Archive for September, 2014

Les Creations de Narisawa, Tokyo

September 15, 2014

http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com

“I hope dessert is served by a bear”

Sometimes it’s good to be really hungover for a meal so you can enter into the spirit of things and truly appreciate the concept. This was one of these meals, back in February.

We’d got to bed around 5. A 10am meeting in the city. Lunch at 12.30. #bosh

What’s a meal without a concept? This one had it in spades. We were here to get back to nature – to go on a journey from the forest to the sea. It included cedar water, oysters cooked in charcoal, essence of sea snake (!) & soil (really). Try explaining to someone that you’ve paid ($$$) to eat soil. It smacked occasionally of conceptual bullshit to the detriment of taste and in our addled shape we were wise to it.

There were some stunning courses – lobster salad, crab risotto, squid. Truly memorable dishes that showcased the ingredients. Then there was Hilda beef cooked in charcoal that despite the frozen sake (topping up the spirit levels) was a waste. Charcoal? Why?

Desserts were excellent, especially the petit fours. Sadly no bear.

This was a meal I’ll remember for a long time as much for the laughs as the food. It also made question whether fine dining had jumped the shark. But there were meals ahead to restore the faith. I’m looking at you Den.

IMG_3895.JPG

IMG_3894.JPG

IMG_3893.JPG

IMG_3896.JPG

IMG_3899.JPG

IMG_3897.JPG

IMG_3900.JPG

IMG_3901.JPG

IMG_3904.JPG

IMG_3903.JPG

IMG_3909.JPG

IMG_3907.JPG

IMG_3912.JPG

IMG_3913.JPG

IMG_3914.JPG

IMG_3911.JPG

IMG_3917.JPG

IMG_3915.JPG

IMG_3918.JPG

IMG_3916.JPG

Advertisements

Sushi Iwa, Ginza

September 14, 2014

8-5-25 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.

It’s hard to get into the 3 star places. Best course of action, book a good hotel and use their concierge. Our recommended ‘fine sushi lunch’ was Iwa.

People will go on about once you go to Japan you can’t have sushi anywhere else again. It’s one-upmanship bollocks. You get what you can get wherever you are. Besides you probably can’t get a decent pie-floater in Japan.

The sushi at a high-end place like Iwa is ethereal. It’s probably one of the reasons a tourist goes to Japan. All cliches are true. Menu below (have fun trying to match the fish to the picture with WordPress random image uploading)

Flounder
Golden Sea bream
Spanish mackerel
Sea bream marinated in kombu
Tuna
Toro
Gizzard – salt & vinegar
Scallop
Ice fish marinated in cherry blossom
Clam muscle
Baby white shrimp
Sea eel
Toro rolls

IMG_3749.JPG

IMG_3750.JPG

IMG_3751.JPG

IMG_3752.JPG

IMG_3753.JPG

IMG_3755.JPG

IMG_3754.JPG

IMG_3756.JPG

IMG_3758.JPG

IMG_3757.JPG

IMG_3760.JPG

IMG_3759.JPG

IMG_3762.JPG

IMG_3764.JPG

IMG_3761.JPG

IMG_3763.JPG

Toritama, Kagurazaka

September 14, 2014

http://www.toritama.net (you can email for a reservation – useful)

Basement Yakitori bar – a tough place to find. The schtick of this place – they use every part of the chicken. There’s even a helpful diagram for Gaijin to freak out at and point to. If you’re looking to eat pre-fertilized eggs, then this is the place to come to. You even get a bit of tofu & lovely egg yolk in radish to feel better about yourself.

Highly enjoyable

IMG_3725.JPG

IMG_3726.JPG

IMG_3727.JPG

IMG_3728.JPG

IMG_3732.JPG

IMG_3733.JPG

IMG_3734.JPG

IMG_3731.JPG

IMG_3737.JPG

IMG_3738.JPG

IMG_3735.JPG

IMG_3736.JPG

Tsunahachi Souhonten, Shinjuku, Tokyo

September 14, 2014

A trip to Japan end of Feb with one my best mates. Snowboarding for him, restaurants for me, drinking & arcades for both.

I love this country – beautiful, hospitable, the fact it’s impenetrable to foreigners. It’s ok to look perfectly clueless. Liberating.

Off the plane. Hotel check-in. Lunch. Round the corner and a recommended Tempura bar. Like many places in Japan, a restaurant that sticks to doing one thing perfectly.

Buzzing at lunchtime, round the kitchen seating, cold beer. Good selection of vegetables & seafood (shrimp, white fish, clam etc). Batter light & crunchy. I couldn’t really ask for more except what was in the shot glass….little fishes I hope…

IMG_3720.JPG

IMG_3717.JPG

IMG_3718.JPG

IMG_3719.JPG

IMG_3721.JPG

IMG_3722.JPG

El Jannah, Blacktown

September 14, 2014

http://www.eljannah.com.au
44 Flushcombe Road, Blacktown

I live on the northern beaches. It’s mostly white middle class families. As a result if you want interesting or authentic you have to venture out.

A forty minute drive for charcoal chicken is a little excessive, but it’s good charcoal chicken, especially with garlic sauce. It’s even better when combined with a trip to Wet ‘n’ Wild (for me, not the kids).

I also love this picture. Proof that eating pita bread can make the most photogenic people (I’m biased) look demented.

IMG_3697.JPG

Rockpool Sydney, Sydney

September 14, 2014

http://www.Rockpool.com
11 bridge street, Sydney

Have been here a few times since it re-opened in Bridge Street. This occasion was a valentines day lunch with Vanessa. There’s a lot to be said for lunching on this date. You avoid the price gouging at night, with uninspired menus (steak or salmon) and the depressing sight of 50 tables of 2 trying to enjoy themselves.

This is I suspect less of an issue for Rockpool. The room is sleek and money. The food is excellent. One could hypothesize how the chinese inspired food reflects a country that straddles the east & west. You’d sound a bit of wanker though. Regardless, the flavours are big, especially in comparison to the traditional Flower Drum. Steak Tartare with black bean dressing, chicken hotpot with potatoes dauphine. All outstanding.

A lot of iconic Sydney restaurants rely on their location to be distinctive, but Rockpool Sydney has to rely on the food. I consider it to be some of the most distinctive you’ll find ‘here’.

IMG_3671.JPG

IMG_3669.JPG

IMG_3670.JPG

IMG_3668.JPG

Flower Drum, Melbourne

September 14, 2014

Flower-drum.com
17 Market Lane, Melbourne

It’s been a while since my last post (again). Pics stay on phone etc.

So back in January. A morning meeting in Melbourne that ended early. An hour or so to kill before the return flight. A sneaky visit to this institution with my SAD.

A lovely room – big, airy, tables widely spaced. Ideal for heavy discussions.

Food was a real surprise – no frills, clean and simple. “Let the ingredients do all the talking” is not something I’d associate with Cantonese food. I was expecting big flavours, that didn’t really materialise. Maybe a symptom of my westernised experiences, but I wasn’t blown away. Would be worth a second visit.

IMG_3566-0.JPG

IMG_3565-0.JPG

IMG_3563-0.JPG

IMG_3564-0.JPG