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Question about food etiquette and eating noodles

Can only answer that question for Japan:

If you are eating in a cheaper ramen/udon etc. restaurant you are supposed to slurp, mostly because the soup is meant to be eaten really hot and the slurping cools it down. Not to slurp is not necessarily "unfriendly" or anything. It probably feels slightly odd to some people if they paid attention but not slurping does not necesarily break some ettiquette or offends the cook or anything like that.

In a more upscale restaurant, for example Kaiseki or French you would not slurp. Mostly because here there is no good reason to slurp as there won't be super-hot soups.

Jan 09, 2014
Scharn in Not About Food

"Rokurinsha"-Ramen- Osaki (Shinagawa), Tokyo - Yamanote Line

As far as I remember it's a lighter version of their standard broth and is also served warm.

Jan 09, 2014
Scharn in Japan

Tips and expensive restaurants

As a quick update i have contacted the restaurant and asked them to change the tab to a 20% tip, or $60.

What essentially convinced me was Karl S thoughtful statement - and the general 100+ responses outrage.

I would like everybody though to keep in mind though that the whole thing was an honest mistake and what feels completely obvious to those living in a certain culture is not necessarily obvious to those from a different background, because I honestly didn't intend to stiff anybody. In any case, wrong call from my side, but in the end it was corrected.

Tips and expensive restaurants

For what it's worth I am here a couple of times a year and I certainly do not need to explain myself to you.

The horrible crime has happened that a waiter got $15 or $20 less than he should have. Sorry. Will just tip more next time. But while I feel a bit sorry it's certainly not the end of the world for anybody nor is it half as serious as some of you guys make it seem...

Jan 06, 2014
Scharn in Not About Food

Tips and expensive restaurants

Well first I'm visiting and while tipping big is the norm in the US, giving the equivalent of $25 on a $300 tab would be considered VERY, VERY generous in Central Europe.

Obviously tips appear too scale here, so next waiter will get his 15-20% no matter how high the tab. Guess that means $50 or whatever sometimes. :)

Jan 06, 2014
Scharn in Not About Food

Paramount and Trident alternatives

Well, I don't know, but we both ate omelets. These were quite small.

Jan 06, 2014
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Tips and expensive restaurants

Normally I tend to tip about 20%, so for a bill of $49 I would probably pay $60 and for a bill of $79 I would give $100.

Lately I have been wondering how tipping should be handled for larger bills, not in a scenario where there are many people in the group, but rather when the restaurant is expensive. For example I have paid $300 for a dinner for two a couple of days back. I ended up tipping $25. Now in a way giving the waiter $25 feels like quite a lot in absolute terms but percental it wasn't even 10%. Was I actually stingy and should have tipped 15-20% of $300, that is up to $60?

Jan 06, 2014
Scharn in Not About Food

"Rokurinsha"-Ramen- Osaki (Shinagawa), Tokyo - Yamanote Line

So it appears that the original branch is (has been for quite some time) running again. Anybody knows the story what happened?

Jan 04, 2014
Scharn in Japan

Identify this sushi-ya...

thanks for the "info".

Jan 04, 2014
Scharn in Japan

Paramount and Trident alternatives

Both were my goto options for classic American breakfast - eggs dishes, french toast, some fresh juice and coffee - but lately I have been left very unimpressed by both

1) Trident has got way too big and popular. The place is extremely noisy, and I've felt several times that waiters were pretty much trying to "process" me as quickly as possible so that the can seat new people. Makes sense from a short term business point of view, but not exactly sure how this strategy plays with repeat customers. Food itself was underwhelming too, for example their poached eggs had watery pockets. Not great.

2) Paramount (Beacon Hill) seems to have changed the food to filler ratios quite a lot. I have ordered omelets several times now and it appears they are getting less tasty and smaller while the amount of home fries seems to grow steadily. Is it possible they use less butter or less ingredients compared to earlier? Something clearly has changed. Also every single time I am surprised about the bill: Just this morning I paid about $40 for breakfast for two which was neither really good nor really filling.

So, long story short I need a few alternatives. I am explicitly not looking for "fine cuisine brunch" or however one might call this but more for a nice, non-greasy breakfast place where I can get some eggs, waffles etc. that should taste better than I can make them myself and have a pleasant atmosphere.

Any ideas?

Jan 03, 2014
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Iseya (いせや総本店 公園店) ruined.

because i like the park branch more?

Dec 19, 2013
Scharn in Japan

Datenight restaurant serving local food

With respect to location I would prefer places closer too Coolidge Corner.

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Identify this sushi-ya...

my money is on 銀座寿司幸本店

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Japan

two days in shibuya looking for sushi. ramen and yakatori

Actually you are fourthing or fifting it, as *I* have mentioned it 3 years ago, only to be ridiculed for my excellent review ;)

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Japan

Iseya (いせや総本店 公園店) ruined.

OK, will definitely check that out. Iseya felt a bit like that, maybe even older. The really sad thing is that this "リニューアルオープン" completely fails to capture any of the spirit. Sure, they won't have the money to build it in the old style, but how hard can it be add some wood paneling (instead of beige concrete walls) and some traditional windows you can actually see the park through (instead of opal safety glass you would normally find in a train station's toilet) ? And why light that place up like a doctor's operating room?

Attached: Some pics before and after.

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Japan

two days in shibuya looking for sushi. ramen and yakatori

Nice -- tigerjohn! Fu-unji and Tetsu are literally my favorite tsukemen places in Tokyo.

However I have had limited success with foreigners at Fu-unji (supercrowded, soup too fishy for them) and Tetsu is way up in the north. So I recommended Warito which is next doors to Cerulean Tower.

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Japan

two days in shibuya looking for sushi. ramen and yakatori

You're lucky, one of the best Tsukemen shops in town is pretty close. Place is called "Men'ya Warito" ("麺屋 和利道 warito") and it's located at "東京都目黒区青葉台3-7-10". Probably just copy/paste this address into Google Maps.

In the shop you buy meal tickets from a vending machine. Pick the most expensive ones which will get you cold dipping noodles and warm soup. When your soup gets cold demand a "Yakishi" which is a burning-hot stone that they put into your soup to heat it up again.

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Japan

Datenight restaurant serving local food

Hi,

I'm looking for a romantic restaurant for the holidays.

Two side conditions:

1) I'm looking for American/New England cuisine.
2) No annoying waiters: "Hey, I'm Rachel can I start you off with--" This ruins it for me. Instead I would prefer classic service as customary in say, a better French restaurant.

Thanks!!

Dec 18, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Ivan Ramen - Minami Karusuyama - Tokyo

And why would anyone? It's literally meant to be thrown away.

Dec 17, 2013
Scharn in Japan

Iseya (いせや総本店 公園店) ruined.

Iseya's park branch at Kichijoji was one of my favorite restaurants in Tokyo for the simple fact that it had a fantastic atmosphere. A Yakitori place (which serves mostly pork) housed in a derelict wooden building that essentially appeared to not have been renovated/cleaned in half a century. Some places try to look old, Iseya was old. It was fantastic. Food itself was good enough, but nothing to write home about.

Fast forward to today Iseya have torn down the building and replaced it with a utterly ugly modern and above all utilitarian structure.

It literally feels like dining in a Kombini now.

Dec 17, 2013
Scharn in Japan

Maine Lobster Lunch in Portland

Yup, that's what I am looking for. Ideally downtown. Please let me know if you know good places.

Oct 04, 2013
Scharn in Northern New England

Dinner, than breakfast in Freeport, ME

Local, quality food preferred. Price doesn't matter.

Any recommendations?

Oct 04, 2013
Scharn in Northern New England

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

this

Oct 03, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

It's not so much about the price, it's more about value. I would happily pay more for truly excellent food. But when I pay top dollar for merely good food, I'm unhappy.

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

Oct 02, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Yume wo katare - the real deal

I used to live in Tokyo where my hobby was obsessing about ramen. that's a thing over there. in fact there are quite a few monthly magazines specifically on ramen and the leading review site features rating with 5 digits. So for example the 99.537/100 shop is better than the 99.536/100 shop.

Long story short I am happy to confirm that Yume wo katare feels, smells, sounds and tastes like an actual ramen shop.

As you may or may not know there are different types of ramen: tonkotsu, tonkotsu gyokai, shio, miso to name a few. Yume wo katare specializes in a very specific kind of ramen pioneered by a Japanese chain called Jiroh. That ramen is basically a fatty pork and soy sauce based broth with veggies, garlic and noodles. Personally I like other kinds of ramen more, but for what it's worth the stuff yume wo katare churns out is very close to the Japanese ideal of this style of ramen and you got to respect that.

Oct 02, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

Here are the six entrees they serve for brunch:

Crispy-Fried Chicken Sausage
House-Smoked Sockeye Salmon Hash
House-Cured Wild King Salmon & Bluefish Rillettes
Grilled Two Cheese and Roast Pork Sandwich
Local Grass-Fed Beef Burger
Grass-Fed Beef Cheek, Brisket, and Smoked Beef Tongue

Oct 01, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

two burgers for two seems quite reasonable to me ;)

Sep 30, 2013
Scharn in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main, or Should breakfast cost $90?

A week ago I made it to Craigie's sunday brunch. We were greeted friendly by the staff who offered to bring us a single donut ($5) to share while ordering our food.

The place is reasonable nice even though I was surprised why they would use large paper towels on top of their linen table cloths.

We then both ordered their famous burger as well as juice, coffee and a side of slow-cooked porkbelly.

Soon after the food arrived. Their burger tastes great yet lacks kind of specific touch. It's a good burger, alright. It tastes like beef. But it doesn't taste any different then when I would buy very good beef, grind it, form a patty and sear it. Sides are some pickles, ketchup and a kind of celery salad. Again they were tasty but nothing to write home about. The slow-cooked pork arrived in a bizarrely tiny portion - maybe two ounces? Again, it was good but nothing close to the buta no kakuki you could get a, say, Isetan or Mitsukoshi in Tokyo.

That said it was really not bad, it it was most definitely better than "ok", instead it was good. But it wasn't great either and it certainly should not have cost $90 for two.

Now, I find $20 for a burger quite expensive but I get it: Its ingredients are expensive. You will need some really good beef and that's going to cost.

What I do not get is how they overcharge on everything else: A cup of average coffee should not cost $5. A tiny glass of juice for $4 is questionable, a homeopathic amount of pork for $8 is borderline obscene and no donut in the world should cost $5. In the end quite a small breakfast that left us both somewhat hungry cost somewhere slightly above $75, add a tip and that's $90.

I'm perfectly fine with paying that kind of money when I think it's worth it, but at Craigie on Main I felt that it is not.

Best steak/butcher in Boston?

Hi,

well the title says it all. I am looking for a place to buy high quality meat which I would like to cook at home. Organic would be a plus.

Cheers!

Jun 21, 2012
Scharn in Greater Boston Area