Tsukiji fish market – a world of its own

Tokyo – The Tsukiji fish market is definitively a must see in Tokyo or even in whole Japan. It is said to be the biggest wholesale seafood market in the world. And if you follow my blog, you know, I love to visit markets in other countries and to discover rare food that you do not get everywhere around the corner.

For this time we booked a private tour. This was a wise decision because I think if we didn’t we might have only seen a small part of it. Acutally, we wanted to see the tuna auction as well but we soon found out, this would have been difficult to be allowed in and secondly start at about 3 am in the morning…definitively too early.

The tour guide spoke quite good English and explained a lot about the actual market and the plans of moving it to a new location. Actually, it should have already been moved to its new place in 2016 but there are still a lot of discussions back and forth with the local people and the government etc.

Good for us, so we could see the “real” market and try to understand the mechanism of all the people working there, all elements with buying and even recycling of waste organized inside the market, the half round architecture of the building, etc.

 

Last summer a documentary “Tsukiji Wonderland” about the market was presented at various film festivals and is now out in theatres internationally.

 

I never had eel before visiting Japan but after having eaten it in several restaurants, I became quite fond of it. Something I will definitively miss back here in Switzerland.

www.tsukiji-market.or.jp

Tour www.tsukijitour.com

BBQ at Yoroniku

Tokyo – For our last evening we wanted to get a real treat. A friend recommended this popular place in Roppongi for great quality meat.

Inside, you are sitting around an in built BBQ and the staff will grill your meat just as it has to be – namely perfect.

We chose the set menu containing almost every part of the cow starting with tongue, heart, 3rd stomach and finally ending with the Chateaubriand and Kobe slices.

I was really delicious. You have to book early, let’s say at least 1.5 months in advance.

 

savorjapan.com

Teyandei THE cool place for Japanese food in tapas style portions

Tokyo – If you want to try as much Japanese dishes and styles as you can get with a modern twist then go to Teyandei. A Japanese friend recommended it to me and I am really sad such a great place does not exist in Zurich.

The staff does not really speak a lot of English but somehow you manage. It helps if you are seated around the kitchen and grill so you may order a dish you have seen prepared already and just show the staff. The words you DO need to survive are simple: Aligato (Thank you), biru (beer) and oishiiii (delicious). By the way for Swiss people, I strongly recommend the webinar crash course to learn some Japanese by Ronja Sakata.

To summarize, a place with really tasty food, cool and trendy young people (a bit loud maybe;-)) and not at all expensive. I highly recommend! Book early and bear in mind, this is a “take off shoes” restaurant…

teyandei.com

Once in a lifetime ryokan ASABA

Shuzenji (between Kyoto and Tokyo) – When in Japan, a visit of a ryokan (Japanese inn) is a must do!

We selected this beautiful place and enjoyed every minute of it. The rooms are in traditional Japanese style with tatami mats in the whole hotel, so you are only allowed to walk in socks or bare feet. As soon as you arrive at the hotel you get rid of your shoes anyway and you receive a beautiful kimono (yukata) to wear throughout your stay…so you can dive into this other world and let yourself get indulged.

During all your stay you can take a bath in the natural hot springs inside and outside (open air). If you feel too hot you can also feed the koi fish (yes, they are always hungry!) in the pond or just relax and enjoy the calming atmosphere.

Dinner is served at any time you want in your room. This time we were also sitting on the floor at a low table, but luckily for us and our bones with a big cushion :-). This food was again beautifully prepared and decorated in the theme of autumn. For the second time we tasted fugu fish…and luckily are still alive.

After dinner the staff prepares your futon beds at the very same place in your room. In the morning you can choose between continental breakfast and Japanese breakfast…after a little discussion I agreed to the Japanese breakfast. I am really NOT fussy at all with food and I bravely ate the grilled barracuda, eggplant, miso soup and rice but when I opened the mussels soup bowl I had to give in 😉

Definitively a place I will never forget!

www.asaba-ryokan.com

Lunch at Zen Vegetarian Restaurant Shigetsu @ Tenryu-ji Temple

Kyoto – On our first day in Japan we were brave enough to eat a 100% Japanese lunch, cross-legged  on the floor.

The food was very good and I’m sure with the best ingredients but to be honest, sometimes I really had no idea what I was eating and it does not make it easier if the colour of your food is a mix of green and grey…

The staff was very friendly but English language not one of their assets. So we managed in the end to almost eat the 8 or 10 courses, but after a while sitting on the floor this is really hurting everywhere below the hips and you automatically speed up to finish.

Luckily, the weather was great and we made a nice little walk through the gardens of the temple.

Worth the go but book early in advance.

PS: This is also a place where no shoes are allowed inside…but for the bathroom you get extra slippers.

www.tenryuji.com/en/shigetsu

Fugu at Ishibe-Kouji Kamikura

Kyoto – If you ever happen to visit Kyoto, you should definitively eat at this wonderfully, beautifully and modern interpreted upscale Japanese restaurant.

After we finally found the entrance to this very small place (in a little alley with only Japanese signs outside….) we were in Japanese gourmet heaven.

We had a 10 course menu with the best of Japanese kitchen you can imagine. As it was autumn season, the food and decoration was all dedicated to it in perfection.

See the pictures and be inspired. If you go: Take time and bring the big briefcase…..

www.kyoto-kamikura.com

Pizzeria Etienne – Est-que vous parlez français?

Marseille – After seafood, fish and haute cuisine, we were really looking for a simple pizza. And we found it at Pizzeria Etienne.

The place is a little crazy and you better learn some French before going in there.

At first we were shooed to wait  in a corner with a few other people. The waiters were  stressed because the place was very crowded.
While waiting to be seated we figured out that there were only two types of pizza…with or without cheese. Eventually, one of the waiters asked us: Est-ce que vous parlez français? As my friend lived in Montréal for some time and every Swiss speaks some ok French we nodded in approval and were finally guided us to a table and threw the menu cards at us. Had we denied his question, I reckon we’d still be waiting in that corner today.

We ordered the pizzas…one with and one without cheese with a bottle of rosé wine.

IT WAS DELICIOUS. As the evening passed on, the waiters relaxed and turned into the friendliest people in town.

PizzeriaEtienneMarseille

Address: 43 Rue Lorette, 13002 Marseille

no, there is still no Website :-), don’t try to book a table, its worthless, just go very early or late after 10pm.

 

Elisaburg – Medeterranean food in the heart of “Zurich Wiedikon”

Zurich – Last week I went for dinner with my brother. Elisaburg is located close to Bahnhof Wiedikon, in the centre of Wiedikon.

Last time I have been to Elisaburg must be at least 6 years ago, so I can’t remember to much – except that I liked it a lot.

The atmosphere in the small room is very warm and welcoming – like you were in some friend’s house invited for dinner. It is very relaxed and the staff very friendly and attentive.

The food is mainly Mediterranean: a lot of sea food, pasta, meat and a loads of tasty wines at reasonable prices.

www.elisaburg.ch