Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cafeteria

Location: Cafeteria

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch
Price: 1200 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Yokosuka Navy Curry
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No



This little upstairs "cafeteria" that is run by the same staff as the sweets shop below (which is quite nice BTW), is a bit of an afterthought.  I never got around to reviewing it during the initial push because it didn't open til 12pm and I go to lunch at 11am.   But I noticed the other day it had started opening at 11:30am, so I decided to give it a try.  I got there a bit early, so I bought a delicious cream filled chocolate eclair from the shop below to spend the time.




Meh...

They do have a small English menu, but their options for actual food are quite sparse, being either Navy Curry or pizza.  Given the prices on the pizzas I think we're talking tiny little things.  So the Navy Curry at 1200 yen was it.

They brought a small glass of milk and a bit of potato salad, and then the curry itself, devoid of vegetables, trace amounts of meat, and a dark, blandish sauce.  The best part was the dried onions on top.  Pretty much a dud of a meal (and tiny portions) for a rather expensive 1200 yen.  I can't really recommend the place, though the view of the ships is nice.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Doma Doma

Location: Doma Doma

Rating: Not great
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 4762 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Various dishes
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:Yes but if you get a cabin with a vent it's not an issue




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Update 10/12/2017

This restaurant is now closed it appears.

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Ok, last izakaya in the Gold's Gym building on Blue Street:  Doma Doma.  It wasn't very good, a step below all of the other ones I thought.  Same types of food, but everything (except the avocado) wasn't very good.  Here are the pictures:



Otoshi:  tofu with some ground meat

Tamago

yakitori

avocado on meat, bacon wrapped mochi

Cheese fondue with chicken and veg sticks

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tiger Yakiniku

Location: Tiger Yakiniku

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  3080 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Two yakiniku lunch sets (one regular, the other the "Lady's" set)
English Menu: Yes (but not lunch specials)
Smoking:Yes


So Tiger Yakiniku was recommended to us as one of the better examples of yakiniku after we explained our issues with the cuisine to someone else.  It's extremely close to Yokosuka Chuo station, down a little alley way full of several izakayas.  You might notice the sign saying something about "meat love" or something.  I think that's them, up on the 4th floor.  There's an elevator.


We tried to go there on Saturday night, but it was full up and we ended up finding somewhere else to eat.  I'm kind of glad now, as for lunch on Sunday it was practically empty.  They remember us from the previous night and apologized again for not having room.  They also gave us a little extra high quality meat for free, which was very nice.


They have an English menu, but it's the regular full menu.  The lunch specials menu is in Japanese, so you might need to do a little work.  Also, the specials are only available on certain days, which are indicated by the day of the week kanji in the upper right corner of each item's picture.  So it's a bit tricky...  We wanted to try meat, so my wife got the "lady's" set and I got a regular yakiniku set.  There was another one that was a bit more expensive, but we were both happy with our options when all was said and done.  Interestingly, the sets available at lunch appear to be very similar to the dinner sets, just lacking the "all you can drink for X minutes" option.  They are also significantly less expensive, making lunch time the best time to go.  Oh, one more thing...since Yakiniku is essentially a sub-cuisine of Korean food, they also had several standard Korean dishes on the lunch menu that were quite cheap, like bibimpap and such.


One thing that is very nice about Tiger Yakiniku is that they use charcoal in pots instead of gas grills, which results in much better flavor.  Also, the cuts of meat we were given were definitely top notch.  Of course you can order a la carte, if you know what you're doing, which we don't, being yakiniku phobes.  There were also lots of vegetables, nice and thickly cut, which we like.  Each set also came with egg soup, a bowl of rice, some sauces, a little bowl of typical Korean pickly things, and my wife's set came with some large lettuce leaves to wrap things in.  One thing conspicuously missing was any kimchi, but you can always order some if you want I guess.


Overall we were quite pleased, though it is a very slow and laborious process to cook your own meat and eat it.  The grills were a bit smaller than we were used to and the aluminum topper was easily moved if your meat stuck, but the charcoal flavor made up for that.  Both of us agreed that this was the best Yakiniku we've had so far.   However, we are still just not Yakiniku fans, so I didn't feel I could give it more than a Very Good.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Senkushiya

Location: Senkushiya


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 5452 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Various yakitori dishes
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes


Last night my wife and I went out to dinner looking to try a nice yakiniku place for my birthday.  However, they were full up.  So we walked around and tried another yakiniku place.  They were also fully booked for the evening.  So we walked around more and found a yakitori place which, though empty, we were told was completely reserved.  What gives?  Day before Father's Day parties?  Or just usual Saturday night business?  Not sure...anyway we finally found a yakitori place to try, though I mainly wanted to eat there for the hot pot picture on the sign which turns out had nothing to do with the restaurant at all...it was just a fairly run of the mill yakitori grill.

Gobo salad (not great)

So we bought a couple of drinks (yakitori places are kind of izakayas too) and ordered away.  The pictures are below.  Overall, though there were a couple of very tasty items (tsukune is one I remember), it was hit or miss.  I'd say it's a high Ok, but not quite enough to break the barrier into Very Good territory.  The smoking and priciness contribute to the slightly lower rating.

Tsukune, quite good

White meat with yuzu, ok

Garlic fried rice, pretty good

Karaage, very good

Thigh meat with stuff on, very good

"bacon" wrapped tomatoes, not great

Negi and chicken pieces, not great

IR Second House

Location: IR Second House

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  3560 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Pork and turnip pasta in cream sauce, eggs benedict with salmon
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Possibly outside


My wife and I were downtown on Saturday to sign papers for our lease renewal on our apartment and ended up near Shirokanedai station in Tokyo.  We used bento.com's excellent GPS location service to find nearby restaurants that they had reviewed and saw that IR Second House was recommended and close by.  What drew us was the promise of beer (for my wife, as I was driving), but while there were some interesting selections, there weren't a ton that we were interested in.  My wife ended up getting a decent hefeweizen though.


I ordered the lunch special (pasta) and my wife got the eggs benedict with salmon.  But first we were surprised with seriously hefty salads that were delicious!  The tomato in particular was so flavorful and juicy.  Then the actual food arrived and we were very impressed.  My pasta dish was a little small, but the flavors were excellent and the pasta cooked to perfection.  The eggs benedict (not a dish we've had often) was also quite tasty, the sauce just a little tart, the eggs perfectly runny, the lox was...well...loxxy, and it even had some wilted spinach underneath it all.  The french fries were a surprisingly tasty addition that was perfect to nibble on in between bites.

Pork and turnip cream pasta

Over all we were very impressed, despite the smallish portions.  We left feeling appropriately full however, which is good.  We'd be excited to come back and try their grilled meat which appears to be what they are known for.  While we were there, out on the back patio there were several groups of people next to barbecues where meat was being cooked for them fresh on the grill.  I don't know if that was a special thing or not, but it looked pretty incredible!  I suspect we might be giving this place an Excellent in the future, but for now it was a very high Very Good.

Eggs benedict with salmon

Friday, June 17, 2016

Kuimonoyawan

Location: Kuimonoyawan

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  5256 yen ( -1500 yen for drinks)
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Oden, yakitori, tsukune, carbonara gyoza...and other stuff...see below
English Menu:Yes - best English accomodation I've ever seen in a Japanese restaurant
Smoking:Yes but individual booths limit the seepage


Thursday night is Izakaya night and my son and I ate at the next to last one located in the Gold's Gym building on Blue Street, Kuimonoyawan.  This a chain you see advertised everywhere in Japan, usually recognizable by the giant "wan" (わん) on their signs.  Although the hallway outside the place reeked of nasty old stale smoke, the restaurant itself was nice, clean and well decorated.  We were shown to a private 2 person booth with an area under the table for our legs (much appreciated).

Communication sheet

They brought us 2 very nice English menus, along with a "communication" sheet with every possible interaction spelled out in English and Japanese so you could just point to something to be understood.  I was quite impressed with the flow-chart like diagrams and decisions laid out very well.  I wouldn't mind stealing of these sheets for especially difficult situations!

Otoshi salad (one free refill!)

The food itself was surprisingly large in size and I ended up over ordering for the two of us.  Recent experience leads me to assume all the dishes will be quite small, but not necessarily at this place!  The oden was a mere 650 yen, but when it arrived the bowl took up most of the table and there was literally half of a giant daikon radish sitting there.  I think I ended up eating about 1/8th of it.

Tamago, hot and surprisingly tasty

My son's picky tastes were not so easily catered to, as he did not care for most of the cheese inside things he ordered (some of the yakitori) or the tsukune.  He did like the cheese platter (missing from pictures for some reason) which had camambert and gouda.  He was most disappointed by the carbonara gyoza dish which contained potatoes and onions, two of his least favorite things.  I, on the other hand, liked pretty much everything that came, with the exception of the yakitori which was very small in size, kind of cold, and not very tasty.

Holy cow oden!

I think I actually look forward to coming back to that place some day, and it's nice to know they are about as common as McDonalds!

Beef tongue croquette

Cheese stuffed tsukune with raw egg yolk for dipping

Carbonara gyoza (with potatoes and onions)

Various "special" yakitori sticks...not great

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Takezushi

Location: Takezushi

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 1500 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Sashimi set
English Menu: no
Smoking: No smoking signs present, but one of the cooks lit up...


For lunch today I walked a bit farther than usual down into town and found a sushi restaurant I'd never tried before.  Their lunch menu is definitely the way to go if the prices are any indication.  I don't have much to say about it, but it wasn't super impressive to me.