30 April 2009

Tokyo 9-14Apr09: Day 3

 Day 3 gonna be all-dining day! Not that we planned it to be this way =p

Hubby wanted to show me all the food places he tried during his business trip last year (he confessed he missed the food!). Ok, he was my foodie tour guide for the day :D

Our destination was Nishi-Kasai (more of an industrial town); had to change a few trains before reaching. The very first stop was Cafe Danmark, right inside the train station (even before the exit). He told me he had breakfast at this cafe every morning during his 5-day work trip, because the bread and salad sold here were simply irresistable.
The moment we stepped into the cafe cum bakery, I was already drooling by the aroma from the freshly baked breads! There were many choices available; everything looked so good and I felt like eating all of them (was famished as we woke up late and went without breakfast).

But we were actually on the way to lunch and the restaurant was just 8 minutes away. So hubby stopped my gluttony thoughts and just bought 2 items to share -_-. Besides takeaway, there is a small dine-in area for about 10 to 12.

Hubby raved about this broccoli, egg and muki eki salad which I agreed was very nicely done! Personally I don't fancy broccoli very much even though I know it's very nutritious. This salad totally changed my perception and I'm hooked as well! I figure it's not difficult to make at home. Great, one more home-made food idea to add to my collection!
Of all the fancy breads available (some with delicious looking fillings, some interesting shapes and flavours and mini burgers which I was so tempted to eat!), hubby just picked this one. Well, he usually favoured plain and simple breads which are crusty on the outside, fluffy inside and slightly chewy. Oh yes this particular bread was very delicious and classic, not too hard and very soft and fluffy indeed.

But the thing I couldn't understand, he ordered these 2 items everyday? I mean, yes they are nice but since there is so much variety, wouldn't it be a pity not to try all of them? Sometimes, men are just creatures of habit huh? If I were there, I would definitely try everything!
(by the way, we found out that there is a branch at Shibuya as well, no need to travel all the way to Nishi-Kasai).
After tempting me with the breads at the cafe, yet not allowing me to try more :(, he led me to our lunch location which was quite near the station. El Torito Mexican Restaurant. He was raving about the Fajita here, especially the tortilla which was very very very good!
Nishi-Kasai is more of an industrial town so it's quite quiet during the weekend. Quite surprised that the restaurant was crowded (proof that food is good!)
Complimentary nachos with homemade salsa. I love homemade salsa with chunks of diced tomatoes. This was really good, slightly tangy and spicy. Complimentary soups were also served, a clear broth which was very soothing.

We ordered a chicken salad and a fajita to share. The salad was nicely done with a tangy french dressing (a few choices available). I love the avocado and bits of sunflower seeds added. The grilled meats were well marinated and hubby was right. The tortilla wrap of grilled meat, caramelised onions, sour cream and salsa was yummy! The freshly made tortilla was soft and chewy, nice even on its own. Wonder if there are any nice Mexican Restaurants in SG, so that we don't have to go all the way to Japan if we crave for it.
After stuffing ourselves with the tortilla wraps, we were comtemplating whether to have dessert as we were supposed to go for Piere Herme Ispahan in the late afternoon. Then I saw a couple seated near us having this interesting ice-cream so I asked the waitress what it was. Turned out to be fried ice-cream which we never try before, curiosity got the better of me so I ordered one to share :d

Well, the taste was peculiar indeed. The vanilla ice-cream (normal tasting) had this chocolaty crust which was slightly bitter. There were also bits of cornflakes at the bottom of the glass. Overall, nothing to scream about. We would stick to fajita anytime.
After lunch, we had wanted to go to a few parks (in Edogawa) recommended by hubby's Jap colleagues for some sakura viewing. Although Nishi-Kasai is in Edogawa ward, the local buses don't go to the particular station (Hirai) indicated by hubby's colleague. Ok, we had to change 2 trains and finally reached Hirai station. From there, got to figure out how to get to the park. Tried checking for buses but none of them go to the park we wanted to go. Ended up, we checked the buses at the wrong exit of the train station. Haha. There is a bus service to the particular park we wanted to go and there were even posters indicating the hanami season. By then, we were a little frustrated, flustered and hot and kind of no mood for any sakura viewing.
Forgot to mention that the weather is hot! Although it was 20 to 24 degree, the sun was like scorching hot! Which sort of spoilt the mood for our plan to go for a nice stroll and sakura viewing. Hubby was already wearing short-sleeves shirt. So much so for bringing all my nice scarves -_-. Too hot to use. But it was unthinkable that most of the Japs were still wearing layers and spotting scarves?! Hmm...
Ok, to cut all this crap, we didn't go sakura viewing and decided to head for my much anticipated Piere Herme Ispahan!
Location was at Patisserie Satsuki at The New Otani. There is a Pierre Herme counter, so patrons could order and have the desserts at the Patisserie itself. Actually Satsuki is more like a full service restaurant. Hubby had a meal there previously and for dessert, the waiter brought a tray of dessert for him to choose and he selected the Ispahan. At that time, he didn't even know what Ispahan was and who Pierre Herme is. Nevertheless, he was blown away with the macaron (probably coz he loves lychee?) and was telling me how good it was.
Tada! The Ispahan, many call it the LV of macaron. Rose macarons sandwiched with rose buttercream, rasberries and lychee. What a luxury! And as expected, the macaron was crunchy, moist and chewy.
Hubby also ordered the Mont Blanc. The chestnut cream/puree was smooth and not too sweet; with a crispy/airy vanilla meringue as innard and sweet shortcrust pastry as base. Not bad as well.

So this was my Pierre Herme experience. Later, I realised that there is actually a Pierre Herme boutique at Aoyama. If I had done my homework, I would have gone there instead!
Anyways, after the dessert we headed to Omotesando area for window shopping (of all the luxury brands) before heading back to Ikebukuro area.
Decided to drop by the supermarket at Seibu Department Store (connected to Ikebukuro Station). Was still quite full and didn't feel like having dinner. But hubby was attracted to this sushi bar inside the supermarket even though he already had 2 meals of sushi on Day 2 when we separated for our individual itineraries. I oblidged.
Just ordered a simple kappa sushi for myself.
Whereas he went for his favourite sushi like ama-ebi, hotate, hamachi...

Couldn't recall what we did after the sushi. I think we went to the Uniqlo near to Ikebukuro Station for some apparel. I love the casual wear which comes in a variety of colours, very comfortable and affordable. (There is a branch in SG now! Yes!).
Thereafter, more games at the UFO catcher arcades till late before going back to the hotel.


  1. omgggg pierre herme! and i thought only this shinjuku isetan has pierre herme. i SO wanna go to japan, i saw yr previous post, those shops...i totally dig the concept. are the stuffs expensive? tell me more!

    you guys are really rich! can travel so much and you attend shermay's baking/cooking workshops so often. wouldn't hv the $ even if i sell desserts my whole life haha.

  2. Hi Evan,
    Stuffs may be a little more ex in Japan, but they are totally worth it (at least to me!) There are so many things not found or seen here in SG! I think you would totally like Kappabashi Dogugai with all the cookware and bakeware, as well as all the patisseries. The Japs are fabulous in packaging and presentation.

    There are quite a lot of airfare promos to Tokyo recently, as low as $500 nett (Northwest) and even SQ is offering $628 nett. There are quite a number of affordable hotels as well, just have to search on the internet. Food isn't a problem as well, with fresh sushi going for as low as 100 yen per plate.

    We are not really that rich lah. Can't afford US or Europe. Probably coz no kids yet, must indulge before one comes along! A little embarrassing to say, but almost all of my salary goes to travelling and shopping :p and now additional baking. Yes, quite hooked to the classes at Shermay's coz I like tried and tested recipes with step-by-step instructions. If you would conduct classes, I think I would be hooked as well!