A Birthday Celebration, 2015

We celebrated Little A’s birthday recently.

In the morning, we had the compulsory birthday misua.

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With mushroom and boiled egg

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We spent the day here.

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Played in the ball pit with 80000 balls!

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They had a market place. You can be a fruit and veggie stand vendor…

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And sell takoyaki…

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Soon after, the tummies are a-grumbling.

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We went to Coconoha, with a semi-open kitchen.

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Grandpa H might have been a little surprised with japanese style pastas. I know I was when I first came to Japan. This one is mushroom asparagus spaghetti.

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Salmon and tomatoes.

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Because it was scorching hot, we had these delicious drinks

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And then, we had to have dessert, too!

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And this!

We explored the skytree mall but decided we better eat some moaaaar!

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So we let Grandpa H try this fresh chips with Royce chocolate

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Then we figured why not stay in their resto. We ordered the sampler chips with curry, cheese and mayo dips.

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And then we chanced upon a robotics and space exhibit. That’s Little A on the moon and a view of the Earth. It’s a small yet fantastic exhibit!

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And we ended the day with fireworks!

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And birthday pie!

Happy birthday!

J.s. Pancakes and more!

I have been bitten by a bug. The pancake bug!

The lines are always longish but there was one mid afternoon we found ourselves in JS Pancakes.

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Window seats

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The creme brulee pancakes was a winner! It was warm and oozy which made it much more yummy!

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We ordered the macadamia and cream pancakes. There was a mountain of cream on top of very fluffy pancakes and lots of nuts.

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Chuo cream with maple butter

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It looks weird I know but it’s a 2 level chou cream; one is filled with custard cream and the other is filled with maple butter cream.

IMG_2834 Fruit shake!

Home made pancakes are great, too!

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That’s homemade peach jam. Not too syrupy but sweet enough to eat with the plain pancakes.

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Definitely not photogenic but tasted awesome. Bluberry pancakes!

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The best part is Little A helps make the pancake batter.

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This one looks horrific! But, bacon! Why? Bacon!

Seriously, had leftover bacon and leftover batter. What’s a momma got to do?!

Note to self, mix stuff in batter. Might look better, no?

Next time, I’ll try mixing in chocolate chips and nuts.

Commune 246, Omotesando

Tokyo. What’s not to love?

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Rare to see these which makes it a bit artsy when you do.

We headed to Commune 246 at Omotesando. It’s a space with 17 or so establishments- food trucks and fixed shops.

We tried so many!

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Brooklyn Ribbon Fries

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Small order of All Spice. Thin and fried!

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Dote cafe

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Steak was a bit tough (ugh, wagyu has ruined all other steaks!)but it was tasty and meal was teeming with veggies. The various beans cup were good, too!

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Cori. Vegan food stand

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Hummos with bread. The bread wasn’t toasted though which I would’ve prefered.

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Ichizu

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Cold Soya. Very smooth. Little A liked this. Lemonade from Dote cafe with honey in the bottom.

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Fish coop

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We ordered Mentaiko Mayo fries. Remind me to make at home! Should be easy enough. Piping hot fries enough to burn your tongue (it did!)

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Breton

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Rib! We had to wait for 20 minutes for this but tender and flavorful.

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Tonpai Kitchen and others. We didn’t get to order from them. Coz we were soooo full!

You will find a food truck Avenue B soup and veggies. Don’t ask for soup. They don’t have soup. 😂😂😂

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When we visited, they were having a spice event.

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We were given samples for these curry rice in cute spoons!

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If you go up the stage, they will play a short light projection show. The plates are plain white. Then….

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The little chef will cook curry for you….

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Tadahhhh! Brought to you by Bon Curry Neo. They give you a 500yen coupon afterwards which you can use in Commune.

11am to 10pm
Www.commune246.com

Weekend Garage Tokyo (Repost)

My original post is gone! Sorry about that 😦

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We randomly googled Shibuya restaurant and saw this place, Weekend Garage Tokyo.

It was bit difficult to find and you would have to go down a flight of stairs just before you cross the bridge at 1-1 Daikanyama. DrG (and Maps) saves the day.

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It was a nice relaxing place, not too noisy and the music is not Jpop (not that anything is wrong with that).

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The chairs and sofas are huge, comfy and very inviting. Come sit and talk a while, they seem to say.

wpid-wp-1437440224410.jpegThe open kitchen and bar seating area. For when you feel like drinking alone.

wpid-wp-1437440345346.jpegFor when you want to drink a LOT!

wpid-wp-1437440628904.jpegI find the Industrial decoration quite interesting. Even the bathroom mirror were made from window panes frame.

wpid-wp-1437440753545.jpegShrimp with Agillo in Olive Oil. This was really good except it just came with 4 pieces of melba toasts. What to do with the garlicy spicy olive oil?

wpid-wp-1437441006206.jpegToday’s Chowder was kabocha soup. The pumpkin shone through even with the creamy buttery base. Little A didn’t like it though even if she likes pumpkin soup.

wpid-wp-1437441113164.jpegYakisoba with Beef Tendon. Sadly, this had too much soy sauce but the noodles were perfectly al dente.

wpid-wp-1437441213630.jpegThe WGT burger with a side of fries. Tall one, yes?

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The WGT upclose
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Really juicy herb and lemon chicken.
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Today’s tart of pear and blueberries

wpid-wp-1437441350487.jpegChocolate cake. Very rich and dense.

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Cheesecake with seasonal sauce. This one was airy and light. New York style cheesecake is so hard to find here.
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They have an extensive list of drinks. Alcoholic, non alcoholic cocktails, beers, and wines by glasses or bottles.

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The service a bit uncoordinated; the food is so so; the prices not too high for the food they serve (lunch menu is chesper); the ambiance is superb.

Website here

A New York Day in Omotesando (Part 2)

Another NY brand we visited that day was Dominique Ansel’s new bakery at Omotesando.

It was the opening day and we braced ourselves for the waiting time.image

Looks can be deceiving. That’s not the line.image

Here is the line on the streets. There’s another snaking line on the parking lot beside the shop. image

And a line inside the shop.

This line is just for the first floor food items. Don’t line up there if you wish to eat at the cafe– there is no (snaking) line for that. The menu, however, is different and you cannot order first floor items.image

The cakes and baked goodies better be great!image

This Kouign Amann was worth lining up for. They gave tasters while we were lined up.image

Here’s another look– such a happy pile of breadimage

Madeleines that were given out as well. Real good! image

Almond croissants on display. Sadly the famous Cronuts were no longer available. image
Matcha Monaka Cookie which is only available in Tokyo.image

Croissantsimage

Display of cakes and pastries to try out! The cat is made of creampuffs; Tokyo Brest (instead of Paris); pine cone gingerbread cake;  lime tart; sunflower tart; Chocolate cake with mousse; The fluffy cheesecake; and caramel eclair. image

On this side, you’ll find the chocolate eclair, a 25 layer apple gratin, the lychee and coconut pavlova, cherry tart, and tiramisu.

Of the three cakes we tried, I liked the Sunflower Tart the best because the sunflower part is made with mango strips. It reminds me of home! 🙂  The rest were too sweet for me! Oh my gosh, I think my tastebuds turned Japanese!

The Lychee Young Coconut Pavlova was packed with fruits which was great. The meringue shell, though, was cloyingly sweet. It was dusted with gold leaf though so you feel a bit royal eating this pavlova.

The lime tart was interesting– you pour out the sugar mixture resting on the white chocolate curl then squeeze the lime on the cake to get an instant caramel. However, I felt that the citrus flavor was too strong. In any case, I like this better than the pavlova!

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Frozen S’mores are made to order. They torch the mallows right in front of you. It is of course best eaten soon after. image

I liked this dessert for the multiple textures on each bite. image

Another made to order dessert is the cookie shot.

That’s the creative chef right there. He was so down to earth and friendly. He was on the street watching the dancers perform (they hired some to keep the waiting people entertained). No one else bothered him– I took the chance and asked for an Anselfie (his term). Hooray for Japanese shyness/politeness!

Fyi, they serve the cookie shot at 3pm onwards. The interactive part makes this quite popular but it’s not something I would go back for. Again, I found this a tad too sweet. As with everything though, you got to try it once.imageNew Open (I think this is purposely on Japanese English ‘coz it is easier for locals to understand, no?)

The staff all speak English so it’s really not a problem if you can’t speak Nihongo. And if you want to speak Tagalog, look for Maria Cristina– the friendly server who handed us the freebies while waiting in line.

They really know how to take care of guests 🙂 They gave face misters, water, and umbrella to anyone who needed them.

Worth a try if there’s no line. We wouldn’t try this stunt again. Not in the near future anyway!

Website here

A New York Day in Omotesando (Part 1)

I like Omotesando. It has all the foreign things you need. image And sometimes, you need lobster roll! Luke’s Lobster serves 3 types of rolls. image Lobster image Shrimp image Crab

The rolls are buttered and toasted, swiped with mayonnaise and filled with awesome seafood that has secret spices and bits of cold butter.

They also have seafood mix and match wherein you can get lobster with shrimp, shrimp with crab, lobster with crab. Set meals are also available for an additional 400yen, you get chips and a drink.image They serve several special alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. The ginger ale soda looked particularly interesting specially on a hot sunny day.

Luke’s Lobster is easy enough to find.

Valdirections: go to Omotesando station, take Exit A1. Turn on the corner of Kiddyland and you’ll find it on the first corner on your right.

Enjoy!

Disney Themed Decors at Marounochi

I have a confession.

(whispers)

I allow Little A to watch some (sometimes, a lot) of tv. Her first ever was the first 20 minutes of Frozen.  That’s just before Queen Elsa sings “Let It Go.” She loves it. She loves singing and dancing to the songs.

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So, when we saw that Maru Biru is displaying a huge ice castle with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, we decided we have to be there. I know early on that it’ll be crowded and there will be loooong lines. But, still, we went. We lined up. We were told there’s a 90 minute wait and you cannot go out of the line even if you wanted to (As a side note, this doesn’t make sense to me ‘coz of course you can decide not to wait anymore, right?)

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We waited less than an hour (an amazing achievement when you have a kid). Took some photos and left. Yey! Little A seemed to have fun and even posed for photos (none of them perfect coz she’s a little kid who doesn’t stand still 🙂 )

Past 5pm, there’s a light show every half hour or so. We were able to catch it after eating at the Marvel Cafe.

The cafe serves expensive stuff and again, the lines are long!

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We had Quatro Cheese Pizza.

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Shawarma (like the Avengers did at NY). Both were surprisingly tasty. You see, I had very low expectations for this cafe but was surprised that the pizza and shawarma were delicious.

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Here’s the watered down Clam Chowder Soup. This one was really not worth ordering. Since it was cold, we thought soup would be great. You’re better off ordering their hot chocolate and coffees that comes with Iron Man foam on top! Kawaii!

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The photo op with the life sized super heroes were pretty much worth the trouble (for DrG and other super fans!)

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The underground display at the Gyoko Underground Gallery  is also worth a visit. Darth Vader and Master Yoda replicas are on display (behind glass walls though). 5 Iron Man suits are also exhibited along Marvel posters.

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Other buildings have Rapunzel, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Mickey and Minnie, Buzz and Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh and friends on display, too!

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A walk under the fairy lights on Marounochi Naka-dori is a must!

We walked to the Brick Square hoping that there will still be some shu cream at Echire even that late in the day. Alas! they were all sold out. No croissants, no shu cream. Only madeleines.

Tokyo Station will have a 5 day projection and light display starting December 24.

Happy Holidays!