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What to bring back from Japan

Are there any unique spirits that aren't available in the US that are worth bringing back from Japan

Apr 11, 2015
Dapuma in Spirits

Kaiseki in Kyoto

I switched it up to Nakamura that is in the price range and it sounds like that will be just as good so we are excited - Is there another style of cuisine we should try in Kyoto, we will have one more night (a Saturday) in Kyoto to sample some cuisine. I believe we will be doing a lot of sushi it Tokyo, along with one night of tempura

Apr 05, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Tan Tan Ramen

I do not want soupless tan tan, part of the reason I love the ramen so much is the delicious broth, along with the great pork, it was a very meaty soup, with a thick rich broth, that had tons of flavor

I meant Goma Tei in Honolulu above, I do not think they have a Japanese outpost and I am sure there are other Tan Tan places in Japan, I was told that Honolulu was about as good of Ramen as you are going to get outside of Japan

@ Gargle, if the picture in the lower right is the tan tan, what is the crumble on top of the soup? Is that ground pork...i would prefer a place that had char sui the big chunks of pork

Apr 02, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Kaiseki in Kyoto

Sorry I meant Arashiyama Kitcho

I believe that is their high end venue

What is the difference between Hana Kitcho?

Apr 02, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Kaiseki in Kyoto

I had planned on booking Arashiyama, however I am getting a little sticker shy based on it being $600 not counting drinks US, and that is with a favorable exchange rate

What else should I take a look at that is in the $300-$400 range

I already found out that Mizai is booked the two days we are there

If I went with Nakamura it seems half the price...however it is also 3 stars...how is this possible?

Hyo-Tei looks pretty amazing but says "it starts at" so is it really any less than Arashiyama

Does any of those specialize in a different style or particular dish that the other doesn't have...that could sway our decision

Thanks for any advice

Apr 01, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Which Top Sushi Places in Tokyo book more than 1 month out

My friend (who speaks Japanese) just tried calling for Yoshitake Saido and Sawada for reservations in June and they wont book until May 1st

Is there any top places that book further out than May 1st

I have a 5 day Window Thursday - Monday so we are pretty open on getting in, however as a backup and/or additional option should I look at booking some place else

Thanks
Dapuma

Mar 25, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Yet another "Please help me plan my meals" thread - at least I've done some preliminary research!

Are all the 3 star Michelin places Kaseki -- How did you rank them to come up with those as your top 3, we are only looking to do one in June...so it is hard to tell - do the chefs specialize in one particular item versus another other than the tofu one?

Kikunoi Honten

Kichisen

Kitcho Arashiyama Honten

Chihana

Nakamura

Hyo-tei

Mizai

Mar 22, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Tan Tan Ramen

I had Char Siu Tan Tan Ramen and Goma Tei in Japan and fell in love with it

Where are some great Tan Tan Ramen places in Japan?

http://www.tastyislandhawaii.com/imag...

Mar 21, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Japan in June

Chartreauxx,
We will be about an hour away from Akita, but going into the city. Our friend's family is from there. So we will be staying with them. I don't know the geography enough to give a better answer, however we will have access to a car in Akita, however not in Tokyo or Kyoto. We are well versed with public transportation and will try to use that over Taxi's for the most part

Also it Tokyo we are looking for some of the top mixology bars, as that is a passion of mine: It seems like: Bar High Five looks pretty amazing, their menu looks very fantastic

Tender and Star Bar look pretty traditional with Tender being a no brainer to check out.

Imbibe also had a blurb about Tokyo and started Bar Orchard and Bar Gen Yamamoto are also worth checking out (ingredient focused) and some

Radio Bar (Hard to understand the website) and Mori Bar (also no real website) are hard to figure out, however Imbibe also mentioned they are pushing the cocktail scene forward...anyone have any first hand experience at either of these places?

Mar 16, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

Japan in June

Headed to Japan for the first time with another couple and we will have 1 native Japanese speaker with us. We will have 6 days in Tokyo, 2 days in Kyoto, and 2 days in Akita. We will be visiting with their family in Akita so I don't think I will need too many recommendations there (maybe 1 at most) however I am looking for some good recommendations for Japan. Price is not really an object, we all love traditional Japanese food. We are going to be stay right near the city business center

The musts are:
Tan Tan Ramen, I got a taste for it in Honolulu at Goma Tei, their char sui tan tan was amazing, and I have been craving it ever since.

Traditional tasting chef's sushi: I am going to try to have our friend and their family call May 1st for Jiro, however we have to get pretty lucky. Outside of Jiro, and the fish market for Sushi Dai, where else should we consider.

Tempura: I know there are a few good tempura places, which are the best

If there is anything outside of those 3 that I am missing, please let me know

I would also like to go to Nikka or Suntory distillery for a tasting or a tour, OR if anyone knows a place that specializes in a flight tasting, i would love to taste all of their wares. I particularly love the Nikka Coffey Whiskey (it is not Coffey flavored, that is the type of still used to distill the spirits) however there is so much more to try in Japan that is very hard or expensive to get Stateside.

Same goes for Sake and Sochu, my hobby is mixology so anything along those lines is right up my alley.

Thanks
Dapuma

Mar 12, 2015
Dapuma in Japan

LH 151

Just went to look for some Lemon Hart online and it seems to be nowhere. I thought Ed Hamilton was taking care of supplying it to the US - however it appears to be sold out everywhere.

I still have a half a bottle of the yellow label and 1 and a half of the new stuff...however is this the last of it

Does anyone know what happened

JMF?

Dec 18, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

DFW - lunch & dinner - one day

We ended up at Lonesome Dove Western Bistro for lunch which was pretty disappointing for the price

The lobster hush puppies didn't taste much like lobster and were a touch dry

The foie gras was good, a very savory version, could have used a touch more sweertness but I did like the thickness of the toast beneath it, often times the foie gras needs more bread/toast point

We split the stuffed beef tenderloin which was cooked well but not mind altering and the sides it came with were pedestrian

The chocolate bread pudding for dessert was good but nothing new and I have had better

For how famous Tim Love is, I expected more, especially for that price point.

Aug 23, 2014
Dapuma in Dallas - Fort Worth

DFW - lunch & dinner - one day

We will be driving north from the airport if that helps narrow down some options, but we have all day

Aug 23, 2014
Dapuma in Dallas - Fort Worth

DFW - lunch & dinner - one day

We are coming in to pick up our new Puppy from the breeder flying into DFW

We are looking for a good lunch place, and then something simple for dinner dog friendly

No tex mex we are coming from PHX

Aug 23, 2014
Dapuma in Dallas - Fort Worth

1970s cocktail?

Aug 18, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Mai Tai Help

I like to sub out the Appleton for Smith and Cross

I will try JMF's variation next weekend - just got my new bottle of Orgeat

JMF have you tried using ED12 + Coruba versus LH151 + Coruba?

Aug 10, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Mai Tai Help

Beachbum recommends (in the books at least):

1oz Appleton V/X for the Jamaican
1 oz Rhum Clement VSOP for the Martinique
1/2 oz senior curacao of curacao (orange)
.25 oz 1:1 simple
.25 oz orgeat
.5 oz lime

I up the orgeat to .5 and skimp the simple, I use Small Hand Foods Orgeat

JMF has spoke with the Bum and has another variation

I prefer Senior Curacao of Curacao over Bols, but bols is much easier to source

Aug 09, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Call it something else, but please don't call it a margarita.

I do believe there can be a bit of debate in regards to dark or silver rum in a mojito as well as white or muscavado sugar, I believe I recall reading something about it in Potions of the Caribbean (Jeff Berry)

I do prefer Barbancourt 5 star in my mojito's

Aug 05, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Best source for online liquor and wine sales?

I like Hi Time Wines, if you are in the Southwest they have great shipping pricing ($10 for 12 bottles) and they deliver in 1-2 days. They are based in CA so they have a fantastic selection. They are my favorite

K & L will not ship spirits to certain states - I know AZ is one of them they will not ship spirits to (although wine is okay)

I have also used DrinkupNY - they have a good selection as well, probably good to use if you are East Coast - they do carry a few items that are tough to get on the west coast.

Aug 04, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

When do you send a drink back?

That would be great if you put that rum out!

I will give the LH 151 and Coruba a shot next time I make one and report back

I think LH 151 and Smith and Cross would rename the drink "lights out", because that is what happens after you have a couple :)

Aug 04, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

When do you send a drink back?

If I get a Mai Tai served in a collin's glass with an orange wedge (it drives me crazy!), before I taste it I generally know it is going back because so many things are already wrong with it and it will be very orange-ey

I would not put Demerara rum in a traditional Mai Tai, it should be agricole and would use gold Jamaican rum not a dark jamaican rum

Beachbum's recipe is:
1 oz Rhum Clement VSOP
1 oz Appleton V/X (I sub in Smith and Cross sometimes)
.5 orange Curacao (Senior Curacao of Curacao)
.5 oz lime juice
.25 Orgeat (i generally up the Orgeat to .5 and skip the simple)
.25 1:1 Simple

Not that your variation does not sound delicious, I assume you up the orgeat and add more simple to compensate for the heavier rums so the orgeat isn't lost

Aug 01, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Have a recommendation for a good go-to bourbon or whiskey cocktail?

If I was in SF, I would drink rum at Smuggler's Cove :)

Aug 01, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits
1

Monkey 47 Gin

I finally got a chance to try this gin (friend brought it from CA), and it is very good. It is a more floral gin, like Nolet's but not so over the top. It is more balanced (doesn't taste like you are eating a perfumed flower) and can be consumed neat. I also got some John's Tonic Syrup and gave it a try in a gin and tonic. I thought a lot of the flavors got lost in a gin and tonic, so I do not think that is the best use of this gin (especially for the price point)

I think this might be good in a traditional martini with a good vermouth, however I did not have a chance to try that yet. There is a lot going on here and it has good depth of flavor. Any suggestions on recipes to try so the flavor does not get overwhelmed

Aug 01, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I do not like tonic either, so I am with you on that

I also thought looking at the menu the Vinoraga could be redeemable, the rest of the menu should be thrown away

Beer is the way to go with that cocktail menu, not sure why they have sake at the bottom of the menu and even then most of the sake is american sake?

Jul 24, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I was just curious as zin liked two of my favorite rums (Rhum Clement VSOP and Barbancourt 8y 5 star), and I also really enjoy Demerra rums - It had nothing to do with the conversation per se

Jul 21, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

Do you like Demerra rums at all? (El Dorado / Lemon Hart)

Jul 19, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

lol, this thread cracks me up

Jul 15, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits
1

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I think that you like the free pour because you really just want gin and more gin versus less

A proper cocktail should be measured with a jigger.

If I am at a bar the free pours I know the drinks will not be quality and will switch my drink selection accordingly to something that cannot be messed up - like gin and club soda

In that case a free pour is fine but I have little to no expectation

Milwaukee Area on a Sunday + / - 1 day

Trip Report:

We did Polonez, which was good again. The Polish Platter is the way to go there, the pierogi the ruben and the sweet cheese were suprisingly the best two

We decided not to do Sanford and moved Odd Duck to Monday and on Sunday we did a casual Mexican place and Blue Egg on Monday morning

Taquilla Buenavista was no bueno, we were going later and needed something simple as we were up late the night before and all day, and it had 4.2 stars on yelp so we figured lets give it a go...it took literally an hour to get our food and the beans were so salty they were inedible - figures going off yelp and off the "plan"

Blue egg was pretty fantastic, got the monkey bread with the whisky caramel sauce, that i could actually taste the whiskey in (nice touch) and the monkey bread was great

Also had the special of the day which was a ham frittata and the mrs got the granola and fruit (also very unique in a good way, very filling)

The homemade english muffin with housemade strawberry jam for $1 was worth it

They were packed at 10am on a Monday, now I know why. They would be at home in any major city including Phoenix

Odd Duck was great except the service. Just about every dish was top notch, i liked the smoked Duck Breast the best, and the Eggplant "Fries" were great, the only dish that wasn't terrific was the potatoes with romesco sauce, they were under seasoned - we ended up getting two servings of the Chicken Liver Mousse, i wish they would serve more bread with it, we had to ask for extra a couple times, also my dad liked their house made pickles

Our server seemed like she wanted us gone and to close up since we got there at 9 and they close at 10. That was a bit disappointing, not rude but certainly not attentive. Price point compared to Phoenix was a few bucks cheaper on every dish which was nice when the final bill came. They did a good pot of french press coffee, very smooth though not super strong

What was nice to see was that the place was near Highbury, the Arsenal bar where i saw Utd destroy the gunners 8-2 on my bday several years back.

Collectivo coffee (that i had at the airport and there was a location near Odd Duck) was quite good and seems like a great place for coffee and baked goods (their baked oatmeal was delicious)

We did also make it to lunch at the Milwaukee Public Market and did the fish place up front, they had a good boullibase, (bbq shrimp were weak) and the Mrs liked the clam dish, and dad liked the gumbo - it was a neat space, plenty of good stuff to check out there for sure - good rec

Would have loved to get to Sanford but it was not to be

next time :)

Jul 10, 2014
Dapuma in Great Lakes

What Craft Spirits Have Disappointed You?

How would it compare to Laird's Bonded?

Jul 10, 2014
Dapuma in Spirits