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KIRAKU (Shibuya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 13.2011 Ramen 0 comments 0 trackback
kiraku outside
One of the most famous and oldest ramen shops in Shibuya is KIRAKU. It opened in the early 50's, owner/chef was an immigrant from Taiwan.


kiraku ramen
Kiraku's ramen is a soy-sauce flavor ramen with Taiwanese deep fried onions added. These deep fried onions are commonly used for a noodle soup called Tantsumen in Taiwan. At Kiraku they call the normal ramen, Chukamen.


kiraku men up
Kiraku's noodle is a flat egg noodle, which not too many shops used at the time when Kiraku opened.


kiraku wontonmen
Chukamen is the most ordered ramen, but Wontonmen (Wonton Ramen),


kiraku moyashi
Moyashimen (Stir Fried Been Sprout Ramen) are also popular.


kiraku moyashi wonton
If you want both in your ramen, just order Moyashi Wontonmen (Stir Fried Been Sprout & Wonton Ramen).


kiraku gyoza
Their Gyoza (Fried Dupplings) is very tasty as well.


kiraku inside
There are only a few ramen shops, which have been open for over 50 years and Kiraku probably has the biggest following (meaning loyal customers) and is busiest among these shops. The taste hasn't changed since the first time I ate here 30 years ago. If you enjoy soy sauce based ramen and had to pick one ramen shop to eat in Shibuya, it should be Kiraku without any doubt.


kiraku outside2


KIRAKU (in Japanese, 喜楽)
Address: 2-17-8 Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-17-8)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shiubua (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3461-2032
Reservations: No
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-8:30pm
Closed: Wednesday

Prices: Chukamen (Ramen) 650 yen
Moyashimen (Stir Fried Been Sprout Ramen) 650 yen
Wontonmen (Wonton Ramen) 800 yen
Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) 850 yen
Moyashi Wontonmen (Stir Fried Been Sprout & Wonton Ramen) 900 yen
Chashu Wontonmen (Roast Pork & Wonton Ramen) 1000 yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) 750 yen
Chukadon (Chop Suey over Rice) 750 yen
Gyoza (Fried Dupplings) 500 yen
Tamago (Season Boiled Egg) 100 yen
Plain Rice 200 yen
Large Noodle 100 yen extra




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TAMAKATSU (Iriya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 12.2011 Izakaya & Nabe 0 comments 0 trackback
玉勝outside resized
Chanko Nabe (Hot Pot which Sumo Wrestlers eat daily) is something not you eat often. Actually, any type of nabe (hot pot) which sumo wrestlers eat is called chanko. TAMAKATSU only serves one course menu nothing else. Its called Chanko Nabe Course for 6,500 yen. Even their beverage list is limited. Just beer, sake, coke and uron tea.


tamakatsu mozuku
The course starts out with Mozukusu(Seasoned Seaweed). Nothing special about this.


玉勝renkon
Next is Renkon-No Hasami Age (Deep fried lotus root stuffed with minced chicken). Expecting more appetizers? No this is all.


玉勝nabe
Now comes Chanko Nabe....full of vegetables & chicken. Vegetables are Spinach, Leeks, Chinese Cabbage, Burdock, Carrots. Also , some tofu is there as well. The waitress (who are ladies in their 70's) will tell you not to touch any of it until she says so. Yes, she is the ruler of this nabe. It may look like a lot, but this eventually all shrinks.


玉勝tare
In the mean time, a dipping sauce will be given out. Ingredients are soy sauce based sauce with chopped seaweed, white scallion, chili pepper, and raw egg. You wanna mix this all up with your chopsticks while you are waiting for the chanko nabe to be ready. In my opinion, its this dipping sauce what makes Tamakatsu unique and have people returning over and over again.


玉勝nabe0
When vegetables are ready, waitress will tell you to just eat vegetables, not chicken or tofu. Once the vegetables are gone, she will add more vegetables. By this time, you might only have little dipping sauce left. If so, ask for a new one because most customers at least have 2 extras by the time they finish the course.


玉勝nabe1
Of course, after vegetables its chicken & tofu.


玉勝mochi
Next, Udon (noodles) and Mochi (rice cake) will be added to the nabe.


玉勝soup
Usually, most people will be full after finishing this, but waitress will make a soup with the remaining broth adding eggs and other ingredients


The above pictures doesn't help this chanko nabe to look all that good, but it tastes a lot better than how it looks. Most people agree that it is a great meal, but even some of them think that 6,500 yen for this is too expensive. If you like nabe and vegetables, you will enjoy this meal, but if you really don't, you might think that its a bit over priced. My opinion? It could be a little cheaper, but no other nabe restaurant has a dipping sauce like Tamakatsu's and that's why I'm be eating here for over the last 20 years.


TAMAKATSU (in Japanese, 玉勝)
Address: 3-2-12 Negishi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都台東区根岸3-2-12)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Iriya (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3872-8712
Reservations: Yes, without one you won't get a table
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 6pm-9pm
Closed: Sunday & Holidays

Prices: Chanko Nabe Course (Chiceken & Vegetable Hot Pot Course) 6,500 yen




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OGINO (Ikejiri-Ohashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 11.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 1 comments 0 trackback
ogino outside2
What's the most popular western cuisine in Japan? The answer is pretty simple. French. There are over 300 French restaurants in Tokyo and just as many Italian restaurants as well, but not 25 years ago. Majority of the western restaurants were French. Most of the chef's have worked/trained at top restaurants in France at some point of their career and would come back to Japan usually working for one of the established restaurants as Chef and eventually opening their own restaurant. Owner/Chef of OGINO, Shinya Ogino also worked/trained in France, came back to Tokyo working for several French restaurants before opening his own restaurant. And by word of mouth, it has become one of the most popular French restaurants in Tokyo.


oginoパテ・ド・カンパーニュ
The reason of Ogino's popularity is because of its cost performance. For dinner, they offer a course menu of 4,500 yen and 6,500 yen. The biggest difference with Ogino's course menu is that you can order whatever you want from the menu. There are usually 10 choices of entrées, 6 choices of soups/salads, and at least 10 choices of main dishes. The menu changes by month, so many of the items you might see here won't be available when you dine at Ogino. But one of the items always available among entrées is Pâté de Campagne.


oginoパテ・ド・カンパーニュ2
It will be brought out in casserole and you can have as much as you want, but don't take all of it though.


ogino季節野菜のテリーヌ 帆立貝のタルタル添え
Other popular entrées are Terrine, like Season Vegetables & Scallop Terrine


ogino 山形産仔牛とフランス産トランペット茸のテリーヌ 水ナス添え
or Veal & Trumpet Mushroom Terrine, but varieties of terrine's will change by the month as well.


oginoズワイガニとジャガイモのガレット トリュフ風味
Also, dishes like Crab, Potato & Truffle Galette were memorable.


ogino soupe de poisson
Traditional dishes like Soupe de Poisson, and Onion Gratin Soup is also available.


oginoシャラン鴨むね肉ロースト
Since Chef Ogino specializes in meat dishes, I would recommend to order a meat dish if you were having 4,500 yen course menu. (4,500 yen is with only one main dish, but 6,500 yen is with two) If they have Challand Duck from France, I would strongly recommend to order it since very few restaurants in Japan can get a hold of it. As far as I know, only 5 can in Japan, but the others are all expensive Michelin 3 star restaurants. A dish I had was Roasted Challand Duck with Honey Vinegar Sauce.


ogino岩中豚のソテー マデラソース
Other dishes which I enjoyed are Roasted Basque Pork with Madére Sauce,


ogino 北海道産 夏鹿のパイ包み焼き 黒コショウソース
and if its Gibier (game) season, they might have dishes like Deer & Foie Gras Pie with Black Pepper Sauce.


ogino cheese
Cheese is not included in the course menu and is extra. Quality of cheese may not be equal to a 3 star grande maison restaurant, but its enjoyable for its price. Wine list is some what limited, but prices are reasonable and kept in good condition.


ogino inside2
To say the least, there aren't too many restaurants in Tokyo, which offer the same quality of food for Ogino's price range. It's a very small restaurant with only 20 seats, and interior is very simple, so it may not be a place for anniversaries or special occasions.


ogino inside1
It wasn't difficult to get a table for the first 2 years after they opened, but not anymore. Its one of the most difficult restaurants to get a table now. They take reservations for 2 months in advance and tables will be gone that day. There is no dress code, you can be as casual as you want, but their service and food isn't casual at all.


OGINO (in Japanese, オギノ)
Address: 2-20-9 Ikrjiri, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都世田谷区池尻2-20-9)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Ikeji-Ohashi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5481-1333
Reservations: Yes, without one you won't get a table
Website: hhttp://french-ogino.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: Dinner only, not for lunch
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 5:30pm-11:30pm, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 11:30am-1:30pm
Sunday & Holidays 5:30pm-9:30pm
Closed: Monday

Prices: Lunch Course Menu 2,500 yen & 4,000 yen
Dinner Course Menu 4,500 yen & 6,000 yen
All dishes are under 2,500 yen




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KANEMASU (Kachidoki)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 09.2011 Izakaya & Nabe 0 comments 0 trackback
kanemasu outside
Many businessmen or salaryman in Japan have their favorite IZAKAYA (Japanese-style bar & restaurant combined) they go to weekly or even daily. I was watching a TV program regarding one of the world's greatest chef, Ferran Adria's (restaurant El Bulli near Barcelona, Spain) visit to Japan. He was here for a food summit, but during his free time he was visiting restaurants all over Japan. Majority of the restaurants he visited are ones that any food lover would know, but there were two restaurants which I never heard of and one of them was really close to the company I was working for at that time. It was an izakaya with no seats, all standing, but the food served was no izakaya food. Some of the dishes were like KAISEKI RYORI (Artistic Japanese Cuisine). Ferran was in shock after tasting the 1st dish that a local izakaya can produce such food. A couple of weeks later, I was there and for the next 3 yrs, KANEMASU was my weekly izakaya.


kanemasu menu
Kanemasu's menu changes by what was available at the market that morning and by season, but some dishes are always on their menu.


DSC38355.jpg
NAMAUNI-NO GYUNIKU-MAKI (Sea Urchin rapped with Raw Beef) is one of these dishes and almost every customer orders it. The marble in the beef shows how good the quality is and with the sea urchin it all melts in your month. Such a simple dish, but you will be knocked out when you have it.


kanemasu 大間のマグロ
The sashimi at Kanemasu is as good as any sushi restaurant in Tokyo. All the fishes are great, but if you just happen to eat here during the winter, you might be able to order the best OH-TORO (Fatty Tuna) from Ohma in Aomori prefecture. Tuna caught in Ohma is a special brand of Tuna, just like Kobe Beef is for beef.


kanemasu hamo
If its summer time, dishes like HAMO NO BAINIKUAE (Pike Sea Eel with Sour Plum Sauce) is a dish you would only find at kappo's or kaiseki ryori restaurants.


kanemasu かぶら蒸し
Another dish that they usually have is KABURA MUSHI (Steamed Turnip and Seafood in Amber Sauce) which you would also never find at an izakaya. The amber sauce was what surprised Ferran since it was the same quality as the top kaiseki ryori restaurants he just ate at in Kyoto.


kanemasu 生ゆば
NAMA YUBA (Fresh Skin of Soy Milk) is dish that you would find at other izakaya's by time to time, but this isn't izakaya quality as well. I've only had better Yuba than Kanemasu's at famous Tofu shops in Kyoto.


kanemasu kani
KANI SALAD (Crab Salad) is simple as it could be, but just delicious.


kanemasu 柚子味噌田楽
NASU DENGAKU (Eggplant with Citrus Miso Sauce) is a favorite for regulars and one of the few sweet dishes available.


kanemasu ふぐの白子とフカヒレの蒸し物
And if you are really lucky and visit Kanemasu on the right day, you might be able to order FUGU-NO SHIRAKO-TO FUKAHIRE-NO MUSHIMONO (Steamed Soft Roe of Blowfish and Shark's Fin in Clear Broth).


kanemasu inside5
Kanemasu is located in downtown Tokyo, not too far from Tsukiji Fish Market by metro or taxi. It looks like any other izakaya nothing fancy and their hours are really short. Opened between 4pm-8pm and they will close a little after 7pm because the food is all sold out by then. Try to get their as early as possible because of the wait. Also note that popular dishes will be sold out by 6pm. Yes, its early for dinner, but think of it as if you were going to a pub with some excellent appetizers. Its not as cheap as other izakaya's (average bill per person is about 6,000-7000 yen including drinks), but its one of Tokyo's hidden gems.


kanemasu inside


KANEMASU (in Japanese, かねます)
Address: 1-8-1 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区勝どき1-8-1 勝どきビュータワー1F)
Nearest train station: Toei Oedo Kachidoki (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-3531-8611
Reservations: No
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 4pm-8pm (will close early when sold out)
Closed: Sunday & Holidays

Prices: All dishes are under 2,000 yen (average bill 7,000 yen per person)
Prices vary everyday for most dishes.




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KANDA YABUSOBA (Kanda or Akihabara)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 08.2011 Soba & Udon 0 comments 0 trackback
かんだやぶそばoutside
When you discuss about Soba restaurants in Tokyo, the first thing you need to talk about is Big 3 Names or Families of soba restaurants (in Japanese, Edo Soba Gosanke). The big 3 are SARASHINA, SUNABA, and YABU. KANDA YABUSOBA is the first soba restaurant with the name Yabu and opened in 1880. The founder of Kanda Yabusoba's 3rd son opened NAMIKI YABUSOBA in 1913 at Asakusa and Namiki Yabusoba's 2nd son opened IKENOHATA YABUSOBA in 1954 at Ueno. These 3 Yabusoba's are now known to many as BIG 3 YABUSOBA (in Japanese, Yabusoba Gosanke).

kandayasu tsuyu
Whats Yabusoba different from the other big 3's? The main difference is the SOBA TSUYU (cold soba sauce) which is saltier than others. Kanda Yabusoba is the saltiest even among all Yasusoba's.


かんだやぶそば inside2
Even if you don't enjoy eating soba, Kanda Yabusoba's building itself is a flashback of old Tokyo. It was built in 1924 and it is now an official historic landmark. Therefore, when you do go to Kanda Yabusoba, you should order various appetizers before having soba so you can enjoy the atmosphere of this rare soba restaurant.


かんだやぶそばitawasa
Soba lovers will start out ordering a bottle of sake and maybe KAMABOKO or ITAWASA (Minced Fish Sausage).

かんだやぶそば 鴨ロース
Also, you may want to try one of Kanda Yabusoba's signiture appetizer KAMO ROHSU (Grilled Duck Breast)

かんだやぶそば そばすし
or SOBA SUSHI


かんだやぶそばtentane
or even TENTANE (Round Large Tempura).


かんだやぶそばsoba
Then move on to SEIRO SOBA (Cold Soba)

かんだやぶそばkamonan
or if you prefer hot soba with soup, you might want to order their famous KAMONAN SOBA (Grilled Duck Soba)


kandayabu tamagotoji
or TAMOGOTOJI SOBA (Scrambled Egg Soba).
Many people usually have both cold & hot soba so they can enjoy Kanda Yabusoba's salty soba sauce and soup.


かんだやぶそば inside3
There are many other soba restaurants with the word Yabu included in their name and if you see one it means that owner/chef has worked at one of the big 3 Yabusoba's and was given permission to use it. All of these Yabu's are good soba restaurants, but Kanda Yabusoba still is on top of all of them. Just dine here once and you will probably agree like many soba freaks do.


かんだやぶそばoutside2


KANDA YABUSOBA (in Japanese, かんだやぶそば)
Address: 2-10 Kanda Awaji-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都千代田区神田淡路町2-10)
Nearest train station: JR Kanda & Akihabara (5 min walk)
Tokyo Metro Kanda & Awaji-cho (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3251-0287
Reservations: Yes
Website: hhttp://www.norenkai.net/english/shop/yabusoba/index.html
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-7:30pm
Closed: None

Prices: Seiro Soba (Cold Soba) 700 yen
Tamago Toji Soba (Scramble Egg Soba) 1,100 yen
Kamo Nanban Soba (Roast Duck & Scallion Soba) 1,800 yen
Tempura Soba 1,800 yen
Kamaboko (Minced Fish Sausage) 700 yen
Kamo Roast (Roast Duck Breast) 700 yen
Soba Sushi 800 yen
Tentane (Round Thick Tempura) 1,400 yen




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MOCHI MOCHI NO KI (Shinjuku or Okubo)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 07.2011 Ramen 0 comments 0 trackback
もちもちの木 outside
MOCHI MOCHI NO KI is originally from Shiraoka, Saimata. Their shop in Shinjuku is their only shop in Tokyo, but they do have 7 other shops outside of Tokyo. Its one of my wife's favorite ramen and for me, too. Their soup is a blend of 2 soups. One is made out of chicken, pork, vegetables and the other made out of various dried sardines & dried bonito. It is mixed together in a different pot and boiled until its really hot. (this is called DOUBLE SOUP among ramen freaks) Before pouring this soup into the bowl, a soy sauce based sauce is add and then seasoned boiled oil is added to keep the soup hot until the very last drop. Because this oil is covering noodle and soup, no steam comes out of the soup even though it is very hot.


もちもちの木 ramen3
They only have 2 items. CHUKA SOBA (Ramen) and


もちもちの木 tsukemen3
TSUKEMEN.


もちもちの木 inside
No matter what you order the soup is extremely hot and if you're not careful when drinking it, you will burn your mouth easily. Also, noodles soften faster than normal because of this. We always ask for noodles to be cooked hard (in Japanese, MEN KATAME) because you won't be able to eat it as fast as you normally would and noodles will be extra soft by the time you only finished half of it. The other thing you will notice is that this is one of the few ramen shops in Tokyo, where the customer ratio of male/female is about half and half, when most ramen shops are 90% men and 10% women.


MOCHI MOCHI NO KI (in Japanese, もちもちの木)
Address: 1-4-1 Kita-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (Basement Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区北新宿1-4-1 アルマビル B1F)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shinjuku (15 min walk) or JR Ohkubo (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3368-1751
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.mochimochinoki.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-11pm
Closed: New Years

Prices: Chuka Soba Sho (Small Ramen) 650 yen
Chuka Soba Chu (Medium Ramen) 770 yen
Chuka Soba Dai (Large Ramen) 980 yen
Tsukemen Sho (Small Tsukemen) 700 yen
Tsukemen Chu (Mediem Tsukemen) 880 yen
Tsukemen Dai (Large Tsukemen) 1,080 yen

Toppings: Topping Zenbu-Iri (Everything) 470 yen
Chashu (Roast Pork) 220 yen
Negi (White Scallions) 100 yen
Nitamago (Seasoned Boiled Egg) 100 yen
Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots) 160 yen
Takana (Pickled Mustard Leaf) 150 yen




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OBANA (Minami Senju)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 06.2011 Sushi & Unagi 0 comments 0 trackback
尾花cooking
Unagi (Sea Eel) chef's usually are trained to only cook Unagi nothing else. It is said to obtain proper technique, sticking takes 3 yrs, splitting takes 8 yrs and grilling takes a lifetime. On how to split and cook it varies by east and west. For example, Tokyo (Kanto area) splits it from the stomach and steams it once before its final grill, but Osaka (Kansai area) splits it from the back and doesn't steam it at all, only grills it. Tokyo Unagi restaurants are softer and less fatty since its been steamed once, and Osaka Unagi restaurants are chewer and oilier.


尾花outside1
OBANA in downtown Tokyo is one of the finest Unagi restaurants in Japan. My mother's side is from downtown Tokyo and whenever we came to visit them we would always go out to eat at Obana. I always looked forward eating there, since it wasn't common for us to eat Unagi at home, (we were living in Kobe at that time) but it was years later that I found out that Obana is considered the best Unagi restaurant by Unagi freaks.


尾花うさく
When visiting Obana, you want to order other Unagi dishes first before having UNAJYU. (Grilled Sea Eel over Rice) Maybe start out with USAKU (Grilled Sea Eel in Vinaigrette Sauce)


尾花umaki
or order UMAKI (Grilled Sea Eel Egg Omelet) or even both.


尾花白焼き
Next or even if you didn't order Usaku or Umaki, a must is ordering a non seasoned plain grilled unagi called SHIRAYAKI, which you eat with soy sauce and wasabi.


尾花start
Of course, if you can drink, you want to order a bottle of sake or beer with all this.


尾花うな重4000円
At the very end, have the main dish UNAJYU (Grilled Sea Eel over Rice). Whats different about Obana's unagi is that there aren't many burned spots on it when others have many. It is lightly grilled and to people who prefer the smell of charcoal on the unagi it may not be satisfying, but you don't see others who can grill it like Obana.


尾花kimosui
Also, you want to order KIMOSUI (Liver Soup) with Unajyu.


尾花inside
Obana doesn't take reservations so there could be a decent wait, they don't have private rooms and its not in a tourist area at all, but its one of downtown Tokyo's finest restaurants. If I had to recommend just one Unagi restaurant to go to it will be Obana.


尾花outside


OBANA(in Japanese, 尾花)
Address: 5-33-1 Minami Senju, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都荒川区南千住5-33-1)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Minami Senju (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3801-4670
Reservations: No
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: Tuesday-Friday 11:30am-1:30pm 4pm-7:30pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 11:30am-7:30pm
Closed: Monday

Prices: Unajyu (Grilled Sea Eel over Rice) 4,000 yen, 3,500 yen, 3,000 yen
Shirayaki (Grilled Non Seasoned Sea Eel) 3,300 yen
Uzaku (Grilled Sea Eel in Vinaigrette Sauce) 1,500 yen
Umaki (Grilled Sea Eel Egg Omelet) 1,800
Kimosui (Liver Soup) 350 yen
Oshinko (Pickels) 600 yen




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SHABU ZEN (Roppongi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 05.2011 Izakaya & Nabe 0 comments 0 trackback
しゃぶ禅outside
There are many fine restaurants which offer SHABU SHABU, but most of them are on the high end. For value, quality, and quantity, SHABU ZEN is one of the top Shabu Shabu restaurants in Tokyo. There are various locations all over Japan, but Roppongi location stands out since many foreign celebrates have ate here including Lady GaGa, who was here 3 nights out of the 5 nights she was in Tokyo in 2011.


しゃぶ禅nabe
Shabu Zen is one of the few Shabu Shabu restaurants which offer an all-you-can-eat menu with top quality BLACK HAIR WAGYU BEEF. Majority of the other restaurants use other Japanese beef to keep the prices reasonable. Of course, Shabu Zen's black hair wagyu beef isn't the best of best, but considering their prices which is between 6,800-8,800 yen, no other restaurant comes close to Shabu Zen.


しゃぶ禅黒毛和牛
Most expensive is SIRLOIN, which is the above. Next RIB EYE and then CHUCK EYE ROLL.


しゃぶ禅yasai
VEGETABLES, TOFU, NOODLES, and MOCHI (Rice Cake) are included in all courses.


しゃぶ禅tare
They also make SESAME SAUCE daily at each location, so there is a strong aroma of sesame when customers dip beef into it. Its always better to have fresh Sesame Sauce since its as important as the quality of beef, but most restaurants don't make it daily.


しゃぶ禅inside
If you are hungry for beef and don't want to pay top yen, Shabu Zen should be considered when you are in Tokyo. They offer many other courses besides all-you-can-eat and black hair wagyu beef. Other locations in Tokyo are AKASAKA, SHIBUYA, KAGURAZAKA, YOTSUYA.


SHABU ZEN (in Japanese, しゃぶ禅)
Address: 3-16-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (located at basement floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都港区六本木3-16-33 青葉六本木ビルB1)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Roppongi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3585-5600
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://roppongi.shabuzen.jp/
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Saturday 4pm-11:30pm, Sunday & Holidays 4pm-11pm
Closed: None

Prices: Kuroge Wagyu Sirloin Niku Shabu Tabehodai (Black Hair Wagyu Sirloin All-You-Can-Eat) 8,800 yen
Kuroge Wagyu Rib Roast Niku Shabu Tabehodai (Black Hair Wagyu Rib Eye All-You-Can-Eat) 7,800 yen
Kuroge Wagyu Kata Roast Niku Shabu Tabehodai (Black Hair Wagyu Chuck Eye Roll All-You-Can-Eat) 6,800 yen
Other courses are available




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FIGHT GYOZA (Sugamo)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 04.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 0 comments 0 trackback
ファイト餃子outside
FIGHT GYOZA isn't your ordinary Gyoza. The gyoza was invented by a former soldier who came back from China after World War II. He opened a store called WHITE GYOZA, over 50 years ago in Chiba and now has more than 40 stores all over Japan. Fight Gyoza is one of them and for some reason it isn't called White Gyoza, when all the other shops are and is the only franchise close to central Tokyo.


ファイト餃子gyoza
Fight Gyoza's menu is very limited. People come here to only eat Gyoza. The gyoza skin is extra thick and same flour for baguette is used. But the biggest difference is how they cook the gyoza. The gyoza is tightly lined up in a frying pan with almost no space in between. Then boiling water is added and cooked for 8-10 min. Next they add oil into the frying pan until the oil covers the gyoza. The water eventually evaporates and gyoza is ready.


ファイト餃子10gyoza
People at least eat 10 gyozas, which is 420 yen and the size of the gyoza is about half the size of an adult's fist. And with gyoza a cold glass of beer is a must.


ファイト餃子teishoku
Other items they have is a set of Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles


ファイト餃子chahan
and Chahan (Fried Rice) for 720 yen, Ramen for 620 yen, Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) for 820 yen, but nothing is special about these dishes. You really come here for the gyoza.


ファイト餃子inside
Its not in the most convenient location, but people from all over Tokyo come to eat here. You can also purchase it frozen from their website, where step by step instructions on how to cook the gyoza is listed.


ファイト餃子gyoza2


FIGHT GYOZA (in Japanese, ファイト餃子)
Address: 3-7-3, Nishi-Sugamo, Toshimaku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都豊島区西巣鴨3-7-3)
Nearest train station: JR & Toei Subway Sugamo (15 min walk)
Tel: 03-3917-6261
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.white-gyouza.co.jp/branch/sugamo.html (only in Japanese)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-8pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 11:30pm-8pm (will close early when sold out)
Closed: Tuesday (but open when holiday)

Prices: 10 Gyoza 420 yen, 15 Gyoza 630 yen, 20 Gyoza 840 yen
10 Gyoza Teishoku (10 Gyoza with Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles) 750 yen
15 Gyoza Teishoku (15 Gyoza with Rice, Miso Soup, & Pickles) 960 yen
Ramen 650 yen, Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) 820 yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) 720 yen
Ramen & 5 Gyoza 780yen
Ramen, 5 Gyoza & Half Bowl of Rice 880 yen
Chashumen (Roast Pork Ramen) & 5 Gyoza 980yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) & 5 Gyoza 880yen




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TONCHIN (Ikebukuro)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 03.2011 Ramen 0 comments 0 trackback
tonchin outside
TONCHIN is one of the ramen shops, which made TOKYO TONKOTSU (Tokyo Pork Bone Broth Ramen) famous. Whenever the ramen category, Tonkotsu Ramen was used in the past, it meant Kyushu or Hakata style ramen, where the soup is usually made out of pork bones only, white and milky. Tokyo Shoyu Tonkotsu uses other ingredients with pork bone such as chicken, vegetables, but the soup is white and milky like Tonkotsu ramen.


tonchin 普通
Tonchin currently offers 4 types of ramen and the most popular one is simply called TOKYO TONKOTSU RAMEN 650 yen. You can choose the amount of noodles, which is called NAMI (Regular), CHU (Large), DAI (Extra Large) for all 4 types of ramen. You can also choose how you want your ramen cooked. Noodles boiled Soft/Normal/Hard, Pork Fat None/Normal/More, Soy Sauce Less/Normal/More, Green Onions None or With.


tonchin 特入り
A wide variety of addtional toppings are available, but many customers who do add toppings choose MARUTOKU-IRI, which is 2 slices of Roast Pork, Seasoned White Scallions, 1/2 Seasoned Boiled Egg for 350 yen.


tonchin tukemen
The other popular ramen is TOKYO TONKOTSU TSUKEMEN. Noodles are cold and comes separately with the soup.


tonchin ticket machine
Tonchin has two locations. The main shop in Ikebukuro and 2nd shop in Shinjuku (Kabuki-cho). You will have to purchase your order through a ticket machine and it will be in Japanese only, but there are small pictures on the buttons. Only problem there could be is the amount of noodles you want, so just tell one of the employees or the person behind you on line in Japanese and they should help you out.


tonchin inside


TONCHIN (in Japanese, 屯ちん)
Address: 2-26-2 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都豊島区南池袋2-26-2)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Ikebukuro (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3987-8556
Reservations: No
Website: http://tonchin.foodex.ne.jp/ (in Japanese only
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11am-4am
Closed: None

Prices: Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen (Tokyo Pork Bone Broth Ramen) 650 yen
Tokyo Tonkotsu Tsukemen (Tokyo Pork Bone Broth Tsukemen) 650 yen
Other Ramens & Tsukemens from 680 yen

Toppings: Marutoku-Iri (2 slices of Roast Pork, Seasoned White Scallions, 1/2 Seasoned Boiled Egg) 350 yen
Chashu (Roast Pork) 230 yen, Ajitsuke Negi (Seasoned White Scallions) 150 yen
Kara Negi Chashu (White Scallions & Roast Pork in Spicy Sauce) 300yen
Nitamago (Seasoned Boiled Egg)
Miso/Corn/Wakame (Soft Seaweed)/Nori (Dry Seaweed)/Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots)...100 yen each
Butter 50 yen




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