Before I had ramen in Japan, I thought ramen only came in the form of “almost tasteless instant ramen” that costs like 30 cents for a single bag. I had no idea how many different kinds of ramen there are(Sapporo and Fukuoka quickly come to mind as two of the most famous kinds) or exactly how delicious ramen can be. If you go almost anywhere in Japan, you will find tons of ramen ( ラーメン ) shops and probably will get something decent at most places. That being said, I have decided to share with you an excellent place in Ikebukro, Tokyo, Nakamoto with their spicy ramen, or I think they call it “tantan-men.”
Like pizzaman and chocoraman, gyozaman combines two things that I love, gyoza (which is the Japanese version of Chinese dumplings. In the USA often they are called “pot stickers”) and the fluffy, warm, doughy goodness of nikuman. So you might think that I am all about the gyozaman…
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No, not Chocolate “Man” like a person, but pronounced “mahn.” Anyway, not too long ago I wrote about nikuman and mentioned that I would be missing it a lot. Like I said, there are many variations of nikuman and one such–and probably my favorite– is the chocolate one. There are a couple different chocolate ones I have found but the two I have photos of are just the regular chocolate “man” (commonly called chocoraman or chocoman) and the ever so sweet Belgium chocolate “man” (also known as Belgi chocoraman).
Sticking with the food theme, I have to share another food with you, tonkatsu. According to wikipedia, tonkatsu is:
Tonkatsu (豚カツ, とんかつ, or トンカツ), invented in the late 19th century, is a popular dish in Japan. It consists of a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet one to two centimeters thick and sliced to bite-sized pieces, generally served with shredded cabbage. Either a pork fillet (ヒレ, hire) or pork loin (ロース, rōsu) cut may be used; the meat is usually salted, peppered and dipped in a mixture of flour, beaten egg and panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) before being deep fried.
I have a couple more months left in Japan, and before I leave I am on a mission to find the best tonkatsu in Japan. I have been to many restaurants and tried many different kinds of katsu, but so far my favorite has been a place called Saboten. There are two main kinds of tonkatsu, pork loin and fillet, I prefer the fillet because it has less fat. Of course Saboten has these but they also have many different variations like dishes with cheese, shiso and ume, minced meat, chicken or shrimp. Also, you get a small bowl of sesame and (i think?) poppy seeds to grind and then mix with the tonktasu sauce. Below is a photo from saboten’s site that shows one of their meals.
Anyway, I like I said, I am looking for the best tonkatsu in Japan, so if anyone has any recommendations, please please share them with me!
I know this is Japan Photo Guide but since I will be leaving Japan around September I have started to think about what I will miss most. Besides the friends I have made and photographing Japan, the one thing I will miss the most is by far certain kinds of food that I will not be able to readily get (decent tasting anyway) back in the states. So I will be sharing with you some of my favorite foods that I will absolutely crave after leaving Japan.
The first one I am going to share with you is nikuman (肉まん). Nikuman is a hot flour dough bun filled with chopped pork. This is the basic kind and there are many different variations that I will be sharing with you later (such as pizzaman and chocoman)! These little delights are served mainly at convenient stores all over Japan usually only during the fall and winter seasons (sometimes you can find them in the summer randomly). These are great snacks that I will truly miss when I go back home.
So in conclusion…
Regular nikuman gets a 4 out of 5.
Tokyo Dome is the 55,000 seat stadium home to the Yomiuri Giants. It has hosted everything from NBA and NFL games to monster truck, mixed martial arts and pro wrestling. Next to Tokyo Dome is a place called LaQua which is a shopping and restaurant building. In addition a small amusement park that has a telecaster that goes through the main building, a water ride, bowling and a ferris wheel. To get there by JR you should get off at Suidobashi Station or by subway at Korakuen Station. The below photos is courtesy of PhotoPassJapan.com.
One thing that makes Tokyo Dome worth checking out is food. Especially in the building called LaQua which has a wonderful yakiniku place called Jojoen. It is expensive, but trust me, it is worth it to go one time. Besides the food, just the architecture of the area can make for some nice photos and it is kind of a unique place compared to other parts of Tokyo. See more photos and read the rest of this entry »