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The culture of Sushi, Wine, and Ass-kicking Cuteness!


Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo – Maisen, Read Chubby Hubby for More…

If you are a regular reader of Accidental Epicurean, you will be familiar with my affinity for all things Japanese, especially Japanese food. A lot of people will wax poetic about the sushi and sashimi, but my big love when it comes to Japanese food is Tonkatsu. For me there is nothing more satisfying than ...


Five quirky and cool must-dos when in Tokyo, read Chubby Hubby

Tokyo might be my favorite city in the world. It’s got an amazing mix of world class food, an incredible culture, a rich history and well…lots of quirky and cool things to see and do. Of course when you go to Tokyo, you should go to Shibuya and see the famous crossing, have yakitori and ...


Accidental Funnies – Country Flags Made From Iconic National Foods

The interwebs is indeed limitless in its ability to entertain, but it is not always kittens and puppies that are amusing. Check out these country flags made up of iconic and traditional ingredients from each nation. For example, Italy as seen above is basil, tomatoes and pasta. Click here to see other fun  examples from Korea, ...


Accidental Epicurean named in Viator’s Top 25 Travel Blogs for 2014

It is always wonderful to be recognized. After all, this is a hobby for me. It’s out of the pure love I have for travel, new experiences and my passion for food. I truly believe any culture – it’s history, tradition and future – can be understood through food. So, I was indeed honoured when Viator ...


Best of Accidental Epicurean in 2013 – Asian eats, travels and favourite recipes

Reflecting back on 2013, I did partake in some amazing meals, travels and learn some new favourite recipes. Along with that Accidental Epicurean won some awards, namely the blog to watch by the UK site 101 Holidays, and Accidental Epicurean also reached #49 rank worldwide for all food blogs, and it was nominated for some blogging ...


Japanese Cuisine, Washoku, Makes Unesco World Heritage List

Japanese cuisine joins French cuisine on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a world’s priceless cultural heritage. And rightly so. Japanese food, in Japanese called “washoku”, is known for it’s unique precision and detail in preparing, cooking and presenting food. Even sometimes eating comes with very carefully prescribed rules as well, e.g. sushi etiquette. So what ...


Rules for Tipping in US, China, Thailand, Europe, UK, Brazil and More…

If you are like me, one of the things I always look up before I go to a new country is the rules of tipping or tipping etiquette. Being American, I come from a country where we tip for everything. If someone raises a hand to help you in any way, you are supposed to ...


Best Tempura in Tokyo? Ten Ichi, Ginza

                    Ten Ichi is regarded by foodies, international and local, as some of the best tempura in Tokyo. Located in the heart of the Ginza shopping / nightlife district, its been serving up the most famous tempura in Tokyo for over 80 years. It’s and elegant and tranquil setting where dignitaries and government officials (Clinton and ...


Read Chubby Hubby – 10 Rules of Etiquette Every Traveler to Japan Should Know

                        I travel often to Japan – it’s foodie paradise, I personally love the culture and I cannot get enough of this amazing country with its varied landscapes and experiences. That said, its nickname as “Planet Japan” is earned for a reason…it is one of the culturally most unique and distinct places in the world. It ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Kaiseki, Japanese Multi-Course, Haute Cuisine

                    Kaiseki is the name for a formal, traditional Japanese meal consisting of multiple courses (as many as 14), presented in a certain order and almost always with a seasonal theme. As it is considered the top level of dining in Japan, it can be quite expensive at $150-400USD per person….similar in complexity and cost to ...


Quirky, Cool and Unusual Shopping in Tokyo, Japan – Ranking Ran Queen by Tokyu Department Stores

                    Among all of the other quirky cool places to shop like Tokyu Hands or Don Quixote in Tokyo, another shop not to be missed is Ranking Ran Queen. Even if you are not interested to buy anything, it’s a fascinating dive into what the Japanese fancy and what is popular. Why? Because Ranking Ran Queen ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Better than Kobe, Matsusaka Japanese Wagyu Beef

                              If you are like me and you love that marbled fatty goodness of Japanese beef (the kind that melts in your mouth) you will want to know about Matsusaka beef. It is, in fact, a grade higher than Kobe. Beef in Japan is graded on its marbled fat content, so to have a higher grade, ...


Accidental Funnies – Japan and Kawaii Strikes Again – Cute Kitty Cappucino

                                  I am always amazed at the Japanese inventiveness around kawaii. In case the idea of kawaii is new to you, kawaii (pronounced like Hawaii) means “cute.” And Japan is obsessed with kawaii, so much so it seems nothing is untouched – see related articles link below on past kawaii topics.  The latest to be kawaii-ified? ...


Read Chubby Hubby – Sushi Etiquette, What You Don’t Know Might Surprise You

Many of you know I write for Chubby Hubby, the Singapore based food / lifestyle blog. I have written about a variety of topics for CH, including Michelin-starred chef interviews, recipes, about contemporary artists in China, etc. But apparently my MOST popular article to date is an article on sushi etiquette. It seems perhaps there are ...


Accidental Funnies – More Japanese Kawaii, Purr-fect Kitty Sushi

The longer I am in Asia, the more I enjoy the Japanese sense of humour. It is often quirky, a little left of center…but yet also always a bit cute and kawaii. What is kawaii, you ask? Kawaii is the Japanese word for sweet, cute, adorable (pronounced like the US state of Hawaii). And the Japanese ...


Accidental Funnies – Japanese “Cooking with Dog” is Campy, Quirky Fun

OK, it’s not what you think. It’s not about cooking dishes with dog as an ingredient. It is a TV show, called “Cooking with Dog,”that you can watch on You Tube – a Japanese woman demonstrates how to cook authentic, homey Japanese meals while the show is entirely narrated by her dog, Francis. Francis speaks charmingly ...


Nishiki Market for Kitchen and Souvenir Shopping in Kyoto, Japan

Nishiki Market is a must do if you are in Kyoto and are a food lovers like we are here at Accidental Epicurean. Nishiki has been around for centuries in Kyoto and as such, many of the vendors have been operating their stalls for generations. In fact, today it is where denizens of Kyoto still ...


Are You Really Eating Kobe Beef – Or is it Wagyu??? And Why Should You Care?

I have been to a great many restaurants around the world claiming Kobe beef on the menu – from $50USD hamburgers in New York City to Kobe shabu shabu in Paris to Kobe beef steak in Singapore. But as it turns out it probably wasn’t Kobe beef? Why? Because Kobe beef is NOT imported outside ...


Best Yakitori in Tokyo? – Yakitori Hachibei Restaurant, Roppongi

There are so many choices when dining in Tokyo, so why do I keep coming back to something so simple like Yakitori? Yakitori is ostensibly the most basic of foods – meats and vegetables, grilled on a stick. Many cultures have something similar like Thai moo ping (grilled pork on a stick) or Turkish kofte ...


Japan Kawaii Nonstop! – Cute Simmered Stew

In Japan they are relentless with kawaii (cute). Nothing escapes their reach! Even the classic Japanese simmered stews are kawaii-ified. Check it out….the rice people look like they are enjoying a meaty onsen. Made me smile, hope it does you as well.


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Dashi

For some of you dashi may be a new concept, you may have had it and not even realized it. For others who are steeped in Japanese food, you might know it well, but did you know how it was made? Basically dashi is like a stock or broth that forms the basis of many ...


Leave it to the Japanese to Invent a “Cooler” Beer – Kirin Frozen Beer

I am consistently surprised by the Japanese culture of innovation. From having the world’s most advanced public transport system decades ahead of others -to- cell phones so advanced you can use them (not cash) to purchase a soda at a vending machine, the Japanese always seem to be ahead of the curve. They even found a ...


These Library Lounge – Try the Late Night, Offbeat, Insider Tokyo Cocktail Bar Scene

Just steps down from my favourite “insider” izakaya, Teyandei, is another “insider” spot for cocktails…the These Library Lounge. Near the (in)famous Roppongi area, These is so subtly marked that it is easy to miss. It’s quirky, cool crowd likes it that way – it’s the kind of place that is known mostly through word of ...


Teyandei Izakaya – Tokyo, Japan

A Tokyo insider izakaya – well now the secret is out! I find that I am always lucky when I am in Tokyo. There is something special about that crazy city – each time I go I am amazed at the intensity of the food culture and the drive for perfection. One might think that this ...


Unforgettable Omakase Sushi in Tokyo – Hashida Sushi

An unforgettable omakase sushi experience in Tokyo Through random coincidence I recently met someone who had lived in Tokyo for 20 years. Being a Japan-o-phile, of course I picked his brain about an upcoming trip to Tokyo. I wanted to get off the beaten track and have more authentic dining experiences. I still remember an ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Koshu Japanese Wine

No, this is not some new form of sake or plum wine. We are talking about a wine made from grapes that has been produced since 1877 when Masanari Takano and Tatsunori Tsuchiya returned from France after studying winemaking. But now for the first time it is approaching the mainstream. In June 2011, a Koshu ...


Kawaii and How Japan is Kicking the World’s Ass on Cuteness

      What is kawaii and why is everything in Japan so cute? “Kawaii” is the Japanese term for “cute.” And if you know anything about Japan you know kawaii reigns. The love of all things cute is found throughout Asia, but it is heightened to an art form in Japan. When I first moved to ...


Kappabashi Dori – Kitchen Street – Tokyo, Japan

An endless array of kitchen stuffs for the commercial and home chef alike If you have even a passing interest in cooking as a home chef, you will want to make a special trip to Kappabashi Dori. You can buy everything here from plastic fake sushi for window displays to bulk ingredients and spices to glassware ...


Ramen – From Tokyo and Beyond, This is No Ordinary Noodle Dish

From cheap US college student food to a serious culinary tradition in Japan Let it be known I never ate ramen in college. My drunken snack of choice when out was a fried chicken place called Time Out where we would get a bucket of bones – the leftovers remaining on the chicken bones after ...


Hakone Ryokan and Onsen Hot Springs, near Mt Fuji, Japan

An amazing retreat only 1.5 hours outside of Tokyo   Just West of Tokyo, lies Hakone – a picturesque Japanese town famous for its views of Mt Fuji, ryokans and onsen (natural Japanese volcanic hot springs). While one can go year round, undoubtedly the most popular time of year is summer. Hakone itself is very easy to get ...


A Michelin Starred Teppanyaki Experience – Sazanka in the Roppongi Area of Tokyo, Japan

With Japanese cuisine, most people hear of sushi first. It’s shocking and stands out. I remember as a kid thinking, “raw fish, yuck” (who’d of thought I’d grow up and eat raw horse heart?). But the first “Japanese” meal most people will actually eat will be teppanyaki. Every tiny town in America has one of ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Sushi Etiquette

Hey all, I am a HUGE sushi fan. I’ve made my pilgrimage to the sushi mecca (Tsukiji fish market) and returned a changed man. I’m deeper in love with sushi… to the detriment of my ability to enjoy budget buffet grade sushi. But I recently found out I’ve been eating it all wrong. That’s right, I’ll ...


Tokyo Becomes Top Michelin Starred Culinary Capital (For Now)

That sudden gust of air you felt around November 17th was the result of the entire nation of France collectively gasping for air. On that day the press broke the news that Tokyo had topped Paris in the number of the coveted 3-star restaurants. Should we care? Will this have bigger results? Granted Tokyo just barely ...


Best Budget Hotel (Granbell Shibuya) and Best High-end Hotel (Grand Hyatt Roppongi) in Tokyo

Our favorite hotels when we are traveling in Tokyo Tokyo can be expensive. And so it depends on how you want to do it…5 star hotel experiences are definitely available. We like the Grand Hyatt Roppongi for a truly luxe hotel experience. But we also discovered you don’t have to spend a fortune on hotels (save ...


Obika Mozzarella Bar, Roppongi Hills, Tokyo

Glorious cheese is the star in this Tokyo restaurant As much as I absolutely adore Japanese food, we took a break from our much loved Yakitori and Katsudon to try an interesting concept in casual dining. A restaurant entirely based around creamy, fresh mozzarella flown in daily from the Paestum and the Agro Pontino areas of ...


48 Hours in Kyoto – A Guide of the Sights, Shopping and Dining

Highlights of what to see and do in the wonderfully traditional city of Kyoto Many folks love Kyoto and consider it the highlight of any trip to Japan. With 17 Unesco World Heritage sites, 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines, Kyoto is rife with ancient culture and Japanese history. And beyond historical sites lies ...


9 Course Japanese Food Tasting Menu in Kyoto – Grotto Restaurant, Kyoto, Japan

A culinary tour of Japan in 9-courses While in Japan, we tried to cover as many foods as possible. My favourite meal may have been Katsudon but in our effort to experience as many food types as possible during our trip, I stretched myself beyond pork perfection Which is why when we were in ...


Epicurean Concept of the Week – Amuse-Bouche

We here at Accidental Epicurean are looking at ways of expanding the reach of our site beyond Southeast Asia. As part of that mission we’re going to start doing a weekly series of “epicurean concepts”…these could be words that you’ll find on a fine dining menu, boutique ingredients, dining etiquette, etc. (if there’s something specific ...


Gonpachi in Roppongi, Tokyo (The Kill Bill Restaurant)

Dun Dan Dun! This post should really start with the iconic “Kill Bill Theme” theme song from the movie and play throughout. If you’d like to load it up to play in the background get it here : ) We had just finished watching the Tokyo Giants win the game with a homer in the 9th. The hot dog ...


Tokyo Travel – Why I Love this Crazy City of Tokyo

And left Japan kicking and screaming… The first time I traveled to Hong Kong, I fell in love. I had an inexplicable affinity for the place, and on subsequent trips, discovered many new parts that ultimately led to Hong Kong’s classification as my favorite city in Asia. Now I think Tokyo has equally captivated me, if ...


People Watching on a Typical Sunday at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park

Japan = Cute. Japan = Cosplay. Japan = Rockabilly? A Sunday stroll through Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park is unlike a visit to any park anywhere else in the world. Sure you can find couples enjoying the day quietly on blankets, dad’s playing catch with their children, hippies whipping about frisbees in many parks… but there’s so much more on ...


Professional Baseball in Japan – Seeing the Tokyo Giants at the Tokyo Dome

Take me out to the ballgame Take me out with the crowd Buy me some yakitori and edamame…. Stepping out of the cab at the base of the massive Tokyo Dome I immediately felt the same frantic pre-game energy I knew from my childhood. It was just like seeing the Rangers or Rockies, men walking excitedly to the ...


Krispy Kreme In Tokyo, Japan

So maybe all the meals weren’t adventurous while in Tokyo. Sometimes one simply needs junk comfort food… particularly one that’s been missed for over seven years! So yes, we broke down and chowed down at Krispy Kreme in Shibuya, Tokyo Japan. I missed the whole Krispy Kreme movement due to growing up in “rural” Abilene, TX. ...


Abalone, Tuna Jaw, Conch and More – Amiyaki Charcoal Grill in Tokyo, Japan (w/Video)

In celebration of our 100th post we’re going to do something a bit different this time around…first post to feature video content! A word of caution for vegetarians and those who are easily offended, overly squeamish or just fussy…don’t watch the video, you’ve been warned. Growing up in Texas, it’s safe to say that I’m no ...


Tsukiji Fish Market and Some of the Freshest Sushi at Daiwa Sushi in Tokyo

Lots of pictures of the market at the end of the article so scroll all the way down Muslims have Mecca, lovers of Trance have the lovely town of Goa, surfers and single, middle-aged women looking for a spiritual awakening have Bali For lovers of sushi the most sacred pilgrimage of all ...


Udon Noodles in Kyoto, Hinode Udon Noodle Restaurant

My favorite Japanese noodle After a thorough survey of noodles in Japan, I am ready to pronounce udon as my personal favorite. Some people favor buckwheat soba noodles – it is said that to make a soba noodle takes a lifetime to learn and thus it is considered somewhat of an art form in Japanese culinary ...


A Brief Guide to the Kichijoji Area of greater Tokyo and Shutters Restaurant

Like Brooklyn is to Manhattan, Kichijoji is to Tokyo – with some damn good spare ribs and octopus! If you want to see real local flavour in an easily accessible Tokyo neighbourhood, take the 15 minute ride to Kichijoji. Kichijoji, in the Western area of Tokyo, is about 5 stops on the express train from Shibuya ...


The Wondrous Store (retail experience) Called Muji, Tokyo, Japan

I want to live a Muji life Actually I first encountered Muji in New York. A creative director at the ad agency I worked at was hoarding Muji notebooks that he bought in London. Being a fan of a minimalist aesthetic, Muji suited me perfectly. But while I love spare design, I am not one of ...


Bello Visto Bar in the Cerulean Tower Hotel, Shibuya, Tokyo

Cocktails with a panoramic view of Tokyo Every big city has one – the high-rise hotel with the sweeping, panaromic view of the skyline. In the case of Tokyo, one of our favourites is the Bello Visto Bar on the 40th floor of the Cerulean Tower Hotel in Shibuya. Have a seat at the bar ...


My Trip to the Ghibli Museum – Mitaka, Tokyo

I hate to throw around phrases like “the Walt Disney of Japan”…but that’s the easiest way to describe Studio Ghibli for those not familiar with the Japanese cartoon studio. Ghibli has impacted not only the anime scene of Japan (a commonly held belief is that the name means that the studio was blowing a new ...


Gaya Organic Izakaya, Shibuya, Tokyo

Organic & macrobiotic…not your average Izakaya Eating healthy is important to me…so when I heard that there was a healthy version of an Izakaya, I was eager to try it. To put this in perspective, an Izakaya is basically a pub serving food to complement the drinking…so in its simplest terms, a bar serving bar food. ...


Good Honest Grub for Brunch – Shibuya, Tokyo

A homey Western-style brunch in the heart of Tokyo I may have mentioned before that breakfast is my favourite meal. So it is no surprise then that breakfast or brunch has become a weekend ritual for me – whether at home or abroad. And while I have had the most magnificent Japanese food while travelling in ...


Yakitori in Shibuya, Tokyo

Tasty grilled meats and veggies on a stick, Japanese-style Seems every culture has its meat on a stick – from Thai moo ping to Turkish shish kabobs, these are always an international favourite. When we were living in Bangkok, it was ubiquitous…grilled chicken, fish balls, and the aforementioned moo ping, grilled pork. But the Japanese raise ...


Neko JaLaLa Cat Café, Akihabara, Tokyo

A café in the heart of Tokyo provides soothing feline therapy When we were looking up wacky and wonderful things to do in Tokyo we learned about the cat cafes. In Tokyo, where flats are more like an American walk-in closet, residents are often not able to keep pets. In fact, the Tokyo lifestyle is such ...


Best Tonkatsu in Tokyo? Maisen in Shibuya-ku

Famous Tonkatsu – or as Paul says, “little fried fluffy pieces of happiness” It’s hard to articulate how excited I am to eat Japanese food in Japan. A lover of it for many years, this is my first opportunity to have super authentic versions prepared by native chefs. The thing I like about Japanese food in ...