m

mleco's Profile

Title Last Reply

How is Nishiki kaiseki in Arashiyama??

The 5,000 yen kaiseki at Nishiki is only for lunch. If you aren't looking to drop serious cash for the more serious kaiseki experiences, Nishiki should fit the bill – I found it a great value for a "casual" kaiseki meal.

Mar 14, 2014
mleco in Japan

Best ice cream in Tokyo?

Ouca in Ebisu:
http://www.ice-ouca.com/

They focus on "wafu" flavors – in addition to matcha, think kinako, houjicha, satsumaimo, seasonal flavors, etc. They even serve you warm tea and shio konbu with your order after!

And this is not a shop, but I was a huge fan of the "White Black Thunder" (yes, that's the correct name, not White Thunder!) that was being sold at the 7-11s. It's the ice cream version of the Black Thunder snack, but of the white chocolate variety. One of the best conbini ice creams... but I haven't seen it at all this year! What gives?! Am I not searching hard enough?

Jan 11, 2014
mleco in Japan

"Serious" Coffee Shops in Japan

FYI for those in Japan, the October issue of Brutus magazine is a big round-up of what looks to be "serious" coffee shops – not just in Tokyo, but also in the Kansai area:
http://magazineworld.jp/books/all/?go...

Nov 21, 2013
mleco in Japan

Your favorite casual fine dining picks

I'm looking for "casual fine dining" restaurants: ideal to use for special occasions or as once-in-a-while indulgences, but not absurdly expensive -- let's say no more than 15,000 yen/head max, without drinks. Any particular recommendations? No particular cuisine in mind.

I'm thinking in the vein of L'AS, for example, or Den (I'm a huge fan of Chef Hasegawa's playful, fun and creative take on kaiseki ryori, and I've been making it a point to go back every month!). Anything similar you recommend? Has anyone been to L'Alchimiste?

Oct 28, 2013
mleco in Japan

Mexican restaurants in Tokyo

Hmm, I've never had trouble getting on the terrace -- both times I've called to make reservations, and they've offered terrace seating. Luck of the draw?

Jul 22, 2013
mleco in Japan

Mexican restaurants in Tokyo

Bumping up this thread -- just ate at Hacienda del Cielo last weekend. I'm a bigger fan of the atmosphere and the open terrace than the food. The portions were a bit small, but the food is passable. Their guac is actually pretty fantastic (made fresh to order).

Jul 21, 2013
mleco in Japan

Mexican restaurants in Tokyo

Ah, I also saw the burritos at Eat in Hikarie but couldn't tell if they would be any good, although they looked really tempting. Nice to hear they're not so bad, will have to check them out next time!

Dec 12, 2012
mleco in Japan

Mexican restaurants in Tokyo

What are some good Mexican restaurants in Tokyo? I’ve been to La Jolla and Junkadelic, and while Junkadelic I found was better, the portions were incredibly stingy for their price. The last good Mexican food I had was in Fukuoka at El Borracho (and its sister shop La Borracha), but my two ‘meh’ experiences in Tokyo have made me a bit hesitant about seeking out more Mexican places here (maybe I shouldn’t trust rave reviews from a Brit? ;) ).

This is excluding standalone burrito stores like Libre and Frijoles (although if anyone has good recs, I’d love to hear them too!).

Dec 11, 2012
mleco in Japan

OMURICE? (omllette rice)

Resurrecting this post as I too am in search of some good omurice. I've been recommended Rakeru, but seeing as it seems like a famires chain, my hopes aren't too high. I've tried Grill Mantenboshi, which was excellent. Any other recs?

Oct 30, 2012
mleco in Japan

Purple potatoes / murasaki imo

So lucky you have so many varieties!

And the day after I posted this, my local grocery had murasaki imo in stock...! What luck! Guess it must be luck of the draw? (Or a seasonal thing?)

Oct 21, 2012
mleco in Japan

Purple potatoes / murasaki imo

Ever since I went to Okinawa a few years ago and fell in love with the murasaki imo, I've realized I haven't been able to find the actual potatoes on the mainland. I've seen desserts and other sweets *using* murasaki imo, but I've never actually seen the potatoes themselves for sale. I saw a pamphlet in Kobe Airport that noted murasaki imo was one of the items prohibited by law to bring back to the mainland (!!) because of pest issues... but is there really no way to get them?! :(

Oct 18, 2012
mleco in Japan

Top Gaijin eats or Non-Japanese foods in Tokyo

I left NYC when the Korean fried chicken trend was just taking over. Despite the popularity of Korean food in Tokyo, I haven't really seen Korean fried chicken (aka "yangnyeom chicken") here. I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that there was a Twotwo Chicken branch somewhere. Anyone have any recs?

Oct 18, 2012
mleco in Japan

Canned pumpkin

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually not looking to buy it for pumpkin pie purposes -- I like the taste of good ol' orange pumpkins themselves, which are a little different than kabocha (which is closer to sweet potatoes in taste, I'd say).

Thanks for the suggestion, Rob -- checked FBC and it looks like they're carrying some still (though not Libby's), so I'll put in an order for those!

Oct 09, 2012
mleco in Japan

Canned pumpkin

Anyone know where to find canned pumpkin in Tokyo? I'd rather not resort to ordering it online if I can, and I was sure the international supermarkets like National Azabu would be carrying it by now, but no such luck as of the last few weeks...

Oct 04, 2012
mleco in Japan

Beppu or Nagasaki for 1 Day

I can only speak for Nagasaki...

The restaurants by Dejima Wharf are really only good for the view, if you sit outside. I'd skip those, and just walk by the wharf later in the evening...

There's a great shabu shabu and sukiyaki place called Rouran (楼蘭). You pick either shabu shabu or sukiyaki, and the entire set comes with rice, miso soup, dessert or coffee. Extremely filling – and reasonable: it starts at 1400 yen, and goes higher based on what grade of beef you pick. It's tucked away in an alley right by the Ohato tram stop -- see the link below for a map:
http://tabelog.com/nagasaki/A4201/A42...

Nagasaki's oldest restaurant is in the Hamanomachi arcade, called Yosso. They're very well known for their chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), which normally seems very bland to me... but once you try it here, you'll see why they're famous for it. They also serve other famous Nagasaki-style dishes like kakuni, etc.
http://tabelog.com/nagasaki/A4201/A42...

I'm not a huge fan of the Japanese-style Chinese food like saraudon or champon that originate from Nagasaki, but the best places to try them are at Shikairo, which is supposedly where they were originally created. This is a very famous restaurant in Nagasaki, and most locals should be able to tell you where to go -- it's near the Tsukimachi tram stop. (There's also a branch in Chinatown, but "Chinatown" is quite boring in Nagasaki, being barely longer than a street.
)http://tabelog.com/nagasaki/A4201/A42...
Keep in mind that it tastes a bit different as each place does it differently, especially champon, so people will recommend different places... I found it most flavorful here.

For whale... Kojima, by Shianbashi. There's even a platter you can order that serves all different parts of the whale. They also have other local foods. (Not to be confused with another Kojima, which only sells kakuni manju.
)http://tabelog.com/nagasaki/A4201/A42...

The easiest and tastiest way to sample all kinds of local Nagasaki food is to go to Ginnabe. Last time I was there, they had an English menu as well. Everything here is excellent. Don't miss their grilled fish (shioyaki-style) of the day, if they haven't run out, and the Nagasaki salad. The tamagoyaki is also killer here, and a huge order.
http://www.ginnabe.com/

For more "junky" but uniquely Nagasaki food, check out toruko rice ("Turkish rice") at either Hustle Heart or Tsuruchan. It's a strange rice/pasta/katsu combo dish... you know, because Turkey is geographically sort of both in Europe and Asia. :P

Oh, and of course: castella, Nagasaki's famous dessert! But instead of getting it at Fukusaya like everyone does, try the "chocolatte" flavor from Shooken. They have shops throughout the city, as well as at the omiyage corners here and there. I believe Shooken castella is not available outside Nagasaki prefecture?
http://www.shooken.com/syohin/chocola...

Oct 04, 2012
mleco in Japan