The last 24 hours and lunch at Yonemura @ Ginza

>> Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the past 24 hours:

  • The masseuse said to me "You eat a lot of sweet food, don't you?". Wow, if she could tell that just by massaging my legs, I wonder what else she knows?!
  • I took a few photos with my first ever SLR camera! Hurray!
  • I was at the airport and wished I could fly to San Francisco instead of Sydney
  • The airport officer at the Taipei Airport laughed my Chinese signature on my passport and said "What kind of writing is that?" ;)
  • I sat next to a girl who had a fever throughout the flight and they had to look for a doctor passenger to examine her. I was glad for a second that I wasn't a doctor so I wouldn't have to 'work' in the middle of the night, but then I caught myself with that selfish thought and wished I was a doctor. Then I fell asleep.
  • For probably the first time, I said 'no' to plane food
  • I made 2 goals for the next couple of months - to sleep at 10:30pm every night for no one likes a baggy eyed girl and to learn Japanese! Sugoiiii!
  • I started missing my parents badly!
  • I day-dreamed of Tokyo and wondered when I'll be back again
  • I baked a banana cake...I missed the simple and humble things like that.


Being in the city with so many restaurants (160,000+ to be more specific according to the trusty Wiki), it's definitely hard to pick a place to eat at during my stay here. Too many choices and limited stomach capacity. One must choose wisely, no?

After some googling around, it seems like the one Michelin-starred Yonemura in the posh Ginza has some raving reviews and I was planning on indulging on sweets in the surrounding shops anyways.

Yonemura is located on level 4 of Barney's New York department store off the main street of Ginza and we were an half an hour late for lunch because we were lured into the nearby 11-stories Abercrombie & Fitch as they had super strong air-conditioner (plus we were forced to take polaroid photos with a topless boy as a souvenir. Fact. I really don't know what this world has come to if you ask me.)

Lunch is Y6,000/Y10,000 per person (you can also get the Y3,800 set if you don't have a reservation).

We all had the Y6,000 set while my dad tried the more expensive option.

Anyways, here comes the food photos...

Menu for the Y6,000 set

Hands down the best bread I've had in my life. It's so addictive - that beautiful exterior crunch and the amazing chewy texture of the inside....hmmmm

Consomme soup with clam and water shield

Seafood spring rolls with tomato kimuchi

Seabass meuniere with eggplant and iberico ham

Summer vegetables jelly and pumpkin soup with sea urchin

This is the most visually appetising dish to me and I couldn't bring myself to dig into this happy-looking dish. The cold pumpkin soup was so light and refreshing as they added coconut milk into it instead ocream. The sea urchin was really sweet too ;)

Ayu and foie gras risotto (this was part of the Y10,000 set)

Gratin with scallop and wax gound

Chilled pasta with octopus and sea grapes

I love the texture of the sea-grapes. It is almost like fish roes in that it is so fun to pop in your mouth.

Chilled pasta with octopus and sea grapes up-close

Grilled duck roast with summer vegetables

I wasn't so keen on this duck as it was too rare for my liking and I found it hard to chew.

Dry small fish and rice OR...

Curry and rice

Shiso and blood orange shorbet to cleanse one's palate

The waitress explained to us that shiso is a type of Japanese herb. This was delicious!

One of the choices of desserts: Swiss rolls with seasonal fruits

One of the choices of desserts: Grapefruit jelly with ice-cream

One of the choices of desserts: Creme Brulee

One of the choices of desserts: Cheesecake (with a piece of camembert cheese on top!)

Petit fours

It was one of the most memorable dining experiences for me in Japan and the European influenced Japanese food was exciting and delicious (and beautiful to look at). The bite sized portions were actually really filling by the end of the meal although we did find room afterwards for eclairs and ice-cream at Pierre Marcolini!

Yonemura is definitely a place I look forward to re-visiting soon :)

東京都中央区銀座6-8-7 交詢ビル4F
Tel: 03-5537-6699


Hidemi Sugino + Pierre Marcolini + Qu'il Fait Bon - Ginza

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fruit, mango, berries and white peach tarts from Qu'il Fait Bon

I used to be a planner. Usually before I travel I'd have my daily schedules planned down to the hours and all the contact details of restaurants, hotels and tourist sights etc. saved in my notepad.

However I've learnt that like life - things don't usually turn out the way I plan. In my previous 2 visits to Tokyo, I had intended to try Hidemi Sugino and Qu'il Fait Bon, both rather reputable in Tokyo for their desserts. But this was not to be as it turned out the days I visited those places the lines were so long that I was informed that I'd have to be in line for at least 45 minutes. I dislike waiting in line with a passion. I really do. So I promised myself to come back another day.

This visit to Tokyo I didn't plan much. All I know is that I'd dedicate a day to satisfy my sweet tooth from morning to night. I set my alarm clock the day before and saved the addresses on my phone. I was determined not to miss out again like previous times!

[1] Hidemi Sugino

This is located down an anonymous alley in Ginza (took us a good half hour to find this place in the scorching heat!) and known for its long queue even before its opening hour (true fact). It serves the 'best mousse cakes' as it is known and when I first heard of this place from this other blogger I knew I had to try.

I got there around 20 minutes before opening time and there were already 6 people in line.

Then 2 staff came out and talked in Japanese for 5 minutes - I'm told that they were informing us the rules - that no photos are allowed in the store, there is a limit on how much one can buy and also some cakes are not available for take-aways only dine-ins. Strict huh!? Guess this is what they have to do if they serve the 'best cakes in the world'.
There were 6 cakes in store that we were not allowed to take out so J and I decided to have them as breakfast since we were in such a rush in the morning. I ordered the Ambroisie, which I believe is Sugino's trademark (what won him the Coupe du Monde in 1991). It was amazing - it looked perfect and really lived up to the hype. It was light and airy but at the same time the flavours were so pure yet distinct. It wasn't too sweet as well - which is a major plus for me!
I ordered 4 to take away and the lady told me to put it in the fridge as soon as I go home. Since I couldn't go home as I still had other places to try, I carried it for hours in the summer heat, and as a result, when I got home the cakes looked like they were in an accident. Slightly bruised and wonky. :(

Everest - base: fromage blanc mousse, top: chantilly cream, middle: red fruit confiture.

Sous Bois

Mangue cassis

I can't remember this name! ;) It's raspberry and chestnut cream.

You can read more about Sugino's cakes in details from this blog or see cross-sections of the cakes from here as we devoured them before taking more photos! ;)

[2] Qu'il Fait Bon

Can you believe I was the only customer in store when I got there at 11:30am?! Earlier this year when I was here, the lines were so long that people were out waiting on the streets!

This place is famous for its fruit tarts! I got 4 slices to go :)

Mango tart (my favourite!)

Fruit combo tart

White peach tart

Berries tart

I thought the fruit tarts are among the best I've tried - especially the mango ones. I will be back here again soon for more seasonal fruit tarts! :)

[3] Pierre Marcolini

I love Sadaharu Aoki's eclairs, but I read somewhere that Pierre Marcolini makes even better eclairs at the same price (600 yen)!

Chocolate eclair

The verdict: it is so delicate and the chocolate buttercream is so strong and delicious. It's smaller than Aoki's eclairs but I have to agree that it is better :)

Chocolate and choc chip mint ice-cream
By this time, I was so full that I could hardly walk (we just had a 10-course meal at Yonemura in between the dessert mission hehe).
It's been a memorable day but I won't be stuffing myself with more sweets like this again anytime soon.


Tokyo - Day 3 & 4

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

9-piece beef stack at Lotteria...

Famous Tonkatsa sandwich from Maisen in Omotesando

I love these graters from Pylones!

Jean-Paul Hevin store at Omotesando Hills! Perfect looking macarons..pretty!

Finally went to Tsukiji Fish Market...these aburi engawa are my favourite!

Deliciously fresh sushi from Sushi Zenmai in Tsukiji Market

Cherries!! They're sooo sweet! The people who stack these cherries must be so patient.

Jumbo sized grapes!

We had 2 lunches in Tsukiji on the same day :P This is my bowl of mixed seafood over rice!

We aso ordered this toro sashimi on rice! So fatty and they melt in your mouth...hmmm

Mix nigiri platter also from Tsukiji
They sell a whole lot of other things in Tsukiji market, not just seafood. I didn't know edamame beans grow like this.

We bought crab meat from the supermarket and made our own salad at home :)

Japanese sweets (red bean, black sesame, and soy bean powder wrapping sweet sticky rice)

We bought a few things from Pierre Herme! I don't know what this is called but I'd say it tastes like orange cheesecake :P

Hmmm PH's signature Ispahan! Unfortunately, this is not as good as the one I had in Paris...

Another one of PH's delicious creation that I got to try

Sadaharu Aoki's dessert display at Isetan...the green tea eclair is so good!

Hmmmmmm salmon roe!

Unagi (eel)!

Fish glorious fish

Beautifully fatty wagyu beef

Hehe no trip to Japan is complete without a visit to Mister Donut!
The green-tea flavour is SO good.

Hmmmmmmm donuts!

I got this from the supermarket...apparently it's a mixture of wagyu beef + kurobuta pork! Yummmm...

White peach jelly!

Dinner at a random noodle shop in Shinjuku - cold soba with vegetables

More soba + tempura

Sea-salt pack where you grate your own salt! I bought some already grounded.

Trying different mentos flavours! The cola one is not as good.

Japanese kumeras are sooo sweett!

Cool ice sculpture from Takashimaya department store...people kept touching it to see if its real ice.

Afternoon tea at Takano (fruit parlour).

Fig dessert

This is the best of the 3 - because it's peach season in Japan at the moment.

Sea urchin (unni) still in shell from a sushi train place at Meguro

Take-away chirashi rice

Super fluffy chiffon cake eaten straight from the box
We went to this well known handmade udon chain called Sangokuichi - the chewy texture of the udon is so different to the ones I've had before. They are also famous for their cold udon salad!

Up close and personal with the udon

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