It is so sad when another holiday draw to a close. Oh the (exaggerated) emotions of sadness and longing, holidays in Japan are never long enough. We always end our trip with a night at the Royal Haneda hotel- book early enough, it can be fairly reasonable and nothing beats the feeling of waking up at a semi-decent hour for a early flight. Also, there’s a tasty selection of restaurants in the airport’s very own Edo market (don’t ask, they are very proud of it, along with their giant wooden water storage facility). Cross over the bridge (yes, there is a GENUINE, GIGANTIC wooden bridge in the middle of the airport) and voila! Haneda Airport will be delighted to serve you a damn good final meal.
This time we decided we didn’t eat enough fried food (my dad can’t eat fried food and it really doesn’t do it for my less-than-100-pounds asian skinny mummy) so we decided to on kushiage. Because nothing beats fried food on sticks. The best thing about Kushinobo is that it’s an omakase joint. And I love omakase. Nothing beats the feeling of not having to order and be fed random bits of food (granted, you do need to eat pretty much anything to do this). Here they have 2 courses (which is fairly structured, and include useless space wasters like rice) and the omakase, a non-stop stream of food until you make a cross sign at the waiter and admit defeat (it’s not shameful, no one ever beats the chef). They do have an a la carte menu but our new waiter who spoke little english was being rushed (as in frat houses) that day and looked at us blankly for about 10 minutes before he managed to procure one for the little person (who unfortunately, is a little bit picky, but you can’t be perfect at 8).
He chose to have his favorite, ochazuke (rice with tea) for his last meal along with a few sticks- apparently the cheese balls were SO GOOD that he had 3 sticks (yep, they were pretty good. Can’t go wrong with fried cheese on sticks).
What for us adults then? Well, obviously we had to indulge in some sake, and tried a few different ones on the list… didn’t help that they were served in such pretty pots either!
And for food? Sticks upon sticks of fried food of course!
I think amongst the best was the gooey cheese ball, though the asparagus was delicious too. Others definitely worth trying were the beef on lotus root, the ginko, the mushroom, prawn with mayo and scallop. To be honest it was all pretty tasty and especially where it’s done well, like they do here, there’s very few things that don’t do well as fried food on a stick.
Actually kushinobo wasn’t our last meal in Japan- we had tsukemen at Rokurinsha, air side for breakfast. Rokurinsha is a famous and super popular ramen joint based in Tokyo station, luckily you skip the obligatory hour long queue here (note: it can take up to 15 minutes to serve so it’s not for when you’re short for time). Little man didn’t feel like having something so rich for breakfast, so I can happily report back that the udon bar next door is also decent. I actually thought it was a little rich for breakfast (and in general, sadly neither my sister nor myself managed to get more than 1/2 way through our small portion) and sorry/not sorry for being an infidel, but I prefer Bone Daddies tsukemen (minus whatever was going on with those giant bits of green onions).
Haneda Airport has lots of good eats, both domestic and international and unlike many other airports around the world, you’d definitely will not be missing out on a good meal if you ended up spending a fair amount of time there.
**I would highly recommend Ariso Kaiten Sushi as well- it might not be the best sushi ever, but decent and definitely much better than most non-astronomical joints in Europe.
4th Floor, Haneda Airport International Terminal