Category Archives: FOOD

Nestlé Japan opens temporary Kit Kat sake pairing bar staffed by artificial intelligence

nestle japan kitkat gotouchi pairing sake bar tokyo roppongi robot artificial intelligence

Nestlé Japan have enjoyed immense success with its range of exclusive Japanese Kit Kat snacks. Many of these use unique regional ingredients, such as sake or matcha. Others feature innovative special tastes that are not necessarily Japanese but are tested exclusively in the local market first, like the recent Kit Kat Sublime Volcanic snack, made with ingredients from exotic locations around Asia, or the Everyday Nuts and Cranberry Ruby Chocolate healthier Kit Kat snack.

Nestlé Japan also has does direct retail for its products through a series of Kit Kat outlets called Chocolatory, most prominently at department stores like Takashimaya.

Now comes another example with a pop-up Kit Kat pairing bar in Roppongi.

Having already developed sake Kit Kat and umeshu Kit Kat, customers are encouraged to pair their choice of Kit Kat snacks with actually Japanese sake. The Gotochi no Kit Kat (Local Kit Kat) Pairing Bar is open at Roppongi Hills from April 19th to April 29th as part of Craft Sake Week.

If pairing regional Japanese Kit Kat snacks with sake already doesn’t sound cool enough, know that the bar is manned by robots. Well, kind of. Human staff should still be on hand but the pairing is supervised by artificial intelligence.

nestle japan kitkat gotouchi pairing sake bar tokyo roppongi robot artificial intelligence

nestle japan kitkat gotouchi pairing sake bar tokyo roppongi robot artificial intelligence

nestle japan kitkat gotouchi pairing sake bar tokyo roppongi robot artificial intelligence

The AI system at the bar asks you answer five questions to determine the right pairing for your choice of Kit Kat flavors.

The novelty of this doesn’t come cheap, though. A couple of sake pairings at the stand will set you back ¥3,500 (over $30). …continue reading


Craft Beer Bars Japan - Citraba: Koenji


This spacious beer bar offers 16 or so well-chosen craft beers from breweries like Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR), Omnipollo (Stockholm), Wylam (Newcastle upon Tyne) and Outsider (Yamanashi). Citraba occupies the former location of Craft Beer Market Koenji, and the decor is pretty much unchanged, although prices are a tad higher and the beer selection is much more upscale.

Most beers are priced at Y580 and Y980 for half-pints and pints, with some smaller pours for extra-special beers. Other drink options include eight different lemon-sour cocktails, sake, wine, craft gin and whiskey. They also carry Kirin Heartland and a couple of Hoegaarden Belgian beers.

If you’re hungry, the fried chicken is a specialty of the house and well worth a try. It’s made from an heirloom breed of chicken called Daisendori, deep-fried with a crisp, crunchy skin and served with an excellent cilantro vinagrette. At Y980 for a big serving (half a bird), it’s good value for money as well.
The rest of the food offerings are mostly izakaya-style bar snacks, such as the five-part appetizer platter featuring rather run-of-the-mill versions of potato salad, pate de campagne and other small dishes.

There’s plenty of room to stretch out at comfortable low tables in back, high tables in front, and along two counters looking over the open kitchen and tap areas. The background music is a steady stream of pop-punk standards, similar to what they played when this was Craft Beer Market. Budget around Y3000-3500 for dinner with a few beers. The bar is open from noon on weekends. …continue reading


Kyoto Street Food Markets: Where to Find Favorite Japanese Treats

Source: Japan Cheapo

Kyoto is known more for its shrines and temples than its street food, but where you do find it, know that it’s the best. Here’s a list of places not-to-be missed Kyoto street food markets.
The best market: Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market is a shopping street with a history that spans hundreds of years. As you might guess, it’s a place where shops have been around for generations, selling traditional Japanese ingredients like tofu, fish, green tea, and fruit. You will also see stalls of ready-made food, sweets and several restaurants. Most things in the market are comfortably under ¥1,000. Sometimes, you get lucky and the vendors hand out free samples. Read our full guide to exploring Nishiki Market.

Nishiki Mar

The post Kyoto Street Food Markets: Where to Find Favorite Japanese Treats appeared first on Japan Cheapo.

…continue reading


Top Akasaka Ramen Shop: Tomo


When it comes to Akasaka ramen shops, Akasaka Mendokoro Tomo takes top prize. From creamy chicken paitan ramen to smooth tasting tsukemen, prices start at a reasonable ¥740!

Flying Fish Shoyu Ramen

Their signature ramen is a blend of flying fish (ago) and tonkotsu / shoyu. I’d describe it as well-balanced. The tonkotsu base doesn’t feel too heavy nor does the sharper flying fish taste take over the bowl.

Flying Fish Shoyu Ramen: ¥740

It’s also not as salty as the grilled flying fish ramen you’ll find at Ramen Takahashi. The mizuna toppings are a refreshing touch. Incredible bowl.

Creamy Chicken Ramen with Wasabi

This ramen definitely falls under the “paitan” (creamy chicken) category. It’s thick and rich but the light shio seasoning politely offsets this intensity.

Chicken Shio Ramen with Egg: ¥840

This ramen comes with a little plate of wasabi. What a smart choice for a condiment! The nostril-flaring wasabi similarly cuts through the creaminess. The straight thick noodles they use remind me of Ie-kei style ramen.

Chicken Shoyu Tsukemen with Yuzu

Their tsukemen is a chicken shoyu base and is equally delicious. The sweet and sour broth is not as thick as post 2001 tsukemen.

Tsukemen with Egg: ¥890

The condiment for the tsukemen is an yuzu and apple vinegar paste. Toss it in the soup …continue reading


New opening - Cyclo Banh Mi: Ebisu


This sandwich specialty shop located inside the Ebisu Food Hall complex offers seven types of banh mi sandwiches such as Pork with Sweet Chili Mayo, Braised Chicken with Lemongrass, and Soft Shrimp. The sandwiches are livened up with plenty of fresh cilantro, although we wouldn’t mind a few more pickles in the mix.

Vietnamese soup and Egg Coffee are optional add-ons, and you can supplement your sandwich with coffee, desserts and poke bowls from the other stalls in the food court. There’s plenty of seating, both inside and out on the back terrace, or you can get your sandwich to go. …continue reading