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

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

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

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

 

Zum See – gourmet deja vu in the Alps

Zermatt – This restaurant is probably the one I have eaten most when in Zermatt. Also it is really one of my favourites in the World.

Zum See Zermatt

Why? First class view with the Matterhorn, best tuna carpaccio, best sweetbread with salad or pasta and biggest and best “Cremeschnitte” (see pic) in the world.

Book your table in advance! You reach the little restaurant either directly from the slopes or after a short hike up the hill from Zermatt (about 40 minutes). It is great in Summer and Winter time but check opening times.

Older post about Zum See

Zum See

Nachtjäger

Zurich – This restaurant was recommended by a friend. When I googled it I found out that it partners with one of my favourite restaurants in Zurich: Cafe Boy.

We were surprised by the inspired and – for us new combinations as octopus with licorice and blood pudding with apples…all very yummy.

The atmosphere is very relaxed and you sit on long wooden tables, sometimes with other people.

Definitively a place I want to go again.

www.nachtjaeger.ch

La Guingueta and Xiringuito Escriba

Barcelona (Playa del Bogatell) – As we wanted to spend some time at the beach but also have a decent lunch, we chose La Guingueta/Xiringuito Escriba – actually two restaurants working together: one restaurant at the beach, the other just over the beach foot path.

The great thing is, everything you can eat in the restaurant can also be served at your beach space. The umbrella and the sunbeds cost some extra but it is so relaxing and therefore so very much worth it.

The food was very good, if you are a frequent reader of this blog you remember my post about the other “La Guingueta in Barceloneta“. The food quality was the same high standard. Escriba is also a bakery/shop in Barcelona…so desserts should be great as well, sadly, we were full and not able to try any more….

xiringuitoescriba.com/#guingueta

Bar Mut – A must in Barcelona!

Barcelona – This restaurant was recommended by a friend and he told me, even Robert de Niro was a visitor when in Barcelona. But the bar is really a must to visit in Barcelona.

The restaurant/bar is very small and has some high tables and some low tables but always packed with people. You need to reserve a table about 2 days in advance.

You can just order from the menu hanging on the wall or ask for small plates as a surprise….they will only stop serving when you say you had enough. The food is really good and the Spanish wines very selected.

www.barmut.com