Archive for the ‘Japan Eating’ Category

Anis, Tokyo

December 12, 2014

http://restaurant-anis.jp/
1-9-7 Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Our final meal in Japan, so we go to a French restaurant. Go figure. Not really proud of myself, but in my defence it was excellent. Also I will go to any restaurant which is run by someone who’s worked at Arpege.

This is as good a modern french bistro you will find, anywhere. Superb ingredients as you expect in Japan, well thought out, great tasting food.

House made bread, tomato consommé with abalone, cod (with foam), succulent roast chicken, text book mille-fueille. Great value. Go

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Izakaya, Roppongi

December 12, 2014

Look, a salad! And pork belly (my choice). Good beer food. Good enough to forget where this place was… Near an intersection in Roppongi on a 2nd/3rd floor. That will narrow it down…

This is a post so uninformative it’s almost not worth posting. Sorry.

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Tokyo

December 12, 2014

http://www.robuchon.jp/latelier-en
Roppongi, Tokyo

An opportunistic lunch. Not really planned. I’d come here 7 years previously on my first visit to Tokyo. So there was a bit of nostalgia.

Good classic french food with a touch of refinement. Enjoyable, but not really anything to write (home) about…

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Jimbocho Den, Tokyo

December 12, 2014

http://www.jimbochoden.com

This was an exceptional meal in every way. Hands down one of my favourite. Up there with L’Aperge & Michael Guerard. It wasn’t just the food, it was the service; utterly charming. A departure from the norm. It does make one think how formal ‘fine dining’ really needs to be.

9pm booking. Previous diners apologised for leaving a little late. Only in Japan. Counter service. Quiet, busy kitchen staffed by all women with the exception of head chef. Our waitress translated everything, made fun conversation, chose excellent (non expensive) beverage pairings.

Every dish had a story or a twist – something whimsical, local, but grounded in a serious ingredient(s). Everything was served with a smile and enthusiasm. It was infectious.

Not only did we get seconds of the excellent beef, we got a Den sticker to put on our phone… But of course. We even finished with photos with the chef & staff, at their request.

It goes without saying we left with smiles on our faces. And the food:

Foie gras sandwich with persimmon
Turtle soup with turnip
KFC – chicken wing with taro & truffle
Aged Yellowfin tuna with radish
Monkfish liver with rice (my favourite)
Eel & smoked soy skin
‘Salad’
Fugu with radish
Hokkaido beef with bamboo rice
Soil (again, but buckwheat this time)

It was also a relative bargain. Go.

In no particular order….(thanks wordpress)

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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.

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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

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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

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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…

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