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TUCANO'S (Shibuya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 30.2011 Burgers, American & South American 0 comments 0 trackback
TUCANOS outside
Ever since I was a kid growing up in New York, I loved Brazilian food. There was a restaurant which was one of my late father's favorite and he would take the family their twice a month. But after moving back to Japan, I didn't have any for a couple of years. For some unknown resson there aren't too many Brazilian restaurants in Tokyo. There are actually a couple of cities outside of Tokyo, with a large Brazilian community and restaurants. One of the few Brazilian restaurants in Tokyo, which serves Churrasco BBQ is TUCANO'S in Shibuya.

トゥッカーノ ribs
Churraso is one of the most popular foods of Brazil. Various meats are on a skewer, cooked in a rotating grill and at Tucano's it is served by waiters dressed like Gaucho's (cowboys).

トゥッカーノ beef
They carve meat off the skewer on your plate each time,

トゥッカーノ various meats
They serve 10 different parts of meat which are PICANHA (Beef rump), ALCATRA (Top Sirloin), CUPIM(Topsider), COSTELA (Beef Rib), PICANHA NO ALHO(Garlc Steak), LOMBO (Pork Loin), COSTELA (Pork Rib), LINGUICA (Pork Sausage), FRANGO (Chicken Drum Sticks), CORACOES (Chicken Heart).

トゥッカーノ salad bar
One of my favorites is the salad bar with over 30 vegetables and 10 dressings to choose from.

トゥッカーノ fegioada
There is FEIJOADA (Brazilian Beans Stew), which is eaten with rice for almost every meal in Brazil and also CURRY, SAUSAGE, FRIED CHICKEN, PASTA, FRENCH FRIES and many other items at the buffet.

トゥッカーノ dessert
They have various desserts at the buffet as well

トゥッカーノ chocolate
including a CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN, but compared to other items all the deserts are average or below average.

トゥッカーノ garlic steak
For lunch, you can just have the buffet or STEAK PLATE for 880 yen on weekdays, 980 yen for weekends & holiday or even have CHURASSCO for 1,980 yen on weekdays, 2,900 yen for weekends & holiday. There is also MINI CHURASSCO lunch, 5 different parts of meat instead of 10 for 1,590 yen on weekdays, 2,500 yen for weekends & holiday. A soft drink bar is available for 110 yen as well.

トゥッカーノ dancer
During dinner time they have a band which plays bossa nova, and also samba dancers come out as well, so the place is a bit lively and loud.

トゥッカーノ inside
Tucano's beef is from Australia not Japanese beef, but it is top Australian beef. I usually have the lunch Churassco on weekdays when I'm in Shibuya because it is half the price of dinner. Plus the samba dancers at night are a bit disturbing for me, but if you like entertainment during dinner it should be fun. It may not be one of the best Churassco's you ever had since I've had better ones myself in Brazil, but if you are craving for beef or Brazilian food, Tucano's is one of the few places to go in Tokyo.

TUCANO'S (in Japanese, トゥッカーノ)
Address: 2-23-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (Basement floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-23-12 B1F)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shibuya (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5784-2661
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.pjgroup.jp/tucanos/e_tucanos/index.html
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 12pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
Saturday, Sunday, Holiday 12pm-2pm, 5pm-9:30pm
Closed: None

Weekday Prices:
Lunch Buffet 60 min (Pasta, Curry, Salad, Desert) 880 yen
Lunch Steak Plate (Steak & Fries) 880 yen
Mini Lunch Churrasco 60 min (5 different parts of meat & buffet) 1,480 yen
Lunch Churrasco 90 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 1,980 yen
Churrasco Dinner 90 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 3,800 yen
Churrasco Dinner 120 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 4,500 yen

Saturday, Sunday, Holiday Prices:
Lunch Buffet 60 min (Pasta, Curry, Salad, Desert) 980 yen
Lunch Steak Plate (Steak & Fries) 980 yen
Lunch Mini Churrasco 60 min (5 different parts of meat & buffet) 2,400 yen
Lunch Churrasco 90 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 2,900 yen
Churrasco Dinner 90 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 3,800 yen
Churrasco Dinner 120 min (10 different parts of meat & buffet) 4,500 yen

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KAMEJYU (Asakusa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 28.2011 Sweets, Bakery & Cafe 0 comments 0 trackback
kamejyu outside 1
You're in Asakusa doing some sightseeing or just hanging out to see a friend. Wanna get something for your Japanese friends as omiyage (gift) or some snack you can eat back at your hotel room/house. Well, there is the perfect Japanese sweet shop in Asakusa for this. KAMEJYU, which is only seconds away from Tokyo Metro station and Kaminarimon. It is one of the most famous sweet shops in downtown Tokyo.

kamejyu dorayaki
Their signature item is DORAYAKI (Sweet red or white bean paste in pancake) for 315 yen. It is considered the best down to earth style Dorayaki in Tokyo.

kamejyu kuroan
The Dorayaki is quit large compared to other shops and the most popular one is KUROAN (red bean paste),

kamejyu shiroan
but they have SHIROAN (white bean Paste) as well if you prefer.

kamejyu matsukaze
Other signature item is MATSUKAZE (Sweet red been paste in brown sugar sponge cake) for 250 yen. Matsukaze is their original item, which many customers purchase as well.

kamejyu kintsuba 2
Like most Japanese sweet shops, they also have items like KINTSUBA (Sweet red bean paste) for 160 yen,

kamejyu monaka
MONAKA (Sweet red or white bean paste in wafers) for 294 yen

kamejyu mamemochi
and MAMEMOCHI (Sticky rice cake with beans) for 190 yen.

kamejyu inside 1
But most people come here for the famous DORAYAKI, which sells out before 3pm on weekends and holidays. So if you are going to Asakusa and like sweet red bean or Dorayaki, do stop by at Kamejyu. Its a must stop at Asakusa.

kamejyu inside

KAMEJYU (in Japanese, 亀十)
Address: 2-18-11 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都台東区雷門2-18-11)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Asakusa (1 min walk)
Tel: 03-3841-2210
Reservations: No
Website: http://ryoma.cantown.jp/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Cantown.woa/3/wo/Y1tVKR6BElDuZrFodEoOK0/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 10am-9pm
Closed: Not fixed

Prices: Dorayaki (Sweet red or white bean paste in pancake) 315 yen
Matwsukaze (Sweet red been paste in brown sugar sponge cake) 250 yen
Kintsuba (Sweet red bean paste) 160 yen
Monaka (Sweet red or white bean paste in wafers) 294 yen
Mamemochi (Sticky rice cake with beans) 190 yen
Other items from  160-3,150 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 24.2011 Chinese, Thai, Indian & Other Asian 2 comments 0 trackback
餃子の王将 outside 1
One of the most well know restaurant chains in Japan is GYOZA-NO OHSHO (usually just called Ohsho). Its a Chinese restaurant, which first opened near one the universities in Kyoto and now there are over 550 locations throughout Japan and over 20 in Tokyo. Ohsho's food is not authentic Chinese food, its Japanese-style Chinese food, affordable to anyone.

餃子の王将 gyoza
Their signature dish is of course is GYOZA for 231 yen. At most Chinese restaurant chains its made at a factory by machine, but Ohsho makes them at each restaurant and you will see one of the chef's constantly making it.

餃子の王将 karaage
Other signature dishes are TORI-NO KARAAGE (Boneless fried chicken) for 525 yen,

餃子の王将 tenshin don
and TENSHINDON (Rice topped with fried egg crab) for 462 yen.

餃子の王将 fried rice
Other notable rice dishes are YAKIMESHI (Fried Rice with roasted pork and egg) for 420 yen,

餃子の王将 chukadon
and CHUKADON (Rice topped with seafood and vegetables) for 462 yen.

餃子の王将 ohsho ramen
They also have a wide range of noodle dishes as well, such as OHSHO RAMEN for 472 yen,

餃子の王将 agesoba
AGESOBA (Hard fried noodle with meat & vegetables) for 577 yen,

餃子の王将 yakisoba
YAKISOBA (Fried noodle with meat & vegetables) for 472 yen.

餃子の王将 livernira
They also have dishes like NIRANIKU ITAME (Sauteed pork & leek) for 472 yen,

餃子の王将 subura
and SUBATA (Sweet and our pork) for 525 yen and about 30 other dishes including various Teishoku (set menu).

餃子の王将 menu
No other restaurant can produce the same quality of food for such a cheap price. Its not only great for students and families, but for anyone who wants to spend less and still have a good Japanese-style Chinese meal. I have been eating here ever since my junior high school days and still enjoy it as I did back then. It just never gets old.

GYOZA-NO OHSHO (in Japanese, 餃子の王将)
Address: 2-10-3 Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-10-3)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shibuya (4 min walk)
Tel: 03-5489-3336
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.ohsho.co.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-10pm
Closed: Undecided

Prices: Gyoza 231 yen
Yakimeshi (Fried Rice with roasted pork and egg) 420 yen
Tenshindon (Rice topped with fried egg crab) 462 yen
Chukadon (Rice topped with seafood and vegetables) 462 yen
Ohsho Ramen 472 yen
Age Soba (Hard fried noodle with meat & vegetables) 577 yen
Subuta (Sweet sour pork) 525 yen
Niraniku Itame (Sauteed pork & leek) 472 yen
Tori-No Karaage (Fried chicken without bone) 525 yen
Other dishes between 300-600 yen
Set menu from 600-1000 yen

There are more than 20 locations in Tokyo.

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L’AMITIE (Takadanobaba)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 22.2011 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
L’AMITIE outside 1
There are many French bistro's now in Tokyo and one my favorites is L’AMITIE in Takadanobaba. L'amitie offers a course menu for both lunch and dinner. Lunch its 1,200 yen and dinner 2,700 yen. For lunch, usually 5 choices of entrées, 6 choices of main dishes and dinner is usually double of lunch.

Entrées like Quiche Lorraine,

グリーンアスパラガスとホワイトアスパラガスのサラダ 粒マスタードソース
Green Salad & White Asparagus with whole-grain mustard dressing,

Assorted Ham with Rillette,

エスカルゴとマッシュルーム、ベーコンのオーブン焼き ブルゴーニュ風
Burgundy-style Escargot with Bacon & Mushrooms,

Terrine of the day,

Chicken White Liver Mousse are on the menu most of the time.

フランス産バルバリー 鴨のコンフィー
Popular main dishes are Duck Confit,

Wagyu Tartar Steak,

Burgundy-style Chou Farci (rolled cabbage),

Beef Bourginion (red wine beef stew),

Baked ground beef, mashed potato with Gruyère cheese,

L’AMITIE steak
and Steak is available, too.

For an addtional 525 yen, you can order desserts like Tart of the day,

desert desert
or various ice creams as well.

L’AMITIE inside
I can't think of another bistro which offers large portions and quality food this cheap in Tokyo. Of course, there are other bistro's using the best ingredients available, but these bistro's will be charging double or triple of L'amitie, so if that's what you are looking for L'amitie is not for you. Its also not a fancy bistro, decor is very simple and probably not a place for dates or special occations, but if you want to eat casual affordable bistro food consider L'amitie. Only problem is that you have to make reservations weeks in advance (recently 6-8 weeks).

L’AMITIE (in Japanese, ラミティエ)
Address: 2-9-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区高田馬場2-9-1)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Takadanobaba (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5272-5010
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.zooom.jp/selection/detail.do?id=426(in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: No
Open: 12pm-1:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: Monday & 2nd Tuesday of the month

Prices: Lunch course 1,200 yen
Dinner course 2,700 yen
Desert 525 yen

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MINATOYA (Toranomon/Kamiyacho)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 20.2011 Soba & Udon 0 comments 0 trackback
minatoya outside
MINATOYA near Toranomon/Kamiyacho serves soba that no other soba shop does. Its a stand-up soba shop without any seats, but the quality of soba is unlike other stand-up soba shops and even the outside of the shop looks more like an art gallery.

minatoya inside 2
And inside of Minatoya doesn't look like a soba shop as well.

minatoya food 2
Their main dish, which 90% of the customers order is TSUMETAI NIKU SOBA (Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Beef) for 850 yen. Both the soba tsuyu (dipping sauce) and soba are both cold.

minatoya tsuyu
Soba tsuyu has some Rahyu (Chili Oil) in it, which is usually used only for Chinese food.

minatoya men
On top of the cold soba is sweetly flavored shredded beef, sesame, green onions, and dried seaweed.

minatoya men 1
Just dip everything into the soba tsuyu . Not only the taste will be different, but there will be a crunchiness which you never experienced with other soba's.

minatoya food 1
It also comes with a raw egg and Tenkasu (Deep-Fried Tempura Batter) for the soba tsuyu, if you like.

minatoya egg
After finishing about half of the soba, add the raw egg and tenkasu into the soba tsuyu and mix it. Since the portions are huge, by adding egg and tenkasu it changes the taste of soba tsuyu, so you can enjoy it until the last single soba.

minatoya tori 2
If you don't like beef there is ATATAKAI TORI SOBA (Hot Buckwheat Noodle with Chicken) for 850 yen.

minatoya tori
The soba tsuyu is hot with chicken,

minatoya tori 1
but the soba is cold.

minatoya outside 1
There will be a line of people waiting, but the wait isn't that long since the soba comes out within a minute after you order and everyone leaves as soon as they finish eating. If you are looking for a quick lunch, filling and something different, I strongly recommend Minatoya. ALso, they will close when soba is sold out and on busy days thats usually before 6:30pm, so make sure you go before 6:30pm.

minatoya inside

MINATOYA (in Japanese, そば処港屋)
Address: 3-1-10, Nishi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都港区西新橋3-1-10)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Kamiyacho or Toranomon (6 min walk)
Tel: 03-5777-6921
Reservations: No
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-8pm (will closer early when soba is sold out.
on a early day that would be around 6:30pm)
Closed: Saturday, Sunday & Holiday

Prices: Tsumetai Niku Soba (Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Beef) 850 yen
Atatakai Tori Soba (Hot Buckwheat Noodle with Chicken) 850 yen
Nori Goma Mori (Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Dried Seaweed & Sesame) 800 yen
Goma Mori (Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Sesame) 700 yen
Nori Mori (Cold Buckwheat Noodle with Dried Seaweed) 700 yen
Mori (Plain Cold Buckwheat Noodle) 600 yen

Ohmori (Large Soba) 100 yen extra

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 18.2011 Yakitori, Yakiton & Kushiage 0 comments 0 trackback
六覺燈 inside
I'm sure many of you had Yakitori, but maybe not Kushiage, which is one of the soul foods of Osaka. KUSHIAGE is deep fried vegetables, meats, seafood on a stick like a stick version of Tonkatsu, but not as heavy as tonkatsu. Usually, kushikatsu is cheap like 100-150 yen per stick, but there are some places which uses the finest ingredients available on the market. ROKUKAKUTEI in Ginza is one of them. Its probably the most famous high class Kushiage resto and only Kushiage restaurant which was awarded a star in Michelin.

六覺燈 set
Its basically a course menu, 20 sticks for 10,000, but you can tell them to stop when you are full or even ask for more after finishing 20 sticks.

六覺燈 sauce
Several types of sauces will be served and the chef will tell you which one to use for each kushiage.

六覺燈 gyugoboh
GOBOH NO GYUNIKU MAKI (Burdock roots rapped with Wagyu beef) is one their original kushiage's,

六覺燈 ayu
and so as AYU (sweetfish).

六覺燈 ebi
Of course, regular kushikatsu's like EBI (Prawn) are included in the course.

六覺燈 wine
They also have a great wine list mainly from France.

六覺燈 bread
And for some reason, they serve bread which is baked by the chef, instead of rice or noodles unlike other kushiage restaurants.

六覺燈 outside
Rokukakutei's main restaurant is in Osaka, but since there aren't too many Kushiage restaurants in Tokyo, the owner always wanted to open a branch in Ginza one day. Its not cheap, but many of my friends who I have taken end up coming back with their spouses or friends. Great for dates and even business dinners.

ROKUKAKUTEI (in Japanese, 六覺燈)
Address: 6-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 4F
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座6-8-7 交詢ビル 4F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Ginza (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-5537-6008
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.midcity.jp/kojun/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 2pm-10pm
Closed: Tuesday

Prices: 10,000 yen course (20 sticks of kushiage)
Over 500 wines

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KITCHEN CARROT (Nishi Ogikubo)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 14.2011 Curry, Yoshoku, Steak & Teppanyaki 7 comments 0 trackback
outside carrot 1
If someone asked me where my favorite inexpensive restaurant for eating beef is the answer is very very easy. Its KITCHEN CARROT at Nishi Ogikubo. Cost performance wise no restaurant beats Carrot (most people call Kitchen Carrot just Carrot). Carrot's owner/chef family originally owned a small meat shop, but since he decided to become a chef instead, he closed the meat shop and opened Carrot. Not only the portions are huge and cheap, but all the beef used are Japanese, not from Australia or US unlike all other inexpensive restaurants. The reason why Carrot can provide dishes at a reasonable price is that owner/chef still has relatives working at beef market and also he purchases one whole cow, not by parts. Most of the menu are a combination grill like Steak & Hamburger Steak and there are over 30 of them.

carrot steakmorichicken
But the most famous dish is SUTEMORI CHICKEN (Steak, Sauteed Chicken & Cheese Hamburg Steak). It weighs a total of 800g, Steak & Hamburg Steak 300g each and Sauteed Chicken 200g for only 1,580 yen. Not everyone orders this because of its portion, but since I only have one meal a day this is what I order all the time.

steak  jumboebi
If you want to do kind of a surf & turf, there is JUMBO EBI FRY TOH STEAK (Deep Fried Jumbo Prawn & Steak) for 1,980 yen.

double steak
Or if you just want to have steak, there is DOUBLE STEAK, a combination of two different parts of beef for 1,280 yen.

Other popular dishes are OROSHI HANBAHGU TOH EBI FRY CREAM KOROKE (Hamburger Steak with Oroshi, Deep Fried Prawn, & Cream Croquette) for 950 yen.

carrot burger kakifurai
During the winter and spring they serve deep fried oyster. You can order it as an appetizer, but most order it as a combination grill like HANBAHGU TOH KAKIFURAI (Hamburg Steak & Deep Fried Oysters) for 980 yen or with regular steak instead of hamburger steak for 1,280 yen. I've never had better deep fried oysters than Carrot's including the expensive restaurants.

beef stew carrot
Dishes like WAGYU BEEF STEW for 1,280 are available as well. And if you just want to eat top wagyu sirloin or filet mignon steaks as well, its available for less than 3,500 yen. Prices vary depending on the size of the steak.

carrot rice  miso
All dishes come with rice, miso soup and

coffee  orange juice
coffee (hot or cold) or orange juice.

inside carrot
There is nothing around Carrot since its a middle class residential area, but whenever I have time I go to eat here even if it takes a little less than one hour from where I live. Its one of those restaurants where you eat and just leave, so if you are looking for a nice atmosphere this isn't the place for you.

outside carrot 2
Plus the wait can be more than 30 min on a bad day, but if you want to eat inexpensive steak/meat, this is the go to place not only in Tokyo, but in all of Japan. Its only 15 min away from Shinjuku by train, so if you are in Shinjuku or near by and finished shopping, craving for beef, get on the train and go to Carrot.

KITCHEN CARROT (in Japanese, キッチン・キャロット)
Address: 3-13-7 Nishi-Ogi-Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都杉並区西荻北3-13-7)
Nearest train station: JR Nishi-Ogikubo (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3394-4443
Reservations: No
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-2:20pm, 5pm-9:50pm
Closed: Thursday
Prices: Sute Mori Chicken (Steak, Cheese Hamburg Steak & Sauteed Chicken) 1,580 yen
Jumbo Ebi Fry Toh Steak (Deep Fried Jumbo Prawn & Steak) 1,980 yen
Hanbahgu Toh Kaki Fry (Hamburg Steak & Deep Fried Oysters) 950 yen
Other Dishes from 780-3,500 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 12.2011 Daily Local Food & Others 0 comments 0 trackback
sutadon outside
You've tried the famous beef bowl from Yoshihonya, Sukiya, or Matsuya already and want to try something different, but still cheap and delicious. Try SUTADON (Stamina Pork Bowl) then from DENSETSU NO SUTADONYA. Densetsu no sutadonya means "Legendary Stamina Bowl Resto" and Stadon was invented by a small local Chinese restaurant in Kunitachi, a suburb of Tokyo. When the owner closed his small shop, he passed the recipe to one of his customers. This customer started his own shop in Kunitachi 15 yrs ago and now owns over 33 shops in Tokyo and 17 outside of Tokyo. It was only famous to people who lived around Kunitachi, but after a high school baseball phenom told the media that it was his favorite food a couple of year ago, business took off. Now its probably one of the fastest growing food chains in Tokyo.

The main item is SUTADON (short for stamina bowl), which is a slices of pork belly cooked in a soy sauce based garlic sauce. It is first boiled in hot water and then stir fried with this garlic sauce.

The portions are huge, comes with raw egg and miso soup for just 600 yen. Just mix the egg and pour it over the pork. If you want, you can add extra pork for 120 yen or even extra rice for 80 yen, but the regular size Sutadon should be enough for most people.

If you want to eat pork and rice separately, there is STAMINA RICE for 600 yen.

suta curry
Or you can have it with curry rice as well called STAMINA CURRY for 650 yen.

sutadon チャーハン
If you are with someone who doesn't like garlic there are regular dishes like CHAHAN (Fried Rice) for 600 yen as well.

sutadon gyoza
They also have side dishes like GYOZA for 200 yen.

sutadon inside
They have many other items, but almost 95% of the customers order Sutadon and I would recommend to do so if its your first time here. Its like a ramen shop, just eat and leave as soon as you are finished, but even my wife craves for it at least once a month. Besides this shop in Shibuya, there are shops in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Okachimachi, Kichijoji, Shimokitazawa, Shinagawa, and many other locations in Tokyo. Also, you can take out all dishes as well.

sutadon jihanki

DENSETSU NO SUTADONYA (in Japanese, 伝説のすた丼屋)
Address: 2-6-7 Dougenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-6-7 )
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Shibuya (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-6416-1587
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.antoworks.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11am-3am
Closed: None

Prices: Sutadon 600 yen
Stamina Rice 600yen
Stamina Curry 650 yen
Chahan (Fried Rice) 600 yen
Gyoza 200 yen
Other dishes 300-700 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 09.2011 Sushi & Unagi 3 comments 0 trackback
すし匠 まさ outside
Wanna go to one the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo? Well, your bill will be somewhere between 20,000-40,000 yen per person not including drinks. I personally don't trust Michelin or Zagat when I have to spend this much for dinner. For example, many of my friends ask me about Sukiyabashi Jiro, Michelin 3 star and one of the most famous sushi restaurants in Japan, where even one the most famous chef's in the world, Joel Robuchon dines whenever he is in Tokyo. Of course, the sushi is good, but there is almost zero service and you will be only eating there for 20 min, since chef Jiro will only provide a one course menu at his pace. And your bill will be over 35,000 yen. 35,000 yen plus for 20 min? I could never do it again. For me, if I had to spend so much for top sushi, of course fish has to be top quality, but also how the rice is flavored and service of the chef is important as well. A fairly new sushi restaurant in Nishi Azabu called SUSHISHO MASA is one of the few top sushi restaurants which satisfies all my needs.

Chef Masa trained at Umi in Aoyama and Sushi Sho in Yotsuya. After training at such top Tokyo sushi restaurants, he even went out of Tokyo to train at other top sushi restaurants, which is very rare. I was taken to Sushisho Masa for a business dinner and loved everything about the restaurant. Fish, rice and especially chef Masa will make sure customers will go home satisfied with at least his service. His sushi isn't the typical Edo-Mae Sushi (authentic Tokyo style sushi), its a mixture of all kinds of sushi.

すし匠 まさ anago
For example, he will serve Anago (sea eel), one with salt and the other with tsume (sweet sauce).

すし匠 まさ ikura
Ikura (salmon roe) won't be wrapped around with seaweed.

すし匠 まさ kimo
Fishes like Nodoguro, which is usually only used at sushi restaurants in Kanazawa will be available when its in season,

すし匠 まさ kinmedai
and also, Kinmedai-no aburi (lightly grilled golden eye sea bream) is another sushi you won't find at most sushi restaurants.

すし匠 まさ zuke
Of course, edo-mae sushi like Akami-no zuke (seasoned red tuna),

すし匠 まさ kodai
Kasugo-no oborozuke (seasoned small red fish) ,

すし匠 まさ saba
and Shime saba (marinated mackerel) is served,

すし匠 まさ inside
There are only seven seats at Sushisho Masa and also no menu except for the sake list. Start with some sashimi first and then move on to sushi like most people do at a top sushi restaurant. Just tell chef Masa what you don't like and he will serve you accordingly. Since his restaurant has become so popular now, you will have to make a reservation 4-6 weeks in advance (if its past 11pm you might be able to get a table earlier), but chef Masa who will remind you of an one to one marketing expert will make sure that you had a great night dining at his restaurant. He is one of the great young chef's in Tokyo.

SUSHISHO MASA (in Japanese, すし匠 まさ)
Address: 4-1-15 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo (basement floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都港区西麻布4-1-15 セブン西麻布 B1F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Hiroo or Roppongi (12 min walk)
Tel: 03-3499-9178
Reservations: Yes (only)
Website: None
English menu: No
Credit Card: Yes (VISA, AMEX, JCB only)
Open: Tuesday- Thursday 6pm-1am, Friday & Saturday 6pm-3am
Sunday & Holidays 6pm-11:30pm
Closed: Monday

Price: 20,000-30,000 yen

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TAISHOKEN (Takinogawa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 06.2011 Ramen 0 comments 0 trackback
大勝軒 yamagishi
Mr. Yamagishi is called "The God of Ramen" and majority of ramen shop owners will agree he actually is. He invented whats called Tsukemen (dipping cold noodles into hot ramen soup) in 1961 and has shared his recipe with anyone who wanted to work for him or even visit for a couple of hours at his famous shop in Higashi Ikebukuro called Taishoken.

大勝軒 滝野川店outside
One of his first apprentice's opened up a shop not too far away at Takinogawa, which is called Taishoken Takinogawa. Taishoken Takinogawa's soup has a little more punch than its master's, which I personally like better. There are a couple of Taishoken's around where we live, but we always drive 90 min to eat here instead.

大勝軒 滝野川店tsukemen
At all Taishoken's, tsukemen is actually called Morisoba. The soup has some sugar & vinegar in it, which is not common for ramen soup. Also, you can have the noodles hot if you prefer, but most people do order the noodles cold. The portions are huge and at the end they will add some hot broth to your soup so you can drink it all.

大勝軒 滝野川店ramen
Regular ramen is available as well, but 90% of the customers order morisoba. They also have a great side dish called Menma Chashu (seasoned bamboo shoots with roast pork) which we always order and take out.

大勝軒 honten
Taishoken Takinogawa isn't in the most convenient location, so if its your first time to ever have Taishoken's tsukemen, you can try the main shop first at Higashi Ikebukuro or other locations in Roppongi, Shibuya, Ueno, Meguro and etc. Every shop tastes a little different from each other, but if you want a little more punch in your soup, do try Tahishoken Takinogawa, its our favorite location by far.

This is not Takinogawa location, its the Higashi Ikebukuro location featuring Mr. Yamagishi.

TAISHOKEN (in Japanese, 大勝軒)
Address: 2-10-3 Takinogawa, Kita-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都北区滝野川 2-10-3)
Nearest train station: JR Oji (8 min walk),
Toden Takinogawa 1-Chome (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-3940-3860
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.tai-sho-ken.com/shoplist/index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
Closed: Monday

Prices: Mori Soba (Tsukemen) 700 yen
Mori Yasai (Tsukemen with Stir Fried Vegetables) 950 yen
Mori Chashu (Tsukemen with Roast Pork) 1000 yen
Ramen 700 yen
Chashumen (Ramen with Roast Pork 1000 yen
Other Ramens & Tsukemens 800-1150 yen
Menma Chashu (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots & Roast Pork) 700 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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