Saturday, February 25, 2012

Last Meal Tokyo :: Tonkatsu Tonki

Hello from Hong Kong! It's been a busy few days but we're all settled in our temporary apartment in the Hong Kong Mid-Levels. I'm taking a quick Dim Sum break to share my final Tokyo meal, dinner at Tonkatsu Tonki in Meguro. 

Tonkatsu Tonki has been a Meguro institution for generations. It is still family owned and operated, with most of the family still working in the kitchen, frying up katsu like you've never had before. They make their own tonkatsu sauce and each meal comes with some of the best tonjiru soup you'll ever have. A close friend, SS, introduced us to Tonki and it has since been our go-to katsu shop. Her family is from Meguro and they've been regulars at Tonkatsu Tonki for generations. Literally. On any given night (they're not open for lunch) you'll see a long bench full of people waiting for a seat at the counter. 

So yes, this is what we chose as our final meal in Tokyo. For this special event, we were seated upstairs in one of the private tatami rooms. I ordered the kushikatsu, which is deep fried pork and leek. Blammo always goes for the hire cut. Per usual, it was perfectly crispy and delicious and we made sure to take advantage of their free refills on soup and cabbage.

Looking at these photos make me miss Tokyo a lot. That's not to say that I'm not excited for what Hong Kong has to offer. The food here doesn't suck. But I'm certain I won't find katsu as good as Tonki. If you're in Tokyo, stop by and have some on my behalf. Who knows! It may turn out to be your choice for last meal in Japan too. 

Tonki Meguro, とんき 目黒店 
1-1-2 Meguro, Tokyo
JR Meguro Station, Southeast Exit, 4 minute walk
Tokyo Metro Meguro Station, 3 minute walk
Dinner Only, Closed on Tuesdays

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello Kitty x Hooters :: Only in Japan

Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Raw Horse Meat :: Nay or Neigh?

I had a work party on Friday night. Our first course was raw horse meat (basashi). Everyone's reaction was about the same: 

"Ohhh, yum. Sashimi...hmm..or beef? Do we cook it? It's what? Horse meat? Oh wow. Do we cook it? No? You just eat it raw? Oh.

Since I'm leaving Japan soon and I've never had it, I had a few pieces. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. People complain that it is chewy but what do you expect? It's raw meat! I much prefer basashi to raw chicken, which I have had in Japan as well. I have not been confronted with whale meat yet and am going to do my best to avoid it in our final week in Tokyo. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Photo of the Day 2012

I'm attempting a photo of the day project over on Flickr. Check it out sometime! I always say that I want to take more pictures. Setting an achievable and measurable goal for myself is really the only way you can make sure I'll get something done. It is a sad but true fact. But if that's what it takes for me to start snapping more pictures, then so be it. I'm also trying my best not to use grimy iPhone meal photos because that's lazy.

My goal each day is to capture something that either sums up the events of the day or is remarkable. I'm still trying to decide if I want to include text descriptions for every photo. I'm kind of leaning towards no but I just can't help myself sometimes.

In any case, I hope you follow along and enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hello Gotochi Kitty, Hello Japan

You know what's the worst? The physical act of moving. It's just...blech. Who needs it?! I'd say the two worst parts of moving is cleaning the kitchen and cleaning out the miscellaneous closet. The kitchen stinks because you throw out a bunch of food and you feel like a wasteful horrible person that hates the earth and starving children. It also smells awful. Do you know what it smells like when you pour maple syrup, fish sauce, vinegar and jam down the drain? I do.

The miscellaneous closet - we've all got one. You know the one I'm talking about. It's the one that's filled with random stuff you can't get yourself to throw away but can't use on a daily basis. I'm pretty sure there's a Friends episode about this closet. The one bright spot in cleaning out the Misc Closet was finding my collection of Gotochi Kitty keychains.

At the very end of any day or weekend trip in Japan, I've always made sure to pick up a new keychain. Every prefecture or region in Japan has their own Gotochi Kitty - a little figuring of Hello Kitty dressed up as something that region is well-known for. There's usually a few to choose from. For example, Kyoto is well known for their geishas and temples, so you can choose a Kitty dressed up as a Geisha or posting next to a temple. Some of them are boring like Kyoto's and others are hilarious. Like the port town of Kobe dressing up Hello Kitty as a pirate. Or the one I picked up in the beach town of Shimoda, where Hello Kitty is tan.

Souvenirs are silly and useless, but I'm glad I started this tradition. I took a little break from packing to go through all the keychains I've collected these past 2 years. They're good reminders of the funny memories I've made with friends around Japan. I haven't collected them all and I'm sure I never will but there is one I have yet to pick up which I'll be sure to do within the next coming weeks. My home of 2 years and an adventure all to itself, Tokyo.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cleaning Out the Kitchen :: Booze!

If you ever need an excuse to throw a big party and get all your friends wasted, move out of your apartment. I'm not a huge at home boozehag, but for some reason, over the years, we've accumulated a lot of hard alcohol. There is apparently a 100% import tax on liquor in Hong Kong so we figured it was best to push it upon all our friends in Tokyo for one last hoorah in our apartment. And being that we had just entered the year of the Dragon, we made it Lunar New Year themed...kind of.

This was definitely the most people we've ever had in our apartment so I was busy playing host and didn't have time to take a lot of pictures. Mental photos are not so helpful for blogs, but trust me when I say that it was a fun time!

Ordered Peking Duck to go with Kimchi Fried Rice (to help get rid of rice), Scallion Pancakes (used up all my flour), Gyoza, Fried Mochi and various kinds of liquor. 

And the day before, I found some Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcake mix my sister gave me a long time ago. Not exactly Lunar New Year's themed but everyone loves red velvet and why the heck not? I did find yellow star candles to at least try and make it New Year themed, but I think that fact was lost on everyone. 

By the way, I also made another batch of the Momofuku Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cornflake cookies. You should really make some and bring them to work or give them to the man or woman in your life because people LOVE this shit. I mean, seriously, it was the hit of the whole evening and it was competing against the like of free booze. 

Cleaning Out the Kitchen :: Kraft Mac & Cheese

I got the blues...

You know, not every meal can be gourmet, 100% homemade or healthy for you. In fact this one was none of those things! I've been working from home all week in preparation to our slow move to Hong Kong. I had a little bit of milk, a little bit of butter and a whole lotta Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, so I bit the bullet and made it for lunch. And you know what? It was pretty tasty. Until it wasn't.