{tokyo ed.o2} パート 一つ

7:40 PM sians 1 Comments

(the title translates to part one ;) if you were wondering what it was)

day two in tokyo started at 3:15 am. >.<

well...at least for me.

{rmc} managed an extra 15 minutes of sleep....mmmm.. sweet, sweet blissful sleep.

after waking up (rather reluctantly, i might add), we only managed to leave the hotel at 4:15 am. so early that the streets were über empty and we wanted to catch the subway which was also deserted. it truly is a rare sight during the rest of the day... such a great opportunity for photography... if only we weren't pressed for time.

our initial plan was to catch a train..we quickly noticed how quiet the train station was and there was no one working at the counters that we soon realized that the subways might not even be operating at this hour >.<  we rushed out of the station, looking for cab and perhaps luck was on our side that we managed to find one, parked on the side of the street. after some awkward exchange of conversation with the cab driver who didn't quite understand english, we still managed to get to our location!

why the hurry? and the crazy early hour?! one reason :: to watch the tuna auction at tsukiji fish market (pronounced "skee-gee") - tsukiji  fish market houses the biggest tuna auction in the world. 

i figured if we got there half an hour earlier, we would have gotten a spot, no problem..except not quite. when we arrived, we saw a long line forming by the side of the street, which we suspect is for what we came for.. after speaking to the guy in charge who directed us to another location, we walked towards the booth where a man apologized and said that the quota for public for the day has been reached, a news that disappointed us greatly. i asked him what time would be best to be there if we wanted to get a spot -- 4 to 4:30am was his answer -.-

check online if the tuna auction is open to public -- limited to 120 persons/day; 
first come, first serve basis. 
these are divided into 2 groups, one at 5:25 am and the other at 5:50am. 
apply for a spot at the osakana fukyu centre (fish information center) at kachidoki gate. 
preferably be there at 4 to 4:30 to get a spot. 

regardless, no harm done.. since our food itinerary started at tsukiji market...guess what is for breakfast...? you won't even need extra guesses if i told you it's something japan is famous for and we are close to a fish market..


{hr} told me that fresh sushi for breakfast near tsukiji is a must which made sense. and after much research, there is one restaurant that kept appearing in multiple websites to be the BEST in tokyo -- sushi dai. which only means.. {rmc} and i MUST try this sushi place no matter what!  sushi dai's  biggest rival is daiwa sushi... both of which have their own loyal following.

such a sushi place of this caliber needs a blog entry! however, there is one thing i would mention -- you will have be very patient and be willing to wait a long time to get fresh sushi from here..if you wanna know how long we waited, please anticipate the write up for sushi dai. ^^

after breakfast we decided to walk around the area until the seafood wholesale opens at 9am.

fresh wasabi that i've only seen on iron chef america before

the fruits look so fresh..it's almost ridiculous

since we weren't planning to buy anythng, we started heading towards the wholesale market area as the time approached 9am.

info! please wear appropriate shoes -- preferably closed toe cos the market is freaking wet. it gets icky if you wear sandals. think of typical wet market -- with fish juice...

unfortunately, i didn't take too many photos in this place since i thought we were not supposed to. i did get myself something from here though -- fresh uni! :) that's sea urchin if you are unfamiliar with its japanese name.

it's creamy, rich and full of the flavor of sea! yummy! literally each bite is a mouthful of concentrated seafood-y flavor.

time to move to our next destination but we had to look for our subway station which led us through lovely city sights ^^

yes...very funny, {rmc} -.-
( i have to admit.. i secretly find this photo amusing..lol)

our next destination :: asakusa!

but first, we needed our caffeine fix from our usual haunt before heading to i love best...food/shopping street -- nakamise street!

despite us being full from breakfast and coffee..plus we were gonna have lunch in two hours -- yet.... i caved in and bought a snack...taiyaki!

{rmc} reckons i look like a satisfied, greedy, cheshire cat who got her fill of fish!
geddit?...(okay, you can roll your eyes now! lol)
taiyaki, a popular japanese snack - instead of the traditional azuki beans, i opted for chestnut. these had bits of chestnut mingled with the smooth chestnut paste which was sweetened just enough..the batter was not really crispy but soft. pretty good. you can enjoy your pastry as you watch the chef making fresh batches.

as we walked along nakamise street, we spied the main attraction in asakusa. it is the home of the sensoji temple, which is a popular buddhist temple.  it is one of the oldest and most significant temple in tokyo.

shopping! and well, i spy with my little eye -- the sensoji temple from afar!
but then i got distracted by this side street. ^^
and cute little kitties! ^_^ Y
when i thought we were back on track... then comes along...
another lovely street... and...
more cute mini pastry thingi!

but after us stopping at multiple shops and going into different streets, we finally made it to the main reason for our visit -- sensoji temple!

it was a beautiful temple... accentuated by the red and majestic looking -- my description probably fails to capture what i mean so i'll let the pictures do the talking.

decided to try it out for fun. got a really good one ^^

what i nicknamed the wishing hut -- many written in different languages

map of the whole sensoji temple area
side entrance to sensoji temple's compound -- love the bonsai tree by the entrance

since this entry a little longer than expected -- split into two, it shall. lol. i've only covered half of day two *_* i suppose it's a lot longer since our day started wayyyy too early! anywho, await for the next part...it's in the works so it will be published a lot sooner than you think ^^

disclaimer this is written based on personal experiences and opinion. experiences and taste budsmay vary for others.


paris club

7:19 PM sians 1 Comments

la nourriture translates to food from french. 

ask me to pronounce a word in french, i'll flat out refuse for the fear of butchering the beautiful, melodic sounds of french words. but ask me to try french food, i'll lunge at the opportunity instantly :)

paris club has been on my radar for a while since it opened early last year. with a name such as paris club, they offer their rendition and spin on french cuisine. located (in what i lovingly call, the restaurant district) a few blocks away from michigan avenue, i was absolutely excited to try this place out and {xy} was my food buddy for this french food adventure.

clad in grey, paris club looks like a swanky club from the outside. however, walk inside through the french doors and you'd be greeted by vintage decor. well...to be more exact, as you enter the restaurant, a bar lines the wall on the right contrasting a huge, open window across from it that frames the dining room reminiscent of a parisian cafe. exposed brick walls and deep red steel pillars -- loved it. 

from the menu, i notice that their concept leaned towards shared plates.

when i read the description of one of the entrees, i was quickly drawn towards it -- along with two other dishes that i was interested in trying out but this dish trumped the other two.  happy with {xy} agreed to share an appetizer with me.

le hors d'œuvres {small plates} :: french onion fondue | gruyère ($6.95)

i love yelp sometimes -- the reviewers mentioned this as a must order.. and i'm very glad that they recommended this. the thick layer of creamy, melty gruyère cheese topped the sweet caramelized onions and the savory french onion soup. such a perfect topping for the crispy, crusty crostini. very yummy!! one thing though, it is better eaten warm than when it's cooled just because melty cheese is pure food love! lol so yes, trust the yelp reviewers...well sometimes -- this is a must try.

le plat principal {french soul food} :: chicken thigh | black truffles, sauce foie gras ($14.95)

this dish featured four of my favorite ingredients: black truffles, foie gras, chicken thighs and asparagus. when it was first served to the table, i was quite surprised by the dark part on the chicken -- i mean i know this was dark meat but it was far TOO dark >< hehe (sorry, weak humor -.-). in fact, i thought it was burnt. actually, there were chopped black truffles stuffed between the skin and the flesh.  i was so happy when i cut into that part... loveee truffle! the combination of the earthiness from the truffle and the savory, rich creamy of the foie gras sauce is a match made in heaven. the chicken thighs were moist and asparagus was cooked to a tender crunch. i can't believe i got this plate of deliciousness at such a price. my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

le plat principal {french soul food} :: coq au vin | two ways ($19.95)

this was one of the other two that i considered ordering so i could compare my classic version of coq au vin that i've cooked. since i decided on the chicken thighs, {xy} decided to order this which was perfect for me. i had a bite of his dish and thought mine was a lot better.. the one bite i took didn't taste much of wine. the two ways really meant the white meat was seared and sous-vided which retained the moistness and the dark meat is cooked in wine all atop mashed potatoes. {xy} wasn't very happy with his choice, understandably so.

le dessert {dessert} :: dark chocolate mousse | whipped cream . chocolate shavings ($4.95)

the dessert was a tad small but it was just enough to be shared since we were quite full. the cream was whipped fresh which cuts the sweetness of the mousse itself. the mousse was smooth and chocolate-y and the dark chocolate shavings offered textural difference. it was satisfying end to our dinner.

artsy shot i got by chance :)
{xy} and i agreed that paris club was one of the best restaurants we've tried together for a very long time. definitely would earn a second visit -- which is usually a sign that i would recommend this place to friends. as the french would put it, 'délicieux'..

{yummy-ness | 4 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | french onion fondue, chicken thighs with black truffle & foie gras sauce}
{skip the... | coq au vin}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

Paris Club on Urbanspoon

p.s. watching bizzare foods with andrew zimmern: windy chicago episode made me miss chicago even more than i have ever before -- the clips of river north, xoco, etc had me craving to return to my second home T.T