Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tokyo Eats 2016 - Part 2

 A recap of my eating shenanigans in Tokyo continues! The Japanese take great pride in everything they do and food is not an exception. So you need to try even food that's not of Japanese origin. This time I will cover places for coffee, burgers, soft serves, pastries and breakfast options.


About Life Coffee

The third wave coffee scene is big in Japan (Think of Mecca, Coffee Alchemy, Single Origin Roasters etc.). Near the heart of Shibuya is a famous corner coffee shop called About Life Coffee. They have everything covered from solid pour over filter to an amazing cafe latte.

Their house blend is sourced from Onibus Coffee (About Life is also owned by Onibus owner Atsushi Sakao). You will also find guest beans from roasters around the world (Mecca, Artificer, Edition and Seven Seeds makes regular appearances here).

About Life Coffee Brewers
1-19-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0043
Open: 8:30am-8:30pm everyday
Nearest station: Shibuya

Onibus Coffee

If you like coffee shops like Mecca, Artificer, Edition Coffee Roasters style of roasting, then you need to check out Onibus! The owner Atsushi travels to Sydney and Melbourne a lot. So expect similar coffee roasting and brewing. You'll find that their espresso (house blend or single origin) tend to be on the light to medium roast side (the way I like it). Their new digs in Nakameguro incorporate homey, industrial and Japanese designs into one cool joint.
Their latte is quite smooth with a lot of vibrant fruity notes. I also had a pour over filter coffee which was also fruity with a clean finish. The coffee here is tops and the staff are pleasant.

Meguro-Ku, Kamimeguro 2-14-1
Open: 9am-6pm everyday
Nearest station: Nakameguro



First burger we tried in Tokyo was from the iconic Japanese fast food chain, MOS. This place is everywhere so need to go to any branch.
I had double MOS cheeseburger with fries and a melon drink. The burger came with double beef patty and cheese, onions and a special meat sauce. The whole burger was good for the price and I specially love the soft milk buns. Although the beef patties are obviously processed, they still packed flavour and was quite juicy.

Shake Shack
I'm so glad the American burger chain Shake Shack has opened in Tokyo when we visited! It even opened in one of Tokyo's most popular parks, Meiji Jingu Gaien Park. They picked this spot to pay homage to the first ever Shake Shack restaurant that opened in Central Park New York.
I loved everything about Shake Shack Meiji-Jingu Gaien except the super long queue! If you plan to visit, make sure you start lining up before 11am.

We tried the classic shack cheeseburger. It's a cheeseburger with salad and a special shack sauce in a soft potato bun. The perfectly seasoned beef patties are smashed to create that perfect caramelised crust for enhanced umami flavour and are cooked medium rare to medium well. The shack sauce is just as important as their triple beef blend patty. The sauce was creamy and tangy with hints of smokiness and acidity. It's one amazing burger.
Next level to that burger is the double smokeshack! It's a double smash patty cheeseburger with applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper, Shacksauce. It's double the greatness of their 80:20 meat to fat ratio beef patty blend. Along with the extra umami is the smoky goodness from the rashers of crispy smoked bacon. As you can see, I'm not exaggerating the next level description. It's my favourite burger right now!

Believe the hype behind their crinkled fries. Their crinkled fries with cheese were off the hook! The fries were crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the inside. The cheese sauce just makes it even more addictive.
Their second restaurant in Ebisu is now open! Word is that the queue is shorter.

Shake Shack
Meiji Jingu Gaein


Japan has great quality beef throughout the country. Visiting a burger joint run by a butcher (Meat Yazawa) that sources nothing but top quality wagyu for their burgers just makes sense right?

Black-haired Japanese beef or Kuroge wagyu is used to make their fatty and flavoursome patties. The bacon cheeseburger (¥1,700) consists of beef patty, cheese, smoky bacon, and house sauce in soft light brioche bun. It also comes with a side of pickles and potato wedges.

2 Chome-11-9 Ebisunishi, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0021, Japan
Nearest station: Ebisu

The Japanese love their soft serves (or soft creams) and so do I! I went to a few but two things stood out for me:

Hello Kitty

On our visit to the Diver City mall, we walked past the Hello Kitty shop and noticed that they were serving Hello Kitty kongariyaki (hotcake like puffs) and soft serve. What's even better is that you can have those hotcake puffs as toppings to your creamy matcha and milk soft serves! Kongariyakis are baked fresh everyday.

Hello Kitty Kongariyaki
2F, Diver City
135-0064 Tōkyō-to, Kōtō-ku, 江東区Aomi, 1 Chome−1−1−10

Cremia Soft Cream
The soft serve that has ruined all other soft serves for me is Cremia! It's basically available all-over Japan! So what's so amazing about Cremia? It consists of premium Hokkaido milk and whipped cream. It is smooth with a sweet cream cheese-like flavour minus the acidic-ish after taste. It served in a thin buttery sugar cookie cone. It's the creme de la creme of soft serves! Available at Silkream in Shibuya or any store with a cremia poster outside.

Japan, 150-0041 Tokyo, 渋谷区Jinnan, 1−19−3 ハイマンテン神南ビル

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Pastry chef took New York City by storm in 2013 with his cronuts and delectable pastries back in 2013. You can now get a taste of Ansel's pastries with a Tokyo twist at their Omotesando store. You can get everything from cronuts, tarts to caneles and their mind blowing frozen s'mores. The queue is pretty short compared to the crazy lines they get at their NYC store.
Domnique Ansel Bakery Tokyo
5 Chome-7-14 Jingumae, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Nearest station: Omotesando


Then there's the ever dependable Matsuya chain that you can find at almost every area. Everything from gyu don (beef rice bowl) with soup on the side, and beef curry set to a salmon set under ¥1,000 is available here. Choose and purchase your meal from the ticket vending machine, take a seat and one of their wait staff will pick up your tickets. It usually takes around 5 minutes for your order to come out. This was our go to place for breakfast. Most Matsuyas are open 24 hours and some open early and close late.

Maisen Tonkatsu

Aside from bentos, katsu sandos are the perfect on the go food. You need to sink your teeth onto a Maisen katsu sando! A simple but excellent tonkatsu sandwich full of umami! These are available at most food halls.

Duty free snacks shopping

Last but not least, don't forget to do some last minute shopping at Haneda or Narita Airport for Japanese goodies. You can snacks ranging from mochi, matcha flavoured Kit Kats, Royce chocolates and Shiroi Koibito biscuits with white chocolate filling (my personal favourite).

Watch out for my Kyoto Eats post coming up in the next few weeks. Until then, KA-ME-HA-ME-HAAAAAAA!

Also, check out Part 1 of my Tokyo Eats here.


  1. Love this round up Raff. I am often in Tokyo for business, but because it is for business I don't get much play or alone time. I am heading back next year for a personal trip (wow I love those ones), so will be taking some of your recommendations on board.

    I do love how the coffee scene has grown in Tokyo over the recent years, I have been travelling there for over a decade and I think its wonderful to see.

  2. Man you ate well Raff! Alex is heading to Japan in July next year so I'll have to pass this along to him! I kicked myself for missing out on MOS Burger when I went to Surfers Paradise earlier this year. Rookie mistake!

  3. ahhhhh so freaking jealous I'm dying!!!!

  4. I'm going to Japan in 5 months I'm definitely bookmarking this! Thanks Raff!

  5. omg Cremia is the best! And Maisen too! MOS burger definitely tastes better in Japan too.

  6. Can't wait for your Kyoto post!

    And how fun is the DA patisserie? I enjoyed the cookie and chocolate shot.

    PS I got a little nostalgic seeing all those airport shots! Tokyo's probably the only place where I'd be excited about stocking up at the airport shops before heading on the plane.


Let me know what ya think, aight! Would love to hear from ya.