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Suppon in Kyoto

I had suppon while dining at Ishikawa this June. I guess they were in season hence on the menu.

Jul 08, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Tokyo Sushi - Saito, Sawada and...

Just to update on my 3rd lunch visit to Sawada. Sawada's wife do speak English and her english has improved significantly compare to my visit 2 years ago. In fact, his wife explains to us in english on how to savour each course of sashimi. The Itamae himself however can only utter a few english word yet I can sense he did try his best to communicate in english. We enjoyed it very much and I believe we weren't charge for extra pieces.

Jul 03, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Just to report back our meal at Matsukawa is just as good as before. The highlight of the meal today is actually the iced chilled soba and hamo shabu shabu. I was surprised that he still remember us from our last meal 6 months ago. I have yet to find any kaiseki restaurant surpass matsukawa. As a matter of fact, the chef told us the chef at Kitcho also dine at Matsukawa. We are hoping to come back again in October as we're told by the chef it is the best season for Matsutake. This just sum up our 12th trip to Japan.

Here are the restaurant we have tried in this trip
Gonokamiseisakujo ramen
Sushi Iwa
Sushi Taira
Takazawa
Sushi mizutani
Ishikawa
Kitcho Arashiyama-Kyoto
Nakamura-Kyoto
Hyotei-Kyoto
Kikunoi Hoten-Kyoto
Sushi Sawada
Joel Robuchon
Tempura Kondo
Matsukawa

Jun 27, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Reviews of Michelin-Starred Restaurants in Tokyo

Ishikawa accept credit card. Off my head, only mizutani, matsukawa, and tempura nanakyobashi does not accept credit card

Jun 26, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Just to remind you, our experience in Kikunoi is at original restaurant ( honten) in Gion Kyoto, so we could not comment if the tokyo branch fare as well as their main branch.

Jun 26, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

I am doubtful they will let you book without going through hotel concierge unless you know or hire someone locally like shinji nohara to book it for you. The other less politically correct way is to make a cancellable reservation in a hotel and then have the hotel concierge make the reservation for Matsukawa. When closer to your actual stay, you could cancel the hotel reservation but still keep the restaurant reservation.

Jun 26, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Here is a summary of my kaiseki meal in Kyoto

Kitcho Arashiyama-- taste wise is the most refine kaiseki I have so far in Kyoto but still below par compared to Matsukawa. The service is impeccable and the atmosphere is gorgeous. However, lack of creativity compared to kikunoi kyoto. overall value is 8.5/10

Nakamura-- taste and plating is average but the service is really homey. The portion of the food is also the largest, we could barely finish all the food. I have the 5th and 6th generation chef and okami visit us throughout the meal, It's a different experience that I will likely not forget. Overall value is 6/10.

Hyotei--I have low expectation after all the bad review at Chow but I was surprise. Their focus is cha-ryori, the food is simple but it bring out umami flavour. The atmosphere is nice( private dining room) but the air conditioning is like non-existent, so we are roasting all the time. Their tamago is great. Service is the least hospitable compare to the other 3. Overall value is 7.5/10

Kikunoi honten-- Taste wise is really on par with Kitcho but less refine. The plating is more creative and the ingredient is also more elaborate. Like their signature dish, awabi and uni baked in wakamae is really good. I like the tofu dumpling with anago the best. The service is more formal. Overall value is 8/10

Jun 26, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Just to report back that we are quite disappointed with our meal at Takazawa two night before. The plating is good as ever but the flavour is just appalling not to mention the price has also tripled since my visit in 2011. The only redeeming dish is the tempura ayu( sweet fish).

On the other hand, ishikawa is as good as ever. I dive in on the Gohan cooked with hokkaido trout. Highlight for the day beside the Gohan is the kujira hifu ( whaleskin) nabe. It's once reinforce my notion to stick with washoku for my future japan trip.

Jun 23, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

Ask your hotel concierge to make the reservation for you, we did it roughly about a month before

Jun 22, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Any review on Sushi Taira Shirokane

I just want to report my experience on Sushi Taira Shirokane. We have omakase lunch today. It's a wonderful experience. The chef doesn't speak english but very hospitable. Sushi Taira really shine on their otsumami, the grilled sword fish is excellent, the tako sashimi is so tender,chilled chawan mush is also interesting and the shabu lobster and lobster head miso soup is just brilliant. The sushi is also good and comparable to other 2 michelin star sushi, the stand out piece include sumi-ika, vinegar otoro, and kinmedai There is total about 20 course for 15k yen. I would say it is better than sushi Iwa which I also had the night before (2nd visit).

Jun 22, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

I have dine at Ishikawa, Takazawa and Matsukawa. I have Kikunoi kyoto reservation coming up in 3 day as I am now in Japan.

Takazawa is not really traditional Kaiseki but rather modern french cuisine with japanese influence but still very good. The atmosphere is more close knit, fun and interactive when I last dine there in 2011 where they only use to have two table. I am back again to takazawa tonight and hope things hasn't change.

Ishikawa probably has the best cost to performance ration of the other 3. They also do lunch on friday and saturday. Their most expensive course is only 19k. I like their cooking is very simple, at the same time, he is able exude the best flavour from the ingredient that he used. I have the best gohan last September with the new crop of nigata rice. I prefer it over the other michelin 3 star like koju, ryugin, kanda, easki, and yukimura which I have all tried. However, Ishikawa weakest link is the dessert portion which I think ryugin so far has the best dessert when it come to Kaiseki. We are back to Ishikawa again tomorrow night.

Matsukawa is the best traditional japanese kaiseki meal we have ever had in japan so far ( however the caveat being , we haven't tried mizai in kyoto, kyoaji in tokyo and kitcho arashyima kyoto which I heard is even better, as for the latter, we have reservation coming up in 3 day). Matsukawa san is a very talented chef and their food is just divine. I still remember vividly till now about the uni dish and crab dumpling it was served. His style is similar to Ishikawa which look simple but the flavour is just amazing. However it is expensive 40k yen ppax and cash only, We like it so much we are going badk again next thursday. We booked it via our hotel concierge.

For Unagi, we have only tried Obana, which I think is good but not wow effect. Prepare to line up as there is already a long line even when we got there half an hour before the shop is open which I think is going to more crazy as summer is the season for wild unagi.

Hope it help

Jun 21, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Tokyo, July 2014: Feedback on my foodie plans so far and suggestions still needed

Second on the butagumi. Their Iberico is divine if available.

Jun 21, 2014
silverlim in Japan
1

Any review on Sushi Taira Shirokane

Thanks for the heads up. We will keep our expectation low. Finger cross it WOW us in good way like Kimura does to us.

Jun 18, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Any review on Sushi Taira Shirokane

We booked via our hotel concierge. They did remind us that no english will be spoken in the restaurant. They even make our concierge to translate the menu in english beforehand so we understand what we are eating. I could read Kanji and understand few basic Japanese phrase. With our previous dozen high end sushi-ya dining experience, we hope we should do fine .

Jun 18, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Any review on Sushi Taira Shirokane

We are looking for something different beside the usual michelin star place which we have tried. We are willing to give it a try but will steer clear if other think it's really mediocre or bad. For your reference, we have tried jiro roppongi, sawada, kimura, iwa, mizutani, yoshitake, sushi sho, kanesaka, kyubei, (never ever get a chance in saito or jiro ginza). I guess judging by the tabelog picture, it appears sushi tiara is famous for his otsumame rather than nigiri, the shabu lobster look delicious I think their shari is also similar to yoshitake style which they use red vinegar. Sushi taira has lunch omakase for 15,000, which I think is reasonable. Will come back with a report once we try it

Jun 17, 2014
silverlim in Japan
1

Any review on Sushi Taira Shirokane

We are great fan of sushi and kaiseki meal. Have anyone dine at Sushi Taira Shirokane and mind to give us feedback, as it is currently rank no 7 on Tabelog and they do open for lunch on Sunday which we wanted to try. We are debating to try this vs daigo shojin ryori. I know they are two very different thing, but we have 5 kaiseki meals ( kitcho, kikunoi, nakamura, hyotei and matsukawa) already booked on this upcoming Japan trip.

Jun 16, 2014
silverlim in Japan

High End Sushi in Tokyo (or should I stick with Sawada?)

I second the recommendation of Ninisixa at Sushi Kimura. Mother of the chef at sushi kimura speak fluent english and really surprise us. We were the only two gaijin and we enjoy thoroughly the experience and food. We also have the blue marline which is divine. I actually more fond of his tsunami. FYI, we don't speak Japanese

Feb 17, 2014
silverlim in Japan

Ultimate Tokyo foodie trip 2!!

I prefer ishikawa over koju. The ingredient is far simpler in ishikawa and the chef bring out the essence of the food. I swear i have the best gohan ever in my life at ishikawa with just plain uonuma koshihikari rice with dry sesame is just pure bliss even without sea bream paste. Koju is good as you expect but no "wow " effect. The plating and presentation is more elaborate than ishikawa perhaps. I went during summer and winter and the dish serves is pretty redundant minus the crab for the winter. You certainly get fuller with Koju as the portion is larger. It seemed to cater western palate more. Being an asian, I prefer ishikawa style.

Jan 14, 2014
silverlim in Japan

How to secure KyoAji reservation?

My japanese is really broken so I am not sure this route will work.

I am not trying to be a snobbish here. I am merely trying to point out that other chowhounder have imply that you might get the reservation through the "elite" hotel concierge ( which I consider MO, PEN, FS and Shangri-la to be elite, FYI I got upgraded to suite via a great travel agent) doesn't really work.

As Shirang indicate, I might consider staying in a budget hotel and try their concierge instead.

Bu Pun Su, I will consider your option but who is Kyo Aji regular here? Will you come along and as a gesture we could buy you the lunch perhaps.

Jan 11, 2014
silverlim in Japan

How to secure KyoAji reservation?

I understand Kyo Aji is a introduction only restaurant. I have stayed in MO, PEN, FS, SHANGRI-LA( suites level) and yet none of the concierge is able or allow to book it even when there is availability.

I have eaten all the michelin 3 star kaiseki and Matsukawa in Tokyo and therefore I can appreciate the food. I really like to taste Kenichiro Nishi food especially after Bu Pun Su post but I just don't know what is the best way to do it

Can anyone shed some light? We are tourist and we don't have any Japanese friend that is the patron of KyoAji.

Jan 11, 2014
silverlim in Japan