100% Chocolate Cafe | Ginza – Tokyo

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100% Chocolate Cafe entrance
100% Chocolate Cafe entrance

100% Chocolate Cafe is a store owned by Meiji, a traditional Japanese chocolate brand. There you will find desserts, chocolate drinks, and an incredible variety of 56 chocolate flavours! That’s right, I have the proof on the image below. 😛

Chocolate options
Chocolate options

There is a huge range of different flavours, grouped by: cacao beans (1-22), different sweeteners (23-26), different types of milk (27-33), Japanese flavours (34-40), European taste (41-50) and Cacao history (51-56). I don’t know how to read Japanese, but I believe each tablet has 14 grams of chocolate.

My order

It was extremely hard to choose. I simply love chocolate and unusual flavours, so the combination of both was a tremendous challenge for me. In the end here’s what I got:

  • Wasabon (26) – a type of Japanese sweetener.
  • Maccha (34) – a Japanese herb.
  • Yomogi (37) – another Japanese herb.
  • Cinnamon (52).
  • Cacao 95% (54).
My pretty bag. :D
My pretty bag. 😀
My choices were Wasabon, Maccha, Yomogi, Cinnamon, and Cacao 95%
My choices were Wasabon, Maccha, Yomogi, Cinnamon, and Cacao 95%

About the chocolate itself, I’m quite happy with my choices; chocolate pieces of good quality, not fatty and you could hear the chocolate snap when biting it. The flavours are mild as well, so if you are afraid of trying something you think you may not like, no need for that as the cocoa flavour is more prominent on it than the added element.

OK, except for the cinnamon one… I could swear it had some sugar crystals in it, so I’m not sure whether this is a Japanese thing or simply that the chocolate did not survive perfectly the trip back – yes, I ate them back here in Australia – it wasn’t expired, though.

The verdict

In case your are a chocolate lover like I’m, it is definitely a place to go. You can have a dessert, drink something, or just buy some of these chocolates as a little souvenir from Japan 🇯🇵.

About the English: There is an English menu and staff can communicate just a little in English.

Total bill: Unfortunately I don’t remember how much it was, but I do remember they had special prices depending on the quantity you buy.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/7fWXvKgbVrw

More information: www.meiji.co.jp/sweets/choco-cafe/

Kosamu | Shinjuku – Tokyo

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Kosamu is a Korean restaurant that was really close to the place we stayed in Tokyo (Shin-Okubo area).
I might say this was very convenient for those long, exhaustive summer days walking around the city. Plus, it wasn’t packed (around 7pm), so no waiting lines at all!

We decided to have dinner there not only to have a ramen break, but also because we LOVE ❤️ bibimbap! This Korean dish is delicious, really nutritious, gluten free and packed with flavour.

Bibimbap means “mixed rice” – thanks Wikipedia. Basically you have a base of white rice, topped with a selection of veggies, minced beef and a raw egg, all served in a hot stone pot. Then, you mix everything together and it’s done!

In case you are not super comfortable with the idea of having raw eggs, while mixing things in the hot pot, the egg will cook a bit. So don’t worry about too much about it. 🙂

My order

I might say that particular evening I was tempted to order more and more things.
They had so many good (and eye-catching) options in their menu, but we decided to go with:

  • Appetizers: Radish Kimchi and Myeolchi Bokkeum (fried anchovies). They are complimentary and served right after you place your order.
  • Main: Hot Pot Bibimbap topped with bean sprouts, cooked spinach, mushrooms, sesame seeds, minced beef and a raw egg.
Kosamu appetizers: Daikon (winter radish) Kimchi and Myeolchi Bokkeum (fried anchovies)
Kosamu appetizers: Radish Kimchi and Myeolchi Bokkeum (fried anchovies)
Kosamu main: Hot Pot Bibimbap
Kosamu Bibimbap

It was my first time trying Radish Kimchi and I really enjoyed it. I always had the cabbage one, but this version got me impressed.

About the Bibimbap, that portion was huge! I’m glad I gave up ordering other things.
The flavour was very nice as well, quite authentic in my opinion. At least for someone that hasn’t been to Korea yet. 🙂

In general, I really liked the well-cooked veggies combined with the crunchiness of the sesame seeds.

The verdict

It is a good restaurant, especially considering the portion sizes and price. Also, what I like about this dish is the variety of veggies in it. It was hard to find good salad options in Japan, so having some veggies was something very positive for me.

The downside about this place was that they did not have a smoke-free area.
This, unfortunately, seems to be relatively common in Japan, more noticeably in Korean places. Bummer. 🙁

About the English: There is an English menu and staff can communicate well in English.

Total bill (two people): $1,960 Yen (A$ 25) – dinner and no drinks.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/DPY792N5rA12 (This restaurant is on the ground floor. There is another Korean restaurant upstairs.)

More information: https://facebook.com/kossamjp

UOBEI Sushi | Shibuya – Tokyo

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UOBEI Sushi entrance
UOBEI Sushi entrance

UOBEI is a high-tech sushi restaurant in Shibuya with affordable sushis. Yep, a-f-f-o-r-d-a-b-l-e sushi.
Let’s say that at first I thought being in Japan I would automatically see cheap and great sushi everywhere, but that’s not exactly true, especially comparing with ramen (which is consistently cheap and great).

Some people say this is a place for tourists only and their sushi is not as good as a traditional sushi restaurant in Japan. However, I’ve been there twice and I can safely say I spotted many locals eating there as well.

I really liked there – both the food and the experience. Sushis were fresh, yummy and good sized.
If you like to eat well without spending a lot, don’t think twice. 🙂

UOBEI Sushi - tablet for ordering and the delivery.
UOBEI Sushi – tablet for ordering and the delivery tray.

So, why is it high-tech? Well, it is all about the experience!

UOBEI is not like a traditional sushi train restaurant, where the food keeps going round and round on a conveyor belt, until someone gets it. That’d be too boring, wouldn’t it?

Instead, you place your order using a touchscreen device placed in front of you. Then, a few seconds later, your order slides in in front of you on one of the tree “sushi lanes”. Yep, it comes straight to you! No human contact (order than the humans preparing your sushi, of course), no ordering mistakes. Your fresh and pretty sushi comes straight way to meet you!

My order

Before you scroll down let me say I’ve been there twice, both opportunities with my husband, so all the plates you’re about to see are not all mine. 😛
I’ve tried to take photos of all dishes we ordered there, but I forgot some of their names. #sorrytoohungry.

Traditional sushi

As you would expect, there are many options of traditional sushi available. You can find salmon, tuna, prawns (shrimp), squid, and also in raw or grilled versions.

Tuna sushi
Tuna sushi
Grilled salmon
Grilled salmon
Tuna uramaki
Tuna uramaki
I don't remember its name. :( But it is a fish based sushi.
I don’t remember its name. 🙁 But it is a fish-based sushi with teriyaki sauce.
I don't remember its name. :( But it is a fish based sushi.
Also don’t remember the name, but it was delicious. 🙂
Tuna and Albacore tuna
Tuna and albacore sushi
Seared Salmon with black pepper
Seared salmon with black pepper
Salmon with onion and mayo
Salmon with onion and mayo
I don't remember its name. :( But it is a fish based sushi.
Another one that I don’t remember the name.
Tuna salad
Tuna salad

Vegetarian sushi

In case you are vegetarian, don’t worry! There are plenty of options, here are some that I’ve tried.

Grilled corn
Grilled corn
Thick sliced omelette
Thick sliced omelette
Natto (fermented soy beans)
Natto (fermented soy beans)

Specials: meat sushi

Meat lover, but not really into fish? You are covered! There are pork and beef options available.

Pork slices with green onion
Pork slices with green onion
Roasted pork ribs
Roasted pork ribs

Deep fried options

Missing some oily stuff? You can try some of their deep fried dishes.

Inari (sweet rice)
Inari (sweet rice)
Deep fried roll with chicken
Deep fried roll with chicken

As you could see there are options for all palates. I haven’t tried, but there is also available udon soup and other noodle dishes.

The verdict

I loved it! I’m not a sushi fan, but I really enjoyed my experience there and of course, the food. Specially the yummy thick sliced omelette. I could totally have some of it now. 🙂

Ah! This place has the reputation of having huge waiting lines for lunch and dinner. So, be smart going there, avoid peak hours and you’re golden. Our both opportunities there we didn’t have to wait at all. It was around 11.50 am and 6 pm.

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate well in English, but you will not need them. 🙂

Bill: Dishes start from $108 Yen ($1.40 AU) – there is free green tea available.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/BaNcPEGHcoo

I’ll leave you now with a view from the inside:

UOBEI Sushi - inside view.
UOBEI Sushi – inside view.

The Station Grill | Shinjuku – Tokyo

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The Station Grill entrance
The Station Grill entrance

It was one of the very few rainy days we got in Tokyo, so we decided to keep ourselves dry and explore some shopping centres in Shinjuku while waiting for the bad weather to go away. Around lunchtime, we decided to eat (obviously :P) and kill my curiosity about Omurice.

The Station Grill seemed a good option to do both. See, I had never heard about this Omurice thing, even during my research about Japanese food before our trip. However, when I saw it there I thought: “you know what? this looks good, I think it’s worth a try” – and I’m glad I did it.

Omurice is basically fried rice topped with an omelette. You can easily find many different combinations for this dish and I believe it is a good option for those avoiding ramen and other wheat flour-based dishes.

My order

This time hubby and I decided to order the same thing (he’s SOOO jealous). We decided to go with:

  • Special combo rice omelette: chicken rice covered with a delicious omelette, a beef burger topped with BBQ sauce, beef stew, and some veggies.
Special combo rice omelette
Special combo rice omelette

I loved this thing! The chicken rice underneath the omelette was fantastic, packed with flavour. Beef burger well-cooked (I would skip the BBQ sauce, nothing special about it) and the beef stew was tender, deliciously melting in our mouths. Veggies were just fine, to be honest, I would like to have more of them but that’s OK.

The verdict

I really liked the place and this dish. Even if you can’t go to this specific restaurant, the area where it is located is a big food court, so there are plenty of other places serving Omurice. It is a good wheat free option on its own (just double check the dressings) and you can pick different combinations to compose your dish. I also found it to be very filling for the price.

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate well in English.

Bill: $3,340 Yen (A$44) – two people, dishes only, no drinks.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/9cSievJy3QP2 (This restaurant is located in the Lumine Est shopping centre, on the 7th floor.)

More information: www.four-seeds.co.jp/brand/station_grill

Tonchang Korean BBQ | Shin-Okubo – Tokyo

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Tonchang entrance
Tonchang entrance

I ❤️ BBQ in general, so I obviously love Korean BBQ as well!
No kidding, the tender and fatty meat, char-grilled, getting crispier and tastier… hmmm I’m already hungry!

Tonchang restaurant, in Shin-Okubo serves a delicious Korean barbeque. There is a good variety of meats to choose from and it comes with many yummy Korean sides. I might say this is a good option for those following a low-carb diet or looking for something paleo-ish. I would only be extra careful with the sides as they may contain soy sauce and sugar.

My order

There were many Korean dishes available, but we decided to go with a traditional pork BBQ. Our choice was:

  • Ton-toro set: Pork neck slices
  • Sides (I don’t quite remember them all, but let’s try): lettuce, goma-abura (sesame oil with salt), tenjan (Korean miso), negi (seasoned shredded white scallions), radish kimchi, cabbage kimchi, yeongeun jorim (braised lotus root), mung (bean sprouts), and spinach with tofu.
Tonchang: Ton-toro BBQ set (pork neck slices)
Tonchang: Ton-toro BBQ set (pork neck slices)
Tonchang: Ton-toro BBQ set (sides)
Tonchang: Ton-toro BBQ set (sides)
How to eat it
This is how you’re supposed to eat

The traditional way to eat it is using a lettuce leave to wrap some piece of meat and some of the sides. Then just put everything into your mouth. Simple like that.

Be prepared to get your hands, literally, dirty. Same applies for your chest and arms. 😐
Fat from the meat being cooked can splash on you (the restaurant provides a paper apron). Also, takes some time and practice to wrap your meat properly. Apart from the extra work, it’s definitely a great experience and the food is simply delicious, worth a try!

The verdict

I loved this wrap-your-way idea. It was wonderful to play with the flavours and trying different sides each time. Another delicious thing was the kimchi portion they add to the grill to cook with the meat. It adds a kick to the meat. YUM!

An important note, the sides are refillable. So feel free to ask for more whenever or whatever you liked the most!

About the English: English menu available and staff can communicate just a little in English.

Bill: $2,594 Yen (A$33) – BBQ for two and no drinks.

Exact location: https://goo.gl/maps/YiqGj25qkuM2 (This restaurant is located on the first floor.)

More information: www.tonchang.com