Friday, March 31, 2017

Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part VII

The last of the Roppongi food posts :(

Hubby and colleagues were super excited when Blue Bottle Coffee opened yet another branch in Roppongi (they're up to 6 branches in Tokyo now!), in the spanking new Tri-Seven Building across the street from Midtown. It made their daily coffee run much easier than, say, Omotesando (will post soon!). Hubby loved going there, and he loved to drag me along. I was more, umm, indifferent. Sure, I like coffee, but more so the flavor than the actual beverage, which can sometimes be too strong and bitter for my unsophisticated taste buds.

Hubby's favorite cappuccino, while I got a hot chocolate :P Yeah, yeah, go ahead, snicker and smirk away.

Also inside the Tri-Seven building is a small branch of Barney's New York (there's a much bigger branch in Shinjuku, but I never went). Nothing that really stood out there for me at the Roppongi branch, to be honest, exception for this suspended tree art thing. 

Moving onto Midtown Tower across the street from Tri-Seven. They always had these interesting art displays I thought.

Spotted this gal and her Lady-Gaga-shoes at the Precce grocery store inside Midtown. One must never be caught dead buying tofu and konnyaku in sneakers.

The spider lilies bloomed towards the end of September. They're my favorite flowers!

I think these are camellias, which started to bloom in the fall-winter also.

Before leaving Tokyo, hubby and I went back to Roti Roppongi for one last hoorah, this time for dinner one night after packing. We ordered different things than our usuals. Of course looking back now I wish I'd order my favorite chicken salad instead. I haven't had a single salad since coming home. They just don't compare, so I don't even try.

Also miss Afuri Ramen inside the North Tower. Yes, we've had ramen here in the US of A, and no, they just don't measure up, not by a long shot.

The subway entrance by the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower had some oddball decorations in the late summer, like these puffy flower balloons.

And then there were these beautiful *real* flowers they continued to rip out of the ground after a few weeks. Urgh.

When my brother visited us at the end of September early October, we took him to Le A'telier Joel de Robuchon. He'd never been to a Michelin-star establishment and so it was a brand new experience for him. Needless to say, they blew his mind just as they did ours. We were happy to indulge since we loved the place ourselves.

Mixed champagne cart. Both my brother and I went for the pineapple one. Hubby went with just the regular champagne.

Oh man, by that time, we'd eaten at Joel for the fifth time (or was it sixth?), all within a short time span of about 5 months. And yet the place never failed to impress. I'm glad we went home and are getting a long break though. It'll make us appreciate the exquisite food that much more the next time we get to have it.

Went back to Nanxiang Sholongpo to curb the cravings for Chinese food also. But of course by then Taipei had ruined pretty much all Chinese food in Tokyo for us. Sure, the meal wasn't bad by any means, but it wasn't at all satisfying. Quite the opposite, it made us crave Chinese food that much more. Gah!

During the last few weeks of hubby's time in his Tokyo office, I camped out at Fiorentina inside the Grand Hyatt quite often. The food was decent. The dessert was good. The beverages were free flowing. Why not, you know?

I really do wish for a similar eatery here where I live. Sure, there are plenty of cafes that offer desserts, pastries, baked goods, etc., but they're just so different here in the US of A than those served in Japan. Here the portions are significantly bigger, the desserts and pastries themselves are sickly sweeter, and the aesthetics is pretty much non-existent. But it's not like folks here can't appreciate European-style desserts with smaller, less sweet, gorgeous-looking and delicious pastries. So where are those delectables hiding?!

One afternoon I was minding my own business, only to look left and saw this hilarious scene. This mum was having a grand time enjoying her afternoon tea and coffee while her baby was out cold on the bench xD I'm not passing judgement at all--I thought it was ridiculously adorable and I still do!

Went back to Thai Kitchen Krung Siam a couple of times too! So good!

We took my brother to Hainan Jeefan Shokudo in Azabu Juban also. As expected, the crab claws knocked his socks off ^.^

After one too many visits to Joel Robuchon, me, hubby, and J. started wondering what other Michelin 2-stars establishments were like. So one weekend afternoon in early September, I booked a lunch at Edition Koji Shimomura for the three of us, just to expand our horizon a bit.

So what else were we missing out on? Unfortunately, in this particular case--not much. The consensus among the three of us was that Edition Koji Shimomura had erred too much on the side of food-is-art that they'd completely forgotten that food-is-also-food. Which is to say they'd focused too much on experimenting with food than making the food taste decent :( There's nothing wrong with experiments, especially when it comes to food. After all, what is food but a bunch of delightful chemical reactions among certain ingredients? I just wish the chef-artist-alchemist remembered that his/her diners weren't just lab rats--we were lab rats with taste buds, goddammit, complete with preferences and expectations.

Take this mousse of salmon for example, interesting that it was served in an eggshell-shaped cup and garnished with corn and popcorn. It also tasted very fishy, and not in a good way. Neither the cream nor the corn, not even the popcorn, could mask the fishiness.

The soup was okay. Beautiful, yes, but still just okay.

Now I have a lot to say about this poached oyster in jellied seawater and garnished with seaweed. Poached oyster? Jellied seawater? Sounds fabulous, no? It tasted rather disgusting. I literally took a bite and had to swallow whole to stop myself from spitting it back out. Hubby himself could barely choke his plate down while J. nudged hers further away because she couldn't stand the strong briny reek. 

Thankfully, the rest of the meal was better, but none of these plates were good enough to make us forget the atrocity above. By this point, I'd started to wonder if they'd served us a bad batch of oysters. I mean, it stank.

During that whole meal, think I enjoyed the desserts the most. They'd drizzled the chocolate fudge ice cream with olive oil and garnished with a small sprinkle of sea salt. Very unusual and surprisingly good. The chocolate mousse was rich and sumptuous.

Welp, nice try Edition Koji Shimomura, but please do try harder to feed your hungry diners who left a 7-course meal still hungry. Just my humble opinion, but food is first and foremost food, and after all that's said and done, in the end food is still food.

See my previous posts:
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part II
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part III
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part IV
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part V
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part VI

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