Robb S's Profile

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Authentic bánh mì in Tokyo

Had a pretty good fried pork banh mi sandwich yesterday at Cafe Hai in Kiyosumi. They also serve pho with pork cakes, and Com Tron Rau Thit (rice with fried pork and fresh vegetables), which I didn't try. They serve a late lunch until 5:30pm, at which time they close for the day. http://bento.com/rev/4535.html

Feb 25, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Arossa in Shibuya?

Ah I wasn't sure if he was a partner or just worked there. Looking at Tabelog listings, it says that Arossa Shibuya opened in April 2000, and Underground Mr. Zoogunzoo, another Rocks 125 spinoff, opened in December 1999.

Feb 25, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Arossa in Shibuya?

I know what you mean. Didn't he start at Rocks 125 in Harajuku?

Feb 25, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Arossa in Shibuya?

I think he sold out at least 8 or 10 years ago. It's been owned by the Singapore-headquartered PJ Group (Salt, Tucano's, Manuel) for quite awhile.

Feb 24, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Tepito in Shimokitazawa -- Good Mexican food?

Thanks, and yes, that was me. Although as you know I'm from New York, where Mexican food was quite exotic, so I'm no expert. But of the twenty or so places I've been in Tokyo, that's probably my favorite.

Also I had a nice meal at Salsa Cabana in Yotsuya last month, a bit more Tex-Mex in style but quite tasty.

Feb 23, 2015
Robb S in Japan

The "remarkable value" special lunch spot

There is a lovely farmers market in Tokyo, Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm: http://www.whereintokyo.com/venues/25...

For weekdays and evenings I'd recommend checking out some department store food halls ("depachika" in Japanese) such as Isetan or Takashimaya in Shinjuku, or Matsuya or Mitsukoshi in Ginza. (Depachika are mostly set up for take-out though, rather than snacking on-premises.)

Feb 23, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Tepito in Shimokitazawa -- Good Mexican food?

I thought the food at Tepito was very good. They also have an impressive tequila list. And friendly service.

My favorite Mexican food place in Tokyo is Tepito.

Feb 23, 2015
Robb S in Japan

suggestion for dinner first night in tokyo

If you don't mind a 15- or 20-minute cab ride, Dedesuke in Shimbashi does nice grilled chicken and other meats. If you want something closer to your hotel, Soba Kichi in Marunouchi has a fun atmosphere, although they specialize in kushiage (deep-fried skewers) rather than yakitori.

(This is assuming you're arriving on a night other than Sunday.)

Dedesuke: http://www.bento.com/rev/4512.html
Soba Kichi: http://www.bento.com/rev/3169.html

Feb 20, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Arossa in Shibuya?

In my experience (and that of friends I've talked with), the food is great, the wine is great, but the service is quite subpar for the price you're paying. When you're paying >Y10,000 for dinner you shouldn't have to repeatedly hunt down a waiter every single time you want to order something.

But I haven't been in awhile; perhaps it's gotten better. (I'd be happy to learn if it has.)

Feb 19, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Tokyo Itinerary Feeback

I don't know Shirube in Shimo-Kitazawa. Uoshin is good, or you could check out Champrouse (http://bento.com/rev/1443.html ) for Okinawan cuisine.

I like Toki no Ma quite a bit for their food, sake and tasteful decor. (Tokyo is a modern, cosmopolitan city, not a quaint farm village, and modern decor is part of its charm.)

Other Ebisu options are Bakuro (for horsemeat), and Dedesuke (for chicken and beef).

Reservations are always a good idea, at least for your first stop of the night. A lot of places are small and don't have multiple seatings, so if they're full, they're full and they just turn you away.

Jan 10, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Tokyo Itinerary Feeback

Izakaya every night?

That sounds like an excellent idea to me. (And a lot more interesting than expensive sushi every night, like many visitors who pass this way.)

A few comments:

- Okinawan is definitely worth a try, although maybe not an absolute must during a short visit. On the other hand, it might be more interesting than ramen if you're already having ramen multiple times.

- I've recently discovered that branches of Kyushu do vary somewhat in quality. The Shibuya branch has always been reliable for me, though, and I think it's one of the better picks in that neighborhood for after midnight.

- For Shimo-Kitazawa Tenmamichi would be my choice, especially if you like sake. Also they do nice kushiage and oden, which you might not run into elsewhere. Our local resident Shimo-Kitazawa expert Silverjay may also have other suggestions. (One nice thing about izakaya is that you can go to more than one in an evening.)

Jan 09, 2015
Robb S in Japan

Japan between 31st Dec and 4th Jan

Japan is a big country - where are you? Lots of places are open in Tokyo, far fewer in provincial towns like Kyoto.

Dec 30, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Tokyo First Timer - Rate my list

Here are a couple of izakaya that I enjoy going to myself, close to your hotel:

Musshu Mizuki (http://bento.com/rev/3668.html ) has a nice, relaxed atmosphere, great food and excellent sake. And it's just a few minutes from your hotel.

The always-reliable Washoku En in Shiodome (http://bento.com/rev/2516.html ) delivers great food and good value for money, and is an excellent representative of modern Tokyo dining style.

Both are evening destinations, so I'd agree that you should switch your tonkatsu and maybe even your French to lunchtime....

Dec 29, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Tokyo First Timer - Rate my list

As Silverjay says, let us know what part of town you'll be in and that will help narrow it down from the tens of thousands of choices in Tokyo.

Also, (again repeating Silveryjay) neighborhoods here are defined by the nearest station, not the ward or even the address. So when you say "Maisen in Shibuya" to your concierge, you might end up at either of the two department-store branches of Maisen that are near Shibuya station. I'm guessing you probably want to go to the main branch though, which is in Aoyama/Omotesando.

Dec 28, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Shinjuku near Yotsuya Station; Kurashiki; Onomichi, Miyajima

I will second Shinobu for their excellent food - their yudetan is just incredible. I do wish their seating was a little more comfortable, and they had more sake, but those are minor quibbles. I would suggest a reservation though, as there's often a line of people waiting to get in.

I really like Fuku no Hana (near Yotsuya station: http://www.bento.com/rev/4096.html ) for their charcoal-grilled chicken and beef and Yamaguchi sake.

Dec 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Regional food to eat Tokyo area

Yes, there are hundreds (thousands?) of Tokyo izakaya and other restaurants that specialize in regional dishes. Here are a few of my favorites: http://www.bento.com/r-jreg.html

I especially like Wattaribozu in Gotanda for their Akita cuisine, and Mondo in Mitsukoshimae for their Shimane fare. Nana has good obanzai-ryori from Kyoto and HaruKor serves nice Ainu-style venison and other dishes.

Dec 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Shinjuku near Yotsuya Station; Kurashiki; Onomichi, Miyajima

I like the burritos at Salsa Cabana, about a minute from Yotsuya station. And Romina is quite good for Peruvian food.

Dec 19, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Sake Tasting Menu in Osaka

It's not exactly what you're looking for, but Shimada Shoten is a sake retail shop in Osaka with a basement tasting area where you can try different sake for Y200 per glass. They're only open until 7pm though. http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/8237....

If you happen to venture into Kyoto, Plus Sake Bar (http://www.bento.com/kansai/rev/7178.... ) does nice tasting sets.

Dec 11, 2014
Robb S in Japan

home cooking style and traditional soba

If there are any places that you've been disappointed with so far, perhaps you could mention them and say how they didn't conform to what you're looking for.

Because I'm having trouble trying to imagine any soba restaurant that's too fancy or too touristy to enjoy. (Although obviously some might be a bit fancier than others in terms of decor.) The least fancy places are stand-up sobaya in train stations, but I don't think that's a particularly intimate experience.

Also if you're asking for restaurant recommendations, you should mention where you are in the world, and if it happens to be a megacity like Tokyo, then also maybe narrow it down by neighborhood.

Dec 08, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Restaurant in Sannen-zaka area Kyoto ?

The kaiseki at Kikonoi is quite good.

Dec 03, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Restaurant in Sannen-zaka area Kyoto ?

Any budgetary or cuisine guidelines? Il Ghiottone is quite good: http://www.bento.com/kansai/ka-kygion...

Dec 03, 2014
Robb S in Japan

food at Osaka/KIX airport + Kyoto station

Why will you be very hungry?

I'd suggest waiting until you hit Kyoto station. (Based on your topic title I assume that's where you're going.) Inside the station is a department store called Isetan. Go up to the 11th floor if you want to eat in a restaurant (there are dozens to choose from, including branches of some of Kyoto's most famous spots), or go down to the basement if you want food to go (there are several dozen stalls to choose from).

Nov 22, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Which of these must go? Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka

Sekai no Yamachan is the most famous spot in Nagoya for tebasaki. They also have dozens of branches in Tokyo nowadays.

Nov 21, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Name of Chewy Tofu in Japan?

Based on the description of the chewy texture, I'm going to take a wild guess and say maybe it was namafu. Maybe try an image search on (生麩) and see if it looks familiar.

Nov 18, 2014
Robb S in Japan

black burgers and other limited-edition and novelty items at fast-food establishments

I tried the venison burger yesterday at the Becker's at Akihabara station and it wasn't bad at all. The 100g meat patty was sufficiently juicy, and it was accompanied by a very big grilled onion slice and grilled awabitake mushrooms. Not exactly fast food though - it takes around ten minutes to arrive.

(Note to Tokyo people - don't go to the Becker's at Iidabashi station, as it's under construction at the moment. Don't go to the Becker's at Yotsuya station, as it's actually a Beck's, not a Becker's.)

Nov 17, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Best sake breweries in Kyoto

Let me add the bar called "Plus Sake Bar Plus Cafe" in Kyoto (located on the ground floor of a hostel) as my recommendation for an accessible sake bar that will pour you tasting sets of "serious sake" to try out. http://bento.com/kansai/rev/7178.html

Nov 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan

black burgers and other limited-edition and novelty items at fast-food establishments

New venison burgers at Becker's, the burger shop run by JR East!

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/20...

Nov 11, 2014
Robb S in Japan

black burgers and other limited-edition and novelty items at fast-food establishments

Apparently Odaiba Takoyaki Village sells (or sold) the Takoyaki flavored Ramune - that might be worth checking out. Or maybe someplace like Namja Town's souvenir shop would have the line-up. Or maybe even Don Quijote....

Nov 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Dessert Buffets & Zauo in Tokyo

Marble Lounge does a nice spread, and as I recall they had multiple chocolate fountains for different kinds of chocolate, but I don't know enough about Sweets Paradise to compare. I have a feeling that Marble Lounge is somewhat more expensive.....

Nov 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Good Value Tokyo/Kyoto eats?

>I'd avoid most of the restaurants on department store restaurant floors

Huh, I guess mileage does vary - I've generally found department store restaurants to be quite reliable for Japanese food, especially in the OP's price range. (Perhaps Kyoto is an exception though.) They're usually established shops (you don't open your first restaurant in a department store) with reasonable prices, and there's enough competition and turnover that bad places don't last that long.

They're also comfortable if you're dining alone, they're very accommodating with children, and there's usually someplace open and serving food at 4pm when other restaurants in Japan are closed for a break.

And they're especially handy for tourists who don't know a city well and might not want to wander the streets looking for a place to eat. Kyoto's Isetan in particular has a lot of reasonably priced branches of some of the town's well-known restaurants.

I think most branches of Katsukura around Japan (one of the places you just recommended) are located in department stores.

>is Hankyu still open? I don't even know

What was once Hankyu is now a Marui, but the restaurant floor complex on the seventh and eighth floors is still called Mosaic Dining. I quite like the Harvest natural foods buffet restaurant there.

Nov 01, 2014
Robb S in Japan