Tori Tama 酉玉

We haven’t tried eating yakitori in Tokyo so DrG decided to find a popular one who could explore.


It was easy to find…because DrG took care of it. Little A and I were just happy tagging along as it was our first time to visit Iidabashi.

You can order their 7, 10 or 12 skewers set or order per piece or like us, left it to the chef to recommend which ones to pick.


They first serve you a dish of raw vegetables (cucumber, radish and carrots) with miso.


Grated radish with quail egg and sho-yu as palate cleanser


Chicken Liver, soft and slightly seared– almost like foie gras except it’s not duck!


Chicken Wings


Really good chicken balls


Intestine (aka: isaw)


Chicken Thigh


Some other part



The place fills up really quickly so better make reservations. We went there for snacks but were surprised it filled out quickly. We were lucky we were there past 5pm!  After we sat down, they started turning down walk ins and people calling in to reserve seats for that night.

This is a small yakitori/izakaya place but the place was smoke free– from cigarette and grilling so Little A was ok although not totally comfy. Carts will definitely be a problem.

Kagurazaka Branch
新宿区神楽坂5-7 山桝ハイツ B1F

Baby Led Weaning

World Health Organization has determined that babies can start eating solids by their 6th month.

WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs.

Kelly Mom gives reasons for delaying solids:  (1) greater protection from illnesses;  (2) enough time for the babies’ digestive systems to mature;  (3) decreases the risk of food allergies;  (4) protects babies from iron-deficiency anemia; (5) protects baby from future obesity; (6) Most importantly, Kelly Mom writes, delaying makes feeding so much easier! 😀

But as Dr. Sears’ wrote, babies don’t “read calendars” so we need to watch out if they are developmentally ready to eat solid food. Some indications: sitting without support; losing the tongue thrust reflex; ready to chew even without teeth;  developing the pincer grasp; and showing eagerness to participate during mealtimes.

In our case, I’m going to wait until Little A loses the tongue thrust before trying solid foods. I also plan to try baby led weaning  (not the mashed type food).  I first heard of this from Jenny of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom when she wrote about BLW-ing her son.  I read up on it, tried to see what other were doing by joining a facebook forum, and attended a CPR class to ease my mind. Since Little A will still be breastfed, eating will really just be supplementary in the beginning. Then gradually increase her solid food intake as she grows.

If Little A takes after me, I’m in for one big karmic event–it took me hours on end to eat when I was younger. But, I outgrew it and now, I love eating and boy, do I eat fast! 🙂

I am hoping we can source organic vegetables and fruits here (can’t be too careful, you know)  but as long as the produce don’t come from the dangerous areas, it should be fine.  We will start with maybe squash, carrots, potatoes and avocado. Maybe even apples and bananas.  Breastmilk is sweet so Dr. Newman writes that we don’t have to worry about offering sweet foods first. In fact, it might be easier to entice the baby with fruits.

Suggestions from Kelly Mom:

  • Ripe banana, avocado, yam, or sweet potato (sweet like breastmilk)

  • Meats

  • Whole-grain breads and cereals (rather than baby cereals)[wheat and corn are usually delayed until baby is 9-12 months old]

  • Fresh fruits[citrus fruits are usually delayed until baby is 9-12 months old]

  • Vegetables

  • Dairy products after 9 months[cow’s milk is usually delayed until baby is 12-18 months old]

Introduce only at 9 to 12 months: Wheat, Oranges and other citrus, Cheese, Yogurt, Soy, Peas and other legumes (except peanuts), Egg yolk, Corn

Introduce only at 12-18 months: Cow’s milk (including cottage cheese, icecream), Pork, Tomatoes

Introduce only at 18-24: egg whites and berries

Introduce at 2 years: chocolate 😦

Introduce at 2-3 years: fish and seafood, nuts except peanuts

Introduce at 3 years: peanuts

On eggs:

Please keep in mind that the egg whites should not be fed to baby before 1 year old.

If your family has a history of egg allergies, then it is probably best to wait until after 12 months old to introduce egg yolks.

Here are more tips on how to BLW. Another interesting site here.

Henri’s Cheesecake

Kitkat opened a specialty store in Ikebukuro last week, just in time for the Valentine’s day craze .  As expected, a very Japanese thing ensued– everyone fell in line for chocolates!

There were 3 flavors being sold– the sublime (out of stock already that day), chili and matcha in special packaging.

But the lines! the lines!


So we decided not to be lemming-ed into Kitkat’s Chocolatory line. We can visit another time.

Several stalls to their right, we saw Henri Charpentier’s cake display.  They still had stock of the W Gateau au Formage so I convinced DrG to buy so we can compare it with the other double cheesecakes we’ve tried.

See the gold specks?

They use crushed sable for the crumbly  crust which contrasts with the light cream cheese and mascarpone center.  I thought the maple syrup will just make this already sweet cheesecake cloyingly so, but the maple melded the different layers and gave the cheesecake a unified taste.

In the absence of Letao cheesecakes, Henri Charpentier’s would be a good replacement!

Website here.

Yokohama German Festival

A very late post.

IMG_4491Yokohama at dusk is so beautiful!  We wanted to go there to visit the German Christmas Festival.


The ice skating rink

IMG_4504More Christmas decorations on top of the stall roofs selling various German goodies.


IMG_4542A BelenIMG_4545Small belen, German madeIMG_4522People lining up to take a photo under this marvelously decorated gigantic Christmas tree.  You get to ring the bells, too!IMG_4530



Several stalls selling wine, hot cocoa, beer


German Sausage with curry powder


 Lamb on a stick with bbq sauce

IMG_4539Bowl of fried potatoes and cheeseIMG_4540Cheese. Fried. No other words necessary.

We strolled around some more and walked towards the amusement park.

IMG_4571The ferris wheel up close  one from the first photo)IMG_4579Ice World

IMG_4581Plenty of other rides there!

Yokohama is such a fun place with tons of stores and interesting sites.  It was getting late though and it’s a bit far from where we live. Maybe next time, we’ll stay longer.

Mochi Making

We attended a community activity organized by the home association. Today was all about mochi making!

I thought it was just going to be an exhibition of sorts but it was so much more! We got to pound the dough and eat the mochi afterwards!


They start with this mixture that has already been steamed.


And then three people will mash the dough while going around the trunk.


Then, using the large mallet, pound the mush until smooth.

The lady on the side is the one who turns the mochi.  She wets her hands before doing so, so the dough won’t stick to her hands.




Once done, it’s itadakimasu time!


Peanut covered mochi


Daikon shoyu mochi

 Apart from mochi making, there were other things being made on the side:


Soup with mochi inside!




They made this glutinous rice, red beans and sweet potatoes mixture and steamed it.


Before we left, our new friend gave us a pack to take home.

Beer and other beverages were also being served!

Paul and Pablo

Paul and Pablo came to dinner.


The first time we went to Paul, I had this mille feuille that was crunchy and had a thin layer of glaze on top. The custard was light and had traces of vanilla. It was  creamy and fragrant!


DrG had the waffle set with fruits and ice cream. It came with a bowl of chocolate syrup (not the bottle kind!)


This time, we took home their Chocolate Tart for Christmas lunch.


Since it’s cold, the chocolate was pretty solid.  Bland and unappetizing, right?

But wait…


Nothing that couldn’t be fixed by a couple of minutes in the oven.


I savored every bite and morsel of this chocolate tart. The crust was nutty and had the texture of a cookie. The chocolate was dark yet sweet and creamy.  Paul’s chocolate tart is so dreamy!

Pablo was a little more difficult to obtain.IMG_4614Its Tokyo store is in Shibuya and the lines are crazy long.  We were there as they opened but there was already a line of 15 people.


Thankfully, the line moved along quickly. And you get entertained by the staff making the cheesecakes on site.


IMG_4616Pablo insignia

They offer 4 types of cheesecakes. Rare, Medium, Premium, and Strawberry (seasonal).  Since there’s just the two of us eating, we did what any sane people would do– order 3!


The Premium Cheesecake

They only make 1500 of this a day and sells out pretty fast.


Up close

My, my, the more you eat, the more you’ll be addicted to this cheesecake. The caramel glaze gave the cheesecake a rounder taste. The cake was firm yet velvety.


The Rare Cheesecake.


The innards

So named because these are under baked cheesecakes– just enough for it to set. It’s very light– almost like eating fluffy sweet cream.


The medium cheesecake.

Like baby bear’s chair (Goldilocks and the three bears!), this cheesecake is not too hard, not too soft! It’s just right.  I like the medium cheesecake better but DrG  and I love the premium best! No wonder they are always sold out.

We didn’t get to try the Strawberry Cheesecake. Maybe next time!

Address: 1 Chome-5-25 Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0004, Japan
Phone:+81 3-5368-8823
21-9 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Happy birthday, Tara! 🙂

Stanford Child Nutrition and Cooking 2.0

My eating choices haven’t always been ideal as evidenced by the numerous dessert posts here, but, with Little A starting on solids soon, I’ve got to rethink how we eat and what I cook.

I enrolled myself on an online course from Stanford.

The lessons in Child Nutrition and Cooking is pretty basic and American based but it does help me remember what’s important in feeding Little A.

There are video lessons and a quiz every week for 5 weeks. Cooking assignments, additional videos and discussion forums are also available for more in-depth understanding of the topics.

For the first week, the assignment is to make a vegetable dish.  And this is what I came up with:


Romaine lettuce, broccoli, carrots and onions with balsamic vinaigrette

Looks good?

wpid-20140116_122223-1-1.jpgThis is version 2. With beansprouts and garlic.