When asked what we were going to do in Japan, we had one main answer: eat. Now that we’re back, we can confidently say that while we did in fact do other things, we sure did eat a lot. From tempura to tamago, soba to sushi, and onigiri to odango and mochi, if we weren’t eating, we were probably thinking about it. (Or we were at a bar, which is like eating but less nutritious.)
Kristan’s favorite was omakase at Sushi Sawada, where we had lots of incredible, amazing, seasonal food: soramame (fava beans) with sea salt; sashimi – hirame, engawa, mirugai(aka geoduck, a super weird large clam) from Tokyo Bay, chutoro, whitebait blanched on a sakura leaf (eating some by themselves and some rolled in the leaf), a chewy scallop, , ika, uni (one eaten with the last ika piece), abalone and abalone jelly, uni inside chutoro, a spring veggie maki piece for a refresher, smoked aji, tako (cooked), charred chutoro; a daikon hand roll for a refresher; nigiri (with wonderfully vinegary ginger as a palate cleanser) – aji, kohada, smoked bonito, chutoro from the belly, chutoro from the neck, otoro, otoro aburi-style (seared on one side with charcoal), an orange clam with wasabi dot, a squid filled with a mixed rice with nori, sesame seeds, and other stuff, a nasu refresher, maguro-zuke, ebi, uni gunkan, anago with salt, anago with sweet sauce, a custardy Edo-style tamago, a wasabi maki (by request after someone else ordered one), and a gooseberry to finish. What’s most amazing is that these are only the ones we can remember!
Max couldn’t get over how specific restaurants were – although there were “general restaurants”, the majority focused on just one thing. Imagine a restaurant that only serves soba noodles… or only tempura… or just eel! In Japan, your dreams will come true.
Other highlights were Kobayashi’s soba (see? a single dish type restaurant!), our Japanese breakfasts and all the mochi hanami treats!