Last December, in the midst of the craziness of Manila during the holiday season, I decided to make a “quick escape” with the family to take a breather and to just “chill” — literally and figuratively! My little food business, TASTE BY GRACE HOME was doing well, which also meant there was a barrage of orders day and night. I am thankful for all that, but this also meant I had to sacrifice a lot of sleep and rest. So when my stress levels finally hit the roof, I knew it was time to take a break even for just a few days — right before the holidays reached its final peak on Christmas Day!
So off we went to one of our favorite nearby cities, TOKYO! It was such a good time to be there since the weather was already cool, sometimes even reaching a low of 6 degrees. We may not have had a white Christmas, but at least we had a slightly cool Christmas somewhere — even for just a few days! This was more than enough to make us (especially the kiddos) — very happy!
Of course, when in Tokyo, you take advantage of the FOOD. Food in Japan as we all know is part and parcel of their culture. The Japanese take their food and its preparation seriously. Ingredients are always fresh and quality is always at its best!
So here I am now sharing with you some of my favorite dining spots in cool Tokyo (and yes, filing it under my TSM FAVE THINGS for DECEMBER — sorry just a month delayed. Ha ha ha!) :
KOBE BEEF IN KAWAMURA
You cannot NOT have Kobe beef when in Tokyo, so this is a must. And one of the more well-known restaurants that serve premium quality Kobe Beef is Kawamura. They have a couple of branches now — and the newest one is located in Roponggi and that’s where we went.
We had dinner in Kawamura with our couple friend who was also on holiday break from Manila. And this photo is with the lovely wife, my friend, who is also named Grace! 🙂 We took this photo after our delicious Kobe beef dinner, when we dropped them off in the lobby of their hotel, The Peninsula Tokyo. (I’ve always loved this hotel’s lobby for photo ops!)
SHABU SHABU HOTPOT
Somewhere within the nooks and crannies of busy Ginza, you will find a few good places for a Shabu Shabu meal.
Unfortunately, I was not able to take down and remember the name of this place which was of course, in Japanese — so that made it even harder for me to recall! 🙁
But here’s my tried and tested tip: Ask your hotel’s concierge for their recommendations on where to go and how to book these restaurants. They know where to lead you — just tell them exactly what you are looking for. That’s how we discovered this place!
FRENCH JAPANESE FINE DINING IN NARISAWA
If you like to add a bit more flair to your dining experience in Tokyo, the city has a lot to offer! In fact, Tokyo is known to have more Michelin-restaurants than Paris, the home of haute French cuisine!
One of favorite fine dining places here is Narisawa where every dish is an art in itself!
The restaurant has consistently been awarded with two Michelin stars and for 2017, is rated number 18 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants!
This is not my first time here, and I do really enjoy coming back as both food and service are top-notch!
The only thing was, on this night… I remember it to be too cold and windy! But what the heck, I still needed a souvenir photo right by the door of this multi-awarded restaurant! 🙂
Now, last but not the least… let’s talk about desserts!
FROZEN S’MORES AT DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY
One of my favorite pastry chefs based in New York City (the creator of the original Cronut!) has opened shop in Tokyo! I’ve been wanting to check out Dominique Ansel Bakery since my last trip here but it was only last December when I finally found the time and the chance to do so.
There were many pastries, cakes, cookies, eclairs, and all kinds of desserts to choose from… and we did try a few here and there. But it must be said that this original creation of Dominique Ansel called FROZEN S’MORES is what all dessert dreams are made of! It’s both hot and cold, and it’s chocolatey and sweet! It uses the perfect combination of chocolate, ice cream and marshmallows rolled into one, making all kids (and mummies and daddies too) very happy!
So remember this : FROZEN S’MORES when in Dominique Ansel’s Bakery in Tokyo. Do not leave this shop without trying this!
So there you have it! Just a few of my favorite dining spots in Tokyo. I actually have a lot more — but that’s all the space and time we have for now! 🙂
Since I’ve been to Tokyo a couple of times in the previous years, I’ve written a few blog posts about this city! Click the link here if you want to read them!
And if you want to go back and read our past months’ TSM FAVE THINGS, you can click here too.