Did you know that these fancy handbag stores like Gucci and Channel all have their own cafes in their flagship stores in Tokyo? Yeah. So it turns out that the cheapest item in a Gucci store is their chocolate. Which if you buy a box of 4 they will give you a shopping bag that let’s everyone else think you just bought a $4000 purse. I’m keeping that shopping bag in case you are wondering. To be fair the windows had a great view of Gina, the chocolates were delicious and this lunch menu actually looked reasonably priced. We didn’t eat lunch, just had a bit of tea. But we definitely had a lot of fun walking out with that giant bag and tiny box of chocolates.
So ya know if you are in tokyo, shopping, and need a bit of pick me up. Go ahead. Go to the Channel or Bulgari or Gucci store. They all have cafes. The coffee is as decent as Starbucks, similar pricing but so much more fun.
When I first described what tonkatsu means to the Beau, he wasn’t very enthusiastic about going to Butagumi, he finally relented because I really really wanted to try it especially since every Tokyo food blog says that you can’t leave Tokyo without trying them. So the poor man allowed himself to be dragged there even though he really does not want to eat pork. Like at all. Luckily for him, they had a great selection of starters that he managed to fashion a decent meal out of.
as for me, I got to eat Tonkatsu! And man! Am I Glad I dragged him there. It was delicious! The meat was so tender and the outer part so crispy! We even got a rose beer to accompany the meal.
The tonkatsu comes in a set meal with starters and soup. I think we stressed them out quite a bit when we said we only wanted one order of tonkatsu but instead of throwing us out they allowed the beau to pick his starters. Having devoured mine, I wish we had gone ahead and just ordered two sets of tonkatsu with different cuts and I could have eaten BOTH of them!
It wasn’t the most difficult place to find but it wasn’t the easiest either but here is the best description I can give for finding it:
Butagumi is closest to Roponggi station. We took the Tokyo metro subway, got out and turned to the left downhill and passed by the expo located across the street on the left from us and kept walking until we saw a Koban (police station) crossed that Street towards a restaurant called TeTas. There is a parking lot with really fancy cars under the bridge while crossing the road. After you are on the same street and facing TeTas turn to your left and walk down to the nearest Street that turns in. Turn in by turning right. You will then see a bit kinda of a fork road. If you look up you will see a cute building with a crescent moon. That’s Butagumi.
There are many themed cafes in Tokyo. They have cat cafes, owl cafes, ‘maid’cafes and robot cafes. Most charge some kind of cover charge. Makes sense i suppose. You would pay a cover charge to go to a club. So why not a theme cafe. Anyway, we wanted to go to one just to look-see.
We had just visited the Meiji temple amd Google said there were several theme cafes near us so we decided to walk down this little alleyway in Harajuku area to see if we could find one and found the pompompurin cafe
The pancakes themselves were so-so and the coffee was passable. But the cafe itself was definitely very cute. I can see why these themed cafes are so popular. It’s a pity I couldn’t drag the Beau to another one.
i read on other blogs that there is normally a Long queue but when we were there, we were seated almost immediately. So good luck! And have fun! No, seriously. I think when you go to something like this, You really need to go with the correct frame of mind. If you are determined to hate it, you will hate it. Go in with a cynical mind and you won’t enjoy it, but if you are going there, determined to enjoy the kitschiness, then yes, it will be rather fun.
Address: 東京都渋谷区神宮前1-7-1, CUTE CUBE HARAJUKU 3階 (Google Map)
Opening hours: 11am to 9pm
(advance coupons starts at around 930am and the cafe will be closed to all walk-ins once all coupons has been issued out)
Accessible from either Meijijingumae station (Chiyoda line) or Harajuku station (JR Line)
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.
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!
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.)