Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tokyo Day 1 - Yakitori near Inoshikara Park

Arrived in Tokyo last Saturday morning in time to catch the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Inokashira Park is a not so touristy park (like Ueno) and there's lots of locals there. The path from Kudanshita subway was so packed - it seemed like we were entering the national stadium during national day celebrations instead of going to a park. Before entering the park, we made a pit stop for lunch at this very famous old school yakitori restaurant. The queue to get in was really long, and it didnt help that there were throngs and throngs of people trying to walk to Inokashira park.
We found out to our dismay that we had been queueing in the wrong queue after queueing for around 20-30mins so we had to re-queue again in the correct queue to get into the restaurant:(
I really can't remember the restaurant's name but it's right next to starbucks, and you can see plumes of smoke rising from the front of the restaurant as their yakitori counter is right next to the entrance.
Our yakitori order - ordered 2 sticks of everything which included tongue, intestine, stomach, liver, chicken, chicken ball etc
I'm not sure what was what, but there was one which really tasted fatty and lardy (suppose it was the intestine or tongue?).
Delicious sticks of yakitori - the liver came in such huge chunks, and each stick was really yummy. I thought that it would be too salty initially, but it was pretty alright.
The yakitori balls were a bit different from our local ones cos it has a softer, soggier texture. I prefer the ones we find in Singapore cos it's not so mushy feeling. The grilled corn here is really good - a golden juicy ear of corn charcoal grilled with smokey burnt bits. It's season with butter, salt and sugar. It's not the fake grilled kind of corn cos they grill it only unlike some stalls which actually boil the corn before grilling.
The best gyoza I've tasted - it's very affordable too (though I really can't remember the price).
The gyoza are really plump and juicy, and the skin is so thin and crispy. I think that all the gyozas I've tried really cannot compare to this super shiok gyoza. Best of all, the meat isn't too fatty and I was really sad when we finished all the gyoza. However, I was so stuffed that we really couldn't order another plate (plus, we were saving stomach space for the famous dango in the park).
Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in full swing. The whole park was covered in pretty light pink cherry blossom flowers, and it made the park look very bright. I didn't adjust my exposure properly so the detail of the cherry blossom is lost and the trees just look bald in my photos but it's really covered in cherry blossoms.
Inokashira park was packed and there was a pond where you can paddle either a paddle swan (for 2 people) or row a boat (up to 4 people). We had lots of fun rowing our boat around and getting stuck in the low-lying cherry blossom branches, as well as trying in vain to avoid other oncoming boats.
If I'm not wrong, the yakitori joint's name is called Ishiya (if I remember and am reading the hirigana correctly). It's on the way to Inokashira Park from the Kudanshita {argh i think it may be kichijoji station???! I'm not sure now go check it up} and is next to starbucks on your right (from subway to park).


Anonymous said...

The name of the place is 'Iseiya', if I'm reading the Hiragana correctly :)

Just thought some of your readers would want to know (:

M. said...

it's Iseya :)

Anonymous said...

yes the place is called Iseya and also...the station name is maybe Kichijoji? Kudanshita station is not close to Inokashira Park.

m said...

hello all the anons and m.! and I do think i'ts kichijoji now! oops I'm getting confused with all the station names :/