Thursday, 7 March 2013


We've had sushi and sukiyaki and ramen but what we haven't had is tempura. When we first came here we went to a couple of tempura restaurants. One in Ginza and one over in Akasaka near Roppongi. Rakutei in Akasaka was the best tempura we've ever had. It was, dare I say, perfect. A small restaurants and only me and Michelle as customers. I read an article in a travel magazine once and one of Australia's best chefs, Tetsuya, said Rakutei was one of his favourite restaurants. We hoped to be able to eat here again. I went in and asked there was room. The same old tempura sensei was there as last time and he said yes. Then I said we have a child. Then it all went to shit. With the most humble of apologies we were told no children. I had seen him doing that thing where he flicks his wrist to splash excess batter off whatever is going to be dropped into the fryer. I could almost taste it. Damn it, but no tempura today.
Instructions to get to Akasaka
Not confident in Daddy's ability to find his way around Georgia turns to the hotel Gideon.

Success! Tickets purchased.
We sat in a nearby park for a while and let Georgia dirty her arse on a slide while we figured out what to do next. Sushi Saito, a 3 Michelin starred sushi bar was nearby. We decided to go there first and if we were unsuccessful Jiro Roppongi wasn't that far away either. Sushi Saito is one of those weirdly placed tiny restaurants. It is in the basement carpark of a building across the road from the US embassy. It wasn't our day. "Yes", the guy who greeted us at the restaurant said we will take a child, "but we are closed". It was a bit after 1pm. These small places don't often take new customers after 12.30. We'd had the good fortune of eating here last time we were in Tokyo it is was probably the finest sushi I've ever had. Michelle thinks the rice was too salty. Oh well.

To Georgia's delight we caught a taxi up to Roppongi Hills and Sukiyabashi Jiro. I thought it was in the huge Grand Hyatt complex (man, that is a big car park underneath that building) but it is actually across the road in another shopping complex. We found son of Jiro's restaurant and guess what? Yeah, they'd finished for the day too. Had a nice chat to Jiro's apprentice though. They too will accept children although we probably couldn't sit at the counter. At first we talked about making a reservation through the hotel and we discussed the Monterey Hotel where we are staying. He was completely familiar with the black ban too and said, yes, the hotel had done the wrong thing about 2 years earlier. We thought, stuff it, why not just make a reservation now? He was happy to take our details and now we're booked in for lunch when we come back to Tokyo after our drive around central Honshu. We may not be able to eat sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Ginza but his son here in Roppongi has been awarded 2 Michelin stars himself. How bad could it be? :)

Jiro Roppongi
We needed lunch even if we couldn't have sushi or tempura. I grabbed a Mos burger and Michelle and Georgia sandwiches. How good is Mos Burger? Unlike Maccas and Burger King they still make burgers to order. I had a burger with bacon and onions and BBQ sauce. Damn, it was good. Mos Burger is a Japanese burger chain and I'm not sure if it is said Moe's or Moss or Mozz. We finished up with iced coffees in Starbucks. Starbucks is getting to be a habit.
Fun at Starbucks

Roppongi Station
Train to Ginza
We were happy enough to catch the train back to Ginza knowing we at least had a reservation at Jiro. Food wise the the day wasn't a waste after all.

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