Friday, November 16, 2018


Before going to Hawaii back in June, I found beets at the market, roasted them, then stuck them in the freezer.

Then recently, our train line which has a free monthly magazine/pamphlet had a feature on European recipes and borscht was one of them.

The weather was a bit nippy, so I adapted the recipe and made us a batch.

Borscht adapted from "Salus" November 2018 (makes 2 servings)

1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 onion, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large potato, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 roasted beet, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large leaf kale, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups water
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons yogurt, measure then placed onto paper towel to remove water
dry dill, optional

Put the carrot, zucchini, onion and potato into a pot/pan and saute in olive oil until onion is transparent.
Add the water, bouillon cube and tomato paste, cook on medium high for about 5 minutes.
When potato is soft, lower heat to simmer and add the beet and kale.
Cook for another 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
When serving, add half the yogurt and sprinkle dill.

NOTES: This recipe actually had another one to make your own beef stock to add to the soup, but I didn't use it because I wanted to use the vegetable bouillon that I had in my pantry. This was still tasty (and easy) plus I still have more beets and one more vegetable bouillon cube, so I will make this again.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

asagaya & kichijoji

Sunday, we went to visit Satoshi's friends at their cafe called Taizankan.

Lunch was their curry rice.

Just the right amount of spice and it was great catching up with them.

From Asagaya, we walked one station over to Koenji.

The area under the train tracks have been cleaned up and there are cool event spaces for everything anime (animation) related.

Another area we saw was the Koenji Apartment with hipster eateries and shops on the bottom (I want to go back to try the coffee shop and craft beer shops).

We caught the train to Kichijoji and walked through Inokashira Park to have crepes at Cafe de Lievre.

Lots of the leaves have fallen without even changing!

Though there was still some with color...hope to come across some reddish ones soon...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


There is an area called Oimachi nearby, if you remember, this is where we had pizza at Pizza Man.

Satoshi passes through here on his daily commute, so he said to meet him after his German class at Oimachi for dinner, so he could show me the Christmas lights that were up.

Dinner was at a Gyutan (beef tongue) restaurant called Iroha.

The place is tiny and they make you sit really close to other tables.

So close, we had to "second hand chain smoke" with the women at the next table...*gag*

We had their grilled gyutan cut thick and we also had calf tongue.

I liked the calf tongue better because it was more tender.

We also had moyashi (bean sprouts) namul and cabbage topped with garlic and konbu.

Their inarizushi wasn't anything too special.

Their shiitake skewers with butter and garlic were good but their beef tongue skewers with raw egg was gross.

We were pretty sure they didn't use tongue for these skewers, the texture was mushy like liver...

Kinda hit or miss at this place, there are so many eateries in this area, so next time we'll try somewhere else.

5-3-13 Higashi-Oi
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6712.8366
Hours: 16:00-24:00

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


I've passed Asahizushi many times and we finally checked them out.

This family run shop is very friendly and laid back.

We started out with some sashimi...fresh & delicious.

I ordered a sushi set while Satoshi had the owner make sushi by the piece.

These photos are from my set.

There are a few pieces missing because we were too busy eating and chatting with the owner and his family.

Definitely different from those conveyor belt sushi places.

The quality of the fish was excellent and the rapport and atmosphere of the place was priceless.

We'll be back.

8-2-20 Chuo
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3751.2346
Closed Mondays
Hours: 11:30-14:00 (lunch), 17:00-22:00

Monday, November 12, 2018


We recently tried this sirloin wagyu from Yamagata.

I was impressed because it had a number.

The number certifies that it is truly wagyu (Japanese beef).

It was our first time trying wagyu like this.

Luckily, it was tasty and wasn't krazy expensive.

p.s. I've started to re-do my posts that have photos on Flickr, I hope the re-posts are not overflowing your RSS feeds, sorry for any inconvenience.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

gaienmae & azabujuban

Wednesday, Satoshi had the day off, so we went to check out the ginkgo trees near Gaienmae.

The tops are kind of dried out, but the lower part of the trees are turning yellow.

We had lunch at Shake Shack because "someone" was starving and didn't want to look for somewhere else to eat.

He had the single shack burger while I tried the shack-cago dog...this dog was disappointing...

They cut the sausage lengthwise to cook it and the bun fell apart...messy eats.

Then we walked to the National Art Center of Tokyo.

We didn't go inside but I'm sure Satoshi will when there is an exhibit he is interested in is there.

Taiyaki from Naniwaya Sohonten in Azabujuban.

They are one of the oldest in business since 1909?!

The outside has a little chew but it is filled to the tail with chunky sweet bean paste.

We thought the weather was forecast for rain but it turned out to be a great day out and about.

National Art Center of Tokyo
7-22 Roppongi
Minato, Tokyo
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 10:00-17:30

Naniwaya Sohonten
1-8-14 Azabujuban
Minato, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3583.4975
Closed Tuesdays and every 3rd Wednesday
Hours: 10:00-19:00

Saturday, November 10, 2018

patisserie ayako iwayanagi

I saw this shop from the train and looked it up online.

Finally got to check it out the other day.

Patisserie Ayako Iwayanagi is a tiny shop serving parfaits and other treats.

Next door is a shop that she recently opened called Patisserie Ayako Iwayanagi Plus.

This shop serves crepes as well as baked treats.

I tried the berauwecka, an Alsatian fruit cake filled with lots of dried fruit.

And her sel chocolat noir....dark chocolate with salt and a crispy shortbread cookie in the middle.

I know both would be great with coffee but I had them with red good!

I hope to give her baked treats as gifts in the future.

I'll be back.

Patisserie Ayako Iwayanagi
4-4-5 Todoroki
Setagaya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6432.3878
Closed Mondays
Hours: 10:00-19:00