Ukai Tei Omotesando

Let me start with this:

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A cart of desserts for your picking. 

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This is after they serve your main dessert.

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I asked for the classic starwberry shortcake. They served it like this.

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L had the pistachio éclair with ice cream

But first, the entrance photo taken by Little A.

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Our reflection on the lower left area.

We were seated in the salon and served hot tea while waiting for our private room. Normally, counter seats are offered so you can see the chefs working on the teppanyaki. But, they dont allow kids under a certain age to sit there so we were given a private room instead.

Once we were shown inside, we only had to wait a couple of minutes before the gastronomy magic happened.

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Marinated small prawn with asparagus baba (what Little A call bubbles). It was so flavorful too!

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This was supposedly a cold onion soup but we wanted hot soup so they swapped it wih clam cream soup.

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Sauted Bream. It sounds so simple, right? But it was so good.

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The chef is shaving mushrooms on top of the grilled fish.

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Fresh ingredients and high skilled chef make my tummy really happy.

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Next up. Ukai tei’s top quality beef. We didn’t upgrade the beef to *best* quality because L and I agreed that best quality might be too calorie-fic for us! Also, we just ate steak the other day…so…

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Look! small but omg, so rich!  Do you see the garlic chips? How amazing are those? The onion strips were sweet!

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Close up of wagyu

Little A was meh on the fish. Ate only a little. But, this dish? I was too slow in preparing her fork, she just used her hands to feed herself!

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Afterwards came the meal which consists of fried rice, pickled veggies and miso soup. To make sure you are full, teehee!

Then, we were whisked off to the dessert parlour where we had the most amazing dessert spread. We shared a platefull of petit fours and drank coffee (in my case, milk with coffee) while Little A roamed around the room and squealed in delight (cakkkeeeees!)

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Another look

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Strawberry pudding that is also part of the trolley desserts.

Ukai tei is one of the best lunches I have had recently.

Website here
5-10-1 OMOTESANDO-GYRE 5F, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
TEL.+81-3-5467-5252
Reservations can be made online

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Hanami aka Cherry Blossoms Viewing

It’s my third year in Tokyo and I still get super excited when spring comes. Not only because it means winter is (almost) over, but also because it means cherry blossoms viewing is near!

Whether you’re visiting or living in Japan, a certain level of preparation is important to experience the best hanami outing.

Tips on Cherry Blossoms Viewing in Tokyo
(1) Know the flower and when they bloom.
It is quite easy to mistake plum blossoms with cherry blossoms. They don’t bloom at the same time. Find out the perfect viewing time through this forecast site.

(2)Choose the appropriate park.
There are many parks to choose from and they’re all wonderful and spectacular.

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However, I prefer Shinjuku Gyoen because they don’t allow liquor and smoking. I’ve been to some parks that allow these and the crowd does get a bit rowdy. I also don’t want to inhale second hand smoke.

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There are also parks like Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo which offers more than just hanami. You could rent a boat and paddle your way into the magical scene. Wait until sundown and the place is lit up. This is one of the most popular parks though so, it is hard to find a place to park your mat.

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Inokashira Park is another nice park and once you’re done, you can even go to the zoo with your kids afterwards.

I’ve never been to Toshimaen Amusement Park but I’ve read reviews that it’s a good alternative to your typical hanami viewing.

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Ueno, Koganei and Zenpukuji Parks are also great.

Tokyo Midtown is one of the nicest places to view cherry blossoms. They even have a food truck that sells snacks and champagne!

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8 parks for you to enjoy!

(3) Bring or buy your hanami arsenal

3a Mat
This is essential in hanami-ing. Where will you sit and enjoy the magnificent view? The ground? No, no, the proper way is to use a mat. It also serves as your reservations in case you want to wake up early and pick the nicest spot at the park and return later in the day with your family amd friends. Yes, everyone will respect your reservations. No one will move your mat or take your belongings. It’s a wonderful place, Japan.

100yen shops sell all kinds of mat so drop by one before you head to your park. Feel free to buy other goodies such as paper plates, plastic spoon and forks, chopsticks, cups, wipes. (I know how wasteful this sounds but let’s not get into it now). There are also mat fasteners so your mat won’t be blown off by strong winds.

3b Food and Drinks
You can make your own bento or buy them in your neighborhood konbini but remember, the nearer it is to the park, the more crowded it will be.

Ubiquitous vending machines found all over the metro. You won’t beed to lug around heavy drinks.

But, if you’re interested in wines, sakes and beers, place them in your water cooler and throw a bag of ice inside.

3c entertainment
Some stay an hour, some for hours on end. Some bring games, some bring stories. Bubbles work for Little A.

3d camera
The ephemeral beauty of sakura…capture and post them on your Instagram account. For a week, my Facebook and Instagram feeds were full of cherry blossoms!

3e desserts
What’s hanami without desserts? Our favorite is Isetan’s depachika to buy these lovely shucreams. Fruits are also available!

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This post is late. Hope this helps you in Hanami 2016 (and beyond!)

Shinjuku Gyoen
Chidorigafuchi koen
Inokashira
Toshimaen
Ueno
Koganei
zenpukuji
Midtown

Happy cherry blossoms viewing!

L’ATELIER de Joel Robuchon

L came to visit recently and she wanted to go back to Robuchon for lunch. A quick internet reservations were made (in English!) so I needn’t bother DrG to help me make one. It was drizzling but we got there a few minutes before 12nn. image Amuse bouche image Complimentary breads image More! image So soft and fluffy! brioche! image I ordered Menu A which includes soup, entree and dessert. Cauliflower cream with iberico ham and curry infused oil image My entree upside down.  You see the lamb chops hair, conish eyes, greenish grin of my plate? image Close up of the roasted lamb leg, with veggies and au jus. Tender and flavorful. image Dark chocolate ganache with cocoa sherbet and biscuit bits. 5 chocolate textures in one glass. I have always ordered this dessert. I promise to try the others next time. Ok, I am not sure I will. This is just too good to pass up. This course looks small but I was full at the end of meal. My sister ordered the Menu du Jour which meant more courses and more complex flavors. image White Asparagus light mousse with snow crab. How to eat this delicate dish? image Sauteed squid stuffed with chorizo image Roasted wagyu beef with super creamy mashed potatoes There was a basiln sherbert after the entree (no picture) image Citrus fruits flavored cocoa on chocolate ganache topped with passion fruit Finally coffee was served with cookies and toffee candies. The restaurant was very tolerant of Little A running around our table and squealing in delight every now and then. Some patrons were giving us the look but hey, she loves the food there! L’ATELIER de Joёl Robuchon 〒106-0032 東京都港区六本木6-10-1 六本木ヒルズ ヒルサイド2F Roppongi hills Hillside 2F 6-10-1 Roppongi,Minato-ku,Tokyo,Japan TEL: 03-5772-7500  FAX: 03-5772-7789 E-mail: latelier-reception@robuchon.jp