The cut-throat restaurant competition in Tokyo is great for diners. Well-designed, tasteful restaurant interiors. Relatively low prices for very generous, high-quality servings. And my favourite, the need to stand out from the pack by making out-and-out bizarre culinary creations.
Yes, to separate your yakatori (meat-on-a-stick) shop from all the other nearby meat-on-a-stick shops, you’ll want one or more signature dishes or drinks to set yourself apart. One of my favourite pastimes is ordering these dishes with not a lot of idea of what they comprise of beforehand. Eighty percent of the time, I’m pleasantly surprised. The other twenty percent, I’m surprised and delighted:
A popsicle immersed in generous helping of booze – something the whole family can enjoy together. Once the sweet flavours of the ice have infused into the alcohol, Dad can hand it off to his son as a very special treat.
This was perhaps the perfect summer drink. After two weeks of temperatures in Japan well over 30 degrees, flavoured ice floating in some kind of mysterious liquid was just the thing to escape. The popsicle sends you back to your childhood; the alcohol lets you believe you used to be a lot more attractive back then.