Arashikawa Ramen Ueda is named after a town in Hokkaido, which is famous for miso ramen. This variety was a monthly special with yuzu in the broth, which was overwhelmed by the miso, which I like so no problem really. If I want yuzu flavor I can go to Afrui in Ebisu easily.
Good Meals Shop is a new cafe-restaurnat located inbetween Shibuya and Ebisu that specializes in craft beer and small batch gins. There are seven beers on tap and arefrigerator ful of crraft beers in the cafe onthe second floor. There are more than 20 small batch gins from America and Europe tha tare avialiable for sample. It also features some homemade products like jerky. Iti s run by Tokyo Family Restaurant.
I went out for teppanyaki a few weeks back and forgot to post about this great restaurant, Ahill in the back streets of Azabu (there's a Ginza branch as well), not far from my apartment. It had a great stylish atmosphere and excellent grilled food. I went with the A menu that included a starter, soup, a main (I choose sirloin steak), grilled curry rice, and a dessert for just ¥5000. I think I need to go to teppanyaki more often.
A friend introduced me to Christopher Pellegrini's informative Shochu Handbook via a Kickstarter campaign that I am proud to say I contributed to. I have been a fan of shochu for some time, but I have been woefully uniformed about it, so the timing seemed right for an English language book about it. In fact Pellegrini points out that shochu eclipsed nihonshu sales during the third "shochu boom" in 2003 and the gap has continued to grow since then; in 2009 one million kiloliters of shochu was shipped while only 634,000 by nihonshu brewers. In the preface, the readers learns about Pellegrini's love of shochu, which resulted in becoming one of the few non Japanese shochu sommelier certificate holders from the Sake Service Institute. The introduction points out the chapters that may of the most interest to readers who can sample shochu in Japan and those who live outside. Chapter One, answers "What is shochu?" and Pellegrini explains how shochu differs from nihonshu (distilled vs. brewed). This is followed by "How is honkaku shochu unique?" (Chapter Two), where he compares shochu to different types of clear alcohol like vodka, soju (Korean liquor), Awamori (Okinawa alcohol), and rum. Chapter Three explains "How is shochu made?" I was surprised to learn in Chapter Four, "Types of shochu," to learn that there are more than 50 types of ingredients, but Pellegrini focuses on the most popular: potato, barely, rice, brown sugar, and buckwheat. I personally found Chapter Five "Reading the label," very useful. In addition, I wasn't aware of the different ways that shochu is served (Chapter Six "How to serve shochu"). There were lots of good suggestions Chapter Seven "Shochu pairing and sharing" and Chapter Eight "Recommended shochu." Chapter Nine "Shochu recipes" seems to be directed toward overseas establishments and Chapter Ten "Basic Japanese for shochu drinkers" would be useful for visitors to Japan. There are artistic photo illustrations throughout as well. The handbook also includes a glossary, further reading, and author biography. This is an extremely useful book that I will be coming back to for reference in the future.
Last night I attended a shochu (an increasingly popular Japanese liqour) tasting at Koan Tokyo in Shinjuku hosted by Christopher Pellegrini. I contributed to his Kickstarter project for his English language book, The Shochu Handbook, which I received a free copy of for my support of his project. (I have started reading it and have gotten four chapters into it-there are 10-and have found it to be very informative). I have had an interest in shochu for several years and enjoy visiting Kyushu, which is the main region for production of shochu. Christopher started by having us do a blind tasting of two types of shochu and take notes. He then did a reveal and talked about the two types of shochu: A:Tomi no houzan (imo [sweet potato]) and B: Hakuten houzan (a different variety of imo shochu from the same company). After that there was a trivia contest where he gave out some prizes for answering shochu-related questions.