December 15, 2010: Tokyo Travel Day #9! Jelly update! Kondo! Shibuya!
While here in Tokyo, I’ve been checking in with my dogsitter, Christine, who has been taking care of the pooches while I’ve been away. Today, I received the following update on the gang and a post-operative Jelly in particular:
“We are doing great. Jelly is recovering very well, today she was very happy to go out and sniff everything and I think she is starting to feel more herself again. Of course she is still on pain medication, but I haven’t had to give her any of the additional pain drugs they gave me at the vet clinic. We are doing leg massages and some exercises a few times a day.
She certainly has a good appetite, I have cut her food down to 1.5 pucks per meal and I’ve been giving her a little bit of pumpkin puree to help with her bowel movements. I will probably take her in to the vet on Wednesday when I take Max for the check up. I will be able to get her on the scale there and see if she has already lost some weight. It is going to help her a lot in her recovery.
I’ve attached two pictures. I gotta say, Jelly is such a trooper, I just love her to pieces:)
The rest of the gang is doing very well, loving all their walks and attention they get. Of course, Lulu always has to be the tough girl when it comes to other dogs…”
Jelly's wicked scar
One of my aims over the course of this two-week trip is to introduce Ivon to a wide variety of Japanese foods. On our first night in, we did teppanyaki and he sampled kobe beef for the first time. Since then, we’ve covered sushi, ramen, yakiniku, yakitori, and izakaya. Last night, we did tempura.
We went to one of the higher-end tempura restaurants - Kondo in Ginza - where we were seated at a counter in order to encourage our chef in the fine art of batter-frying.
Our first appetizer was a raw green onion and some sort of bean. The onion was pretty damn raw.
Our second appetizer was a foursome of ankimo (monkfish liver), giant sea snail, rabe, and hirame sashimi. Ivon was horrified by the size of the sea snail, but ate it regardless. It would be the first of several horrors for him on this night.
Yuba. What Keiko refers to as tofu in its purest form. And, might I add, most delicious form. Of everything I had on this night, this was my favorite.
Ivon didn't quite know what to make of these flash fried prawn heads - when they were served and even after he'd eaten them. I loved their crispy texture and flavor.
And the rest of the prawn. This was more up Ivon's alley.
In addition to asparagus and onion, we were also served this tempura staple: the renkon (lotus root). Another favorite of mine.
We were served several types of white fish, all lightly battered before being flash-fried in sesame oil.
I ordered this terrific little item a la carte: sea urchin wrapped in shiso, then flash fried. I hesitated to pop it whole into my mouth but Ivon assured me it wasn't that bad. Then, once I'd put it in my mouth and bit into it, releasing its molten hot contents, Ivon added: "Sucker!"
Crispy sea eel. Sadly, we don't get a lot of sea eel (anago) in North America. Unagi (freshwater eel) is more of a sushi staple back home.
I got my revenge on Ivon later in the meal when I ordered this. When he asked what it was, I told him it was cod. And it is cod. Just - a specific part of the cod. Shirako. Look it up. Or check out the video.
Heh heh. Makes me sorry I’m not traveling with Carl too.
Tasty sweet potato tempura. The crispy skin is the best part!
We capped off our meal with a great kashiage made up of tiny scallops, prawn, veggies, and flash-fried batter.
Ivon and I tried to walk off dinner by walking around Ginza and, when that didn’t seem to be working, tried to burn it off with a few drinks at – where else? – Star Bar. We allowed Kishi-san to call the shots on this night.
My Grasshopper. I'm not a big fan of mint, but this was a nice drink, reminiscent of those After Eight chocolates my mom used to love.
I was presented with the line-up of elixirs that went into the special drink Kishi-san prepared for especially for me.
I believe it was called a Kannon Cocktail (although cannon - as in all the firepower of a cannon - would've been just as appropriate). It packed one helluva punch.
But the drink of the night was this delectable concoction - essentially at gin and tonic with fresh pear juice.
The Master of Ceremonies - Kishi Hisashi
The following morning, I awoke as dehydrated and dizzy as usual – but at least I had a good reason for feeling hung over on this day. I WAS! Fortunately, I knew the perfect hangover remedy…
We checked out the Tsukiji Market in passing…
Ivon says: "Get me more of that shirako!"
Check out the crab line-up!
Abalone and giant sea snails!
Then we hopped on the Ginza line and headed over to Shibuya. At the immense station, we stopped of Decadence de Chocolat where I purchased the best pistachio macaron I’ve had on this trip (sorry, Pierre Herme). Then, we headed out and snapped a pic of Hachiko –
In memory of Hachiko, a dog so loyal that he continued to come to the station to welcome his master back home, even years after his master had passed away.
Hey, check it out! Bump of Chicken has a new album out!
And so does Flumpool!
Check out this tacky thing. And the gaudy piece of art he's standing in front of.
I was going to take the Tron bike for a spin but realized too late it was already occupied. Hey, buddy, get off my back! Sorry.
Sound Horizon's costumes were on display. Wonder how Ivon would react if I came down to dinner wearing that center number.
Awesome Shibuya fashion
Walking the streets of Shibuya
Two rainy days in a row, but Wednesday promises to be brighter…