Category Archives: Food

Tokyo – Day 11

Saving the best for last. I had a date with Mimi at Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi Hills!

A few months back I decided on going to Jiro’s son Takashi Ono’s Roppongi Hills restaurant instead of Jiro’s in Ginza. Why? Well the news is that Jiro’s in Ginza is all business. You have to learn the right etiquette for eating the sushi otherwise you’ll be frowned upon, and there’s no talking, no photography and you have to be in and out quite quickly too.

Mimi tried so hard to get a booking a month or so ago, and it was looking pretty grim, but on her last attempt to call she got through! Again, just amazing how much luck I’ve got!

I read that Jiro’s son’s restaurant was way more relaxed, and dead set, it was such an amazing experience and the best sashimi and sushi I have ever had in my life. Takashi-san ran us through every dish (was great having Mimi as a translator!). Also noteworthy, they picked up that I was left handed and all my dishes were served left handed (mirror opposite to Mimi’s). We were “mmmming” so much! Heaven, sushi heaven!

The green tea (which was amazing) was topped up constantly throughout the meal.

We opted to go half sashimi, and half sushi for our set menu. First up, delicious flounder fin and clam.

This mackerel was amazing, so next level. Perfect texture. I can’t get over it.

Smoked bonito was a taste explosion. It was had 2 ways, first straight with dipping sauce below.

Dipping sauce for bonito.

Second 2 pieces you used ginger and wrapped it up in a leaf. Amazeballs!

Sole fish.

Squid, so creamy!

Giant clam. It was, for a better word, amazing!

Tuna, this was epic.

And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, fatty tuna, which was just too good and had us both vocally expressing ourselves, and shaking our heads in disbelief.

Sardine, but not at all salty or fishy.

The dishes came up fast, and we were encouraged to eat them (with our hands) as soon as they landed on our plates.

Horse mackerel was one of our fave dishes.

Takashi Ono, second son of the world-famous sushi master, Jiro Ono. Takashi-san spoke to us quite a lot, if Mimi wasn’t with me he probably would not have (he did not speak to the other foreigners much at all but spoke and joked with one of the locals a fair bit).

Never had roe so god. Such amazing popping and bursting with liquid textures.

Prawn for me.

Prawn for Mimi. Chopped off tail, for ladies only!

Urchin, which I don’t usually love, but I loved this. It literally melted in your mouth.

Sea eel, best eel I’ve ever had no doubt!

If you’ve seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the movie, you’d know what goes into this amazing egg dish which finished off our meal.

Chopped in 2 for ladies only!

Takashi-san said ‘thank you’ to me in both Chinese and Indonesian, he see’s a lot of tourists and knows how to say thanks in over 40 languages. He was more than happy to have a small chat afterwards, and also asked if we wanted a photo with him.

With happy bellies, hearts and minds, Mimi and I checked out the Mori Art Museum. This piece was beautiful, black sand pouring out like an hour glass, set to a moody soundtrack.

Taiwan-born artist Lee Mingwei’s show was on and it was the best interactive art show I’ve seen in ages. This piece ‘The Moving Garden’ encouraged visitors to take a flower and then give it to a stranger you pass by on the way home.

I gave my flower to Mimi though, apologies Lee!

Shoes off, we stepped up to a platform littered with tied up wooden boxes.

We were encouraged to open them up and find items of clothing from Lee’s childhood.

Under each lid, stories associated with each piece. Very sweet.

This huge piece on the floor was made by different coloured sand. The audience is dared to walk over the sand painting and deform the image, destroying the crazy man hours involved in making the sand painting in the first place.

Loved this. The audience is encouraged to take their shoes off, enter and write letters that they had always meant to but had never taken time for. You can also read letters people have left, and if you put an address on the envelope the artist will send the letter for you when the exhibition closes.

We then checked out the view from the top, that’s Tokyo Tower in the picture.

Was a beautiful day!

Back down to earth we tried some ice-cream treats from Crème de la Crème.

And bought a drink from the cute ELLE Café next door.

This almond milk drink was such a perfect choice.

We found a place to sit and just and chill, was so great to catch up with Mimi. I’ve missed her terribly (and I’m going to miss her even more when I return home).

Spotted out the front of a carpark in Roppongi Hills.

Later that night. A festival in and around Shinjuku station.

From the highs of Jiro to the absolute low. The Burger King Black Burger just came out in Japan, we had to try it, right?! Visually trippy, but taste wise it was just AOK.

We then hit up HUB British Pub in Shinjuku.

Krysti and I managed to convince a couple of Japanese girls to join our table so that they could practise their English and we could practise our (horrible) Japanese!

It’s a sign! We got pretty tanked in there, and we were the last group left when they kicked us out to close.

New Acquired Taste recruits!

Kiss kiss! Krysti and I, wasted!

We hit the Golden Gai, where anything goes. The Japanese girls were infatuated with Krysti’s boobs! When Krysti gave them the go ahead, they couldn’t keep their hands off!!!

So much grabbing action.

Such epic lols!

Then it was Krysti’s turn to feel their boobs!

Such a rad night out.

Kaori’s tattoo.

Kaori, Miwa and me.

We stumbled back to the hotel, kebabs even!!!

And we went a bit silly on the vending machines to prepare for tomorrow’s nasty hang over! What a night!

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Tokyo – Day 8

We’ve been doing SO much that Tokyo took a toll on us again today, and we slept in until lunch time, but we all managed to get out of bed and catch a train out to Kumagaya to check out the closest Up Garage (since they were shut yesterday).

We got there without issues thanks to Alexi’s directions. A sleepy little suburb with a relaxed vibe. The shop instantly blew us all away. 80% second hand goods and some new stuff too. The seats were really well priced and had us all wishing we had something like this back home.

So many awesome wheels. All reasonably priced too!

Spotted this guy leaving, what a stretch!!!

We got back in time for an epic dinner at Zauo in Shinjuku, a restaurant where you catch your own fish!!! We had a private booth, they serve a set menu (and the freshest most dark red tuna I’ve ever had), unlimited beer, sake and plum wine and when you’re tanked, you can go fishing!

Mimi and I both caught crayfish!

The boys did well with a couple of snapper and a flounder too!

I’m on a boat. Such a mad concept, everyone in there was having a blast!

This snapper came out in a casing of hard salt, which you lit, then broke with a hammer to eat the fish inside. Absolutely delish!

Sake shots for the 2 guys who failed to catch anything, haha!

I told Angelo the eye was the best bit (I lied), so he ate it. I rewarded him with letting him eat the cheek though, which is the best bit!

Matty’s “Aussie Pride” tattoo has bad letter spacing. To me it reads: “P ride”.

I thought I’d fix it.


Crayfish was unreal! Such a mad night, what a great concept, and such great company! A trip to the Golden Gai (again) will see us in bad shape tomorrow morning, but hey! YOLO!!!

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Family Lunch at Red Lantern on Riley

Chef Luke Nguyen and Lely the B’Day girl.

Co-owner of Red Lantern (and Luke’s sister) Pauline Nguyen, Lely and her husband Bernard.

The sisters and Luke (that’s my mum on the far right!).

My relos are always pushing it with the dirty jokes. Their heads are in the gutter I swear! Lely’s pressie, some edible nipple tassels!

Celebrated my Aunt Lely’s B’Day today at Red Lantern on Riley. My family are very used to choosing where to eat, but for the first time I felt like I got a word in and I’m glad I did as they all absolutely loved the food, and the company too as both Luke and Pauline Nguyen were in the house!

My 3rd time eating there now, and I am still in awe of how amazing the food is (yes, the beef, oh my fucking god the beef!!!).

For more info, visit:

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Red Lantern VIP

Yeah you know me!

A while back the Zen crew feasted like Kings at Red Lantern on Riley. The food was mind blowing! We’ve been in touch ever since and we’ve managed to secure a few ZEN GARAGE VIP CARDS to hand out which get you a massive 20% off your meal!!!

What a mad collab! I’m stoked. All orders from our online shop will get a card as of today until they run out!

Check out our review of Red Lantern on Zen Blog.

PS: Could not resist giving the card a spin last night, and had the best catch up with Felix and Di for dinner at Red Lantern on Riley last night. The food was EPIC. The beef, OMFG the beef.

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Sashimi. Can’t resist.

What I came for. Saikyo miso black cod. LOVED the presentation of having the wrapped cedar (which was alight) opened up at the table.

Flesh was so soft, smokey, sweet and delish!

Who isn’t a sucker for crackling?!

Duck dish was great too.

Watch how you pronounce it! Fuku is across from Din Tai Fung at World Square, it’s been there a while, and to be honest, it’s one of those restaurants I’d usually avoid. Not exactly sure why, maybe it’s the way their menu looks (photos, bad layout, a bit cheap), maybe it’s the venue (it’s way too big, the rent must be nuts), maybe it’s the staff (I noted many of them were not Japanese), maybe it’s a combination of things… in any case we ate there last night as I really wanted to try their Akita Sugatayaki, traditional Japanese smoked grill wrapped in cedar wood.

All in all it was a good night, a bit of Sake, a sneaky Margarita, great company and some decent food (but a bit too pricey for what it was IMHO).

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Lao Village

Old school cool, look for the screen door.

Easy like a Sunday morning.

What a feast!

Today Jess took me out West to feast at Lao Village Restaurant in Fairfield. Loved all of it, including the whack decor. Highly recommend!

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Hakata-Maru Ramen


I went for the White Tonkotsu.

Jess went for the Red Tonkotsu.

Jess has a Japanese friend who introduced her and I to Hakata-Maru Ramen last weekend. So good as I’d been craving Ramen for a week! They’re unfortunately located at the Market City Food Court, that aside I went for the White Tonkotsu. The soup was delicious and I absolutely smashed it, so strong eaters will definitely be wanting 2 serves!

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The Sparrow’s Mill

Choices choices. I love KFC!

Winner winner. Smaller pieces than most, super crunchy and not at all greasy.

One of my fave things about eating Korean is the sides, especially the potato noodles. 

Perfect for this cold weather and I have a thing for subtle dishes.

Seafood pancake wasn’t a great choice, bit greasy and of-course the seafood wasn’t fresh.

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Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken



Walked past this hole in the wall on Liverpool Street a week ago and have been craving it ever since. Finally had an opportunity to try it and it didn’t disappoint! Inspired by chicken found at the Taipei night markets the chicken is big, flat, crispy and super tender. What’s more fun is you get a bag when you order it, and when your number’s called out they get you to present your bag so they can just shove the chicken right in!


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Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

Quick service, decent food, great company! First time taking the GF6 out and about and pretty happy with it. Fit in my jacket pocket no worries, better in low light than the GF1 too. Read the manual today and found some pretty nifty functions to control the blurring of stuff in the background, and a few other things.

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