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Friday, May 11, 2007

Noodles in Tokyo

NB. Photos and edits in purple added 06/06/07

salmon breakfast set
Salmon and natto breakfast set 420 yen

OSAKA to TOKYO: Breakfast at the Meshiya chain again. I had a very lovely rolled omelette with rice. The tamago was wet, soft and sweet, a multitude of layers rolled into a rectangular block.

tamago set
Tamago set 590 yen


pork kochijan
Pork kochijan stir fry set 690 yen

udon noodles
Kake udon 200 yen

meshiya interior
Meshiya interior

We travelled from Osaka to Tokyo, enjoying our first proper obento box on the shinkansen. I love the packaging for these lunches on the run. Unwrapping the pretty printed paper, you find a compartmentalised box made from either thin plywood or styrofoam (bad for the environment but oh so very pretty). At 11.00am, most of the more delicious obento boxes had already sold out. We settled for our fourth choice and revelled in delicate morsels of sushi, sugar snap peas, candied sweet potato, tamago, and other goodies.

obento stalls
Obento stalls at Shin-Osaka train station

Shinkansen train departure board


obento red
Obento box 850 yen

obento green soba
Obento box 850 yen

obento pink lid
Pretty in pink

hexagon obento
Obento box 800 yen

It's a three hour trip to Tokyo so there's wasn't much time for sightseeing by the time we'd checked in. There was a failed attempt to book sumo tickets at a Lawson's convenience store (alas all sold out)

Trying to buy tickets for sumo at Lawsons

so we made the trek out to Akihabara for a look around Electric Town. Speedster and I got bored quickly though and ended up browsing the back streets searching for 100yen shops (our favourite!) and food stalls.

A yeeros stand manned by Turkish servers had a crowd of enthusiastic customers, most of them teenage boys. They hovered around scarfing down mini pita pockets filled with lamb that cost 500yen.

Kyusyu jangara ramen

Our travels uncovered a fantastically popular noodle bar called Kyusyujangara. The queue was constant at this tiny noodle bar and you know what a queue means. It must be good! We dragged along the others and pointed at the only picture available. For 960yen we feasted on a rich bowl of sesame broth and noodles, topped with two fat slices of smoked pork belly and thin slices of pork. A hot pink dollop of mentaiko spicy cod roe was a feisty take on taramasolata.

The atmosphere inside the shoe box restaurant was incredible--four men behind the counter yelling out orders, stirring huge vats of soup, refreshing scoops of noodle in hot water and ladling out the toppings for a high rotation of hungry (mainly suited) customers.

Noodle diners

Kyushu jangara miso 960 yen

Dessert was a couple of oobanyaki--chocolate and black sesame--the only ones they had left at 10.30pm (I would have loved to have tried chestnut or pumpkin).

oobanyaki menu
Oobanyaki menu

oobanyaki moulds
Watching our oobanyaki being reheated

Black sesame and chocolate oobanyaki 120 yen each

Then a stop at Wendy's for a cup of coffee jelly topped with vanilla ice cream.


wendys counter
Counter at Wendy's

coffee jelly
Frosty coffee jelly with ice cream 200 yen

We ended our evening with a good long browse at the local supermarket. Supermarket? Ha, you might as well call it a fooding fun park.

Rockmelons 680 yen each

Two celery stalks 238 yen

Perilla leaves 98 yen

ginger shoot
Ginger shoots 158 yen each

Sweet corn 398 yen each

Fish 88 yen

fried snacks
Fried food cabinet

Kisu fish (sand borer) tempura 88 yen each

ebi prawn
Ebi prawn fried 120 yen each

Kyusyu Jangara - Akihabara
2-17-6 Soto-Kanda 3-11-6
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 (03) 3251 4059

Open 10:30am -11.00pm

Wendy's Japan

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11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/11/2007 11:59:00 pm


  • At 5/14/2007 1:10 pm, Blogger Nilru said…

    I agree the food is cheap in japan (esp with our fantastic exchange rate...100Y today woohoo!)

    You get even better value with nomihodai (all you can drink- some include cocktails in this) and tabehodai (all you can eat) places. I remember a lot of places were only about 1800 yen (or less!!!)

  • At 5/15/2007 3:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Glad to see that you enjoy Japan.
    Thanks for bringing the festival to my attention.
    I wrote a piece on it today on 'Serge the Concierge'.
    In a separate post I asked what 'The 4 cardinal sins of restaurants' are.
    Feel free to share your thoughts on that.

    Take care


  • At 5/17/2007 2:57 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Nilru - The food is definitely cheap. And such good quality too!

    Hi Serge - Thanks and yes I am thoroughly enjoying Japan. You will have to make the trip sometime.

  • At 5/18/2007 5:04 pm, Blogger Robyn said…

    AhhhheheraiUA JEALOUS!!! :) I soo so so wanna go back to Japan now. I mean, more so than I did before. Need that noodle bar experience! Vat of soup, gimme!

    The last time I went to Akihabara (like 10 years ago...euh) my friend and I bought craploads of TAMAGOTCHIS and various Tamagotchi related items! Remember those god awful things? I still have a lot of them. .__.

  • At 5/24/2007 8:54 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Robyn - You needs to get yourself to Japan again. Pronto!

    Of course I remember Tamagotchi. I had one. I think it lived for about 3 weeks. On our flight we were reminded to switch off all elecronic devices including Tamagotchies. lol.

  • At 6/07/2007 1:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of english (or even japanese words using our alphabet!) on any of the signs, menus or pricing labels. How on earth did you know where to eat and most importantly, what to eat? Were you travelling with someone who speaks Japanese?

  • At 6/07/2007 2:00 pm, Blogger dae said…

    hi i've been a silent reader for some time :)

    i loooove japanese food and your pictures and write ups on japan are making me drool endlessly. oh my sushi, udon, obentos!

    reminds me of the time my family took off for a week's holiday in tokyo, leaving me all alone in singapore because i had tons of projects to do though it was term break.


  • At 6/07/2007 4:00 pm, Blogger fennalia said…

    Hi Helen,

    The obento box looks yummy! Do they taste as good as they look? I love the deep fried food cabinet in the supermarket too! Looks good! Keep it up!

  • At 6/08/2007 9:33 pm, Blogger Adekun said…

    It’s nice to see you are enjoying Japan. Aside from the food, I’m missing the veg garden as we are staying with my parents in France. Not much of a fast food fan, but have you tried MOS Burger?

  • At 6/09/2007 9:09 am, Blogger Bloodybastid said…

    Sushi's are the best. I like the abundance of seafood they have over there. Hell, that's probably where I'm gonna live in 2 years.

  • At 6/10/2007 12:02 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Michelle - I remembered bits and pieces of my high school Japanese which came in handy! Most people we encountered were very friendly too and always willing to do their best in English :)

    Hi Dae - Thanks for your first ever comment. I've glad you've broken your silence!

    Japan is heaven for foodlovers isn't it? I hope the next time your family go to Japan you make sure you go with them! lol

    And keep those comments coming too :)

    Hi Fennalia - The obento boxes always taste good. Even though they're cold, they're still so fresh and tasty. The deep fried food always caught my eye too :)

    Hi adekun - I really meant to try MOS burger but never quite got the chance too. Argh. Next time definitely!

    Hi bastid - I heart sushi too!


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