Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jutokuan

Location: Jutokuan


Rating: Not great
Meal: Dinner
Price: 680 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Oyakodon
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:Yes


Maybe it was my fault for ordering the oyakodon instead of soba or udon, but I was rather disappointed in the food at Jutokuan, a restaurant near Yokosuka Chuo station.  It was also kind of stinky inside, not just the stink of cigarettes, although that was present.


They did have some nice English menus and were welcoming.  But it's kind of hard to screw up a simple dish like oyakodon, so not sure what went wrong there.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Steakhouse Bull

Location: Steakhouse Bull


Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 2300 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Two steak sets
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: Yes


My wife and I went for a long walk last Sunday and ended up at Steakhouse Bull for lunch.  It's a restaurant located off of 16 on the way towards Uraga, around the Kenritsudaigaku train stop.  I call it the Happy Cow place because they have one as their logo.


Turns out it's a mom and pop steak restaurant and was quite full when we arrived.  There was a free table so we sat down and perused the menu.  The waitress brought an English menu over for us as well.  The prices for lunch were quite reasonable and we both found something that looked good to us.


The food was pretty good, not great, but decent enough.  They have a lot of other items on their evening menu so perhaps we'll come back and try them out at that time as well in the future.


Barbacoa


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 5400 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Lots of meat, and a buffet
English Menu:Yes
Smoking:No


So a former co-worker and friend had a going away party the other day at the Barbacoa in Roppongi Hills.  Roppongi Hills is a large mall in Roppongi that features many fine restaurants.  Barbacoa is a Brazilian BBQ restaurant chain in Japan with several branches.  It was my first time to experience Brazilian BBQ style dining in Japan.


I've had Brazilian BBQ before in the US, Kenya, and Guam (that's about it though).  I have to say I was a bit disappointed by how Barbacoa stacked up in comparison.  The buffet was great...but that's not really the reason you go to these places.  The meat (mostly beef) was often quite dry, and the flavors were very one-noted.  I enjoyed the sausage and chicken that appeared at first, but when we specifically asked for more chicken none ever appeared.  There was some lamb that was a welcome change of taste.  Overall it is not a place I would bother with again probably, given the price.


Speaking of which, what is listed above is the menu price for just the buffet.  Because this was a party I was at, the entire bill was split between all attendees (minus the party boy), which meant that instead of paying 5400 yen I paid around 8300 yen, as everyone else had ordered drinks.  Another reason, along with the deafening noise, that I will avoid parties in the future, as I usually do.  But I did want to see my friend again before he went back to the US, so I guess it was worth it for that.  

There aren't may pictures because I didn't wish to be obnoxious.

Hideyoshi

Location: Hideyoshi


Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 1880 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Katsudon, tonkatsu teishoku
English Menu: No
Smoking:Yes


I have a friend at work who enjoys riding his bicycle far afield for lunch, which is good as I've pretty much exhausted all the walkable restaurants by this point.  He took me up above Chuo station to try a restaurant that he liked, but it was closed, so we went for the next nearest place, which turned out to be Hideyoshi.


It's a smallish Japanese food restaurant, staffed with what had to be about 10 people...seriously there were at least 3 or 4 people behind the counter (cooks) and 3 - 4 waitresses (all old ladies).  There was also a previous customer who lit up his cigarette and smoked my friend out of the place for a while.


We just picked the usual items from the Japanese menu and were fine with the result, but it was nothing special.

Jitokko

Location: Jitokko


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner
Price:  3736 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


Enjoyable Izakaya specializing in chicken dishes.  The dipping sauce at the table is incredible.  Really enjoyed the food here...sorry for the brevity but it was a while ago. 

Yes...cabbage and a whole cucumber.  The sauce is delicious!

Hard to go wrong with avocado.

Chicken innards?  I think?

Fried rice...yum.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Eikarou

Location: Eikarou


Rating: Very good
Meal: Lunch
Price:  800 yen
Payment: Cash only (maybe)
Dishes: Szechuan chicken teishoku
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


Eikarou (I'm guessing on the pronunciation as I didn't catch it.  The kanji is 榮華楼) is a Chinese restaurant near Ueno station downtown Tokyo.  After church last Sunday about 12 of us wandered towards the station hoping to find a place we could all eat at.  A difficult thing if you know anything about restaurants in Japan.  Luckily we spotted this Chinese restaurant and asked if we could take over the second floor and they allowed it.


I obviously can't account for all of the food there as I wasn't primarily there to review the place, but I ordered one of the daily specials for about 800 yen, a Szechuan chicken teishoku.  The chicken was quite good, with lots of veggies and a nice burn to it.  We also had some gyoza which was tasty too.  It was a ton of food and I ended up not needing dinner that night.

The waiter was kind of funny as he was Chinese, spoke some English and no Japanese, so we had fun trying to communicate as we had English, Japanese and Chinese speakers in our group.  After we were done we found out they were Christians too and we were grateful they allowed us to disrupt their usual lunch crowd.

Overall I was quite pleased with my meal so I'm giving it a Very Good as it was a bit better than the usual Chinese fair in Japan.

Aramasa

Location: Aramasa


Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner
Price:  2462 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Sake, cooked tuna on a stick x2, tiny squid and scallop sashimi
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes


Aramasa was a delightful find.  I was in Oppama to meet a friend and afterwards went looking for an interesting place to eat.  I was lured into Aramasa because they had a window where they were selling items to go, including delicious looking tuna on skewers.  I had to try it out.

Gobo root

Unfortunately I've tried to figure out where it was precisely based on geo-tagging on the photos I took but I have been unable to.  I have tried to guess the approximate area, but if I ever go back there I'll update the markers on the maps to be more accurate.

Sliced roasted tuna

It's a tiny bar, with a heavy emphasis on seafood and sake, but not they typical sashimi.  They seem to like to cook some of their fish, and the mandatory appetizer was cooked thinly sliced dark tuna meat.  I ordered some sake and was presented with 5 different bottles to pick from.  I took the recommendation over my misgivings (I dislike sweet, fruity sake and prefer dry) but I wanted to appear compliant.  Then I was poured an extra glass of something the bartender said was interesting...a sake wine blend of some kind.  It was a bit sour, so not my thing, but still, nice to get a free glass of sake.

Tuna on a stick

I ordered the tuna on sticks and it came out covered in a tasty sauce.  It was as good as it looked and I was tempted to order some rice to go with it, but that's kind of frowned upon in these places as you're supposed to drink and eat dishes that don't fill you up.  In any case I was really taken with the interesting display of seafood items to order and I pointed to the little tiny squid and the scallops and asked for some.  I was given a pleasantly arranged platter with some miso sauce to dip the little guys into.  They were remarkably tasty and not at all chewy.  The raw scallop was amazing as usual.

Tiny squid and hotate

I decided to call it quits before things got out of hand and I was forced to drink more sake.  I was astonished at the low price for all the food I'd had.  And the personality of the owner, staff and place were off the charts.  I really enjoyed it and would like to take my wife back some time.