The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 13 April 2009

Onigiri @ Omusubi Gonbei, Tokyo

The onigiri (also called omusubi) to the Japanese is what the sandwich is to the westerners - simple, quick and easy-to-eat light meal or snack that is readily and conveniently available. One of Rob's Japanese colleagues reckons that Omusubi Gonbei in the Caretta Tower at Shiodome (near their office) makes the best onigiri in Tokyo, and we had a snack there when we were in the area recently. The onigiri there are pretty good, and worth the extra 50yen or so more than the packaged ones sold at the combini (24hour convenience stores found everywhere in Japan). It was my first encounter with genmai (brown rice) onigiri, which is great because I love brown rice. There were also a small selection of ready-made vegetables and proteins (like karaage chicken and tempura prawns) to make a more substantial meal .

Genmai Jyako is made with brown rice, with chirimen jyako (tiny baby sardines) and shiso (perilla leaves), and sprinkles of shiro goma (white sesame seeds). The umami of the tiny fish and the fragrance of the shiso made this a very delicious choice. We also got the Genmai Mentaiko made with brown rice, spicy cod roe and sprinkles of white sesame seeds, which was also good, but the Jyako was better. Both were around 170yen each. I also grabbed a packet of Okura Goma-ae (okra with sesame dressing) for 150yen.

Genmai Jyako and Genmai Mentaiko; and Okura Goma-ae (with the wet towel packet showing the name of the place in kanji. Shots were taken using Rob's iPhone:

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