with this selection it’s hard to go wrong.

Mineral water is Y300 for a two-liter bottle, and it’s a smart investment. Budget around Y3000 altogether for ample food and drink. Note that this includes a cover charge (they call it a “member’s fee”) of around Y500 per person, which isn’t unreasonable considering the low prices they charge for sake. …continue reading


Tokyo’s 5 Top Spots to Enjoy the Edible Flower Trend

Tokyo's 5 Top Spots to Enjoy the Edible Flower Trend

Nothing lifts your spirits like a bouquet of fresh flowers, but did you know these pretty petals also pack a nutritional punch? You probably already know that certain types of flowers are indeed edible, from lavender and roses and even lesser-known varieties like alyssum and nasturtium. The compounds that give flowers their hue contain polyphenols, which many believe have antioxidant properties. They’ve also been found to contain vitamins A and C as well as minerals like iron and potassium. Now that you’ve got a whole new reason to celebrate the sunny season, head to these floral cafes in Tokyo to enjoy the health and mood benefits of edible petals.

1. Cotito

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A post shared by Yuka Maeyama (@cotito_yuka) on Jul 12, 2019 at 6:56am PDT

Pronounced “kochito”, the name of this cozy flower shop and sweets cafe means watashitachi (us) in old Japanese. Tucked away behind hand-wrought wreaths and exotic cacti is where you’ll find this cafe. Here you’ll find an intimate space for eating in, although most customers get their edible flower fix to-go. That’s because Cotito is best known for its handmade flower cookies called ohana sabure or “flower shortbread”. With real violets, rosebuds, and other floral edibles scattered artfully over the icing, they’re as much a work of art as they are a sweet snack. Cotito has unpredictable holidays so be sure to check their official Instagram or website for closures before you make the trek out to see them.

Open: Daily, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., check here for holiday schedule announcements
Where: 5-26-18 Nishiogikita, Suginami-ku
Savvy’s Recommendation: Flower Shortbread Cookies

2. Botanist Cafe

<img src="" alt="Botanist Cafe Buddha Bowl Edible Flowers Cafe" width="768" height="960" srcset=" 768w,×300.jpg 240w, …continue reading