I've been meaning to check out dot.Eatery and Bar since it recently opened, the terrace looks nice for evening. I got the soup (bean) and salad (taco) lunch special with iced tea for ¥1000 plus tax. Nothing special but a pretty good bargain.
Today I stopped in Okubo at Tiger Gyoza Hall for lunch. Somehow I didn't feel like ramen or gyoza and went with the grilled pork, green peppers, and onions set lunch. The tan tan men and various gyoza look good though, so I'll be back to try them at some point.
I found another elite burger joint in Meguro in Hungry Heaven. I usually order a cheeseburger first visit to a new shop, but this time I tried the Grill Grill Grill-grilled onions, tomato, bacon (Japanese style so closer to ham), and mozzarella cheese, fries and a drink for only ¥950. Great bun and burger, not a big fan of Japanese bacon and the tomatoes made it slippery and hard to eat. Still It's one of the best I've eaten at in Tokyo-next time I'll go for something simpler.
After reading a few impressive reviews of Butcher Brothers in Kanda, I finally made it there to try out their steak lunch plate. As you can see they pack it in with generous portions of steak, fries, rice, and even chicken-all for the reasonable price of ¥950. I'd like to go back and try the smoked curry rice which is a bargain at ¥500.
I was introduced to Shake Tree, a gourmet hamburger restaurant in Sumida in between Kinshicho and Ryogoku stations, at Taste of Tokyo. I thought I'd try it out since it was on my way home from my Monday job. I got the bacon cheeseburger (¥1250) and it was excellent-complete with handmade buns and squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard.
I read a couple of online reviews about the Michelin one star soba restaurant Okina and wanted to visit since it is my neighborhood, Ebisu. Above is the entrance to the basement located shop.
The starter was eggplant with chives and dried jako (tiny young sardines or anchovies that have been boiled then salted and dried, thus naturally preserved and are used in many Japanese dishes).
This was followed by a sashimi course with hotate (scallops), shako (mantis shrimp), and karasumi (dried salted mullet roe) from left to right.
Baby corn form Nagano with nikumiso (miso paste with ground meat).
More sashimi, tai (sea bream) and hamo (daggertooth river conger) from left to right.
Next was grilled anago (salt water eel) in a sweet soy based sauce.
Sato imo (taro root).
When eating washoku (Japanese style food), I usually like to have some nihonshu (sake). I didn't keep track of the brands but this one was from Fukui-dry and light.
Fried tofu with soba seeds.
The main event was the soba (buckwheat noodles), and I believe this was sarashina soba: thin, light-colored soba, made with refined buckwheat. All of the dishes were exquisitely displayed and extremely fresh and of high quality. I enjoyed all of them and many were served cold which seemed appropriate for the high humidity day of the visit. It was ¥15,000 per person for the course. I don't eat at places this expensive often, but I felt satisfied with my meal and experince.
Nakayoshi Hanare is a new washoku (Japanese food) restaurant that opened a few months ago down the street from my apartment. I tried out the lunch set and went with an old favorite, chicken nanban for ¥880. An excellent value-I think this might become a go to dinner spot.
Tried a new casual French style restaurant in Ebisu, Les Mariages De Gaku, and thought it was an impressive menu, the set menu was just over ¥5000. There were a couple choices available for the main dishes and dessert.
This appetizer was really interesting:a savory doughnut made from seaweed and shrimp with American sauce (shrimp and crab based) matched with a cold green pea soup-think gazpacho.
This dish was also intriguing: at the top was squid on white asparagus, a sunny side up mini egg (quails?) on salmon, and saba (mackeral from Fukuoaka) on eggplant and a sauce amongst other assorted fresh vegetables.
This was a scallop with baby corn wrapped up in hamo (a daggertooth pike conger-a kind of eel) with an asparagus sauce.
I chose Iberico pork ground up and formed into a patty with a chorizo-based sauce with vegetable garnish-my favorite dish of the night.
My dining companion went with Aichibo (meat from the rump) wagyu beef.
Another engaging dish, tuskemen style cold noodles (noodles dipped into s separate soup before being eaten) to be dipped in a cold gazpacho soup.
I had the passionfruit creme brulet.
My dining companion's dessert-the top part was sort of a meringue-based dessert on a bed of fruit. All in all one of the best and most interesting meals I've had in some time.
I thought I'd check out the Australian Mexican food chain Guzman y Gomez in their Harajuku location in the La Foret building on Meijidori. I ordered two tacos, beef and chicken,and a burrito bowl with chipolte pork. First, the good: three types of sauce (the habernero was really hot), a condiments bar with cilantro, red onions, and jalapeno peppers, and the tacos were served with a fresh lime, tasty pork. The bad: the beef and chicken were tasteless. The verdict is that Firjoles is better, and there's a location in Roppongi, but not bad if you've got a hankering for fast food Mexican in Harajuku. Also, not cheap, the tacos were ¥850.