August 31, 2012

Yakiniku near Tokyo Dome

Near the JR Suidobashi(水道橋) Station and the Tokyo Dome (東京ドーム), there is an old and famous yakiniku restaurant named "Keijyo(京城)." The restaurant seems to get a name by only using Japanese branded beefs such as Matsuzaka-ushi(松阪牛) and Omi-gyu(近江牛) as yakiniku restaurant.
Exterior of Keijyo
Interior of Keijyo
Beer and Korean rice wine
Kimuchi, Korean pickles

The restaurant's interior and atmosphere are...old:) The Showa (昭和)! The time of bubble economy(バブル)! Renovation is not enough and strange chandeliers are decorated on the wall...By the way, let's focus on yakiniku!! Some beef like carubi was tender and sweet as the feature of Matsusaka-ushi. But others...are so-so. Sorry to say, but tongue was not good and we left them.  

Except some good beef, I am a bit skeptical if they really use the branded beefs for all the plates. Or even if they use, they may buy low quality ones among the brands... This restaurant might have been so good twenty years ago cause competition was not so severe as today. We nowadays have a lot of good yakuniku restaurants with better atmosphere. 

The positive point is reasonable price. My rating is 2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!


August 30, 2012

Vietnamese food at Marunouchi Building

Marunouchi Building (丸ビル) is one of the best place to meet someone cause it is directly connected to the main Tokyo Station which has a lot of railway and subway lines. We can easily come and go home by using at least one line. So, most restaurants are full of people and difficult to enter without reservation on Friday and weekend. This time, I tried a Vietnamese restaurant called "Casablanca Silk (カサブランカシルク)." 
Entrance of "Casablanca Silk"
Fresh spring rolls
Caesar salad with shrimp 
Beef satay 
Beef stew with cous cous 
 Tom yan kun (Thailand's specialty, sour and hot soup)
Vietnamese coconut curry and rice
Interior is fancy as colonial style. From windows, we can see the face of the Tokyo Station which is now under renovation. Dishes are not only Vietnamese but also fusion cuisine incorporating French and Thai. Hot flavor is a bit moderated for adjusting Japanese preference(this restaurant is run by a huge restaurant chain company). 

The quality of taste is more than average and the price is not so expensive. We were satisfied with most of the dishes. Only Tom yan kun was too salty to eat up and the way of cooking of beef stew was a bit rough. A minus point is insufficient number of waiters. It seems the restaurant tries to save labor cost and only several waiters work in the huge floor. So, we have to wait for waiters coming (though it' not a so big problem...but we are very used to the quick service in Japan).

The atmosphere is good, the dishes are not bad, service is a bit slow... in sum, my rating is 2.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!
Casablanca Silk (カサブランカシルク) 

August 29, 2012

Pizzeria near the God of learning

Just the other side of Yushima Tenjin Shrine (湯島天神) which honors Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真), the God of learning, there is a Napoli-style pizzeria called "Arrangiarsi(アランジャルシ)." Arrangiarusi prepares only 20 set of meals for lunch time. So, unless we hurry to go, we can't eat! Since a chef manages everything such as ordering, cooking, serving, and cleaning, that would be the maximum number he can deal with. 
Pizzeria "Arrangiarsi"
Stone oven in the pizzeria
Italian beer
Pizza (half-half of Margherita and Napolitana)
Honey latte
The inside is not so big. Including seats along the counter, there are only 15 to 20 seats. Whenever I go, most of the seats are occupied. The reason would be its good taste and reasonable price! The lunch comprises starter, one pizza and cafe/tea at JPY1,300. From the above pictures, you may think the portion is no so big enough, but you can be full with high satisfaction. The pizza is delicious with chewing texture and the smell of firewood. 

When you want to have pizza reasonably in a casual manner, this pizzeria is recommendable. Considering cost effectiveness, my rating is 3.4 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 


Bento of Kiyoken

The other day, a TV program focused on bento of Kiyoken (崎陽軒), and I noticed I haven't tried it yet in my life despite of its fame(as they actively advertised their bento in TV commercial, people know at least the name)! After saying that, my hubby kindly bought me a bento of Kiyoken. 
Package of Kiyoken's bento
Contens of Kiyoken's bento
Kiyoken is a company in Yokohama (横浜), a big port city near Tokyo, which mainly sells Chinese steamed dumplings(シュウマイ) and their bento using the dumplings is very popular. We can find shops of Kiyoken in department stores and train stations around Yokohama.  

Bento (弁当) is a prepared meal for take out or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. Bento usually consists of steamed rice and several side dishes of meat, fish and vegetables. The occasions we eat bento office, during meetings, on the train, on a picnic, etc., when we can't eat in a formal manner.

And I finally tried the Kiyoken's bento! The result was....frankly speaking...good on average? No distinction even for their specialty, dumplings, though rice was very delicious as bento. Maybe their strength is "being on average" that everyone likes. One bento costs JPY750 (approx. USD 9), which is also on or a bit above average. So, my rating is 2.5 out o 5. 

Kiyoken (崎陽軒

August 27, 2012

German beer in Omotesando

On the third basement of Omotesando Hills (表参道ヒルズ), there is a German restaurant called "Deutsche Deutsche(ドイチェドイチェ)." The appealing point of this restaurant is to drink variety of fresh beers directly imported from Germany over tasting authentic dishes in a casual atmosphere.  
Interior of "Deutsche Deutsche"
Fresh German beers
Grilled sausages with  sauerkraut
 Spätzle (German fresh pasta) with cream sauce and a bread 
Grilled  Mangalica pork
Sachertorte (chocolate cake, specialty of Austria)
The set meal comprising appetizer, starter, pasta, main dish and dessert can be available around JPY3,800 . On the other hand, imported German beers cost from JPY700 to 3,000, depending on brands and amount (a bit expensive). Though fresh beers I tasted were really good, if you take a lot of glasses of beers, it would be costly. 

The taste is nice. Everyone likes sausages definitely. Spätzle, German fresh pasta, which I tried for the first time was also tasty with strong chewy texture. Grilled mangalica, pork designated as "eating" National Treasury in Hungary, was also good (recently, I can see a lot of menus using Mangalica in many restaurants in Tokyo). 

Yet, the portion of each plate is not so big enough. Service is casual as most staff are young men. Just having fresh German beers with some side dishes would be a correct answer for this restaurant. My rating would be..2.8 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

Deutsche Deutsche(ドイチェドイチェ)

August 25, 2012

Stable Chinese chain

Kamonka (過門香) is a modern Chinese restaurant which has four branches in Tokyo and I went to the one in Ueno (上野). I have also been to Akasaka (赤坂) branch several times. The interior is stylish with Chinese-style decoration. The restaurant comprises several rooms whose interiors are different and rooms for non-smoking and smoking are completely divided.
A room in Kamonka
Fresh beer and free Oolong tea
Sharks' fin soup
Beijing duck
Fried shrimp and vegetables with sea urchin 
Shaoxing rice wine
Crab fried egg with sour and sweet sauce 
Boiled abalone with cream sauce
Dandan noodle
Dishes are modern but authentic, which are cooked by Japanese and Chinese cooks at open kitchen. They have wide variety of menus at relatively reasonable price. For instance, we can take dumplings from JPY300, a small shark's fin soup at JPY900, small Beijing ducks at JPY1,400, etc. Main dishes cost around JPY1,500 to 2,500. Only if you want to have abalone, because of its rarity, you have to pay more than JPY4,000 (but still reasonable). The taste of dishes is more than or at least on average. We can be satisfied with both the taste and price.

If you have any difficulty to find restaurants near the Ueno Park or Ueno Station, I suppose Kamonka is one of the good options. You can go lightheartedly with casual cloths without caring your wallet (unless ordering expensive dishes). Service is casual but kind and good. My rating is 3.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

Kamonka (過門香)

August 22, 2012


Summer Sonic(サマーソニック) is an annual music festival held in Tokyo and Osaka for two days inviting a lot of musicians from major to minor all over the world. I joined the Summer Sonic held in Tokyo on last Sunday with the aim of seeing Rihanna, Jamiroquai, Cardigans, Perfume (Japanese techno-pop units comprising three females) and others. I am still impressed by the spectacular even two days have passed. As a lot of artists performed at the same time in different stages, I couldn't see all, but I could enjoy listening all my favorites. 
All the performances I saw were too wonderful to describe everything here. But I got much energy and power! Luckily to me, I was always standing on the front position of the arena and could feel the performance directly(and now I am suffering from muscle pain). 

Perfume was really awesome. Their figures and dance are so cute but the songs are cool, as the mix of pops, house and techno, etc. They are one of the pop current icons in Japan.

Cardigans made me bring back some memories when I listened their albums at high school days. I felt they lost momentum a bit, but happy to see them in person after so long.

Jamiroquai was cool! J Kay was kept his youth as he was when he had became so popular at selling "Virtual Insanity." His sound is also still alive, which meets the feelings of the current time. I love the movements he makes on the stage. Very light and stylish. 

In the end, Rihanna! Soooo cool and lovely! I totally fell in love with her. Her presence was the biggest among other artists. I was just happy to see and feel her in such a close distance (actually I was just about to die by crushing). She performed many songs from her latest and second latest albums and people became so high! I also kept jumping, dancing, shouting.. When the fireworks were shot off with her last song "We Found Love," the most exciting moments came! Wonderful night, and must go next year!   



August 21, 2012

Hearty cake of HARBS

HARBS(ハーブス) is a chain cafe and cake shop originally from Nagoya (名古屋) city, which is the center of politics, economy, and culture in central Japan and has the 3rd largest population in Japan. The features of HARBS's cakes are simple, big and fresh and that's why delicious. Ingredients and used fruits are really fresh and I recommend you to buy simple cakes rather than elaborate cakes (actually, elaborate ones are so-so). The simple is better for cakes of HARBS.
HARBS' melon short cake
The one I ate was a short cake using very sweet melon. Soooo good! Melon was ripe and sweet and the combination with fresh cream and soft sponge was perfect. Each time I put a small piece into mouth, I was so happy. The size is also big enough to share with someone. The price is JPY730 (approx. USD9) for one piece of cake. A bit expensive? But you wouldn't regret! My rating in terms of the melon short cake is 4 out of 5. If you go shopping, you can find cafes/shops of HARBS in department stores, shopping malls, etc. Gochiso-samadeshita! 


August 19, 2012

Light Italian near Ochanomizu

I went to an Italian restaurant named "Ristorante Salutare (リストランテ・サルターレ)" which is located on a hill near Ochanomizu(御茶ノ水) Station. This area is quiet and secluded with residences, universities, hospitals, Japan Football Associations, etc. Ristorante Salutare has a homey feel and is likely loved by local people. 
Exterior of "Ristorante Salutare"
Inside of  "Ristorante Salutare"   
Beer and sparkling wine
Amuse (fresh ham, marinated fish, capotana)
Amuse (tuna and avocado) 
Pasta with sardine
Italian white wine 
Risotto with cheese 
Grilled cod fish with americane sauce
Beef steak
Dessert (honey mousse with mango sorbet and fruits)
Soon after we arrived, customers came one right after the other and the small restaurant became full. Most of them(including us) ordered a set meal at JPY5,250. The set meal includes two amuses, two pasta (or risotto), fish main dish, meat main dish, dessert and coffee. Dishes are made in a careful manner and simple and dainty. Many dishes were served but the portion of each dish was very small (men who eat a lot could not be full).  

The service is good (for instance, they provided me with a blanket when I felt chilly by air-conditioning). If they increased the volume of each dish, customers would be more satisfied. Actually, I wanted to eat more either pasta or main dish. Due to that, value for money is not so high for my impression. Almost! My rating is 2.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

Ristorante Salutare (リストランテ・サルターレ)