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The Michelin Guide has consistently awarded more stars to Tokyo dining establishments than any other city in the world. I created this blog as my personal Tokyo restaurant guide, but I hope you will also enjoy reading it. If you have been to any of the same places feel free to leave some comments about your own experiences.



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Friday, 23 November 2012

Yokota, Azabu Juban よこ田麻布十番

Tempura is a truly ubiquitous Japanese dish, running the gamut from awful, cold and greasy to simply sublime. This post is about tempura of the sublime variety. It may not seem like it at first glance but tempura when it's done right is far from easy to pull off. This fine art involves coating pieces of fish and veges in a simple batter of wheat flour and cold water, then dunking them in vegetable oil. Seems easy, but there is a real skill involved in working out how long to cook each different morsel so as to ensure its essential deliciousness. As I have come to appreciate more and more, the wonder of Japanese cooking is to reveal the deliciousness of ingredients, rather than necessarily to add or mask flavours. Thus good tempura should never overwhelm the taste of the food with the batter.

Yokota in Azabu Juban is somewhere I would highly recommend to experience tempura at its finest. Every single piece I ate was delicious, and needed no more than salt to make it taste amazing, although the chef will advise you how to complement each piece with a range of condiments. After eating tempura like this I can imagine how Tokugawa Ieyasu managed to die from overindulgence!

Our chef was a real character, and very helpful in telling us the best way to eat each dish.


Looks like thousand island dressing, but it was yummier than that.


The prawn legs always make a tasty starter...


I always eat all the prawn, including the tail. Our chef helpfully changed the orientation of the prawn when he noticed that I am left-handed (this is, of course, a level of consideration you would only see in Japan).


Kisu




Madodai (type of bream). It tasted like the tastiest fish and chips style fish I've ever had (I mean no disrespect here as well cooked fish and chips is something to be beheld)


Shiitake mushrooms and crab paste


Baby corn. For the power of its simplicity and purity, this was probably the most memorable dish of the evening)


Rare scallops


Tasty "Momo no shizuku" sake


Beautiful sake accoutrements


Asparagus


Squid


Anago


Kotamanegi (small onion)


Renkon (lotus)


These didn't look like your everyday eggplants!


Beautiful view





To finish the savoury courses we were offered a "tencha" which is rice and green tea with tempura...


...or, a "kakiage tendon" which is a mixed tempura on rice


Lastly, a dessert of nashi (Japanese pear) was served to finish off an awesome dinner!

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