Finding The Best Restaurants In Tokyo - Chef Kelly Crow Of Tokyo-Table Reviews Tajima, A Gluten Free Gem Located In TokyoEating gluten-free can sometimes be a challenge. For those of us who must manage specific health conditions, however, it is not a choice - it is a necessity. What can be even more challenging is finding a restaurant that can transform gluten-free ingredients into dishes that are flavorful and appealing.
Chef Kelly Crow of Tokyo-Table found such a place in her own backyard in Tokyo. She recently posted a review of Tajima, located in the Nishiazabu neighborhood in Tokyo. Her review reads in part:
"Going out for noodles is always an exciting endeavor for me. I love noodles. I love Italian pasta, German egg noodles, Thai glass noodles, Chinese dan-dan, Vietnamese pho, Japanese udon, Japanese soba; my enthusiasm is endless. But as a chef, I also know that making them requires a lot of skill and experience because there are so few ingredients. As with many things in life, the fewer the parts, the more obvious the missteps. So it’s also with a little trepidation whenever I try a new noodle restaurant for the first time. Today I had reservations at Tajima, in Minamiazabu, a nearby restaurant that serves traditional Japanese buckwheat noodles, known as soba.
"I had heard about his restaurant from my tennis friends, and it has also received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, so it came highly recommended. I also liked that it was within walking distance of my house. Tajima is just across the street from the tennis courts where I play, and I’ve been told that if you line up by 11:15, you can usually get a seat at 11:30 without having a reservation.
"I was also interested in this particular restaurant because I heard they serve 100% buckwheat noodles with no added wheat flour. Even though soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, most restaurants in Japan use a mixture that includes wheat flour to make the dough easier to work with. The traditional ratio is 8 parts buckwheat to 2 parts wheat flour. This is important because many of my friends are gluten-free and we wanted to find that special place we could often visit for lunch where everyone could order freely from the menu.
"Tajima is rare because it serves pure buckwheat. And making 100% buckwheat soba is tricky and not a task for an amateur. Because buckwheat is missing gluten, that springy and forgiving quality in wheat, pure buckwheat noodles break easily, and the mixture tends to crumble. Additionally, in the soba making process the dough is rolled thin and then folded and sliced, giving the mix even more opportunity to crack and break. Long thin 100% buckwheat noodles are not achieved by accident, but through honing and mastering the technique. This level of quality was what I was looking for at a soba noodle restaurant because the taste of well made, homemade 100% buckwheat soba noodles is extraordinary."
The full review is available at the Tokyo-Table website.
Tokyo-Table and the online Tokyo Restaurant Guide are the brainchild of Kelly Crow. Kelly trained at Le Cordon Bleu and earned the highest certification, Le Grand Diplome, for mastering both Cuisine and Patisserie. She also holds a degree from UCLA in International Economics. Her mission is to help readers experience Tokyo’s most memorable meals. She shares her discoveries with insights into culinary technique, cultural experience, and value from her distinctive combination of perspectives as a professional chef, economist, and Tokyo resident.
In addition to the signature Tokyo Restaurant Guide, Tokyo-Table offers Tokyo dining tips (what you need to know BEFORE you dine in Tokyo), and a blog that offers information on individual Tokyo restaurants including cuisine, neighborhood, awards, price ranges, extra charges and links to each restaurant.
Kelly Crow is available for media interviews and can be contacted using the information below, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at her website.
Tokyo-Table is the definitive source for dining enthusiasts who plan to visit Tokyo. The site features the online Tokyo Restaurant Guide, Tokyo dining tips, and information on individual Tokyo restaurants including cuisine, neighborhood, awards, price ranges, extra charges and links to Tokyo restaurants.
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