Japan: Food for the tummy and prayers for the soul

Places to eat

I’m not good at food reviews but bear with me. As per last Tokyo post, this is not in chronological order or ‘most favourite’ order.

1. Shinjuku Gyon Ramen ouka

The good bits: Halal, punchy with flavour, yummy food. M got the wagyu ramen which cost a bomb but was well yummy.

The downside: Pricey and long waiting time. We waited about half hour which to Zayan’s hangry mood is super long time. He did finish everything on his place – the humongous chicken pop stick, ramen noodles, rice, miso soup, boiled egg and even the broccoli and corn. So it must have been worth it.

Also word of warning: there are levels of spiciness. We chose 4 and was SO spicy (she said malaysians usually chose 3, I dont know why we chose above it especially me yang inda tahan panas!). It was burning sampai inda tahan makan – yet we went for more – that I asked to change to non spicy broth. Even M who can taha spicy food found it too much. So next time just choose level less than 3.

2. Hanasakaji-san

The good bits: Fairly quick service. Nice ambience. Ok if you want to try halal shabu shabu style, but guessing it’s standard ‘nyaman’.

The downside: The broth was not as flavoursome as I would like – read: tawar sikit. We finished all the food though HAAA.

3. Asakusa sushi-ken

The good bits: Halal, so can eat the meat yesss. Good sushi. Like mouth watering good sushi. And the meat meal I had – so tender I want to cry (lots of things in Japan that made me want to cry though). Clean and fairly quick service. Even have prayer room above it.

The downside: No downside.

4. Food court at a mall near Ueno Park

The goodside: Standard pasta (tomato and broccoli) and marinara pizza. Cheap.

Downside: Just standard food.

Note: Carry around with you bottled water or buy from 7-11 or family mart. Way cheaper than buying from these food courts.

5. Restaurant at Hakone Onsen

Sat on the floor, so mesti buka kasut. I quite approve this Japanese obsession of taking off shoes. #cleanfloors

Different menu to the usual japanese food. More traditional. Tried yam puree (ech), fish cake and diced tuna (sashimi, you can never go wrong with sashimi).

Kids ate the soba noodles and caned it. Mumtathil had the grilled unagi rice set.

Good bits: Cheaper than most of our meals so far. Noodles and rice were good.

Downside: The fish cake tasted like crabsticks with similar texture – this is not cake! Not a fan of some of the side dishes but at least I can say I’ve gone out of my comfort zone.

6. Tempura Tenfusa, Tsukiji Fish Market

So crispy! Best breakfast/brunch ever.

Zayan being patient and thinking why he has to wait everytime before he can start eating.

Five star reviews for the food!!

Everyone (on tripadvisor and travel blogs) was saying to eat the fresh sushi there but some recommended avoiding the long queue and trying less-sought after establishments. Came across Tempura Tenfusa on tripadvisor and can now join the throngs of good reviews there. There are only 12 seats so we had to wait around 15-20 minutes. There’s only three things in the menu (all seafood) but the two that we tried were so good. Crispy light batter, not greasy at all. Kampung hawker style seating (but inside). Was so good though, we were the only foreigners there so it must be good. And there was never an empty seat and constant people queuing outside.

Downside: Some waiting time but not that long.

7. Fresh sushi and sashimi in Tsukiji Fish Market

Take away saja, cheap sushi. So fresh and tender I want to cry.

8. Gyumon bbq beef

This was fun and the dipping sauce was yummy. Zayan wanted to eat all the meat/chicken. Slightly pricy but maybe because it’s halal meat? Was well worth it though.

9. Couldnt catch the name of this Kyoto resurant because it was all in Japanese.

Not halal so went for the seafood option. For me – Sashimi with rice and along with it the biggest, juciest salmonroe.

Ok I’m bored now. Here’s the list of halal places we also came across:

– Halal Restaurant in Arashiyama – cant remember name but they have kids set too. And there was a lot in kids set! Potato wedges, rice, noodles, fried chix.

– Osaka Ramen – slightly salty ramen but the kids ate chicken rice which was nice.

– Kenny Asia in Osaka – after a week or so of Japanese food, it was heaven sent to see a malaysian restaurant. Its like OMG I MISS YOU SAMBAL AND KARI! I coughed with the spiciness of ikan asam kari but maybe it was because I have gotten used to the more soy and miso based dishes in Japan.

Places to pray

Surpisingly not that difficult to find in Japan. Or maybe Allah made it easy for those who tries to find a way to pray. Anyway there is a place to pray in all the major tourist places, here are the areas in case you are near them (when you have kids, you dont want to walk more/backtrack).

1. Noa Dougenzuka, Shibuya – This looks like an apartment complex and there is a room rented out at 11th floor that has been modified to be a prayer room.

2. Prayer room above the Asakusa sushi ken. Asked the waiter if there is prayer area but he said no (not sure if he really understood). When we went to the toilets upstairs, I saw a guy who looked like he just ambil wudhu and looked Malaysian. Spoke in malay and he showed me the prayer room close to the toilets.

3. Prayer room in Takashimaya Times square complex, Shinjuku

This looked like a posh shopping complex and the room is SO nice. Like I just wanna sit there all day. Plus you can stalk for hours at the food hall at basement.

4. Tokyo Station prayer room

5. Osaka Station prayer room

6. Prayer room in OIOI shopping complex, Kyoto 

Just some more food pics…

Their strawberries are expensive but oh so sweet!

Krispy Kreme

From L-R: Cookies and cream, One with cream cheese filling and the kawaii one with melon filling

Do buy a cute lunch box and make your own meal. Here is the ready made noodle (plain) with some soy dipping sauce. Go to the abundant small supermarket to get such things – its all in Japenese though. So we just had to choose the most plain looking (nada inti inti) one.

Also go to the bigger shopping complex – a lot of the big train/metro stations have a shopping complex attached to it. We came across Daimaru and Toby – Daimaru’s basement have the most mouth watering desserts and bakery. Usually cheaper than the more upmarket cafes.

Breakfast for us consists of food from bakery or buying bakery from the FoodMart (small supermarket). They’re not into brunches/eggs and toast very much here!

Ok thats it from me. Enjoy the pics x

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