Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Omotesando Ukai Tei

If I were to go to Tokyo again, I would most likely dine here again because the food is just fabulous! :)

Ambience. CHECK.
Food. CHECK.
Service. CHECK. 
Everything was just so good.

The service here was impeccable. It started to rain while we were having dessert and when we left, they gave us two brand spanking new umbrellas wrapped in plastic!

It was such a thoughtful gesture. Unfortunately, we forgot about the umbrellas and left it in a cab. *SOBS* We never got to use it too! 

We opted for the steak lunch course because the price was "in between" the most expensive and the cheapest set. Haha.

Appetizer - super fresh prawn!

Corn soup - served cold

Olivia enjoyed it!


We were seated in a private room. 

Olivia sat beside me on a chair with extra cushions to prop her up.

We had to let her watch her Youtube videos so that we could eat.


Perfectly cooked salmon

*DROOLS*


A perfect serving size for me would have been two portions of this piece of wagyu. HAHAHA.


Garlic fried rice - this one was just OK! Would have been better with some fried egg. Demanding much? Hahaha.


Beautiful view while we were ushered into another room for dessert

Good end to our meal

You can even pick as many selections as you want from the dessert tray when the waitress comes around! I only picked a few as I didn't want to appear to be too greedy but honestly, on the inside, I was dying to try everything there! Hahaha.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A day in Ginza

We went to Ginza two days in a row to walk around.

We spent easily half a day in Ginza Six the day before.
Ginza Six was so packed and the queue for the lifts were really long.

Every lift was packed like sardines so we had no choice but to use the escalator with our stroller. 

It was pretty hard to walk around and see things because Olivia wanted to walk  run around but somehow, we managed by taking turns baby sitting.

x  x  x  x  x  x 

If you're a tonkatsu fan, dining at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin is a must!

We had to wait a little longer in line than others as we wanted to be seated at a table because Olivia was asleep in the stroller.

The counter seats turnover seems to be pretty fast but obviously, we couldn't sit there with a baby.


Missing the pork already

And I MISS the jumbo prawns - they were so fresh!

x  x  x  x  x  x  x

We also spent quite a bit of time at the Hakuhinkan Toy Park Ginza Shop.
You might be surprised to know that I am a toy lover! HAHAHA.

I could spent hours browsing the store. They have lots of "cool" stuff.

Olivia went wild in the store.
At 16 months old, she doesn't really listen to you whenever you say NO.
She'd be taking stuff out from the racks and placing it here and there.

I'd have to keep picking up after her. 
It was so tiring.






The best part about this toy store is that they have a lot of sample toys to play with that can help keep toddlers occupied.

Olivia was most excited when she was all these dogs.
All the battery operated dogs were moving around and yapping away.

It's always so tempting to get her all the toys in the world that she likes but I remember that she already has a similar dog at home so we didn't get her anything from this toy shop for her.



Mandatory pic in Ginza - a picture on the pedestrian crossing :)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Yummies in Tokyo

I relied a lot on my sister's recommendations on what to eat in Tokyo as I did not do much research myself as I did not want to stress myself out.

I get stressed out pretty easily. Maybe I should rephrase that - I actually get easily disappointed when I have set my mind to do something (ie. trying out a particular restaurant) but fail to do it! Haha.

However, meals that weren't planned were very disappointing. 

Walking into a random shop for meals in Tokyo did not satisfy our tummies as much as going to places that have been recommended by others (provided that you have similar tastes as the one recommending). Haha.

Highly recommend the tempura bowl at Kaneko Hannosuke!

Everything was so fresh and so, so GOOD! 
We went there around 6 p.m. and there was already a queue! 
We had to wait for around half an hour for a seat.

When we were done eating, the queue double up!

Sashimi - tunaaaa

We headed to Tsukiji for this and walked inside a random shop because the streets were just way too packed and it was pretty hard to navigate through with a stroller.

Uni

I'm not that BIG on uni but I have enjoyed eating it a few times during Omakase meals.
However, when it's served like that in a bowl - my stomach can't handle it.
Plus, there's some funky smell coming from some of the sea urchin.



Most random meal ever - chicken rice in Ginza. Hahahaha.

Mike said that it's the "only thing" that Olivia would eat - which is RICE!

During the whole trip, all she ate was plain rice for meals or baby cereal (that we ran out of during the few last days of our trip). And finding baby food in Japan is like finding a needle in a haystack.

You need to go to really specific places to get instant baby food. We went to so many malls and couldn't find any at the grocery. Thank God for Takashimaya! They had a couple of jars of instant baby food there and we stocked up our baby food. However, Olivia didn't like it at all.

Looking back in hindsight, I really should have brought my Electric Lunch Box to cook Olivia's meals in Japan. 

We were thinking that we had nothing to worry about in a first world country but we were wrong. They don't have any infant cereals stocked up at all! 

I had a newfound appreciation of infant cereals when I came back from Japan - I just felt an innate need to stock up my house with boxes of cereal after trying to hunt for them in Tokyo but couldn't find a single box. I realised how wonderful Cerelac is and how I've been taking it for granted. Hahahahaha. 

Sorry, just being overly dramatic here as I am thinking back on our challenge in finding food for Olivia in Tokyo. You have no idea how stressful it was.

The famous pancakes at Gram! Missing it already although I regretted not sharing with Mike. It's so fluffy yet so filling.

Parfaits at Takano Fruit Parlour.

Just a random observation - most of the diners here were solo mid aged to old ladies. 

I found it pretty interesting because dessert parlours are usually frequented by families or the younger crowd. But then again, I'm also not young myself. Haha. 

If I lived in Tokyo, I might be one of those oldies sitting there enjoying her parfait. Hee hee.

Dog Heart, Tokyo

Olivia adores dogs. Every day she will be asking us to bring her to see dogs !

"DOG DOG DOG DOG."

Even until now, that she's 18 months old, she still keeps wanting to see dogs.

Every time she's outside the house, she will want to peek into our neighbour's house and will get extremely excited to see their dogs.

As Tokyo is famous for various animal cafes, we did a quick search on Google and visited Dog Heart in Shibuya which is supposed to be a dog cafe.

I envisioned a cafe where we could sit down and have some tea/coffee with dogs roaming around the place.

However, I was so surprised when we walked into the place to just see an empty space with dogs walking freely and humans sitting at around. 

When I got to the place, I felt like making a U-turn because of the totally different expectations that I had.

Olivia, on the other hand was SO HAPPY and could not wait to get past the gate.
Since we were already there, we paid for a half an hour session just to "play with dogs". 

It wasn't cheap.
After conversion, it was like RM90 for the 3 of us.




We had to control Olivia as she wanted to go around hugging each and every dog.


I will always remember how she did her happy excited stomp so many times in the room.
That face of true joy and love.

Here is Olivia trying to release herself from Mike's grip.




All the dogs were well behaved except for this annoying chi hua hua who kept barking at Olivia for God knows what reason. WHAT A MEANIE!

Olivia was so scared of this dog.
Just look at her expression!


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Nishiki Market

We took a bus to Nishiki market and spent around 2 hours at the market.
It was tough pushing a stroller in the market as it was pretty crowded.




Near the entrance of the market where we entered from, there was a restaurant selling fresh oysters.

We were seated right at the entrance of the shop as we had a stroller and there was no place for us inside the restaurant to park our stroller.

Olivia was also napping in the stroller and that gave us the perfect opportunity to eat in peace!

Trying the various styles of oysters prepared - raw, grilled and boiled.

We also had a huge scallop !

Had some soy milk ice cream with brown sugar. Tasted exactly like tow fu fa in ice cream form.

Didn't quite like it as the ice cream was pretty icy.
I expected it to be creamy.

There's a Snoopy shop in the market too.

We decided to walk from the market to the nearest ramen store that we found on Google.

Can't recall the name but I did not quite enjoy it. 
Maybe it was because I was too stuffed from all the stuff I ate at the market.

However, this ramen shop had one small table in the store hence we could sit down and eat with Olivia seated beside me on the chair. The rest were counter stools.


We took a cab to Gion after that to eat ice cream and buy green tea powder at Tsujiri.

Basically, the highlight of my trip this time around was the food  :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ganko Sushi @ Kyoto Station Building

On the last night with Mike's parents in Kyoto, we had dinner near the hotel we were staying at.
I requested for the hotel to recommend a family friendly restaurant with good Japanese food.
They helped to book a table for us.

OOTD. Hahaha. Earlier that day, we walked inside a Hello Kitty store and Olivia was throwing a tantrum because she did not want to leave the shop.

In order to appease her, we had to buy her something.
Actually, it's more like her grandmother wanted to get her something so that she won't cry!

If I had my way, I'd just walk out of the store and let her cry.

#toughlove


Ganko Sushi was really packed with locals.
The restaurant was so busy on a Sunday night.

Don't think we could have gotten a table if we were to walk in.

I ordered this.

Sukiyaki

Olivia's kid's set.

She only touched the fries, sadly.

Food was OK. Nothing to shout about. Wasn't bad. Wasn't good.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

I see RED!

The only temples/shrines that I planned to visit in Kyoto was the Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kiyomizu-Dera temple.

Only TWO temples to sight see for us in Kyoto and I had to be the one persuading the husband and parents-in-law to go there and take a look -_-"

The husband always shows me his super BORED or MEH face whenever I mention the "plan of the day". GEEZ. 

"Temples? Yawn. What is there to see?"

Yeap, he's THAT kind of traveller. Pffft.

Fushimi Inari

Doing the tourist thing





I love how it's so safe in Japan. Look at the strollers parked at the start of the Torii gates uphill walk.

I was reading reviews on whether to bring a stroller here or not but my advice is to just bring it with you and park it here like how the others do it unless your itinerary is solely just to see Fushimi Inari for the day and go back to the hotel after that.

Chances are that you'd have a full day ahead of you hence the question of whether should you bring a stroller or not is not much of an option.

The stroller is pretty much our "back saver". Haha.
Carrying Olivia in her carrier is so tiring after awhile!

Plus she gets to nap in her stroller comfortably as well.


Mike was not keen on walking up the steps so I went ahead on my own as I felt that standing around was a waste of time - but just look at Mike's face being happy standing around . . . .








We went to the entrance of Kiyomizu-dera and that's about it.
Nobody was keen on walking.

The only one happiest walking around was probably Olivia.

I wanted to revisit Kiyomizu-dera because I know that after this trip to Kyoto, I don't think I'll return in a long, long time because there's just so many other places to visit in the world !!!

And for that reason, I am just so GLAD that I've been to Kyoto before.
Had this been my first trip, I would have been so extremely disappointed.

It's Mike's first trip to Japan and all he seems to enjoy is taxi rides and eating.
He probably doesn't even remember any of the names of the places we visited.

Mike could get away with it during this trip because his parents were around . . . .
if not, I'd make it a "BOOT CAMP" in Japan for him!

After sightseeing, we walked for almost AN HOUR trying to look for a place to eat!

It was the most tiring ever hunt for a STREET that we did not manage to find.
IT WAS ELUSIVE! 
That street supposedly had lots of restaurants there.

Mike used City Mapper and we were walking here and there and all around but we couldn't find the place. The heat was getting to us as well. It was a hot day.

Talk about temperatures rising. 
Mike's temper was rising. TSK tsk.
And when he starts getting annoyed and angry, I start getting angry at him for being angry.

We ended up walking into a random restaurant that specializes in crab dishes.
Honestly, I wasn't keen after the crab overload meal at Kani Doraku but we couldn't find any other place to eat at that was near.

A lot of restaurants seem to be closed on a Sunday.

Crab crab crab and RICE RICE RICE.