IRIFUNE (Okusawa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 29.2012 Sushi & Unagi 0 comments 0 trackback
入船 outside
Its hard to say which sushi restaurant is the best in Tokyo, but when it comes down just to maguro (tuna) no one will argue that IRIFUNE at Okusawa serves the best maguro in Tokyo or in the world.

入船 maguro
At Tsukiji fish market regarding maguro there is one rule. When chef/owner Honda places an order at the most famous intermediate wholesaler, the best maguro goes to Irifune. Whatever the price is, he has been purchasing the very best maguro ever since he opened his restaurant.

入船 鮪赤身
You want to have every part of maguro you can at Irifune, but you do want to start out with least fatty part, Akami (red part of tuna). Even though its the least fattiest part, it will be the richest akami in flavor you ever had. Most people enjoy toro (fatty tuna) more than akami, but I like akami more in general and their akami just knocks me out whenever I dine here.

入船 chutoro
Then you might want to try CHUTORO (Medium-fatty tuna), which will be considered regular ootoro (fatty tuna) at other restaurants. If they have a chutoro part called wakaremi, its the most delicious part of chutoro. Just ask the chef if they have it or not.

入船 大トロ enlarge
And of course, OOTORO (Fatty tuna), the most expensive part of Tuna,

入船 炙り
but their most famous maguro sushi of all is ABURI (Broiled fatty tuna), which Chef Honda invented and available at most sushi restaurants around the world. It just melts in your month.

入船 ootoro ninniku
If you want to enjoy ootoro in a different way, they can add a slice of garlic which is dipped for awhile in soy sauce called OOTORO NO SHOYU ZUKE.

入船 とろたく
Other must eats are TOROTAKU (Fatty tuna & pickled Japanese radish roll),

入船 カワギシの軍艦
KAWAGISHI NO GUNKANMAKI (Tuna left neared the skin scraped by spoon)

入船 鮪づけ
and ZUKE (Akami marinated in soy sauce).

入船 マグロづくし丼
Also, they have various maguro donburi's (rice bowl) which will probably be the most expensive donburi you ever have like MAGURO ZUKUSHI DON (Various parts of tuna over rice) for 10,500 yen,

入船 大トロ炙り丼
or OOTORO ABURI DON (Broiled fatty tuna over rice) for 10,500 yen.

入船 inside enlarge
Other fishes are just a little above average and there are tons of better sushi restaurants to dine at if you want other top quality fish. But if you want maguro, this is the go to place in the world. Prices are reasonable compared to other top sushi restaurants and it is located in a residential area of Tokyo. Their interior is old style and not fancy or modern like other top sushi restaurants and probably has been the same since it opened in the 70's, My brother who is a sushi chef in Houston, dreamed about dining at Irifune for years and when he visited us for the first time in 15 yrs and found out it that it was only minutes away from our house, his dream finally became true. He had nothing but a big smile on his face and I'm sure you will too, if you love maguro. Also, best season for maguro is from November to February, so if you can try to dine during this period.

IRIFUNE (in Japanese, 入船)
Address: 3-31-7 Okusawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都世田谷区奥沢3-31-7)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Meguro Line (1 min walk) or
Tokyu Toyoko or Ohimachi Line Jiyugaoka (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-3720-1212
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/g519600/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes, but will charge 5% extra
Open: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: None

Prices: Sushi 10,000-25,000 yen
Maguro Zukushi Don (Various parts of tuna over rice) 10,500 yen
Ootoro Aburi Don (Broiled fatty tuna over rice) 10,500 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 26.2012 Curry, Yoshoku, Steak & Teppanyaki 0 comments 0 trackback
銀之塔 outside
Ginza has many restaurants which have been open for over 50 years and considered well-established restaurants. One of my favorite restaurants in Ginza for lunch is GINNOTOU, which specializes in authentic beef and tongue stew.

銀之塔 beef stew
Ginnotou's menu is pretty simple. They only offer four dishes. First is BEEF STEW for 2,500 yen , which is extra tender and rich in flavor, but not oily at all.

銀之塔 yasai
Second is YASAI STEW (Vegetable stew) for 2,500 yen. No meat, just boiled vegetables.

銀之塔 mix stew
Third is MIX STEW (Beef & vegetable stew) for 2,500 yen.

銀之塔 タンシチュー
Four is TONGUE STEW for 3,500 yen, which is more popular than beef stew to regulars. They also have mix of tongue and vegetable stew for 3,500 yen.

銀之塔 ミニグラタン
There only none stew dish is GRATIN for 1,800 yen. This is another classic yoshoku dish with macaroni, shrimp and mushrooms.

銀之塔 ビーフシチュー
And if you want both stew and gratin, there is STEW GRATIN MINI SET (Regular size beef, vegetable or mix stew & small size gratin) for 3,700 yen. Most customers order stew gratin mini set, not just the stew. If you want tongue instead of beef, its 1,000 yen more. All the stews come with rice and oshinko (pickled vegetables).

銀之塔 タンシチューをごはんにかけます
and the stew goes great with rice.

銀之塔 inside
There are actually two famous stew restaurants in Ginza, but since Ginnotou does delivery for the kabuki actors who perform at the kabuki theater near by it is better known to the public. I personally enjoy both restaurants, but since Ginnotou offers gratin and the other doesn't, I end up going to Ginnotou more. Its a little expensive for lunch, but if you are in Ginza and want to have something authentic which stood the test of time, try stew and gratin at Ginnotou.

GINNOTOU (in Japanese, 銀之塔)
Address: 4-13-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座4-13-6)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Higashi-Ginza (2 min walk) or Ginza (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-5524-8868
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.ginnotou.shop-site.jp/index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 11:30am-8:30pm
Closed: December 29th to January 3rd only

Prices: Beef, Yasai (Vegetable) or Mix Stew 2,500 yen
Tongue Stew 3,500 yen
Gratin 1,800 yen
Stew Gratin Mini Set (Regular size beef, vegeatable or mix stew & small size gratin) 3,700 yen
1,000 yen more if you want Tongue stew for Stew Gratin Mini Set

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MISTER DONUT (Shinjuku and many other locations)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 23.2012 Sweets, Bakery & Cafe 0 comments 0 trackback
ミスド outside
Many of my friends from the states have asked me where they could get some doughnuts for breakfast. There are American doughnut shops like Krispy Kreme, Doughnut Plant in Tokyo now, but a shop which originally from Boston and no longer exists in the states is MISTER DONUT at Shinjuku. They have over 1,300 locations throughout Japan.

ミスド all
Mister Donut is the first major doughnut shop which came to Japan in 1971. Its originally from Boston, the owner was actually related to the owner of Dunkin' Dounts. Dunkin' Donuts eventually bought Mister Donuts in 1990 and it disappeared from the states. But since Dunkin' Donuts business failed in Japan long before they bought Mister Donut, the company which had the franchise license for Japan bought trademark of Mister Donut from Dunkin' Donuts.

ミスド pondetdoring 4
Originally, they served the same doughnuts which were sold in the states, but after purchasing trademark, they started to create original doughnuts for Japanese consumers. The most famous one and No.1 selling donut is PON DE RING. It is extra chewy and fluffy. It comes in glazed, brown sugar, chocolate frosting, chocolate frosting with chocolate doe.

ミスド rings
They do have regular donuts like SUGAR RAISED, CHOCO RING (Chocolate frosted), STRAWBERRY RING (Strawberry frosting),

ミスド honey
HONEY DIP (Glazed) and many more.

ミスド mini enlarge
For small children, mini doughnuts called D-POP are available.

ミスド angle french
Their French Cruller comes in various flavors and fillings like ANGEL FRENCH (French Cruller covered with chocolate, filled with whipped cream),

ミスド choco angel
ANGEL CHOCOLAT (Chocolate French Cruller covered with chocolate, filled with whipped cream), CUSTARD CHOCOLAT (Chocolate French Cruller covered with chocolate, filled with custard cream).

ミスド pies
They have pies as well like FRANK PIE (Sausage pie), STICK PIE APPLE (Apple pie), HAMBURG PIE (Minced meat patty pie), and EBI GRATIN PIE (Shrimp gratin pie).

ミスド komeko
Recently doughnuts made out of rice flour was created for children who are allergic to normal flour or eggs. These are called KOMEKO DOUGHNUT and they come in various favors.

ミスド green tea
Seasonal donuts are available as well like donuts with green tea mixed in the flour or green tea frosting.

ミスド noodles 2
For people who want to eat something besides doughnuts or even lunch, dim sum and Chinese noodle is available as well.

ミスド retsu
Many of my friends who left Japan and went back to their country talk about having donuts from Mister Donut one day again. It is less sweeter than other doughnut shops like Dunkin' Donuts. The only thing that is missing from Mister Donut is they stopped selling jelly filled doughnuts in the 90's, but even if they don't I'm sure you would enjoy other doughnuts offered by them. Like I mentioned before they have over 1,300 shops throughout Japan, so you should be able to find one near by where ever you are.

ミスド various

MISTER DONUT (in Japanese, ミスタードーナツ)
Address: 1-2-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-2-1)
Nearest train station: JR, Tokyo Metro or Toei Subway Shinjuku (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3208-0160
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.misterdonut.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 6am-2am
Closed: None

Prices: Donuts from 115-147 yen
Pies from 147-168 yen
Noodles from 315-420 yen
Dim Sum from 157-273 yen
Drinks from 189-315 yen

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ICHIRYU (Komazawa)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 20.2012 Yakiniku & Korean 0 comments 0 trackback
ichiryu outside 1 enlarge
Most people have a favorite yakiniku (Japanese style Korean BBQ) restaurant in their neighborhood. These restaurants are focused on family, not businessmen after work and ours is ICHIRYU at Komazawa.

ichiryu kakuteki enlarge
Ichiryu's meat is top quality meat, but not the finest. They don't have any specialties and their menu is just like any other yakinuku restaurant, but their KAKUTEKI (Japanese radish kimchi) for 500 yen is different from others and its probably why I keep going here. Usually, Kakuteki is just spicy and sour, but Ichiryu's uses dried kelp when they pickle it. This brings out additional sweetness and makes it slimy as well. There is nothing special about their regular Chinese cabbage kimichi, but almost every customer orders kakuteki,

ichiryu ムンチュ
Their house salad, MUNCHU for 1,200 yen is a must as well. Its in a soy sauce & sesame oil based dressing.

ichiryu カルビ enlarge
And just like any other good yakiniku restaurant, you want to order KALBI (Marinated or salted short ribs),

ichiryu ハラミ
HARAMI (Marinated or salted beef skirt),

ichiryu ロース
ROSU (Marinated or salted sirloin),

ichiryu 上ミノ
MINO (Marinated or salted rumen) , which all come in various grades. The higher the grade of the meat, the higher the price.

ichiryu 豚トロ
If you want some pork, there is TON TORO (Marinated or salted pork cheek), which is extra juicy and tender.

ichiryu レバ刺し
If you like raw meet, their NAMA LIVER (Raw beef liver) for 1,250 yen is always extra fresh and delicious.

テグタンスープ enlarge
Their soups are delicious as well and many customers order TEGUTAN SOUP (Spicy beef brisket soup),

ichiryu ice cream enlarge
When you are done with your meal, they will serve either ice cream or sherbet for free.

ichiryu inside
If you just happened to be in the neighborhood and looking for a reasonable and delicious yakiniku restaurant do try Ichiryu. Do note that Ichiryu is a common name used for a yakiniku restaurant and there are at least 20 with the same in Tokyo.

ichiryu menu enlarge

ICHIRYU (in Japanese, 一龍)
Address: 2-1-4 Nozawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都世田谷区野沢2-1-4)
Nearest train station: Tokyu Denentoshi line Komazawa (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-3421-2638
Reservations: Yes
Website: None
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 5pm-3am
Closed: Tuesday

Prices: Jyo Calbi (Special Calbi) 2,500 yen
Calbi (Short rib) 1,300 yen
Harami (Skirt) 1,450 yen
Jyo Tongue (Special Tongue) 1,870 yen
Toro Buta (Extra tender pork) 920 yen
Jyo Mino (Special Rumen) 1,290 yen
Leba Sashi (Liver Sashimi) 1,250 yen
Kakuteki (Spicy pickled Japanese radish) 500 yen
Munchu (Original Salad) 1,200 yen
Other dishes from 400-5,000 yen

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TOKYO URIZUN (Marunouchi/Tokyo)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 17.2012 Daily Local Food & Others 0 comments 0 trackback
東京うりずん outside 1
Okinawa food is completely different from mainland Japanese food. It has become popular in the last 10 years or so, but if you haven't been to Okinawa and not eaten the real thing, you probably don't know what Okinawa food tastes like. A couple of years ago, a famous Okinawa restaurant in Naha, Okinawa opened a branch in Tokyo. If you want to try real good Okinawa food, TOKYO URIZUN at Marunouchi/Tokyo is one of the few places to go.

東京うりずん ドゥル天
Okinawa has its own food culture and it was even a country centuries ago. Urizun provides typical Okinawa dishes like, but one of the items they invented and almost everyone order is DOORUTEN (Deep fried paste of taro, pork, fishcake and shiitake mushroom). This dish has become so popular that many restaurants in Okinawa serve it as well.

東京うりずん ゴーヤチャンプル
Another typical Okinawa dish would be GOYA CHANPURU (Stir fried bitter melon, tofu, spam and egg) for 840 yen. Bitter melon and spam is commonly used for many Okinawa dishes. It is a bit bitter, but the dashi (dried kelp & bonito broth) used to season it makes it mild, which goes well with the other ingredients.

東京うりずん ラフテ
RAFUTEI (Simmered pork belly) for 1,050 yen is another famous Okinawa dish, It looks exactly like Kakuni, which we eat in the mainland, but instead of using sake to simmer it, awamori (Okinawa millet brandy) is used instead. The pork belly is sweet and extra tender.

東京うりずん ジーマミー豆腐
JIMAHMI TOFU (Peanut tofu) for 525 yen is another Okinawa dish, which is a must at any Okinawa restaurant. Unlike soybean tofu, its sweet and jelly like texture.

東京うりずん 海ぶどう
UMIBUDOH (Sea grapes or green caviar) for 840 yen only comes from the sea of Okinawa in Japan and you dip it into a soy sauce citrus sauce. There is no taste to it. You enjoy the texture or crunchiness of it.

東京うりずん ひやらーちー
HIYAHRAHCHI (Okinawa pancake) for 735 yen is another dish which is popular to people who never ate Okinawa food.

東京うりずん ふーちゃんぷる~
FUCHANPURU (Stir fried wheat-gluten bread) for 840 yen is another dish you won't find in the mainland, since we don't stir-fry Fu (wheat-gluten bread). It is main used for osuimono (clear broth) in the mainland.

東京うりずん 刺身盛り合わせ
SASHIMI MORIAWASE (Assorted sashimi) is available as well, but most of the fishes used are tropical fish from Okinawa.

東京うりずん ゴーヤチップス
If you need a potato chips like snack with your beer or beverages, GOYA CHIPS (Deep fried bitter melon) for 840 yen is a good choice.

東京うりずん とうふよう
Also, TOHFUYOH (Pickled tofu) for 480 yen is tastes like goat cheese. It goes great with awamori.

東京うりずん 沖縄そば
OKINAWA SOBA for 840 yen, where the noodles are somewhere between ramen and udon noodles since its made out of regular floor, not buckwheat like normal soba noodles. The broth is made out of dried bonito flakes and pork bones.

東京うりずん ミミガーさしみ
Now for the following dishes, it won't be for everyone to eat. Even mainland Japanese people dislike most of these dishes, but they are authentic Okinawa food. MIMIGAH SASHIMI (Boiled pork ear with vegetables) for 735 yen. You dip in sanbaizu (vinegar sauce). It is crunchy with really no taste to it.

東京うりずん スクガラス豆腐
SUGARASU TOFU (Tofu with salted small fish) for 525 yen is another item you will never see in the mainland.

東京うりずん ナマコの酢の物
NAMAKO NO SUNOMONO (Vine grated sea cucumber) for 630 yen is a common dish in the mainland as well, but vinegar sauce they use is a little different.

東京うりずん ヤギ刺
And the most uncommon dish that even many people from Okinawa dislike is YAGI NO SASHIMI (Raw goat sashimi) for 1,050 yen. Goat meat is used for many dishes in Okinawa, but if you are not use to the smell of it, don't even think of trying any goat dishes.

東京うりずん inside
If its your first time to have Okinawa food, do consider Tokyo Urizun since they do provided authentic Okinawa food. Most Okinawa restaurants in Tokyo, arrange the taste so mainland people can enjoy it, but its not the real deal. As long as you order the dishes, I recommended you will enjoy food at Urizun. Also, its very healthy since they use limited amount of salt compared to normal Japanese food.

東京うりずん outside

TOKYO URIZUN (in Japanese, 東京うりずん)
Address: 1-5-1 Marunochi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (Shin Marunouchi Bldg 5th Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都千代田区丸の内1-5-1 新丸ビル 5F)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Tokyo (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-5224-8040
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.urizn.gr.jp/urizntokyo (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Weekdays 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-4am Sunday 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm
Closed: When Shin Marunouchi Bldg is closed

Prices: Mix (Minced Beef/Pork & Mashed Potato Croquette) 950 yen
Mimiga Sashimi (Boiled pork ear & face with vinegar sauce ) 735 yen
Umi Budoh (Green Caviar) 840 yen
Tofuyo (Fermented tofu) 480 yen
Okinawa Soba 840 yen
Goyachanpuru (Stir fried bitter gourd, tofu, & pork) 1,050 yen
Rafutei (Sweet and tender simmered pork) 1,050 yen
Other dishes 480-1,600 yen

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ABASQUE (Shibuya)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 14.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 0 comments 0 trackback
ABASQUE outside
Food from Basque has become popular around the world over the last couple of years. Mixture of French & Spanish food, which has attracted main tourists to visit for its food. One of the popular restaurants which provides Basque food is ABASQUE at Shibuya.

ABASQUE グージェール
Abasque's food is more on the French side than Spanish. GOUGERES (Cheese puffs) will be served before they bring your drinks.

ABASQUE ピエールオテイザ氏のキントア豚の生ハム
For starters or tapas, KINTOA BUTA NO NAMA HAM (Kintoa ham), is popular and most people order it

ABASQUE アンドゥイエットのソテーとジャガイモのランド風
ANDOUILLETTE NO SAUTE TOH JAGAIMO NO LANDOS FU (Sauteed pork sausage and Landos style roasted potato),

ABASQUE ずわい蟹のピキオ 赤ピーマンのソース
and ZUWAIGANI NO PICCHIO AKA PIIMAN SAUCE (Queen crab picchio with bell pepper sauce), is popular as well

ABASQUE 牛テールとフォアグラのテリーヌ
and if its available one my favorites is GYU TAIL TOH FOIR GRAS NO TERRINE (Oxtail and foie gras terrine) ,

ABASQUE タパス5種類盛り合わせ
and also TAPAS 5 SHURUI MORIAWASE (5 tapas of the day), which is not only available dinner, but for Sunday brunch as well.

ABASQUE バスク豚のロースト 人参のグラッセ添え
And for your main dish, BASQUE BUTA NO ROAST NINJIN NO GLACE ZOE (Roasted Basque pork with sauteed carrots) is my favorite,

ABASQUE パエリア イサキのポワレ
SENGYO NO POLER TOH GYOKAI PAELLA (Butter roasted fish of the day with seafood paella),

ABASQUE 鱈のピルピル 白いんげん添え
and TARA NO PIL-PIL SHIRO INGEN ZOE (Sauted cod with white kidney beans) and 4 other dishes are available as well.

ABASQUE バスク産ダークチェリーのガトーバスク
For desert, try BASQUE SAN DARK CHERRY NO GATEAU BASQUE (Basque style cake with dark cherries from Basque inside).

ABASQUE 本日のサラダ
Lunch & Sunday brunch is great value, which you might want to try first before eating for dinner and here are some dishes served. HOJITSU NO SALAD (Salad of the day),

ABASQUE 牛タンの赤ワイン煮込み バターライス添え
GYU TONGUE NO AKA WINE NICOMI BUTTER RICE ZOE (Beef tongue red wine stew with buttered rice),


ABASQUE 牛ハラミ肉のステーキ
GYU HARAMI NO STEAK (Beef skirt steak).

ABASQUE チョコブリュレ
If you choose a lunch course which comes with desert, CHOCO BRULEE (Chocolate brulee)

ABASQUE 温かいリンゴのタルト ヴァニラアイス添え
or ATATAKAI RINGO NO TART VANILLA ICE CREAM ZOE (Warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream) will be offered.

If you are going here for dinner the 1st time, I recommend to choose one of the course menus which is available for 4,935 and 6,300 yen. Their wine list doesn't have well known brands and is really focused on wine from the Basque area, so it is better to ask the sommelier for recommendations. The decor of Abasque is simple and the size of the restaurant is small to say the least. Some people say that its over priced simply because of the interior and not really for dates, but its still one of the best Basque restaurants in Tokyo, For your reference, Michelin did give Abasque, one star.


ABASQUE (in Japanese, アバスク)
Address: 2-12-11 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都渋谷区渋谷2-12-11)
Nearest train station: JR or Tokyo Metro Shibuya (10 min walk)
Tel: 03-5468-8908
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://esdesign.biz/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No, but in French
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Weekdays 11:30am-1:30pm, 8pm-11pm
Sundays & Holidays 12pm-2pm, 8pm-11pm
Closed: Every Monday and also Sunday once a month (undecided)

Prices: Lunch Course 1,260, 1,575, 2,100 or 3,675yen
Dinner Course 4,935 or 6,300 yen
Tapas 735-2,940 yen
Appetizers 1,575-3,150 yen
Entrees 2,520-3,990 yen
Deserts 630-840 yen

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HARUKIYA (Ogikubo)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 11.2012 Ramen 0 comments 0 trackback
春木屋 outside
Ogikubo was once called the ramen center of Tokyo because of two famous shops that any ramen freak knows. One of them closed several years ago which actually was my favorite ramen shop, but the one that is still around HARUKIYA has survived for over 60 years and is still one of busiest ramen shops with people waiting in line all the time. It was also one of the ramen shops that was featured on the famous ramen movie of the 80's, Tanpopo.

春木屋 inside 1
Harukiya opened in 1949. The late owner/chef Imamura was originally a soba chef, but since it was right after World War II, he couldn't get a hold of good buckwheat only regular floor. So he decided to open a ramen shop instead without any proper training.

春木屋 中華そば
Harukiya's ramen is a shoyu ramen (soy sauce ramen) and from noodles to menma (bamboo shoot) its all homemade. It is one of the first ramen shops to use niboshi (dried sardines) for its broth. He got the idea of using niboshi from soba broth. The ramen is very simple and has authentic Tokyo style toppings. Spring onions, menma, chashu (boiled pork) and nori (dried seaweed). But the soup isn't since niboshi is not used for most of the authentic Tokyo style ramen broths. Regular ramen is called CHUKASOBA at Harukiya for 800 yen.

春木屋 麺は中太ちぢれでもっちり系
Noodles are rather thick, but not extra thick and are wrinkled by hand.

春木屋 めんま
Their menma is my favorite of all the ramen shops and I always order extra.

春木屋 チャーシュー麺
They also have other ramens like CHASHUMEN (ramen with extra boiled pork) for 1,300 yen,

春木屋 ワンタン麺
WONTONMEN (ramen with wonton) for 1,200 yen,

春木屋 つけ麺
and recently they added TSUKEMEN for 900 yento their menu.

春木屋 味玉
They also have toppings like AJITSUKE TAMAGO (Flavored boiled egg) for 100 yen.

春木屋 inside
Harukiya was my late parents favorite ramen shop and since its been open for over 60 yrs many people like me have come here to eat with their parents or family. Since I don't live near by anymore I don't get to go here as much as I want to, but it will always be one of my favorite ramen shops with many memories.

春木屋 menu

HARUKIYA (in Japanese, 春木屋)
Address: 1-4-6 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都杉並区上荻1-4-6)
Nearest train station: JR & Tokyo Metro Ogikubo (2 min walk)
Tel: 03-3391-4868
Reservations: No
Website: http://www.haruki-ya.co.jp/ (in Japanese only)
English menu: No
Credit Card: No
Open: Monday-Saturday 11am-9:20pm Sunday & Holiday 11am-9pm
Closed: None

Prices: Chukasoba (Ramen) 800 yen
Wontonmen (Ramen with wonton) 1,200 yen
Chashumen (Ramen wtih chashu) 1,300 yen
Tsukemen (Cold noodles with hot ramen soup) 900 yen
Wonton Soup 800 yen
Ohmori (Large noodles) 200 yen extra
Ajitsuke Tamago (Flavored boiled egg) 100 yen
Menma Kobachi (Extra Bamboo shoot) 100 yen
Negi Kobachi (Extra spring onion) 100yen

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KAGETSU (Yushima/Ueno-hirokouji)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 08.2012 Sweets, Bakery & Cafe 0 comments 0 trackback
花月 outside
Karintoh (Fried dough cookies) are more popular to older people since its a traditional down to earth Japanese sweet. Even when I was growing up, whenever my mother bought some at the near by supermarket, I would never touch them. But when her friend brought karintoh from KAGETSU at Yushima as an omiyage (gift when visiting someones house), they were totally different.

花月 かりんとう
Usually, karintoh are much thinner and darker since its coated with brown sugar syrup, but Kagetsu's it bigger in size and coated with regular sugar syrup.

花月 かりんとうの断面
It is lighter inside as well, which makes it less oily than normal karintoh. It goes great with green tea (hot or cold) and its a great afternoon snack.

花月 can
Packed and offered in a can with a classical Japanese design,

花月 包装
or they will wrap it up for you in a beautiful cloth, both for an extra fee.

花月 かりんとうパック
But if you are just eating it at home, you can purchase it in a regular plastic bag for 780 yen.

花月 さざれ
They also have various flavored fried rice crackers like SAZARE,

花月 iwamoto
and IWAMOTO. They are great as well, but if you are only purchasing one item that would be karintoh, nothing else.

花月 inside
They last for about a month or so if you don't open it, and once you do about a week or so. If you are a tourist visiting from another country it will be a great present to bring back home. There are 3 famous karintoh shops in Tokyo, Tachibana at Ginza, Kozakura at Asakusa, but by far Kagetsu is my favorite. You can get to Kagetsu from Yushima, Ueno-Hirokouji, Okachimachi, and Ueno station as well.

KAGETSU (in Japanese, 花月)
Address: 3-39-6 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都文京区湯島3-39-6)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Yushima (3 min walk) or Ueno-hirokouji (2 min walk)
JR Okachimachi (5 min walk)
Tel: 03-3831-9762
Reservations: Yes
Website: http://www.karintou-kagetsu.com/index.html (in Japanese only)
English menu: None
Credit Card: No
Open: 9:30am-6pm
Closed: Sunday & Holiday

Prices: Karintoh from 780 yen
Other items from 390 yen

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SANDA (Roppongi)

Posted by Tokyo Joe on 05.2012 Japanese (Kappo, Kaiseki) 0 comments 0 trackback
さんだ outside enlarge
Wanna enjoy various parts of wagyu beef which is cooked in many different ways? Of course, you can go to a regular yakiniku or Korean restaurant, but one of my favorite places is SANDA at Roppongi, which they called themselves a wagyu kappo restaurant.

さんだ tukidashi (mino akiresu dango)
Sanda only has one course menu for 6,300 yen and nothing else, but its great value. The course will start out will 4 appetizers. HACHINOSU NO GOMAAE (Boiled tripe with sesame), DAIDOUMYAKU CHUKAFU (Boiled aorta Chinese style), ACHILESUKEN NO PONZU (Achilles' tendon marinated with ponzu sauce), TONGUE DANGO NO SOUP (Grounded tongue meatball with beef soup).

さんだ liver sashimi
Next will be LEBA SASHI (Liver sashimi), which comes with a salt & sesame oil sauce,

さんだ tongue yukke
TONGUE YUUKE (Tongue sashimi Korean style),

さんだ hatsu misoae
HATSU NO MISOAE (Boiled heart with miso vinegar sauce),

さんだ sushi
GYU TORO NIGIRI (Sirloin sushi),

さんだ hoho stew enlarge
HOHO STEW (Cheek stew),

さんだ kyabetsu
KYABETSU SALAD (Cabbage salad),

さんだ ハラミ、膵臓、タン、肝臓
YAKINOMO (BBQ of skirt, tongue, pancreas, cheek),

さんだ yaki 2
which you will cook on a charcoal brazier.

さんだ nabe enlarge
The last meaty dish is TONGUE SHABU SHABU,

さんだ tongue nabe
which comes with MIZUNA (Potherb mustard) as well.

さんだ black sesame pudding
And for dessert, usually KUROGOMA PURIN (Black sesame pudding) is served to finish the meal.

I know this restaurant many not be for people who haven't ate various parts of beef since they were young, but if you don't become prejudice and just try to enjoy what you are having Sanda's food is fantastic. One of the most famous French chef's in the world, Paul Bocuse dines at Sanda whenever he is in Tokyo and I have taken many people here who are true foodies (meaning they would try anything as long as it is good) and all of them loved Sanda.

さんだ outside enlarge 2

SANDA (in Japanese, さんだ)
Address: 4-5-9 Roppngi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
(in Japanese, 東京都港区六本木4-5-9)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro or Toei Subway Roppongi (3 min walk)
Tel: 03-3423-2020
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: None
English menu: None
Credit Card: Yes
Open: Monday-Friday 6pm-12am, Saturday 6pm-11pm
Closed: Sunday & Holiday

Prices: Course menu only for 6,300 yen

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Posted by Tokyo Joe on 02.2012 French, Italian & Other Europian 1 comments 0 trackback
シェ・トモ outside
Where would I recommend to dine in the middle of Ginza which has great food, view, service, atmosphere, affordable and also great value? At the top of a very short list that restaurant would be CHEZ TOMO.

シェ・トモ inside
Chez Tomo originally opened in Shirogane and has been popular ever since it opened. Prices were reasonable including their wine list, which not only attracted many foodies, but wine lovers as well.. When I first heard that they moved to a prime location in Ginza, I imagined that the prices would increase significantly, but when I saw prices on their website it was the same, which amazed me since rent must be at least double from their old location. But later on, I found out that Chef Ishikawa got an amazing deal from the buildings owner, who's wife was a regular at Chez Tomo. And now they even have a view to go with their great food and service.

シェ・トモ 豚のリエット オリーブとアンチョビ 無塩バター
You should order either 5,780 or 6,980 yen course menu. The difference is that 6,980 yen has one additional entree. Like most restaurants, first bread will be served with pork rillete, anchovy & olive paste, and unsalted butter.

シェ・トモ 生うにの貴婦人風  Oeufs brouilles aux oursins
Both courses will start with Chef Ichikawa's specialty, NAMAUNI NO KIFUJINFU (Fresh sea urchin grande dame style). It is very creamy and rich. A great amuse to start out your meal.

シェ・トモ カキとフォアグラのフラン
Then comes your 1st Hors-d'oeuvre, which you get to choose. What's available depends on the season and the following have been served in the past. KAKI TOH FOIR GRAS NO FLAN (Oyster and Foie Gras flan),

シェ・トモ かぼちゃのポタージュスープ
KABOCHA NO POTAGE (Pumpkin soup),

シェ・トモ タスマニア産サーモンのマリネと車海老の自家製スモーク サラダのカクテル仕立て 抹茶風味のゼリー添え
TASMANIA-SAN SALMON NO MARINE TOH KURUMAEBI NO JIKASEI SMOKE SALAD NO COCKTAIL JITATE MATCHA FUUMI NO ZELII ZOE (Marinated Tasmanian salmon & smoked prawn salad with green tea flavor jelly),

シェ・トモ フランス産 ウズラの冷製バロティーヌ 二層になった栗のムースとフォワグラのピューレ添え
FRANCE-SAN UZURA NO REISEI BALLOTTINE NISOUNI NATTA KURI NO MOUSSE TOH FOIE GRAS NO PURE ZOE (Cold ballottine of quail from France with chestnut mousse & Foie Gras pure),

シェ・トモ ブルゴーニュ産エスカルゴのソテー にんにく風味のパセリクリームとトマトフォンデュ
BOURGOGNE ESCARGOT NO SAUTE NINNIKU FUUMI NO PARSLEY CREAM TOH TOMATO FONDUE (Escargot from Brittney sauteed with garlic flavor parsley cream and tomato fondue),

シェ・トモ パートプリックをまとわせて焼き上げたフランス産ホワイトアスパラガス 2010年スタイル ブールブラン・ソース添え
PATE BRICK WO MATOWASETE YAKIAGETA FRANCE SAN WHITE ASPARAGUS 2010 NEN STYLE BLU BLANC SAUCE ZOE (Asparagus from France wrapped with pate brick 2010 style with Blu Blanc sauce),

シェ・トモ マーブル仕立てにプレスされたフォワグラ 冬枯椎茸 里芋 豚耳のテリーヌ プラムの赤ワインコンポート添え
and MARBLE JITATENI PRESS SARETA FOIE GRAS, FUYUKARESHIITAKE, SATOIMO, BUTA NO MIMI NO TERRINE PLUM NO AKAWINE COMPOTE ZOE (Foie Gras, winter shiitake mushrooms, taro, pigs ear terrine with plum & red wine compote).

シェ・トモ 山梨県産 無農薬野菜達 30種の盛り合わせ
Next is your 2nd Hors-d'oeuvre and another chef's special, MUNOUYAKU YASAI TACHI SANJYUSHU NO MORIAWASE (30 different organic vegetables). Some are marinated, some are just boiled, some are grilled. Its the simplicity what makes this dish special.

シェ・トモ ココットの中で煮込まれたプラチナ豚の大腸、直腸、胃の白ワイン風味 カーン風
For your main dish, there is COCOTTE NO NAKADE NIKOMARETA PURACHINA BUTA NO DAICHO, CHOKUCHO, I NO SHIRO WINE FUUMI CAEN-FUU (Caen style stew of platinum pork's tripe and intestine with white wine cooked in a cocotte),

シェ・トモ パイ生地で蓋をしてココットの中で焼き上げた森の茸とフランス産仔牛肉のプレゼ マディラ風味
PAIKIJI DE FUTAWOSHITE COCOTTE NO NAKADE YAKIAGETA MORI NO TAKE TOH FRANCE SAN KOUSHI NO PRESE MADEIRA FUUMI (Veal from France and mushrooms Madeira wine flavor covered and cooked in a pie),

シェ・トモ 地魚と蟹のガトー仕立て アボカドのムースリーヌとトマトのクーリ添え
JIZAKANA TOH KANI NO GATEAU JITATE AVOCADO NO MOUSSELINE TOH TOMATO NO COULIS (Fish of the day & crab gateau with avocado mousseline and tomato puree),

シェ・トモ 地魚のソテー ズッキーニの鱗仕立て サフラン風味のマリニエールソース
JIZAKANA NO SAUTE ZUCCHINI UROKO JITATE SAFRAN FUUMI NO MARINIER SAUCE (Sauteed fish of the day and scale carved zucchini with saffron flavored Marinier sauce),

シェ・トモ 野生鹿ロース肉のロースト ポワヴラードソース
and game dishes like YASEI SHIKA ROSU NIKU NO ROAST POIVRADE SAUCE (Roasted wild dear loin with poivrade sauce) are available when its game season. (fall to early winter)

シェ・トモ チーズワゴン
If you want you can order cheese before desert for an extra fee.

シェ・トモ ヴァローナ社のチョコレートを使ったアイスとケーキ
And for desert, they have dishes like VALRHONA SHA NO CHOCOLATE WO TUKATTA ICE TOH CAKE (Valrhona chocolate ice cream and cake),

シェ・トモ パインナップルのクレープシュゼット
PINEAPPLE NO CREPE SUZETTE (Pineapple crepe suzette),

シェ・トモ パンプディング&アイス
PAN PUDDING AND ICE (Bread pudding with vanilla ice cream),

シェ・トモ 桃のゼリーとソルベピーチチップス添え
and MOMO NO ZELII TOH SORBET PEACH CHIPS ZOE (Peach jelly and sherbet with dried peach chips).

シェ・トモ inside 11th floor
Value wise Chez Tomo is as good as it can get. There aren't too many other restaurants especially French that come par to Chez Tomo value wise. Because of their location, they could be charging at least 50% more. They have two floors you can dine at. First floor, more of a modern decor where most customers dine and second floor more classical decor used for parties. If you need a good French restaurant with a view, located in the heart of Ginza and great value, there is no better place than Chez Tomo.

シェ・トモ inside 12th floor

CHEZ TOMO (in Japanese, シェ・トモ)
Address: 1-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Pola Ginza Bldg 11th Floor)
(in Japanese, 東京都中央区銀座1-7-7 ポーラ銀座ビル 11F)
Nearest train station: Tokyo Metro Ginza (6 min walk)
Tel: 03-5524-8868
Reservations: Yes (must)
Website: http://www.chez-tomo.com/ginza_e/index.html
English menu: Yes
Credit Card: Yes
Open: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Closed: Monday
When Monday is a holiday, Monday for dinner & Tuesday all day will be closed

Prices: Lunch Course 2,890 or 5,000 yen
Dinner Course 5,780, 6,980 or 10,000 yen

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