Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tokyo: First Night

Forgive me for being busy and lazy.  I haven't had much time to update this but last I remembered, I promised you guys some Japanese foods from my trip back in October.

On the night we arrived in Tokyo, we met up with my host mother and she brought us over to Tenkuni in Shinjuku's Takashimaya building for a very nice (and long) tempura meal with all her relatives who will be attending the wedding the next day.  My first time having a tempura meal in Japan was about 15 years ago at some neighbourhood restaurant in Shibuya where they fry the stuff infront of you.  Unfortunately, at Tenkuni, it wasn't so.  But regardless, it was fabulous.

These were all pre-ordered for me, so I didn't get a chance to see on a menu what exactly they are.

 Appetizer #1: canape of cold cuts

 Appetizer #2: assorted sashimi

I was really excited to finally have some super fresh sashimi.  To my disappointment, not that these were not good, they taste nearly the same as the stuff we get back home.  I guess I can say that the quality of sushi back home has gone up significantly.

 Main #1: tempura shrimp and sand-smelt fish

They even fried up the shrimp legs to serve.  I've never been a fan of shrimp legs because ever since I was little, my father used to tell me to rip them off and discard them because they are filthy.  Nevertheless, I tried some and it was super crunchy!

 Main #2: tempura sea eel (anago as opposed to unagi) and various types of mushrooms

Not a fish fan, especially ones that look like a snake!  I don't eat fish with its skin on either.  So, I was trying to be polite and picked as much as I could stomach off the eel, paying extremely close attention to any bones.

Main #4:  shrimp pancake tempura with soba

By main course #4, we were quite full.  It was only the curiosity of foods that kept us going.  This course gave us some options, it was either pair the pancake with soba noodles or pair it with ochazuke, a rice dish  soaked in green tea.

 Dessert: tempura sweet potato with ice cream

As part of any Japanese custom, there was a constant flow of liquor.  They start you with beer and work you up towards the hard stuff like sake or shochu.  And to be polite, those who could drink, drank.  Below was the result of my father's social obligations.

He had a couple of beers, was fed probably about 12oz of sake, 
then the men decided to experiment with shochu so he went along with it.

Later, I learned that my father spent 2-3 hours that night puking.

The cost of the meal was unknown, as was paid for by my host father.
It was a good way to start the trip.

More to come.

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