Still horribly jet-lagged but I’m determine to explore Shinjuku and Harajuku today!

Breakfast:

Milk tea — green tea

Very sweet milk tea, but also very strong. This green tea is sold in the states as well and actually one of my favourites. 

Lunch at Ichiran Ramen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan: 

My slightly embarrassing ordering sheet.

This ramen chain is famous for its “solo dining” (there’s one in NYC!). Each person sits at a bar counter with dividers, akin to middle school exam conditions. Orders are made through a vending machine and the specifics are marked on the sheet above. I like this because it’s very difficult for me to say “no pork and onions but the pork/chicken/fish broth is okay”. Note: Japan is not the most vegetarian friendly and I’m already craving a huge salad. 

Ramen (w/o pork, onions)

While the dining experience is great for solo diners, this was not the best ramen I’ve had. I like my noodles more chewy and slightly thicker. The broth could have had more depth. 

My stomach also started hurting about fifteen minutes after this meal. 

Snack at Pablo Omotesando, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan:

Original mini cheese tart

This place is famous for its cheese tarts and despite my stomach hurting after the ramen,  I went for it. The original flavour is definitely better than the matcha; it’s creamy, light and tart. I do wish the crust had been thinner or lighter though to better compliment the filling. 

Matcha mini cheese tart

A lot denser and sweeter than the original, more similar to a matcha custard. Its regular size has an adzuki (red beans) layer but the mini one does not. While I appreciate that the matcha flavour was very strong, I would not get this again. 

Filling of the cheese tarts

Despite the matcha filling appearing less dense, the truth is reversed.

 

Snack from Gindaco, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan:

Takoyaki

Takoyaki is balls of grilled/fried dough with octopus inside topped with this sweet terriyaki-esque sauce and bonito flakes. At this point, my stomach really hurt but I was right in front of the shop and it’s a thirty minute walk from my hotel. Me being me went for it and my tastebuds are really glad I did. 

Crisp exterior with pillowy, gingery dough? Yes please. The last time I had takoyaki was in East Village, NYC, and I don’t remember their dough being flavoured with ginger and scallions so this was a pleasant surprise (could have gone without the scallions though). To be honest, I could have just the dough (without the octopus pieces) and be satisfied.