After two long weeks of lonesome wandering across the Pacific Ocean, on March 26th, 2019 Toyotoro arrived.

Where you might ask? A hint:

Aburi-hotate nigiri – Lightly seared scallop on rice
Aftermath of kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi place
Akafuku mochi – a delicacy of the Ise prefecture, consists of a mochi rice ball as tender as a baby’s bottom, covered in red bean paste so smooth that it puts the rest of the country’s paste to shame
Hokkigai grilled with butter – surf clams or ark shell clams grilled in butter, what else?!
Chu-toro nigiri – medium fat tuna (belly area). How many can Henning eat?
Dessert sets – green tea ice-cream with chestnut, mochi (glutinous rice balls) and fruits
Ebi fry – fried giant prawn…but it’s so much more than that
Egg and negitoro gunkan – quail egg cosying up to minced tuna on rice and seaweed
Hiroshima-fu Okonomiyaki with melted cheese – Hiroshima styled Okonomiyaki (savoury pancake with cabbage, meat, spring onions, noodles etc. thrown in), which consist of a thin pancake as a base (not a thicker floury one like Osaka style) and bugger loads of shredded cabbage on top
Hiroshima-fu Okonomiyaki with negi – Hiroshima styled Okonomiyaki with spring onion and melted cheese. Consequently, Henning and I had to be rolled out of the restaurant
Ika mimi nigiri – Squid’s "ears" sprinkled with ponzu (citrus fruit) salt on rice
Ikura-don – salmon roe lying seductively on rice
Ikura with salmon – salmon roe bear-hugged by raw salmon
Kaizen-don – seafood lying deadly on rice
Katsuo Tataki – Katsuo (type of tuna) fillet lightly grilled over fire then dipped in ice so the middle remains raw and juicy. After slicing it is served with salt or soy-sauce or citrus. In Kochi prefecture it is a work of art
Maguro-don – tuna doing what tuna does best on rice
Maguro set – tuna on rice set. Henning’s favourite!
Nabe – hotpot
Natto – fermented soybean. Not the best date food but utterly delicious, with mustard and soy sauce, if not totally good for you
The best varieties of natto in town
Oyster tasting – Lots of michi-no-eki (service stations) in Japan have gourmet food, like this one where you taste oysters of all kinds
Oyster shooter 1 – oyster with kelp noodles, raw quail egg and horseradish. Yes, I did that
Oyster shooter 2 – oyster with ponzu sauce, grated yam and salmon roe. Yes, I did that too
Ramen – no need for further intro but the varieties across the country is reason enough to visit here
Rokkatei Marusei sando aisu - Rokkatei Marusei ice cream sandwich from Sapporo. Delicious raisin ice-cream coolly sandwiched between perfectly crispy biscuits
Sashimi – best in Hokkaido
More Sashimi
Soba set – buckwheat-flour noodles set meal. Some places like the one we tried in Tomakomai in Hokkaido has a bowl of peanuts that you crush and mix with the noodle broth, wasabi and soy sauce they provide. A lovely way to finish a meal
Sukiyaki – our favourite type of Japanese hotpot that involves slow-cooking world-class beef in a shallow saucepan with vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, noodles etc., in a sweet sauce (soy sauce, mirin and sugar). Everything is dipped in raw egg in a bowl before serving. Ahh I’m salivating!
Sukiyaki
Takoyaki – minced or diced squid wrapped cosily in dough batter then sprinkled with tenkasu (tempura scarps) and green onion
Tamagoyaki – omelette made by continuous rolling cooked layers in a makiyakinabe (rectangular frying pan). The taste is enough to make you ditch your regular round frying pan and convert you into a makiyakinabe user!
Udon set – thick wheat-flour noodles set. They often come with a miso soup and sashimi-don just because they rule
Uni – sea-urchin feast that has the potential to come between Henning and I. But thankfully he doesn’t like it, so love prevails
Zenzai – the ultimate Japanese dessert! It is grilled mochi bathing happily in a sweet warm red bean soup. To counter the overpowering sweetness, they are served with kombu tsukudani (salty seaweed) because it’s all about maintaining the balance here. Onegaishimasuuuuu

Yes, we begin the next chapter of our journey in Japan!

P.S.

This is also just part of the explanation why we came out of Japan kilos heavier. AND This post was by far the hardest post to write and it is a reminder why we never do food posts. AND, AND we will not be doing another one! I had to drink a litre of water to make up for the amount of drooling that took place for the duration of captioning!!

P.P.S.

All photos shot on iPhone by our ikura monster (Runan)

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