Saturday, November 22, 2014

Did we discover a cat cafe?

We saw this sign in Shinjuku. We should investigate this. I think it's a cafe where you pay to play with cats. My friend told me she went to a place like this when she was in Japan, and my mom saw one featured on a Sunday morning talk show. Themed restaurants are popular in Tokyo. My only concern is how the cats are cared for after business hours. They help the business make a profit, so they are being commodified. Making animals into commodities typically runs against vegan values, but I'd love to play with kitties since we are pet-free in our apartment.
I think this is a business where you can pet cats... #meow

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tsukiji Market - Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

We recently had dinner with an acquaintance from Houston. Her friends told us that we could find dried beans at the Tsukiji Market in Ginza. That was why we went to Ginza. There were a couple booths marked on the market map as selling dried beans, grains, etc. We found one of those booths was open for business. We bought white beans, red kidney beans, and chickpeas. A can of beans is almost $3 here, so buying these dried beans should save us half. I tried to cook the white beans in my Crockpot, but it doesn't heat up here. The electrical currents are different here, but I will use the stovetop method to cook the beans. The market mostly sells fish, but there is a wholesale fruit/veg area during the week. The wholesale areas are closed on Sundays, so we missed out on the wholesale fruit/veg area.
After detouring to see the Buddhist temple, we went to the Tsujiki market. We went to the Tsukiji market for dried beans. ~10 cups of dried beans for $25. Fingers crossed that my Crockpot works in Japan! This spice booth was across from the dried bean booth. It smelled incredible standing in front of all the spices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Buddhist Temple in Ginza

We spend our weekends exploring. Last weekend, we went to Ginza. We saw some tents set up in the distance, so we walked over to check it out. A food truck festival was taking place outside a Buddhist temple. We went inside the temple, as it was open and a greeter told us that we could take photos. The level of detail in the edging was incredible. It was gorgeous in there. I'm glad we took this little detour.
Discovered a Buddhist temple in Ginza. The interior was gorgeous!! Buddhist temple in Ginza. Buddhist temple in Ginza. Buddhist temple in Ginza. Buddhist temple in Ginza. Buddhist temple in Ginza.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Veggie Burgers in Tokyo

We are veggie burger addicts. The dude loves to make a bean and sweet potato recipe at home. We've been sampling some veggie burgers around town. We tried the burger at Hannada Rosso. The texture was great, but we wanted more fries. They also serve vegan desserts, so we got the daily special of peach sorbet. The sorbet was very icy. The Cori truck had a veggie burger as its special last week too. The soy nuggets kept slipping out of the bun, but the fries were well salted with big crystals of salt. I'm a sucker for salt crystals, so that made up for the super messy burger.
Walked to Hannada Rosso for lunch. We wanted twice as many fries, but the vegan burger was good. Peach sorbet at Hannada Rosso. Veggie burger at the Cori vegan food truck. The fries had giant salt crystals. Nom.

Friday, November 14, 2014

VEGAN PANCAKES at Ain Soph - Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

A friend recently tagged me on a blogger's post on facebook. The blogger is on vacation in Asia. When she was in Japan, she posted a photo of vegan pancakes. Based on her other photos, she was in the Roppongi and Shinjuku areas. We're in Shibuya, which is fairly close to those areas. With some internet sleuthing, we discovered the vegan pancakes are at a restaurant called Ain Soph in Shinjuku. We went there for dinner one night. The pancakes are on the dessert menu, rightly so because they are very rich. We took a little bag of donuts to go.
The pancakes at Ain Soph are on the dessert menu. Nom. Ain Soph makes vegan donuts too! We need to try the vegan cheesecakes at Ain Soph next time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Rice Milk Ice Cream - Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

After we enjoyed our lunch, we walked down to the Natural House market. They sell rice milk ice cream by the scoop! Can you believe that?! The dude loves dairy-based ice cream and he has tried several varieties of vegan ice cream with me. He knew I would be excited to find a vegan dessert and it's not too far away to walk there. He picked berry right away. I thought that sounded great. We rarely order the same thing, but the berry flavor (bottom right) looked too good to pass up. I was originally thinking about ordering the chocolate, but that's the power of suggestion!
Vegan ice cream (made from rice milk) at the nearby Natural House market. Vegan ice cream (made from rice milk) at the nearby Natural House market.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Farmers' Market - Aoyama, Tokyo, Japan

We bought these broccoli crackers, which would be perfect for hummus. We can't seem to find hummus in town, but a booth at the market sold tahini. I'll grab some tahini next weekend and make my own hummus. The dude loves grapes, but they are so dang expensive here. That little container in the photo was $6!! We saw a slightly larger package for $10. Wow! We ended up buying some apples for $1 each. That seemed like a real bargain next to the grapes. In general, food is much more expensive here. We bought bananas at the regular grocery store for about 25 cents each. The dude has adjusted to the sticker shock, but I'm still trying to do it. We did buy some fresh baked goods at the farmers' market. I picked out the most amazing English muffin and the dude picked out a banana muffin sprinkled with sesame seeds. I can see that English muffin becoming a weekend tradition for me. I opened the package and the yeast smell was just perfection.
Savory broccoli crackers. Nom. Need hummus stat. Grapes are expensive!! This little sampler box was $6; we saw a similar size package of another grape for $10! These apples were next to the grapes, so I picked a $1 apple for a treat. Vegan English muffins! Fresh made yeasted bread is ah-mazing. The dude got a banana-y muffin topped with sesame seeds.