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Kai...is it still exceptional?

Thanks for answering.

Feb 28, 2013
lkomar in Phoenix

Kai...is it still exceptional?

Many thanks for answering, I have read your comments on the Phoenix board with interest. I checked the menu at the downtown Sheraton and it seems like a very standard restaurant menu and does not seem to have been influenced by the arrival of Chef O'Dowd at all. I also checked the menu at Kai and it seems unchanged. Not sure whether we will go there tomorrow night or not. I may call both restaurants and check whether their menus are what is posted on line or not.

Feb 28, 2013
lkomar in Phoenix

Kai...is it still exceptional?

I am in Phoenix for another 4 nights. I wanted to take some relatives out for an exceptional dinner. I was intending to take them to Kai but did not check the Chowhound boards before leaving Toronto. Since arriving here one Chowhounder has mentioned that the chef at Kai left in Dec 2012. Can anyone confirm this? And if this is true, has anyone eaten there since the change of chefs? Is is still exceptional? Other suggestions welcome, Binkley's seems to have had excellent reviews. Many thanks in advance.

Feb 27, 2013
lkomar in Phoenix

Best Kyoto restaurants

Sorry I was celebrating Easter ( on the Julian calendar) and did no pick up email. To answer your question we stayed at the Kanamean. It was a wonderful experience. It was costly but I think it was worth it., it is not likely that I will ever have the experience again. We were supplied with kimonos to wear in the ryokan as well as those special Japanese socks. We had an amazing wooden tub. Whatever we asked for was supplied. But then I did promise and deliver Canadian icewine, so maybe that helped us get a little bit of special service. Not sure. They are really JAPANESE. There was really only one hostess that was assigned to us as her English was the best. I actually had emailed back and forth with the proprietor/manager before arrival...so it was almost like meeting a friend when we got there. I have to say we almost felt like their "pets". they were quite emotional when we were leaving.

Apr 17, 2012
lkomar in Japan

Best Kyoto restaurants

Hi there, as the personwho started this thread I feel compelled to respond even though I will not be answering your question. We stayed as I mentioned in the only 3 Michlen star ryokan in Kyoto. The experience was AMAZING!!! Although we had booked at the second lowest entry point...we ended up bumped upto the second highest at the same price by the time we arrived in Kyoto. We had chosen this ryokan as we were not penalized if we didn't eat there...at the other we paid for the dinner regardless of whether we ate there that night or not. In the ned we ended up eating dinner at our ryokan every night. Having a different type of meal each night. So the first night we had a traditional meal wiht the the toro I had asked for and the Kobe beef I had asked for. The second night we wanted something lighter as frined had taken us out to a 2 michelin star tofu restaurant in Tokyo...so we asked for a tempura dinner...we still had I guess left ovr toro and leftover Kobe beef and delighful tempura. The nect night we had a sushi dinner...it was great....this ryokan is a few blocks form the Nikishi market and it was great but we had been spolied by the fact that we had had lunch at Suzhi Daiwoo just off the Tsukjii Fish Marke while in Tokyo ( we got in at 12;15 after waiting only 10 min and were allowed to stay until closing....whihc was a much better experience than what i had read about wiht the long waits and only 15-20 min allowed to sit there ). At any rate after 3 melas at the ryokan..the last night we had a traditional chabu-chabu ( sorry I may spelling it the worng way)....at any rate....the entire experience was phenonemal. We were so tired because of the rain and difficultied in getting places...that we felt we didn't need to go beyond this ryokan....we may have missed out....but in my mind we had a once in a life time experience.
So I don't think Ihat I have helped in your decision between restaurants....but my understanding is that you can book dinner at this ryokan even if you do not stay there...and from my experience...it woudl be well worth it.
Have a great trip.

Apr 13, 2012
lkomar in Japan

Best Kyoto restaurants

Thank you for your suggestion. I read about Nishiki in some of the other posts.Thank you for the suggestion ofharise, I will look it up. Yes I think we willbe having a bento box lunch at Hyo-Tei.

Jun 05, 2010
lkomar in Japan

Honeymoon in Japan looking for two TOP recommendations

Thank you, Dingaling, that is helpful.

May 31, 2010
lkomar in Japan

Honeymoon in Japan looking for two TOP recommendations

Dingaling, can you expand on your experience. Creations de Narizawa is rated #24 on the World's best restaurants list and I was actually conseidering tryingit when in Tokyo in the next few weeks? I was a bit worried that the fod might be somiliar to what I woudl get at home in North America.

May 31, 2010
lkomar in Japan

Very spicy food in Tokyo

Have you thought about Chen Kenichi, the Iron Chef's restaurants in Tokyo. I belive he has 3.I will be travelling to Tokyo myself in 2 weeks and was considering going to one of his restaurants. But it would be interesting to hear from locals or Tokyo regulars.

May 31, 2010
lkomar in Japan

Best Kyoto restaurants

We will be travelling to Kyoto in 2 weeks arriving Tues June 15 and staying for 4 nights. We will be staying at Kanamean Nishitomiya ryokan, where we will be ahving breakfast every day and dinner at least onc eif not twice.
We are interested in trying other excellent restaurants and in fcat it was becasue of the flexibilty of this ryokan that we chose it over Hiragiya.
I have read the controversial posts on Hyo-tei and it seems the riveies of KikunoiHonten are favourable.
Any other suggestions: what about Tsuuruya, Mizai, Kitcho Arashiyama?
And what about non-Michelin rated ones as I understand some very traditional restaratuers have boycotted the Michelin rating.

Any help would be VERY Much apprecated!!!!
Domo arigato.

May 31, 2010
lkomar in Japan

Indian....again

Keepingwith the original question, where would people reccomend for fine Indian dining? Haven't seen anything on the boards about Amaya, there is a tiny bit about the Amaya Bread Bar. It got rave reviews intially, has it gone downhill that quickly or do people just find it overpriced? And is that because people are not willing to pay more for finer Indian food? I was not impressed with either the Indian Rice Factory or Jaipur Grille when I ate there. Thanks in advance for any suggestiorns. Cheers.

Mar 23, 2009
lkomar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Looking for Best Frites in Toronto

Merlot at Royal York & Bloor and Matignon on Balmuto ( I believe ) both have very good frites. And of course they are one of Jamie Kennedy's signature dishes.

Dec 18, 2007
lkomar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Thuet - WTF?

I am a fan of Alsatian wine with Gewurtztraminer being my favourite and 2 years ago a friend and I went to Thuet to celebrate my birthday. I had been eagerly awaiting this dinner. Unfortunately, it was the one of the worst dining experiences of my life. We did not wait to be seated but service was slow. The place was half empty but there was a table of about 6 who came in after us who seemed to be getting more attention and swifter service. There was no Alstian Gewurtztrminer on the list of wines by the glass...this in a restaurant where the Chef claims he wants to highlight Alsace, his home. The waitress did not offer to open a bottle so I had to order the Cremant D'Alsace to get any Alstian wine by the glass. My friend ( who had spent 11 years...6 months a year living in Antibes ) ordered the tasting menu...I was hesitant about some of the things on the menu so luckily I opted to go a la carte. Our 3 rd course was definitley not warm and the plates were cold... we realized then that the previous 2 courses which had also been lukewarm probably should have been warm as well. We complained. We received a glass of icewine each as an appeasement. But when my friend decided she couldn't eat the pig trotters that were on her tasting menu....to make a long story short...we had a discussion with Chef Marc who got into an out and out fight about classical French cuisine with my friend and who didn't want to believe that I couldn't get a glass of Alsatian Gewurtztraminer in his restaraunt by the glass and asked why I didn't ask the waitress to open a bottle for me as if I should have known to do this because he can always use the Gewurtztraminer in his cooking..to which I replied I she didn't offer and I didn't know I could make such demands.Then he wanted to know why we hadn't complained earlier when the first few courses were not warm. His wife came over to aplogize for the bar, saying she had been in the back doing the books and that this particular waitress was new. I was offered a glass of Gewuztraminer which I deciined as I told them that I had a limit to the amount I could drink and wouldn't even be drinking the icewine that they had offered...and that perhaps they need to realize that people that have to drive themselves home can only drink so much wine...which is why it is even more imprtant that they be able to drink what they actually want to drink. We finally got our desserts ( the first ones that came were not ours ) and when the bill came I didn't know if they didn't charge us for wine and desserts because they had yet made another mistake or whether this was their offer of an apology for such bad service as they did not mention anything to us....So I had to ask them about the lack of charges as uncomfortable as it was... because I did not want to take advantage of them if they were not making us a peace offering.
I still love Alsatian wine but I am very hesitant to go back. to Thuet..even not paying for the desserts and the wine it was an expensive evening and I am not sure I want to go through something like that again. When you realize that dinner at The French Laundry is $225 each for the dinner and $95 each for the wines and it is a wonderful experience...it makes you wonder. I do get their emails and some of the events look interesting but...I think the only way I would go back is if I were offered a free dinner.

Dec 18, 2007
lkomar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

East Europe Stews Wanted - Russian,Ukrainian,etc.

You can try The Golden Lion...it is Ukrainian and has very good Ukrainian food. Among the many items is a type of stew that is cooked in a ceramic pot.
On the weekends it has live music. It is located near Islington and the Queesnway.

www.goldenlion.ca

Dec 18, 2007
lkomar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)