Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ocean Kitchen

Location: Ocean Kitchen
Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 1180 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Locomoco
English Menu: No
Smoking: No

Ocean Kitchen is a primarily Hawaiian restaurant but mostly generic "western" with some Japanese dishes thrown in.  It's one of a few restaurants located on the "Umihotaru" (aka Sea Firefly), a structure located in the middle of Tokyo Bay where the elevated road from the Chiba side plunges into the Bay underground for almost 10km.  It's an eerie experience to be driving along above the water and the then to angle downwards into the water and disappear into the giant maw of the tunnel.  I had business in Chiba yesterday and was coming home at night around dinner time.  I had to use the bathroom so I stopped at Umihotaru and decided to eat and review a restaurant while there.

There are several other restaurants that might be better, but I was looking for something specific due to the diet I'm on now and I thought I spied something that would due at Ocean Kitchen.  The locomoco specifically looked it had the requisite ratio of carbs to meat that I needed.

The dish wasn't great, but serviceable.  I did not eat the fries or macaroni salad, but the hamburg was ok and the rice was rice.  Not bad, but not great.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Location: Yuntako

Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 2150 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Sashimi (fish and horse), goya champuru
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes

The temperature outside is finally coming down and I risked leaving my air conditioned apartment to hunt for some dinner last night.  As we're trying a low carb thing I figured I could find some yakitori or something, but instead ended up at an Okinawan izakaya.

fish of some kind

I asked after the sashimi selections and didn't quite understand the response, but ordered them anyway.  The first dish was a plate of some kind of silvery fish that was ok, not great.  The second was raw horse meat, not my favorite, but certainly low carb!

horse sashimi

Then I took forever but finally I got my goya champuru and was decent enough.  Overall, not a great impression, but maybe if I go back someday and try some other stuff I'll like it more.

goya champuru

Monday, September 11, 2017

Oskar Kebab

Location: Oskar Kebab
Turkish flag ahoy!

Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price:  1400 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Two kebab special plates, minus rice
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes

My wife and I stopped by an Indian spice store near Ueno station on the way home from church on Sunday.  We were famished and turned around to see a most welcome sight:  a turkish flag!  Our experience with donner kebabs in Japan hasn't been that great, but these people looked legit and we were hungry for meat (low carb diet at the moment), so we gave it a shot.

It's a small place with some bar seating inside and small tables outside.  When we placed our order for two kebab plates with no rice, the cook said he would make us some extra salad to go with it, much to our delight.  Then he gave us two small hummous bowls and a bowl of tzatziki to go with it.  The hummous wasn't the best but the tzatziki was good and all of it mixed together with the salad and meat was delicious and hit the spot.

The shawarma meat wasn't quite spiced the same as it is in the Gulf countries, so we've never been as fond of Turkish donner kebab as we are of Gulf shawarmas, but this was still better than most that we've had in Japan.  And the generosity of the owner definitely was a plus, as was the price.  Looking forward to returning when we can eat bread again and trying his pide!

BBQ House Anan

Location: BBQ House Anan

Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price:  3000 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Two lunch all you can eat specials
English Menu:Yes (electronic)
Smoking: Yes (not certain, but usually permitted at this sort of establishment)

Electronic touch menu

My wife and I have been on a low-carb kick lately so we were looking for a reasonably priced meal to eat out on Saturday.  It's tough to eat out and do low carb in Japan (rice anyone?) but at least there are some things you can count on being ubiquitous:  yakiniku being one of them.  We sauntered over to a spot nearby that I've been avoiding since I don't usually love yakiniku.

Lunch special

It was lunch time, the best time to do yakiniku as they usually have quite affordable lunch specials.  BBQ House Anan happened to have a lunch all you can eat special that was quite cheap at about 1500 yen per person, so we opted for that.  They flipped a switch and our electronic touch screen ordering system displayed only the free options available to us so we could order with abandon.

Real charcoal

The experience overall was more positive than our usual yakiniku trials, but even so afterwards both of us felt like it was more of an ordeal full of stress (don't burn the meat!  put out the fires!) than a relaxing lunch.  Also, we realized afterwards we should have asked for all of our meat to be sauceless as everything comes smothered in either sweet, spicy or salty marinade, all of which are full of sugar and goodness knows what.  Not the greatest thing when you're trying to only eat whole foods.  Even the veg came with a (delicious) dressing or was kimchi-fied (also delicious, but probably not on the diet).

Raw meat

We ended up eating a ton and were too full for dinner that night.  Still, despite the drawbacks one of the better yakiniku experiences and since it's so close to us we might be persuaded to go back again someday.

Cooking meat

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Location: Kawara

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 2560 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Two teishoku sets, one short rib, the other a dish with many small dishes
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

This is the last restaurant at More's City mall in Yokosuka that I had yet to review.  My wife and I were there to do some grocery shopping and decided to wrap things up.

Kawara is one of those western food restaurants going for a Hawaiian vibe, but the food is not particularly Hawaiian.  I got a beef short rib dish and my wife got a "kyoto" style multi-small dish teishoku.

Mine was not great...the meat was super tough and chewy, and it was an extremely sweet sauce.  My wife's dish was just ok.  The miso soup was tasty, but the rice was not good.  Overall, pretty disappointing even for this kind of place.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Ana's Carinderia

Location: Ana's Carinderia

Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 3240 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:  Filipino food buffet
English Menu: n/a
Smoking: No

Last Sunday my wife and I were up in Saitama where my wife was attending roller derby practice.  During the practice I wandered around looking for a good spot for dinner before we drove home.  Amazingly, almost across the street I found a pretty big Filipino restaurant and sari-sari store.  They had a buffet special going on (never saw a menu) for about 1500 yen a person.  My wife was starving after practice and a buffet sounded about right, so we had dinner there.

The food wasn't the best, but it was still pretty good, and we both enjoyed the experience.  It didn't have that "bar" feel that everything in Yokosuka has.  They had the usual Filipino variety show blasting on the TV and it was topped off with a performance by Gary Valenciano, a family friend!  The eating area is quite big and it was a very relaxing place.  I'm sure my wife will introduce it to her derby friends in the future.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tsuki Cafe

Location: Tsuki Cafe

Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price:  2400 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Roasted pork with salad, smoked salmon with salad
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes

Tsuki Cafe has probably the best coffee in Yokosuka.  It's a small antique shop that is also a cafe.  It's very, very...hmmm...I don't know how to describe it exactly.  The small restaurant area is dominated by lots of older wooden furniture.  It's not super comfy really.  Everything is very old looking.  My wife said the place straddles the line between "cool old stuff" and "falling apart."  I agree...but it's been here a long time and the couple who run it seem pretty unique around here.

The reason there are no pictures aside from the outside sign is that it is their policy to not allow photographs inside.  I found this out some years ago when I first tried to review it and was rebuked and kicked out of the place.  I haven't been back since.  But today I wanted to review it and went there with my wife.  This time we were clearly told (in Japanese) that no pictures are permitted...and we heard the same spiel to everyone who came in.  So I guess they are being more up front about it now.

The menu is written on a chalkboard in some pretty terrible Japanese handwriting...mine might possibly be better.  So figuring out what to order is a bit of a challenge.  They have 1200 yen set meals during lunch time that go up to 1500 yen after 2:30ish pm.  They come with a roll and a coffee.  I went for the roast pork item and my wife went for the smoked salmon.

The rolls are home made and really deliciousd.  Both dishes came with a combination of salad and roasted vegetables, all of which were very tasty.  My wife liked the smoked salmon and I thought I won with the thick slabs of roasted pork that were nice and fatty.

Then the coffee arrived...and it is really quite something else.  If we were rating this place on coffee alone it would get an Excellent.  But while the food was definitely very good caliber, it's not quite enough to get over the Excellent hump.