Day 4 started off with a heart to heart girl talk until my friend had to leave for the last minute shopping before catching her flight back home. I took my marry time to get myself ready and checked out around quarter to noon.
All by myself in Tokyo, I headed to Daikanyama and had two onigiri (riceball) at Onigiri den den for brunch – one stuffed with grilled shiozake (salted salmon) and the other made with melted cheese and sesame seeds. Ever since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with onigiri. It always appeared on Japanese animation or comic books with characters eating triangular riceballs in a delighted manner. Now I can confidently say that I can make my own, but it was an absolute delight to try something so homey at a restaurant with equally homey feeling that had 3 tiny tables and bar seating area. Armed with onigiris in my stomach, I marched forward into a small alley of Daikanyama to visit Kurasu. It’s a tiny little store in the back of a shabby looking house selling traditional Japanese and modern houseware. As expected, it was a joy just looking around and imagining all sorts of dishes I can present on those ceramics. Torn between so many options in front of my eyes with limited luggage space, I purchased a couple of items and decided to pay a visit to d&department, another houseware store. However, as soon as I walked out of the store, it was sprinkling outside, and in an effort to keep myself dry from the shower, I went into Bombay Bazar. It’s a café/restaurant that seem to specialize in curry (Japanese LOVE curry). However, since I wasn’t ready for yet another meal (I did end up getting 2nd lunch later though), I ordered a Indian coffee, which was milky coffee spiked with ginger flavor; quite similar to spiced chai latte. It was rather perfect choice, since I was suffering from soar throat from unexpected cold weather in Tokyo.
おにぎり田田 (Onigiri den den):
23-1 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
20-13 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku
20-11 Sarugaku-cho (BF1), Shibuya
Anyway, back to d&department… It’s located in a suburban neighborhood of Tokyo called Kuhonbutsu (九品仏). I took JR line from Daikanyama and transferred at Jiyugaoka station to Tokyu line. Frankly, it’s not so far away from central Tokyo, but the tiny outdoor station and a short strip of main shopping area with family owned businesses made me feel as if I was on a day trip! D&department is about 15 min walk from the station and is located in a space which used to be a printing factory. 2nd floor is now used as a store selling furniture (mainly in a mid century modern style) and housewares ranging from traditional Japanese to modern. I picked up a couple of small dishes and a tiny ceramic grater that I can use to grate wasabi root and daikon radish! Since I was quite impressed with the cookbook published by d&department café team that the store was selling, I went to the first floor to try out their creation. They have a wide variety of desserts for tea, but I prefer savory dishes to sweet ones, so I picked dry curry set. YES! It was my 2nd lunch of the day. Just like other dishes I encountered in Tokyo, it was simple and homey, but prepared with care and fresh ingredients! Even the salad that came with the meal was full of fresh flavor of vegetable. Only regret? I forgot to pick up the cookbook before leaving the place and I wasn’t able to find it in any other bookshops. Oh well… Good reason to return to Tokyo… After a brief exploration of the neighborhood to celebrate cherry blossoms and calmness of the residential streets of Kuhonbutsu, I headed to Omotesando and ended my 4th day with a dinner at modern izayaka called Maru. No photos from Maru though, since I get rather shy when it comes to taking photos at a nicer restaurants… 😉
8-3-2 Okusawa, Setagaya-ku
Aoyama KT Building B1F, 5-50-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku