Holiday Special: Christmas Fried Chicken Taste-off

IMG_3316Someone recently asked me if Christmas is a big deal in Japan, and the answer is a definite yes. Christmas has been in full swing here since after Halloween and it’s everything that you would expect from a modern, secular, and commercialized Christmas. Santa Claus. Snowmen. Classic holiday music. Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and presents. And Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Yes, you read that right: KFC, or “Kentakki,” as the locals call it. In Japan, Colonel Sanders is the other old guy with a white beard who is associated with Christmas.  But instead of toys, he comes bearing his world famous chicken for good little boys and girls.

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Kimukatsu and the 25-Layer Tonkatsu

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Several months ago when I did my previous post about tonkatsu, I talked about the various kinds of tonkatsu you can get in Tokyo. One of my Japanese friends told me that I should try a place called Kimukatsu (キムカツ) which is famous for tonkatsu made not from one piece of pork cutlet, but rather 25 layers of thinly sliced pork stacked together and deep fried. Earlier this week, I finally got the chance to check out the main branch in Ebisu with two other friends.

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Belgian Fries at “And the Friet” in Hiroo

“No Ramen, No Life” has mainly focused on Japanese cuisine, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t check out non-Japanese food options in Tokyo. One of these places came to my attention via the blog RocketNews24 earlier this week — a brand new shop called And the Friet in the Hiroo neighborhood, which specializes in Belgian frites (or friet in Flemish). So, several of my friends and I went to check it out earlier today.

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Michelin Guide Japan 2014

Many of you will probably be interested to know that Michelin has released its 2014 guide to restaurants in Japan, including the Tokyo-Yokohama-Shonan area.  It’s available online, so there’s no need to run out and get a hard copy version.

Michelin rated restaurants are not the primary focus of this blog (though I would not turn down the chance to go to and write about one), but I would point out that some of the restaurants can be relatively affordable for lunch.  For example, the second place shown on the alphabetized list of Tokyo restaurants is a place called Akasaka Tan-tei, a one star which serves Okinawan cuisine in the Akasaka neighborhood. Lunch sets run from 1,800-8,000 yen, while dinner costs between 10,500-15,750 yen.

Hope you enjoy perusing the guide!

Oneshiki Jun At Tokyo Ramen Street

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I’ve noticed that a lot of folks who check out this blog are interested in Tokyo Ramen Street at Tokyo Station, so I thought I should highlight another of its shops — Oneshiki Jun (俺式 純).  Oneshiki, which is part of a chain of ramen restaurants called Setagaya, is one of the new ramen joints that moved in following recent renovations to the Street. It specializes in tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen and offers a couple of tsukemen (dipping noodle) options as well.

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