Oyster Bar, Shinjuku

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We were walking around Shinjuku Sanchome one night after dinner and noticed 2 oyster bars side by side. We decided to come back to one of them the next night.

I know of about 4 kinds of oysters in Australia. Two of them, the Pacific and the rock (also known as Sydney Rock), are popular. The other two are not so common, and you normally only find them in high end restaurants. The Pacfic oysters are larger and easier to harvest. The Rock oysters are smaller but we prefer to eat them because of their zingy metallic taste that just swells and lingers all over your mouth after each bite. The Pacific are more plumb, meatier, sweeter and definitely bulkier. The east coast of Australia has many oyster farms. Unfortunately, about a decade ago, the rock oysters were infected by a virus called QX. This decimated many of the rock oyster farmers but didn’t affect Pacific farmers. The rock famers began to recover some years ago and many have switched to Pacific, a specie that was introduced to Australia.

The oysters we see in Japan are the Pacific and they are much larger than the ones we see in Australia. They are also not cheap.

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We asked the staff to recommend us the popular ones and picked 2 half dozens of the top priced ones. Verdict – big, crunchy, mouthful and fresh. Most tasteful. But still missing that swelling, enveloping, lingering, almost delirious metallic taste of the much smaller rock oysters. It’s no wonder oysters are known as aphrodisiac.

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The dressing was complimentary. But our favourite way to have them is just a squeeze of lemon juice – beats Kilpatrick or any other fancy dressing most times.

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Jonathan Swift wrote: “He was a bold man that first eat an oyster.”

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The oysters are expensive to eat in this bar. So apart from serving wines and beers they also serve pizzas. So much so the pizzas get delivered to the competitor (one was being delivered as we entered) next door.

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We had the dozen of oysters and 2 drinks and that was nearly 10,000 yen. That blew the food budget for the evening and maybe the next night as well.

So our option left was to go back to the hotel for some instant noodles. The variety of instant noodles is just insane even in a small Tokyo convenience store. And the size as well. This one was a familiar one in which you pour hot water.

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I picked one in which the hot water is drained out and you end up eating dry noodles. The one I picked was a big size and I could barely finished it.

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I read somewhere that wheat/flour based noodles are a relatively modern Japanese “invention”. Rice is of course the staple food. Flour was “introduced” by the American occupiers after World War II to feed the famished nation. And I think it was Nissin that perfected or introduced the modern instant noodles.

This was followed by Jpop on the music channel. This group is called AKB48 because it has 48 members at any one time. It is then divided into sub groups of 6 or 8. And there are reserve singers to take over anyone of the 48. Japan is the only country where CD sales have not gone backwards. It may have stagnated lately, but it certainly has not plummeted as it has in other countries. Part of the reason is that pop groups like this issue limited editions all the time so that the Japanese youths are encouraged to buy copies of so called limited editions. They are also a way to be autographed or meet their idol in person.

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