Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mon

Location: Mon

Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price: 5140 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Yakisoba pie, all horse meat:  smoked tongue, deep fried innards, tenderloin steak
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


The only local whalemeat restaurant (Ren) had been replaced a while back by a new horsemeat restaurant (Mon).  I finally got a chance to stop by and check it out the other night.


I've had horse sashimi at other izakayas in the past and didn't really care for it (raw animal meat that isn't fish is just too chewy for my taste generally, and there's the potential for getting sick).  I was hopeful this place, being dedicated to horse meat, might have some cooked options on the menu.  I wasn't disappointed.


It's an izakaya, and there was smoking, so beware.  Also there's the mandatory appetizer, which was some roasted edamame.  Absolutely no English, but the server worked with me.  I saw they had some nice looking nihonshu (sake) bottles and managed to order a small amount of some...but it wasn't on the menu so I'm not sure how much it was.  It was delicious however.

Smoked tongue

For food I stuck with cooked options, ordering smoked tongue, deep fried horumon (innards) and the tenderloin steak.  At one point I noticed some dishes sitting up on the counter and one looked deliciously like an egg covered shepherd's pie, so I ordered some of that.  Mistake...it was a fancy yakisoba pie, with the inside being dark colored yakisoba noodles.  I really dislike the flavors in yakisoba, and of course they dressed the pie slice with the sweet sauce and mayonnaise typical of this fair food.  I ate it, but didn't enjoy it.

Deep fried innards

The rest of the food as all a bit of a disappointment too.  The tongue slices were just ok, thin and not that distinctive.  The deep fried horumon was chewy in the extreme, with no discernible taste.  And the steak was partly very tough, with a very long chewing session to choke it down.  Part of it was descent, but again, nothing to speak of in the flavor department, and swimming in a demiglaze sweet sauce that overwhelmed the meat itself.

Yakisoba pie

The price tag for the meal was quite high, and given my lackluster experience of the food, I can only rate this place Ok, despite the pleasant service and atmosphere.  I may come back again with a friend to try the horse sashimi options in the future.

Tenderloin steak

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Yozenya

Location: Yozenya


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price: 2700 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Steak
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Second place I ate at at Narita Airport.  Much better steak but also much more expensive.  Averages out to ok.


Yanma

Location: Yanma


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price: 1500 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Steak
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No



Picked relatives at the airport last night and had some time before to try a couple of places out.  The first is this steak spot...I got the largest amount of meat possible, a 200g steak.  It was just ok.



Saturday, December 14, 2019

Spyro's

Location: Spyro's


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price: 3310 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Grilled haloumi cheese, greek salad, yogurt chicken
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Met a friend near Kamata once again and we ended up at a Greek restaurant nearby.  He wasn't keen on eating, so I only I ate.  Ordered a bit more in case he wanted some, but he didn't.


The food was just so so, not great.  The yogurt chicken was especially disappointing for its lack of flavor.  It needed salt at least and none was to be found.  Grilled haloumi is impossible to mess up, and greek salad easy to make so while those were nice, they were not impressive.


Given the prices and quality I wouldn't recommend this spot generally for Greek.  Not that we have much choice here in Japan...

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cocktail Works

Location: Cocktail Works


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 10,000 yen
Dishes:  Two drinks, two dishes
Payment: Credit cards accepted
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Not being fans of bars in general I don't review them much here.  But on our last evening in Karuizawa my wife and I were in the mood for a nicer restaurant, and we had seen this amazing looking bar earlier in the day when we happened by and bought some whiskey and gin from the very nicely supplied store next to it.  When we couldn't get into our first restaurant of choice, we came back to try the food here.


The bar itself is gorgeous, and extremely well stocked with top shelf whiskeys and other liquor.  The food menu is short, but well put together, and they cook everything right there behind the bar somehow.  Everything is expensive, but they aren't pretending it will be anything else, and luckily it was the time for a nice evening out.


My wife had the chicken, I had the beef.  Hers was the better tasting dish overall, but mine wasn't have bad either.  The only pity was it was quite small.  Our drinks were excellent too, with my wife realizing she really quite likes a Martini, which makes sense given her taste for gin (we bought a hops infused gin earlier from the other side of the store).  I had a rare-find Laphroig whiskey, which came on a hand chipped ball of ice.  So good!


The overall price was eye-popping, but definitely a pleasant experience and a real treat.


Ajihei

Location: Ajihei


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 4000 yen
Dishes:  Several dishes
Payment: Cash only
English Menu: No
Smoking: No?

Karuizawa is a small tourist town, and everything seems to shut down after 6pm.  We were there with a couple of friends after 6 and needed dinner, so we wandered down the "ginza" shopping street looking for anything open.  The only thing we found that time was this chinese restaurant.

Luckily we had a Chinese native speaker with us from the same region as the owners, so they were very kind and made some special order dishes.  My wife and I stuck with some basics, and I had the scrambled eggs with tomatoes dish I knew I could count on.  It was actually quite tasty, as was everything else we had.  Definitely recommended if you are there late and need some grub.





Saturday, November 16, 2019

Fukuya

Location: Fukuya

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 3000 yen
Payment: Paid by cash, not sure about CC
Dishes: Two tomato egg scrambles, kung pao chicken, vegetable dish
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:  I don't think so


Wen to lunch the other day with a friend from work.  I needed to find a dish with mostly eggs as I'm on a short diet of just eggs.  We went to this spot which has changed ownership over the years, but I hadn't eaten at since the last change.


The menu is pretty extensive, and the owners are clearly chinese.  It appears to be the usual Japanese chinese stuff however.  I ordered two tomato egg scramble dishes and my friend had a kung pao chicken plus another vegetable dish.  I did not care for my dishes as the sauce was quite goopy (cornstarch thickener probably), slightly tomato-saucy and sweet.  I regretted my choices the rest of the afternoon.  My friend said his dish was decent enough.


I was impressed by the wall of Japanese whiskeys they had on display, so not a bad spot to come for a drink I guess.


Overall I'm giving it a Not Great, though perhaps if I come back when not on a such a restrictive diet I might raise it if the food is better.