{  Yasaiyamei — やさい家めい  }

Yasaiyamei -- やさい家めい
Yasaiyamei -- やさい家めい
Yasaiyamei -- やさい家めい
Yasaiyamei -- やさい家めい

This restaurant is located on the 3rd floor inside of Omotesando Hills. We visited during lunch time and quickly realized this was a popular spot for lunch as we had to wait a little before we were seated.

Yasaiyamei is famous for their fresh vegetable lunches and the restaurant is mostly filled with women. They have several lunch sets and the photos on their menu make their lunch sets look way better than the actual dishes themselves when they come out.

Ordered the seasonal rice set for 1690yen and the tempura lunch set for 1390yen. Considering how highly rated this place has been, we thought the food was a little underwhelming but still decent enough to post in case you’re looking for a place to dine inside of Omotesando hills. The portions are large but the dishes are a little pricey.

Address // 4-12-10, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5785-0606
Website // http://eat-walk.com/mei/

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{  Tokyoen — 東京苑  }

Tokyoen -- 東京苑
Tokyoen -- 東京苑
Tokyoen -- 東京苑
Tokyoen -- 東京苑
Tokyoen -- 東京苑

Tokyoen is a yakiniku place that has a few different branches. We went to the one in Yutenji and had an amazing experience.

They have tons of different types of meat but we chose their most famous ones: the “10 second sirloin” and the “3 second sirloin”. As the names suggest, you only have to grill the meat for a few seconds and then dip it into several sauces of your choice and the meat literally melts in your mouth. The meat is oh so soft, we’ve never had anything like this. The “3 second sirloin” is more fatty than the “10 second sirloin” so we liked the “10 second” one more. We also ordered Kalbi and a few popular meats from the specials of the day. Everything was so good but we liked the Kalbi so much we had to get seconds. As for side dishes, we ordered the Kakuteki (radish that is pickled Korean-style), the Tokyoen salad, the vegetable kuppa (a rice soup dish), and Korean-style cold noodles. YUMMM. Finished it off with the Almond Jelly dessert for only 100yen. No wonder this place is so popular, we loved everything about this place- the presentation of the food (especially how the meat came out!), the ambiance, and the service.

The average price that people spend at this Yakiniku place is around 5000~6000yen per person. We ate a good amount but since we didn’t order any alcohol, our bill was much lower than what we expected (just under 4000yen per person). Not bad at all! Highly recommend this place for meat lovers, you won’t regret it. Make sure you make reservations.

Note: Closed on Tuesday. Restaurant opens at 17:00.

Address // 2-38-28, Nakacho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3793-3878
Website // http://www.toukyoen.sakura.ne.jp/index.html

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{  VOVO — ボボ  }

VOVO -- ボボ
VOVO -- ボボ
VOVO -- ボボ
VOVO -- ボボ

Another yummy curry place in Gakudai. VOVO curry opened in April 2013 and is making a name for itself with its spicy curry (beef curry) as well as its other deliciously flavored curry. I saw this place on TV so I decided to check it out. It’s a small shop but it has some nice retro touches.

The curry is only 1000yen during lunch time and it comes with a small side salad. During lunchtime you can order the combo for 1000yen and try 2 flavors of curry. We both ordered the veggie + butter chicken combo. Both curries were very tasty and I really enjoyed the flavors. I don’t know how they make the rice and two different flavors of curry look so nice on one plate but the presentation was perfection. The portions are rather small so we felt that it wasn’t quite enough food for us. The little condiments on the side were also good and are spice + pickles to go with your rice.

I still love sync curry a bit more but this is a new spot that is not to be missed!

Address // 2-21-8, Takaban, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3713-6334
Website // n/a

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{  Fu-unji — 風雲児  }

Fu-unji -- 風雲児
Fu-unji -- 風雲児
Fu-unji -- 風雲児
Fu-unji -- 風雲児

Did we get lucky? We only had to wait two minutes to eat here!

Our friend happens to live right by this popular tsukemen/ramen place so we decided to try it. Fu-unji is famous for their 濃厚鶏白+魚介 soup, a condensed white chicken + fish broth soup (feels heavy on the bonito flavor). Although I’m not typically into fish broths, since their soup is a mixture of both chicken and fish, the fishiness wasn’t as strong as I expected so I surprisingly enjoyed it. The noodles were also very good in both the flavoring and texture.

When you first enter, you will see a machine where you can purchase a ticket based on what you want to eat. Once your turn comes, you will be asked to hand them your ticket and specify the amount of noodles you want.

Your options for noodles are (Same price for all):
– Namimori/並盛 — small
– Chuumori/中盛 — medium
– Oomori/大盛 — large
If you want your noodles to stay warm, you can order them “astumori” but keep in mind that if you are a slow eater, the noodles will elongate.

I ordered the Tokusei Tsukemen (特製つけめん) for 950yen with chuumori noodles. My girlfriend got the regular tsukemen with namimori noodles. The ramen was 700yen which was so/so according to our friend who always orders the tsukemen here. If you come here, I definitely recommend you to try their famous tokusei tsukemen first.

Hours // Monday through Saturday (Closed on Sunday & Holidays) 11:00~15:00, 17:00~21:00

Address // 2-14-3, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-6413-8480
Website // http://www.fu-unji.com/

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{  Kyoto Cafes  }

Kyoto Cafes
Kyoto Cafes
Kyoto Cafes

“Machiya cafes” have become quite popular in Kyoto these days. They are basically cafe’s which are created out of an old/traditional-style house and converted into Japanese organic cafes. They are typically located in residential areas of Kyoto and are a little hard to find but we came across one of them and had a nice dinner so I thought I’d share this place. Actually, there were quite a few Machiya Cafes on the same street after we were walking back to the main streets so I suggest to walk along this street and check them out if you’re interested.

{ Omo Cafe }
Address // 499 Umeyacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan‎ (map)
Phone Number // 075-221-7500
Website // http://www.secondhouse.co.jp/omoya2_cafe-top.html

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Kyoto Cafes
Kyoto Cafes

After having dinner at Omo Cafe, we walked towards Kamogawa and decided to chill at one of the nicer Starbucks in town. The terrace seating happens to be on top of the river and it’s a great spot to chill and sip on some coffee. Lots of love birds were hanging out along the river too. Nice romantic place for sure♡

{ Starbucks Sanjo Ohashi Branch }
Address // 113, Nakajimacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 075-213-2326
Website // http://www.starbucks.co.jp

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Kyoto Cafes
Kyoto Cafes

Right before heading back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen (bullet train), we tea-ed at Malebranche inside of Kyoto station and had a nice treat. My Matcha-ore was yummm.

{ Malebranche/マールブランシュ }
Address // Inside Kyoto JR Station
Phone Number // 075-661-3808
Website // http://www.malebranche.co.jp/

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This will be the last post of my Kyoto trip series. Hope you enjoyed them :)

Related Posts on Kyoto:
1) Hirobun
2) Nakamura Tokichi
3) Kyoto Trip
4) Kyoto Cafes