Friday, September 30, 2011

Tenka Ippin / 天下一品

On a recent day off which was also the first of the month, is Movie Day in Japan.  Yep, on the first day of every month, the theaters only charge ¥1000.  Almost half-price from the regular admission of ¥1800 (and yes, that's about $20.00!).  After watching one feature and deciding to catch another, it just happened to be time for lunch.  I decided to go to this ramen chain shop called [Tenka Ippin] while I was in Shinjuku.  I haven't been to one in a while but when I lived in Mishuku, I went nearly every week as there was branch close to where my apartment was.  The thing that makes this ramen shop special is there soup.  Its one really thick soup that seems as if you can stand up a spoon in it.  Oh, but its so delicious.  However, I recall the first time I tried it and thought, "What the heck???"  The soup has a very distinct flavor.  And the way it saturates the noodles is just heaven.

ちょっと前の休みがなんと一日だった。日本で一日と言えば、“映画の日”です。どの映画館でも¥1000で映画が観れる!通常の¥1800と比べたらお得ですね。その日は二本の映画も見に行きました。二本目の映画を見る前はちょうどう昼だったんで、今日は久しぶりのラーメンチェイン店の「天下一品」新宿歌舞伎町店に行きました。昔三宿に住んでた頃は週一回位行ってたな。自分のアパートから直ぐ近くだったの。ま、なんと言ってもやっぱり「天下一品」のドロドロスープがたまらない!それが麺にしみ込んで超美味しい!一番最初に食べた時の衝撃も思い出す。一口食べて、“なんじゃーこれ?”みたいな感じだったが、食べてるうちに、これ、かなり美味しいなと思い始めた。 近いうちにまた行ってみようかな。

And I decided to have some gyoza with my ramen as well.


Bon Appetit!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

C'est Moi! / セ モア

After having a glass of wine with olives at OTTO, I continued my walk.  I was headed towards home when I stumbled upon this little place called [C'est Moi!] which serves frizzas.  What's a frizza?  A pizza fritter or I suppose a simpler explanation would be a miniature calzone.  The variety of frizzas are pretty diverse.  I decided to treat myself to a spicy frizza which is served with minced meat, tomato and mozzarella cheese along with a lot of spices to give it that kick.  I'm sure you're all wondering the same thing I was when I first came upon this place.  Why is the name of the shop French but the colors below are that of Italy.  The answer was simple.  The food is mostly Italian but the owner learned his chops in France.

OTTOでワインを飲んだあと、また散歩に戻りました。そろそろうちに帰ろうとおもったが、また気になる店を発見。三軒茶屋で二年前に出来た「セ モア!」です。この店の代表料理はフリッザフリッザってなに?それはピザのフリッタです。簡単に説明するとミニカルゾーネと言っても良い。フリッザのバラエティも豊富です。自分が選んだのはフリッザ スパイシー。食べログでこういうふうに説明されてます:ぴりっとくる辛さがクセになる。香辛料をきかせた挽肉、オリジナル辛味ソース、イタリアのトマト、モッツァレラ。 みんな気になる所もう一つあるでしょ。店の名前はフランス語なのになぜイタリアの国旗の色が下にある。答えは料理はイタリアンですが、オーナーがフランスで修業してったってことです。

Although this is a fast food place, the shop does have a small terrace where you can relax and eat as well.


Welcome sign leading up to the terrace.


The terrace is like a small picnic area.  I had the entire place to myself that day.


The view from the terrace / テラスからの眺め

This is a frizza.  Regular size is only 450yen.  You can order a big size for 850yen.

これがフリッザ。 通常は一個¥450.ビッグサイズも選べるの、それは¥850.

Quite yummy I must say / 超美味しい

Bon Appetit!


Random Photos / ランダム・写真

Its time once again for a few random photos that don't fit into any particular category but I find them so interesting I feel the need to share.


You usually find these in front of restaurants or stores so I thought it was kind of interesting that here was one on the corner of an apartment complex.


I don't think anybody would try to steal this bike since it stands out like a sore thumb.  I came across this in front of a bike shop.


This looks like a tool shed but its actually a bar (haven't been inside it though).  Although it looks rather average in the picture above, see below and you will be surprised and how narrow it really is.


Is that narrow or what?


Saturday, September 17, 2011


I know it's been a week since I've posted anything, but it's not for lack of material.  After checking out the Setagaya Kannon Temple, I decided to check to see if a cafe that Mikako and I had previously been to was still in business.  It was a small cafe called "Watashinchi" in a residential neighborhood.  I found the same location but discovered that the small cafe had turned into a French bistro.  It was closed when I went there, but on the same road in the same residential neighborhood I discovered this small Italian restaurant on the corner.  I had already had lunch and it was too early for dinner so I stopped in and snacked on some olives while enjoying a glass of wine.


The sign says it's "Coffee Time".

My choice of wine was a white from France called Domaine Astruc Chardonnay.


The olives weren't your regular black olives or the more popular Greek Kalamata olives.  Nope, OTTO serves an Italian olive, I'm not sure if heard the name correctly but I believe these to be Castelvetrano olives which originate in Sicily.  I may have to come back here and try their food menu next time.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Walk around Setagaya Kannon / 世田谷観音の散歩

This was going to be titled "A Walk around Shimouma" but as Shimouma turned out to be mostly a residential neighborhood, I focused my walk around the Setagaya Kannon Temple, one of Setagaya Ward's 100 scenic sites.


Setagaya Kannon Sando / 世田谷観音参道

Kannon Temple Hondo / 観音寺本堂

Tokko Kannon-do / 特攻観音堂

Tokko Tai refers to the Kamikaze and this is a temple dedicated to those who lost their lives during World War II.

Monument to the Kamikazes / 神州不滅特別攻撃隊之峰

Yume Chigai Kannon / 夢違観音

Whatever bad dreams or bad experiences you had and do not want to remember, you can pray to this Kannon and will change your dreams into good ones.


Rokkaku-do / 六角堂

Sazare Ishi / さざれ石

This isn't a very large temple nor is it a very old one, but I find walking around the grounds quite peaceful. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Standing Bar 37 & Kimidori / スタンディング・バー37 と キミドリ

As I was walking to our neighborhood DVD rental shop, I couldn't help but notice this new place that had opened.  Standing Bar 37.  The place opens at three in the afternoon, pretty unusual for a bar.  I decided that I would check it out on my way back home after dropping the DVDs I had rented.  I had checked out the menu and noticed that a lot of drinks were only 300 yen.  Definitely worth checking out.  The bar is run by a woman who looks as if she's in her 20s but said she was in her 40s.  Good genes, I tell ya.  I asked what was the significance of the bar's name [37].  The answer was quite simple.  If you read the numbers in Japanese, 3 is mitsu (Mi) and 7 is nana (Na), 37 = Mina, which is the owner's name.  I think I want to come here again.


Last week, a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in over five years invited me and another friend out for drinks.  We were going to meet around 6:30pm on a Thursday.  I wasn't planning on staying out late but our other friend who was to join us said he wouldn't be able to make it until around 8:00pm.  Our late arrival is very sensitive to smoke so we were trying to decide if there were any decent places to drink beer without any smokers - a difficult challenge in Tokyo I must say.  But since we still had two hours before our anti-smoking friend would joins us, my friend took me to a standing bar called [Kimidori] which is near his mansion (the Japanese term which means apartment, not a large luxurious home).