Friday, December 14, 2018

Naru's Recipes

Location: Naru's Recipes

Rating: Not great
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 3585 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Meat pie, carbonara, sake, whiskey
English Menu: No
Smoking:  No

My son and I headed down to Horinouchi station to find a restaurant to review.  It was a bit early so the pickings were slim.  We ended up at this French restaurant called Naru's Recipes.  It was still half an hour til opening but the owner let us in and said he'd take our orders.

There is no English menu so that might make it a bit difficult to order.  Most of it was in katakana though, and if you know your basic kanji for beef, pork and chicken it's not too bad.  My son loves him some carbonara and I got the meat pie.

Both of us were a bit disappointed at the results, mainly in size.  Very very small portions for relatively high prices was our verdict.  And neither of us loved what we ate.

The price above is also reflective of a couple of drinks, but even without that the price for the two dishes was about 2000 yen.

Monday, December 10, 2018


Location: Takao

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch for2
Price: 2100 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Fried rice and half ramen, stir fried pork and veg, gyoza
English Menu: Very old and not accurate
Smoking:  No

My son and I dropped my wife off at the Ikego base housing area which is near Zushi on Sunday after church.  There's a Chinese restaurant on the way back that I've always meant to try out and the timing was right.

It's a small spot, but it was pretty lively.  The menus were all in Japanese, but they did try to provide very old and tattered English menu that did't have accurate prices on it.

We got our usual options, my son going for fried rice with a half ramen and I got some stir fried meat and veg with an order of gyoza.  Neither of us was impressed.

Rico Cowbell

Location: Rico Cowbell

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  2850 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted (but didn't work for some reason)
Dishes:  Kaki fry, beef stew
English Menu: No
Smoking: No

My wife and I went for a walk on Saturday, heading towards Kinugasa, a little town and trainstop on the JR line.  We used to occasionally end up in Kinugasa back when we lived in Kurihama and had need to drive through it now and then.  Now that we live in Yokosuka I honestly can't recall the last time I went there.  They have a pleasant covered shop area with quite a few restaurants (and no less than 5 Chinese spots!).  None of them looked terribly interesting however.

Dashi broth soup

However, there was one place that looked a bit different.  Rico Cowbell is hamburg/curry restaurant that has a distinct vibe.  There is a lot of Swiss/German brickabrack decoration.  The dishes consist of variations on brown sauces.  I was looking for something that was primarily meat and it seemed likely I would find it here.

Scallops with a vinagrette sauce

My wife loves her a kaki fry (deep fried oysters) so she opted for that.  I went for the beef stew, which came with an odd looking appetizer that turned out to be raw scallops with a vinagrette sauce.  It was quite tasty.  The beef stew was pretty good at first, but the pieces of meat appeared to have been overcooked and were quite dry and chewy once you started eating.

Kaki fry

Overall, an enjoyably different spot, but just ok on the food.

Beef stew

Friday, December 7, 2018


Location: Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  3000 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Steak bits, 2 whiskies (Laphroig and Bowmore)
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes

After reviewing Ichiba Shuhou and eating very lightly I decided to knock another one out.  Tamaya is nicer looking Izakaya not too far away.  I've been meaning to try it out for some time.  Since it was so swanky I had a couple of whiskies too, so the price is quite inflated above.

Mandatory appetizer

I ordered a steak of some kind and what arrived was small bits of steak.  It was unremarkable, though the small onions were delicious.  It should be noted that while not unwelcoming they certainly aren't English friendly.  There were 4 different food menus, all in hand-written kanji.

Steak bits with onion

Ichiba Shuho

Location: Ichiba Shuho

Rating: OK
Meal:  Dinner
Price:  1841 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted (didn't work for me for some reason)
Dishes:  7 stick yakiton set
English Menu: No
Smoking: Yes

Back in Japan and I found this new restaurant not too far from home.  It's an izakaya and it seems its specialty is "yakiton" i.e. roasted pork meat on sticks.  They also have tons of other food as well.  It's not very big, but new and clean.  No English menus either, at least not yet.

I ordered the 7 piece yakiton set to check it out.  Of the seven sticks, I really liked 3 of them and asked what they were for next time (if there is one).

But nothing exceptional really, just ok.

Saturday, December 1, 2018


Location: Meknes

Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 5
Price: 350 AED
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: 3 lamb tajine dishes, 1 chicken tajine dishes, 1 vegetable couscous tajine dish, 3 harira soups, moroccan tea
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

For our last dinner in the UAE we decided on Moroccan cuisine, as we hadn't had it yet and it is also one of those quite hard to come by in Japan.  My wife located a Moroccan restaurant in the older section of Abu Dhabi called Mina.  We stopped by earlier in the day to check it out and it seemed to me likely to turn out to be quite good.

Bread, potatoes and olives

I was correct!  3 of us ordered lamb tajine dishes, one person had a chicken tajine dish, and my dad had the vegetable couscous tajine.  Of the lamb tajine dish, everyone agreed my son's was the best as it came with prunes which sweetened the sauce a bit and elevated it just that much more.  My tajine was similar to his but with a boiled egg and almonds, lacking the sweetness, but still very delicious. The last two meat tajines were lamb and chicken, but otherwise the same, coming with a generous helping of somewhat mushy vegetables including potatoes, carrots and peas.  The vegetable couscous consisted of the same vegetables with a plate full of couscous and some quite tasty sauce to dribble over the couscous. A basket of bread came with everything, and the freshly baked Moroccan bread was quite dense and tasty, different from the other types of bread we'd eaten so far, and great for dipping in the 3 harira soups.  Finally the moroccan tea arrived, along with the showy pouring and an  unasked for but appreciated selection of morroccan sweets.

harira soup

Overall everyone agreed it was very good and while not the best Moroccan we've ever had, definitely up there.

Lamb tajine with prunes

Vegetable couscous tajine

Lamb tajine with vegetables

Chicken tajine with vegetables

Lamb tajine with egg and almonds

Fancy pouring!

Moroccan tea and sweets

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bombay Bungalow

Location: Bombay Bungalow

Rating: Very good
Meal: Dinner for 5
Price: 376 AED
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Buna gosht, veg curry, fancy butter chicken, normal butter chicken, keema rice
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Last night we ate at one of the fancy places along Jumeira Beach here in Dubai.  Even though we'd eaten Indian (ish) for lunch we were still up for some more at Bombay Bungalow.  The decor inside is quite nice and the food was absolutely delicious, though much more expensive than lunch!