Posted by Tokyo Joe on --.-- スポンサー広告

TORIYASU (Higashi-Nihonbashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 30.2012 Japanese (Kappo, Kaiseki) 2 comments 0 trackback
あひ鴨一品 鳥安outside 1
TORIYASU at Higashi-Nihonbashi opened in 1872 only 5 years after the samurai period ended. Ever since it opened it only serves one course menu which is AIGAMO SUKIYAKI COURSE (Duck Sukuyaki course) for 10,000 yen, nothing else. Its probably the only restaurant in Tokyo which serves duck sukiyaki as well.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安お通し5種
The dinner starts out with 5 kinds of appetizers on a plate and these depend on the month you dine here.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安ささみのサラダ仕立て
Next is SASAMI NO SALAD JITATE (Salad with slices of steamed chicken white meal)

あひ鴨一品 鳥安鳥わさ
or TORIWASA (Slices of steamed chicken breast meat).

あひ鴨一品 鳥安吸い物
A clear chicken soup called OSUIMONO will be next.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安備長炭の入った焜炉
While you are eating the above the nakai (waitress) will bring charcoal in a iron pot

あひ鴨一品 鳥安鳥安オリジナルの鉄鍋
and teppan (iron plate) for the duck sukiyaki.

あひ鴨一品 あひ鴨肉
A plate with slices of duck breast, minced duck, duck liver and duck fat

あひ鴨一品 鳥安野菜類
and another plate with various vegetables will be brought out.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安おいしそうに焼けてきました
The nakai will cook all this for you by oiling the teppan with duck fat first and then add meats and vegetables.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安大根おろし
Usually if its called sukiyaki its cooked in a sauce which is made out of soy sauce, sugar and sake, but at Toriyasu they serve it with grated daikon (Japanese radish) and normal soy sauce.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安取り分けてくれます
Once its cooked, the nakai will serve it for you.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安お味噌汁と香の物
It also comes with white rice, miso soup and pickles,

あひ鴨一品 鳥安炒飯
but instead of plain white rice, you can order YAKIMESHI (Fried rice) instead, which they charge extra. It will be cooked right in front of you by the nakai as well.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安黒豆のデザート
And for dessert, either KUROMAME PURIN (Black bean pudding) or some fresh fruit will be served.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安inside
All tables are in small private rooms. You can use it for dates, special family occasions and of course important business dinners. It may not be an amazing meal, but the restaurant is really one of Tokyo's finest with its history, service, atmosphere and simplicity. For over 140 years from famous politicians to celebrates have dine here and its one of those you restaurants you want to dine once you become an adult, If you enjoy duck, want a taste of classical Japan, this is one of the places to go to in Tokyo.

あひ鴨一品 鳥安outside 3

TORIYASU (in Japanese, あひ鴨一品 鳥安 )
Address: 2-11-7 Higashi-Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区東日本橋2-11-7)
Nearest train station: JR Asakusabashi (15 min walk) or
Toei Subway Higashi-Nihonbashi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3862-4008
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.aigamotoriyasu.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: Visa or Master only
Open: Monday-Saturday 5pm-8pm
Closed: Sunday & Holiday

Prices: 10,000 yen course only

View Larger Map


MATSUWA (Kyobashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 27.2012 Daily Local Food & Others 0 comments 0 trackback
京ばし松輪 outside 1
Have you ever been to a restaurant where they only serve one item for lunch and its sold out within 45 minutes after it opens. MATSUWA at Kyobashi is better know for their lunch than dinner.

京ばし松輪 究極のアジフライ セット
They serve AJI FURAI TEISHOKU (Deep fried horse mackerel with rice and miso soup) for 1,200 yen only. Aji Furai is an inexpensive dish that you would cook at home or buy at a supermarket, but this Aji Furai is so different from others that it is by far the best Aji Furai I ever had.

京ばし松輪 究極のアジフライ セット  up
First of all, they use live horse mackerel which was caught that morning at a area called Matsuwa in Kanagawa, where its known for horse mackerel. Horse mackerel from Matsuwa is at least double the price at Tsukiji fish market and usually only top sushi restaurants use it, not available at supermarkets or fish shops. Also as you can tell the restaurant got its name from this area.

京ばし松輪 究極のアジフライ wasabi
When you eat Aji Furai, you use worchester sauce or tartar sauce, but at Matsuwa grated Japanese radish with soy sauce is used. Just pour some soy sauce on the grated Japanese radish and put that on top of Aji Furai. It is so fluffy and light. It also comes with bones of the horse mackerel, which are deep fried until it becomes extra crispy so you can eat it like crackers.

京ばし松輪 outside
People start lining up 45 minutes before the restaurant opens. Make sure you get here at least 20 minutes before it opens since they only serve 60 teishoku (lunch sets) and once its sold out no matter how long you've waited, you would have to go elsewhere. If you want to go for dinner, they serve Aji Furai and many other dishes, but it doesn't come with rice and miso soup.

京ばし松輪 inside

MATSUWA (in Japanese, 京ばし松輪)
Address: 3-6-1 Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Basement floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区京橋3-6-1 秋葉ビル B1F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Kyobashi (2 min walk) or JR Yurakucho (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-5524-1280
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.matsuwa.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-closes when soldout, which is usually within 40 min 5pm-9pm
Closed: Sunday & Holiday

Prices: Aji furai Teishoku (Deep fried horse mackerel with rice and miso soup) 1,200 yen

View Larger Map

BROZERS' (Ningyocho)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 24.2012 Burgers, American & South American 0 comments 0 trackback
BROZERS outside
BROZERS' in Ningyocho is actually owned by two brothers, who worked at a well know burger shop in Sydney, Australia before opening their own shop. The burgers are authentic as it could get and here's what they look like.

BROZERS チーズバーガー 1150円
CHEESEBURGER for 1,150 yen,

BROZERS ロットバーガー
their signature burger, LOT BURGER for 1,500 yen, which comes with bacon, cheese, fried egg and pineapple is popular as well,

and AVOCADO BURGER for 1,150 yen is always popular to female customers.

BROZERS スイートチリチキンバーガー
They do have non-beef burgers like SWEET CHILI CHICKEN BURGER for 1,200 yen,

or instead of a burger they have HOT DOG for 600 yen.

BROZERS シーザーサラダ
They also have salads like CAESAR SALAD for 400 yen,

BROZERS vanilla shake
and even cups or glasses they use for drinks are authentic as it could get like MILK SHAKE for 580 yen in a stainless steel cup

and COKE for 400 yen.

BROZERS Brownie  Ice
Desserts like BROWNIE for 500 yen, which comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is a favorite as well.

BROZERS ロットバーガー with fries
All the burgers come with fries and onion rings,

BROZERS mayo 100
but if you need any sauce besides ketchup or mustard for your burger and fries, they do have MAYO, TAR TAR SAUCE, CHILI SAUCE in a small cup for 100 yen.

BROZERS inside
Brozers is a bit far away from where I live and since there are other burger shops in my neighborhood and I don't go as much as I would like to, but it is definitely one of the best burger shops in Tokyo. Also, if you live or work near by they deliver as well.

BROZERS' (in Japanese, ブラザーズ)
Address: 2-28-5 Nihobashi-Ningyocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区日本橋人形町2-28-5)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro or Toei Subway Ningyocho (3 min walk),
Tokyo Metro Suitengu (5 min walk), Toei Subway Hamacho (4 min walk)
Tel: 03-3639-5201
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://brozers.co.jp/
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Saturday 11am-9:30pm, Sunday & Holiday 11am-7:30pm
Closed: Undecided

Prices: Hamburger 1,050 yen
Cheese Burger 1,150 yen
Avocado Burger 1,150 yen
Lot Burger 1,500 yen
Chicken Burger 1,300 yen
Other Burgers 1,150-1,850 yen
Toppings 50-350 yen
Hot Dog 600 yen
Caesar Salad Large 700 yen, Small 400 yen
Clam Chowder 550 yen
Chilibeans Bowl 600 yen
Sauces in Cup 100 yen
Brownies with Ice Cream 580 yen
Other Dishes 350-800 yen

View Larger Map

SHOKKAN (Shibuya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 21.2012 Japanese (Kappo, Kaiseki) 2 comments 0 trackback
食幹 outside
Shibuya is a town more focused on younger people (teenagers to early 20's) and because of this, there aren't many good washoku restaurants where adults can enjoy, but SHOKKAN is one of them.

食幹 inside
Shokkan's chef worked at various washoku restaurants before opening his own place just a few years ago. Most of his creations aren't typical washoku (Japanese food), and adds a twist to it.

食幹 生野菜とトマト味噌
Here are some of those dishes. NAMAYASAI TOH TOMATO MISO (Vegetables sticks with Tomato Miso),

食幹 秋刀魚と苦瓜 ポン酢のジュレ
SANMA TOH NIGAURI NO PONZU JURE (Sword fish & Bitter Gourd with Ponzu Jelly),

食幹 ハマグリの酒蒸しとにこごり
HAMAGURI NO SAKAMUSHI TOH NIKOGORI (Sake steamed clams with its jellied broth),

食幹 穴子と湯葉の天ぷら
ANAGO TOH YUBA NO TEMPURA (Tempura of Sea eel wrapped with Tofu skin),

食幹 冬瓜の蟹玉あん掛け
TOHGAN NO KANITAMA ANKAKE (Steamed winter melon dressed with starchy crab meat sauce),

食幹 桃の白和え
MOMO NO SHIRAAE (Peach dressed with Tofu sauce),

食幹 ぱえりあ
PAELLA (Paella Shokkan style).

食幹 お造り
And of course, they have dishes available like other Japanese restaurants like OTSUKURI (Sashimi),

JIDORI 食幹 地鶏焼き
YAKI (Broiled Chicken)

食幹 鮎の塩焼き
AYU NO SHIOYAKI (Broiled Sweetfish),

食幹 豚の炭火焼

食幹 下仁田葱焼き
SHIMONITA NEGIYAKI (Broiled Shimonita spring onion),

食幹 アイス最中
For desert, they have dishes like ICE MONAKA (Japanese wafers filled with ice cream),

食幹 つけめん
but before dessert you can finish your dinner with TSUKUMEN (Cold ramen noodles with dipping broth), which is usually not served at washoku restaurants.

食幹 inside enlarge
They do have course menu for 5,000 or 7000 yen, which half of the customers go for and great value. So if you are looking for an affordable washoku restaurant near Shibuya with good atmosphere, see the chef cook right in front of you, do consider Shokkan. They also serve lunch where they have 2-3 set menu's for 1,000 yen or so.

SHOKKAN (in Japanese, 食幹)
Address: 3-5-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo (B1F Hakka Bldg)
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区渋谷3-5-5 HAKKAビル B1F)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Shibuya (7 min walk)
Tel: 03-3797-1911
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.discovery-t.com/
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 11:45am-2pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Saturday & Holiday 6pm-9:30pm
Closed: Sunday

Prices: Dishes from 450-3,280 yen
Course menu 5,000 or 7,000 yen

View Larger Map

NANTSUTTEI (Shinagawa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 18.2012 Ramen 1 comments 0 trackback
なんつッ亭 outside
Ramen in Kyushu is different by each prefecture, but one thing in common is that they mainly use pork bone for broth. In Kumamoto, they use a black oil called Mahyu to add flavor to the ramen which is made out of fried garlic and pork lard. This mahyu is the sign of Kumamoto ramen and one of the most well known ramen shops which uses this is NANTSUTTEI at Shinagawa.

Nantsuttei's owner worked at one of the most famous ramen shops in Kumamoto for several years. After he finished training, he opened his own shop in Kanagawa. He didn't copy the entire recipe from his master, which he could have, but instead created his own Kumamoto style ramen. This ramen has become one of the most popular ramen's in all of Japan now. Ramen for 700 yen which comes with 2 slices of chashu, boiled bean sprouts, spring onions, and nori (dried seaweed) on top.

The noodles are rather thin compared to other Kumamoto ramen, but it marches with the broth.

You can add various toppings like extra Negi (spring onions) for 100 yen,

or if you want it all, there is NANTSUTTEI SPECIAL (Ramen with extra chashu, negi & boiled egg).

Most customers order regular ramen add toppings or Nantsuttei Special, but they do have other flavored ramens like WAFU TONKOTSU TSUKEMEN (Cold noodles with dried fished flavored pork soup) for 780 yen,

or if you want spicy ramen there is MOURETSU TANMEN HANAJIBOO (Spicy ramen with stir fried vegetables) for 800 yen,

or a really heavy ramen, BOKU NO SORA (Ramen with dried fished based soup added to regular ramen soup) for 780 yen.

They also have side dishes like gyoza named FUUFU ENMAN GYOZA for 380 yen,

and if you want some rice, there is HANBUTA MANMA (Boiled pork & spring onions over rice, half size) for 250 yen,

or HITOKUCHI MESHI (Small rice) for 100 yen, which you can add to the soup after finish eating the noodles.

They have a garlic crusher on the table so you can add fresh garlic to your ramen if you like, which most customers do.

なんつッ亭 inside 2
Nantsuttei has become one of the most famous ramen shops in Japan now because the owner is often on ramen TV programs. Because of this, ramen lovers from all over Japan come to eat at Nantsuttei and most of them leave satisfied They have another location in Ikebukuro and also in Singapore as well.

NANTSUTTEI (in Japanese, なんつッ亭)
Address: 3-26-20 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Right outside of Shinagawa station in a small area where 7 ramen shops are.
(in Japanese, 東京都港区高輪3-26-20)
Nearest train station: JR or Keikyu Shinagawa (1 min walk)
Tel: 03-5791-1355
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.nantsu.sakura.ne.jp/nantsuttei/shop/shinagawa.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 11am-11pm
Closed: January 1st

Prices: Ramen 700 yen
Chashumen 900 yen
Negi Ramen 900 yen
Shio Ramen 850 yen
Nantsuttei Special (Ramen with extra Chashu, Negi & Boiled Egg)
Boku No Sora (Ramen with dried fished based soup added to regular ramen soup)
Mouretsu Tanmen Hanajiboo (Spicy ramen with stir fried vegetables) 800 yen
Wafu Tonkotsu Tsukemen ( Cold noodles with mix of dried fished and pork soup) 780 yen
Fuufu Enman Gyoza (Pan fried dupplings...Gyoza) 380 yen
Butamanma (Boiled pork over rice) 380 yen
Han Butamanma (Boiled pork & spring onions over rice, half size) 250 yen
Meshi (Rice) 180 yen
Hitokuchi Meshi (Small rice) 100 yen
Oomori Meshi (Large rice) 280 yen
Ajitsuke Tamago (Marinated boiled egg) 100 yen
Nori (Dry Seaweed) 100 yen
Oomori (Large Noodles) additional 100 yen for every ramen

View Larger Map

QUIL FAIT BON (Daikanyama)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 15.2012 Sweets, Bakery & Cafe 2 comments 0 trackback
キルフェボン outside
When visiting someones house in Japan, we usually bring some omiyage (gift) and many people choose cakes for this. You want to bring something that is not only delicious, and famous, but looks great as well. If its my first time visiting the person's house, I usually get fresh fruit tarts from QUIL FAIT BON at Daikanyama.

キルフェボン 季節のフルーツタルト cut enlarge
They usually have about 10 fruit tarts and 4 cakes available. Hear are some available all year around. KISETSU NO FRUITS NO TART (Seasonal fruit tart),

キルフェボン 赤いフルーツのタルト cut
AKAI FRUITS NO TART (Red fruit tart), which is my favorite

キルフェボン ichigo no tart
ICHIGO NO TART (Strawberry tart),

キルフェボン ブルーベリーのタルト

キルフェボン cheese cake

キルフェボン チョコとバナナのタルト
CHOCOLATE TOH BANANA NO TART (Chocolate mousse & banana tart),

キルフェボン モンブラン

キルフェボン シブースト

キルフェボン 完熟マンゴーのタルト cut enlarge
And here are some available when the fruit is in season. KANJYUKU MANGO NO TART (Fully ripe mango tart),

キルフェボン 白イチゴのタルトと佐藤錦のタルト  whole enlarge
SHIRO ICHIGO NO TART (White strawberry tart) & SATO NISHIKI NO TART (Sato nishiki cherry tart),

キルフェボン 木苺とホワイトチョコレートのタルト enlarge
KIICHIGO TOH WHITE CHOCOLATE NO TART (Raspberry & White Chocolate mousse tart),

キルフェボン peach tart
HAKUTOH NO TART (White peach tart),

キルフェボン イチジクのタルト

キルフェボン 星型 杏仁ババロアのタルト ~色とりどりの フルーツゼリー仕立て~ whole enlarge
ANNIN BABALOA NO TART IROTORIDORIDORI NO FRUIT JELLY JITATE (Almond flavored Bavarian cream tart with colorful fruit jello),

キルフェボン カボチャのタルト
KABOCHA NO TART (Pumpkin tart).

キルフェボン inside
Quil Fait Bon is originally from Shizuoka and owned by a furniture shop. They also have stores at Aoyama and Ginza. And at the Daikanyama and GInza store, they have a cafe as well where you can eat these tarts. The crust, custard cream and other creams used for the tarts are very simple and normal, but what makes it different from other fruit tarts is that they use the best fruit available and especially how they decorate it. It just looks so beautiful and delicious, that it puts a smile on all generations when they first see it.

キルフェボン inside 2 enlarge

Quil Fait Bon (in Japanese, キルフェボン )
Address: 2-18-2 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区恵比寿西2-18-2)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Toyoko Daikanyama (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-5457-2191
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.quil-fait-bon.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 11am-8pm (Cafe 12pm-8pm)
Closed: None

Prices: Tarts, Pies & Cakes 600-1,500 yen
Beverages 500-1,200 yen

View Larger Map

ICARO (Nakameguro)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 12.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
イカロ outside
There are more Southern Italian restaurants in Tokyo than Northern Italian, but my favorite restaurant in all of Tokyo for the last couple of years is an Northern Italian restaurant owned by Miyamoto brothers at Nakameguro called ICARO.

イカロ 宮本
Five years ago, I was watching a late night TV program about young chefs who wanted to open their own restaurant one day. These chefs would create one dish for five famous food critics and if all five of them said "It's delicious", the chef would win 10 million yen to be used to open his own restaurant. About 30 chefs challenged these critics, but only 2 won and chef Miyamoto was one of them.

イカロ パッパルデッレ 蝦夷鹿の煮込みソース
The dish he created was PAPPARDELLE EZOJIKA NIKOMI (Pappardelle with Ezo deer stew). I've never had pasta with deer stew/ragu, so this dish remained in my memory. 2 yrs later, a friend of mine who is a freelance food writer told me that a really good Northern Italian restaurant opened near his apartment and wanted to take me. We went that evening and when I opened the menu and saw Pappardelle Ezojika Nikomi, I asked the waiter if the chef was on that TV program. Of course, he was and after trying his creations, he got me hooked.

イカロ イワシのコンフィ 賀茂茄子・スカモルツァチーズ
Not only his pasta's were delicious, but his anti pasto as well. Here are some of them. IWASHI NO CONFIT AGE KAMONASU SCAMORZA CHEESE (Grilled Sardine with deep fried Kamo eggplant & Scamorza cheese),

イカロ 駿河湾 赤座エビとういきょう カラスミのサラダ
ASASA EBI UIKYO KARASUMI NO SALAD (Scampi salad with fennel & bottarga),

イカロ ポルチーニ茸のインパナート アイオリソース
PORCINI DAKE NO IMPANATO AIOLI SAUCE (Deep fried porcini mushrooms with aïoli sauce),

イカロ うなぎのマリネ
UNAGI NO MARINE (Marinated eel),

イカロ じゃがいもをまとった白子のソテー アラビアータソース
JYAGAIMO WO MATOTTA SHIRAKO NO SAUTE ALL'ARRABBIATA SAUCE (Sauteed Cod soft row rapped with shredded potato all'Arrabbiata sauce) ,

イカロ 熊本馬肉のタルタル 赤玉ネギのアグロドルチェ
KUMAMOTO BANIKU NO TARU TARU (Horse meat tartar steak),

イカロ イカロ風サラダ
and ICARO FU SALAD (Icaro style salad).

イカロ じゃがいものニョッキ ラグーソース
For primo piatto, dishes like JYAGAIMO NO GNOCCHI RAGU SAUCE (Potato gnocchi with ragu),

イカロ スパゲッティ- キタッラ スペック 玉ネギ ペコリーノチーズ黒胡椒
CHITARRA NO SPECK TAMANEGI PECORINO CHEESE KIRO KOSHO (Chitarra pasta with Speck ham, onions, Pecorino cheese & black pepper),

イカロ イタリア産グリーンピースのリゾット
ITALIA SAN NO GREEN PEAS RISOTTO (Risotto with green peas from Italy),

イカロ 絶品!トルテッリーニ・イン・ブロード
TORTELLINI IN BRODO (Tortellini in soup),

イカロ スパゲッティー イタリア産からすみのアーリオオーリオ
ITALIA SAN NO KARASUMI AGLIO OLIO SPAGHETTINI (Spaghettini in aglio olio sauce with bottarga),

イカロ ビーツのラビオリ けしの実の香り
BEETS NO RAVIOLI KESHI NO MI NO KAORI (Beets ravioli poppy seed flavor),

イカロ フレッシュポルチーニ茸のタリオリーニ
FRESH PORCINI DAKE NO TAGLIATELLE (Tagliatelle with fresh porcini mushroom),

イカロ 桜海老とドライトマトのパスタ
SAKURA EBI TOH DRY TOMATO NO PASTA (Pasta with Sakura shrimp & dry tomatoes),

イカロ 仔牛と鶏レバーのラビオリ サマートリュフ
and if you happen to be dining here during the summer, KOUSHI TOH TORI LIVER NO RAVIOLI SUMMER TRUFFLE (Veal and chicken liver paste ravioli with summer truffles) is a must.

イカロ チンタセネーゼ 肩ロースのグリル
Second piatto, dishes like CINTASENESE NO KATA ROSU GRILL (Broiled shoulder of Cintasenese pork),

イカロ トリッパのトマト煮
TRIPPA NO TOMATO NIKOMI (Tripe with tomato sauce),

イカロ ハンガリー産乳飲み仔羊のグリエ
HUNGARY SAN NO CHINOMI KOUSHI GRILL (Broiled veal from Hungary),

イカロ 牛ほほ肉の煮込み グーラッシュ
GYU HOHONIKU GULASCH (Beef cheek gulasch),

イカロ 山鳩のロースト
YAMABATO NO ROAST (Roasted turtledove),

イカロ 秋刀魚のコンフィとスカモルツァチーズのソテー
SANMA NO CONFIT TOH SCAMORZA CHEESE NO SAUTE (Pacific saury confit with sauteed Scamorza cheese),

イカロ 北海道北見産子羊のロースト瞬間燻製
KOHITSUJI NO ROAST SHUKAN KUNSEI (Roasted lamb instantly smoked),

イカロ 白金豚スペアリブとサルシッチャ 白インゲン豆のトマト煮
and HAKUKINTON SPARE RIB TOH SALSICCIA SHIRO INGEN MAME TOMATO NI (Hakukin pork spare rib & grilled Salsiccia sausage with white kidney beans in tomato sauce).

イカロ カタラーナ
Finally for dolce, they have CATALANA, APPLE STRUDEL and GELATO.

イカロ inside
Icaro has counter seats and even though its a fairly new restaurant the interior is simple and normal. It may not be a place for a romantic date, but their food and service is exceptional. Chef Miyamoto enjoys using wild game and is one of the few young Italian chef's who does. They have a good selection of wine, which is offered at a very reasonable price. Just double the price of retail, when most other restaurants charge at least triple. If you love wine and Northern Italian food for a reasonable price, Icaro is as good as it gets. Its a 1 star restaurant on Michelin guide, for those of you who trust it.

イカロ menu

ICARO (in Japanese, イカロ)
Address: 2-44-24 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (COMS Nakameguro 4th Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都目黒区上目黒2-44-24 COMS中目黒 4F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro or Tokyu Toyoko Hibiya (7 min walk)
Tel: 03-5724-8085
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.icaro-miyamoto.com/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in Italian
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday & Holiday 5:30pm-10pm
Closed: Sunday

Prices: Antipasto 1,600-3,000 yen
Primo Piatto 1,600-3,000 yen
Second Piatto 2,800- 4,500 yen
Dolce 700 yen

View Larger Map

KYOAJI (Shinbashi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 09.2012 Japanese (Kappo, Kaiseki) 0 comments 0 trackback
Many people ask me which Japanese restaurant is the best in all of Tokyo. My reply has always been KYOAJI at Shinbashi, one of the two restaurants in Tokyo which rejected to be awarded three stars from Michelin. Kyoaji doesn't take reservation from 1st time customers. You need to be taken by a regular first and then they will accept reservations from you. This is the way it is with most top Japanese restaurants, which usually seat less than 20 people. And most of these restaurants don't want anything to do with Michelin since they have enough regular customers and want to keep their restaurant a special place for them to dine. I have heard stories of millionaires from around the world offering crazy money to eat here, but still got rejected.

京味 西健一郎
The meaning of Kyoaji is "Taste of Kyoto", where master chef/owner Kenichiro Nishi is from. His father was also considered the best chef in Kyoto when he was alive. But unlike traditional Kyoto Kaiseki food, chef Nishi's food is a bit more tasty, meaning its saltier. As i mentioned in other posts, Tokyo food in general is saltier than Kyoto/Kansai food.

京味 松茸&鱧
Kyoaji only has an one course menu and what's served depends on the season and what was available at the market that day. I've been to Kyoaji over a dozen times and my favorite time to dine there is in the fall, when they serve a full course of Matsutake mushroom and Hamo (Japanese conger). I think other customers would agree that its their favorite time to dine as well.

京味 焼き松茸
Dishes like YAKI MATSUTAKE (Broiled matsutake mushroom),

京味 湯引き鱧(梅肉、酢味噌、出汁醤油)
HAMO NO YUBIKI (Lightly boiled Japanese conger) which comes with vinegar miso & sour plum sauce,

京味 揚げ松茸
AGE MATSUTAKE (Deep fried matsutake mushroom),

京味 鱧そうめん
HAMO SOUMEN (Boiled minced Japanese conger made into cold noodles),

京味 鱧松茸鍋
HAMO MATSUTAKE NABE (Sliced Japanese conger & Matsutake mushroom in a hot pot with dashi broth),

京味 松茸ご飯
MATSUTAKE GOHAN (Matsutake mushroom rice),

京味 おつけもの
which comes with OTSUKEMONO (pickled vegetables),

京味 葛切り黒蜜
And finally the dessert, KUZUKIRI (Cold kuzu starch noodles with brown sugar syrup).

京味 鯛お造り
If you are not there during the fall, dishes like TAI NO OTSUKURI (Red snapper sashimi),

京味 茄子田楽の生雲丹のせ
NASU NO DENGAKU UNINOSE (Broiled eggplant with sweet miso paste and sea urchin), which is the best dengaku I ever had,

京味 いとこ煮:蛸、小豆、南瓜、小芋
ITOKONI (Boiled pumpkin, small Japanese taro potato, red bean, octopus in dashi broth),

京味 マナガツオ西京焼
MANAGATSUO NO SAIKYOYAKI (Grilled harvest fish marinated in Saikyo miso paste),

京味 子持ち鮎甘露煮
KOMOCHIAYU NO KANRONI (Sweetened boiled sweetfish with eggs),

京味 グジ揚げ出し
GUJI AGEDASHI (Deep fried sweet red snapper with dashi broth), which was chef Nishi's father's special,

京味 しゃけはらすご飯
and everyone's favorite SAKE HARASU GOHAN (Broiled salmon belly over rice).

I really didn't know if I should post info and photos about Kyoaji since you can't get a table without introduction from a regular, but I just had multiple requests to do so. I don't want to sound arrogant, but to dine and fully enjoy at a restaurant like Kyoaji, you really must have good knowledge of Kaiseki cuisine, at least had Kaiseki at other fine restaurants multiple times. I have many friends from abroad and also Japanese, who want to go to the BEST Japanese restaurants for any money, but most of them have no knowledge of real top Japanese cuisine or any fine cuisine. If you think sushi's like California Roll, sushi with some kind of sauce or salmon sushi is great and real Japanese food, restaurants like Kyoaji is definitely not for you. Or if you can't even tell the difference between a piece of broiled sea bass and red snapper, its also not a place for you to go as well. But if you aren't any of what I just mentioned, you will appreciate how special Kyoaji is compared to other Kaiseki restaurants.

kyoaji inside
I can't help you making a reservation, but try with your hotel concierge or one of your Japanese friends who enjoys fine dining. Also, Chef Nishi is one of the most friendliest people you will ever meet and he will make sure you are feeling perfectly comfortable while dining at Kyoaji. He is in his mid 70's and even though he is healthy now, you never know when he will close Kyoaji. It is not only a special restaurant in Japan, but also one of the top restaurants in the world.

京味 のれん

KYOAJI (in Japanese, 京味)
Address: 3-3-5 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都港区新橋3-3-5)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Shinbashi (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-3591-3344
Reservations: Yes (must be reffered by another regular customer)
Website: None
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Saturday 5:30pm-10pm Lunch on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday only
Closed: Sunday & Holiday

Prices: Course only and prices depend on the season.
It will be somewhere between 37,000-45,000 yen without drinks.

View Larger Map

HORAIYA (Ueno/Okachimachi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 06.2012 Tempura & Tonkatsu 0 comments 0 trackback
蓬莱屋 outside
There are three famous Tonkatsu restaurants in the Ueno area, which are called Ueno Tonkatsu Gosanke. All three of these restaurants have been open for at least 70 years, but first Tonkatsu restaurant to serve pork fillet tonkatsu instead of pork loin tonkatsu is HORAIYA at Ueno/Okachimachi.

蓬莱屋 ひれかつ
They only have 4 dishes and their most popular one is FILLET KATSU TEISHOKU (Pork fillet cutlet with rice and miso soup) for 2,900 yen. 99% of the customers order this,

蓬莱屋 ひれかつ 2
The famous film director from 1930-50's, Yasujiro Ozu was a regular here and had this delivered to the studios often for lunch. Because of this many of his fan's from around the world visit Horaiya and enjoy what he enjoyed.

蓬莱屋 ひれかつ 1
It comes with rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables. (All three other dishes do as well)

蓬莱屋 ひと口かつ
Next is HITOKUCHI KATSU TEISHOKU (Bit-sized pork fillet cutlet with rice and miso soup) for 2,900 yen. The only difference is that the fillet is cut into small pieces first before frying it.

蓬莱屋 串かつ
It you aren't that hungry and want less tonkatsu, there is KUSHI KATSU TEISHOKUI (Pork fillet cutlet kebab with rice and miso soup) for 1,900 yen. The fillet is thinly sliced instead of the normal tonkatsu size.

蓬莱屋 東京物語膳
And if you want to enjoy both Hitokuchi Kastu & Kushi Katsu, you can try TOKYO MONOGATARI ZEN (Mix of kebab & bit-sized pork cutlet in a bento box) for 2,400 yen. Tokyo Monogatari is one of the famous movies from Yasujiro Ozu and this dish was named after the movie to honor him. Unlike the other dishes, this comes with a scoop of ice cream.

蓬莱屋 inside
Horaiya opened in 1912 and is one of the oldest tonkatsu restaurants in Japan. When the chef/owner passed away a couple of years ago, for several years the tonkatsu was over cooked and left many regulars disappointed. But over the last year or so, things have improved and on most days the quality of tonkatsu is as good as the past. It maybe a little expensive compared to other tonkatsu restaurants but if you are in Ueno/Okachimachi area its worth the stop for lunch or dinner.

蓬莱屋 menu

HORAIYA (in Japanese, 蓬莱屋)
Address: 3-28-5 Ueno Taito-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都台東区上野3-28-5)
Nearest train station: JR Okachimachi (3 min walk),
Tokyo Metro Ueno Hirokoji (2 min walk) or Toei Subway Ueno-Okachimachi (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-3831-5783
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.ueno-horaiya.com/hp/english.html
English menu: None
Credit Card: VISA only
Open: Monday-Friday 11:30am-1:30pm, 5pm-7:30pm
Saturday, Sunday & Holiday 11:30am-2pm, 5pm-7:30pm
Closed: Wednesday (if Wednesday is a national holiday, the following thurthday will be close)

Prices: Fillet Katsu Teishoku (Pork fillet cutlet with rice and miso soup) 2,900 yen
Hitokuchi Katsu Teishoku (Bit-sized pork fillet cutlet with rice and miso soup) 2,900 yen
Kushi Katsu Teishoku (Pork fillet cutlet kebab with rice and miso soup) 1,900 yen
Tokyo Monogatari Zen (Mix of kebab & bit-sized pork cutlet in a bento box) 2,400 yen

View Larger Map

GENKAI (Shinjuku)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 03.2012 Izakaya & Nabe 0 comments 0 trackback
玄海 outside
My first post of 2012 is a Nabe restaurant. Hakata-style Mizutaki (Chicken hot pot). This Mizutaki goes well not only during the winter, but any season since the main item is the soup, not the chicken. There are several restaurants in Tokyo which specialize in this, but GENKAI at Shinjuku is one the most well know Mizutaki restaurant among Mizutaki lovers. Genkai only serves a course menu between 7,350-11,550 yen. Depending on the course you order and by season the side dishes will vary, but here is an example.

玄海 とり山椒焼き
ZENSAI MORIAWASE (Assorted appetizers),

玄海 鶏せんべい
TORI SENBEI (Deep fried chicken skin),

玄海 じゅんさい
JUNSAI NO SUNOMONO (Vinegared water shield),

玄海 炙り刺し
ABURI SASHI (Lightly broiled chicken breast sashimi),

玄海 水たき
And the main dish, MIZUTAKI (Chicken hot pot). The soup and chicken meats are cooked separately in the kitchen and added to the hot pot when its served. Only chicken and water is used to make this soup, nothing else.

玄海 ダシ&鶏
There is no taste to the soup and the waitress will add some salt to it when its served to you in a cup. You first drink the soup and then eat the chicken which you dip in a ponzu sauce (soy sauce based citrus sauce). The soup is just so delicious that if you never had Mizutaki before you will definitely be asking for another cup. And the chicken is extra tender as well.

玄海 雑炊
When you are done with the chicken, rice will be added into the soup and OJIYA (rice gruel) will be served which is my favorite part of the meal.

玄海 takasimaya-iriguchi
They have another location inside Takashimaya Department Store at Shinjuku, which has an a la carte menu as well. So, if you want to try it out for lunch or just have Mizutaki, it might better to dine here.

玄海 inside 2
But if you want to experience Mizutaki in a traditional Japanese room to yourself with full service, try the main location. Unless you don't like chicken, you will not be disappointed.

玄海 outside 1

GENKAI (in Japanese, 玄海)
Address: 5-5-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区新宿5-5-1)
Nearest train station: JR Shinjuku (15 min walk),
Tokyo Metro Shinjuku-Gyoen (3 min walk) or Toei Subway Shinjuku 3-Chome (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3352-3101
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.genkai.co.jp (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11am-8:30pm
Closed: None

Prices: Course Menu from 7,350-11,550 yen

View Larger Map