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Top Japanese restaurants in Tokyo

Hey, just joking Roy! Your postings have started a lot of interesting discussions here, and I wouldn't have it any other way....

1 day ago
Robb S in Japan
1

Thai restaurants in Tokyo

Thanks for the recommendation for Wanchan - it was great! The dishes were all distinctively flavored, and there were some unusual dishes that one rarely sees in Tokyo.

I had some tasty Isan-style raw sausages, quite piquant and nicely spiced, and some curry-flavored sausages as well. There was a very crispy whole fish smothered in garlic with a very spicy sauce, and a good soft-shell crab stir-fry. I'm looking forward to trying some more dishes, including their curries.

The only drawback was that it got unpleasantly smoky at one point (the next table wasn't all that close, but it had multiple smokers). The air cleared up a bit once their food arrived though.

The bill was around Y7,500, covering five dishes and four drinks.

Aug 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Top Japanese restaurants in Tokyo

"I hope to read about your trip soon."

You're in luck then, as there's some mention of it in nearly every single topic here!

(I keed, I keed.)

Aug 27, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Where to stay in Tokyo for Chowhounds?

That would be a tough call for me.

Aug 26, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Lunch close to Sumo stadium Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Sumida?

The wild boar place is great, although maybe a bit old-fashioned in terms of decor. I should mention that the unagi place has zero atmosphere, but quite good food. The soba shop has a nice atmosphere and decor (and good food of course).

Aug 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Lunch close to Sumo stadium Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Sumida?

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try a reservation. Or if you show up early, like at 11:30, it's probably not necessary.

Aug 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Lunch close to Sumo stadium Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Sumida?

Coincidentally that's exactly what I was about to suggest! (The first two, anyway, the other two aren't open for lunch.)

Just FYI (the OP, not you Tripeler) izakayas are drinking spots that serve food, and they tend to do their main business in the evenings. If they do lunch it's not very exciting - they're really nighttime destinations.

Aug 24, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Gyoza

Thanks for the report! (And sorry for the bad pun, I just couldn't resist....)

Aug 21, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Ikebukuro breakfast

The first one is not closed, they are open for business today until 4:30pm, according to the person who answers their phone.

BTW, when you're speaking with your concierge, it might help them to know that you're looking for a soba shop. Ramen shops don't serve soba, or vice versa - they are two different foods.

Aug 20, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Gyoza

"Today, I went to Okei and had Gyoza"

Was it okei?

Aug 19, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

For Kyushu cuisine I like Gyossantei in Shibuya for Miyazaki-style chicken and good vegetable dishes. And they wisely serve sake from around the country, not just Kyushu. http://bento.com/rev/3080.html

Hachibei near Tokyo Midtown (03-3475-1689) serves Fukuoka-style yakitori and a smattering of regional dishes.

And of course Bakuro in Ebisu (03-5459-8348) has fantastic horse cuisine, along with some regional Kyushu dishes like satsuma-age.

Aug 17, 2014
Robb S in Japan
2

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

Dachibin in Koenji is my go-to place for standard Okinawan dishes. It's very lively, a bit cramped, and very friendly.

There's a long-running place in Ikebukuro called Miyarabi (3971-5061) that does upscale "Royal-style" Okinawan cuisine. The old lady that runs the place acts like she's never met a foreigner before, but once you get past that it's nice enough. They have a branch in Ichigaya also.

Torihiro in Kyobashi (5542-1997) isn't typically Okinawan, more like an upscale dining bar, but they serve numerous Okinawan dishes and they import very good, special types of chicken and pork from down there.

Aug 17, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Gyoza

Gyoza Lou also has a convenient new Tokyo Station branch, in Tokyo Gran Roof B1F.

Aug 17, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Gyoza

By the way, there's another Xi'an in Akihabara atop the Yodobashi Camera. (And several more branches around town.)

They do good noodles too. And lamb dishes.

Aug 17, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

I went to an Aomori-cuisine izakaya in nearby Saitama called Shamoroku (0489-89-7180) that specializes in "warayaki" cuisine - where they use burning straw to reach temperatures of 800 degrees (centigrade) for fast searing.

They prepare shamo (originally a Thai breed of fighting bird) that way, and serve some nice Aomori sake.

I don't know any places in central Tokyo that do warayaki cooking though.

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

I'm a big fan of the Shimane food and sake at Mondo (03-3231-2213) across from the Mandarin Oriental and attached to the Shimane Prefectural antenna shop (which helps explain the fresh produce and fish flown in from Shimane every day).

They serve local heirloom breeds of chicken and pork. The chicken is called Daisen-dori, grilled simply and served with yuzu-kosho. The pork is called Mochibuta, which I had in a cold salad with sesame dressing. They also do nice satsuma-age and a great sashimi platter. There's a wide sake selection, and prices are very reasonable.

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

I ran across this old posting by me about Oshima, serving excellent Kaga-ryori from the Kanazawa area:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6876...

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Regional Japanese Cuisine in Tokyo #2

There are lots of places to try good Japanese regional cuisine and craft sake/shochu without ever leaving the capital. Here's a topic for recommendations....

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan
1

First time in Japan! Is Ebisu the best bet for staying/food?

Ebisu is a great neighborhood, but there aren't really hotel options other than the Westin. Friends of mine from New York have stayed in Gaienmae (Tokyu Stay Hotel) and Yotsuya (various business-type hotels) and been pleased with those areas.

And I would agree with the posters below who suggest that you stay in Tokyo - you can sample lots of good regional cuisine and sake without leaving Tokyo.

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Dining Suggestions Near the Tokyo Westin

"my company is in the (relative) culinary wasteland of Otemachi"

What about all those new Otemachi restaurant complexes though? Like Ootemori, with Camp curry shop and a bunch of other places. Or iiyo!!, with Birdland and Hot Spoon. Or "Otemachi Financial City" with twenty new restaurants. Surely Otemachi is getting better, no?

Aug 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

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

Well OK, I don't know anything about the shop in question, just pointing out that "wine bar" doesn't always mean the same thing in Japan. I guess you'll find out when you get there....

Aug 14, 2014
Robb S in Japan

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

Ah, that explains it. In Japan there are basically two kinds of places that call themselves 'wine bars.' One is the type you're familiar with, where they serve several wines by the glass and snacks to go with them, with a casual atmosphere. These weren't very common as recently as a decade ago, but they're getting more and more popular.

The other type of 'wine bar' is restaurants that particularly want to emphasize their wine list. Often they design the food menu to go with the wine rather than the other way around. These are basically full-blown restaurants, though, where you're expected to order a full meal and a bottle or two of nice wine.

Aug 14, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Matsukawa - Probably (the current) Tokyo's greatest restaurant

I hope you enjoy it all, but don't say no one warned you. I'd be interested to hear your opinion after your tenth kaiseki meal in the same month.

Aug 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan

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

First of all, I don't think there's any widespread reluctance among Chowhounders to share recommendations for restaurants that they like - that's not really what's going on here, in spite of a very few exceptions. ISTR that there are plenty of recent threads talking about high-end sushi restaurants in Tokyo, so there are plenty of recommendations just waiting for you, but your attitude seems to be: "The mere mention of Saito seems to instill strong feelings in some people on this board. I can't think of a better endorsement!"

People on this board are generally pretty helpful, but if you mention "extreme disappointment" in not getting into one particularly overhyped and overcrowded spot, don't take it the wrong way if people try to steer you towards a different way of thinking.

Aug 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan

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

I've actually been meaning to start a thread on regional restaurants the past few days, but just haven't gotten around to it. Will do so soon though....

Aug 12, 2014
Robb S in Japan
2

Dining Suggestions Near the Tokyo Westin

Teras is indeed gone - thanks for the heads-up.

Aug 11, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

No problem - I will try to make a note of any salmon belly of superior quality that crosses my path in the future....

Aug 10, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

Well ISTR always getting good grilled salmon belly at Washoku En branches in Shiodome and Marunouchi. Apparently Ibiza in Ebisu does a good version. And I think I remember very good salmon at Teyandei in Nishi-Azabu.

Like with chicken wings, a lot of places will take it off the grill too soon, before it's crisp enough. It takes experience to get the timing and the heat levels just right, although obviously starting with good-quality ingredients is also important.

Aug 10, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

Ah, sorry - the aburi sushi is great too.

Aug 10, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

I love grilled salmon belly, the fattier the better.

And it's interesting how greatly it varies in quality from place to place. It's actually a decent yardstick for judging the quality of an izakaya that serves it.

Aug 10, 2014
Robb S in Japan