Tokyo Travels: Part 3 (Part 2)

After visiting Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park and Harajuku during the first part of Day 3, Saliheen and I made our way to our next pre-dinner destination - Vaping Ape in Shibuya! If you're interested, check out their Facebook first since the catalogue on their official website isn't as updated. They occasionally post on Instagram too. 

Not as huge as Henley Vape (vape lounge we visited in NYC) but the space was super cool and super chill, the owner speaks English because he lived in LA for some years. Rested our backs and feet and had a nice long session before venturing back out for dinner at Hanasakaji-san! It's a restaurant in Shibuya with a halal menu.

There was a little confusion before we entered the restaurant because I was actually expecting the restaurant shopfront to look like this because I read about the restaurant from this blog post. But the shopfront of the restaurant we were directed to by Google maps looks like the one below instead! Which is different!

But we were too malas to figure it out and go somewhere else (since there was a halal logo at the front, after all) so we gingerly traipsed down the stairs... only to be greeted by this suspicious looking door wtf:

Tak ke terperanjat katak aku nyah?!?!?!?! 

Apa lagi aku and Saliheen lintang pukang ah sak lari naik balek the tangga HAHAHA. Laki aku punya pengecut tak guna, dia lari naik dulu tinggalkan aku kat belakang eh HAHAHAHAHA

But no seriously wtf right, apakah maksud semua ini????? Ada manusia bertopengkan harimau kat belakang pintu tu ke apa sak. And the worst part, it was sooo senyap ok. How can a restaurant have no signs of life kan?!

So after about 10 minutes of contemplating and planning our escape plan in the event benda yang tak diduga dan tak diundang keluar from that door (hahaha), we finally trudged back down the stairs and pressed the "Push" button on the door while getting ready to run away again haha.

The minute the door opened, FUH. Terkejut terkangkang akak, dik.

Tiba tiba kita macam transported to another world altogether la seh; food smells started to waft out of the room and we immediately heard the chatter and rambunctious laughter coming from actual living human beings feasting with their friends inside! It was dimly lit, sure, but we really liked its festive dining and drinking vibes.

Didn't take picture of the interior because we were fascinated (haha) and just wanted to order our food, but you can see a picture from someone else here. By the way, I never did find out why the shopfront picture I saw online is different from the one I saw in person haha. Just assumed they were 2 different outlets with different decor.

We chose the halal washoku and shabu shabu set with white rice which costs ¥4500 per person (S$53.00 per person) because the basic shabu shabu set nampak macam tak cukup haha. You can see their halal menu options here. The washoku included 3 to 4 pieces of tuna sashimi, prawn tempura, grilled fish and salad (with a piece of prawn and some kind of clam or abalone, I can't remember).

Apparently there is a method to cooking shabu shabu - the staff taught us to lightly swirl the meat in the soup for a minute or so, and to quickly lift the shabu shabu just before it overcooks. Very yummy! The soup looks unassuming but is hearty and delicious. The washoku set was so-so aje, I'm not really a fan of tempura and Japanese-style grilled fish, anyway.

After dinner, we jalan jalan around Shibuya again! I went into lots of shops but didn't purchase anything (except soaps from Lush) because the barang barang there either not something I'd wear in Singapore or won't fit my plus size. Didn't really mind it though, I was in Tokyo not to shop but to immerse myself in their culture, bask in their sights and sounds and get new experiences - like going up Mount Fuji the next morning! YAY!

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