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    Food, Travel

    The Basic Girl’s Guide To : Tokyo Food 

    I had such an amazeballs time in Tokyo that I had to split the posts up into all the fun you can have (which you can read here) and this one: FOOD!!!! Tokyo is arguably one of the biggest foodie capitals in the world. Since 2009, it has had the most 3 Michelin starred restaurants in the world. Side note: If you don’t know what a Michelin star restaurant is (I had no clue for ages), my eating at a fancy restaurant guide is here. Anyway, in the land of sushi and teppanyaki, I was bound to eat myself into a coma. Below is a detailed guide to a gluttonous trip. Enjoy my Basic Girl’s Guide to: Tokyo Food!

    First and foremost, I would recommend downloading Waygo. It’s a translation app for Japanese, Korean and Chinese characters to English and this really helped when pictures weren’t available. Although not always accurate, it was sometimes overly descriptive. Case in point, uni, which is essentially sea guts, comes up as blow ones nose. When our dish arrived, it looked exactly like someone had blown their nose into some rice.

    Sushi – Tsukiji Fish Market

    We went here straight off the plane while we waited for our hotel room. You can’t actually get into the market anymore as a tourist, but don’t worry, there’s plenty of gross fish heads for you to see in the surrounding area. There are hundreds of little sushi restaurants/stands around the market, all with fantastic fresh fish.

    Our friend knew of a place just around the corner from the main entrance and I’d like to tell you exactly where it was, but it was literally a maze. We went up some stairs and through a back door somewhere… then, surprise, amazing sushi!

    But you really can’t go wrong. These are the experts and once you eat sushi at this market, everything else will taste sub-par.

    There are also lots of little stands with ‘try me’ baskets. I have no idea what was in them, but it tasted like fish jerky.

    The Kill Bill Restaurant (Gonpachi)

    This place was really yummy. They have a set menu for lunch as well as a la carte. I really liked the shrimp tempura dish, especially if you are as hung-over as I was from Karaoke the night before. It’s a pretty lively atmosphere and we went during Sakura, so I’m not sure if the cherry blossoms are always there, but they were a lovely touch.

    Those little white things on the salad are little fishies. I tried one and then scraped the rest off because they were really fish-y.

    Korean BBQ – Yoroniku Yakiniku

    Oddly enough, if you ask locals, they will say some of the best restaurants in Japan are Korean BBQ. Basically, you get a whole bunch of meat and cook it on a little grill in the middle of your table. Try not to be deterred by the meat selection. I was persuaded to try beef tongue and it was actually pretty tender.


    Convenience stores

    I didn’t actually eat at one of these because we had so little time, nobody was willing to risk a bad meal out of a 7/11. But I WISH I had. They have everything in weird colourful packaging and I imagine the ramen is out of this world. If you are strapped for cash and a little peckish, definitely give this a shot. They also have little cans of sake which I did try and it was very very tasty.




    It wouldn’t be a basic girl’s guide without a sampling of the Japanese Starbucks. I’m as basic as it gets, so I just had a skinny vanilla latte. However,  I was really impressed with their special offerings. Apricot honey soy frappuccino? If it wasn’t 20 million calories, yes please!

    Commune 246

    Near Harajuku, Commune 246 is this cute little outdoor market/food truck place where you can get different kinds of food from all over. We had the most delicious schnitzel burgers, my favourite being the avocado. They also have fantastic coffee and events throughout the year.

    Brunch/Breakfast at the Intercontinental

    Most days we were so jet lagged that we woke up and went straight to lunch, but, it was my birthday so I insisted we have breakfast somewhere and that somewhere turned out to be the lobby cafe/restaurant at the hotel. They had absolutely everything, from friend rice, to dim sum to hash browns and hummus. But the best was the bacon. Oh my word. It was crispy and PERFECTLY straight! I had so many pieces, I was waiting for the wait staff to come over and tell me I’d exceeded my personal quota. The cost was ¥3400, or around $30 USD.


    So, this is my brother’s favourite kind of food. Like, we were in Portugal for his birthday and he found a Teppanyaki restaurant to celebrate in. So I was insanely excited to try one in Tokyo. Apparently one of the best ones you can go to is in the ANA intercontinental, but I insisted on going to the rabbit café when the reservation was available. Instead, we went to Teppan Bambina. It was ok, but there wasn’t really a show which is what I was most excited about. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to beef in Japan. They care about the quality of their beef almost as much as their fish, so always order the wagyu when you can.

    The one you should go to:

    The ok one:

    My advice? Come to Japan hungry! You might just have to trust the process though, because this is the real deal and the Japanese don’t bend to appease western cultures. Use that as an opportunity to expand your palette! Do you have any Tokyo food suggestions? Comment below!


    The Basic Girl’s Guide To: Tokyo Fun

    Tokyo is THE BEST. It’s like Alice in Wonderland all the time but with sushi! I highly recommend going during cherry blossom season (or Sakura in Japanese) because the streets are lined with pink flower trees and the cherry blossom theme is carried through restaurants, shops, hotels and transport. There is so much to cover (and I was actually only in Tokyo for 2 days), so enjoy part one of my Tokyo recommendations: the fun!

    Animal Cafes

    Ok, so I wanted to go to ALL of these. They have cat cafes, dog cafes, lizard and bird cafes… pretty much any animal you can think of. I’ve been to the cat café in London, and honestly, it’s kind of a let down. Cats are assholes so most of the time they avoid you and you just leave the café feeing rejected.

    Tokyo has a few bunny cafes and, since it was Easter Sunday, I went wearing rabbit ears. Nobody looked twice. I recommend going to Ms. Bunny in Roppongi, their bunnies are adorable and the focus is on them (not the tea, music etc). I had to wait about 10 minutes to get in, so try to book ahead to avoid disappointment. Also, a bonus with choosing Ms Bunny is that there’s a hedgehog café right underneath, so if you have a patient travelling partner you can hit them both up.

    It costs around 1300 yen (£8) to go without any extra snacks. Make sure you go with someone who also wants to hold the bunny because you’ll be charged for as many people as you bring, even if only one of you holds it. It’s also extra to hold the babies, but very much worth it. I bought the treats as well for 300 yen, but the first bunny I held wanted nothing to do with them. The second one ate a few, but I’m pretty sure these guys are fed all day, so the treats don’t really make a difference.



    This was actually a little disappointing for me. Everyone was dressed normally both times I went. Apparently the dress up day is Sunday, so if you’re going to go, plan for that. Otherwise, it’s a great spot for shopping, I’d compare it to Knightsbridge in London or 5th Avenue in New York.



    The Japanese pastime! I am a terrible singer and was wary of going to a karaoke bar because I didn’t want to offend the locals with my voice, as it’s often been described as a cat giving birth. But, it couldn’t have been more fun! At V2, we had our own little room but once we were done singing, moved to the larger room, which was essentially a nightclub. They had a bear taking pictures with everyone and this is the place I got the rabbit ears I proceeded to wear for the next three days. I went right down the rabbit hole on this one had had the absolute time of my life. If you’re in Japan and only do one super Japanese thing, this needs to be it.



    So, Shibuya, not just an integral part of the roll call song, but also Tokyo’s ‘Time Square’.  Generally I hate when people say that because it’s definitely not like Times Square.  Honestly, we just drove through Shibuya.  You see the big crossing.  I get it, it’s a busy street.  If you have limited time in Tokyo, I’d just go through it on your way to the Park Hyatt which is the Lost In Translation bar (we didn’t go because we went to the Grand Hyatt by accident, it was a whole thing), you’ll get the picture you want and are unlikely to get hit by a car.

    Robot Bar

    This is the greatest show I have ever seen. Robot Bar is essentially humans either dressed as robots or riding them while acting out a story in a relatively small room. We had front row seats and I nearly got nailed in the head by some kind of wing. It was amazing. Their sense of theatrics is second to none. Book your tickets ahead of time and get there early because there is a pretty big line. Don’t worry, there’s a robot band and drinks to keep you entertained while you wait for the show to start. Also, tell them it’s your birthday when you get the tickets (if it is) and they’ll give you a special surprise during the show!

    Finally, here are a few surprising things I found when I arrived:

    • The base temp for a room/taxi is around 26 degrees Celsius. Even the heated toilet seats are scorching (and yes, the toilets are as amazing as legend suggests). I was too hot. All. The. Time.
    • The taxi’s doors spring open automatically and close that way, so don’t continually try to slam them as I did. They also have lace seat covers. Uber exists, but there are hardly any drivers.
    • The way to say Happy Birthday is tanjobi. I repeatedly said that and pointed at myself for the whole weekend (it was actually my birthday) and I made best friends with everyone. Kawaii is cute which also made me a lot of friends. And of course, Arigato.
    • Hardly anyone wears leopard print.
    • Their convenience stores are AMAZING. It was how I imagine Pixar would make future 7/11s  like.


    Food, Travel

    VooDoo Doughnut: Yes I did

    So, I went all the way to Portland to eat a Voodoo Doughnut. Just Kidding. Sort of. My best friend got married in Portland and Instead of going a million miles just for the wedding, My BF and I went on a whirl wind adventure through Idaho, Portland and Seattle.  This is about my food adventure in Portland.

    So, from my point of view, the main things to take away from Portland are:  There are loads of homeless people on crack/bath salts, hipsters and seriously awesome doughnuts.  I also lit my hair on fire in a bar when leaning in for a bridal party picture 2 days before the wedding, so I was talk taking away a little less hair than I came to Portland with.

    I saw an episode of Simpsons (coincidentally) right before I left where all these hipsters came to Springfield and this guy was making weird doughnuts and I was all like, wouldn’t that be amazing?  And then my BF was like, it’s a real thing and we go there next week.  So the whole trip all I could think about was how, between all my bridesmaids duties, was I going to be able to wait in line for 3 hours to eat a doughnut with bacon on it.  I honestly didn’t think I’d make it, but thanks to jet lag, I was up stupid early on Saturday morning, the day of the wedding.  I went to the gym in a vain attempt to preempt that 8 zillion calories I was about to eat and then got so excited, I left early and ran to VooDoo Doughnut at 730 in the morning in my work out gear, sleeveless in barely above freezing weather.  Worth it.

    I only had to wait in line for 30 min and when I was almost at the front some obnoxious woman with her 25 kids let them all go individually.  Listen, I love kids.  I like to entertain them, that’s why I work in kids TV.  But, when there is a line around the block to get something, please don’t make said line a million times longer just because your kids wants to hand the lady a dollar.  You and your children are not the only people on earth and the group of yummy mummies with their kids in front of you were nice enough to get their s^&t together and order as a group.  Rant over.

    Needless to say when I finally got to the register I was presented with this:

    I basically had my small order in my head and was planning my run back (because at this point I was running half an hour later for my hair appointment, but come on, bacon doughnuts.  Priorities.) when I suddenly wanted everything.  So I ordered:

    • A cock n balls – huge phallic doughnut filled with cream. (with the brides name artfully written across the shaft).



    • One covered in Fruit Loops because in University the bride and I made a regular habit of eating dry cereal pretty much all the time.
    • One covered in Oreros because… well it was covered in Oreos.
    • Two little ones that looked like boobs because it was funny.
    • A Wookie, which is their signature shape (a VooDoo Doll, see what they did there?) but decorated as a Wookie.


    I ate it’s arm.


    • Two Maple Blazer Blunts.  One was for my BF, and was my second favourite (after the bacon doughnut, obviously).  They cost $4.20.  See what they did there again??.
    • A Portland cream, which is exactly like a Boston cream but they paint two little white eyes on it.
    • And finally, a maple bacon doughnut.  It was definitely the best thing I’d eaten in Portland.  It was just a regular maple glazed bar.  WITH BACON.  I can’t emphasize enough how awesome it was.  We had bacon and eggs that morning as well (so in total, I basically ate 7 pieces of bacon in the space of about an hour) and it was the first doughnut gone.


    Our wedding day spread

    I think I may have over estimated how much seven girls will eat right before they have to get into fancy dresses because there were a few leftovers which I delivered to the groomsmen.

    In total I spent about an hour getting them and $20.  It’s a must if you are in Portland, along with going down to the cost and seeing The Goonies beach… but heads up, don’t wear wedges because you have to hike down and your boyfriend might get mad at you for having to carry you.

    Goonies beach

    Info all right here, they have 3 locations:

    Heads up, they only take cash… hipsters for ya.

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    Food, Travel

    Manga Tuscany

    In the limited but awesome Italian I learned on my recent trip to Tuscany, I’m pretty sure the above means eat Tuscany, which I attempted to do.

    We stayed at San Felice which is an amazing old town that was turned into a beautiful hotel. Seriously, the whole town. It was small, but I still managed to get lost. This was the street our room was on.

    The restaurant was even more awesome and I ate what might possibly be the best ‘amouse bouche’ (they call it that in Italy even though its French. Europeans!) ever. It was Parmesan creme brûlée. Like, cream with Parmesan and then a sweet candied top like creme brûlée. It was amazing. Then I had prawns wrapped in bacon. In my books, anything wrapped in bacon is 5 star. Then I had a yummy pasta and some kind of fish. But by far the first two things were the best.

    San Felice is also a vineyard and the wine they produce is ace.

    In conclusion, I think you should go there even though its kind of a pain in the balls to get to.