Tokyo Food-Otaku: Unplanned Pleasantries, Kajiya Bunzou, Luke’s Lobster Rolls & Goutran Cherrier

While it’s often fun to plan ahead and search, hunt or pick out wonderful places to find yummy grub before one actually steps into a new country, one of the joys of holiday travel is definitely having a good meal after stepping into a new or unfamiliar establishment. From my Winter vacation in Tokyo, here are three places which i think deserve a mention.

First up, Kajiya Bunzou in Caretta Shiodome. After catching the final show of the night at Caretta Shiodome’s Winter illumination display (it was truly enchanting), Jamie and i were both rather hungry, so we decided to pop into a Yakitori restaurant located in the same building. This was a totally random pick and we hoped for the best. Strangely on all my travels to Japan, i’ve never really stepped into a Yakitori joint, pretty much stemming from a rather disappointing time in a hole-in-the-wall Yakitori store under the tracks of Shinjuku station. So i was secretly really happy to finally have some Yakitori.

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Of course we also ordered some appetizers since our tummies were both complaining quite loudly, some fresh oysters, some Kaki (oyster) fry and i ordered a plate of Busashi, raw horse.

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The oysters were fresh and tasty but of course, not in any way comparable to the amazingly juicy ones over at Tsukiji. The raw horse though was somewhat, bland. You get the chewy meaty texture, but there really isn’t any distinctive taste to it, which is probably why they had so many condiments and add-ons to go with it. Order it really just out of curiosity if you must. It’s not gross or anything, just really bland.

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The Yakitori though were totally worth it, i really enjoyed myself. The sticks of meat were curiously all medium cooked, being a crazy meat-loving maniac, i joyfully downed it all with a nice pint of beer. It’s a very interesting texture, with some crispiness on the outside followed by a soft chewy inside. I loved it. Jamie on the other hand was somewhat apprehensive with the Chicken being not fully cooked. We found out after some internet sleuthing that many Yakitori establishments that receive fresh meat often cook their chicken this way. We also didn’t get any of the runs after the meal so it was all good.

Our total bill did come up to a very reasonable SGD$60. For oysters, sticks of yakitori, fried chicken wings (not great), some uncooked horse and two glasses of alcohol, i cannot complain at all! Would i recommend this place? Only if you are in the area, otherwise, i’m sure there are plenty of other places just as worthy of checking out. A bit of a caveat; Tripadvisor’s ratings for Kajiya Bunzou seems somewhat mixed so if you do happen to visit, go with an open mind (and open stomach)!

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Luke’s Lobster Rolls was a place that was somewhat not entirely unplanned but on our last visit, we totally missed out because it was closed everytime we walked by, this trip though, we managed to grab a roll and what a roll it was!

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So so friggin good, the bread is so soft, so buttery and the lobster pieces, so many! Oh so juicy and so good! I really really crave for some right now! Located smack in the middle of Cat Street Omotesando, its not hard to find this small little shack, but there is usually a long line of people wanting to also grab a piece of lobster roll heaven. Totally worth the wait. We will be back!

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The name look familiar? Sure it does, same guy behind Tiong Bahru bakery. Admittedly, a unique bit of information i failed to realize until i started up Google back in Singapore. We pretty much happened upon his bakery by chance, on our walk to Shibuya station from our Airbnb apartment. Being a rather early part of the morning, most other places to find breakfast were still yet to open but good ol’ Gontran’s Artisan Boulanger was good to go.

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We didn’t spend much time studying each and every item on the shelves since we were on a tight schedule, but they did look and taste really good.

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We liked it so much we came back just before we headed off to Narita airport.

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To end off our Winter 2015 Tokyo adventure, a yummy croissant and Doutor coffee on the NEX train to the airport. See you again Tokyo, you’ve been a wonderful Winter host!

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