Thursday, March 10, 2011

tokyo eats:: takagura

as part of our new year resolutions, we set out to try something new each week. so last sunday, after work, we suited up and rode our bicycles from to shinjuku to track down this little eating place.

takagura was recommended by my girlfriend who visiting a couple months ago. this little food joint is cute and cosy and run by the cutest little japanese man. he's the cashier, host, chef all rolled into one! and man! does he do a good job! if you're after something super fancy, this is not it. but a casual izakaya meal with hilarious 80s j-pop music, check!

unfortunately, the entire restaurant and name card is in japanese so you kinda need a little basic to get you started! i'll give you a hand with our recommendations!

snuggled up at the bar with his sake shelves as a backdrop! the popular choice in this shop is their palm sugar sake.
kurata spare rib stew. it was heavenly!

the servings were spot on. he kinda serves them according to party size and they're all plated up on intricate japanese style bowls in all shapes, patterns and sizes. its like you're dining in your mama's home!

another popular pick - aomori tempura. completely light and crispy on the outside and filled with gooey vegetable bits on the inside. i psyched myself that it was a healthy snack.

of course, we finished our meal with an order of his specialty - somen champo, which is this life-changing discovery (i quote). after my girlie ordered the somen, she asked little japanese dude for the recipe. he gave it all and even shared his secret ingredient - corn oil. haha! im not 100% sure if its really the awesome japanese corn oil but it's such a simple dish to make that it has become a regular dish in our homes. of course, his somen champo is definitely more authentic than mine but i think its cool that he shares his recipes & secrets so readily with random strangers that don't even speak your language! he's a little darling!

here are my favorites for now:
1) kurata spare rib stew
2) aomori veggie tempura
3) somen champo
4) bittergourd champo

at the end of my meal, i was craving for something yummy and sweet! so i asked for the dessert menu in my broken japanese. he didn't have one but felt so bad for me that he gave me a huge chunka palm sugar, which japanese children love to eat, and made me a hot cuppa green tea to round up the meal. what a cutie! we'll definitely be back!

bon appetit! :)

shinjuku 2 - 12 -11, hayashi building 2F
shinjuku-ku, tokyo
03-3354-1973 (shop)
directions:: google maps
open from:: 5 - 10pm mondays - friday


  1. @kennytricia

    awww thanks hon! that's how i look after work all the time!! super enthusiatic and happy!


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