Metropolis Magazine
Issue #805 - Friday, Aug 28th, 2009
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Body & Soul
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Cars & Bikes
Global Village
The Last Word
The Negi
+ Best of Tokyo
Haikyo Corner
Out & About
Japan Beat
Live Report
Pop Life
2008 Flashback
Stage & Dance
Metropolis League
Theater Maps
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
International Dining
Local Flavors
Table Talk
About Us
Distribution Points
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Past Issues
801: Cooking the Books
Metropolis rounds up the latest culinary-themed titles to hit stores in Japan
796: The Great Indoors
Escape the summer heat at these matsuri-inspired food courts
792: Spring slurping
Head to these classic restaurants to enjoy the city's best soba
791: Digital Bites
Meet the young blogger-chefs who are electrifying Japan's dining scene
786: Chinggis Han
Get stuffed, drunk and semi-nude at Tokyo's liveliest Mongolian restaurant. Then get ready to rumble
785: The Inside Story
Have an offal meal at Tokyo's top "hormone" restaurants
784: County Fare
Sample regional Japanese specialties at Tokyo's "antenna" shops
779: Snack time
Get your fill of traditional Japanese treats at Tokyo's best-loved snack shops
776: Stocking Your Kitchen
775: Sweets for the Sweet
Make a delicious impression on Valentine's Day with a gift from Tokyo's top chocolatiers
774: Hidden Menus
Discover "secret" dishes with our under-the-table restaurant guide
769: Meet the odens
A beginner's guide to Japan's favorite hotpot family
767: Holiday Spirits
Metropolis' drink experts pass along their seasonal recommendations
761: The Brunch Bunch
Ease into your weekend with an indulgent midday meal
759: Seafood for Fall
Enjoy the abundance of autumn with simple fish recipes
756: Lunch to go
Fuel up for your next train journey with an ekiben lunch box
751: Tsukemono
Keep cool with a refreshing array of Japanese-style pickles
748: One-stop Dining
A bevy of new restaurant complexes satisfy all tastes and budgets
745: Dashi
Open up new culinary vistas by mastering this basic Japanese recipe
744: RazzleBerry
A hip new frozen yogurt retailer hopes to be Japan's next big thing
735: At your service
From butlers to cats to "little sisters," Tokyo's offbeat cafs serve up a lot more than tea
733: Takikomigohan
Discover the flavors of spring with this all-in-one rice dish
732: Get Cooking
Enjoy traditional Japanese pub food-at home-with this trio of recipes
728: Thank You For Smoking
Light up and chill out at Tokyo's top cigar bars
726: The Joy of Soy
The choices go well beyond silken or firm at Tokyo's top tofu restaurants
724: Ivan Orkin
A foreigner enters the competitive world of Tokyo dining-and comes out on top
720: Pot of Wonder
A bubbling cauldron of nabe is sure to banish the winter blues
717: Year of the Woman
A sisterhood of culinary superstars broke loose in 2007
712: Understanding Shochu
Kick back and relax with the drink that's all the rage
710: Dining In
Comfort food is just a phone call away with Tokyo's foreigner-friendly delivery services
702: Snack time
Trendy Tokyoites are rediscovering their childhood love of dagashi
700: Inside the box
Pack your lunch in style with these recipes for a perfect bento
699: The Fifth Element
Revolutionize the way you eat by adding umami to your meals
688: Miso Magic
This essential Japanese food is about more than just soup
685: Green Scene
Vegan eateries are sprouting up all over the city
682: Shop Talk
Surprise-many of Tsukiji's best finds have nothing to do with the fish market
676: Sweet Somethings
Celebrate a classy White Day with the help of Tokyo's top chocolatiers
675: Foodie's Guide to Tokyo, Part II
Find world-class cuisine at these local shops and restaurants
674: Foodie's Guide to Tokyo, Part 1
Whether you're looking for a gourmet meal or plastic sushi, our city has it all
673: Cooking with Kimchi
The spicy Korean vegetable dish will warm up your winter
669: Rethinking the Oyster
To cook or not to cook? That is the question
668: Tachinomiya: Shinbashi & East tokyo
Break the ice at a standing bar in the salaryman's playground
664: Hot for Cold
Crisp, fresh tempura is the perfect way to ease into winter
657: Fall Fever
Chef Yumiko Kano offers up some autumnal inspiration for vegetarians
648: Depachika Dining
Find the best food in the world at Tokyo's department store food halls
644: Heat Busters
There's nothing as nice as ice in summer
639: Cool Foods
Beat the heat with special summertime salads
635: Men About Town
Dive into a bowl of ramen in any season
631: Paste Sensation
Spread healthy miso throughout your diet
628: Ginza Address Book
Discover the gourmet delights of Tokyo's most expensive neighborhood
626: Cherries on Top
Restaurants celebrate spring with a touch of sakura
622: Get the Party Rolling
Making temaki-zushi is a simple and fun way to entertain at home
619: Confessions of a Chocoholic
There's only one true love on Valentine's Day
613: It's My Party
Make your New Year's celebration A night to remember
612: Gifts for Gourmets
Try these prudent presents for avid consumers this Christmas
608: A Cook's Kingdom
Everything your kitchen desires can be found in Kappabashi
602: The Kanten craze
A popular new diet shows jelly isn't just for kids
596: Brilliant bakeries
Because man cannot live by rice alone
591: Cool foods
Chill out this summer with some traditional—and innovative—warm-weather treats
587: Nutty About Natto
Don’t turn up your nose…this infamous goo is an acquired taste
582: Smoke-Free Feasts, Part II
As World No Tobacco Day Nears, Celebrate at Tokyo's organic and ethnic eateries
580: The Donburi Diary
A foodie goes in search of the perfect partner for lunch
574: Demystifying the Market
Kanji-ridden packages often hide delicious treats not to be missed
568: Get Saucy
Simple japanese sauces can dress up otherwise bland veggies for a healthy diet
564: Culinary Resolutions
This year, pledge to explore more of the world of food and drink on your doorstep
560: Comfort Food
Healthy and hassle-free nabe warm the soul through winter
555: Harvest festival
Reap the best of the season as autumn’s fruits, vegetables and more reach their peak
550: Soy right
There's never been a better time to try the impressive array of Japanese soybean product
545: Top shelf
Once a rough country spirit, shochu is now the most sought-after drink in Japan
540: Must-eat TV
Yukari Pratt feeds her yen for Japan's eclectic menu of food programs.
539: In the raw
Veteran sushi chef Takashi Ono takes Carlo Niederberger behind the scenes at Roppongi Hills’ Sukiyabashi Jiro.
538: Spanish lessons
Sommelier Ned Goodwin studies the wine and cuisine of the "New" Spain to see what all the fuss is about.
537: Red, white and brew
American Bryan Baird is the brains behind one of Japan's most popular craft beers. Bryan Harrell meets the brewmaster.
536: The nihonshu express
John Gauntner disembarks at Tokyo Station and finds a wealth of fine sake.
535: In the market
Depachika denizen Yukari Pratt gives us the inside scoop on the scrumptious world of department-store food floors.
534: Branching out
Looking for a gourmet meal that won’t empty your wallet? Steve Trautlein visits the less-expensive outlets of some of Tokyo’s elite eateries.
533: Think pink
It’s pretty, it’s tasty and it’s perfect for summer. Ned Goodwin reveals why wine lovers should take another look at rose.
532: Taste of success
Pizzafest winner Makoto Onishi tells Ai Uchida about the highs and lows of becoming Italy's most famous foreign pizza chef.
531: Toast of the town
John Gauntner reveals why Niigata reigns supreme as Japan’s top sake region.
530: Cha cha cha
529: Growth complex
Tokyo is seeing a surge in new buildings that cater to curious chowhounds. Tama M. Lung tours three recent arrivals.
528: Workaholic
Ned Goodwin stretches the limits of his sommelier skills at one of the world’s largest wine fairs.
527: Moveable Feasts
Matt Wilce's pick of Tokyo delis make a Golden Week picnic a walk in the park.
526: Grains of truth
John Gauntner sets the record straight on the diverse variety of sake rice.
525: Prost!
Bryan Harrell raises his glass to the beers of Germany, and the best places to quaff them in Tokyo.
524: Spices of life
Get your pho and dried mango fix at these five international food stores in Tokyo. Hanna Kite goes to market.
523: Que Syrah
Sommelier Ned Goodwin heads to his homeland to sample the latest darling of the wine world.
522: Shanghai surprise
Chinatown's newest attraction gives visitors a chance to sample the delights of the Middle Kingdom. Steve Trautlein chows down.
521: Spring fling
John Gauntner ushers in the warmer weather with a host of seasonal sake.
520: Luck of the Irish
Chef Dorje Heavey has become Japan's latest culinary sensation by bringing a taste of traditional Ireland to Japan. Aodhan O'Faolain hears his story.
519: Golden bowls
Carlo Niederberger tours Tokyo's newest "ramen town" and gets his fill of noodles from across the nation.
518: The sweet stuff
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin tracks down some Tokyo chocolatiers whose wine lists match their bonbons.
517: Down to earth
A charter member of Japan's environmental movement, Hideo Fujimura serves up organic goodness at his down-home izakaya. Bryan Harrell pays a visit.
516: By the numbers
John Gauntner delves into the pluses and minuses of selecting sake.
515: Star gazing
When only the best will do, serious gourmands look to the stars in the esteemed Michelin guide. Tokyoites can also get a taste of its award-winners' fare, as Tama M. Lung reports.
514: Let them eat bread
Hanna Kite checks out the hot new bakeries making yeast lovers rise across Tokyo.
513: Bubbling over
Resident oenophile Ned Goodwin rediscovers the joys of Champagne with a little help from Dom Perignon.
512: Frugal feasts
Tokyo's finest restaurants offer affordable lunch sets for a fraction of the dinner bill. Hanna Kite takes lunch outside the office.
511: Some like it hot
Just in time for those frigid winter nights, John Gauntner debunks the claim that the only good sake is a cold sake.
509/10: Fresh meat
Matt Wilce dishes up 2003's best dining debuts.
508: Just desserts
Tokyo's latest theme park is a temple to all things sweet. Lisa Sekiguchi pays a visit to Jiyugaoka Sweets Forest.
507: 'Tis the season
With all the winter beers and holiday ales around, the amber brew's not just for summer anymore. Bryan Harrell throws a few back.
506: Talking shop
John Gauntner reveals the city's best-stocked but little-known sources for premium sake.
505: Haute chocolates
Top-class European chocolatiers avec cafés have oozed onto the Tokyo gourmet scene. Hanna Kite handpicks the city's best.
504: Home on the grange
Ned Goodwin toasts Penfolds, the prized winemaker of his native Australia.
503: Hot turkey
Hanna Kite finds out what's cooking for Thanksgiving this year.
502: Just for fungus
Bryan Harrell sniffs out matsutake, autumn's culinary delicacy.
501: Strange brews
And now, nihonshu wizard John Gauntner brings you sake completely different…
500: Masks and flasks
Carlo Niederberger counts the treats as Tokyo’s restaurants and clubs bewitch their tables for Halloween.
499: Import experts
Ned Goodwin talks shop with three of Tokyo's top foreign sommeliers.
498: Rise and shine
Whether continental or buffet, Western or Asian, Tokyo's hotels offer great ways to kick-start your day. David Chester breaks the fast.
497: Dining by design
Tama Miyake Lung digs into this week's slate of designer events and finds that even the eating is getting creative.
496: Sake and the city
Tokyo is filled with places to sample and study nihonshu. Resident expert John Gauntner offers a few pointers on where to begin.
495: Mexican dream
Tokyo is a tequila lover's heaven, with restaurants and bars serving up a margarita for every taste. Jenny Chen throws a few back.
494: A winning pair
Ned Goodwin expounds on the union of wine and washoku.
493: Big appetites
With yet another skyscraper thrown in the mix, Shiodome offers a world's worth of dining options. Chris Betros digs in.
492: A cook's tour
Matt Wilce joins Josef Budde at his chef's table to discover what brought him to the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.
491: Triple crown
Self-described "Sake Guy" John Gauntner kicks off a new column with three simple tips for enjoying good sake.
490: Rebel with a saucepan
Former Tokyoite Eric Gower pushes the boundaries of Japanese cuisine in a new cookbook, Tama Miyake Lung reports.
489: A place in the sun
Ned Goodwin casts his sommelier's eye over the best wines for summer.
488: California dreamin'
Tokyo restaurateurs are getting a taste for the Golden State. Jenny Chen reports.
487: Dean's list
Manhattan's most famous deli has begun its global expansion with a new outlet in Marunouchi. Martin Webb samples the selection of goodies.
486: Join the club
Tokyo's illustrious membership clubs are gaining momentum despite the recession. Carlo Niederberger reports.
485: Through the roof
Rooftop gardens aren't the only thing growing on top of our metropolis. Carlo Niederberger heads skyward and finds a new café culture blooming across the city.
484: Westward bound
Ned Goodwin travels across the Pacific and discovers an oenophile’s paradise.
483: Independent spirit
Carlo Niederberger scours the city for gourmet celebrations on the Fourth of July.
482: Hot flash
Summer’s here and suddenly there’s a “bar and grill” around every corner. Tama Miyake Lung explores Tokyo’s newest nightlife sensation.
481: Island hopping
Tama Miyake Lung navigates a sea of tropical dining spots in search of the endless summer.
480: Private eyes
Get out of the glare and sup in secret-Matt Wilce hunts out the most secluded restaurant seats in the city.
479: Iron supplement
Matt Wilce gets a gourmet dose from TV's Iron Chefs.
478: Chill factor
Summertime and the drinking should be easy. Ned Goodwin tells you what to sip when the heat soars.
477: Food for thought
Mohammad Yunos Hassani now wows Tokyo diners with Afghanistan cuisine. Carlo Niederberger reports.
476: Tapping the ivory
David Chester tells you where to sip and sup to the sounds of live piano music.
475: Top of the world
Haute drinking and dining is an elevator ride away. Carlo Niederberger reports.
474: Toque of the town
Roppongi Hills is teeming with innovative new restaurants and cafés. Chris Betros takes a look.
473: Historical present
Hanna Kite takes a tour of Tokyo’s oldest restaurants
472: Heavenly dining
Georgia Jacobs looks up the city’s best restaurants with a view.
471: Flavor favors the brave
Forget boring wine lists, says sommelier Ned Goodwin, Tokyo is full of oenological adventures, if you know where to look.
470: Spring to your lips
Sink your teeth into the season’s traditional fare. Carlo Niederberger tells you where to find it.
469: Homemade
Wow your dinner guests with recipes from the stars—that’s star chefs. Georgia Jacobs gets cooking.
468: Let’s meat
There may be nothing new under the sun, but in Tokyo there’s plenty doing between two buns. Steve Trautlein wolfs down the city’s best burgers.
467: On a Clare day
Tucked away in the hills of South Australia is a wine-lover’s paradise—the Clare Valley. Ned Goodwin samples the delights.
466: Haute dining
The top two floors of Shinjuku's My City store have become a gourmet's delight. Chris Betros samples the cuisine.
465: Home and away
Already a success in the US, Mako Tanaka looks to bring his distinctive fusion cuisine back to Tokyo, he tells Steve Trautlein.
464: Pearl one
Shell out for the one you love this Valentine’s Day at the city’s top oyster bars. Add a bit of bubbly to the mix and you have a sure-fire aphrodisiac for a night of romance. Matt Wilce picks some piscine pearls.
463: Eat your heart out
Japan's brand of Valentine's Day is more about chocolates than hot dates
462: Wok around town
Matt Wilce celebrates the coming Year of the Ram with a taste of Chinese regional cuisine
461: Where the heart is
Ned Goodwin visits fellow oenophile Karla Pratt to discuss life, loss and love of wine at Tochigi's Coco Farm & Winery.
460: Soup's on
The mercury's falling and comfort food is calling. Before you get chilled to the bone, David Chester helps you find some solace for the soul.
459: Winter warmers
There's nothing like a steaming hot pot to keep out the seasonal chill. Stephen Cotterill comes to grips with chanko nabe, sumo-style.
457/8: Cream of the crop
Matt Wilce serves up the dining world's hottest debuts in 2002
456: Food's the fashion
Martin Webb shops then drops at these stylish in-store cafés
455: Bottle tops
Ned Goodwin seeks out the city's best and brightest sommeliers
453: True to life
Matt Wilce meets Don Foley, the man behind Ebisu café Good Honest Grub
452: Talking turkey
Carlo Niederberger gets ready to gobble it up on Thanksgiving Day
451: Steeped in tradition
Love it or hate it, steaming oden signals the start of winter in Japan
450: Thinking inside the box
Tama Miyake investigates the ubiquitous bento with help from culinary expert Elizabeth Andoh
449: What lies beneath
Resident wine expert Ned Goodwin delves into the depths of Tokyo's cellars
448: Devilish dining
Matt Wilce scares up some horribly different dishes for Halloween
447: Tour de France
The toast of Paris, chef Eric Frechon is no flash in the bain-marie
446: On a roll
Onigiri is being rediscovered as a culinary delight in its own right
445: Chow down
Tama Miyake makes tracks to Tsukishima, home to the shitamachi specialty known as monja
444: In the mix
Steve Trautlein goes on a not-so-fruitless search for Tokyo's best juice bars
443: Pop stars
Matt Wilce tastes the good life at Tokyo's toniest champagne bars
442: New York's finest
Tama Miyake takes a bite out of the Big Apple without stepping outside the Yamanote line
441: Gaga for gyoza
Tokyo's newest theme park for foodies
440: Into the fire
Few things say summer like a steak on the barbie in your own backyard
439: Kitchen confidential
Tokyo restaurants are branching out by teaching customers how to whip up their own creations
438: Mix and match
Top tips for pairing food and wine
437: Divine dining
436: Hot plates
435: Sundae school
434: Rare vintages
433: Oodles of noodles
432: Secret gardens
431: Eat your heart out
430: Bottle shop
429: The Italian job
428: The water table
427: For the love of the game
426: Life before Starbucks
425: Show time
424: Hot spot
423: Gift of gusto
422: Crossing the Rhine
421: Mamas' boy
420: Tales of tofu
419: Top of the food chain
418: Small awakening
417: Feeding unfrenzied
416: Sakura sweets
415: Modern master
414: Star turns
413: A sip of style
412: Digital bites
411: The loving spoonful
410: Fried & tested
409: California Drinking
408: Puff daddy
407: Let's do brunch
406: Spice world
404: Party poppers
403: Roll with it
402: Festive feasting
401: From bush to bottle
396: Gastronomic expolorations
395: Gourmet to go

394: Gourmet to go

391: Imperial Cuisine
390: Pizza pizzazz
389: Eat elite
388: Don't eat the scenery
387: Niku nashi
386: Shanghai Surprise
385: Uncorked
384: Cake walk
383: Gastronomic nomad
382: Short fuse
380: Eating eelectric
378: Through the grapevine
375: Culinary dancer
372: Roy raves
359: Love feast
354: Fugu Ryotei
351: Gateau de Noel
350: Seasonal specials

Local Flavors
By Yukari Pratt

Brilliant Bakeries
Because man cannot live by rice alone

Yukari Pratt

My first Japanese sandwich, some 30 years ago, was a revelation: egg salad simply flavored with a bit of mayonnaise and neatly tucked into some Wonder-like white bread. Even at age 6, I was quick to notice that the bread lacked crusts. Someone had actually gone to the effort of cutting off the crusts! It was the perfect sandwich. Why hadn’t the Americans caught on to this? I dreamed of having crustless sandwiches for my school lunch and being the envy of my friends. Sadly, my mother disagreed, and my sandwich paradise was as short-lived as our holidays in Japan. My passion for bread continued, however, and I even spent six weeks doing an intensive artisanal bread course at the French Culinary Institute in New York.

Times have changed, but those crustless wonders are still available at convenience stores. Even more uniquely Japanese is the cornucopia of oyatsu-pan, or bread snacks. My favorite is mentaiko-pan of spicy fish eggs smeared onto a baguette and toasted crisp. Curry-pan is a piece of dough stuffed with savory curry and deep-fried like a doughnut. Some are a mystery to me, such as melon-pan, a large fluffy piece of bread draped in a melon-flavored, sugar-like frosting. Others curious creations incorporate yakisoba, croquettes, and fruit with whipped cream.

Luckily, our options are not limited to corn and mayonnaise drizzled with cheese. There are world-class bakeries in Tokyo serving flakey and buttery croissants, crusty baguettes, light focaccia and, for those with a sweet tooth, wonderful selections of pastries.

Across the street from the Bunkamura in Shibuya, Viron has authentic French sandwiches of pork rillettes, paté de campagne, and ham and Gruyere. The flour, brought in from France, is key to their famous Retrodor baguettes. If you are going to explore one new bakery, this should be it. Rumor has it another branch will open in Marunouchi later this year.

At Maison Kayser you will find what the French say is the perfect croissant, as well as other classic French breads. They have a café in the basement of Coredo Nihonbashi and a number of department stores.

For exquisite ficelles, or mini-baguettes, and perfectly hand-shaped breads, head to L’Atelier du Joel Robuchon at Roppongi Hills. Be sure to pick up a tart au citron.

Peck is a gourmet shop based in Milan that is exclusive to Takashimaya in Japan. Here you will find focaccia drenched in olive oil, and airy ciabatta which make a great base for a homemade panini. Also at Takashimaya’s Nihonbashi store, ladies line up at Fauchon to pick up the pain de mie—an upscale version of Wonder bread—hot out of the oven. (If they had made my sandwiches out of this, I would have wanted to eat the crusts!)

This is just a small selection of Tokyo’s finest bakeries. Others include Burdigala in Hiroo, Trois Grois in Shinjuku’s Odakyu department store, and Garbagnati Milano in Roppongi. There are also artisanal bakeries such as Levain in Tomigaya and Juchheim die Meister in the basement of the Marunouchi Building, where you get hearty, rustic breads to really dig your teeth into.

Of course, good bread is not all European, but I’m still looking for the perfect bagel and an authentic banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich that has become a hit in New York. It’s a baguette loaded with vegetables and meat, with tastes that explode in your mouth—sweet, salty and savory combined.

Life is too short to eat bad bread, and thankfully the Atkins diet never quite caught on here. So, when you are sick of slurping soba and your eyes roll at the idea of another onigiri, indulge at the bakery. These days, my taste in sandwiches has graduated to the Viron or Robuchon level. However, after a night on the town, the conbini crustless wonders still taste as good as they did when I was six.

If you know where to get your hands on an authentic bagel or banh mi, email

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