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.
I would not leave Japan without having tasted true tempura. Tempura will never be the same from that day on.
2-5-2 Kyobachi, Chou-ku, Tokyo
When I first moved into the apartment where I currently live (soon lived) there was a tiny tavern right next to the front entrance which was always jammed. I used to go down from time to time with a friend to have some croquetas or calamari. It was called Mitulo which later moved to Menorca Street, changing their name to Laredo along the way. Popularity grew even more and the brothers decided that it was time to embark on yet another adventure, moving again within the neighborhood to 30 Menorca Street, to a much bigger place decorated by the renown architect, Joaquín Torres. Very well decorated with black walls and dark colored floor which give off an elegant vibe. The counter area in the center is built up with wooden planks and wine boxes hanging from the ceiling encase the top. There are some stairs towards the back which lead up to the dining area (reservations are necessary because they are always booked). I do have to mention that I was quite surprised that such a renown architect did not take into account the sound insulation, which is not taken care. This becomes noticeable when the tavern is full, which is almost always. But don’t let that put you off. The tavern offers two win-win situations. good wine list – good price, good food – good price. Can you ask for more? They make one of the best salmorejos in Madrid, heavenly creamy and delicious. I have a friend who absolutely loves their rabbit chops with fries and grilled peppers. Another must is the crayfish tempura. Smoked sardine on thin toasted bread with burrata cheese and tomato My husband is a fan of their ensaladilla rusa This is a must-go-to tavern in Madrid. Good for an aperitif, informal tapas or a sit-down lunch or dinner. Taberna Laredo 30 Doctor Castelo Street, Madrid Telephone – 91 573 30 61 Starting price per person is more or less 25 euros (it all depends on the wine and on how hungry you are) http://www.tabernalaredo.com