Robb S's Profile

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Craft beer bars in Tokyo

One update - if you're looking for Ibrew in Shimbashi, they've just changed their name to Oyster Bar Bono. Eight Japanese craft beers on tap, priced at Y390 (+tax) for a 280ml serving. And oysters, although they still serve their mini-pizzas.

Also Brasserie Beer Boulevard is spelled "Blvd" in case anyone tries to search for it. (03-6435-9266)

Apr 10, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Help for memorable second to last meal in Tokyo... all other meals accounted for :)

It looks like you have one dinner slot open and you've already gotten several ideas....

I notice you said you were planning to go to some izakayas, but didn't list any. If you were planning to go to izakayas at lunchtime, I would suggest not doing that, as you will be disappointed.

Apr 03, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Help for memorable second to last meal in Tokyo... all other meals accounted for :)

No, that's literally what I'm asking. Is "good beef in Kyoto" actually a thing? And if so, is it Hafuu? I didn't notice it while I was there.

If you had to have one beefy meal during your week in Japan, I'd probably send you to 511 in Akasaka: http://www.bento.com/rev/3789.html

I'd maybe also mention that heirloom-breed pork is the new Kobe beef, and steer you in that direction.

If I absolutely had to recommend great beef in Kyoto maybe I'd say Grill Miyata for steaks or Mishimatei for sukiyaki, but I will defer to actual Kyoto experts for better options.

Apr 02, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Help for memorable second to last meal in Tokyo... all other meals accounted for :)

No, I'm sure it's fine. If I actually lived in the same building, upstairs from Hafuu, I would probably go there once or twice a month to eat, if I was too tired to walk somewhere else. I'm just wondering what I missed that makes it destination dining....

Apr 02, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Help for memorable second to last meal in Tokyo... all other meals accounted for :)

Interesting - I found the whole theatrical experience at Tapas (rather than just the food) very memorable, but YMMV I suppose.

On the other hand I've been to Hafuu and I must have missed the point - why exactly do people go there?

Apr 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Help for memorable second to last meal in Tokyo... all other meals accounted for :)

Hmm, Tapas Molecular is the one place on your list I wouldn't skip.

I would also recommend visiting some izakaya - there's a fun place called Mondo right across the street from your hotel (in Tokyo) that serves regional cuisine and sake from Shimane-ken.

Apr 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Hops 125 seems to be the same place as Aotea Rangi - they just changed the name. I was underwhelmed by the Japanese beer selection (beers from August and Kaigun-san no Bakushu made up most of the list).

Also, my pint of Brewdog cost me Y1470, although they didn't bother to display that price on the menu. (Pints are simply listed as Y1100~.)

I did find a flyer in their bathroom for a newly opened liquor shop called Night Owl where you can bring and fill up your own growler with various craft beers.

After Hops 125 I crossed the JR tracks and visited Bakushuan (http://bento.com/rev/4351.html ), which I think has a nicer selection of Japanese beers, as well as good sake.

Apr 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Need Sushi help traveling with non-fish eater

It's 'kaiseki' as in deluxe menu, not 'kaiseki' as in 'kaiseki-ryori.'

Mar 25, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Need Sushi help traveling with non-fish eater

Hi Jason!

I just called and asked actually, and they said no problem.

OP, the restaurant I had in mind is Yamazato (+81-3-3505-6070) inside the Okura Hotel Tokyo, and inside that restaurant is a sushi counter from Kyubei, a quite respectable high-end (although not super-super-high-end) sushi restaurant in Ginza. If you sit at a table (not the sushi counter), one person can have shabu-shabu or sukiyaki or some other meat-centered meal while the other has sushi.

The "sushi kaiseki" menu there is Y12,600-24,150, and shabu-shabu starts at Y12,600.

Mar 25, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Need Sushi help traveling with non-fish eater

A good hotel restaurant with its own sushi counter might be your best bet. For example there's a branch of Kyubei inside one of the Japanese restaurants at the Okura.

Mar 25, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Ah, didn't know that. I remember when they first opened Jimbocho they made a point of being closed on weekends....

Thanks, as always, for the up-to-date info.

Mar 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

I see that the new Craft Beer Market in Nihonbashi is the first one that's open on weekends! I guess it must be a requirement for tenants of the new Coredo mall where they're located.

Mar 23, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Oh yes, the Roppongi crowd between midnight and 5am is a fine addition to any establishment.

I'm pretty sure Brewdog did get the memo, and that's why they close early.

(Thanks for the info on Ibrew and Beer Boulevard BTW.)

Mar 18, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Kushiage options

I had a nice meal recently at Kushinobo Bekkan in Shinjuku, which has the added appeal of being non-smoking.

Tenmamichi (03-5486-0088) in Shimo-Kitazawa is also pretty good, and has a fantastic sake selection.

Mar 02, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Best Dishes at Low Key Tokyo Station Area Places

Oops - Daruma has great SAKE to go with your sashimi.

Feb 28, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Best Dishes at Low Key Tokyo Station Area Places

You're really spoiled for choice there - there are hundreds and hundreds of good inexpensive and mid-priced restaurants in that area.

I like Rikyu inside the station for Sendai-style beef tongue, and they serve inexpensive set meals from around Y1500 that let you sample a few different didhes.

The shops in the Kurobei Yokocho complex, (underground arcade underneath Kitchen Street, on the Yaesu side), are well assembled and designed for travelers in a hurry. I especially like Ryutan for Okinawan food.

Daruma, inside Sotobori Chika 2nd Street (underground arcade on the Yaesu side) is a nice place to have some good world-class with your sashimi.

Yabaton in the newly opened Tokyo Gran Roof (underground arcade on the Yaesu side) specializes in pork cutlet slathered in miso, a specialty of Nagoya. There are a bunch of other new shops in the same complex, including a yakitori place that does take-out.

On the Marunouchi side, Tama, in the basement of the Brick Square complex, does good Okinawan food and organic wines.
Podo, in the basement of the Shin-Tokyo Bldg, does good Korean dishes with makkoli to drink.
No no Budo, on the third floor of the Tokia complex, has a good natural-foods buffet that you can graze.
Camp, in the basement of the newly opened Ootemori complex, does excellent Japanese curries, although I would avoid their other dishes.

http://www.bento.com/ra-nihon.html
http://www.bento.com/ra-maru.html

Feb 28, 2014
Robb S in Japan

coffee grinder in Tokyo

I'll check them out.

(And thanks!)

Feb 28, 2014
Robb S in Japan

coffee grinder in Tokyo

Electric.

(And call me old-fashioned, but I like to look at things before I buy them.)

Feb 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan

coffee grinder in Tokyo

After many years of faithful service, my trusty coffee grinder has abruptly ceased operation. Can anyone recommend a good shop (in Tokyo) to look for a replacement?

Feb 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Curry

After hearing about Chantoya Coconut Curry in Ogawamachi (03-5281-4747), I was excited to try them out. Much to my surprise, their curry menu seems to be exactly the same as Yamituki, and the taste is very close.

Unlike Yamituki though, they have tables, which is a nice factor if you're dining with a group of more than two. Unfortunately they don't have Yamituki's nice selection of side dishes, and the plain salad they did offer was overdressed.

Feb 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Tokyo visit -- a few questions

I will disagree here - many chain restaurants in Tokyo serve very good food, and can provide good value for money thanks to economies of scale and their purchasing power.

I don't think most people would say that Sushi Zanmai "serves very poor quality sushi" - many of their branches are rated rather highly, and they provide decent value, although obviously at their price point they're not serving extreme-high-end fish.

As for the other chain recommendations, I think Katsukura serves very good tonkatsu. I prefer Butagumi and Horaitei, but I'm happy to eat at Katsukura if there's one nearby. And Ippudo is a very good ramen choice for someone who's not a ramen maniac and doesn't want to travel to an out-of-the-way location and then stand on line for half an hour.

I'd agree with the posters above and suggest picking out a few possibilities in each neighborhood, but don't be afraid to change plans, and certainly don't be afraid of chain restaurants - some of them are very good.

Feb 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan
4

Hokkaido Ice Cream in Tokyo

There's one Hokkaido shop across from Tokyo station and another across from Yurakucho station: http://bento.com/m/e/dbinx/ir-antenna...

Feb 23, 2014
Robb S in Japan

"Luxury Bento" or lunch in nice surroundings during Sakura

Ah, if Innsyoutei doesn't have a good reputation for its food, I can certainly understand looking for alternatives.

Really the only place I can think of offhand though is Ukaitei next to Tokyo Tower.

Ikkyuan (0553-32-1919) in Yamanashi has very pretty surroundings and nice shojin-ryori, but I don't remember any private rooms, and I have no idea if there are sakura trees. I tend not to notice sakura trees unless I happen to see them during the two weeks of the year they're in bloom.

Feb 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan

"Luxury Bento" or lunch in nice surroundings during Sakura

Let me get this straight - you've found a place that meets your rather detailed criteria, but now you want someplace "less well known" because....

You want to impress your Tokyo friends by finding a place they've never heard of? You're afraid it will be crowded with other tourists, and you'd prefer to dine with "locals"?

What you're looking for sounds extremely specific, and if you've found a place that matches it I'd suggest booking your table. FWIW I've never heard of the place....

Feb 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Buta no kakuni

Tama in Marunouchi (03-3213-2277) does a nice Okinawan version of the dish. By the way, in Okinawan cuisine it's called rafti and it's usually made with awamori rather than sake.

But as Tripeler says, it's a really common dish at izakaya - I'm sure it's served at thousands of places.

Jan 26, 2014
Robb S in Japan

8 Night Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima Itinerary - Feedback Greatly Appreciated

Thank you for pointing that out. Live and learn....

Jan 23, 2014
Robb S in Japan

8 Night Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima Itinerary - Feedback Greatly Appreciated

Just a few comments:

Lunch: Isetan (Depachika/Restaurants)

What this boils down to is that you'll be wandering the top floor of Isetan looking for a lunch place on a Sunday, which seems like a pretty random way to go about things, especially with all your other planning. (You might also have to wait on line awhile.) Instead, I'd recommend checking out someplace in the Isetan Annex, around the corner, such as Akiji Suishin (http://www.bento.com/rev/4132.html ) or Kushinobo (deep-fried skewers).

Dinner: Sushisho Masa

Maybe it's just me, but if I were going to spend that much money on sushi, I'd at least want it fresh from the market that morning, not leftovers from the previous morning. (A roundabout way of pointing out that the fish market is closed on Sundays, which is why most top-end sushi shops are also closed.

)

Dinner: Uoshin Nogizaka

YMMV, but this is pretty mediocre in my opinion, although other branches are better.

Jan 22, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Ogikubo-Kichijoji

I love the grilled beef tongue at Rikyu.

(http://www.bento.com/rev/3533.html )

Jan 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Best ice cream in Tokyo?

From my understanding, most new products in convenience stores have a six-week run, and something like 95% of them are never seen nor heard from again.

Ouca looks interesting.

Jan 11, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

There are actually a lot of places that haven't been mentioned here yet. Swanlake Edo Pub in Kyobashi has around 30 Japanese beers, but they're kind of expensive, except for their own Swanlake beers. Nearby in Kyobashi/Yaesu are Towers (a standing bar), Ibrew (with a few seats, and very good prices and decent food) and Bacchus (Japanese beers and one hand-pumped ale in a smoky basement).

Crafthands in Azabu-Juban carries 13 Japanese beers on tap. There are smaller selections (4-8 taps) at small local spots like Maltan (Kanda), Bamboo (Shinjuku 1-chome), Marumugi (Arakicho), Lodi (Nakano Sakaue), Hatos Bar (Naka-Meguro), Nepalese restaurant Himalaya Table (Kanda), and gourmet hot dog stand San Francisco Peaks (Harajuku).

Out on the Chuo line are Bicke and Holic in Kichijoji, and two brewpubs - Asagaya Bakushu Dojo and Koenji Bakushu Kobo.

Jan 11, 2014
Robb S in Japan