Monday, August 29, 2016

Taj Tandoor

Location: Taj Tandoor

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 2160 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Gapao rice (thai dish), Two curry dish with rice and naan (keema and thai green curry)
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Hope springs eternal that a good Indian restaurant can be found.  Unfortunately that's not the case here.  Taj Tandoor is merely adequate and gets extra points for trying some Thai dishes too (kinda weird, but whatever).  It's located in Negishi, so not a spot we would normally be, but we've been checking out a church in that area recently.  There is no free parking nearby but there are a couple of coin op joints within walking distance.

I went for the gapao rice (one of my favorite thai dishes) while my wife had the two curry special, getting keema and thai green curry.  Both of the curries were decent, but my gapao rice was a disappointment.  It was super sweet!  Why?!  The naan was typically sweet naan for this area too. I have to give the props for whipping up a salty lassi though!


Location: Tsukuru

Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 5500 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Sashimi, two sushi rolls
English Menu:No

My wife and I went looking for a new spot and happened upon Tsukuru which is located on the second floor of the same building that Hamazushi and Akaoni are in.  It's a swank looking izakaya that was so full that we had to wait a bit for some people to leave before going in.

We were a bit confused at first as the initial menu we were given appeared to be just a few things, so we ordered off of it and ended up with some appetizers and sashimi.  Then we asked about the maki rolls we saw someone else get and were told to turn the drink menu over and presto, there was the real menu!  So we ordered two maki rolls to complete our meal.

Two sushi rolls
The sashimi was ok, though the aji had some chewy bits left on.  The appetizers were nothing special really.  The maki rolls were a bit disappointing to me as they were made with warm rice, which seemed a bit odd.  Usually sushi rice is cooled down.  Anyway, they were large and full of tasty things (avocado, salmon, cream cheese and such) and they filled us up.

The cost for all this was a hefty one, so while the food was pretty good, it wasn't great, and the price brings the overall rating down to an Ok for our taste, though it is worth noting that there aren't many places in town you can get sushi rolls like back in the US (Enji being the only other one I know of).

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Nana's Green Tea

Location: Nana's Green Tea

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch for 2
Price: 2400 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes:  Tuna and avocado donburi set, ground chicken and egg doburi set
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Nana's Green Tea is a tea cafe (is that a thing?) located on one of the mid floors of More's City, a mallish building attached to Yokosuka Chuo Station.  My wife and I needed some groceries so we decided to go down and eat there for lunch today prior to doing some grocery shopping.  We'd had some of their matcha lattes and such before which are really very good, and I had noticed their food menu but had not gotten around to eating there yet.

Avocado and tuna bowl

You order at the register and pay, then sit down and they bring your dishes.  It's pretty simple fair, mostly udon or rice bowl dishes.  We opted for rice bowls and the lunch set came with a drink, soup and small dessert (mochi balls with anko beans).  I got the iced matcha latte and my wife got the iced coffee.  I have to say the best part was my matcha latte.

Ground chicken with egg bowl
The dishes were sadly underwhelming.  But the space is nice for meeting someone to talk.  I wouldn't recommend the food really though.  My wife's dish was a bit better due to the tuna and avocado (tiny amounts of each) while mine was bland and flavorless.  The soup was meh, and the dango (mochi balls) strangely chemical in taste.  Neither of us really enjoyed it.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dolphin Restaurant

Location: Dolphin Restaurant
Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  4300
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Meat course, pasta course
English Menu:Yes
Smoking: No

Raw salmon came with the pasta set

Dolphin Restaurant is located up on a hill near the church we are checking out in Yokohama.  We noticed it on our way in and decided to see if we could have lunch there afterwards.  It has limited parking and is on a very steep road, so we were lucky to find one spot open and grabbed it.  It has an interesting vibe, like it may have some history.  It's going for a pretty swank layout, but we both laughed at the rather disappointing view of the industrial section of the port of Yokohama.  Also they had a player piano...a very up to date version where the full piano sites there and the keys go down of their own accord, playing piano muzak versions of various pop tunes from the eighties ("Don't go changin...").  I had to restrain my impulse to sing along.

Chilled potato soup

Anyway, the lunch menu is pretty straightforward with 3 "courses" (meat, fish or pasta) that have set prices and come with a soup, salad, main dish, dessert and hot drink.  I went with meat, my wife went for the pasta.  We both agreed I "won" this time as my meat dish consisted of delicious pieces of chicken, quite crispy on the outside, piled about with steamed vegetables.  I chose rice for my side dish (I love Japan!).  My wife's pasta was good, consisting of clams with spaghetti noodles (which were perfect al dente).  However there were bits of clam shell that made eating it a bit difficult.  The salad was fine, the cold potato soup delicious, and the little desserts passable too.  Overall, we were debating a high Ok or low Very Good.  As you can see, I went with the Very Good, mainly because my dish was so tasty.

Meat dish

Pasta dish


Bar Earth Brothers

Location: Bar Earth Brothers

Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: Around 3000 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Garlic cheese pizza, carbonara
English Menu: Yes

 I don't typically review bars, but Bar Earth Brothers is an exception.  I recently found out they are cigar friendly and about 2 minutes from my apartment.  After spending a pleasant evening there with some excellent whiskey and a very nice cuban, I thought I'd return with my wife to try the food.  My wife doesn't mind cigar smoke, while neither of us enjoys cigarette smoke.  The proprietor of Bar Earth Brothers is a very friendly and dapper man who has been very welcoming.  I really recommend it as a nicer spot to enjoy a cigar and top shelf whiskey.

Garlic pizza

As for the food, it was actually surprisingly good, and my wife and I debated as to whether to go with a low Very Good or a high Ok. I settled on a high Ok, mainly because the price was pretty high for what it was.  But for bar food, it was quite tasty, and both of us left satisfied.  I probably won't be ordering food there typically, but mainly because I have so many other restaurants still to try, and the drinks there are quite spendy too.

Speaking of the drinks, we did try some different items, me a gin and tonic (quite good), and my wife asked for a recommendation and got a watermelon salty dog.  The bartender takes great pride in his cocktails and makes them with the best ingredients, so there was fresh watermelon juice in the drink and a small wedge of watermelon to eat with it.  I don't generally like watermelon based drinks, but even I thought it was excellent.  The salt on the rim complemented the watermelon flavors perfectly.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Location: Toriyoshi

Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 3085 yen
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Chicken wings, chicken hearts, vegetables
English Menu: Yes

Well it's my first Izakaya Thursday without my son in a while.  He's now attending boarding school in the Philippines, so I'm on my own for Thursdays now.  My wife continues to prefer the company of her knitting group on Thursdays.  Fine by me, I can be a bit more adventurous!

Chicken hearts

Toriyoshi is a new restaurant that opened in the same spot as Isomaru.  There is another Isomaru located nearer the train station, so I just moved that review over there.  Toriyoshi is an izakaya but they specialize in chicken dishes.  Their English menus is nicely laid out and easy to use.

Chicken wings

I went with the signature chicken wings (twice cooked somehow) which were...meh, I wasn't too impressed.  The chicken heart dish was a bit disappointing too as it was all chopped up and the sauce was super sweet.  The vegetable dish was just fine.  Overall, not super impressive, but not bad.  The staff was very nice and at least one waitress spoke English quite well.


Sunday, August 7, 2016


Location: Bairinshan

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  2970
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Wanton ramen with half fried rice, scrambled eggs with veg and a half ramen, shiso wrapped shrimp spring rolls wrappers, meat stuffed steamed dimsum
English Menu: No
Smoking:  Yes

We are checking out a new church (to us) near the old Negishi base, so we have new restaurants to check out, yay!  Driving home we saw a bunch of restaurants near Negishi station and drove around for a long time trying to find a parking spot.  Finally we noticed that there was a Chinese restaurant with parking in the back.  We parked and walked around to the front to find it was quite nice looking.  Their menu goes on and on, but their lunch specials are quite cheap and generous.  The flavors are pretty good too.  We also ordered some items off the main menu, some dimsum type dishes.  These were very good indeed and it makes me want to come back and order off the main menu.  There is no english, but the menu is nicely illustrated with pictures.

Wan ton ramen

Half ramen and rice

Scrambled eggs and vegetables

Shiso wrapped shrimp spring rolls

Half fried rice

Meat filled dimsum

Nichols Airport Hotel Restaurant

Location: Nichols Airport Hotel Restaurant
No sign to photo, so here's some beer

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Dinner for 2
Price:  Not sure but over 1000 pesos
Payment: Credit cards accepted (kind of...if you are staying there you can pay by credit card at checkout)
Dishes: Pancit, ampalaya (goya) dish, lechon kawali (roasted pork stomach), rice
English Menu: Yes
Smoking:  Yes (on the upstairs patio)

This is the hotel restaurant at the Nichols Airport Hotel that we stayed at the night before flying home to Japan.  There is a rooftop patio/bar and a first floor indoor restaurant, but they both use the same kitchen and menu.  We sat on the rooftop because there was beer.  San Miguel tastes best in the Philippines, that's for sure!  There were some western dishes on the menu, but of course we had none of those.  They are probably terrible.  But the Filipino food we had there was actually very tasty and we both really enjoyed our dishes.  I'm sure it was a bit expensive compared to what could be had nearby, but the environs were nice and hey, it's a hotel, what do you expect?

Pancit canton

Ampalaya (goya) and beef

Lechon Kawali (roasted pork belly)