By Katerina Skarbinec
We decided to spend Golden Week in Tokyo this year with friends – and in that vein, today’s Nom Nom is going to be about my top restaurant recommendations. brought to you straight from the capital.
Four Tokyo restaurants that I wish were in Aomori are:
- Tiger Gyoza Hall
- Good Morning Grill
- The Orchid
Tiger Gyoza Hall is a chain that can be found throughout most big cities in Japan. As you might have guessed, it sells gyoza. The interesting thing about their gyoza is the sheer amount of different kinds that you can order – spicy pork, vegetable, banana-shaped gyoza (that are the size of bananas too) and many others. You can also order typical Japanese staples, such as cha-han and katsu curry. Be aware that even though you may only pay around 800 yen, big dishes like the curry are massive – even the regular size is. They’re meant to be shared, so my advice is to pick one thing and then see how you feel afterwards.
My osusume: Gyoza in chili mayonnaise. So much yum.
The Good Morning Café and Grill is located in Nishi Shinbashi. There is a small terrace attached so you can sit outside in good weather, and the view isn’t too shabby either. This is a gourmet burger restaurant – it can be a little on the expensive side, but the portions are decent and the flavours are great. If you don’t like burgers, their lunch menu has steak lunch, market salad or curry options as well.
My osusume: The Good Morning burger set with steppen cheese and avocado. It comes with fries and soup.
The Orchid is a bit of an unusual rec for me, because it’s pretty pricey. Usually I like to be reasonable about spending money on eating out and though there are cheaper options on the menu, most of the food is served in courses that cost about the same as a higher-end enkai. However, I recommend this place heartily if you want to go somewhere a bit special and don’t mind paying out to do it. It’s a Chinese restaurant and everything tastes incredible. The beef dishes melt in your mouth, the prawns are crisp and come with an abundance of sauce that you’ll want to lick right off the plate.
My osusume: The puerh tea. It has a deliciously subtle flavour. It comes served in a pot and if you finish, they’ll refill it for you for free! Foodwise, I really liked the char siu. It was incredible tender and seasoned just right.
Finally, there’s Nico. Nico is a pizza bar in Shinjuku, with a relatively limited seating area but incredible food. The pizzas are personal size, and almost everything on the menu is 500 yen. I’m not talking 500 yen for your typical corn and wiener pizza either – basil and cream cheese, real olives, spicy pepperoni; a smorgasbord of toppings are yours for the choosing. A free appetiser of slices of real cheddar cheese start you off as you decide what to order. There are also salads and pastas and other fun side dishes – one of my favourites being vegetables and cheese fondue. Almost all the cocktails are 500 yen or less too, so it’s well worth the money.
My osusume: Amaretto ginger (the sweet kind). It’s my favourite alcoholic drink now. I recommend the capricciosa pizza for its olives and cheese. Om nom.