Monday, October 15, 2018

Dr. Cafe

Location: Dr. Cafe


Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch for 3
Price: 2190 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Omurice, egg and bacon rice dish, egg and cheese sandwich
English Menu: No
Smoking: Smoking section available


Ugh...we struck out Sunday after church.  Tried to eat at an interesting looking Halal restaurant, but it was having technical difficulties and wasn't quite open yet.  As usual after church, it's already late and we were all starving, so we didn't have much patience for wandering around.  Ended up at this Dr. Cafe spot which we could already tell wouldn't be very good, but oh well.


Sure enough, the food was entirely forgettable, with all of us commenting on the sad situation.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all.


Tori Gin Hayama

Location: Tori Gin Hayama


Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 3760 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Salmon teishoku, ala cart yakitori
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Tori Gin is a very good yakitori restaurant I've reviewed before at the Yokosuka location.  There are a handful of other spots, including in Tokyo, but for some reason there is another one near us just over the border between Yokosuka and Hayama.  My wife and I were out for a walk on Saturday and realized we were close enough to walk there, so we did.


My wife ordered a teishoku that included one of their signature rice dishes with pieces of salmon on top, along with a couple of pieces of yakitori.  I needed to avoid the rice so I just ordered several pieces of yakitori ala cart, along with the most delicious thing they make:  roasted onion slices.

Salmon teishoku

It was just as good as the other location, but a bit more difficult to get to for us, so we probably won't be back too often.  Lovely spot though. 

Roasted potatoes

Roasted onion

Chicken yakitori

Liver, tail and tsukune yakitori

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Jin Din Rou

Location: Jin Din Rou


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  3300 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Soup dumpling sampler, shumai sampler, cold chicken with peanut sauce
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


My wife and I hopped on the train on Wednesday night and headed up to the Yokohama Sogo department store to check out some modern futons and actually try them out.  Then we had dinner upstairs on the 10th floor at Jin Din Rou, a chinese restaurant specializing in dim sum.

Cold chicken with peanut sauce

We opted for a couple of samplers, first of the soup dumplings, and second of the shumai.  Also we ordered a cold chicken with peanut sauce appetizer to round things out.  We were planning on ordering more if we felt hungry, but ended being quite satisfied.

Soup dumpling sampler

Of the soup dumplings, the oolong tea were the best, with the crab being a close follow up.  The shumai wasn't that great in my opinion.  The cold chicken was delicious.

Shumai sampler

I would have given this place a Very Good if it wasn't so pricey, especially compared with the dumpling spot right next to where our church is meeting now in Ueno.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Materia

Location: Materia


Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch for 3
Price:  4590 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Salmon and mushroom, pork and kabocha, quiche
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


On a three day weekend, we tend to have to figure out something to do on the third day lest we all go crazy.  We decided to drive out to the tip of Uraga where there is a small museum/aquarium with a restaurant nearby.  After this we hiked up in the hills and parks around Kannonzaki.  But this is about the restaurant, Materia.  It's a french restaurant specializing in bouillabaisse dishes and raw egg yoke desserts.  Each of the main dishes comes with a tea kettle filled with some bouillabaisse which is then poured over the dish.


My son was unable to find anything he liked, so we ordered him the cheese quiche just in case his opinion might change.  It did not, so we got to eat his meal too.  Oh well...he had two pieces of pizza for breakfast, so he would live.


My wife ordered the salmon with mushrooms, while I got a pork dish that came with some kabocha.  The staff dutifully poured the bouillabaisse over and we set to work.  First of all, I want to be clear that I am not some french food snob...I know next to nothing about it.  But when I put something in my mouth, I know whether I like it or not.  And this bouillabaisse sauce was stunningly unimpressive.  I kept commenting that it was close to a thick cream of tomato soup from a can (not a compliment).  It was so bland as to be offensive.  This was in quite a bit of contrast to the food itself, which was very delicious.  Even the little plate of vegetables we got beforehand was impressively tasty.  I kind of wish we had tried some of the weird raw egg desserts they had, but we were about to head into the hills to hike, so decided against that.


Overall, an odd combination of bland and uninteresting signature bouillabaisse and some tasty food.  Added to this the rather spendy prices and we can't give it more than an Ok.  The view was great though!


Naga Raja

Location: Naga Raja


Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  2660 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Chicken curry set, Thali set
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


My son and I were holed up this weekend as a heat wave returned and my wife was off galavanting as she is wont to do.  We were going a bit stir-crazy so I decided we should take the train down to our first home town here in Japan:  Kurihama.  I remembered eating once at an interesting Indian restaurant run by an old Japanese man.  It wasn't bad as I recalled and since I started this blog after moving to Yokosuka, I have very few reviews from my first stomping grounds.

Thali

We showed up a little before opening at 11:30, and were the first ones in.  This was a good thing as by the time we finished ordering the place had filled up and he was turning people away by 11:45.  It's a first come, first served kind of place, but even so we didn't get out of there til around 12:30.  I wish I could say this meant the food was amazing, but sadly it was a mixture of pretty good to disappointing.

Chicken curry

I was surprised to see him advertising paratha bread and had to get some.  This was one of the disappointments as it was more of a puffed fried bread.  The naan was a bit sad too, as he doesn't have a tandoor and therefore is using store-bought preformed highly processed bread as far as I can see.  My son liked it though.

He usually gets butter chicken, but they don't have that here as he claims to be making southern Indian cuisine.  My son opted for the regular chicken curry, which was the lunch special.  Unfortunately he didn't like it as it was slightly spicy.  I liked it quite a bit, as it had good flavor and whole spices.  It did arrive a bit cold however.

I wanted to try as many curries as possible, and he does have quite a spread, so I opted for the Thali lunch which came with three curries.  I got the mutton keema, the mutton tomato, and the goya coconut curry.  Of the three, the mutton tomato was the most disappointing, consisting primarily of what tasted to me like canned tomatoes with a bit of spices added.  I ate the few pieces of tough meat and left the rest.  The mutton keema was pretty good though, and the goya coconut curry was very tasty.  The thali came with a small piece of tandoori chicken (tasty but tiny), and some pieces of spiced kabocha which were delicious.

Overall, the ups and downs cancel each other out and I have to give this place an Ok.  It makes a nice change from all the Napalese run curry joints you find everywhere here.

Katsusen

Location: Katsusen


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 3
Price: 6120 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: 3 tonkatsu teishoku
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

My aunt came to visit us recently and on her way out via Haneda we took her to a tonkatsu restaurant there as she hadn't yet had any.  I was surprised to see I had never reviewed this particular tonkatsu restaurant (Katsusen) before, so I took a few quick photos, but forgot to get the outside sign.

The quality of the katsu itself was quite high, and I enjoyed the red miso soup, a bit of a rarity in these parts.  I was a bit surprised to find when I looked the place up that it is owned by the Wako group, which runs a chain of very decent tonkatsu restaurants you can find everywhere.







Monday, September 24, 2018

Takemotoya

Location: Takemotoya

Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  4960 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  5 types of offal, extra chicken hearts, duck skin, bibimbap, cold sake, coke, 3 types of namul
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes


My son and I were out looking for dinner the other night and came across a spot I've long meant to go to, but hadn't had the chance yet.  It's a Yakiniku restaurant specializing in horumon (offal) cuts.  Who knew there were so many different kinds of intestines!


They are a cut above in that they use actual charcoal instead of gas, and of course the selection is pretty unique.  They have an English menu, digital and analogue, and they weren't freaked out by gaijin coming in.

Namul

My son is not so adventurous, so he got a bibimbap, but he did try the hearts and duck skin I ordered and quite liked those.  Not knowing much about offal (even in English), I went for the 5 types selection, along with extra hearts and duck skin.  I was surprised by a couple of the meats (pork small intestine and abomasum - the 4th cow stomach) which were deliciously soft and fatty, while some of the others were what I've come to expect:  chewy as all get out.  The hearts were delicious, as was the duck skin.

5 types of offal

Overall, it made for a nice change of yakiniku pace, and honestly I wouldn't mind returning to try out some of the other interesting things on the menu.  Also, the price wasn't bad at all for yakiniku.  Still, I just don't enjoy the process of sitting there cooking my own food, so I can't give it much beyond an Ok.  And the chances of getting to come back are slim as no on else in my family is likely to appreciate it.

Bibimbap and duck skin