Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tokyo Journey: Onigiri & Sweet Paradise

This post will be the start of the series of the Pancakes culinary adventure in Tokyo, Hakone and Yokohama where we went for one of our honeymoon(s) in December 2009. Mr ねい just went over for his two years course in Sep 09 and Mr Pancakes' cousin is (reportedly) ending her employment there soon so which is why the Pancakes decided to visit Japan again. Plus we enjoyed ourselves so much during the 2007 trip. This time though we were on OTOT or F&E which allowed us to decide where to eat.

Well, with much anticipation and excitement, the first day was quite a (culinary) disaster, plus Mrs Pancakes dropped her camera. Lucky we had Mr Chocolate Chips LX3 with us. If not this trip would not had been so well documented. (we took 2000+ photos over 10 days?)

Missing out on the onigiri (おにぎり) while on the Narita Express and super craving for food led us to visit this shop along Aoyoma-dori. We were walking from Harajuka to Shibuya. We were like only 5 minutes away from Shibuya. And this is where we suspect Mrs Pancakes dropped her camera. Business was brisk at 7pm, and we ordered the tuna-mayo (4/5) onigiri. It was warm (and comforting for the cold weather) and a very nice pre-dinner treat indeed for the Pancakes. It cost JPY150 or there abouts. There are various other fillings but all were in Japanese. We just pointed to what we wanted could recognised.

This is the plastic bag given by the shop if it helps. We take-out because we were meeting Mr ねい and his parents for dinner. You can sit in to eat in the shop too. It says omusubi on the plastic bag which essentially means Japanese rice balls or onigiri.

After the discovery of the loss of camera and searching in vain for it, we finally met up with Mr ねい and his parents. The initial plan was to eat at Midori at Shibuya but since the parents don't really take raw fish, we decided to go to Sweet Paradise, after seaching for recommendations on a website. The cousin was to meet us but decided not to when we told her of our new plans. (which we will find out why later in the evening.)

Sweet Paradise serves a spread of buffet at JPY1480 per pax and each is given 90mins to enjoy the buffet. However the ticket shown above showed otherwise. We arrived at 20:10 and suppose to end dinner at 21:23(?) as indicated on the ticket. Not sure why but we did not ask as the waiting staff do not speak English.

The spread was decent with the salad bar the most outstanding. It was well stocked with all the Japanese veggies that you had ever seen with cherry tomatoes and corn nibblets. And of course the 8 kinds of salad dressings, ranging from the normal western ones (caesar, thousand island...) and the Japanese ones (sesame, yuzu...) (3.25/5). Mr Pancakes loves the sesame dressing.

The mains were however disappointing. There were some pasta and baked stuff, very italian but with Japanese influence. It did not suit Mr Pancakes palate at all. The best dish had to be the curry (with no meat) and Japanese rice (3.25/5) which Mr Pancakes had several servings of to satisfy the growling stomach.

The dessert bar had a very wide spread but were generally disappointing and Mr Pancakes did not even bother to take pictures of. And this is why the cousin pulled out. (without warning us!). With the kind of price we paid, we could had dined at somewhere which may not had served free flow food but definitely better food as we found out along our trip.

But to be fair, the Sweet Paradise chain is catered for youngsters (we were the oldest there, the rest of the customers were mainly teenagers of 14-15 years old).

Definitely a no-return if you are on a culinary adventure.

Sweet Paradise
Various outlets.

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