Fukamachi – the perfect tempura can only be found in Japan

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A year ago now I was totally emerged in the preparation of our trip to Japan. It is always troubling for me how time just seems to fly by and I can’t believe that I STILL haven’t managed to share with you all the places that I so enjoyed on our trip although this is the last one. I find that Japan is a truly remarkable country and even though I read, watched and listened to so much information before traveling there, there are still so many things that catch you totally off guard and cause you to fall in love with the city. So many experiences that you know and are aware that are unique to this country and when you fly back home they will comfortably find a home in your memory. One of those flavors, textures is that of tempura. We are used to a much thicker coat when we have tempura outside of Japan, but if you eat a high standard tempura restaurant in Japan you will find that the coating used is so thin, crisp, light and marvelous that it will have you wishing to memorize it.

We were recommend to go to Fukamachi, a one-Michelin star restaurant in Tokyo. It is located in the quieter area of Ginza and it is a very small restaurant, like most in Japan, so be sure to book in advance. Our hotel was kind enough to handle all of our booking requests before our trip.

Fukamachi is run by the head chef and he has two helpers by his side. The restaurant is small and unpretentious because here the only aim is good tempura. We had the lunch time set menu, there are a few to choose from and the price was very reasonable. These are some pictures of our fish and vegetable tempura.

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I would not leave Japan without having tasted true tempura. Tempura will never be the same from that day on.

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Fukamachi

2-5-2 Kyobachi, Chou-ku, Tokyo

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Nishinotoin Tea Shop- the perfect matcha roll cake

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When you go to Japan you quickly pick up on the fact that they are very big on matcha so finding matcha flavored ice-cream, oreo cookies, kit kats, waffles… is a piece of cake but there is no doubt that the real thing is even better. Matcha is a special green tea which is ground into powder. The health benefits of it are marvelous being a great antioxidant amongst other things.

Before we went to Japan. thanks to friends who were raving about this special tea with a very particular sweet-sour flavor, I started falling in love with both the flavor and the whole ceremony behind the preparation of a cup of matcha. Obviously I was eager to find good matcha and also the whole cup, wooden spoon and bamboo whisk kit so that I could continue to enjoy a cup of matcha the traditional way back home with my Japan bought accessories.

Thanks to a blog I read about the matcha roll cake which they make here a Nishinotoin Tea Shop I quickly added it to our list of must-go places. According to this blogger, it was to die for. We decided that we couldn’t leave Kyoto without trying it. Boy was she right, delicious! The cake is soft, creamy and perfect.

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To accompany your cake, matcha of course. There is a wide variety of different matcha preparations, you can order traditional style hot tea, served with ice, with milk…since there were four us we each ordered it prepared a different way so that way we could try them. Rest asure that you can order it whichever way entices you the most and it will be superb. There is a certain frothy quality that I can’t manage to obtain at home. If you fall in love with latte or ice style, do not worry because they sell these different preparations in tins or boxes so that you can take them back home.

Japan is a fascinating destination and tea there takes on a whole new angle, one that should not be missed. Now, to make the journey and not try that matcha roll cake…. well that is just unforgivable.

Nishinotoin Tea Shop & Tea House Motoan, Kyoto

Very close to Nijo Castle

Shop open: 9:30~18:00 Tea house open: 10:30~17:00 (last order)
Closed: Every Wednesday (open on national holidays), 1st, 2nd & 3rd of January