(Tokyo. Day 4.)
The last day was a quick one – rested and revitalized, there was no press today. Just the impending cross-globe flight to NYC to hit the press trip over on that side of earth. Koji had some work to do, so after Corey and I packed our luggage – we decided to hit whatever we could find randomly.
In Shibuya, you can pretty much walk anywhere and eat really well. Avoid stuff that seems familiar – hit a place that you can’t read a single character of, or only mildly can make out the pictures of what you’re pointing at to order. I can speak enough Japanese to get by… in a restaurant… when the meal is over… so the point method works. I promise.
The last restaurant meal for us was the place pictured. What’s really cool about a lot of the restaurants you’ll find in Shibuya that serve traditional foods, is that there’s a big vending machine where you just pump your money into it- and pick what you want by picture or name, not unlike picking a soda from a machine.
My lunch was something like a mashup of things I’ve consumed past – with some twists. The noodles were texturally somewhere in between ramen andudon, but more spirally in look. The broth was a really thick miso based stock that had melted down butter in it – this sauce could have been a soup in itself; it was the best broth in a soup I think i’ve ever eaten. Really orange-yolked hard-boiled eggs, nori, some Japanese pickles, vegetables on top, a slice of pork, and the paradoxical American corn adorned the viscous broth – I loved it. Half way down, I was painfully stuffed. That was some serious broth.
We got to the airport only to find – poof. 3 hour flight delay. We flew to Japan without a problem (aside from the puking girl next to me… see a few episodes earlier), and now that we were trying to leave – it was going to be tricky. The seats we wanted needed 2 hours to retrieve for some reason, so we went into the airport food mall… which was pretty impressive.
We had maguro and otoro nigiri, then each picked a main: my dish was unagi-don (grilled eel on top of rice), soba, some Japanese pickles, and the sobacondiments and sauce. Normally, I will never eat anything from an airport terminal, plane, or anything near a restaurant – unless I’m: a. out of the stuff I packed to hold me over until a better meal, b. starving and sick of the healthy-crap I packed, or c. I know it’ll be real quality stuff.
This was quite respectable for an airport restaurant – better than anything I’ve had in a US airport.
We had our final Matcha Frapps (probably around number 10 for me and Corey); Koji stuck with us till the bitter end – then it was NYC here we come.