JAPANESE FOOD | TOP 10 Street Food at Kagurazaka
Paople call Kagurazaka 'Little Paris' or 'Little Kyoto fo Tokyo' for having cute stores, nostalgic side streets with beautiful stone pavement, and many high-end restaurant and cool cafes.
Grown-up couples walk down on the street of Kagurazaka-Dori, and finish up the date at an elegant French-Japanese restaurant or at a traditional Japanese restaurant. However, what we do here is enjoy the street food! In this blog, I will show you my favorite street food spots in Kagurazaka.
10. Chiffon Cake / ChikaLicious NY Amariage
ChikaLicious is a dessert bar in NY owned by a Japanese Patissier, Chika Tillman. The store name 'Amarige' came from Amai (sweet in Japanese) and mariage - which explains the store concept of making sweets that are enjoyable with alcohol.
The shop offers several Japan-Only sweets that you can’t get in the original NY store including my favorite, Chiffon Cake!
Amarige's chiffon cake is light as a feather and the cream inside is milky and creamy. It will make you for get about any bad things in your life!
9. Ayu no Tempura Monaka / Baikatei
Baikatei is a local wagashi (Japanese Sweets) shop. Established in 1935, their beautiful wagashi is made by hand one by one everyday. Next to those full-on traditional wagashi, they have cute and playful monaka, like cat and rabbit monakas, blanketing the shelves.
And I threw down on their all-time bestseller, Ayu no Tempra Monaka. The Outer shell is crisply fried with rice oil and rapeseed oil and stuffed with hand made red bean paste.
Ayu no Tempura Monaka has a silky smooth anko (koshian) inside and super light. The outer shell, the monaka part, is kind of sticky and soft unlikely to ordinary crunchy moanka at a supar market. It goes so well with silky anko.
8. Nikuman / Gojuban
Gojuban has been popular in Kagurazaka since 1957. I love their insanely massive nikuman. Of course, it’s not just enormous, it’s also stuffed with their succulent and mouth-watering ingredients.
Their most popular item is nikuman which is the basic meat bun, but my favorite is 'Gomoku' which means assorted. It has
7. Senbei Ice Cream / Kogetsu
Kogetsu is a Kyoto-born wagashi (Japanese sweets) shop. Their wagashi is more similar to western sweets as they commonly use butter in their products. One of their top sellers is Senju Senbei, and what better way to enjoy it than by using to sandwich some delicious ice cream.
Senbei means rice cracker in Japanese but Senju senbei is nothing like any other rice crackers you have ever tasted. It's very soft and lightly sweetened. I would say it's kind of in between cookie and bread. For this ice cream sandwich, the senbei has a thin sugar coating inside which gives a nice crunch.
6. Karaage / Oyaji no Karaage
This is my fried chicken go-to in Kagurazaka. Oyaji no karaage is actually a bento shop but they also have menu for you eat on the go.
The chicken here is marinated very well so that you don't need any sauce. If you like salty and tasty karaage like me, you would love this place.
5. Arancini / Dolce Vita
Dolce Vita is a local Italian grocery shop where you can buy Italian dish necessity like cheese, Italian wine and balsamic vinegar. I love this shop because you can try many of their product before you buy, and they have the best Italian fried rice croquette, Arancini.
They have gorgonzola and asiago cheese to choose from.
4. UNI PUDDING / CHICHUKAI UOMARU
Chichukai Uomaru is a down-to-earth seafood Izakaya. They have a great beer selection and creamy sea urchin pudding.
It comes in the actual sea urchin shell and it is delicious! The light yellow pudding underneath of orange sea urchin is very similar to chawanmushi, which is a Japanese steamed egg dish. The texture is a lot like custard but you will taste dashi and umami.
3. SHAVED ICE / KURIKOAN
Kurikoan is actually a taiyaki shop but my recommendation here is not taiyaki. It's shaved ice. It is a seasonal menu for summer so try this if you get to go in summer.
The one I like is strawberry. It comes with mochi ice cream which is an vanilla ice cream covered by a thin mochi skin. It also comes with a condense milk which pairs perfectly with tangy strawberry flavor.
2. SAKE TASTING / SAKE BAR OTONARI
I randomly found this sake tasting bar and now it is my favorite. Sake Bar Otonari is a hidden Sake tasting bar in Kagurazaka. It has various kind of Sake to choose from and food to order. I love how the seafood restaurant next door delivers their food to this bar to enjoy the sake.
1. KAISENDON / TSUJIHAN
Hidden in the side building, Tsujihan is one of those restaurants that serve only one menu - Kaisendon, which is mixed seafood rice bowl. You can choose from 3 variations, which makes it easy.
The restaurant only has a counter seats which has that Luxury Sushi restaurant atmosphere. Right after you are seated, they’ll give you 3 pieces of sea bream sashimi and Kimi-joyu which is egg yolk soy sauce to use for the kaisendon.
The most basic one is Ume. It has Tuna, Nakaochi tuna, Squid, Herring roe, Shrimp, salmon roe and 2 kinds of shellfish. The restaurant recommends to mix wasabi with kimijoyu and pour it over the mountain of seafood. When Tokyo, right?
Here’s the best part which you don’t get in most places. After you finished with the kaisen don, if you ask, they will pour dashi soup over the rice. You can even ask for more rice if you want. So after you pour the dashi soup, you add the sashimi on top. Looks damn good, right? Well it tastes even better.