A Guide To Tokyo's
In October, I got to live out a lifelong fantasy of mine: going to Tokyo. And let me tell you, it was everything I imagined it to be. Cutesy Japanese voices squeaking out the speakers of every random bits & bobs store, tiny sushi bars, the wildest street style and Hello Kitty everything!
I'd especially been excited about trying Japanese cuisine, from udon noodles and ramen to wagyu beef and yakitori, and OMG it did not disappoint – shocker. It was hard to have a bad meal in the city because everywhere is just incredible, you’re literally spoilt for choice.
With my Tokyo-themed nails ready to claw at some chop sticks, I delved tongue-first into a new realm of DELICIOUSNESS and here are my top food picks…
Read about the best shops and things to do in Tokyo here
A tiny little gaff in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood, Shin Udon was my absolute favourite. The menu is simple: tempura and udon noodles. You’ll most likely queue but it shouldn’t take too long and the staff bring out the menus as you wait to speed up the process. Top picks: vegetable tempura and the beef or carbonara udon.
When it comes to pork, I’m very fussy and I deffo don't fuck with cutlet/loin, but I badly needed to try Tonkatsu while in Japan. Luckily, I managed to find two places that offered a non-pork version of the classic dish. The first was Suzuya, where I ordered the breaded prawns and crab croquettes, and both were absolutely DELISH.
However, the second place was the one. Tonkatsu Hamakatsu offered chicken on the menu and it really delivered on flavours/overall experience. The chicken was so fresh and full of flavour, while the light, crispy breadcrumbs gave it a little texture and crunch. Dreamy. It came with all the traditional sides, such as rice, miso soup and pickles, as well as sesame seeds. The seeds come in a small bowl ready for you to crush, before adding in the sweet and tangy tonkatsu sauce (kinda like a Worcestershire sauce). Bang bang.
Mmm…ramen. These delightful bowls of pure comfort are everywhere you go in Tokyo and there are four different types: shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented bean paste), and tonkotsu (pork).
As you would expect, I had a few ramens during my Tokyo trip, but I still wished I had been there long enough to try a hundred more, as each ramen is so different to the next. But I did get to fulfil a tiny (pathetic) dream of mine by ordering ramen via a machine. The machines detail the type of broth, meat/veg, any extra toppings and whether you want it spicy or not. I did a little ‘eee’ at the first sight of one, followed by a ‘huh?!’ when I realised it was all in Japanese. At first I had to ask for help (a common theme in the city) but it doesn't take long to work out what the hell is going on.