Gundam and Takoyaki Museum at Odaiba – Tokyo

IMG_9795

Fuji Television Studio

The next day, we made a trip to Odaiba by metro. Odaiba is an artificial island in Tokyo Bay which was initially built for defense, but is now a popular spot for tourists. Upon getting off the metro, we walked across this skywalk where we immediately saw a beautiful building. This was the Fuji Television studio! Apparently there is an observation deck on the top floor too.

IMG_9797

We then walked into Diver City Tokyo Plaza, which is a large shopping mall that is also filled with entertainment. It had the typical big international brands like any other mall, but it also had a Calbee shop! Calbee chips are my favourite! Here, you can also get freshly fried chips, and some had chocolate toppings on them… We ended buying a few bags with unique flavours I haven’t seen in Vancouver. Pretty cool!

IMG_9798

Gundam at Diver City Tokyo Plaza

The main purpose of going into the Diver City Tokyo Plaza, was to exit on the other side where the huge permanent Gundam model was situated. I don’t watch Japanese anime, but from what I know Gundam is a giant robot. Here, they placed a 1:1 lifesize statue of the robot. It’s pretty cool! Apparently at specific times, the robot will move too! There’s lights turned on and you can see it when it’s darker.

IMG_9807

You can actually walk under the Gundam! Other than the statue, there is a Gundam Cafe, and a venue inside the plaza called Gundam Front Tokyo, which features more Gundam related experiences.

IMG_9810

Daikanransha Ferris Wheel

Nearby, you can also see the Daikanransha Ferris Wheel. It was the tallest ferris wheel when it was first built, but is now the 12th tallest in the world. When the sun began to set, the ferris wheel lit up with beautiful lights and the pattern changed every few minutes. Beautiful!

IMG_9818

Odaiba Takoyaki Museum

While walking towards another mall, the sky suddenly turned black and rain just poured on us. What’s worse was none of us had brought umbrellas. Lightning and thunder then stroke. Super scary! I’ve never been under lightning out in the open street. We quickly ran to the closest building, which was called Decks Tokyo Beach. The complex is more like a entertainment facility. It’s got themed buildings and has a boardwalk so you feel like you’re by the beach. We quickly realized, there was a Takoyaki Museum here!

IMG_9821

The museum is free, and honestly not really a museum. It’s just an area with lots of takoyaki themed items. Cute place to take some photos!

IMG_9824

They have an area for takoyaki souvenirs. Tako plushies, keychains, and some other very odd items. Takoyaki food items like chips as well.

IMG_9825

They also had a showcase of the takoyaki pans.

IMG_9828

At the end, you will find a bunch of stalls selling takoyaki. To be honest, they seemed to sell pretty much the same takoyaki with similar price points.

IMG_9829

Takoyaki

we went for the 4 by 4 takoyaki. 4 takoyakis each of each of the 4 flavours. Two of the takoyakis had a lot of green onions piled on it. Almost way too much. However, it tasted really good! The sauce was the major factor that made each different. On the bottom left, these takoyakis were sort of like tofu! At least that’s what we came up with at the end. We were to dip it in the oden soup. It was quite delicious, but it fell apart really easily. Overall, the takoyaki were good, but they were very soft. I’m not sure if that’s how takoyaki is actually supposed to be like. However, I feel like you can probably get just as good takoyaki out in the streets. The prices are probably higher at the museum since it’s a tourist spot.

Definitely check Odaiba out if you have some time. It’s a nice change from the busy city center. There is also the Tricks Museum in the Decks Tokyo Beach plaza, which I hear is quite fun!

Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market opened around 2 weeks ago, and I’ve already gone twice! There isn’t much to do in Richmond, so what better than to go take a stroll and grab some food. I ended up going again the second week it opened, and went there on a mission to fill myself up for dinner. Admission is $1, but there’s free parking and quite a huge lot, compared to the $5 parking at the Summer Night Market by Vulcan Way. It gets quite trafficky along the River Rock Casino area though, but they have people patrolling, so it’s not too bad.

Chef James Xin Jiang Man BBQ – Chicken and Lamb Skewers

  • Any 3 skewers for $6.75 or 5 for $11
  • We saw that the line up was long, but decided it must’ve been good for it to be so long, so we lined up. Waited for probably at least 15 minutes before we got called for our order, but the girl told us that there weren’t any beef skewers left, and we could either wait a little longer, or just choose another skewer. We ended up choosing another chicken skewer, but I was still pretty disappointed with not getting what I had ordered!
  • Both Chicken and Lamb Skewers were still really delicious though, with tender meat, and a great flavour. This was probably one of the better stands of the night.

Takoyaki

  • $5 for 6 mini takoyakis
  • Probably one of the worse takoyakis I’ve had! It was all dough, with one tiny piece of octopus. The dough felt as though it wasn’t even cooked properly. It was all mushy as you can see from the above picture.

Bakudanyaki – Original Giant Takoyaki

  • $5 each
  • Since we were so disappointed with the takoyakis at the last stand, we ended up going to Bakudanyaki to get a Giant Takoyaki. Their poster claimed that there would be squid, cabbage, corn, red ginger, shrimp, rice cake, quail egg, and green onion, which were no lies. The Giant Takoyaki was filled with all these ingredients and the dough was thin and crispy on the outside. Wasn’t mushy like the last stand. I thought the quail egg inside was pretty interesting too!
  • They had 4 flavours: Original, Curry, Chili, Wasabi

Dim Sum Express

What’s night market without my favourite Curry Fish Balls? There were quite a few Dim Sum stands, but we just ended up at Dim Sum Express since it was close by and there seemed to be quite a crowd too.

Curry Fish Balls

  • 6 for $3.00
  • Wasn’t anything amazing, and have had better ones before. Not very saucy, and not as spicy as most stands would serve. Spice was just right for me though, since I can’t take spice, but I wish it were a little more saucy.

Shrimp Dumplings

  • 4 for $3.50
  • Didn’t try this so can’t comment 🙂

I ❤ Tofu – Sweet Taro Cold Tofu Pudding

  • $3.50 for just Tofu Pudding; add $0.50 for each topping
  • Smooth tofu and the sweet taro was a good compliment with a bit of chewiness to it. Perfect dessert after all the greasy food.

BBQ Squid

  • $6 a bowl
  • Last item I really wanted was the BBQ Squid. We looked around different aisles to find a good place for it, and many had large line ups. We ended up at the stand named BBQ Squid, which seemed to only sell BBQ Squid, and there was quite a large line up, so we assumed it would be good.
  • This had to be the worse item we had of the night. After waiting around 5 minutes, we got our Squid, which was freshly grilled in front of us. It tasted full of this curry powder that I had saw them sprinkle while grilling, but that was probably the only seasoning they used. The squids were also not cooked properly or not to the type I had wanted. I wanted the squid to be crispy at the ends, but they were totally not. So disappointed and definitely not going back here again. We even ended up throwing more than half of it away since it was so bad!

Ice Cream Churros

  • $5
  • Didn’t get a picture of the stand, but it’s the only stand that sells Ice Cream Churros
  • I had this the first week I went to the night market, and thought that it would be pretty cool. I mean ice cream and churros? I had imagined the ice cream to be inside the churro, but clearly I was thinking too much.
  • It’s basically 4 churros with a scoop of ice cream, which you can choose the flavour of. I ended up with vanilla ice cream. I have to say it was a disappointment, as I felt that the churros weren’t even cooked fresh. They were pretty hard and seemed like they had sat there for a while. The ice cream just tasted like cheap Safeway ice cream, but I have to say the ice cream was probably the best part of it, which is pretty sad.
  • Nothing special, and definitely not worth $5!

Richmond Night Market on Urbanspoon

Izumi-Tei at Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace

After hearing about the crazy buzz about Izumi-Ya’s new all you can eat, I decided to go give it a try. It’s called Izumi-Tei and this was probably just two weeks after it had opened, but it was packed already! I arrived at the marketplace to see that they had sectioned an area off for the buffet. There were already crowds of people waiting for a seat, but luckily we only waited for maybe a short 15 minutes and we were given a seat. The interior was very small, with most tables only fitting probably 4 people max. The workers were also not quite organized, probably because it had just opened.

For dinner or lunch, it was only $9.99 for adults! I heard rumours that they have increased the price now though. My friends who had just went recently were giving me such good reviews about it, so I guess I went in having some high expectations, which was a bad idea. It ended up to be a buffet style all you can eat, but the selection wasn’t too large. Food wasn’t prepared quick enough, so a lot of times, there wasn’t much food left when I went up to get food. And most of the food were just greasy, fried items, which I’m not a huge fan of. They did have an oden section, which was quite different from other Japanese all you can eat places. Sushi selection was limited to dynamite, california, salmon, tamago, and cucumber rolls. There wasn’t sashimi either, but what can I expect with the price I paid. Another interesting item they served were takoyakis! You also got to add the toppings yourself, which was pretty fun. Lastly, they served soft-serve ice cream, which wasn’t anything special again.

They only let you eat for an hour as well, and they stick a little tag on your table with the time you must leave when you’re brought to your table. Overall, was the food anything amazing? I don’t think so, and I would probably choose to pay a few more bucks to eat better all you can eat. But with this price, it is definitely a place to go to if you want to fill up your stomach.

Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace on Urbanspoon

Seto Japanese Restaurant

Miso Soup, Takoyaki, Seaweed Salad

Katsu Don

Chopped Scallop Roll, Yam Tempura Roll

Seto is always one of my favourite go to Japanese restaurants in Richmond. This is  where you can get authentic Japanese food at an affordable price. It’s always packed on weekends, and without reservations, you pretty much can’t get a seat. But we went on a weekday, and it was pretty empty. Kitty came back from Toronto and desperately wanted Seto, and so off we went along with Jack. I had just gone downtown with Kitty for some Japadogs, so we were both still pretty full. I ended up getting the Takoyaki and Chopped Scallop Roll. Both were as always up to standards. Definitely would recommend Seto if you are looking for authentic Japanese food in Richmond.

Seto Japanese Restaurant 瀨戶壽司 on Urbanspoon

Donburiya

Takoyaki

Chicken Karage

Curry with Pork Cutlet on Rice

I’ve always wanted to try those restaurants down Robson Street – the ones past all the shops. Their store front or ads on their windows always attract me but I’m never in the mood to eat at that time! Finally a day where I was craving some food and of course I walk past Donburiya. This chicken karage picture on their ad outside totally attracted me, and it’s actually not the first time. I remember seeing it a long time ago and wanting to try it. And aren’t I happy that ad pulled me in! The chicken karage comes in a bowl of 4 for $3.50 and are boneless. The batter isn’t very thick so it wasn’t very oily. Also decided to try the takoyaki which I have to say is one of the best I have had. And lastly, the curry with pork cutlet on rice was a great deal as it was a huge plate for only $9.25, compared to places such as Aoyama which charges around $13 for a small plate that isn’t as good as this one! The place is however very small and can probably only sit 20 people and it is more like a self serve restaurant. You pick up your own utensils, seasonings, and water. They do however bring you your food in a tray. So perhaps take out is the way to go. They are famous for their rice bowls which I saw many people eat and it looked delicious. It seemed like a lot of Japanese people were eating here too so it must be good Japanese food! Definitely going back here again!

Donburiya on Urbanspoon