c

catsluvcofffee's Profile

Title Last Reply

After 11 days in Tokyo..

Hi all,

Had a wonderful foodie trip in Tokyo. Thanks for all the help rendered! Here's some of the highlights of my trip...

1. Butagumi - had the most wonderful Iberico pork tonkatsu here. This has to be the best rosu tonkatsu I have tasted. Not for the healthy conscious though.

2. Ginka - had their grilled black cod and saba. Very nice and rates as #2 comfort food in Japan for me!

3. Souten - Their yakitori (especially the kidney) and chicken sashimi moriawase was to die for. Tender, juicy and unforgettable.

4. Otafuku - has to be #1 comfort food in Japan for me! The warm soup was heavenly. The oden pieces were soft, moist and fell apart easily. It's a must go despite the long walking distance.

5. Sasanoyuki - had the Tofu kaiseki lunch set. Goma doufu is nice...mmm

6. Sushi Saito - This is the HIGHLIGHT of the trip for both my hubby and me. We have never tasted sushi like that. Every piece tasted different and was simply wonderful. It was educational. We promised ourselves to come back again.

7. Steak Satou - Had the matsusaka beef which has to be the most tender beef I have tasted. Absolutely divine.

8. Aronia - Had mixed feelings about this as this was the most expensive meal and yet not every dish tasted great. There were the hits like the bread with pate, Candle and Cheesecake but some courses like the Wagyu and Ratatouille did nothing for me. It was a notch better than Tapas Molecular bar, though which was also good but on the whole, did not give me any OMG moments. Don't get me wrong, these two are great places. Every dish was well thought out and executed perfectly. But I derived greater pleasures from simple meals like oden eaten on a cold day!

Thanks for the taking the time to read through!

Dec 16, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Yea, that's what I hoped.

Dec 03, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Hi,

I just managed to stumble upon the Tabelog ratings for Souten (my problem is I can't search Tabelog based on the name Souten and need the kanji for it.). Seems really promising but seems like it's really popular and gonna be fully booked as well!

Dec 02, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

No prob. I'm disappointed. I have started planning for this trip long ago but didn't realise how difficult it is to get reservations. In Singapore, this only happens with a few extremely popular restaurants, and then, only on weekends.

Dec 02, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

No prob. With the exception of Kabuto, restaurants in Ikebukuro don't seem to get highly rated in Tabelog..

Dec 02, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Yup. I read that, which was why I badly wanted to go Fuku, even though it's not that highly rated in Tabelog. Odako was more because I would be in the Ueno side that day and wanted to try some oden before moving on to Seigetsu (a recommendation found from bento.com!)

"Oden and Horse Meat Babayoshio" looks like a real potential for late night supper back in Ikebukuro. Thanks for the rec!

Dec 01, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Thanks!

Dec 01, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Really? This board seems to wax lyrical about Fuku and I was looking forward to trying the food there! I suppose I would just select another restaurant then.

I stay in Ikebukuro.

Nov 30, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Not able to obtain reservations at Fuku! What should I do?

Despite contacting my hotel concierge more than a week ago, I couldn't secure reservations at either Fuku or Odako for next week.

Would your advice be to simply settle for another restaurant (another round of emails with the hotel!) or to attempt to go to these two places early, hoping to get seats?

Thanks for any advice!

Nov 30, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Singapore Casino Restaurants

Can't recommend Santi. Just not very impressed by it...

Black Cod in Tokyo?

Hmm, I'll be there from 4th-13th Dec. Probably will have to check Tabelog again before going! Thanks!

Nov 22, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Black Cod in Tokyo?

I checked Tabelog and it seems like this place is closed. I was really looking forward to finding it for my upcoming trip!

Nov 20, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Oyako don in Tokyo?

Yes, I understand that for good food in Japan, you will have to queue, just like in Singapore!

Nov 16, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Oyako don in Tokyo?

Thank you! Tamahide was not mentioned in those threads you talked about and I was wondering if it was worth the queue! I shall try your rec instead.

Nov 15, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Oyako don in Tokyo?

I'm looking for great oyako don for lunch. Is Tamahide the best place to go for that? Or is it over rated?

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

Nov 15, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Does anyone have recs for Kawaguchiko or Gotenba?

I will need recs for 2 lunches and 1 dinner at these places. I tried tabelog and most of the places seem to sell noodles mainly. How about other cuisine like shabu shabu? I'm not interested in non-japanese stuff especially in a place like Kawaguchiko.

Any advice is appreciated! Thank you!

Nov 14, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Any thoughts on Steak Satou?

Hi,

I heard rave reviews of Steak Satou in Kichijoji. However, I have seen relatively little discussion regarding this place and wonder if it's worth the trip all the way to Kichijoji for the Matsuzaka Beef? If not, does anyone have any recommendations for beef in Tokyo?

Thanks!

Nov 13, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Reports from Sushi Saito, Sushi Kanesaka, Esaki, L'osier...

Lucky you. I emailed my hotel but they are a little slow in responding to me. Last resort will be my friend who speaks limited Japanese!

Nov 09, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Reports from Sushi Saito, Sushi Kanesaka, Esaki, L'osier...

Different from my experience. The person who answered told me to reserve via my hotel! And I called from Singapore! ;(

Nov 07, 2010
catsluvcofffee in Japan

Trip Report (Rome, Tuscany, Venice)

I believe that as well! if my experience was outstanding, the price is a secondary issue. We went into the Antico Arco well expecting that type of pricing. Perhaps the dishes we ordered were not to our liking! After all we only went once.

On the other hand, without Chowhound, I would not have discovered gems like Da Rioba or Il Ridotto.

Jun 23, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Trip Report (Rome, Tuscany, Venice)

Hi, back from Italy and would like to give my 2 cents worth on certain "internet famous" restaurants I've eaten at since I have used this website extensively to select my chow places!

Overall experience:
Average. I had some really great food and some really bad food. Perhaps I left with over high expectations and did not attain the type of food epiphany I experienced when I was in Japan.

Rome:
Armando Al Pantheon: Easily the best of the lot in Rome.
Carbonara sauce was a little too salty but the ham was flavorful.
Grilled lamb was nicely done, crisp but tender. Again on the salty side. House white was great!

Matricianella: Not worth it!
Cacio e pepe was ordinary and too salty.
Grilled lamb was dry and way too salty.

Antico Arco: Overall, I didn't really think that Antico Arco was worth the price I paid for.
While the service was impeccable - they gave us a wrong dish and graciously placed it on the house, the food wasn't. We had the
Small anchovies and burrata cheese pie with zucchini flowers (wrong order but easily the most flavorful and most interesting dish!)
Small macaroni with amatriciana sauce (ordinary)
Crispy suckling pig in a sweet & sour sauce, fennel and citrus soufflé (3 small and tender medallions. While not bad, not worth the price)
“Milanese style” veal cutlet with stick potatoes and salty lemon sorbet (Sorry, just did not like the taste)

Da Baffeto:
Had the Quattro Formaggi and the Da Baffeto. Both great (I am still dreaming of the gorgonzola cheese dripping off the crust!) I understand that this may not be the best pizzeria but if this is representative of Roman pizza, it is easily the best I ever had in my life.

Pienza:
La Buca Di Enea:
This was recommended by my b&b host and it was great! We had the spinach tortellini with ricotta cheese and the crepes with quattro formaggi filling (both less than 10 euros). Delicious!

Latte Di Luna:
Not up to expectations. Suckling pig and truffle tagliatelle were delicious and worth every penny but Latte Di Luna has this godlike reputation online which led me to imagine earthshaking flavours! What did surprise me was the extremely sweet and fresh melon we had after dinner. We could NEVER get such sweet melon in Singapore.

Montepulciano:
Osteria Acquacheta (on recommendations by b&b host to only sample their meat dishes!)
We had the perfect lunch experience here in this osteria where we could watch the going ons in the kitchen. We tasted our first bistecca alla fiorentina and were amazed! We also had the mashed potato with truffle shavings and lava chocolate cake. All very nice. The owner was a colourful character and the waitresses were sweet.

Venice:
Da Rioba:
After Rome and Tuscany, I was frankly surprised to see fine dining style dishes at this moderately priced restaurant. To prove my point, I'm posting a pic of Da Rioba's starter fish dish (IMG 2194) and Anice Stellato's similarly priced fish cichetti (IMG 2243). I was really impressed by the presentation and freshness of the ingredients used at Da Rioba. Every dish we had were delicious. Anice Stellato, despite being on guidebook recommendations, was disappointing.

Ill Ridotto:
Here, dishes focuses on the texture and freshness of the ingredients. But I must say that his amuse bouches were the stars. We went twice and both times, we ended up wishing that the main dishes were as sublimal as his amuse-bouches. Otherwise, while every dish is good, just not as mind blowing as I imagined.

Nevertheless, I can understand the fuss over Il Ridotto which is why we bothered to go twice. Btw his version of Tiramisu was fantastic (cold, sweet and completely drenched in espresso), a standard sadly lacking in all the other restaurants we were at in Italy.

Jun 23, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Turin or Bologna?

yup, after the pre requisite Rome Florence Venice, I found scant time left for other places. Thanks for all the replies, ever so grateful! I do suppose i will go Turin this time round and if fate permits, Bologna if i do return!

Apr 29, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Turin or Bologna?

That thought crossed my mind so many times! But would it be equivalent to visiting Paris without taking a look at Eiffel Tower? I forgot to mention that this is my first and probably only trip to Italy.

Apr 28, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Turin or Bologna?

My hubby loves rich and hearty cuisine which was why I was tempted by Bologna. The reviews of Hosteria Guisti on this board was also a big factor. But reading your reply makes me want to go Turin even more now!

Apr 28, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Turin or Bologna?

What about Linate Airport? I am departing via Linate. Ooh yes, that really made feel more and more inclined towards Turin!

Apr 28, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy

Turin or Bologna?

Hi,
I will be in Italy for 2 weeks and going from Rome(3n) to Tuscany(4n) to Venice(3n) and finally departing in Milan. I am really in a dilemma whether I should spend the remaining 2 nights in Bologna or Turin.

While Turin is really out of the way, 5 hours away from Venice, I really really would like to sample the gianduja and visit Eataly. I also read alot about the exceptional food in Piemonte region.

Bologna is along the way from Florence to Venice and I have heard lots of Parma/Modena/Bologna (cheese, giusti, lasagna etc). I love pork btw too!

Which area would give me a more unforgettable gastronomic experience? Or should I simply cut out the Venice leg and visit both regions?

Thank you! I will be grateful for any answers!

Apr 27, 2009
catsluvcofffee in Italy