Monday, November 12, 2018

Tsuta

Location: Tsuta


Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch
Price: 1800 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Shoyu wanton chashu ramen
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Instructions

Well I had a treat last Saturday.  Some friends of ours were having a baby shower and the other husband and I decided to try a Michelin star rated ramen joint near where they live.  This is the first Michelin starred restaurant I've ever eaten at I believe

English menu

Getting in is the most unusual part, otherwise they operate just like any other ramen spot.  If you want a guaranteed spot (11 to 3pm), you have to show up right when they open with the same number of people that you want to eat with and buy "tickets" (plastic laminated cards) for a 1000 yen deposit each.  Then you come back around the time you are told and get in the long line.  Eventually someone will come out and collect you and the tickets (giving you back your deposit), bringing you inside to buy your actual meal ticket from the vending machine.  There is an English explanatory menu as well.  After buying your meal tickets, you hand those over and are escorted back in line.  I was a bit worried now as there was nothing to identify us beyond the person's memory of us.  They come back out again and escort you back in just as your ramen is ready to serve.  It's rather elaborate, but probably developed to handle the crowds of people that started clogging the place when they got famous.


Detailed ingredients

Anyway, on to the ramen itself.  We both chose their "signature dish", a shoyu (soy sauce) based broth, made with several different special soy sauces, including some truffle oil in there as well.  I was a bit worried about it as truffle oil can be overwhelming and cloying if not used properly, but it was really just a hint in there and not inappropriate.  The broth was quite delicious and not heavy like a tonkotsu broth.  It was layered and complex, so for a connoisseur that would elevate it beyond the typical ramen for sure.  The noodles were specially made and were thin, but a bit softer than usual, falling apart a bit in the mouth.  Definitely lacking in the chewiness I prefer in noodles, but I do expect a bit from soba.  They actually call the noodles "soba" but I'm sure they aren't buckwheat.  Soba can be used in different context to mean different things.  The charshu (roasted pork) was very delicious, using fatty portions but cut very thinly, and with an aromatic roasted taste.  Lastly the wantons were quite tasty, with lots of noodly skin hanging off of them.


Michelin star shoyu ramen!

Overall, my friend and I both thought it was very good ramen, but honestly not the best we've had.  It didn't really blow us away, which is what I would expect from a Michelin starred spot.  That being said, if you are a ramen expert, it probably does provide some uniquely complex, though subtle flavors that might be a refreshing change from some of the overpowering richness of other styles.  There are also at least 4 other ramen dishes on the menu that I wouldn't mind returning and trying, so maybe I'll update this review in the future if I have something truly mind blowing.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Motsushou

Location: Motsushou


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner
Price: 2700 yen
Payment: Cash only (pretty sure)
Dishes: Awamori, raw beef liver, pork offal soup, 6 piece offal set
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes (pretty sure)



Last night I finally made it to a local joint I've passed by many a time.  I was actually trying to review a new spot that recently opened up, but it was closed so I searched around and remember Motsushou.  Typically when you see "motsu" in the title or description of a restaurant you are looking at a place specializing in offal.  This place was no exception, and is very similar to another place just around the corner.  Actually there are 3 motsu type spots on this block, one of which is yakiniku style.


Pork offal soup

At first it looked like they didn't have an English menu, but then one appeared, along with a waitress who spoke perfect English.  So, pretty easy if you can't decipher the menu, and honestly deciphering specialized Japanese kanji for weirdly specific intestinal items is difficult even if you've been here a while.


Raw beef liver

I ordered the two main specialties, raw beef liver and pork intestine soup, along with the 6 piece set of offal on sticks, and an awamori (drink).  The raw beef liver came with a hot stone to sear the outsides of the liver and it stayed surprisingly hot throughout the meal, still searing when I was done.  The liver tasted delicious of course.  The pork offal soup was ok, but a bit bland, and most of the offal was very chewy, not my favorite.  The sticks varied between chewy and delicious (especially the chicken hearts).  I would just order lots of chicken hearts next time probably, they are only 150 yen a pop.


Various sticks

Overall, pretty good stuff and I wouldn't mind going back.


More sticks

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Ushio

Location: Ushio


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  6150
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Cold sake, hot sake (accidentally ordered), kimchi pork, 4 piece deep fried chicken/pork/squid on a stick, maguro, roasted chicken thigh, tomato salad
English Menu: No (drinks only)
Smoking: Yes


Last night my wife and I grabbed dinner out, attempting to review a new place that recently opened.  However it was closed so we walked around the block and found another new place that had recently opened, an Izakaya called Ushio.  It seems very new, with staff still in training.

Mandatory appetizer

The only translated menu was the drink menu, but despite this the guy taking our order managed to misunderstand me and bring us both a cold sake glass and a large hot sake urn.  So we had a lot more to drink than we intended, but didn't feel like making a scene.

Too much sake

The food was just ok overall, and the vibe wasn't that great, so I'm giving it a low Ok.

Maguro

Tomato salad

Deep fried sticks of goodness


Kimchi pork

Roasted chicken

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Beer Restaurant G.G.C.



Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  Not sure
Payment: Not Sure
Dishes:  Pork schnitzel, weisswurst
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes


I met a couple of friends from church at the Keikyu Kamata station the other night.  None of us really knew the area but we gravitated towards the big welcoming sign of "Beer Restaurant G.G.C." in all of its German glory.

Garlic fried potatos

They have tons of German beers, but the only one of any quality I recognized was Weihenstephan.  They had Vitus (a strong Weizen) and I had to try it out.  Unfortunately, there was only enough for one, and it tasted a bit weak to me, like it was the end of the batch...which it was.

Weisswurst

I ordered a pork schnitzel which wasn't all that great really, and a weisswurst, which was also just ok.  One friend ordered some potato dishes which I didn't taste.

Schnitzel

Overall it was just ok, not the amazing German restaurant find I was hoping it to be.  I was really hoping for a delicious schweinhaxe (pork knuckle) but they were all out.  My friend ended up paying and I gave him 2000 yen, so I'm not sure exactly how much it all cost.

Potatos and cream cheese

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Denny Meat Bar

Location: Denny Meat Bar


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  4518 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Steak, chicken, tandoori chicken salad, tomato and cream cheese dish
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


A new restaurant near Yokosuka Chuo station has opened up recently and my wife and I tried it out last night.  It appears to be run by Nepalese and is identifying as a "meat bar".  They are doing the Izakaya thing, except no mandatory appetizer, which is nice.  The food types and menu looked amazingly similar to another new "meat" restaurant under ground in Mikasa Mall, which did not impress.  I hoped for better.


And I got it, at least enough for an Ok rating.  The steak I had was actually quite delicious in the center, though the ends were gristly.  My wife's chicken was very tasty, as was the tomato and cream cheese dish.  The "tandoori chicken" salad was not so good though.


Overall, not bad.



Friday, October 19, 2018

Dairyu

Location: 1丁目-6-31 南幸 Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 220-8601, Japan


Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  1780 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Deep fried intestines, gyoza, shumai, cold chicken
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


Another visit to Yokohama to hang with a friend from church.  We opted for a Chinese spot because they are usually cheap.  I forgot to take pictures of the food, sorry, but it wasn't all that inspiring.  I tried to stick with non-rice dishes but ended up consuming a lot of wheat dough instead.  The deep fried hormone (intestines) were quite delicious I thought.  The rest of it was just meh, with the shumai being the least enjoyable, quite sweet.  A truly unremarkable spot, just ok.  But I wasn't there for the food, so that's fine.

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.