Umegaoka sushi no midori

IMG_20160428_112654

 

On a wet rainy Thursday in Tokyo, we decided, with an umbrella between the two of us, that sushi was a must. A few clicks on Google suggested that Umegaoka Sushi NoMidori was the place to go. That and it was only a block away from the coffee house where we were taking refuge.

When we got there, it appears we were not the only ones with the same idea. There was a line but no dry waiting place. To get a table you have to use this automated machine outside the restaurant. Which was cool because you could get a number with English instructions but the waiting screen letting you know who they are calling was in Japanese. And there were three boxes with three different numbers so it was a bit difficult to figure out which number referred to what.

Minor gripe aside, we didn’t actually wait that long. We were seated rather quickly and ordered promptly from their menu which had pictures. The Beau really really wanted mackerel so he ordered the whole row of it. The waitress tried to talk us out of it by pointing to the mackerel piece but the Beau insisted. We ate a lot of mackerel that day. Also, the sushi here is huge. I’ve gotten so used to small little sushi pieces that it was a bit surprising to see such huge sushi. I had to unbutton my trousers by the time we were done. I ordered a set that included eel. Mine had more variety. But I definitely was not able to finish it all up.

From what I can tell, its a pretty popular spot with the tourists and locals alike. No big surprise since its so close to the Ginza strip. They don’t accept credit cards. Only cash or debit. The photos are a nice touch especially for those of us who only know how to say “Ohio!”. We pretty much survived the entire vacation by pointing at pictures of food. Sometimes we got lucky. And sometimes we did not. I would say we were about even in this case.

Anyway, it was a fun meal. I got to take lots of pictures and at least be able to say that we actually found a restaurant that has been recommended on all the blogs I’ve been reading up on prior to the trip. Which basically means I can say some of the homework I had done prior to this trip was worth it. And it sort of made up for the fact that our trip to Disney Sea was cancelled due to rain. And that the Alice in Wonderland cafe was also closed for lunch.

Tsubameya Wagyu Grill

IMG_20160428_183800_1

Most times when I’m on holiday, I always end up with a splurge meal. You know, a meal that is probably  slightly out of budget but feels like it’s a meal that’s worth the extravagance because #yolo ? Sometimes it happens because I’m completely out of cash and most times a splurge restaurant is fancy enough to accept credit cards. Sometimes it’s because it’s the last day of vacation and well, why not?

So for our splurge meal in Tokyo, we wandered down Ginza and found a place that looked pretty classy.I was a bit wary at first because I didn’t have wifi and couldn’t check out the reviews but the Beau thought it looked good. Plus they had Wagyu beef! Which means he might get away without having to eat any gizzards. He was quite excited.

So for our first course we ordered some calamari, which was pretty good. Then we has to figure out the Wagyu beef part. So there were three different cuts. Lean, moderate and fatty. I ordered the moderately fatty one while the Beau chose the fatty version. Each cut had to be at least 150gm. So we ordered 150gm of each cut. The Beau didn’t think the meat was going to be enough and ordered a risotto as well. But illbbe honest, the meat was thick. And succulent. And by the time we were done, I had to unbutton the top of my jeans. In short, the meal was excellent. And well worth the splurge!

Shakespeare in the Park Romeo and Juliet

IMG_20160512_184805

Last week, Akiko invited me to a viewing of the Singapore Repretory Theatres latest reincarnation of Shakespeare in the Park. The Park in question is the Fort Canning Park, specifically at the old Catholic Portuguese Graves by the Gothic Gate entrance.

IMG-20160512-WA000020160512_184430

They are staging Romeo and Juliet this year and I obviously said yes because well, romeo and juliet. And an evening out is always appreciated. Which is also why on a hot humid summer night I found myself sitting in grass with a lot of food with my oldest friend from my long gone childhood.

IMG_20160512_201606.jpg

I’ll have to admit, I had forgotten how much lust was embedded in the play.  When I was young and foolish, all I could see was the ‘star-crossed’ lovers but now that I’m rapidly approaching middle age, I wonder if Juliet would have been better off marrying Paris? After all, Romeo seems to a rather fickle weak willed sort of boy. Pining after Rosalind in one instant and then scaling the walls to steal a kiss from the virginal, but still very hornyoung Juliet. And the way Juliet was portrayed, I found it hard to believe she was truly in love. She seemed more like she was in heat. And was throwing a tantrum because her parents dared tell her to suck it up and marry Paris because she’s the only surviving daughter of a rich family and political alliances is part of the deal. Because honestly all of the subsequent deaths could have been avoided if she just ran away with Romeo in the first place. I know. I’m old.

As for the staging itself, I really liked the stage design and costumes. The music….not so much. For an outdoor performance the sound was pretty good although I think the sound system kind of went haywire in the last act.

20160512_22153820160512_221524

Overall it was quite a pleasant experience in spite of the heat. Next week is the last week the play will be staged so if you fancy a night out with a nice picnic and entertainment, this should be on your list.

Work in Progress

IMG_20160330_143046

For my first fine dinning experience in Copenhagen, I obtained reservations to Work In Progress, so called because its a new restaurant by the Cofoco restaurant group, and apparently they haven’t quite decided on the name or the concept of the restaurant yet. It was located close to the University area, on the first floor of a hotel on Sankt Peders Stræde that also housed a fancy Burger joint.

The first course was a mussel soup with apple and squid, followed by a pork shank that was accompanied by a potato compote with bacon. The last course was ice cream made of honey and pear puree. I was enamored with the mussel soup and the squid was cut into noodle strips. I’m not normally a fan of onions but the potato compote with bacon was covered with onions which was very very good. I finished the whole thing! Bonus? The sides came on a different plate. I understand that its not very environmentally friendly but it did allow me to enjoy my sides without the potato compote interfering with my pork shank.

Here are the details:

Address: Sankt Peders Stræde 34, 1453 København K, Denmark
Open all week – Sunday only open in the evening
Tapas: 12:00-17:30
Dish of the day: 12:00-16:00
Evening menu: from 17:30. The kitchen closes at 22:00
I was told by the hotel concierge that because its a new restaurant, its easy to get a reservation but if you can’t call, try emailing!
email: workinprogress@cofoco.dk

Relæ

IMG_20160331_180211

Now that Noma has temporarily relocated to Sydney, Australia, Relæ has taken over the role of the best restaurant in Copenhagen. It’s located in Jaggersborde, which wasn’t too far from the Ibsen’s hotel. I had tried, unsuccessfully to get any reservation but the concierge at the Ibsen’s worked his magic and I found myself there on a nice Thursday night seated to a newly wed couple, who like me live on separate continents. They were absolutely lovely and made a very deliciously expensive meal into an exquisite experience.

I was a little wary at first because some of the online reviews I read were a little mixed. Plus they are supposed to be quite heavy on the vegetables and those who know me know that I’m mostly carnivorous. Still, this IS the best restaurant in Copenhagen and I’ll be dammed if i didn’t give it a try.

Given that this was an unexpected reservation, I had already eaten quite a lot during the day, I ordered the 4 course meal instead of the 7 and politely declined the wine pairing even though it was quite tempting to taste unfiltered wine.

The food was amazing. There was a pureed potato dish with burnt olive that tasted like chocolate. Needless to say I was in heaven.

Anyway, the restaurant is located here: Jægersborggade 41, 2200 København, Denmark 

Opening hours 

Phone number is +45 36 96 66 09

Best to call for reservations. Easily accessible by bus but there is still a bit of a walk. Get off after the cemetery park.

Sarah’s The Pancake Cafe

IMG_20160416_144845

Every week, the MOs have to go for their GDFM classes and before that they get to have lunch. I’ve been feeling a tad left out, but not left out enough to want to sign up for the class. So this week I suggested lunch together at Sarah’s Pancake Cafe.

I’m glad we did because the food was delicious. And it was halal friendly, which is great because that means we can arrange for outings there as well.

There was a delicious pancake with caramelized banana and chocolate ice cream.And there was a pancake burger, also known as the PBG, with pineapple and eggs and beef patties. And there was a lovely pancake with caramelized apples. We also tried their Indon fries.

By the time we finished eating we were all in a good coma and were struggling to leave.  It’s a small space, and won’t be able to accommodate a large group. But if you like brunch this is a good place to check out. They also have pasta.

It is located at the East Village (430 Upp Changi Road) in Bedok Simpang. Seriously go for the underground parking if you drive.

Hours:

Saturday 9AM–11PM
Sunday 9AM–10:30PM
Monday 11AM–10PM
Tuesday 11AM–10PM
Wednesday 11AM–10PM
Thursday 11AM–10PM
Friday 2:30–11PM

No prizes for guessing where we are going next….

IMG_20160419_181129.jpg

Listen, I know that the Internet is filled with food guides and tour guides for Tokyo. But sometimes, having a book or books males me feel better. Because it’s such a short trip, I borrowed these books from the library to feel more prepared. Unlike Copenhagen where I was figuring out stuff on a day to day basis. I feel like I need something to fall back on should the need to be more ‘productive’ occur (a total oxymoron on vacation…but I’m a type A. Sue me.)