No, I haven’t tracked down Pepsi Cucumber yet but I assure you I’ve tried and will continue to keep looking.  In the meantime, here are a couple of other interesting items I aim to sample while I’m here…

R Burger. My eyes were immediately drawn to the unaturally whiter than white the buns. WTF? According to Sachi, those pasty-whites are chock full of collagen and all sorts of goodlies. Yum. Yep, all of your favorites are here: cheese, margerita, and, over on the right, caramel.

I swung by the Mori Art Museum yesterday, but the next exhibition doesn’t begin for a few days.  Not sure what it is exactly, but I found this sneak preview intriguing…

Anyway, where did I leave off yesterday…oh, yeah, 5:00 p.m. and ready for bed.  See, the problem is by the time I update my blog, it’s around midnight and, as much as I want to sleep in past eight a.m., my body simply won’t allow it.  Well, it can be stubborn.  But so can I!  Let’s see who gives in first!

My dining companion last night was my friend Kay who I dined with on my last trip to Tokyo (see my visit to Kanda, last year).  Between the last time I saw her and this visit, Kay has discovered something called Adventure Racing that sounds like just the thing I could get into – provided I was someone completely different – mountain biking extravaganzas that can last anywhere from eight hour jaunts to the thirty-six hour marathons.  Needless to say, that kind of exercise works up a healthy appetite, so Kay was the perfect person to invite out to Aroma Fresca, one of Tokyo’s premiere Italian restos.  The night went something like this…

It's a second floor restaurant, Miami white with lots of glass, windows looking out onto a garden on one side and the street below. A clean but very relaxed atmosphere.
Kay raises a glass to mountain biking and Italian food.
Look at the size of this truffle! You could play baseball with it - AND eat the pop fly.
We started with a lovely little amuse - eel topped with caviar topped with a crisped apple puree.
Our man Junji offers to take our picutre. I continue my streak of consecutive photos ruined.
Our next dish was a terrific swordfish carpaccio with fresh tomato.
Stupid-fantastic is not a word I bandy about, but I'm going to make use of it here to describe this dish. On the left, steamed snow crab On the right, a beet souffle. Up front, a spoonful of crab liver. Pop the souffle top, stir in the liver, and enjoy.
A fine cold porcini soup with abalone. I wondered what it would have been like warm.
Risotto of Seafood Aroma Fresca Style. Those crispy pieces of prawn were a perfect textural compliment to the risotto. And damn tasty to boot.
A butterlicious pasta topped with shaved white truffle. It's only been one night but I already miss this dish.
If it's one thing the Japanese do well, it's fish in all its variations. In this case, a wonderful crispy-topped, charcoal grilled rock fish sitting atop some crispy-topped potatoes.
This little palate cleanser was like a kick in the head, an uber-tart mix of lemon, grapefruit, and passion fruit.
The main event, what was described as a Charcoal Scorch of Wild Duck. From 11:00 clockwise: the leg, heart, liver, neck, and breast. It was all great although, given the amount of meat on it, the leg was really more of an adornment. On the other hand, the liver was a revelation!
A selection of teas
Dessert #1: the apple mille-feuille.
A better view
Dessert #2: A mango and grapefruit pudding. Kay said it was fantastic. I take her word for it.
Dessert #3: More my style. Chocolate and ice cream.
When we headed downstairs and met the maestro of the Aroma Fresca kitchen, Chef Shinji Harada.
Our man Junji sees us off.

Another great meal made memorable by the quality and execution of the dishes, the pleasant atmosphere, and the courteous service.  If you do go and Junji ends up waiting your table, be sure to practice your French with him.

Holy smokes!  I’m falling behind.  Today’s rundown will have to wait until tomorrow – lunch with a delightfully friendly sushi chef, a James Bond-level dinner, and a trip to Tokyo Big Sight to take in the final day of an exhibition.  An exhibition of what exactly?  Well, you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out.  BUT, I’ll give you a couple of hints…

51 thoughts on “November 27, 2009: Toko Travel Day #3 – No Pepsi Cucumber, Coke! Aroma Fresca! A Sneak Peek at Tomorrow’s Gear-eat Entry!

  1. Pepsi cucumber is that cucumber flavoured Pepsi or a type of cucumber??

    The desserts look so delicious – do they deliver?

    I am enjoying your culinary escapades. The food looks so artistically presented.

    Hope the hounds are not missing you too much.


  2. Check yer date, Joe.

    Gah…it all looks and sounds delish! And to think, last night I had leftover Chinese take-out. 😛

    Mom’s making a big dinner tonight, but as with last night, Mr. Das has to work. He really wants to get out of the hospitality industry, just so he doesn’t have to work when everyone else is off on holiday. But around here he doesn’t have much choice. Oh well, such is life.

    Enjoy, Joe! And you’re as cute as ever in your pictures…don’t put yourself down. (That’s MY job! 😀 )


  3. Thanks for fighting your body and staying up late to post your adventures and all these wonderful pictures. You’re a real trooper! How’s your Japanese going? Said anything you shouldn’t have yet?

  4. The presentation of the foods is wow. Thank you for posting and finding time in your hectic and fun schedule. Pasta and truffle looks sooo good and I can taste that apple dish and the ice cream and I could go on, but I won’t , thanks for sharing, going on a diet now, oh wait, your trips not over yet, so I will wait for the diet stuff. Keep enjoying and having fun, the last picture of you, you can hardly see the jet lag in your eyes. Always a good picture of you, and your friends.

  5. Are you going to see Robot Wars?? that would be so cool, because the Japanese always have cool robots!! It would be like mecha-godzilla vs robo-norris.

  6. Oh nooooooo,just discovered that the mid-season finale will be on Dec 4th….Who needs a James Bond Movie Marathon 🙁

  7. Just another quickie as I run in, and out…

    I LOVE Mori Art Museum preview!! 😆 Fantastic! However, from the shoulders up Wonder Woman kinda looks like Chris H. in New Moon

    Chris, of course…is hotter. 🙂

    And no…haven’t seen the movie yet. Not in the mood to sit in a nest of squeeing fangirls for two hours. 🙄


  8. If the exhibition opens in a few days, pretty please stop by and check it out before heading home. The preview definitely piqued my curiosity.
    All the dishes you showed once again seem impossibly delicious. Besides catching up on your postings, you will have a fun time trying to get any sort of rankings done, I suspect. And do rest assured we are analyzing all the photos to detect every milligram of weight gain you incur on this trip. And already you’ve dropped metioning your morning workouts….oversight, lack of time, or a decision to use that time for other purposes? Inquiring minds and all that….thanks as always for taking the time to share your adventures with us.

  9. Awesome blog today Joe. To what do you attribute your love and appreciation of gourmet food? How is Fondy enjoying her peace and quiet?

  10. Petit passage avant mon absence….

    MERCI de nous faire partager tout cela on s’y croirait :). En plus vous êtes trés séduisant sur les photos, comme toujour…Joseph a la class!!!

    Bon week end!

  11. Joe, you are having way too much fun.
    Thanks for the videos, the fluidity of the movements on those robots in the first video – wow!!! Be safe.

  12. I just wanted to let those of you who have been following know that Emma didn’t wake up yesterday. The night before, she watched her Barney videos, drank some milk, and told us she was ready for bed. In the morning it was obvious she wasn’t going to wake up, and after a while she just stopped breathing. It was very peaceful.

  13. Last three days, amazing art. And then you ate it. Glad you’re enjoying.

  14. Huh, my response from day #2 must have gone missing LOL Oh well.

    Pepsi Cucumber? I’m with susan, what is it? And the desserts do look way too yummy.

  15. Hi Joe,

    Catching up on the blog after hiding offline for several days, trying to knock out dissertation chapters.

    While catching up I found this: Nope, I’m actually better off without those scribbles to confuse the issue.

    Nope…you just need a handy note-taker. I volunteer. [grin]

    And, I’m sure you’ve addressed this but I seem to have missed it…why is it you go to Tokyo every year? Yes, for vacation, I realize, but…why Tokyo?

    Nothing against the place, just curious.


  16. Just feld I should pass on my father just died. I want to thank everyone again for their support especially Joe for your dedication, Thank you all very much. 🙂

  17. I can honestly say I never encountered an inedible dessert in Japan, although what I got wasn’t always what I thought I’d ordered…

  18. I didn’t know that crabs have a liver. And that’s a pretty darn big liver at that! Who knew!

    Will you have time to check out the newest technological thing-a-ma-jigs that Canada will likely get to experience in 10 years?


  19. @ Crazymom – I am so sorry to hear about Emma. I am also glad to hear that her passing was so peaceful. That is the most you can hope for since Euthanasia, I found, was not a peaceful process. Please feel free to grieve. Our culture is just starting to realize that pets are as much family as are people.


  20. @Angulus

    Sad to hear about your father. My condolence to your and your family.

  21. Oh crazymom1

    I am so, so sorry. Your news started me crying. All of Emma’s family and friends are in my prayers during this very sad and difficult time. May you feel God’s peace as he wraps his arms around each of you. Too young…

    Then Angelus

    So very sorry about your father. I will also remember you and your family in my prayers. Such saddness during what should be a joyous time of year.

  22. @crazymom1 Please know prayers are sent for you, your family and dear Emma. Rest assured, she knew she was loved… heartfelt condolences.

    @ AngelusPeace to you and your family on the passing of your father. More prayers are sent…
    You are too kind to post all these wonderful photo-journalistic adventures for us Joe, much thanks! Keep ’em com’in!

    I had to work today and spent many a free moment thinking about STARGATE FRIDAY YES-S-S! woo-hoo!

    And thanks to whomever here mentioned buying Brother Cadfael DVD Master box set. I loved that series with Derek Jacobi and never knew they made the DVD’s. Guess who else has their own shiny new boxed set… woo-hoo!

    Take care all,

  23. glad that you’re on the hunt for cucumber pepsi & green tea coke. now i can tell my brother & he can stop bugging me and i can stop bugging you.

    i’m with Pol, why tokyo? have you considered going to other cities in japan?

  24. ARG-G-G-G-H-H-H!!! James Bond?!? Casino Royale? UGH-H-H…

    **sniffle** no Stargate Friday tonight…crap.

    Oh well, I have my Brother Cadfael afterall.


  25. Sympathies and condolences to Crazymom and Angelus. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make this difficult time a little easier.

  26. Really enjoying the gastronomic travelogue, Joe. Some of those dishes look amazing.

  27. @Crazymom1, My thoughts and prayers are with you, Please tell her parents alot of people are thinking of them. Sorry it was on a holiday, hopefully there will be a day that this won’t be thought of with tears, but with love. Sheryl

  28. Angelus: So sorry about your dad.

    Crazymom1: Also, sorry for your loss as well. Prayers going to both of you.


  29. @crazymom1: I’m very sorry about Emma, but I’m glad that had a peaceful end at home with family around her.

    @angelus: I’m sorry to hear about your father’s death.

    Both of you and your families are in my thoughts and prayers.

  30. @ Crazymom1. Words seem so inadequate sometimes yet they are all we have, I will remember you all in my prayers.

  31. I have come to the realization that with you being the executive producer of several television series, you have the financial ability to go to these places to eat this kind of food. I would need years of hard work and personal success to be at that level. Note that I do not covet your purse, rather I envy your lifetime of achievements. Well, you are eating very good food, and it looks wonderful.

  32. Oh, geez…

    @ Angulus & crazymom1 So very, very sorry about both of your losses…just too sad. 🙁 There really are no words…


  33. Heya Joe,
    You are one of the most photogenic people I know – so don’t be selling yourself short.
    Love when you get into the pix.
    As have others, gained at least 10 lbs from the infusion from the food picture gallery. YUMMM.

  34. That looks like the beginning of a Cylon takeover (or the Matrix, Terminator, I-Robot, etc.). First the robots are dancing and they play all cute; next they want exterminate you.

    SGU is eliciting some strange behavior from me — second show (Air, Part 3) I got put in Twitter jail for overtweeting more than 100 messages in an hour. This week someone let us know that the BluRay version of SGU was going to have more extra features on it than the regular one; so we purchased a BluRay player today that will arrive soon. I vowed that I would never purchase a BluRay player—ever—but the thought of not seeing any possible thing on SGU out there may be crazy.

    Sounds like you are having a blast. Thanks for the pictures and videos.

  35. Heya, and thanks for all the lovely updates. I know you a pro eater, its hard to miss. But is there any chance you can share what kind of budget you have for these marathon meals? Or what one of those typical 8 course dinners cost?

    Anyway keep it up!

    Stockholm , Sweden

  36. Update on my Sears saga: The parts (second shipping, let’s hope they ordered the right ones this time) came in on Nov 18 as promised; however, they couldn’t get out until Nov 28th. Let’s hope it gets fixed. Almost 2 months is quite ridiculous. You’d think they’d offer me a gift card or something for the inconvenience.

    Typo also in previous comment “made me crazy” not “may be crazy.” That is my signal it is time for bed. It’s 1:15 a.m. here on Sat.

  37. Aaaaaaand…

    I just got back from the hospital – Dad (who turned 80 on the 27th) had a spell. He felt sicky in the morning, mom thought he was coming down with something, so he stayed upstairs all day while she had her dinner party. After everyone left, she went up to bed and dad wasn’t doing well at all. Now – my dad is still sharp as a tack and running a business, even going out once in a while on jobs – but he’s not in the best of health. Their house is old with this winding staircase that’s like in a tunnel – almost like a spiral staircase in a closet. Needless to say, they had one hell of a time getting dad down the stairs (they almost had to take him out the window in a bucket [fire]truck). Well…long story short, they decided to keep him at the hospital, though he’s doing much better than before. Not sure if it’s his lungs or heart, but whatever it is, he might have a touch of pneumonia on top of it.

    And just to give you an idea of how pop was when we left, he was referring to a heavyset doctor as a ‘chubby’, and telling the (thin) nurses that he wasn’t sure he was in the right hospital, since every time he’s been there in the past all the nurses have been fat. And this from a man who’s no lightweight himself. 🙄 Pot calling the kettle black, and all of that. Dad is a cross between Archie Bunker, and Fred Flintstone/Ralph Kramden – loud, short-tempered, politically incorrect, and yet somewhat jovial.

    And yet, people love dad to pieces…kinda like how Kitty Pryde loves that gruff ol’ Wolverine. Heck, that might even be why I love Wolverine – I’ve been around that sort of personality all my life.

    Anyway – you may be wondering why I’m typing this instead of sleeping, considering that I’ve been up for 21 hours without a nap. I think it’s called adrenaline. 😛 I really must try to get some sleep…


  38. Did you eat all those food?. Damn.

    Hope you get new ideas from this trip and fix SGU next season if it is not cancelled already.

  39. Deepest sympathy to Angelus and crazymom1; empathizing with Das re her dad. Prayers said for all.

  40. Aroma Fresca was FANTASTIC… and I ate too much!! We were both in a food comma after the dinner lol Walk to the train station..? Yea right lol 🙂

    It was great catching up with you. And thank you so so much for having me at your food adventure! (I am sorry I have been crazy busy at work and hadn’t even sent you a thank you note.. no time to even work out!!)

    I’d be happy to catch up with my Cold Stone Ice Cream mate before you leave… 🙂

    Enjoy the rainy day!


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