Sunday, April 7, 2013

the food of tokyo.

one of the things we loved most about tokyo was THE FOOD. we become total foodies in japan, & it ended up working really well because the food there is quite cheap! we were usually able to grab lunch or dinner for two for about $8 or $9. awesome!

here are a few of our favorites:

a japanese-style italian plate complete with ham, thick creamy sauce, & an egg on top OF COURSE (just as portlanders believe heartily that everything is made better when you put a bird on it, so do the japanese, as well as the taiwanese, believe heartily that everything is made better when you put an egg on it):

japanese photobomb as i'm tucking into a steamed meat bun, or baozi, as we say in chinese:

i've been obsessed with hi-chews ever since taiwan, so it was only natural that I made it my first point of business in japan to get husband swiftly & quickly addicted to them as well. & it worked, oh how it worked. & why wouldn't it? hi-chews are the all-stars of the all-stars, when it comes to chewy fruity candy:

the other candy i made a special point for us to buy often was pocky. this was a candy ben actually remembers eating sometimes growing up, he believes from the times his family hosted japanese exchange students. all pocky is is these sticks dipped in chocolate. sounds very simple, but they're surprisingly so, so good. plus the box design is so aesthetically pleasing in its striking minimalism & bold colors. & pocky is so light & small we could put a box away in one sitting & not even feel bad about it. so that's what we did:

do you see our tokyo travel book in the background of this one? haha. so embarrassing:


seaweeeeeed! & an egg in there somewhere, to boot. you can kinda see the yolk:

mosburger is a japanese burger place that is also in taiwan, & was therefore a place i visited a decent amount of times while serving a mission in that blessed island. anyway, i was expounding on the virtues of mosburger to benjamin & we decided to have a little taste-off. one night for dinner, we shared a hammy  & fries at mosburger...

...& then went over & shared a big mac at mcdonalds. husband & i have testimonies of the fact that mcdonalds is really quite good in pretty much every other country besides the U.S., & of course that meant we had to try the japanese version. the verdict? while a big mac in japan is better than a big mac in america, mosburger pulled out the win!

(while the big mac didn't win, the $1 [or 100 yen, i should say] cone at mcdonalds DID, as it always will in foreign countries):

oh these. when i was serving in xitun in taiwan, there was an amazing open-air type breakfast restaurant right around the corner from where we lived. about once a week we would head there for a classic asian breakfast: hot & flaky fried bread & a steamy cup of soy bean milk. what you do is, you dip the bread, which is always in a great cylindrical shape perfect for dipping into a cup, into the soy bean milk until it gets nice & soft, & then you eat it. yum. that taiwanese breakfast basically changed my life & i've been on the lookout for it ever since returning to the states. unfortunately, i've never found it anywhere else, even in chinatown here in nyc (maybe i should be looking harder?). so imagine my joy when, as we were walking through a crowded, loud evening market in tokyo, i saw a restaurant serving my favorite breakfast ever!!! (three exclamation points!) so i kind of did a car brake screeching noise &  pulled ben over there to order immediately. i was like, "trust me on this one, benny boy. trust me."

& ben loved the bread & the soy bean milk. of course he did! during the week, whenever i'd recomend yummy asian foods ben had never tried before i kept telling him, "don't doubt me! i know my asian foods!!!" we went back to that breakfast joint a few times. we even went back once for breakfast, which, with the sun rising & the morning market sounds slowly growing louder & the smell of all the fresh fish straight from the ocean, everything felt so familiar i might as well have been an exhausted, happy, sweaty missionary in taiwan.

& we just had to try out the "mister donut" around the corner from the 2nd place we stayed. i just loved how the misters donut were all tucked so sweetly into the little box we got:

oh, japanese food. we miss you!


  1. Wait - you don't have pocky sticks in NY?! Must be a California thing.

  2. brittney - we do have pocky here in NY! i guess we just kind of forget it exists? in favor of baked goods or other yummy treats. but japan reminded us that it's actually delicious & when searching for a treat, we need to choose pocky more often!

  3. Ok, I need to read your blog every day because it makes me smile. Your writing is just so witty and charming and Ben always captures the best portraits of you. That photobomb is the best.



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