“Mister Donut” is THE donut chain of Japan and I’m sure many of you have seen it or tried it. I was never a huge fan until my discovery of “Pon de ring”. This donut that has this amazing “mochi mochi” texture, a totally unique donut experience that you won’t find anywhere else.
I’m writing about Mister Donut because it’s a Japanese staple and I’ve been on a “pon de ring” craze lately… It has a unique shape and it comes in many flavors but I always go back to the regular glazed one. It’s 126yen but they were having a donut sale for 100yen when I visited(!) so I ended up going three days in a row. sigh*
As numbered above,
01. Pon de Lion Donut, a 10 year pon de ring anniversary special edition – 189yen
02. Pon de ring Nama, a 10 year anniversary special – 136yen
03. Pon de ring – the regular glazed – 126yen
04. Pon de chocolat – 126yen
They have many more pon de ring flavors and they currently have some cherry blossom specials as well. Give it a try if you’re near a Mister Donut :)
Website // http://www.misterdonut.jp/
We arrived at 10:55am knowing that this place only has 8 seats at the counter and that there might be a line if you don’t arrive early. When we got there 4 people were in front of us but by the time the restaurant opened at 11am, there were a total of 11 in line. We were so glad we got seated and didn’t have to wait outside in the cold!
This restaurant specializes in tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and is named “Taiyo” (which means “Sun”). It is operated by only 2 people and it’s a very small place located in Musashikoyama. They have a few things on the menu but we came here for their famous Tonkatsu Lunch set which is only 1000yen and includes a fried tonkatsu made fresh to order, cabbage, tonjiru (soup), rice, and some Japanese pickles. It’s truly an unbelievable deal for this quality. After you bite into this soft and juicy tonkatsu you will instantly know why this little shop has a line out the door.
The chef’s meticulous attention to detail and the level of care that he puts into preparing the tonkatsu is both fascinating and amazing. This is a perfect example of one of those rare craftsman who has mastered his art and performs his job so well it is a pleasure to watch and to experience his cuisine. Although you will have to wait about 20 minutes from when you order to when you receive your food, the wait is completely worth it just to watch him work and of course for the end result of his efforts. When you take your first bite of the tonkatsu, you’ll understand.
The service is very attentive and the lunch set made my empty stomach very satisfied. The only downside is, the place is so small that you feel like you can’t talk out loud because it’s really quiet. Regardless, if you want an authentic and delicious tonkatsu, come here.
Address // 3-22-7, Koyama, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3786-1464
Website // http://luckies.fc2-rentalserver.com/taiyo/index.php
Opened on December 25th, 2012 in Omotesando, this cafe/restaurant serves tasty panini’s. From the spacious terrace seating to the entrance way, chairs, beautiful tiled floors, wood ceiling and the nice bathroom, you can tell there was an excellent designer behind this place and no expense was spared. It’s hard to imagine how much all of these details cost but it’s not just beautiful, it’s also cozy. We visited this place on a weekend and they have a different menu than during weekdays (as most places in Japan do).
They give you a choice between two options for the bread on each panini you order, Focaccia or Ciabatta. We ordered the clam chowder (500yen) and the “Salsiccia Verdure Panini” which includes Italian sausage, grilled vegetables, lettuce, rucola and spicy salsa sauce for 1200yen on Ciabatta bread — mmmmmm! We also ordered the “Pollo lattuga Panini” which comes with smoked chicken, lettuce, rucola, and tartar egg on focaccia bread for 850yen. The clam chowder was more watery and different from what we expected but both of the panini’s had such fresh vegetables and ingredients with tasty bread so we enjoyed both of them. The service was also very good. We actually had to wait about 5 minutes before we got seated and they served us free tea. Definitely gets some brownie points for that ;)
PS: Panino Vino is owned by the same owner as AW Kitchen.
Address // 4-5-12, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5772-2896
Website // http://www.eat-walk.com/panino_vino/
There’s a popular bagel shop in the middle of Shirokanetakanawa neighborhood where you can get freshly baked bagels. It’s a tiny shop with almost no signage so it’s easy to miss, unless there happens to be a line out the door when you visit.
They serve a variety of different bagels, including: plain, sesame, poppy, onion, everything, 7grain honey, 7grain fig, blueberry, salt, cinnamon raisin, and more all costing between 200~250yen. My friends and I all decided to get some sandwiches as you can see from the pictures above — we selected a choice of any bagel + a “half-sized” ingredient (+300yen). If you get the “regular-sized” ingredient, it’s +400yen (but “half-size” was plenty). Most of us got the egg salad for the sandwich and you can add tomato, lettuce, etc for extra. All the ingredients are listed on their website so you can check out if you’re allergic to anything. They make your sandwich to order so the service is a little slow but the staff is friendly and nice. Overall the bagels were yummy, but not amazing. Still, it’s good to know there’s a place where you can get decent bagels in Tokyo when you have a craving.
Note that you cannot dine here, it’s only for take out.
Address // 1-15-22, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // n/a
Website // http://www.maruichibagel.com
Valentines Day is coming up and in Japan it’s hard to miss it since all the shops are filled with all kinds of chocolate-related gift boxes. In case you’re not familiar with Japanese Vday, it’s a big day for the ladies to gather up their courage and give some chocolate to that special someone. There’s “Honmei chocolate” – for their true love and also “Giri choco” – obligatory chocolate for co-workers and friends. It can also be a nerve-wracking day for men to see how many chocolates they get on vday, but it’s always interesting to see how many Honmei chocolates you get VS Giri Chocos. How can you tell the difference? They say if it’s homemade or an expensive chocolate gift, it could be Honmei ;)
Anyhow, in honor of Vday today’s post is a sweet one. Pastry Chef Yoshiaki Kaneko, the owner of Patisserie Paris S’eveille, has trained in Paris for a few years at prestigious places such as ‘Ladurée’, ‘Alain Ducasse’, ‘Arnaud Larher’, and ‘Le Daniel’. He opened his own store in Jiyugaoka in 2003 and it’s a very popular patisserie which is always crowded with couples and ladies of all ages. I’ve previously purchased some pastries from here but never had the opportunity to dine-in and try their beautiful cakes so I was excited. I wanted to try everything, but ended up ordering the ‘Gâteau Basque’ and the ‘Isabella’ after going back and forth between many options. The Isabella was executed to perfection but I wasn’t a huge fan of this walnut-based cake even though I usually love walnuts. On the other hand, the gâteau basque was delicious and we liked that both of the desserts we had were not too sweet. It seems that they are famous for their chocolate cakes so I plan to try that next time.
Address // 2-14-5, Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5731-3230
Website // n/a