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[Tokyo 東京] Wall / CoSTUME NATIONAL

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Wall / CoSTUME NATIONAL

Add: CoSTUME NATIONAL Aoyama Complex 1F,5-4-30 Minami Aoyama
Tel: +81-3-5774-1311
Hours: 12pm-12am
Website: www.cnac.jp/wall
Price: cocktails ~2200 yen
Visited: Oct 2016

A Japanese friend took me to this bar in Omotesando, and I honestly couldn’t tell that this is a bar even after arriving at its door. Apparently, it’s hidden behind this white wall.

東京當地朋友帶我去的這家酒吧,位置在表參道,不過到了門口我都還沒認出來這是個什麽東西…原來,酒吧藏在白牆之後。

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Entering the bar through the slender (and very discreet) door, we arrived at Wall. It’s an elongated space brought alive by the gorgeous, lush vertical garden behind the bar, put together by famed French artist / vertical garden designer Patrick Blanc. I have always liked his works in Paris, and it was quite a pleasant surprise to run into him again in Tokyo.

推了中間那道細門入內,竟是另一番天地。狹長的空間裏最引人注目的是吧台後方整面的植物牆。豐盛的、綠油油的,很美。打造這片植物牆的是法國藝術家/垂直花園名設計師 Patrick Blanc,以前就非常喜歡他在巴黎幾個作品,在東京能碰上真是挺令人驚喜的。

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Upon being seated, we were first served the halve of a fresh fig. Apparently it’s typical in Japanese bars to be served a small bite like this before or along with your first drink.

Wall 的小點心是半個新鮮無花果,很甜美。在日本,似乎很多酒吧就會提供這樣一款小食,通常在第一杯酒之前或同時送上。

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 7th, 2016 at 1:09 am

[Tokyo 東京] Sakurai Tea 櫻井焙茶研究所

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Sakurai Tea 櫻井焙茶研究所

Add: 5F Spiral Building, 5-6-23 Minami Aoyama, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-6451-1539
Hours: 11am-11pm
Website: sakurai-tea.jp
Price: [tea] 1,600 yen [tea set] 4,500 yen+
Visited: Oct 2016

For those interested in Japanese tea, Sakurai could be a worthwhile place to visit while Tokyo. Located on the 5th floor of Spiral Building in the ultra stylish Minami Aoyama area, Sakurai is a modern Japanese tea house founded by Mr. Shinya Sakurai, an ex-Yakumo Saryo and Higashiya who expands his craft to not just tea, but also pairing with food and alcohol.

喜歡日本茶的人,可以來試試櫻井焙茶研究所。這家位于スパイラルビル五樓的茶館,是曾經在八雲茶寮Higashiya 擔任經理的櫻井真也于 2014 年獨立出來開的店,專注于茶和食物、以及茶和酒的結合。

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The shop, also designed by Simplicity Studio, fuses traditional Japanese design with modern metallic vibes. The counter displays a range of beautiful teaware, and beyond the counter is a tea roasting area.

店裏融合了傳統日式風格與現代金屬的摩登感,看得出來也是 Simplicity 設計的。入口處的櫃台上漂亮的茶具一字排開,透過玻璃可以看到烘培茶葉的區域。

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On the other side of the counter is the tea room. Tea and tea desserts are available a la carte as well as in sets (gyokuro, blended tea, hojicha, bancha, matcha, etc., 4,500~6,900 yen/set) and alchoholic versions like encha gin, hojicha rum, matcha beer (1,200~1,600 yen), which all sound quite interesting.

櫃台的後方是茶房,除了可以單點茶和甜品之外,也可以選擇包含玉露、混合茶、焙茶、抹茶、等4~6種茶以及和菓子的茶套餐(4,500~6,900日幣),另外還有以茶入酒的各種選擇,比如煎茶琴酒、焙茶朗姆酒、抹茶啤酒等(1,200~1,600日幣),聽起來挺有趣的。

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The tea room is small, with only 8 seats around the bar. I arrived during the late afternoon, so I can only imagine how beautiful the space must be during the day with natural light spilling in from the large windows. Upon being seated, I was handed presented a selection of tea leaves to choose from, accompanied by clear explanations about their origin, aroma, and flavor.

茶房空間不大,只有圍繞著吧台的八個座位。我到的時候已經晚上了,不過白天時應該可以享受透過大片玻璃窗進來的陽光。入座後店員遞上茶單,如果選擇的是焙茶的話,店員會再取出一排茶葉供參考。從選茶到泡茶,包括産地、味道、香味,店員都解釋的頗爲詳細。

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 6th, 2016 at 12:42 pm

[Tokyo 東京] Rai-an 雷庵

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Rai-an 雷庵

Add: 1F 董友ビル, 1-4-13 Shibuya, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-5778-3379
Hours: 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Price: 2,000~4,000 yen/person
Visited: Oct 2016

Located in Shibuya, Rai-an is a newly-opened soba noodle shop with a beautiful modern design: floor-to-ceiling windows, open kitchen, and an atelier to display the making of soba. The soba noodles delicious, and all the other small dishes we tried were surprisingly yum as well.

位于涉谷區的雷庵是今年剛開的面店,從整片的落地窗(白天應該很美)、開放式廚房等裝修設計上就可以看得出這是一家比較新式的摩登面店。令人驚喜的是這裏不僅荞麥面好吃,其他東西也做的可圈可點。

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Such as the soba tofu with sea urchin (900 yen).

比如海膽荞麥豆腐(900日幣)。

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Japanese omelet (800 yen).

厚燒蛋卷(800日幣)。

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Ginko nut sakura shrimp tempura (1,100 yen).

銀杏櫻花蝦天婦羅(1,100日幣)

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Written by sugarednspiced

December 5th, 2016 at 7:23 am

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[Tokyo 東京] Mahakara Ureshii Purin マハカラ うれしいプリン

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Mahakara Ureshii Purin マハカラ うれしいプリン

Add: 1-17-5 Aobadai Meguro Tokyo
Tel: +81-50-5590-4510
Hours: 11am-6pm
Website: www.happypudding.com
Price: ~350 yen/pudding
Visited: Oct 2016

I was strolling along the Meguro River the other day and passed by a super cute pudding shop called “Mahakara Ureshii Purin”. It’s a tiny store with not much other than a kitchen and a counter, displaying a myriad of delicious-looking puddings in glass jars – matcha, coffee, pumpkin, chestnut, yam, cheese…though eventually I went for the classic custard pudding with caramel. Sitting on the bench in front of the shop, eating the soft and fragrant pudding by the spoonful…what a lovely, lovely neighborhood vibe.

某天在目黑河邊路過一家可愛的布丁店 “マハカラ うれしいプリン”。店面小小的,除了廚房和櫃台之外幾乎沒有空間放其他東西,冰櫃裡排列著各種誘人口味的布丁 - 抹茶、咖啡、南瓜、栗子、番薯、起司…不過最後還是選擇了經典焦糖雞蛋布丁。店門口放了幾張椅子,坐在街邊吃著香濃柔滑的布丁、邊感受著中目黑悠閑的步調,很是惬意。

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Mahakara Ureshii Purin uses a high grade Japanese eggs from Hyogo Prefecture called “日本一こだわり卵” (kodawari tamago), and doesn’t add any preservatives in their pudding.

マハカラ うれしいプリン的布丁裡完全無添加防腐劑,而且使用的是兵庫縣產的 “日本一こだわり卵” 高級蛋,格外香濃。

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December 5th, 2016 at 6:46 am

[Tokyo 東京] Bar High Five

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Bar High Five

Add: B1F Efflore Ginza 5 Bldg.,5-4-15 Ginza, Chuo Ku / 中央区銀座5-4-15 エフローレギンザ5ビル B1F
Tel: +81-3-3571-5815
Hours: 5pm-1am
Website: www.barhighfive.com
Price: cocktails ~2200 yen
Visited: Oct 2016

Bar High Five is no newcomer to Asia’s 50 Best Bars, and this year it’s ranked #3. (On a related note, Shanghai’s Speak Low is ranked #2). The location is in the basement of a building in Ginza, with about 10 seats at the bar and a couple of small tables on the side. No reservations. We arrived a little before 9pm on a Thursday, and luckily got the last 3 seats at the bar.

銀座的 Bar High Five 是“亞洲50最佳酒吧” 的常駐軍,今年也毫不意外的出現在榜單上,名列第三(順帶一提,上海的 Speak Low 是今年的第二名)。地點在銀座某建築的地下一層,只有吧台10個位子加上後面幾張小桌,不接受訂位。我和朋友八點多抵達,幸運的拿到了吧台最後三個空位。

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Bar High Five’s founder Hidetsugu Ueno began his career in 1992, and is kind of a big deal in the cocktail world both in Japan and abroad. He previously worked at another Japanese cocktail institution – Star Bar – before starting out on his own, moving location once before settling in Ginza. There’s no menu here, his drinks changing according to the mood of his customers – whatever makes them happy.

Bar High Five 的創辦人上野秀嗣在 2004 年獲得了世界 Martini 大賽冠軍,現在也是日本調酒師協會國際部總監。他的酒吧裡沒有酒單,調酒隨著顧客的心情而變:“我調不同的酒,希望客人可以有一段美好時光,這是我的工作。如果他們快樂,我也快樂。”

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Unfortunately Mr. Ueno was not there when I visited, perhaps the busy man was doing a pop-up or workshop somewhere around the world. Taking care of us that night was Kaori Kurakami, the Japanese representative for World Class 2014. After a few questions – Which base liqueur do you prefer? Do you like refreshing? Citrusy? Creamy? Strong in alcohol flavor? Etc., she got started on the mixing.

很可惜我到訪的當晚上野先生不在,可能在世界的某地做 pop-up 或講座吧?留著當家的是 2014 年 World Class 日本代表倉上香裏,在遞上了熱毛巾之後,她問了我們幾個問題 - 喜歡什麽基酒?喜歡偏好帶柑橘清新口味的、creamy的,還是酒味比較強及直接的?Etc. 然後就開始了。

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 15th, 2016 at 3:33 am

Posted in tokyo

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[Tokyo 東京] Shinbashi Shimizu 新橋清水

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新橋 清水 Shinbashi Shimizu

Add: 2-15-10 Shinbashi, Minato Ku / 港区新橋 2-15-10
Tel: +81-3-3591-5763
Hours: 12pm~, 5:30~9:30 (L.O.)
Price: [lunch] 8,800+ yen [dinner] 15,000+ yen
Visited: Oct 2016

Among the myriad of high-end sushi restaurants in Tokyo, what foreigners are most familiar with are probably Sushi Jiro and Sushi Saito. Sushi Shimizu, on the other hand, is also highly ranked by the local Japanese (#34 on Tabelog’s top 50 sushi restaurants in Tokyo, just 6 spots after Sushi Jiro), but one can hardly find any non-Japanese information or reviews online. Why?

在東京衆多高級壽司店裡,一般外國人比較熟悉的不外乎是壽司之神すきやばし次郎(Sukiyabashi Jiro)和鮨さいとう(Sushi Saito)。而我這次去的新橋清水,雖然在當地人的圈子內是一座難求的名店,不過在網上卻很難找到非日語的信息和評論。爲什麽?

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Let’s take a look first. The tiny sushi bar is located in a small alley not far from Ginza. It’s a space that fits only 8 customers, and inside the sushi bar is chef owner Kunihiro Shimizu. There are no fancy decors, just a simple bar, and behind it hung wooden boards listing today’s freshest ingredients.

先進來瞧瞧。小店藏身在離銀座不遠的狹小巷子裡,招牌也(不令人意外的)毫不顯眼。入門後是個能容納八個人的壽司吧台,站在裡面的就是主廚清水邦浩先生。沒有華麗的設計,只有簡潔的吧台,以及後方用來示意當日新鮮食材的板子。

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Shimizu-san entered the trade when he was 18, and after 11 years of working at Shimbashi Tsuruhachi, he started out on his own in 1999. In fact, he was awarded one Michelin star in 2012, but as someone who doesn’t want his restaurant to be on any food guides, he complained to Michelin and had his star taken away the next year. Instead of running a sushi bar that’s world-famous and becomes impossible to book, he’d rather have it stay as a casual place where his regulars can come as they wish.

清水先生十八歲入行,于名店 “新橋鶴八” 工作11年後,1999年自立門戶。清水其實曾經在2012年被米其林評爲一星餐廳,不過他並不希望出現于任何餐廳指南上,所以氣憤的向米其林投訴,隔年隨即被撤銷了星星。長年來低調經營的清水先生,希望自己的餐廳不要成爲高高在上,需要好幾個月前就要訂位的拘謹名店,而是他的熟客可以隨意進來享用美味壽司的輕松地方。

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November 15th, 2016 at 2:29 am

[Tokyo 東京] Yakumo Saryo 八雲茶寮

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Yakumo Saryo 八雲茶寮

Add: 3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro Ku, Tokyo / 東京都目黒区八雲 3-4-7
Tel: +81-3-5731-1620
Hours: 9am-9pm
Website: yakumosaryo.jp
Price: tea 1,090~2,300 yen
Visited: Oct 2016

It took us a little while to find Yakumo Saryo. This restaurant, hidden inside a quiet residential neighborhood in Meguro, was about a 15-minute walk from the closest station Toritsu Daigaku. After some exploration and retracing of steps (even with Google Map), we arrived at the restaurant, which looked more like a private mansion with a large yard, all ensconced in shades of green. The calming ambience is immediately soothing, and all of our worldly worries seem to be left at the door.

這次在東京探訪的第一家茶館隱身於目黑區安靜的住宅區內,門口看上去像是個有大庭院的私宅,低調的寫著 “八雲茶寮”。要不是事先打聽好,路過就算注意到,也不敢貿然入內吧?穿過庭院來到入口處,靜谧的氣氛讓人心自然沈澱,所有令人煩惱的思緒,都遺留在布簾之外。

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The founder of Yakumo Saryo is designer Shinichiro Ogata, whose design studio Simplicity has put together well-known interior design works throughout Japan, such as Aesop Shinsaibashi and Andaz Tokyo. His style inherits, preserves, and adapts traditional Japanese culture to contemporary designs, often merging the old and new to reveal a refreshing outlook on the traditions.

八雲茶寮的負責人緒方慎一郎本身是位室內設計師,他的設計事務所 Simplicity 出品了非常多知名的店鋪,比如京都和東京的 Aesop 門店(很美,沒看過的速速去網上搜圖),以及之後要介紹的 Higashiya 和櫻井焙茶研究所。他的風格是簡約設計的美學概念裏融合日本文化的細節,讓人能感受到傳統的新觀感。

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At Yakumo Saryo, breakfast and lunch are by reservations, dinner is by invitation (from an existing member), while afternoon tea is open to walk-ins. The number of guests accepted is limited as they wish guests to enjoy the time with as few disturbances as possible; on the afternoon of our visit, there were only 2 or 3 other guests in the tea room.

八雲茶寮有早茶、午飯、下午茶、以及晚飯,午晚飯是必須事先預訂的,招待方式大多是由熟客介紹。這次我們前來用下午茶,被服務人員領到了茶室裏;由于希望客人不受太多打擾,茶室接受的人數不多,除了我和朋友外也就兩三個客人。

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 9th, 2016 at 2:34 am

[Tokyo 東京] Cafe Kitsuné

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Cafe Kitsuné

Add: 3-17-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ku, Tokyo / 東京都港区南青山3-17-1
Tel: +81-3-5786-4842
Hours: 9am-8pm
Website: www.kitsune.fr
Price: coffee ~500 yen
Visited: Oct 2016

French music + fashion label Maison Kitsuné’s cafe in Paris used to be one of my go-to places with friends when I lived there – the outdoor seating under the green shades of Palais Royal is simply perfect on a nice day. But even before Paris, the first Cafe Kitsuné was actually opened in Tokyo back in 2013, located in the stylish Minami-Aoyama area. We explore.

Maison Kitsuné 是個日法混血的音樂+服飾品牌,這幾年來也開起了咖啡店。我住巴黎時就很常去 Palais Royal 裡的 Cafe Kitsuné,簡單有型的小店面加上舒服的露天座位,是我和朋友們聊天的不二選擇。不過早在巴黎之前,Cafe Kitsuné 的第一家店其實開在東京,地點就在潮店雲集的南青山一帶。門面相當低調,一不注意就會錯過,得多多留意。

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The entrance is not especially noticeable to the passerbys, though most people come looking for it specifically, so it’s difficult to miss. The Tokyo cafe was transformed from a Japanese house, and much of the traditional elements have been kept intact or reinforced, such as by installing tatami and fusumi sliding doors custom-made from a 70-year-old studio in Shimbashi.

和巴黎的裝修風格不同,東京店將一個和式空間稍做改造,保留了濃濃的日本味。從門口開始就以竹子爲主材料,室內用了定制的榻榻米和日式拉門(聽說是在新橋一家70多歲的老工作室特別定做的)。

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The baristas are all clad in Kitsuné fashion, and the music is likewise Kitsuné. The vibe is cool, and business is good – the space has always been filled during the few times I passed by, weekends or not.

咖啡師們穿著 Kitsuné 的衣服,店裡的音樂也是 Kitsuné 發行的專輯,風格從頭到尾貫徹的很徹底。咖啡店生意非常的好,我幾次經過時店內都幾乎坐滿了,不論平日還是周末。

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 7th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

[Tokyo 東京] Onibus Coffee

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Onibus Coffee

Add: 2-14-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro, Tokyo / 東京都 目黒区 上目黒 2-14-1
Tel: +81-3-6412-8683
Hours: 9am-6pm
Website: www.onibuscoffee.com
Price: coffee around 500 yen
Visited: Oct 2016

This time in Tokyo, I visited Nakameguro for the first time. This neighborhood might seem a bit too quiet for those looking for the typical hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but if you, like I, enjoy wandering along small alleyways to discover the everyday life of the locals, you might really like this residential area.

這次來東京,第一次去了中目黑。喜歡熱鬧氣氛,想要盡情購物的人也許會覺得中目黑有些平淡,但如果你和我一樣是喜歡在安靜小巷中逛逛,感受東京當地生活氣氛的話,應該會很喜歡這邊。

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And my reason for visiting Nakameguro was Onibus, a coffee shop and roaster sandwiched between a small park and train tracks. Its founder Sakao Atsushi, an architect-turned-barista, has been attracting coffee lovers from all over the world since he opened his first shop in Okusawa a few years ago, and he named the shop “Onibus” (which means public bus in Portuguese) for exactly this reason – to connect people via coffee.

會來到中目黑,是爲了 Onibus 這家咖啡店。老板坂尾篤史不僅在東京咖啡界是個名人,也紅到了國外 - 我到訪的當天就有從世界各地來喝咖啡的人,包括幾個從加州來的咖啡師。店名 Onibus 在葡萄牙語中是公車的意思,代表著坂尾先生想通過咖啡將人和人聯系起來的概念。

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The shop offers espresso-based coffee brewed on a La Marzocco Linea PB, as well as drip coffee done with Hario V60s. For drip coffee, four choices of coffee beans are available: Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, and Guatemala. I went with the first.

店裡提供義式咖啡和手沖,義式用 La Marzocco Linea PB 做,手沖則是用Hario V60s。我點了手沖,在下面四種豆子中選了 Ethiopia。

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Written by sugarednspiced

November 6th, 2016 at 12:57 pm