Wednesday, October 13, 2010

day 2

Day 2 started with more rain. Satoshi called to check whether the game he wanted to watch would be on, but it was cancelled.

So, we went downstairs to check out the free breakfast at our hotel. I just had part of a donut, some cucumber, a hard boiled egg & some coffee. (because I was saving my appetite for the day ahead)

Satoshi ate quite a bit and then we were off to check out the Bank of Japan.

It is a huge building, I'm not sure if you can actually go in for a tour as we were there on the weekend.

We did check out the Currency Museum located right across the street. It was free and it was interesting to see Japanese currency as well as other countries currencies that was over 100 years old.

Most of the displays are in Japanese, but they do have English pamphlets.

After the museum we walked to Marunouchi to check out various shops I had on my list "to see".

One was Echire. This butter shop from France is the only one in Japan, maybe the only one overseas?!

Anyway, while others lined up to buy lots of items, we lined up to buy a croissant, a pain au chocolat, a financier & a madeleine.

They control how many people are in the shop, so we had to stand outside the store, when 2 customers came out, 2 were let in.

When we were let into the shop, OM! we were enveloped by a delicious butter aroma...heavenly!

We ordered our items and paid for them, then walked over to an open area and devoured our goodies.

The croissant was so good, made your hands all buttery!

And the madeleine was delicious too. We thought the pain au chocolat could have used a tad more chocolate and the financier was kinda on the tough side....4 items were 1397 yen (about US$13.97)

Next door to Echire is Cacao Sampaka.

I've tried their chocolates awhile back and was interested to see what kinds of things they sold at their store.

Their tomato chocolate jam, an interesting combination, was delicious when we tasted it, so we got a jar...1780 yen (about US$17.80), can't wait to try it on bread.

The sales lady mentioned it is delicious on yogurt, so we'll need to try it that way too.

(UPDATE: it was delicious on bread the chocolate and tomato match perfectly, my only complaint is that when I opened the jar it was half empty!)

We walked around a little more then popped into Boulangerie Viron.

I had originally wanted to have lunch here but the line for seats was long, and Satoshi didn't like the atmosphere, so we just bought some sandwiches and went back to the open area (where we had our buttery treats).

Satoshi chose the Jambon Crudites, which was ham, cheese & egg on a crusty baguette.

I chose the Poulet Roti, roasted chicken, grated carrot salad, butter and a honey mustard vinaigrette on a crusty baguette.

Both were delicious...we loved the bread as well as the fillings...1386 yen (about US$13.86) for both sandwiches.

The Marunouchi area had a European feel to it, maybe because the weather was a bit dreary and wet.

I loved the cobblestone roads and trees. I also loved how they had benches for people to sit if they wanted to, something that is rare in Osaka.

After lunch, we walked to the Outer moat area of the Imperial Palace.

Satoshi said he also wanted to check out more of the Palace grounds so while he did that, I went to walk around Marunouchi and we decided to meet up at Tokyo Daimaru.

We had some dessert and coffee at Cafe Boissier.

I've tried their chocolates before. They no longer have a counter in the food area but instead now have a cafe inside Daimaru.

Satoshi tried the triple chocolate verrine and I tried their chocolate macaron...delicious and rich....2583 yen (about US$25.83) for both desserts with coffees.

After resting our feet a bit, we went back out and checked out Ginza Mitsukoshi.

They recently renovated their food area and were supposed to have a tea section selling 400 different teas.

The area turned out to be very small, but I was able to get some Dammann Tea. A chinese based tea, this tea is flavored with citrus fruits, similar to Earl Grey.

I hope this one is good...787 yen (about US$7.87) (UPDATE: this is very fragrant before brewing, but still a nice black tea.)

The rain had stopped and the sun came out.

We had done a lot of walking and were hungry for dinner.

We walked to Ningyocho and checked out a tiny place called Kyoka...this one is also listed on Tabelog.

This shop specializes in fugu (puffer fish) and whale, but we weren't really interested, instead we had lots of other seafood, like sashimi and fried squid.

Another long day, some rain, lots of walking and lots of eating.

Currency Museum
Chuo, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3277.3037
Open 9:30-16:30, Closed on Mondays and Holidays

2-6-1 Marunouchi, Brick Square 1F
Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6269.9840

Cacao Sampaka
2-6-1 Marunouchi, Brick Square 1F
Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3283.2238

Boulangerie Viron
2-7-3 Marunouchi, Tokia 1F
Chiyoda, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5220.7289

Cafe Boissier (UPDATE: 2016 no longer in business)
Daimaru Marunouchi 3F

2-8-7 Nihonbashi-Ningyo
Chuo, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3668.5752
Closed Saturdays & Holidays


Jude said...

Hahaha, as soon as I finished reading this post, I had to look up Echire and see if they had shops outside France or Japan! (Totally unhelpful website, sadly). Everything sounds so D-lish, glad you had such a good day! You were a wise one to save your appetite from the morning :)

P.S. The Imperial Palace shots look beautiful too.

Rona Y said...

I really miss Tokyo, and your adventures there are making me soooo jealous! You went to a lot of my regular spots on this day, too. :-(

Echire! It doesn't sound like you waited too long--lucky! I like their 50% more butter demi-sel croissant, but I also thought their financier were tough. They're not actually owned by the butter company, I heard. They just use Echire butter and they got a license to use the name.

I wish you had gotten a kouign aman from Viron. It's the best kouign aman I've had in Japan--perfect amount of caramelisation and oh so buttery! Really wonderful if you like buttery caramelisation! And Viron's baguettes are really excellent.

(If you had gone to Robuchon just across the commons from Viron you could have had some really good casse-croute there, too. And they have my favourite tarte au citron in Japan! Really good salted caramel tart, too!)

(As an aside, I like staying at Hotel Sunlite when I'm in Tokyo. It's cheaper if you book online, but more basic than the hotel you stayed at. Two benefits, though--it's just 5 minutes from Shinjuku Isetan, and all the rooms have refrigerators in which you can store your Isetan goodies! I'm very practical about these things. :-) )

K said...

You had me at "butter aroma" :o)

Rowena said...

Echire butter! I never saw it again after I bought it the last time (at least a couple years ago). You guys sure covered a lot of surface area!

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - That's quite a large variety of places you hit! I'm interested to see how you like that tomato chocolate jam....

K and S said...

Thanks Jude, I did see their website it is a bit sad isn't it??

Aagh, saw that kouign amann you were talking about Rona and debated about getting it. The croissant we got was the one without salt. Gonna google that hotel you talked about :)

Thanks K :)

Hope you get some Echire again Rowena :)

We tried it at the store Kirk, you can taste tomato and dark chocolate, I can't wait to try it the ways the sales lady suggested.

Take care everyone.

genkitummy said...

What a fun foodie adventure in Tokyo. At first I saw your breakfast and thought, "wow that's a small meal." After reading through your post I think I would have done the same thing. I think Mike and I will have to check out Echire when we're in France later on this year.

jalna said...

Another great outing . . . with butter and chocolate too!!

K and S said...

My friend Rona just mentioned that the Echire shop we went to is not owned by the butter makers themselves Genki, so you may not find something like this in France.

Thanks Jalna, doesn't butter and chocolate sound good :)

Take care you two.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I used to love going to the Marunouchi area when I visited Tokyo--they always have the best little places. Loving that tomato chocolate jam! ;-)

K and S said...

Marunouchi has so many different places to eat and shop Debinhawaii, love it! :)

Take care.