Tokyo, 28 March: at a department store food hall - thick strawberry & custard sandwiches!

Fried prawns in batter + egg + asparagus, fish, strawberries, bananas, blueberry jam...

Dinner at Mamecha, a Kyoto-style restaurant in Shibuya. Very tender octopus sashimi with ginger & soy sauce.

Yuba (beancurd skin) & tofu grilled with soy-based sauce & sansho peppers; yuba & tofu sashimi; fresh bamboo shoot (just in season) deep fried with fish.

Tempura of sweet potato slices & big black soy beans.

Cherry-blossom flavoured ice cream, baked pumpkin & chesnut pudding (using soy milk, I think.) Mmmm...
Gifu, 29 March: Back home. Dinner at Nomura again.

The cooked octopus on the counter looked good, so we all ordered it.

Halfbeak & bonito sashimi; baby squid with miso sauce in the background.

Tempura of spring vegetables.

Chawan-mushi (steamed savoury egg custard) with *huge* pieces of abalone & veg.

Wakame shinjo (fishcake) in broth.
It took me ages to decide between uni & scallops sashimi, finally went for the latter. The chef - who had heard me being indecisive - served it with soy sauce mixed with uni, so I got to taste both in the end :-)))

Baby squid shabu-shabu - wow!

As I commented what a shame it was to waste the broth afterwards, the chef made me a soft-cooked rice with it, adding some egg & more squid pieces.

Dessert: very light custard pudding
with strawberries.
To Part 2