08 March 2013

Tokyo Dec 2012 - Part II

Continued from Tokyo Dec 2012 - Part I

In this Part II, I'm going to share about Day 2 and 3 in Tokyo because there weren't many things to talk about, I was too busy shopping! LOL :p And also because I have already blogged so much about Tokyo in my previous posts. So my focus here would be the new places that I explored this time.

Day 2 was my Jiyugaoka Day. Yep, I always dedicate almost one full day for Jiyugaoka because I'm such a big fan of zakka.

During my last trip to Jiyugaoka in Mar 2012, I chanced upon this cafe only after I had lunch. And I was determined to have my lunch here this time!

The cafe is called Tokyo Sweets Factory, located at basement level, so it's kind of easy to miss if you didn't notice the display boards at the street level.

Their set lunch promo was quite attractive, salad + main course + drink + cake ranged from 1150 yen to 1350 yen ($14-$18).

The cafe was actually quite small, with about six 2-seater tables and one large 6-8 seaters.

Very cozy and nicely decorated.

I guess you can say, very Tokyo-style. A lot of cafes in Japan are tastefully decorated with lovely displays of zakka items.

And to think a small cafe like this has 6 staff (1 manager, 2 waitresses, 3 chefs), service was prompt and friendly. The manager even gave me a nicely packaged floral tea bag as Christmas gift.

Did I mention that the set lunch promo was value-for-money? This was the salad, looked so appetising and tasted so good! The portion was so big that I wondered if I could even take the main course.
Next up, mushroom and seafood pasta in light cream sauce. I seldom eat pasta, not exactly my favourite, but this was really yummy. The spaghetti was cooked al-dente, and the cream sauce complemented the noodles, mushroom and seafood very well!

I was filled to the brim already but I couldn't let my dessert down! The vanilla roll cake was one of the cafe's specialty so I had to try it. Needless to say, the sponge was very tender, fluffy and moist and paired well with the chantilly cream. With a nice warm pot of earl grey, a perfect ending to the lovely lunch. I was a happy gal!

After lunch, it was basically shopping and shopping and shopping till late evening. I dropped my shopping bags in the hotel and met hubby at Shinjuku for more shopping and then dinner.

Had hot plate steak dinner at Shinjuku. I think this steak restaurant is a chain joint or something, forgot the name. The soup, salad and rice were free-flow. Somehow it felt good to eat steak during winter :)

After dinner, we proceeded back to Shibuya Excel hotel as most shops were closed and it was too cold to wander about in the streets.

Day 3 and our last night in Tokyo, we woke up late, and had brunch at this bakery cafe nearby the hotel. It was located near one of the subway lines and I passed by it almost daily. Had made a mental note to try it. Lots of pastries and bread but the sandwich caught my attention. The fillings looked too tempting - potato and beef croquette, mayo egg, bacon and ham. Then the salad also caught my attention, ah, might as well try it too!

After the sumptuous brunch, hubby and I went our separate ways for shopping around Shibuya area. Then met in the late afternoon to go to Tokyo Sky Tree together.

The Sky Tree opened in March 2012, and it's a must visit new place especially when there's a mall, Tokyo Solamachi next to it! Initially I wanted to make reservations at the Sky Restaurant 634 but I heard it's quite impossible as the restaurant was fully booked every day in advance for months.

Anyway, the whole place was so crowded probably due to weekend and Christmas eve. We started walking around the mall at first, and close to 7pm, saw some people moving to the outdoors. So we followed them. Realised that everyone was waiting for the Sky Tree to light up.

I was kind of expecting a lighting show or something, about apparently not. It was just a plain simple light up that lasted like 5 secs? Disappointed. Nevertheless, the Sky Tree looked beautiful.

We proceeded to the entrance of the Sky Tree itself, trying to get tickets to go up to the viewing gallery. There, we found out that for crowd control, there were specific timings to enter the viewing gallery and the timeslots for 6pm to 8pm were all fully booked (via online booking). We could try to queue for the 8.30pm slot at the walk-in counter but when we saw the queue, we were like, ok let's KIV this for our next trip.

Since it was approaching dinner time, we decided to go for dinner instead. All the restaurants had long queues and we had no choice but to join in the line for an Udon eatery. Waited in line for almost 45 mins before we got our seats.

Ordered a Ume udon with a seasonal tempura to share. The soup base for the udon was light and soothing and warmed my tummy. Tempura was also fried to perfection, crispy but not oily.

After dinner, we walked around the mall for a while more before heading back to the hotel for packing, as our flight out was around 6am in the morning.
Well, this concluded my very short trip to Tokyo. In my final Part III, will share my shopping haul. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I've been to Tokyo Sweets Factory - yum! I actually used your previous post on Jiyugaoka as my shopping guide when I was there. Let's see your shopping haul next.