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Momen, Osaka (kappo)

that's the correct page.

they might have something available for 2015 if you get in quick...

May 29, 2014
anarcist in Japan

Kumamoto, Aso, Takachiho Gorge, Kurokawa Onsen, Usaki, Beppu, Yufuin, Hakata/Fukuoka

* Fukuoka:
There's 3 yatai maps here:

There's an izakaya called Hakatabei near Kushida shrine which I really like.

It's not Fukuoka food, but I really like a soba restaurant there called Murata:

* Kurokawa:
I've probably mentioned it before, but I can't recommend enough Ikoi Ryokan:

Aug 07, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Recommended Kappo in Osaka?

1. Kappo is not as much a method of cooking, but a style of dining. The characters "ka-ppo" refer to both slicing (fish) and boiling (vegetables). Some cuisines (eg. Tokyo sushi) focus on slicing fish, others (eg. Kyoto monk cuisine) focus on boiling vegetables, but Kappo does not dictate what you serve or how you serve it.

Also, the key feature of Kappo today is not necessarily what is cooked, but the setting. Kappo is served at the counter, rather than in a private room (as traditional restaurants do), which is more casual (although not completely casual, given the price).

I should also say that, because Kaiseki is about how/what you cook and Kappo is about how you eat, that Kaiseki restaurants sometimes have a Kappo setting, and Kappo restaurants sometimes serve Kaiseki cuisine. Even when they do not, most Kappo restaurants serve multi-course cuisine which is both local and seasonal (like Kaiseki). It's just that the food is less bound by the poetic/artistic traditions of connoting time and place through symbolic references. There's more freedom.

2. Most of the restaurants are at the lower end of the Y10,000-15,000 range (that's per person, during dinner, before drinks and tax). Some of them will be cheaper, and that seems to be another trait of eating in Osaka - value for money. Kahala (probably the most refined of the lot, while still being very "modern") is double that price, though (from memory: Y25,000 pp, dinner, before drinks and tax).

Aug 03, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Sydney - favorite in Kiribilli?

Kirribilli doesn't have much in the way of fine dining. Aqua and La Capannina (sp?) are it. Milson's is now closed, the site is now the trendy Botanist small bar.

However, it is short ferry ride to Circular Quay , where you could try Guillaume or Aria or Quay - all very highly rated. I personally like Ocean Room, but that's just me.

Here's a previous thread on Kirribilli.

Help! Advice on Shochu Tour of Kyushu?

The common wisdom runs something like: mugi-jochu in nagasaki, kome-jochu in kumamoto, imo-jochu in Kagoshima. I believe the sakura shinkansen goes from hakata (fukuoka) to kagoshima-chuo.

Just a note, though, I once went to a shochu distillery in hitoyoshi, kumamoto. The process for making the stuff didn't seem as eloborate or refined as that of brewing sake and I found the tour underwhelming.

If you're more interested in tasting, I would recommend a bar.

Mar 24, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Photo Etiquette

I don't have much more to add than what has already been said, but here's my two cents:

1. I often take photos. I like to remember what I had, and usually photos are quicker and less disruptive than taking notes, for example (which I have only done once). For me, I photograph dishes because it's to memorialise a special occasion. But then, just being in Japan usually counts as a special occasion for me.

2. In Japan, lots of people take photos. But it is usually done with discretion in mind.

3. Therefore, in Japan, I always ask permission before taking photos. (Actually, before that, I also usually check tabelog to see if there's already photos of the food. If there's no photos, I don't bother asking). Also, sometimes, I make an on-the-spot decision to use a phone, my wife's point-and-shoot, or my SLR with a really short lens (not much bigger than a point-and-shoot). Always with flash and the sounds turned off.

4. There are some occasions when people may decline photos. There are good reasons for this. One reason that springs to mind is at sushi restaurants.
For example, I feel as though sushi becomes less delicious the longer it's left on the plate. Also, sushi meals that I have had have followed a rhythm - one that might be interrupted by stopping, pausing, and photographing. Also, at sushi restaurants, I often eat with my hands. It's pretty impractical to photograph when eating with your hands.

(PS. I didn't have trouble photographing at Ryugin - but that was a few years ago)

Jan 31, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Thoughts on kaiseki recommendations in Kyoto

I went to Kichisen earlier this month, these are only a few of the courses:

They have very *pretty* food, but I had mixed feelings about the taste of the food itself.

The sashimi and the fruit was very well-sourced and prepared.The sashimi had very good texture, especially.

However, I thought the dashi, while clean, was a little bland.

When there was seasoning, it was overpowering. The food kept hitting the same notes: either kinome or from a kind of shiokara (konowata then uruka). It might be nice, if you're into lemony pepper buds and fermented fish entrails, but I felt it reached the point of diminishing returns.

Also, you should be made aware: the dining experience at Kichisen is very serious and austere. If you're in a private room, you'll need to crawl through a tiny nijiriguchi entrance (like a catflap) and you'll be waited on by wannabe-monks who can't even crack a smile. Things might be a bit more lively at the counter, but I guess it depends how masochistic you want your meal to be.

Jan 28, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Osaka bakeries

There are some good bakeries around the Honmachi area:

Boulangerie Takeuchi
(Very popular, always a line out front. Next door to the equally-popular, Michelin-starred noodle house, Sobagiri Masa)

(There's now a branch in Umeda Eki Marche, but the one in Honmachi is better)

My favourite of the Honmachi bakeries, Four de H, has now closed sadly - not sure what happened:

Jan 01, 2013
anarcist in Japan

Good restaurants in Kobe and Osaka for parents traveling with infant?

There's many restaurants by the name of Sushi Toyo in Osaka.

The one that I've mentioned on the board here before is at:
3-4-1 Sakuragawa, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi

It's quite close to Namba. It's a quiet neighbourhood place with only a few seats. I only knew about it because I used to live in the neighbourhood. They do set meals at lunch and dinner (sushi, tempura, soup), but of course it's best to do a sushi omakase. It's not formal - they often have a TV playing in the evening and they do offer takeout for locals.

But if you search on google, the first result to come up will be another, more well-known restaurant:
2-17-29 Ojicho, Abeno-ku, Osaka-shi

The closest station is Higashi-tengachaya. It's a bit more off the beaten path. I haven't been there, so I can't speak to how formal it is or whether it would be appropriate to visit. However, a friend of mine swears by this restaurant.

Nov 30, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Non-Michelin Star Restaurants Worthy of a Detour

Try Tabelog. It's a local review site of restaurants (you'll notice ninisix has posted links from this site).
It's a good place to get other ideas if you don't want to rely on the Michelin Guide.

Here is the link to "Japanese Food" in Tokyo on your budget (Y20,000 and under):

Even if you don't understand any Japanese, you'll be able to get an idea of the rank, the prices, and the food (from the photos). They often also have links to the restaurant's websites near the bottom of the page.

If you know a few words (like the characters for "yakitori" for example), you will be able to search and get more specific information.

If you find something you like, you can ask for more info.

I will say, though, that quite a few of the high-ranking ones are well-known, and known even to the Michelin inspectors. You may find yourself happening on a restaurant that may violate your non-Michelin criteria. If you don't speak any Japanese, you may also find that the Michelin restaurants are more accomodating, because many of them can take reservations in English.

Nov 14, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Osechi for the New Year

Kani, uni, ikura: three good reasons why someone would be so silly as to leave Australian summer for Japanese winter during the holiday season.

Nov 01, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Recommended Kappo in Osaka?

I haven't been to Kigawa, nor Kigawa Asai.

But Kigawa is on my list, for three reasons:
1) the a-la-carte menu, as you've mentioned (with 100-150 items, it would take me forever to read them)
2) the fact that Kigawa touts itself as "naniwa-kappo," Kigawa Asai as "osaka-ryori," and I get the impression from the look and feel that it really does try to bring some local colour to the ambience
3) it was the place which trained the chef from Koryu, who also tries to use local Osakan ingredients and make Osakan references in his food (the sashimi platter at Koryu is called a "garden of fish," which is pronounced "naniwa": a pun on the old name for Osaka). I rather liked Koryu as I've said.

Nov 01, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Osechi for the New Year

You've confirmed what I've long suspected about the Osechi "industry."

To be honest, I've never had a store-bought one before. In our household (in Australia), my wife makes it from scratch. It's a long and gruelling process; but it's a labour of love and, at least, it lasts as long as it takes to make. And it's rather affordable.

There are two reasons why I wanted to splurge this year on a fancy one:

1) We would be travelling to Japan around New Year, when a lot of the 'destination' restaurants seem to be closed, so we can afford to budget for a fancy box (although, even then, Y100,000 seems excessive).

2) Never having had Osechi from a ryotei before, I'm curious as to see how (or *whether*) it stacks up compared to what I'm used to.

But yeah, a lot of details about this visit are up in the air at the moment (eg. where could we go out to eat around the holidays?), so we may very well end up in a depachika on NYE, stocking up on o-souzai.

Nov 01, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Osechi for the New Year

Hi all,

Looks like I might in Japan over the new year, so I'm thinking of getting an Osechi box.

I've taken a brief look around the department store websites, and it looks like a lot of the boxes by more famous Kyoto ryotei (ie. a lot of the places discussed on this site) run something in the range of Y50,000 for one tier, and Y100,000+ for more than one tier.

What do the people here do for Osechi? Do you usually spring for a box by a famous ryotei, or do you go for something more affordable?

I've been looking at the less expensive options, eg. Y30,000~Y50,000 for multiple tiers, but there's so many to choose from. Does anyone have a reliable "go-to" for an Osechi box in this price range?

(I'm looking to feed two people)

Thanks for your help.

PS. Just to pre-empt: I'll be staying in a house, so there's no problems about delivery/storage (ie. refrigeration).

Oct 31, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Recommended Kappo in Osaka?

Kahala definitely fits the bill. It's difficult to classify that restaurant.
They highlight Japanese ingredients. The dishes have a minimalist, austere restraint about them and the wine is selected to take the back seat to the food. There's a kind-of "hassun" plate near the beginning, and tea near the end. These might be Japanese traits.

But the presentation of the meal, and the use of non-typical Japanese ingredients, points to something more original.

You might also want to try "kamoshiya Kusumoto." It seems to be well-regarded online:

Here's the interior:

Oct 30, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Osaka Sushi

Seitaro looks reasonably well-regarded:

Sushi Saeki is considered online to be not just one of Osaka's best sushi restaurants, but one of the best restaurants in Japan:

Others that I hear are good:
Sushi Jinsei
Sushidokoro Kurosugi
Sushidokoro Hirokawa
Sushi Harasho
Sushi Minatsuki

Oct 06, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Beppu or Nagasaki for 1 Day

Haven't been to Beppu, but Kurokawa onsen is just 3hrs bus from Hakata. Ikoi Ryokan there has great food (local river fish and mountain vegetables as well as , milk and beef from the local higo cows).

Nagasaki has good pork buns in the Chinatown. For Shippoku banquets, I thought " hamakatsu" had better food but "kagetsu" had the whole experience (garden, private room, geisha, museum upstairs).

Other than that, did not particularly find much else. The memorial and champon/saraudon do not offer much to the tourist.

Oct 03, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Rustic Unagi Restaurant

The restaurant on TV was:

Jiyugaoka 1-11-5, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Sep 09, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Uji / Green Tea

You don't need to go to Uji for Uji green tea.

The best part of the trip to Uji was going to Taiho-an tea house for a traditional tea ceremony.
If you decide not to stray from Kyoto proper, then I would suggest finding a place within the city that offers a tea ceremony.

Sep 08, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Recommended Kappo in Osaka?

Mid-August is Obon, so some restaurants won't be open during this period.

One kappo restaurant that I absolutely love is Shimokatsurachaya "Geppa":
* I love the seafood at this place. I don't think you'll have trouble booking dinner.

It's a bit more rustic in appearance than the restaurants you've mentioned; you can see the interior here:

If you want a more up-scale dining experience, I didn't mind the 3-Michelin-starred Koryu:
* Even if dinner is booked out, lunch should be really easy to get into.

I'm sure it's already too late to get into the ever-popular Masuda, but you might get lucky:

The following restaurants were mentioned in a local Osaka restaurant guide, and might be worth a try:
* Imamura:
* Kaishoku Shimizu:
* Konoha:
* Yuno:

There's also another restaurant, although it's not close to Osaka city (it's closer to the airport):
* Kasho:

Aug 03, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

I heard that, at Momofuku Ko, the kitchen staff get a bigger share of the tips because they serve you the food over the counter. I guess it would be the same at Momofuku Seiobo?

It might also be the case for other places where the cooks serve you, like Sixpenny?

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

I agree about Gumshara. I also think Menya (Ichiban Boshi, Ryo's...) is better.
Thai Pothong, Yoshii, Spice Temple, Billy Kwong and Oscillate are good but not great in my books.
I would have suggested Sixpenny if it was within the specified budget.

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

Out of what's been suggested since, I would also say that Pilu is a good option (I'll let others talk about Sean's, Iceberg's, Otto, etc). You'll probably have to take a taxi to get there.

Yes, Fish Face has better fish. I thought it would be nice to recommend a place with a view and Watson's Bay is hard to beat. The downmarket takeout shop on the wharf, and the pub are good. Don't waste time with any sit-down Doyle's/Peter Doyle place (that includes Circular Quay).

I really have to disagree with Sailor's Thai. It's been a long time since I remember it being good. I'm not a great fan or Toko or Longrain, either, but they're nice if you like cocktails and cocktail-friendly food.

I'm not a big fan of inner-city Vietnamese by any measure. And it's a bit of a hike out to Cabramatta or Canley Vale.

I wouldn't be dissuaded by the comments here about Marque or Bentley. I think that they're good value for money. I'm not even going to talk about Quay or Sepia or the like, because they're not really in the budget you've outlaid.

Sydney Restaurants

There's also Cafe Sydney for a seafood platter (or the Fish Markets, course), if you feel like straying from Darling Harbour.

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

New cafe list, out this week:

Osaka - Koyoshi Sushi (where Bourdain had Sushi in Osaka on No Reservations!!!) - Perceptor's Photo Report

The five in the clip are:
- Aomori Oma
- South America
- Amami Oshima
- Spain
- Ireland

This menu ( says it's the following five for Y3500:
- Wakayama
- South America
- Nagasaki
- Boston
- Aomori Oma

Also they do three types of uni for Y1500:
- Awaji Isalnd
- Hokkaido
- Shikoku

Jun 15, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

If you only have one Friday lunch, I think you're right to choose Marque.

If you don't want to look at Chinese and Italian, you've done the right thing in looking at Thai and Malaysian. I would recommend Malay-Chinese Takeaway so you have a laksa in there. Mamak is more Malay-Indian than Malay-Chinese.

A laksa and a good cafe might be good in rounding out your list.

Sydney Restaurant Choices - Advice appreciated

There's a wide range of choices if the only limit is the budget.
Without any further specifications, I could only offer personal favourites.

Firstly, I'll assume you're going to be in the city. Let's be clear: no one really lives in the city.
Most people live in the suburbs, some of which are ethnic enclaves (the Vietnamese community in Cabramatta and Canley Vale being the best-known).

Personally, I like Fix, Spice I am, Marque and Bentley.

When it comes to Mamak, I personally don't get the hype, but I'm in the minority.
I've also stated before that I also don't really "get" the hype around Bodega, but their newer restaurant, Porteno, is loved by almost everyone.
People love queueing up at Mamak, and these places too:


* Lunch: Cafes
We like our coffee in Australia. Timeout Sydney magazine has a monthly column about the hot cafes of the moment. Here's the last couple months:

For my money, I like Campos Coffee. The main branch is at Newtown, but it's stocked in many places (you can download an iPhone app that tells you the closest Campos stockist). I work near a branch of Taste Baguette, and I like their quasi-Vietnamese roll.

* Lunch: Classics
A lot of people ignore the foods that you can get everywhere. I like the fish & chips at Fisherman's Wharf at Watson's Bay (just a ferry ride from Circular Quay) or you can also get fish & chips at Milson's Point if you wind up crossing the Harbour Bridge. Both can be eaten in close proximity to classic Sydney views.

When it comes to meat pies, you could consult the Sydney Morning Herald's recommendations:

However, i would endorse Mick's Bakehouse, which I believe won "best meat pie" award at this year's Royal Easter Show, they're located centrally in the Westfield shopping mall, which leads me to...

* Lunch: Food Courts
Everyone's gone food court crazy lately, with upmarket, high-profile openings at Westfield Sydney, Galeries Victoria and the Star casino. Both Westfield and the Star have a Din Tai Fung now, and the queues are usually much better than the branch at World Square. Also, the Star has a branch of Gelato Messina, which is a great icecream shop.

Glamorous food courts seem to be du jour, but I would recommend also looking at the cheaper and admittedly grittier food courts in Chinatown. Sussex Centre & Dixon Street are great, but I like the Eating World food court. Popular stalls include Gumshara Ramen (very very thick and fatty tonkotsu) and Singapore Shiok.

Also, for a food-court-style feed, I really enjoy the noodle soups at Malay-Chinese Takeaway (in Hunter St).

* Lunch: Surry Hills
As well as Marque, Assiette and Bentley also do really good value lunches.

* Lunch: Yum Cha (Dim Sum
)I would recommend Zilver near Central Station. Best food, off-the-cart.
If you prefer everything cooked to order, I also rather enjoy East Ocean in Chinatown.


* Dinner: Chinese, Chinese or Chinese?
The city has a (pass on it, it's past-it) Spanish quarter, a (nascent and not yet mature) Koreatown, a very good Thaitown (more on that later) and a great Chinatown.

I like the Xian noodles at Chinese Noodle House (*not* Chinese Noodle Restaurant, don't make this mistake!) on Quay St. It's true that Sea Bay on Pitt St has more queues, but I like this place. My favourite dish is called "Fragrant knife-cut noodle" or the like.

I really like the Sichuan food at Red Chilli, but there's a few branches. My favourite branch is the one on the corner of Harbour & Goulburn Streets under the Eating World food court.

My favourite restaurant in Sydney is Cantonese at Golden Century, where it's best to avoid the bulk of the menu and go straight for the live seafood. I like the *very* large oysters in ginger & shallot for $10ea, the pipis in XO sauce (500g for $35 - I personally like ordering fried bred to mop the sauce with) and Mud crab in ginger/shallot on top of e-fu noodles (1kg for $60, give or take - make sure mention the noodles, or you won't get them).

* Dinner: Drinks
For pub food, it's got to be Four in Hand at Paddington. This is probably a taxi trip, unless you want to walk from Edgecliff station or from Oxford Street.

Also, if you want to try our branch of Momofuku (at the Star casino), but you want to stay on budget (and don't want to brave the bookings system that seems to have caused such a commotion in Sydney), you can always rock up early and try for a seat at the bar. They serve some good bar food.

Sydney has been trying to launch a small bar culture for a little while now (search "sydney small bar" for recommendations - Stitch in the city is good when it's not packed). But my favourite remains Sticky Bar in Surry Hills, across the road from Bentley (but the entrance is from the back of the building down Taggart's Ln). It's also close to...

* Dinner: Pizza
... Pizza Mario, which has a potato pizza that's my favourite pizza around. Also, Lucio Pizzeria in Darlinghurst is good (you can also grab drinks at Universal restaurant across the way from Lucio).

* Dinner: Thai
You can also do this as a lunch option. You've mentioned Spice I Am, and the original on Wentworth Ave is still the best. If you find yourself craving more Thai food, the most popular is Chat Thai (on Campbell St, but they also have a more accessible branch at Galeries Victoria and a more upmarket branch at Westfield Sydney). House is North-Eastern Thai, Caysorn is Southern Thai - you might want to look into them. For me, though, I really like the deep-fried morning glory salad at Saap Thai.

* Dinner: TOYS
TOYS is a group of young Sydney restaurant people who are trying to do something new over here. Some TOYS restaurants include Duke Bistro and Ms G's, both really nice places to eat.

Again, these are just my favourites, and probably nothing I haven't posted up here before, but it might help you with consolidating what you want to eat while in Sydney. Enjoy!

Osaka - Koyoshi Sushi (where Bourdain had Sushi in Osaka on No Reservations!!!) - Perceptor's Photo Report

Moreover, "starving" yourself prior and then asking for "only" a "sampling" looks like it may lead to misunderstandings -- and not necessarily those imposed by cultural / linguistic barriers...

Jun 15, 2012
anarcist in Japan

Osaka - Koyoshi Sushi (where Bourdain had Sushi in Osaka on No Reservations!!!) - Perceptor's Photo Report

It might have directly been a reference to the abalone, but I would have taken that as a some sort of indication about the overall status of the restaurant and the quality of what they have on offer.

Also, I wouldn't normally want to speculate about the mood shift that you've reported, but I would expect they were probably racking their brains to think how could please you given the parameters that had been set for them. Like I said, they still tried to give you some good cuts that they thought you'd appreciate, despite the limitations placed on them. I still maintain that you got a pretty good deal and I would think they were trying to give you a good deal.

Jun 14, 2012
anarcist in Japan