September 2, 2014

Gourmet burger near god of safe delivery in Ningyocho

The most popular place in Tokyo for praying smooth delivery is Suitengu shrine (水天宮), located in Ningyocho(人形町). Each god has each specialty. Now the shrine is closed for refurbished but its temporary shrine opens nearby cause expecting mothers wish to visit before their childbirth (I also did!). Near the temporary shrine. there is a famous hamburger shop called "BROZERS' (ブラザーズ)", one of the originals of gourmet burger. 
Temporary Suitengu shrine, god of safe delivery
BROZERS' in Ningyocho
Avocado cheese burger and Perrier
BROZERS' in not on the big street, but the vivid red colored shop is eye-catching in Ningyocho which has many old companies and restaurants. Interior is like an american diner in 60 or 70s. Standard hamburger costs JPY1,000 and avocado cheese burger costs JPY1,300. French fries, onion rings and pickled are served together. 

Their hamburger is tasty, indeed. Especially, hamburg made of only beef is big, juicy and delicious. According to their HP, wagyu beef oil is added for making the taste better. Combination with fresh lettuce and rich avocado is wonderful. On the other hand, tasting for avocado burger seems only salt and pepper and not so strong (BBQ sauce is used for other burgers). If ketchup and mustard is used for the remaining 1/3, we could enjoy the change of tasting and eat up smoothly. My rating is 3.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

BROZERS' (ブラザーズ)   

August 31, 2014

Popular local unagi (eel) restaurant in Sendagi

When I visited a colleague's new nice condominium near Yanaka-Ginza shopping street (谷中銀座商店街), we went to a popular local unagi (eel) restaurant called "Inageya (稲毛屋)" in Sendagi (千駄木). Inageya is classified into izakaya restaurant which offers unagi as well as attractive side dishes and variety of Japanese sake. As they offer Japanese eels and expensive sake like Jyu-yondai (十四代) at reasonable price, tables are often full by reservation particularly at night.  
Inageya in Sendagi
Second floor (consists of Japanese-style price rooms)
Lunch unagi set meal 
Surprisingly, unagi bowl is available from JPY1,380 at lunch. Usually, it costs at least JPY2,500 or 3,000 in Tokyo. The reason why they could sell unagi reasonably seems size of unagi. Small! (of course, if you pay more, the portion becomes bigger.) Even I couldn't be full...but the taste was superb! Char-grilled unagi has nice burnt aroma. Crispy outside and fluffy inside. I agree to the popularity. I'd like to revisit at night for tasting sake eating delicious unagi and side dishes. 

If you have small budget for lunch, or, you hesitate to taste unagi for the first time, Inageya is recommendable as trial. Even though you can't get full, you can go to the Yanaka-Ginza shopping street to buy snacks at stalls there. My rating for Inageya is 3.8 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Inageya (稲毛屋)

Nice pasta restaurant at Ginza Mitsukoshi

On the 11th floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi Annex (銀座三越 新館 see previous visit), there is a restaurant named "SESTO SENSO (セストセンソ)" specializing pasta and antipasto. Mr. Hidemasa Yamamoto, a Japanese famous chef who served as an executive chef of inaugural dinners of US President Reagan, Bush and Clinton and of Mandarin Oriental Tokyo produces this restaurant. However, different from the image, variety of tasty fresh pasta are available in a casual atmosphere at reasonable price. 
Focaccia and a glass of white wine (chardonnay)
Squid ink pasta 
Carbonara with crab
Grilled porgy
Grilled wagyu beef
Ice cake with peach compote
The taste is modern and light, but robust. Their specialty, fresh pasta was definitely tasty. Squid ink pasta was chewy and delicious. Main dishes of both fish and beef were also good. Set menu is available at lunch time at JPY1,580, 1,980 and 3,280 (the above photos are of JPY3,280). Service is quick. Baby is also welcomed. My rating is 3.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

August 11, 2014

Relaxing chain cafe specializing egg dishes

When I went shopping to Kinshicho (錦糸町) to buy baby items with family, I found a chain cafe named "Salon Tamago to Watashi (サロン 卵と私)" in TERMINA, a shopping mall attached to the JR Kinshicho Station. "Tamago to Watashi" means "egg and I" (strange name...:)) and this restaurant offers dishes using egg such as omelette, pancake, souffle, etc. Though I hadn't expected at all, the dishes were good! 
"Salon Tamago to Watashi"
Souffle pancake
Baked souffle rice omelette 
Their specialty is souffle or pancake and omelette using souffle. Both of the souffle-typed pancake(JPY530) and rice omelette(JPY1,030) were light like mousse and melted in the mouth shortly. Very favorable texture. The taste was stably good as a chain cafe. Particularly, combination of the hot pancake and whipped cream, butter and maple syrup was superb! 

Their sofa seats are cozy and relaxing. The price is inexpensive. The dishes were nice. I'd like to visit again when I have chance. For having a short break, this cafe featuring egg dishes might be a good option. My rating is 3.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Salon Tamago to Watashi (サロン 卵と私)

August 10, 2014

Famous tendon (tempura bowl) since 1887 in Asakusa

Just besides the Senso-ji Temple (浅草寺) in Asakusa (浅草), there is a famous tendon (tempura bowl) restaurant named "Daikokuya (大黒家)" which has started since 1887. Daikokuya itself is like a sightseeing spot which gathers many tourists because of the long history and the fame. People always make a long queue. When I went there on weekend, 20 people were still waiting around 3 o'clock (the below photo was taken around 4pm, between lunch and dinner. Few people were waiting.)
Basic tendon
Most people ordered basic tendon at JPY1,550, rice topped with tempura of a prawn, a white fish and a mixed vegetable. The feature of their tempura is being deep-fried only by rich sesame oil and strong flavor sauce over tempura. This is good and distinctive. On the other hand, their old fashioned  tempura is non-crispy deep fry batter which I found it less tasty. Tempura served by professional should be always crispy! The taste is not bad, but the texture is not good. 126 years ago, it might be very tasty. It is beautiful to maintain their traditions, but at the same time, innovation is also necessary for the next 100 years. My rating is 2.3 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Daikokuya (大黒家)  

August 7, 2014

A fully booked small French restaurant in Kagurazaka

In the residential area of Kagurazaka (神楽坂), there is a small French restaurant which it is difficult to make a reservation. That is "L'Atlas (ラトラス)", which has obtained one Michelin star before and whose chef and manager improved their skill at "Tour d' Argent Tokyo." To realize their ideal dishes and service, they opened L'Atlas. Indeed, they succeeded creating sophisticated classical modern dishes. 
Main dining
Cake of three different styles of foie gras
Mousse of homarus and cauliflower with consomme jelly and caviar 
Roasted whit fish with bouillabaisse sauce
Grilled canard
Grilled lamb
Glass mont blanc
Camomile tea and petits fours
At the lunch time, they offer only two fixed courses at JPY5,700 and 8,500. Both of which are same number of plates and the difference is quality of used ingredients (the above photos are of JPY5,700). The set meal consists of chef's recommendations (no options) and it makes cost-effective despite they use foie gras, caviar, homarus, etc. 

The set meal was well balanced with light modern two starters and two classical main dishes (fish and meat). Every plate was delicious. In particular, a cake of foie gras and mousse of homarus and cauliflower were impressive. You can't imagine that you can have such high-grade dishes at such a small restaurant. 

Another feature of L'Atlas is big-portion. Big-eater man could be satisfied. Even so, you can't be getting tired as each dish has different taste. Their service is casual (not so elegant) but no shortcomings. Their only minus point might be narrow space between tables. Next tables are so close that I easily heard conversation of other tables. Yet, unless you have a secret talk, it might be ok. My rating is 4.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

L'Atlas (ラトラス)   

August 2, 2014

Standard sushi chain from Tsukiji

I used to eat sushi when I was pregnant. Eating much big fish like tuna frequently is not suitable in terms of mercury, but adequate amount in proper interval is advisable cause it is proved EPA and DHA contained in fish are good for inside baby. For having sushi casually, chain restaurant is recommended. "TSUKIJI SUSHIKO (築地すし好)" is a sushi chain originally from Tsukiji, the world biggest fish market town. Their branches are around Tokyo. 
Clam miso soup
Interior of SUSHIKO is clean and bright. Menu is easy to understand with photos. Price setting is adequate and we don't have to worry. Sushi set is available from JPY1,000. Every chef and staff are well trained and service-oriented. Their sushi itself is good! Delicious enough. Definitely, not impressive one like prestige restaurant, but much more tasty and sophisticated than go-round-sushi restaurant. To taste sushi daily, this kind of chain restaurant is quite useful. My rating is 3.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!