Robb S's Profile

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Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

Thanks for the reminder of that thread - I also like Cafe Hohokam in Harajuku (which is a branch of the Great Burger, but much nicer, and less crowded, and stocked with craft beers). In fact Hohokam is at the top of my list for beer and burger combo, although I think Munch's has one or two decent beers.

There are a couple on that list that I haven't tried yet - Vibe and Burger 5.

about 2 hours ago
Robb S in Japan

Gourmet Burgers in Tokyo / Osaka

I like Blacows in Ebisu and Fatz's in Koenji and Munch's in Mita. Also the broccoli cheeseburger at Authentic in Akasaka and the kofta burger (lamb with tsatziki and hummus) at Bebu in Toranomon.

about 15 hours ago
Robb S in Japan

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

Ha, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to express their disdain. Four minutes is quite impressive!

1 day ago
Robb S in Japan

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

The kuro-pearl and kuro-diamond (black pearl and black diamond) burgers debuted yesterday (9/19) at Burger King Japan. Both burgers are served on black buns made with added bamboo charcoal, using black-colored cheese which also incorporates bamboo charcoal.

The blackish, onion-flavored sauce on the kuro-pearl uses squid ink, while the kuro-diamond is brightened by a topping of lettuce, tomato, onions and mayonnaise. The burgers themselves are livened up by a hefty dose of black pepper.

More pix: http://bit.ly/1plkfkY

1 day ago
Robb S in Japan

Chukasoba Suzuran question

Just on the off chance that you've gotten us mixed up, Robbie Swinnerton recommended Suzuran in his Tokyo Food File column in the Japan Times; he also posts here under the name Tokyo Food File.

Sep 15, 2014
Robb S in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

Oh, that's too bad, they made great tonkatsu.

Sep 08, 2014
Robb S in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

The beer museum is okay, sure. It might not be in my top five museum choices for Tokyo, but it's worth a quick stop if you're nearby.

Sep 08, 2014
Robb S in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

First of all, I'd just like to say that your list is more interesting than 90% of the visitors who post here - congratulations! A nice diverse choice. I might add a few more regional cuisines (Kyushu, Okinawan and maybe others) and a sake specialist as well, but it's a solid start.

A few specific comments:

For sushi I'd skip the line at Daiwa and go somewhere in the Outer Market like Sushi Sei (03-3541-7720). Good quality at a reasonable price without wasting your time lined up at a tourist trap. Kyubey is an excellent choice - good value for money, especially at lunchtime. And maybe you don't need three sushi meals in such a short stay, since there's plenty of raw fish in the izakayas you'll be adding to your list.

For tonkatsu, I'm not really a fan of Tonki, I much prefer Butagumi in Nishi-Azabu or Horaitei in Shibuya (03-3407-3282).

I'm sure Jumbo has good beef, but if you're having Korean I'd prefer the more diverse and exciting Korean menu at someplace like Jap Cho Ok in Gaienmae (03-5410-3408).

I'd skip Coco for curry - the toppings there are really sub-family restaurant in quality. If you do Moyan, maybe stick to the original branches in Nishi-Shinjuku - some of the others aren't quite as good. For Japanese curry I'm a big fan of the original-style coconut-based curries at Yamituki (several branches).

Personally I thought Nodaiwa was disappointing, and overhyped. I like Miyagawa in Tsukiji (03-3541-1292), but there are many other good choices at all price levels - even someplace in a department store would be a better choice IMO.

Fuku is a decent choice for yakitori; I haven't been to Isehiro, but it sounds okay - I think it was posted here mostly because they're open at lunchtime. I quite like Souten in Otsuka (03-5944-8105) because they have a good sake list to go with your chicken, as does Kushibeh in Koenji (03-3318-7756).

Other suggestions:

Toki no Ma in Ebisu (03-5722-8600) is a reliable izakaya with nice Kyushu dishes and a good sake list. Gyossantei in Shibuya (03-5489-6350) has a nice lively atmosphere and good Kyushu-style food.

Torihiro in Kyobashi (03-5542-1997) has good charcoal-grilled heirloom-breed pork and chicken and a good selection of Okinawan dishes. If you're looking for atmosphere and very reasonably priced, good izakaya fare, Tsukada Nojo has branches all over town.

For kaiseki I think lunch at Kikunoi in Akasaka (03-3568-6055) is a pretty good deal at around Y10,000, but others here may have more budget-friendly suggestions. "Agaru Sagaru Nishi-Iru Higashi-Iru" (in Harajuku 03-3403-6968) does interesting kaiseki-fusion style food without all the fuss, and at a very reasonable Y4000 price.

If you'd like to try some Japanese craft beers, I'd suggest DevilCraft in Kanda or Mile Post Cafe in Shinkawa (http://bento.com/rev/4392.html ). Moto in Shinjuku (03-6457-3288) is a nice casual stand-up sake bar with a good selection and good food.

Sep 08, 2014
Robb S in Japan
2

Tapas Molecular Bar

It's a good idea to leave some spots open, but keep in mind that izakaya are evening destinations, generally nothing special at lunchtime.

Sep 07, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Thai restaurants in Tokyo

Aroyna Tabeta moved to Kanda last week: http://www.tabeta.com

All dishes are still only Y630.

Sep 07, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

Since you seem to have made up your mind, I won't try to convince you, but I'll just add some comments in case others are interested. Tapas Molecular Bar's setting is quite pleasant, and I didn't notice a problem with smoke. The dinner is more than 21 courses, so of course it ends up being filling, but not to a painful degree. And dinner is a very interactive, theatrical experience, with explanations of the dishes as they arrive every few minutes.

I didn't find anything "touristy" about it, although since it's in a hotel they do probably have more out-of-town patrons than average. And I'd call the presentation and style playful rather than gimmicky. Personally I think it's a lot more fun and interesting than going to a teppanyaki restaurant, but obviously YMMV.

Sep 07, 2014
Robb S in Japan

Tapas Molecular Bar

It's not a tapas restaurant.

Sep 05, 2014
Robb S in Japan

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....

Aug 28, 2014
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