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Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

Fugelen is not Danish but Norwegian. It started out as a coffee shop in Oslo and expanded with this Tokyo branch. The owner is a friend of mine. It is highly recomended both for drinks and snacks. You must definetly go there.

Sep 29, 2014
Roysen in Japan
1

Tapas Molecular Bar

Thanks for the heads up on Yamada Chikara. Would you care to elaborate a bit more about the actual food being served there which would not be molecular gastronomy. IThe information that they don't serve molecular gastronomy is in contradiction with other reports on the web, so it is very valuable but at the same time it would be even more valuable if you also could use a few words to describe what food is actually being served there.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 16, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Having read through this thread again I at first didn't understand why you made a point of Nihonbashi being in Tokyo and San't Pau being in Nihonbashi.

I now see that you have misunderstood something I wrote. This is what I wrote.

"San't Pau in Spain iisn't molecular gastronomy. I assume it is not in Tokyo either.'

The last sentence her is poorly phrased. What I tried to write is that San't Pau isn't molecular gastronomy in Tokyo either and not that the restaurant isn't located in Tokyo.

Sep 13, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

As if you would know something about that. That is only speculation Uncle Yabai. I can make lots of speculative ideas about everything and nothing too. That doesn't make them correct.

The background for our little chat was me telling her how much I had enjoyed the repeat meals at both her restaurants in Spain. I also told her I was thinking about going on a gastro trip to Tokyo and visit her restaurant there. I told her I assumed the availability of high quality ingredients probably would make the Tokyo branch the best in terms of pure food of her three restaurants. That is when she answered what I have reported here. It seems to me as if she might be closing and wanted to justify to me why the restaurant might be gone when I wanted to dine there at my arrival in Tokyo. Of course that is only speculation too but it would explain why she was talking down her own restaurant which I agree is not normal. However since it is not normal to do such a thing I do think we should pay attention to her honesty. I am sure she would not lie to a returning guest or try to be anything but honest to a returning guest. Anything else would be risking that guest is not coming back.

Sep 13, 2014
Roysen in Japan

My plan for the main trip to Tokyo is finished

Of course I have proof.

Sep 13, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Uncle Yabai,
This is not about you vs me but wether or not San't Pau in Tokyo is up to the same standard as San't Pau in Spain. That will of course always be a matter of personal taste but if one has to trust the judgement of a single guest without any real merits to qualify his opinion in any special way vs the opinion of Ms. Carme Ruscellada who has 7 Michelin stars and happens to be the owner and responsible chef at both restaurants, I think you know who most people would listen to.

I have not tried to make any judgement myself, but I have brought forward information which should be at least as valuable as your personal experience for people who have no personal experience of their own and needs second hand info to base their judgement on anyway.

Sep 12, 2014
Roysen in Japan

My plan for the main trip to Tokyo is finished

Additional to the reservations at Kyoaji and Sushi Saito I now have a reservation at Mitani too. Those were the three assumed hardest to book restaurants on my list in Tokyo.

Sep 12, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Agreed.

Sep 12, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Actually nobody ever claimed it wasn't good. What I was trying to say is that it is not molecular cuisine and its not on the same level as San't Pau in Spain or even Moments which is Carme Ruscellada's restaurant inside Barcelona city centre. This is according to Carme Ruscellada herself. Then again San't Pau in Spain is decorated with three Michelin stars and Moments with two Michelin stars and that is in Europe where Michelin is more in tune with what is good or not. I have been to both the mentioned restaurants in Spain several times but not the one in Tokyo.

I did write a lengthy post on how I would know the quality of San't Pau in Tokyo even though I have never been there but the moderators have deleted it. In short it was a long conversation with Carme Ruscellada herself. We talked about the availability of ingredients in Tokyo which she had wanted to explore by opening a restaurant but her somewhat frustration that the Japanese were too conservative in terms of her cuisine which she had found out was too creative/experimental for the Japanese which led to her having to make compromises on the menu to make locals to come dine at the restaurant. She thought that compromised the quality of what was served at her restaurant in Tokyo compared to her restaurants in Spain even though the quality and diversity of ingredients in Tokyo was at a higher level than in Spain.

I wonder Uncle Yabai if you would say that Carme Ruscellada is wrong and you are right and if so what makes you more qualified to provide the best answer?

Sep 12, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

May I ask what you might want to get out of the visit to Sam't Pau in Tokyo? What kind of experience are you expecting?

It seems I misunderstood your OP and thought you were looking for molecular gastronomy which really is peaking in terms of quality in Spain in comparison to the whole world really.

Sep 07, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Yes, San't Pau in Nhonbashi is in Tokyo. And.......? Are you going to claim that I have written that it's not?

Don't try to tell me that San't Pau in Tokyo is even close in quality to its big sister restaurant outside Barcelona or to most of the top restaurants in Spain because it certainly is not.

Sep 07, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

I know there is a San't Pau in Nihonbashi. The comment I made was not directed to you but to fishskis as information about San't Pau. He was specificly asking about molecular gastronomy when you recomended San't Pau and since you didn't mention it he should know that this restaurant is not molecular gastronomy.

If you are going to Spain in a short while, fishskis, I would advice you to hold it with both Spanish cusisine and molecular gastronomy until you are in Spain. I can help you if you whish with Spain when that time comes. There is nothing in Tokyo which will satisfy you in comparison with what you can find in Spain if you are looking for either Spanish cuisine or molecular gastronomy.

Sep 07, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Ah, yes now I understand. Thank you very much! However what I was actually looking for was a specialist sumiyaki restaurant like the ones mentioned in this thread but where they source their beef from Matsuzaka.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Yes, I am looking for a sumiyaki restaurant serving Matsuzaka Gyu. Akasaka Kitafuku is not a sumiyaki restaurant but a crab kaiseki restaurant from what I understand. Maybe they have Matsuzake beef on the menu, and if they do I thank you for the tip, but it would still be a beef specialist sumiyaki restaurant I would hope to find.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Having read your opening post again I need to add that both Yamada Chikara and 81 are restaurants with very few seats like Tapas Molecular Bar and they are equally show like where all diners are served the same tasting menu and every dish is served at the same time to all diners.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Contact me again when you are researching your trip to Spain. I have been to Spain at least one gourmet trip every year the last ten years, so I know a lot of the top restaurants and can give you some advice on where to go if you tell me what you are looking for.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Akasaka Kitafuku is a crab restaurant. I am looking for a sumiyaki restaurant serving Matsuzaka Gyu. What is it actually you meant to show me? There must be some kind of misunderstanding here.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

I believe that Ukai-tei sources their beef from Kobe to both their branches. So is the case with Omae XEX. Kawamura doesn't source his beef from any particular prefecture. He buys whatever is best on the particular day and if he can't find anything up to his standard he will not open the restaurant that day.

What I would like to know is what top restaurants in Tokyo source their beef from Matsuzaka? I can now see that none of the my selected restaurants source their beef from Matsuzaka except maybe Kawamura who sources from anywhere it is best on the day.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

I forgot to mention one Sumiyaki restaurant which is quite good from what I have learned. That is Trois Fleches. It is not as good as my top four as far as I have learned.

Please take my recomendations for what they are. I have not visited any of them. I have just researched the internet. Take everything with a grain of salt. I still hope that some of the information and facts I have provided are of use to you. That was at least my intention.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

They have three different types of beef cuts available.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

There are two Kawamura restaurants. One is just called Kawamura and it is the real deal. This is the one which is considered the best and which is only for regular customers. The other one is called Bifteck no Kawamura and is an entierly different restaurant which from what I have learned is not even close in quality. Both are located in Ginza.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

I see. So you can choose? In that case I don't intend to follow that recomendation.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

Are you saying that both Aragawa and Gorio are not Sumiyaki or just Gorio or just Aragawa?

This is interesting information for everyone I assume.

At Aragawa's website this information is presented:

"Aragawa

Since its establishment in 1967, Aragawa has served cuisine rich in the bounties of nature, from its signature dish, the carefully selected and charcoal-broiled Sanda Beefsteak, to the single whole salmon the restaurant smokes them fresh every week......"

At the Gorio website, this information is presented:

"Gorio

Opened in 1984 as a branch of the main Aragawa restaurant in Tamura-cho, Shimbashi, Tokyo. From the beginning, Gorio has maintained the Aragawa tradition of charcoal-broiled Tajima beef from Sanda and a single whole salmon the restaurant smokes them fresh each week, but has also put its own distinct stamp on this food so rich in the bounties of nature..... "

Doesn't charcoal-broiled mean that it is a sumiyaki? That is at least what my fixer has told me and the information I can find on the internet also explains sumiyaki as charcoal grilled.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

He was looking for a restaurant with high quality molecular cuisine/cooking techniques. He compared what he wanted to what he would find in Spain. Hard to understand?

San't Pau in Spain isn't molecular gastronomy. I assume it is not in Tokyo either. If you are going to Spain I would hold it with molecular gastronomy and Spanish food until you are there.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

If you want to experience molecular cuisine in Tokyo I would not go to Tapas Molecular Bar. I thought about going there too at one point but from what I have learned they are not top quality be any means.

There are a couple of other interesting options I would rather prefer which is owned by chefs that have worked with Ferran Adria at the now extinct El Bulli in Spain. That is Yamada Chikara and 81. However don't expect Spanish top quality molecular cuisine at any restaurant in Japan. It doesn't exist.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

This might be of interest:
http://mesubim.com/2014/01/29/tokyos-...

Some interesting facts about Waguy and health:
http://mesubim.com/2014/01/29/matsuza...

...and some facts about the raising of Waguy cattle:
http://mesubim.com/2013/10/04/wagyu-l...

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

From what I understand Aragawa and Gorio also source their beef from Saga.

The teppanyaki restaurant Ginza Miyama is like Aragawa also using only champion prized cows from exhibition competitions. They source their beef from Miyazaki on Iki island. This is also where the sumiyaki restaurant Ginza Hirayama source their meat from.

Sep 06, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

In terms of vile and despicable, I assume you are thinking about prices.

The information I have is that Gorio is a Sumiyaki restaurant, but I have never been there myself so I will gladly stand corrected if I am wrong.

Sep 05, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Beef/ Teppanyaki in Tokyo (Ukaitei and Kawamura?)

TEPPANYAKI:
I have no actual experience from any of these restaurants myself but I have done extensive research into this myself. I found four really good options for Teppanyaki in Tokyo. They all serve both set meals (Omakase) or a la carte.

The first two are Ukai-tei Omotesando and Ukai-tei Ginza. They serve exactly the same menu. The difference between the two being the actual chefs making the meal, the environment and the dedicated dessert room at the Omotesando branch. These three differences all point in the favour of the main branch of Ukai-tei in Omotesando. From what I have learned the chefs are better, the environment more beautiful and the dessert room a great experience in itself.

The third option is Omae XEX (former Morimoto XEX). From what I understand it is very good although not quite on the same level as the Ukai-tei branches. All three of these restaurants are on the more expensive side if you want to indulge in best quality Waguy or seafood they have available.

The fourth option might be the most interesting as it is the most affordable and have from what I understand the best quality beef. That is Ginza Miyama. They source especially high quality Waguy and is also known for its fantastic Abalone yet it is much more affordable than the other three. The environment of the first three options ooze of luxury which is mainly why the price is so different. Ginza Miyama is more down to earth and nothing out of the ordinary in terms of environment.

There are also the Seryna Ginza and Seryna Roppongi Honten branches of the same chain. From what I understand these restaurants are more geared towards tourists and business diners on expense accounts where the price is high, the environment impressive but the food average at best.

I have chosen Ukai-tei Omotesando and Ginza Miyama as the restaurants I want to try to book reservations at.

SUMIYAKI:
As for Sumiyaki (charcoal grilled meat) restaurants of high quality there are quite a few very good options.

Kawamura has been the one everybody wants to get into for a few years now but a reservation for a non regular customer is apparently not possible. To book a reservation you need an introduction by a regular customer. Kawamura has a reputation for being the best though. Kawamura used castrated bulls as source for their meat in contrast to the more common pratctice of using cows.

According to what I have learned Shima is the second best. They source their beef from an independant network of suppliers outside Kyoto where nobody else in Tokyo are sourcing their meat. Additionally Shima has designed their own special oven where they grill their meat and that oven is supposedly a source for Shimas greatness. However as with Kawamura Shima is only for regular customers and you need an introduction by a regular to book a reservation.

My third choice is Aragawa. Many don't agree with me. They think Aragawa is overpriced. It certainly is very expensive. It is one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. There is however a reason for this. Aragawa meat is only sourced from cows having won championship prizes at exhibitions. So the selection of beef is very selective. Aragawa moved from its original location a few years ago and some also think that the new location doesn't offer the same good environment as in the past.

My fourth choice is Ginza Hirayama. This restaurant is not as well known as the three others. They source some of the best beef you can get in Tokyo and the chef is very talented and young for being a head chef in Tokyo (in his thirties). The prices at this place is also a bit more affordable than the others mentioned above and a lot more affordable than Aragawa.

These four sumiyaki restaurants are my four top choices and those I will be trying to bokk reservations at for my upcoming trip.

Other good options are Gorio which is Aragawas sister restaurant. Gorio is owned by the same people who own Aragawa and the beef is sourced from the same supplier but there is not requirement that the cows have won exhibition championships here and because of that the prices are a lot more affordable.

There is also Dons de la nature which serve high quality sumiyaki but they don't seem to me as quite making the level of my top four picks.

Sep 05, 2014
Roysen in Japan

Question re. November Reservations - Restaurants I'm waiting to book and likelihood of availability/issues

The reason two weeks in Europe was chosen over a week in Hong Kong and a week in Bangkok was the desire to go to Araki. It has a really high priority with me.

Of course we could go to Hong Kong and Bangkok before going just a day or two in London. That can actually still happen nothing in regards to the trip to Europe is finally decided yet except the whish to go to Araki.

Sep 05, 2014
Roysen in Japan