Sunday, August 30, 2015


Location: Bentendo

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price: 3000 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Ginger pork and sashimi teishoku, karaage (fried chicken bits) and hamburg teishoku
English Menu: No
Smoking: No

My son and I went to church together this morning leaving my wife with a cold at home.  Since I am not tearing down after church we were able to get into a restaurant at the mall before they all became full for lunch time.

We just picked the next one in line that I hadn't reviewed yet.  It's called Bentendo and it appears to be a clean mall take on an izakaya.  They had some teishokus and then a bunch of little dishes that you could pick a few items from to make a teishoku.  I just pointed at one of the main teishokus and then tried to cobble something together that my son might like, picking out the ginger pork and some sashimi.  It came with rice and miso so I knew he'd like that if nothing else.

Luckily he did like the ginger pork and even though he didn't care for the sashimi I was able to eat it up.  Turns out I ordered a karaage and hamburg teishoku.  It was pretty good, not great though.

Overall I wasn't too impressed and like most of the mall restaurants this one gets an Ok.

Hamburg and karaage

Ginger pork and sashimi

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Location: Ryuen

Rating: Not great
Meal:  Lunch for 3
Price:  2540 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted (but prefer larger bills)
Dishes: Fried rice and two unidentifiable teishokus
English Menu:Yes (Only the main menu)
Smoking: Yes

Ruyen is another of Yokosuka's many sub-par Chinese restaurants.  I have eaten here before and so wasn't looking forward to reviewing it.  But it must needs be.  We went to lunch today, the 3 of us, and my son was looking forward to some chahan (fried rice).  They hadn't eaten much rice at all in the US.

The lunch menu is all in Japanese, but the main dinner menu does have some English.  We went for the cheaper lunch items and each of our dishes was about 800 yen.  My son got the "5 things" fried rice, and my wife and I picked some items off the menu that we weren't entirely sure of but knew they contained pork and vegetables.

Mine was a mixture of ground pork and bamboo shoots in miso sauce.  It was intensely salty.  My wife's was a goopy mixture of various meats and some vegetables.  Not very flavorful.  My son's rice was fine...he had the best dish no doubt.  We were able to eat it, but we weren't impressed.  There was a funky smell in the dining room and the water tasted metallic.  Also the little pickled things which I usually love were horrid.  I couldn't eat more than a bite.  My wife tried one and was equally horrified.  She said it tasted like stinky feet.  The egg soup was good though a bit flavorless.

I can't really recommend this place overall.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Champion Yakiniku

Location: Champion Yakiniku

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  2000 yen
Payment:  Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Bibimpap and bulgogi roll (4pcs)
English Menu: No
Smoking: No

Haneda Airport's International Terminal is one of my favorite airports of all time.  Up above the departure area are several levels of shops and restaurants, and everything is done with Edo-style architecture and flare.  It's all very new of course, but the restaurants are generally quite good and the vibe is very cool.  But hands down, my absolute favorite thing to get at Haneda whenever I have to go is the bulgogi maki (seasoned meat in a sushi roll) at Champion Yakiniku.  It's a very popular item that you can order to go as a meal on the airplane or in the car on the way home, which is how I've had it before.  Last night I had to pick up my wife and son at Haneda, so I went early to actually eat in the restaurant for the first time.

First of all, it's a yakiniku restaurant, and it looks like a really good one.  I wouldn't know for sure as I've never had any yakiniku there.  Instead, I went for the bibimbap dish (bulgogi with other veggies and an egg on rice) and 4pc bulgogi maki.  Both dishes came with the clear wakame (seaweed) soup common in Korean restaurants here.  Usually it's throwaway side dish with very little flavor, but this stuff was different!  It had great flavor and I was really glad I got two little cups of it!  The bibimbap was really good too, and there was an absolutely delicious chili paste at the table to put on top of everything to make it even better.  But still the star is the bulgogi maki, which consists of vegetables, bulgogi meat and other stuff wrapped in a seaweed/rice outside roll.  I think there is a hint of mayo in there too which gives it a great creaminess.  It is liberally covered with sesame seeds on the outside which give it a great extra taste.

One of these days I will eat the yakiniku, but for now, I love this place for the regular Korean food it has, especially that bulgogi roll.  I don't care if it isn't authentic, it's delicious.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

American Grill

Location: American Grill

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price: $10
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Kalderatang baboy and two barbecue pork sticks
English Menu:Yes

I know it's called "American Grill" and it's one of the food court restaurants in the large NEX store on base, but really, the only things I've ever eaten there are Filipino dishes.  There may be other things you can order, such as burgers, but I have never seen the point.

The quick food choices are all displayed in a little warmer, and usually they have adobo or a couple of other items, including Japanese style gyudon (beef bowls).  They also have BBQ pork sticks that taste pretty close to what you'd buy off of a street vendor in Manila.  They've even been sitting there for some time and have that chewy, gristly feel.  Winning no awards for food quality, it's probably pretty close to a food court experience in any mall in the Philippines (i.e. ok, but not incredible).

 Today they had kalderatang baboy (pork calderata), a name I was surprised popped directly into my head as I looked at it.  This is how it is with Tagalog...sometimes I don't even know I know it and then there it is, tripping off the tongue.  Not that I can actually speak Tagalog.

The food was tasted about right...if a little bit canned.  I'm sure the potatoes, carrots and pork were fresh, but not sure about the rest of it.  The rice wasn't great (as with most rice on base) and I didn't finish it.  I'm always surprised by how unpleasantly full I feel after eating anything on base, and it was pretty much the same result.  Oh's nice to have something other than pizza, burgers, fried chicken and taco bell as food options.


Location: Sensenteidon
Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  800 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dishes: Stamina buta-don (pork rice bowl)
English Menu:No
Smoking: Yes

This small underground pork-bowl restaurant is located right next to Kami Buta, one of my favorite ramen restaurants, so while I have been tempted to try it before, the ramen has always won out.  I wanted to give it a try so I checked it out last night for dinner.

The "easy" menu
 The menu seems indicate an emphasis on rice bowl dishes, but it's very much a small mom and pop (or in this case, just mom) shop.  I was reaaaally tempted by the maguro karaage (deep fried bits of tuna), but I went for the pork bowl to get a flavor for their main deal.  There is no English menu, but there are some big pictures with their main dishes.  The real menu is all in Japanese with no pictures.


First I was presented with my choice of hasioki (chopstick rests) and there were many adorable ones to choose from.  I picked a tanuki (japanese raccoon dog) that was reclining.  The lady went into the kitchen to make the food (it was really just one lady doing everything, luckily there was no one else there).  I noticed the ash trays so it is possible you might have to deal with smoke if there are others.

Spicy tuna
The pork bowl arrived with miso soup and pickles side dish.  Wow, the pork was excellent!  The sauce was very flavorful and went with the rice excellent well.  I never thought to add any soy sauce because the sauce on the pork was nicely salty.  When I was partially done, the lady brought me a free ("sabisu" or "service") dish of raw tuna in kimchee sauce which was excellent and helped me finish the rice off as I had run out of pork by the point.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and am really looking forward to returning to try that maguro karaage dish!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Location: Daikokuya

Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price: 3240 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Sukiyaki don
English Menu:Yes

Outside menu

Another tiny alley way find, Daikokuya has turned my head several times as I walked by.  There is a menu out front that is usually turned to the unagi (eel) dishes, so I took it for an unagi specialty shop.  The prices are...eye popping to say the least.  When I took a closer look at the menu, I found some things that were not unagi, and were more affordable.  So I decided to try it out.

English menu
 The inside is made up like a traditional Japanese house with that weird plaster wall stuff and shoji windows.  The staff are mostly all wearing kimono and soft muzak plays in the background (Hotel California anyone?).  There were a two older couples already there.  I took a seat in the corner and proceeded to hope I could find something affordable on the menu.  Then they brought me an English menu!  This was helpful.  They are the first and only Japanese restaurant in Yokosuka I've seen that have kaiseki ryouri (basically Japanese haute cuisine) that has its home in Kyoto.  I've only ever had one kaiseki ryouri meal at an onsen in Hakone.  It was very expensive, and very good.  A multi-course affair of small dishes that are like eating a symphony of food.  There are several kaiseki options on the menu if that's your desire.  There's also the unagi (expensive too), and some tempura (more affordable) and a couple of sukiyaki dishes too.  This caught my eye, as I like the taste of sukiyaki, but I don't enjoy the cooking process so much (I usually have to do it).  It looked as though their sukiyaki dishes were brought cooked to the table, which sounded good to me.  So I ordered what looked like a sukiyaki don (sukiyaki meat and veg on rice).

Umeshu and green tea
They then brought me some umeshu (plum wine) and iced green tea on the house.  The umeshu was sweet, but nice.  Not my favorite, but it'll do.  The next to arrive was an appetizer I didn't know was coming.  It consisted of a white cube of some kind of gelatin, topped by some orange fish roe of some kind, and laced with some bonito flakes.  To the untrained eye this would look like a dessert, but you would be most surprised if you bit into it with that expectation.  It was actually quite fishy, and the saltiness of the eggs was dissipated nicely by whatever the cube of white jelly was.

Appetizer...still no sure what it was
 Next it was the main dish, which took a little while to cook, but that's understandable.  There was a nice raw egg to go with it (mix it up and dip the meat into the egg), along with some pickles and red miso soup.  I love red miso, so that was a nice surprise.  The sukiyaki don was delicious, with some shiitake mushrooms, negi, tofu and mochi to accompany.  All were nicely simmered in that deliciously sweet sukiyaki sauce, and I didn't even have to cook it!  What a concept.  It was all good, if a smallish amount, but with the courses, and by the end of the meal, I felt plenty full.  As I finished, I got up saying "gochisousama" and made to pay when I was shushed back down to my seat for "okashi" or dessert.  I didn't they brought me a cup full of sweet cooked azuki beans with mochi, and a cup of tea which matched perfectly.

Finally I could pay and discovered they take cards, which is great because if I ever come back I want to try one of the kaiseki courses!

Sukiyaki don
I gave this place an Ok instead of a Very Good because despite the fact that my dish was good, it wasn't amazing, and for the price, I kind of think it should have been.  If I come back sometime and try one of their big meals and I come away impressed, I might up it to a Very Good.

Azuki beans and mochi for dessert

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Location: Kushimichi

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  3000 yen  (estimate)
Payment:  Credit cards accepted
Dishes:Various yakitori
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes

Kushimichi is a higher class yakitori izakaya located on the corner next to Pepper Lunch.  The "sumiyaki" in the description means "charcoal cooked".  Since I had some collared greens at home that I'd picked up at Nawlins earlier, I didn't mind eating a pure meat dinner.  I ordered several different items and overall it was really good!  The best part was the nice English menu that made ordering a breeze.  I also tried a soba shochu (meh) and another rice shochu (great!), but I tried to pull that off the price above.  They also take credit cards.  Overall I think I enjoyed this yakitori spot more than others, so I'll bumpt it up to a Very Good.  As usual with sushi or yakitori, it's easier to just let the pictures speak for themselves:

Cabbage with a light vinagrette and grated daikon

Chicken thigh and miso pork

tsukune (minced chicken) and egg yolk

Cheese stuff shitake mushrooms (meh)

Shredded shiso on tsukune

Garlic liver...yum!

Bacon (?) wrapped asparagus

Monday, August 24, 2015

Spice Magic Calcutta South Indian NishiKassai

Location: Spice Magic Calcutta South Indian NishiKassai

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  1290yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dishes: Keema dosa lunch set with "butter" milk (salty lassi)
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes

A couple of weeks back I visited the Spice Magic Calcutta restaurant that is north west of Nishikasai station, and yesterday I visited the one that is located south east of the station.  The difference between the two is that the one to the north specializes in northern Indian cuisine, while the one to the south specializes in southern Indian cuisine.  Convenient!

Buttermilk or Salty Lassi
 Actually, they share a lunch special menu, so I could have had the same thing (the biriyani) but of course I wanted something distinctly southern, so I went for a dosa set.  There are 3 different dosa lunch sets, and I wanted meat so I got the one with a keema option.  It also came with some tandoori chicken, a couple of chutneys, a soupy curry like dish, a papad, and my choice of drink.  I asked for a salty lassi and got a confused look.  Luckily the Indian dude next to me (always a good sign) said I wanted a "butter milk" which was basically the same thing.  I took a chance and yes, it was.  It was delicious, with spices and cut up fragrant vegetables in there too.  It had a bit of a burn to it actually!

Delicious dosa!
 All of the flavors were there, and the dosa was delicious.  Really good stuff, though it did tend to be a bit on the salty side.  It was a bit crowded and smoking is allowed, so that's a bit of a negative.  Honestly, it wasn't better than what we can get at Royal Parasol in Hayama, but if we hadn't discovered that already, this place would get an Excellent rating.  As it is, it's Very Good, and I'm looking forward to bringing my wife and son there as they return from the US this week.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Location: Hungry's

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  2200 yen
Payment:  Cash only
Dishes:  Double serving of premium hamburg steak with egg, avocado and ginger sauce reduction
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes

I love being surprised!  Hungry's is a "casual" restaurant that serves the usual "western" food that one sees at Japanese "family" restaurants (I'll try to stop using quotes).  I recently ate at a fancy themed one of these at More's City and gave it a "not great."  Hungry's is not fancy or a chain (I believe).  With smoking allowed, I'd hesitate to bring kids.  But they have a nice diner vibe going on, so there is some good atmosphere.

The menu leans towards the "hamburg" option (like salisbury steak), but they have a "premium" and a "normal" version.  The Premium version is Japanese beef, while the Normal doesn't list a country of origin.  There is also steak and some other dishes in there (pork and chicken steak).  I figured I'd give the Premium hamburg a try, and since previous experience with size was that they tend towards small, I got a double portion.  And fried egg and avocado for good measure.  You get to pick a sauce, but they were out of the "japanese" sauce that I prefer, so I asked for the ginger sauce from the pork dish and they said no problem.

It took a while to cook, but when it arrived I realized I didn't need a double portion.  The hamburg steaks were these large balls of meat, well cooked, and they weren't that strangely soft texture that other hamburg I've had possessed.  It was even a little dry, but that was fine because of the delicious sauce!  Wow, that was a great reduction, including steak juice in there I'm sure, salty but a perfect complement to the rice and the hamburg.  There were some nice crispy wedge fries too, and of course the egg was done perfectly, the yolk still soft, and the avocado was fresh and excellent.

So, what a pleasant experience!  It was a ton of food, more than I needed, but now I know their portions are large, so I'll got with just one next time for sure.  It's nice to find a version of hamburg I can recommend and revisit.