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tokyo trip report feb2015

unexpectedly it was nanba, i forgot to note that the kuruma ebi is served without shari, it was good size and taste, with prawn brains attached. the chef has got heavy breathing. seizan ranks 2nd in this trip

Feb 26, 2015
Lucil in Japan

tokyo trip report feb2015

report on the following places
it seems like the ingredient quality was not as good in general as compared to autumn 2013

owner chef is nice person
quality was high and price was very good
around 13k yen for food and 1 glass of sake
i liked it slightly more than Den( last trip)
memorable dishes bouzushi , dashi was to my liking( some fish dumpling) , stronger taste as compared to other places. grilled fish was cooked throughly like in most kaiseki places, ebi imo was good but kyoaji had better from my memory.
rice course was minced duck meat with kujo negi, good but not memorable. rice was good. dessert was refreshing and light , i think its mikan, compote and mascaprone cheese. i think this places gets better if you go as a returning customer.

tamawarai soba
soba good texture, does not have strong smell or taste ( so i kinda liked this soba )
miso yaki ebi good, tamagoyaki

taste of food a little similar to hong kong's ryugin ( experience july 2014)
i didnt like the food here that much now, i think it was better like 5-6 years ago
i like the shirako here. sashimi quality was good but not outstanding, had many different fish in one course now.
ebi imo and grilled fish, the ebi imo is whipped so its different from other kaiseki restaurants, fish was cooked throughly again. my least favourite kaiseki to date now.

toritsune shizendou
had tokujo oyakodon
good , had different parts of meat inside this. recommended

himitsudo kakigori
ichigo milk
nice strawberry sauce , ice was quick and light to dissolve in mouth. the milk is like yogurt thou, next time i'll take it just without the milk. recommended.

sushi zanmai honten
not so good fish, quality was comparable to hk's chain of sushi restaurant itacho.

chef is nice and quiet person
very clean preparation of food
dashi is lighter here.
taiza crab in a few courses
i dont really like crab meat, so i dont particulary like it.
kyoaji tai sashimi was better
i would do 3 meals at seizan compared to matsukawa( matsukawa had more expensive ingredients), not really memorable meal for me. kyoaji remains the best imo.

sushi sho
last visit was better(autumn 2013)
shari was mostly not warm, also i noticed the taste was quite strong for the white vinegared rice.
chef ( keita san?)makes quite big shari pieces, was kinda put off by the size considering the number of pieces. quality was better last time, this visit i think the fish was not better than shinji kanesaka(singapore)
around 22k yen per person

sushi nanba
owner chef should be fan of sushi shimizu
he says this style is his own style, and never worked at the big league ginza sushi shops before, but he says he likes shimizu and imamura(shirokane) i think there might be some similarities in the sushi here with sawada or shimizu or imamura( never been to all)
chef portions all the fish just right before serving everyone. no plates here, everything was served on the wooden counter.
shari is good taste and fish quality was good, a little heavy handed on the shoyu.
otsumami in beginning was very good, chawanmushi with clam soup on top, memorable. abalone very good. some other good pieces which i could not remember.
nigir pieces , memorable were kawahagi , tuna is good here. tamagoyaki i like it, castella style? almost as sweet as a peranakan kueh ambon
15k yen for extra negitoro, kawahagi ( not as good as 1st piece), tamagoyaki and 2 sake.

tenfusa( tsukiji)
went here because it was near my place, also did not know what to have for lunch.
tendon, heavy taste batter , shiba ebi and anago tendon
did not like it, will not waste time queing over 1 hour again.

Feb 19, 2015
Lucil in Japan

Obana vs. Kabuto + a sushi question...

its the individual unagi skewers that are slightly more special to eat at kabuto.

Nov 21, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Singapore: Shinji by Kanesaka?

the nigiri pieces are lesser in mitsuya, more focus on appetizers and sashimi
andrew zimmern was here today. hmm,my pieces were somehow better than his group. today there is live kuruma ebi. in season now

Nov 14, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

Must visit places in Singapore that require reservations?

waku ghin if cost is not an issue to you

Nov 01, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore: Shinji by Kanesaka?

st regis is not s good as raffles, and chef kikuchi not on form , cold rice cold fish when i went.
raffles branch is good, around 1 star michelin in tokyo's standard for the sushi alone
try chef matsumoto, friendly chap , he remebers me after a visit 1-2 months prior. i get more interaction from him than the other chefs there

Oct 30, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

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

saito changed the reservation system?
i see that certain someone close to him says that reservation can be made for next year

Oct 25, 2014
Lucil in Japan

SG chowhounders anyone up for sushi this week (@ shinji kanesaka)

anyone keen to have lunch at shinji kanesaka at raffles hotel?
maybe a mini chow meetup

Oct 19, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

more interested with the one that prez o went, heard the line is impossible to call thru on dday

Oct 12, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Kumamoto and Tokyo recommendation please

which hotel concierge did you use?? any special tricks for reservation for the top end sushi places ?? or just call at the restaurant given time?

Oct 12, 2014
Lucil in Japan

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

any tip on reservation for matsukawa??? thinking of planning a trip in February ..
wanted to go to kyoto ,osaka, but the restaurants to try in tokyo always negate other factors. haha

Aug 13, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Top end recommendations in Singapore?

report for shinji at kanesaka at st regis(since raffles branch was full for lunch), i think chef kikuchi is not very attentive (gari was never replenised at this branch) , in fact i think the other younger chefs at raffles branch was better , occasionally topping up gari and more precise in sushi preparation.
overall experience not as good as the raffles branch, will only return to raffles branch now

smokehouse at great world city (was walking around and just happen to passby so i went and took a look at the prices, so i thought it was good value, prices lower than isetan supermarket) , can give yakiniku yazawa a run for their money. the price point i think its even lower than aburiya and more value for $.
well marbled australian karubi only $10 plus for 100gms, 100gm japanese beef chateaubriand only around $34 sgd + , downside, the meat is not marinated for your diy bbq, so you have to fix your own sauce, their inhouse bbq sauce is a little meaty , heavy (those who like yazawa may like this style) , so i squeezed some lemon juice into the sauce. also tables for 2 pax quite close to another table

Himalayan pink salt, black pepper grinders DIY. i think its a ceramic grill , with charcoal at the bottom, not a fan of ceramic grills thou.

freeflow kimchi, soup, rice, garlic fried rice and salad. and ice water.
i think i ordered around 50- 60gms of each, jo tan , aust karubi and us angus karubi(combined), tontoro, japanese zabuton and sankaku(60 grams combined i think) , japanese chateaubriand (1 big piece , forgotten the weight)
total came up to around less than $110sgd.

Jul 13, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

Top end recommendations in Singapore?

Looking for 1 top dining experience
Seeking advise for top end suggestions, Fourseasons please chime in

The only top end restaurant that I have tried so far and not disappointed is shinji, somehow I get the feeling that restaurants like Joel robuchon , Andre will be disappointing to me , based on what I see from pictures and reviews, any feedback is appreciated , very particular on ingredient quality.

Waku ghin seems like a gamble , very expensive also simple execution , quite hesitant on this
Would like to go to CUT , but they are out of A5 Kobe beef now .

Jul 05, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

mandarian oriental reservations?

anyone manage to book for noma? it seems like the website is unable to handle the load now

Jun 22, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Honeymoon kick off in HK! Need an amazing meal

i just tried ryugin last week in hk, and it was not worth mentioning, i have tried ryugin 4-5 years ago at tokyo
and this pales in comparison.

portion are too small for the whole course, as a whole ingredient quality not as good as tokyo. service staff not very knowledgeable about the cooking techniques or describing the dish well. also each dish tasted like the menu(which looks very unimpressive to me)

1st dish starter was very boring with somen and caviar . think angel hair with caviar, this pales very far in comparison to the dish i had in tokyo years back, with potato + ankimo , karasumi + daikon( both incredible )

-2nd dish , chawanmushi squid ink with squid. egg custard was too shallow in the dish , so it does not feel satisfying when eating the custard, when you scoop with the spoon it only reaches around half of the spoon scoop. the taste wasnt too bad, but the slices of squid on top of the custard . was not very incorporated into the dish, again this was a dish that could be done very well, knowing how ryugin cooks their chawanmushi, from my memory their uni chawanmushi was incredible (tokyo)

- salad with some hokkigai , grapefruit sorbet?
not working well together with the grapefruit sorbet as sauce.

- soup, grilled kinki with eggplant and winter melon - ichibandashi soup quality was ok , considered well executed in the restaurant standards. fish was a little overcooked

- sashimi - not very good. 4 diff kinds, hirame, maguro toro, negitoro(sliced in blocks?) and i think scallop with uni or something( i forgot) , quality was rather normal for upscale restaurants . but nowhere near the quality in japan

- yuba grilled corn shrimp dumpling, corn was sweet(again this was normal considering the upscale restaurant factor, and tomorokoshi is usually sweet) yuba was good quality. dish average in terms of execution and taste was slightly above average.

-main dish, another boring dish, sukiyaki , a4 beef with onsen tamago, boring, totally well expected and tasted like it is on the menu. no suprises here

- ezo abalone ( taste was not very intense, or average for me , good size ) shiitake mushroom rice, rice was good quality, but shiitake mushroom taste was rather normal to me. tsukemono was bad, sliced cucumbers with some jelly sauce(i forgot what it is)

- strawberry candy, good as i imagined it to be, was mainly here for this, as i did not have it in tokyo last time
strawberry jam intense, and every component worked very well.

- almond tofu orange carrot jelly, normal to me , kinda like something you can get from asian dessert stall.

seriously , i would have headed to la cabane again at night if i knew this would disappoint me( went on the same day afternoon to have some cheese(incredible) and wine )
i would seriously strike michelin starred western (considering that i had a rather normal lunch at caprice 2 years ago) and japanese restaurants off my list next time when i go to HK.

Jun 14, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

HK recommendation mid June 2014?

will be spending 1 day and night in HK, also will be making dinner reservations for ryugin. any comments on the sake / wine list at ryugin?

any good lunch spots? was looking at la cabane , any other recommendations? (will be arriving in HK around noon )
also any rare wine bars or any of the sort?

will be in singapore after HK, so trying to look for good value eats..

Jun 05, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore Eats - Researching Choices

shinji by kanesaka, if you want quality comparable to the top end places in tokyo. lunch is decent, $80-$120 per pax.
les amis lunch is also decent.. approx $50-$80 per pax

Apr 17, 2014
Lucil in China & Southeast Asia

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

nice... can you comment on the firmess of the shari and of saito vs mizutani vs jiro(ginza) vs sushi sho vs sawada ??

Jan 19, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Trip report!!

yea ambrosie , marie, mervee and probably the tarts and ambre noix(i did not try this)

veracc-> mkoide only takeaways, do take note

Jan 14, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Ultimate Tokyo foodie trip 2!!

hmm mind if i ask, namba belongs closer to which style???
thanks for the answer!

just to add on to DEN for jmui,
dessert is a weak point there, usually i may have bias for restaurants with excellent desserts for proper elaborate meals..

Jan 12, 2014
Lucil in Japan

How to secure KyoAji reservation?

try staying at minshuku or apartments and ask the host to help call for you. very generous of you to buy lunch... do you know the price???

Jan 12, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Kenichiro Nishi's "Taste of Kyoto"

definitely i think i got nishi san's wife i assume as okami.. i think his daughter was in kitchen prepping stuff clearing stuff in kitchen when i was there for lunch

Jan 11, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Ultimate Tokyo foodie trip 2!!

gargle -> very interested to know your favourite sushi haunt... heh ,

jmui--> DEN if you like fun interesting amicable chef who engages fervently with diners , and more western tastes in dishes, and less on ingredient quality and execution, else matsukawa sounds better for food with the higher price tag.

shimada, got in on a wednesday around 7-8pm , depends on your luck thou... did not see any queues outside, also i had a hard time locating it that night going round and round in circles based on my google maps.. passed by it numerous times without knowing and found it finally after my partner(who doesn't understand japanese asked me if that lantern was the one) .
also at first i ordered 3-4 dishes( was planning to order more as we go along depending on the food and appetite) , and the chef looked at me and said something ( did not quite understand based on my caveman japanese, which i was guessing from his expression that we had ordered too little food) , not sure if this was the case, so i ordered few more dishes, and he confirmed it, in the end it was too much food for us...

also my partner who is first time in real japanese food(kaiseki and sushi etc, did not like shimada, liked DEN the most, did not like kyoaji much ( ill that day (1st day of her month) , which i thought was best)

unagi themed restaurants should not be a destination to go.. they were also only OK to me, after trying the supposedly the best there is...

Jan 11, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Kenichiro Nishi's "Taste of Kyoto"

looks the same as what i got... maybe 1 or 2 different dish...thanks for the picture... too embrassed to take pictures (even thou nishi san said ok after head chef asked , and head chef mentioned politely they usually do not allow pictures) , did you ask for 2nd gohan course of sake harasu gohan?? ,
just want to know , okami (chef's daughter) how old was she?? i think i had chef's nishi wife as okami( judging on her age, and did not quite get the same level of communication thru the meal ask you did)

Jan 11, 2014
Lucil in Japan

Trip report!!

also all food destinations in tokyo in 12 days? sounds pretty monotonous

Dec 22, 2013
Lucil in Japan

Trip report!!

if you like hidemi sugino, you should try m koide (also have sous bous here, maybe some relationship to hidemi sugino, the flavor is more intense here) in jiyugaoka , also nearby lots of famous japanese pastry shops like mont st clair etc, paris seville, also aux bon vieux temps at oyamadai, need some walking from jiyugaoka

on hidemi sugino, stick to his best cakes, and the fruit tart , they are good, as for the rest like mango mousses etc.. they are not as spectacular

Dec 22, 2013
Lucil in Japan

Trip report!!

nice report....
had the sweet potato from kondo few years ago and i agree it definately is too much for a person, haha..
and desserts at ryugin are always cool and excellent stuff..
shinshin is good, not too fatty

Dec 21, 2013
Lucil in Japan

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

Actually a question , if this was the meaning that you think might lead to no good, ;)

Dec 16, 2013
Lucil in Japan

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

-> Gargle
openly discussing invitation only restaurants (but rule not strictly enforced) on global forums makes chefs less wanting to accept 1st timer foreign guests , if the number of foreign guests outweighs local ones??

Dec 15, 2013
Lucil in Japan

Trip report November

Downgraded to one star for Den in latest edition

Dec 06, 2013
Lucil in Japan