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Craft beer bars in Tokyo

Last week I went to Hops 125, a new craft beer restaurant in Ebisu. Hops 125 takes over the spot formerly occupied by the New Zealand wine bar Aotea Rangi. It might be the same owner since there are some dishes and wines from New Zealand on the menu. There are 16 craft beers on tap, equally divided between domestic and foreign brews. The beers are well-chosen and the food is generally good (though I was not a fan of the fish part of their fish and chips).

http://hops125.com/

Mar 02, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

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

You can find their address and a map on their Tabelog page.

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1307/A13070...

Feb 22, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

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

Don't make waves, Uncle Yabai.

Feb 17, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

8 Night Tokyo/Kyoto/Hiroshima Itinerary - Feedback Greatly Appreciated

While I generally agree with your comment about sushi on Sundays, wouldn't the Sushisho genre be an exception since much of their fish is aged and/or cured?

Jan 23, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Craft beer bars in Tokyo

These are the craft beer places that I go to fairly regularly and can recommend. I tend to like hoppy IPAs and this type of beer can be found at the below places listed.

1. Ushitora in Shimo Kitazawa
2. Naka Meguro Taproom in Naka Meguro
3. Bashamichi Taproom in Bashamichi (Yokohama)
4. Ant 'n' Bee in Roppongi
5. Antenna America in Kannai (Yokohama)
6. Devilcraft in Hamamatsucho and Kanda
7. Bulldog in Ginza
8. Thrash Zone in Yokohama

A new place in Roppongi opened recently that sounds promising. It's called Two Dogs and apparently they have 20 beers on tap daily, which will be expanded to 30 in the near future. They serve a few of their own beers and will be a fully operational brewery at some point.

http://www.twodogs-tokyo.com/

Jan 10, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Imported food/beverage tips for LOCALS

I think kamiosaki is referring to the Foreign Buyers' Club.

http://www.fbcusa.com/

Oct 26, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Kanazawa - Zeniya - contact

Here is Zeniya's homepage:
http://www.zeniya.ne.jp/

Tabelog page:
http://tabelog.com/ishikawa/A1701/A17...

Reservations can be made online from both their homepage and from the Tabelog page. However, the online forms are in Japanese only.

Oct 02, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo for four days, help me fill in the blanks?

Narisawa is a French restaurant, not kaiseki. Here is their homepage:

http://www.narisawa-yoshihiro.com/

Sep 24, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Saito & Miyako Sushi - How difficult is it to make reservations?

Here is the Tabelog page for Sushi Ookawahara:

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...

Sep 22, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Alternates to Torishiki

The Torishiki spin-off that Silverjay referenced is called Gallus. Robbie Swinnerton wrote a review for the Japan Times a few months ago.

Japan Times article:
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/06/21/food/gallus-torishiki-spinoff-is-a-chick-of-the-same-feather/#.UjJD-dJmim4

Tabelog:
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1316/A13160...

Sep 12, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

NYTimes recs--what do you think

I have been to Izakaya Vin a few times and always enjoyed it. That said, I agree with the others who feel that it is a bizarre recommendation for someone who has only 36 hours to spend in Tokyo. It makes me really suspicious of the restaurant recommendations in the other cities of the 36 hour series. Here is a link to the article for those interested.

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/...

May 04, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

10 days to eat our way through Japan: Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Tokyo...Please help!

Since the OP will stay in Shinjuku, Fuku would be quite convenient. Yoyogi Uehara is just a 5 minute train ride from Shinjuku on the Odakyu line, and the restaurant is a 5 minute walk from the station.

May 02, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Kohaku

In case anyone needs it, here is the Tabelog page for Kohaku in Kagurazaka.

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1309/A13090...

I went last March and had an excellent meal. One of the highlights was crab sashimi in what is likely the same vinegared jelly served to the original poster. Photo are attached.

Feb 05, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

Food & Drink Blogs for Tokyo, Kyoto and other cities

For an English-language blog that features more casual fare, I recommend Tokyo Eats.

http://www.tokyoeats.jp/

This blog is run by Maki, a graphic designer with a predilection for stylish cafes and bistros. She is an excellent photographer as well, which is apparent as soon as you check out any of her posts.

Jan 15, 2013
ruprecht25 in Japan

White Smoke Texas smokehouse - anyone been?

White Smoke has made the tabehoudai deal part of their regular menu, so you still have an opportunity to check it out. There are some changes, though. There is now a 2-hour time limit, side dishes are limited to one per person, and at least one drink must be ordered. More details can be found here:

http://www.thebettertable.com/all-you...

Dec 25, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Are there any Jewish restaurants in Tokyo or Kyoto?

This is a short discussion about pastrami sandwiches in this thread:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760483

Nov 20, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

White Smoke Texas smokehouse - anyone been?

White Smoke is having a special promotion from now through December 18. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during this period, they are offering an All You Can Eat deal for 5,000 yen. This deal includes everything on the menu except for drinks and dessert. Here is the URL with more information.

http://www.thebettertable.com/all-you...

Nov 19, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Canned pumpkin

For some reason, from last year (or possibly two years ago) the international supermarkets stopped carrying canned pumpkin. Previously stores such as National Azabu, Denen Supermarket, and Nissin carried the Libby's brand. It was also sold via some Rakuten stores. Stokely's canned pumpkin is now available from a couple of Rakuten stores, but I haven't seen it or any other brands in the supermarkets. Have you tried calling Costco?

Oct 04, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Takazawa

Robbie Swinnerton wrote about a recent dining experience at the new Takazawa in last Friday's Japan Times. Here is the article:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fg20120615rs.html#.T-Gc3hctiSo

He also provided more detailed information in a blog post.

http://foodfile.typepad.com/blog/2012...

The signature Ratatouille is still being served, along with a couple of other familiar dishes such as the pork rillettes. There seems to be more seafood than before, though.

Jun 20, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

White Smoke Texas smokehouse - anyone been?

>If you think, "the price of food in the USA should be the same as the prices in Tokyo" then you shouldn't go out anywhere in Japan.

Thanks for the advice. I don't think this way, though.

I generally liked the quality of the Dinosaur Rib when I tried it. I just wasn't thrilled with the cost/performance. While they advertise the size as being 500g, the bones are substantial and seemed to account for about half of the weight. One portion was not nearly enough for me, though granted I am a large eater.

I don't begrudge Craig for charging the prices that he does. The Azabu Juban location is certainly not cheap, he created a nice space, and his concept is unique in Tokyo. In particular, the Dinosaur Rib is a dish you can probably find only at White Smoke in all of Japan. He does good business, so he obviously knows what he's doing.

>"where can you go and get ~500g of meat of the same quality in Tokyo for a cheaper or even equal price?"

Have you tried Wakanui, on the other side of Azabu Juban (Higashi Azabu, actually) as White Smoke? For 8,800 yen they offer a 1kg bone-in ribeye Angus steak that is excellent. It's grilled over binchotan charcoal, not BBQed, however. For me, that steak passed the cost/performance test. After presenting the just-grilled steak to us, the waiter sliced it into a few more manageable pieces. It was plenty for the two of us. The wine list is unexciting and a touch pricey, however.

wakanui.jp

Full and half portion photos of Wakanui's 1kg ribeye are attached.

May 16, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Is food in Japan safe after Tsunami? Is traveling Recommended? Also please give restaurant suggestions.

If you loved the Molecular Tapas Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, you may want to consider Yamada Chikara in Minami Azabu. Caveat - I have never been there, but if you do some Googling you will find some glowing testimonials. The chef apparently worked at El Bulli for a while before opening his own place.

http://www.yamadachikara.com/

Dinner is 16K yen per person, unless the price has changed in the past several months.

Mar 08, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

where to buy absolut peppar in tokyo

I searched and there are a few shops that sell the 750ml bottles on Rakuten. No signs of the 1 litre size, unfortunately.

http://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/ma...

Also, I think it would be worthwhile to check at the Duty Free shops at Narita Airport. I wouldn't be surprised if they sold Absolut Peppar there.

Mar 08, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Zauo/ other "weird" restaurants

Robb, are you referring to Beer Rock in your post above? I really liked that place and I always enjoyed talking with the owner. Does anyone know if he opened up a new bar elsewhere?

Feb 24, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Any Suggestions for the Best Mid-Level Sushi in Tokyo?

The braised pork dish you had at Tamoiyanse is called buta no kakuni (豚の角煮 or just 角煮). Their menu is posted online at their website at the below URL.

http://tamoiyanse.com/

Feb 07, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

White Smoke Texas smokehouse - anyone been?

Thank you for the information about California Wine Garden, Asomaniac. I have walked by there many times, but have never stopped in for a drink. Apparently that will have to change soon.

Speaking of Azabu Juban wine bars, have you been to Vino Hirata? Way back in the day I went to Cucina Hirata a few times for some wallet-emptying dinners, but had never been to Vino Hirata until a few weeks ago. Contrary to my experience at Cucina Hirata, I found some of the wines at Vino Hirata to be well-chosen and with reasonable mark-ups. Very nice setting, too.

Since I am venturing off-topic anyway, thanks to you I bought a few bottles of Percarlo for the holidays and drank a bottle recently. It's such a nice wine, with both complexity and balance.

Feb 06, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

sake-related request

Unfortunately I haven't been to either of the places that you listed, so I would not be able to provide an introduction. I would love to join if you need company, though.

According to the below post by the dearly departed (from this country, not necessarily this board) jem589, a fairly regular member of this board (whom we know) joined him at Shutoan. I think she may be out of town at the moment, but hopefully she can be persuaded to arrange something in the near future.

http://iitokorone.blogspot.com/2010/0...

Feb 02, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

White Smoke Texas smokehouse - anyone been?

I have been to White Smoke twice for dinner. Overall I think the quality of the food is quite good. However, their BBQ is uniformly over-priced, and in the case of the "Dinosaur" short ribs, insanely so.

I just checked their website and they have raised their priced over the last time I was there. The first time I went, the Dinosaur ribs were 4,200 yen and while I enjoyed them, I felt substantially over-charged. Now, it seems that they are charging 7,000 yen for this dish. For this amount, you could easily feed a family of 5-6 at the best BBQ joints in the U.S. The ribs weigh in at 450 grams, but half of that weight is the bone. Therefore, you get about 250 grams of meat for 7K yen. I would avoid this dish unless someone else is paying. Even then, I would still recommend ordering something else.

On the plus side, the quality of the beef brisket is very good and it's not as severely over-priced as the short ribs. Definitely order the brisket. Also worth ordering are the baby back pork ribs and smoked chicken.

From the sides, I liked the apple cabbage cole slaw and the roasted shallots with watercress. If you like dessert, their pecan pie is excellent.

URL: http://thebettertable.com/

Feb 01, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Has anyone been for dinner at L'Effervescence?

Robbie Swinnerton wrote two recent reviews of L'Effervescence, both in the Japan Times newspaper and on his blog.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fg20111202rs.html
http://foodfile.typepad.com/blog/2011...

Jan 30, 2012
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo izakaya/yakitori recommendations (for people living in Japan)

I haven't been there in several years, but I am sure Kushiwakamaru in Naka Meguro is still worth checking out for tasty, reasonably-priced yakitori. It's been around forever and it's a fun place with a classic atmosphere.

http://r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A131701/13003193/
http://www.inpraiseofizakaya.com/in-p...

Nov 01, 2011
ruprecht25 in Japan

Florilege in Aoyama

Has anyone been to Florilege, a French restaurant in Aoyama? It opened in September 2009 and the chef is the former sous chef at Quintessence. For what it's worth, the restaurant gets a very high score on Tabelog and there is a two month wait to get a table on weekends (I called). According to their website, they only offer a set course for dinner, but it's a fairly reasonable 10,500 yen.
http://www.aoyama-florilege.jp/

Aug 26, 2011
ruprecht25 in Japan