Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fukuho Gyoza

Location: Fukuho Gyoza

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 1600 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Two gyoza teishoku
English Menu:No

I've heard rumors of dedicated Gyoza restaurants before, but had not eaten at one til this morning.  After church, my son and I went looking for something new to try.  We decided to give Fukuho Gyoza a try.  It's a pretty Japanese place with little in the way of help for non-Japanese speakers.  But luckily the sign out front had pictures of the two lunch sets, which were the same except that one came with two orders of gyoza while the other had only one.  You didn't get to choose the type of gyoza and I think we got a mix of garlic and meat.  We did get to choose whether we wanted them fried or boiled.  We got some of each.  The rest of the teishoku was pretty good, a bowl of rice, a bowl of seaweed soup (smelled like the a good way) and a plate of steamed bean sprouts covered with some very lightly spiced ground meat.  There were several tasty sauces to put in dipping bowls at the side of the table.

After perusing the menu at the table, I also figured out that you can order lots of other interesting types of gyoza a la cart, which we will be sure to try next time we come back.  It was a filling and tasty meal, but nothing spectacular.  I might upgrade the rating after trying the specialty types of gyoza at another time.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mike's Mexican

Location: Mike's Mexican

Rating: Not great
Meal:  Dinner for 3
Price:  4000 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Burrito, enchilada, soft taco, huevos rancheros, quesadilla
English Menu:Yes

We've been trying to get to Mike's for a long time as it's the only Mexican restaurant in town.  However, I've heard nothing but 'meh' concerning it's food, so the pressure hasn't been too high.  We decided to go as a family tonight since it's only open in the evening (another reason it's taken so long to get there).  It's located right along 16 across from the base.

The verdict is:  meh.  Basically we all said..."Well, we don't ever have to go back there!"  The other night we ate tv dinner enchiladas and were very sorry we did.  This place is about one step better than that.  I don't recommend it if you are at all actually interested in Mexican food.  If Taco Bell is all you know about it though, this place might be a revelation!

The best thing we can say about it is the margherita wasn't terrible.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gorkha Palace

Location: Gorkha Palace

Current Rating:
Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  2100 yen
Payment:  Cash only (but credit cards will be accepted soon)
Dishes:  Chicken tikka, mutton biryani, kid's curry set
English Menu:Yes

Prior Rating:
Rating: Not great
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  850 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dishes: Masala Omelet (mine), Saag Chicken Curry (friend's)
English Menu:Yes

Gorkha Palace is the latest edition to the panoply of Indian restaurants to be found in Yokosuka.  I am told it is owned by the same people who run Nirvana, which is one of the top two Indian restaurants in Yokosuka in my opinion.  That being said, I don't think any of the Indian restaurants in Yokosuka are much better than an "OK" rating, so my expectations were rather low to begin with.

I went to lunch with a friend and after our first choice was closed, we decided to try out Gorkha Palace on its opening day.  Of course, there are going to be hiccups for the first little while for an opening restaurant, so I may come back and adjust this review later if I see some changes.

I definitely want to commend them for trying some different items on the lunch menu.  There is what looks like a vegetable heavy Sizzler Chicken, which I am eager to try some day.  But I went with the other unusual dish, the Masala Omelet.  This was accompanied by a small curry which I was told I could choose (I selected the mutton and eggplant curry).

They were also supplying soup and salad as starters, neither of which were very good.  The soup was thin and seemed poured from a can, complete with canned mushrooms.  The salad was tiny and unimpressive.  I say, if you're going to put so little effort into the starters, dispense with them and concentrate on the main dish...but that's just me.

Masala Omelet
 The masala omelet consisted of finely diced vegetables mixed with egg and cooked flat.  I've had "omelets" like this before and it was as it looked in the picture, so I wasn't disappointed, but I could see someone used to a different idea of "omelet" (i.e. stuff wrapped in egg) would be unhappy.  There was a little heat to the mixture, so I assume some chillies made it into the mix, but it didn't have much else in the way of spice complexity.  In fact I joked that it could use some salt...until I tasted the small curry.  Holy cow...that was salty!  As in, *almost* inedible.  I poured it onto the omelet with the small rice and mixed it all up to try and distribute the saltiness about.  I ate it, but it wasn't good.  Speaking of the curry, despite my being told I could choose it, it appeared to be just some curry sauce.  There was no mutton or eggplant in it.  Fine...but they shouldn't have made me think I could choose it if they were just going to select it for me anyway.

My friend's Saag Chicken
 My friend's saag chicken dish was also very salty (he let me try some) and we were both quite unimpressed.  We were asked how the food was and we told them it was a bit too salty (being nice).  They apologized and said they would try better next time.  Well and good, but there was no attempt to make up for it now, so we finished up, paid full price and headed out.

Again, I understand there are going to be issues when opening, so I'll be sure to come back in a month to see if things have improved, but even if they do I can't imagine this place getting more than an OK in the future.  For now it's lodged in "Not great" territory, barely.  Had this occurred in a place that had been open for a while it would get a "Nasty" rating for sure.


Update:  I ate here again tonight with my son and was pleasantly surprised.  We had the chicken tikka, which while not the best was decent.  I also had a mutton biryani and this is where the surprise happened.  I tasted cloves and cardamom, there were cashews and other things in it for texture, and the mutton was delicious!  I do declare that may be the best biryani I've had in Yokosuka proper!  So I'm bumping my rating up a bit to Ok in the hopes that this is a trend.  I'll be back again some time with my wife also to properly try the curries as well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Royal Kitchen

Location: Royal Kitchen

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 1200 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted
Dishes: "Indian" style chicken curry, rice
English Menu:Yes

 I almost reviewed this place last Thursday when my son and I ate here.  But I had a chance to meet and speak with the owner about the lack of good Indian food in Yokosuka despite the plethora of restaurants (this in the context of the opening of the newest this be reviewed...).  He had many excuses for the badness:  Japanese onions are sweet but proper red onions are expensive, fresh tomatoes are expensive, Japanese taste skews to sweet and milky, etc...  Still he said that if I were to come at a non-busy time and ask for "indian-taste" curry, I could be made some.  So I determined to return later and try this before my final review.

Had I given the previous meal a review, it would probably have been a "Not Great," but I'm giving it an "Ok" mainly because there was an attempt made to satisfy a rather demanding customer (yours truly).  I can't say it was an incredible chicken curry, but it was a bit better than the usual.  Of course, since it was a special order I didn't get any lunch special prices (2 curries plus Naan for 900 yen), but that's to be expected.  The rice was regular rice, not basmati, mainly because I don't care that much about the difference.

I hope our discussions will spur the owner on to create some different, more authentic dishes on the regular menu.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Special Edition: Yokosuka Matsuri Food

Location: Yokosuka Matsuri

This weekend (Memorial Day Weekend in the US) was our local town Matsuri (festival).  We so appreciate that they do theirs unusually early in the season.  Most matsuris take place later during summer and it is sooooo darn hot and humid I don't want to go out to see them.  But it is a fun atmosphere and there's lots of fair food available that you don't get to have the rest of the time.  So without further ado, here are some examples of the food that was available during our town's matsuri:

Drums drums drums!

Teppanyaki Fried Chicken...delicious

Best Yakisoba Award!

One of a kind, and excellent!  Dimsum of some kind.


Second Place Award for Chicken Sticks!  My son's favorite.

Extremely disappointing...(fake) chocolate covered (warm) bananas.  Yuck!

Deep fried beef, pork and chicken with panko.  The chicken was good.

Long hot dogs!

Squid = matsuri food

Chicken skins...just that...unfortunately cooked soft, not crispy

Chicken skin gyoza (wrap stuff in the skin, fry it)...also soft, not crispy

Mask interlude...

Roasted corn.

"Bacon" (not real bacon tasting) wrapped rice on a stick, roasted.

Okonomiyaki...on a stick!

Pikachu shaped custard things?

Little octopi destined for tako yaki

Gold fish can catch these with a paper net

Roasted potatoes...smelled great!

Chocolate covered waffles...probably the best dessert option

Another okonomiyaki vendor (each okonomiyaki was a little different)

More Okonomiyaki

Several shawarma stands on offer...none very good (not spiced properly)

Little turtles to catch and take home (we already have more!)

Big hunks of meat on sticks...hits the spot sometimes

New this year!  Deep fried and flavored angel-hair spaghetti!  Actually delicious.

Candied strawberries

Unique, and not eat this horribleness

#1 prize for chicken sticks goes to these guys!  They will be opening in this spot permanently, woohoo!

Kara age...deep fried battered chicken chinese style

Tako yaki

For the adults...alcohol!

And that's it for this year.  We might hit one or two more but it becomes less likely the more we've been to, it's kind of just the same thing on repeat, and the hotter it is, the less likely we will go.