Saturday 4 April 2009

New URL (Update your bookmarks)

Here is the link to the new site.

Thursday 2 April 2009

It's April yo

Got off the train and decided to go grab a beef bowl. The second I stepped out of the shop it started raining cats and dogs. Worst storm I have seen in a while. And of course I had no umbrella and was a good 10 minute walk from home. I contemplated stealing an umbrella from the nearest Konbini, but I refrained from doing so. There are enough umbrella thieves in this country as it is. I need to be part of the solution, not the problem…

The loud thunder was really scary. I had my curtains drawn and saw explosions of lighting in the sky that left me blinded for seconds. I was wondering if my TV would short circuit, or even worse if the earth was going to blow up eradicating all of mankind…

Despite the storm, I woke up today feeling great. I am not sure whether it is due to me actually getting some sleep this week, or from eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast. But at any rate, the feeling of walking under water is slowly subduing everyday that goes by.

Think I will make an effort to hit the gym this weekend. I busted my ankle in November and haven’t been since. However, they have still been taking like 10,000 out of my account every month LOL… How to hemorrhage money 101, starring Prometheus…

Apart from that not much to report. I looked at the calendar today and realized I got 4/ 1/2 weeks to go till payday… I think for my sanity I better just rip down all calendars that I come into contact with on a daily basis.

But on a happier note I finally downloaded Quantum of Solace in high definition last night. I woke up at around 4:30am today and was going to watch it but decided against it at the last moment. I guess that will give me something to do tonight. I have heard mixed reviews about the film. IT BETTER BE GOOD!!!!

But before viewing I am gonna have to do a little shopping when I get home. Me and my good old pal spaghetti are going to have to get reacquainted.. @_@

I have found myself a nice juicy project to sink my teeth into. Hopefully if things work out, there will be some big changes to this blog.

Until then!

Tuesday 31 March 2009


It has been a crazy few months. One of my buddies came in October for a month, I busted my ankle, had a horrific wisdom tooth extraction, company woes, and my sister and friends came in March.

The schedule and routine I had going in September times is now non-existent. It is time to get it back!!

April is going to be a rough month. I am pretty sure I spent at least 200,000yen this month. I could look at the books to get an exact figure but I am too scared to…

It is payday tomorrow but most of the pay will be gone within a day or two with bills and other things I need to pay. This month I must show the discipline I once had.

First step is a budget. I am going to set myself a weekly budget of 10,000 a week. That means I have to start eating breakfast at home and cooking my lunch. That is what I used to do. But recently I have fallen back into the habit of spending 300yen+ on breakfast every morning and 1000yen+ on lunch at work.

If you do the math then that’s 26,000yen+ a month on food during the week. But wait, that does not include dinner or weekends. If you add those, I am probably spending something ridiculous like 50,000+ on food a month… LOL? I am pretty sure if I tried I should be able to cut that by half… All I need to do is take a little time to go shopping and cook.

I can use the extra money I save to fund my new habit :D

Because of the 10,000yen a week budget I will not be able to live how I am used to. In fact, it is going to be a pretty lame month. I am not looking forward to it at all...

But 2 odd years ago when I first came to Japan on my internship, after rent and bills I probably had less than 10,000 a week to live on every month. However, I still managed to live well and have fun every day.

It is funny how life is.

I wonder what changed…

Thursday 26 March 2009

New Hobby

I am a quarter century. Up until now I never really thought too much about how food tasted. Buy me a box of House Special Chinese Fried Rice and I would be the happiest man in the world.

My experience of dining in the UK was limited to a few local Chinese and Indian restaurants and maybe a few Thai places. I cannot really say I ever dined anywhere memorable or went to a restaurant that made me really feel anything.

Coming to Japan changed that slightly. There is a lot of eating out in this country. I have eaten in many different places and many different types of foods. The best places I have eaten at were mainly at company events. These would be at decent looking places where we would pay about 3000yen (21GBP/30usd) in advance and get a party course. The food was decent but nothing to really write home about, but probably better than anything I had experienced in the UK.

Sky Restaurant was a life changing experience for me. Paying that much for food, eating food that tasted that good, and dining with such a great view and environment has introduced me to a whole new world. The excitement and anticipation of waiting for each dish, wondering how it will be presented and how it would taste was really cool.

That restaurant was hands down the best one I have been to thus far. And to think the food only cost 10,000 yen (70gbp/100usd) and it does not even have any Michelin stars. There are a lot of 1-2 star restaurants in Tokyo and even 9 3-star ones where meals cost upwards of 20,000 yen (140gbp/ 200usd).

I think I might have just opened up Pandora’s box. Because my curiosity has got me wondering how good it can really get.

I now plan to go to somewhere nice once every 1-2 months. The only problem I foresee is finding a few lunatics willing to spend 100-300usd on a meal….

I might have to start up a society of high end diners who are willing to follow me on my quest to taste some of the best cuisine this planet has to offer.

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Sky Restaurants

Yesterday we went to eat at a high end restaurant. It was in an area called Ikebukuro, on the 58th floor of a department store called Sunshine City, at a place called Sky Restaurants. Sky restaurants are made up of three themes Japanese, French and Contemporary. They just opened last week, March 18th.

Why are they called Sky Restaurants? Because they are 210 Meters above ground and have a superb view. Take a look here:

Here is a picture I took of the scenery. I took it with a compact digital camera so I could not really get too good of a photo.

We reserved a table at the Contemporary restaurant at 8PM and ordered the Five Cuisine Course which consisted of:

Fish of the Day
Light appetizer featuring organic vegetables
Meat of the Day

From each course you had a choice of 2-5 dishes.


This was not something you could choose. We received a form of Miso soup. It was bean based and came with a pea inside of it. It tasted ok. It did not have any fancy spices or seasoning inside it. It was just the bean in a mousse form. So it was either you like the taste of the bean or you didn’t.

Appetizer: Assortment of today’s hors d’oeuvre “Jubako Style”

With a choice of 5 appetizers I decided to go with the hors d’oeuvre. Three of the appetizers are within the cost of the course, but the other 2 cost extra money to order. The hor d’oeurve was the most expensive appetizer: P

My food came in a brown closed brown box. The waiter opened it up and there was food on the top and bottom. The presentation of the fish was beautiful. I was also impressed with the taste. It was fresh and seasoned to perfection. This was my 2nd favorite dish of the night.

The Fish: Tuna rare saut with various spices and Korean chilli burnt butter sauce

Ding ding!! And the winner is!!!!!!

This was hands down the best dish of the day. The tuna was so succulent and tasty. Below it was buttered risotto which was the best I have tasted in my life. The chilli sauce, while not hot, gave the tuna the extra zing that it needed. If we were at a cheaper restaurant I would have licked the whole plate. I wish I could have got more of that…

Light appetizer featuring organic vegetables:
Suruga bay sakura shrimp and spring cabbage salad, Chinovinaigrette

This dish was ok. Nothing great. I was expecting some juicy meaty shrimps, but to my disappointment it was tiny deep fried shrimps. They were really crispy and tasted nice. Along with the shrimp was some crispy deep fried seaweed. The shrimp and seaweed were salty and the cabbage was crispy and sweet. I felt that they complemented each other well. Also I have to say I never knew cabbage could ever taste so good.

The Meat: Smoked Lamb roast with bone, flavored with cherry blossom tree and with Kenji tomatoes

I found out last night that I am not too much of a fan of smoked meat. But even still, this was some good lamb. The best I have ever eaten. It was juicy, succulent and rich in taste. The red sauce it came with went really well with the lamb. I should have asked somebody what was in it. The green plant looking thing was also edible. It was thick and crunchy. The tomatoes were just regular baked tomatoes. This was the 3rd best dish I ate.

The Dessert: Fromage ~ selection of cheese with melba with a light honey scented pain d’ epics

With a choice of cheesecake and normal cake I decided to be adventurous and get the expensive cheese. I made a big mistake. It came with 2 crackers which were nice and 4 or so pieces of a gingery cake/bread. I don’t think the cake slices went well with the cheese. I regret ordering this. I should have just got the cheesecake. It was the only bad thing I ate all night.

During the night we were given freshly baked breads and drank different type of wine. I had strawberry plum wine, a sweet wine and some mango juice.

There was also a birthday cake for the birthday girl. Unfortunately we were all too stuffed to even eat it all…

The only bad experience was the floor staff. It was a lot of trouble trying to get someone to take your order. Almost as if they were not paying attention to the people dining. But the chefs were awesome.

Based on the people sitting around us, it seemed like we were the only people eating the course. Across from us was a group of three who ordered one plate of spaghetti between them and drank water all night. I am happy that not only were we able to experience such a nice restaurant, but that we also go to dine like kings. Total damage for the three of us was 30,000yen (208.8328 GBP or 306.499USD) .

In the coming months I plan to visit the remaining two Sky Restaurants. I think I have just found a new expensive hobby. If anybody has any dining recommendations, do drop me a line.


Monday 23 March 2009

Staying OFF topic

To some people size matters, but to others it doesn’t. Size matters to me. In this day and age mine just does not cut it anymore. That’s why I am contemplating buying a bigger one. It seems like only yesterday I bought my 40 inch Full HD 1080 Sony TV. But 6 months down the line and a trip to the electronic store and my TV looks like a joke in comparison to the 50, 60 and 100 inch TVs. And yes this whole paragraph is about TVs and only TVs for anybody getting any weird ideas.

I used to laugh at the people who slept standing up on the rush hour trains. But today I took a note from their book and caught about 15 minutes of sleep on the way to work. Hopefully the 15 minutes of sleep plus the energy drink I bought will stop me from passing out over my keyboard. I am seriously sleep deprived and am once again feeling the walking under water sensation. We hit the town Saturday and got home 7am the next morning. I was awake at 9am for a laughable 2 hours of sleep after being up for 24hours plus and doing miles of walking. I predict my survival rate for today at somewhere around the 35% region.

Went to the airport on Thursday to get my sis. Within 2 minutes of my sister coming through the gate 3 police officers approached us.

Police: Thisssu issu randommu cheekkuu. See passuupootoo.

Funny that they just so happen to stop the only two black people in the airport and call it random. Especially since they did not stop anybody else before or after us. I think that the police just might need to check their random inspection algorithm (steps used to generate a random value) to see if it is working properly. We hit my place, went for ramen and had a sushi dinner. Next day was museums at Ueno, shopping at OIOI and dinner with friends at an izakaya (Japanese style restaurant). Saturday was a trip to Asakusa (temples) and Akihabara (electronics town) followed by some partying in Roppongi. Sunday was mainly down time. Everybody (except me) was down for the count and woke up around 3ish. We went to Ebisu for dinner. Tonight will be a big treat. But it is a secret. I will tell you guys about it soon.

Wednesday 18 March 2009


Do you ever do it? I do it sometimes. In fact I was doing it just the other day. Do you like music? I like music. You know, no music no life. I suppose I am first and foremost no PC no life, followed by no music no life.

So where was I going with this? I remember now. Do you ever just put on an album, go to a song you like, press the repeat button and listen to it like 100 times in a row?

I dunno maybe it is just weird little me that does it. But there is something weird about listening to the same thing over and over. It is like it does something to your brain. Like take the word “The”. Try and say it 20 times in a row and tell me if the word “The” still sounds like the word “The” or if it sounds completely different. Why is that? Any experts on the human language have an answer for me on this one?

But anyway forget about that gibberish. One more hour and work is officially finished for the day (although obviously I never actually leave at 5). Tomorrow is my Narita mission, followed by a much needed national holiday on Friday.

Work has been somewhat fun the past few days. I started a project using my own initiative and it started off pretty interesting. But after two days I am bored of it : (
Made me realize how fast time flies when you actually concentrate on real work…

But yeah I am pretty happy about my pending delivery. The stuff is slightly expensive, but THIS IS JAPAN. Nothing you can really do about it I guess. Thanks to Sixmats for telling me about this website:

The Flying Pig

It should come Sunday morning. All I need now is some good milk and I am in for a fun Sunday.

And I don’t think I ever thanked Brassfoot for making the banner for my blog. Thank you sir you have the skillz to pay the billz.

One last thing though. I needed some help with something. Anybody know any cool uncommon tourist attractions (in Tokyo), or really good specialty food places? Any help much appreciated.