Friday, May 25, 2018

T.N. Meat Works

Location: T.N. Meat Works




Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 1600 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Wagyu steak
English Menu:Yes
Smoking: No

I met a friend for a couple of beers and dinner up at Shinagawa Station last night.  There is an Antenna America outlet in the Atre mall just next to the station.  They occasionally have good beers on tap and sure enough there a couple of Stone brews worth drinking.  The area is a weird upscale food court, so you can get your beers from Antenna, then there are 4 or 5 other food counters around to choose from.  I chose T.N. Meat Works as I'm eating low carb these days.

Wagyu Steak
I should have just ordered the chicken, but I was a sucker and got the wagyu steak which was twice the price.  Fun fact: "wagyu" just means "Japanese beef" so every time you hear someone say "Wagyu Beef," they are saying "Japanese Beef Beef."

It was tiny, and kind of tough.  Wasn't too pleased with it, but oh well.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kuribou

Location: Kuribou


Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 1450 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Okonomiyaki and horumon yasai yakiudon
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


When we first arrived in Japan, we lived in Kurihama for 2 years.  This was about 30 minutes further south from Yokosuka, and eventually we decided we'd rather live in Yokosuka proper and save the commute time.  I didn't begin this blog until after we moved to Yokosuka, so all those restaurants I had eaten at prior haven't been on this blog.  Yesterday, my wife and I were in Kurihama at a hardware store looking for some items, and after we were done we walked over to a nearby Okonomiyaki restaurant called Kuribou that was new since we had been in town last.

Okonomiyaki

What makes Kuribou a bit unique is that it serves Hiroshima style okonomiyaki.  The Osaka style is more popular in the Tokyo area, but we tried Hiroshima style when we were there and actually kind of like it better.  Personally, I'm not a big okonomiyaki fan, mainly because I find the ingredients unappetizing and the sauce repugnant.  But occasionally I've had okonomiyaki I liked.  But my wife loves it, so we go now and then.

Yakiudon

Kuribou is a very small restaurant, with a single large teppan and lots of seats around it.  The owner is an older guy, clearly doing something he likes.  The heat inside was pretty intense, due to the hot teppan, and we were both glad to escape at the end.  My wife ordered a typical Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, while I opted for stir fried vegetables, internal organs and udon noodles.  There were no low carb options obviously.  He made my wife's okonomiyaki first, and then my dish, so it's very much a one at a time deal.  If there are lots of people, I assume it could take some time.  But I think the idea is to drink while you wait, so no big deal if you have the time.  Luckily it was just the two of us there.

My wife enjoyed her dish well enough, but afterwards she said it wasn't particularly great.  My dish was just meh as well.  I did notice the guy seemed to use a lot of off the shelf ingredients.  I guess if you are really hankering for Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, that would be a reason to go visit, but otherwise I probably wouldn't head back.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ramen Shiro

Location: Ramen Shiro

Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner
Price: 930 yen
Payment: Cash only, vending machine
Dishes: Medium soy sauce ramen, an egg, spicy miso paste
English Menu: No
Smoking: No



As I was walking home from "first dinner" last night I walked past a new ramen shop near Kenritsudaigaku station.  I thought I had enough room for a small bowl of ramen, so I stopped in to check it out.


Soy sauce chicken broth ramen

There are two types of ramen and one type of tsukemen.  The first featured what looked like white chicken meat with white broth.  I'm not fond of white chicken meat, so I went for the pork meat with soy sauce broth.  I also added an egg and spicy miso paste.

The ramen arrived with beautifully arranged, lightly blanched vegetables.  I was worried the broth would be super light, but it was actually nicely rich with flavors of soy sauce and chicken broth.  The charshu was quite good, soft and fatty.  The noodles are a thinner variety, but not quite hakata style.  I was also pleased to add some fried onion bits and another onion sauce with oil and blackened onion bits.  Overall the flavors were quite strong and delicious, so I was pleasantly surprised.

On my way out, the chef informed me that the main broth used in the white ramen was superior, so I asked for a taste, and he obliged.  He was right...even richer chicken goodness, with a creamy mouthfeel.  I am excited to bring my wife back here as she quite likes a good chicken broth...but really, who doesn't?

Uochou

Location: Uochou


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner
Price: 3560 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Roasted boneless chicken, whelk, sake, awamori
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes

Sake

Last night was Wednesday, so time to go a-hunting for a new place to eat.  I took the bus down past Kenritsudaigaku station, hoping to find a particular spot open.  It wasn't, so I backtracked along 16 towards the station and eventually came to Uochou, a small izakaya.  It's definitely not a spot many foreigners eat at, so they weren't sure if I should be there, but I bulled ahead.

Mandatory appetizer, tuna sashimi with goya and miso

I ordered a"big spicy roasted chicken" which turned out to be a roasted boneless chicken thigh/leg piece.  It was quite tasty.  I wanted some hotate and asked if it was on the menu, but it wasn't.  Instead I was recommended to try something else, and I accepted.  Turns out it was some kind of whelk.  Whelk is nothing like hotate, so I was a bit disappointed by that, but my bad for not checking the kanji first.

Roasted boneless chicken

I initially ordered some cold sake which went down nicely.  Later I saw they had a 6 year old version of my favorite brand of awamori (Zuisen), so I had to try that too.  It was very good.  So the price above can probably be reduced by a couple thousand yen for just food.

Whelk

What I really enjoyed was chatting in broken Japanese with the hostess, an older lady who seemed quite friendly to all her customers.  A couple of other guys came in and she seemed to know exactly what they wanted without their asking.  Her son was working the kitchen, and he seemed very serious and dedicated.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Kuishinbo

Location: Kuishinbo


Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 2810 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Chicken steak set, mixed steak, butter corn side
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Not during lunch


After church on Sunday my wife and I had to take the train back to Yokosuka, so we walked to the entrance and then cast about for a place to eat at before descending to the Tokyo subway system.  Luckily there was a lower end steak joint nearby, perfect for my lo-carb tendencies these days.


My wife opted for the cheaper chicken steak set, which came with some rice, salad and soup.  I had a mixed steak combo.  It was ok, my wife liked her chicken, my steak was fine, but not great.  It worked for what we needed at the time.

Butter corn
Mixed steak combo

Chicken steak

Mantra

Location: Mantra


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 2700 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Chicken tikka masala, nawabi gosht
English Menu:Yes
Smoking:No


I was in Tokyo this weekend and on Saturday evening I had checked into a hotel near Ueno station.  As I was waiting for my wife to join me, I wandered down to the big market area just south of the station and found Sheesha Dubai, a shisha joint.  After spending a couple of hours there I started hunting for dinner.  It's really hard to pick a place to eat when there are so many all around.  Eventually I spotted an Indian restaurant named Mantra on the 3rd floor of a building and made my way up.


They had a buffet option, but I wasn't inspired by the choices.  Also, the bread options were strictly naan, so again, not a good sign.  I went for some chicken tikka masala and a lamb curry dish.  At first I was really surprised by how tender the lamb was, til I realized it was actually lamb kebab, not pieces of lamb.  Both dishes tasted ok, but lacked in the multi-spectrum of real indian food.  Heavily salty actually.  They did make me a salty lassi, for which I am grateful.


Overall, an ok Indian spot.  There are better, but further away.


Moses Kebab

Location: Moses Kebab


Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 750 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Coffee, shawarma cup
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


I was in Tokyo this weekend doing various things and one of those involved meeting some friends near Akihabara station.  Prior to this I needed to grab lunch, so I was looking forward to eating at one of the better shawarma stands I've tried in Japan located right in the middle of the Akihabara electronics/anime/maid cafe area.  Unfortunately, it had been replaced by a less appetizing version of a shawarma stand (one lacking lamb kebab), and it was closed at the rather early hour I showed up.  So I walked back to a shawarma spot I had seen nearer the station.

Shawarma cup

It was pretty early and I wasn't ready to eat yet, so I asked if I could just order a coffee and sit down in their upstairs seating area until about 10am which was the earliest I could envision eating lunch.  They obliged, despite the fact that they didn't have coffee on the menu, and I was able to sit quietly by myself, listening to a podcast, charging my iphone, and enjoying the air conditioning.  Eventually I got hungry enough and ordered a shawarma cup, basically meat with some shredded cabbage, tomato and sauce.  It was really quite good, though the taste is still not what I crave when I think of shawarma in the middle east.  It just lacks the spices.  The tomatoes were really delicious and ripe.

Moses runs the place and he's quite fun to talk to.  I would possibly stop by here again some day if I'm looking for a low carb, pleasant spot to cool down, especially in the summer.  Prices are good too.