My first few hours in Tokyo were spent in an onsen. (I blogged about my first onsen experience here.) After a relaxing night in the onsen, I took a train to Tsukiji and met up with Meg, the founder of Oishii Tokyo, at 5:30 am.
I decided to book a trip with Oishii Tokyo because of how limited my time in Tokyo was. I didn’t want to waste time getting lost or trying just whatever I come across. I also wanted to avoid touristy areas (which often have long lines). I thought joining a day tour would be the best way to maximize the little time I had.
I saw the many positive reviews about Oishii Tokyo in TripAdvisor, and I decided to give it a shot. After my trip, I have to agree with the reviewers. I can’t believe how much fun and learning I had within a span of a few hours!
I enjoyed the food, drinks, and the stories behind them. I also enjoyed Meg’s company. She is warm, enthusiastic, and so passionate about food.
Meg and I were in touch through WhatsApp even before we met. She was very helpful in giving me directions–which was great! The train was empty except for me, so there was nobody to ask help from in case I got lost. (Who goes food tripping at 5:30 am, right?)
Here are some of the food I had while I was killing time before my flight!
1. Tuna from Tsukiji Fish Market
Our first stop was the Tsukiji Market. We visited the stall of Meg’s friend and ate fresh tuna. The tuna’s texture was smooth, and it melted in my mouth.
2. Omelet Egg
Unlike the omelet eggs I am used to, this omelet egg does not rely simply on salt and pepper. It has a salty and sweet taste, because it was made with dashi, soy sauce, and sweet sake. It’s also very tender and fluffy. Meg told me that this egg used to be sold exclusively to sushi restaurants.
(Oops. I wasn’t able to fix the focus before eating the omelet. I only noticed after I finished eating it.)
3. Sushi from Sushi Zanmai in Tsukiji
Sushi Zamnai has a lot of branches, but we went to the one in Tsukiji. It was a walking distance from everywhere else we went to earlier in the morning. I had seared salmon, salmon roe, sea urchin (uni), and bonito with ginger.
4. King Crab from Taraba in Tsukiji
This has to be the most sosyal street food I’ve ever encountered. There were stalls selling king crab in the street! The joint was the juiciest and yummiest part.
5. Matcha Gelato from Suzukien in Asakusa
This is one of my favorite stops! I went to Suzukien in Asakusa and tried out matcha gelato (in seven levels!) I tasted #5 and #7, but I preferred #7. It wasn’t as bitter as I had feared. There was enough sweetness and creaminess to balance out the rich matcha taste.
6. Shio Ramen from Menya Hidamari in Yanaka
Out of all the neighborhoods and streets we visited, Yanaka was my favorite. It translates to “middle of the valley,” because Yanaka is between two hills: Ueno and Hongo. I loved it how quaint and quiet it was. I saw a long stretch of clean streets, lined with small stores.
There was a line in Menya Hidamari when we got there. The restaurant itself was small, but the atmosphere wasn’t rushed.
Don’t forget to bring cash if ever you decide to eat here.
The shio ramen is their bestseller, so that’s what I tried. The broth had mackerel, bonito, and daisen chicken. Meg told me it was made with three kinds of salt from Okinawa and one kind of salt from Himalayas.
They also use whole wheat noodles, so the texture of the noodles was smooth and bouncy.
I also enjoyed the gyoza with chili oil, soy sauce, and vinegar.
I headed back to the Narita airport around four hours before my flight. I wanted to be early. And that point, I was full and could no longer eat anything else.
If ever you’re headed to Tokyo, I highly recommend booking a trip with Oishii Tokyo.