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Restaurant recommendations for Feb 2015 Japan Trip

For an alternative to Kyo Aji, I would recommend Chawanbu in the Arakicho area of Yotsuya. The master, Mr. Buzawa, worked at Kyo Aji for several years along with Mr. Kurogi. There are a few dishes served at Chawanbu that are the same or similar to ones you would get at Kyo Aji and Kurogi. After several Kyoto dishes, you will then get a selection of excellent nigiri made by their sushi master. The cost without drinks is around 12K, if memory serves. You can find some reviews in English via Google, and their Tabelog page is here:

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

Dec 19, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

I was at Sushi Tsu last night, and can confirm that they do indeed serve keiji salmon.

Dec 14, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Obana vs. Kabuto + a sushi question...

On Tabelog, you can find many photos of the menu here:

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1305/A13050...

Nov 21, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Name of Chewy Tofu in Japan?

Here is another example of goma tofu. This is served as an appetizer at Kurogi in Yushima. Kurogi's version I think is baked and is most decidedly chewy.

Nov 17, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan
1

Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

I have only been to The Mash Tun a couple of times, but I agree it's an excellent bar. Suzuki-san, the proprietor, originally came from Speyside Way, the whiskey bar in Jiyugaoka I mentioned earlier. The Mash Tun not only has a great whiskey selection, but also a tremendous variety of Absinthe and rums.

Sep 17, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan
1

Questions re. Cocktail Bars, Sake Pubs, Jazz Lounges, etc.

To sample rare whiskies, I highly recommend Speyside Way in Jiyugaoka. Their inventory of whiskies nears four figures, and they have around 300 different bottles at the bar on any given day. The atmosphere is somewhat formal and dark and the service fits your criteria of being "no-nonsense old school".

http://www.speysideway.co.jp/

Sep 16, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan
1

Tapas Molecular Bar

I haven't been there, but apparently the cuisine at FLATiRON in the Tokyo American Club is considered molecular gastronomy.

http://www.tokyoamericanclub.org/wine...

Sep 16, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

I would just like to add a few comments to Robb's excellent post.

If you go to Toki no Ma in Ebisu, I highly recommend the smoked mackerel. My friend and I ordered it the first time we visited Toki no Ma, and after the first bite, we both looked at each other and asked, "Is this as good as I think it is?" It was.

I am by no means an expert, but there are three yakiniku places that I can recommend for the quality of the beef. For a place with a casual, old-school atmosphere, try Yakiniku Champion in Ebisu. For a more upscale, elegant atmosphere, either Yoroniku in Minami Aoyama or Ushigoro in Nishi Azabu. If you Google Yoroniku, you can find the links to several gushing reviews in English. The reviews are justified, but it's not easy to reserve a table there.

Yakiniku Champion
http://www.yakiniku-champion.com/honten/

Yoroniku
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1306/A13060...

Ushigoro
http://www.ushigoro.com/jp/

Sep 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

First time in Japan (Opinion on my list of places to go to)

There are several threads that reference Sushi Yasuda. Here are the links to the two most prominent ones.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9239...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8296...

Sep 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan
1

Shokuyoku no Aki -- Delicious Autumn

I went to Kurogi (humblebrag) at the end of August and was served matsutake mushrooms in two different preparations. In the first dish, the matsutake mushrooms were sliced thinly and cooked in a broth with hamo and leeks. The second dish was exactly as mentioned by Tokyite - grilled over charcoal with sudachi.

The other photos are of ayu from two separate rivers in Japan, plus a shot of Mr. Kurogi slicing hamo and the resulting dish.

Sep 07, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Where to stay in Tokyo for Chowhounds?

Good call. :-)

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8849...

At least you kept it on-topic by referencing "soup".

Aug 26, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Veg-friendly Tokyo/Kyoto + Itinerary: help fill in some blanks?

Regarding Chabuton, the Shimo Kitazawa branch is the closest to Shinjuku. Shimo Kitazawa station is a 10 minute train ride from Shinjuku on the Odakyu line.

http://www.chabuton.com/chabuton/shop...

Aug 26, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Wine bars in Tokyo

You wrote above that Parabola will be "like your second home during daytime while in Tokyo". Please be advised that according to their website, Parabola opens daily from 6pm.

http://www.parabola7.com/

Aug 19, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Bear steak in Tokyo or Kyoto

Last December, I was served a large bear filet at Passo a Passo in Monzen-Nakacho. The chef is a game fanatic and will include at least a couple of gibier dishes in his winter courses. The attached photos are an appetizer of pates and terrines made with wild boar, badger, bear, wild duck, and pheasant, and the roasted bear filet.

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1313/A13130...

Aug 12, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Salmon at any sushi-ya in Tokyo?

In this context, it means the fish has been seared with a blowtorch.

Aug 11, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo 5 days,Kaiseki and Unagi choices.

markmich, congratulations on securing reservations at Matsukawa. You must be overjoyed. If you are not aware, reservations at Matsukawa are among the most precious in the city.

I wish I could take you up on your generous offer of a free dinner at Matsukawa with you in exchange for verification that I ate there, but unfortunately I have yet to enjoy that privilege. A dinner at Royal Host is a splurge for me these days. However, I have a suggestion. There is no shortage of people who have blogged about their transformative experience at Matsukawa. Why don't you try using one of their names?

Aug 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan
1

My plan for the sidetrip to Kyoto is finished

La Boucherie du Buppa in Naka Meguro specializes in game meats and they often serve bear.

http://dubuppa.com/

Aug 04, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Are there any Sushi Mitani regulars here?

I cannot help you with reservations (I 'd love to go back myself), but I can confirm that the menu at lunch is the same as dinner. I hope you are able to get a reservation - my experience at Mitani was fantastic.

Aug 02, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Kurogi opening hours for lunch - Japanese language help

In a previous sushi thread, I seem to recall that you wanted to order the dinner course at lunch in order to sample the best the restaurant has to offer. I bring this up because I am fairly sure that the lunch set at Kurogi is quite different from the dinner course, and I don't believe the dinner course can be ordered during lunch time. If this is important to you, I would recommend that you confirm this with the restaurant before making a reservation.

Jul 29, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Osaka

Hajime has an online reservation form in English that you can try.

https://www.hajime-reservation.com/form/

Jul 23, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo / Izuhanto. Please review my trip.

There are actually 2 Midori Sushi restaurants in Umegaoka. Go to the original shop. Here is the link:
http://www.sushinomidori.co.jp/honkan...

May 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo / Izuhanto. Please review my trip.

I usually go to Midori Sushi around 8:45pm Tuesday - Friday. At that hour, there is usually little or no wait. However, the restaurant closes promptly at 10pm so you have to finish your meal by then.

May 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

Tokyo / Izuhanto. Please review my trip.

For reasonably priced sushi, I would consider going to Midori Sushi in Umegaoka in place of one of the standing sushi restaurants. Midori Sushi is an extremely popular sushi restaurant due to its strong cost vs performance ratio. Including drinks, the cost is usually no more than 4K-5K yen even for big eaters. The downside is that they do not take reservations and you may have to line up for up to an hour depending on the time of day. Umegaoka is just 2 stops from Shimo Kitazawa on the Odakyu line.
http://www.sushinomidori.co.jp/

As for yakitori, Fuku would be a good option. Fuku is located in Yoyogi Uehara, also just 2 stations away from Shimo Kitazawa on the Odakyu line, but in the opposite direction from Umegaoka. Fuku has been discussed often on this board and a search would come up with many hits.
http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1318/A13181...

May 09, 2014
ruprecht25 in Japan

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