Friday, September 30, 2016

Ootsu Ramen

Location: Ootsu Ramen


Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch for 2
Price:  1920 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Two 6-3-1 ramen bowls, 1 small, 1 medium
English Menu: No
Smoking: Probably not


Yay I'm back home in Japan!  For my first meal out after getting back my wife and I drove a bit further down the road towards our old home in Kurihama.  On the way there we spied a ramen restaurant with a decently sized parking lot (hard to find) next to it.  It was Ootsu Ramen, which advertises as a Yokohama style tonkotsu ramen shop.  There seems to be a link between this place and Kami Buta in Yokosuka, but I'm not sure what it is.  They are not identical for sure.


Their main deal seems to be the 6-3-1 ramen bowl which comes with 6 pieces of seaweed nori, 3 slices of chashu pork and 1 soysauce egg.  My wife got the small and I got the medium.  I should have gotten the small.  We ordered our noodles "katame-de" (aka hard) and waited as they cooked everything up.

The broth was tasty, rich but not as overwhelming as Kami Buta's.  They don't do the huge amounts of beansprouts and cabbage (or raw garlic) either.  But they did have some tasty sauces and freshly grated ginger to put in if you wanted.  The pork wasn't as thick, tender or fatty as Kami Buta either, a bit chewy for my taste, but my wife preferred it.  The noodles were great, thick and chewy.

Over all it was a very delicious bowl of ramen and a great first meal back home.

Tasty Congee

Location: Tasty Congee


Rating: OK
Meal: Breakfast
Price: 116 HKD
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Meat and egg congee, shumai, sweet beef buns
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No

Thankfully they started at 6:30am

Hong Kong Airport, after midnight and before 6am is a miserable place to be.  On my way to Bahrain, I got there just as everything closed.  On my way back, I got there a few hours before everything opened.  You would think an international travel hub would be 24x7 but noooo...it is not.  Around 6:30am a restaurant I would deign to eat at opened.  I couldn't quite catch the Chinese name, so I went with the name on my receipt:  Tasty Congee.


Congee is a Chinese rice soup/porridge that seems to be common for breakfast, although I think you can eat it any time.  There was a breakfast special with a choice of congee and dimsum and some BBQ buns.  I went for it, and though the shumai and pork buns weren't very good, the congee really hit the spot.  I didn't think I would eat much of it, but ended up downing the whole bowl.  I only give this place an Ok because of the disappointment in the other parts of the meal.  I'd eat that congee again for sure.

If you're lucky enough to get to the Hong Kong airport when things are open, this place is pretty decent.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Pizza Company

Location: The Pizza Company


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 3.9 BHD
Payment: Credit cards accepted
Dishes: Garlic chicken pizza
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


The Pizza Company is a very meh pizza restaurant I reviewed sheerly for completeness sake.  I personally do not intend to ever return. 


I did end up eating the whole thing, but over several days...it never got any better.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rainbow

Location: Rainbow


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 4.3 BHD
Payment: Credit cards accepted (most likely)
Dishes: Mutabel, shish tawouk, water
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Rainbow is another "international" cuisine restaurant located in a hotel near the US Navy Base.  The hotel is "The Majestic" but it's really quite small and no where near as upscale as some of the other places in the area.  The restaurant is located inside, around a corner, out in the courtyard and then in another door.  Not the easiest to find.


Unfortunately, the place had a rather dank, musty smell despite being air conditioned, like there had been some water damage or something.  It went away after a while (or I just got used to it) but it didn't make a good first impression.  Also there was no one there, and the two waitresses indolently seated and served me.  Again, not very impressive.

The food was fine, but not impressive.  I don't think I would go out of my way to return.

Wafflemeister

Location: Wafflemeister


Rating: OK
Meal: Dessert
Price: 1.8  BHD
Payment: Credit cards accepted (most likely)
Dishes: Dark chocolate waffle
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Wafflemeister is another restaurant in the Juffair Mall, but not in the food court area. They mostly do desserts, although there is a small savory section on the menu.  I had just had lunch and had time to kill before my movie and since I almost never have dessert I figured I'd give this place a try.


I ordered a dark chocolate waffle to give it a shot and it was ok.  The chocolate wasn't as dark as I like it, but the waffle was surprisingly substantial and didn't melt into nothing like many in Japan or the US do.  I wouldn't mind giving the savory items another shot...they have crepes too I believe.

But it's not something I'd get excited about...just not my style really.

Mix Brunch

Location: Mix Brunch


Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  3.6 BHD
Payment: Cash only (probably)
Dishes: Lamb curry with flat bread, water
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Probably my last Juffair Mall food court review, I'd been holding off on Mix Brunch as it looked like the usual stuff I like to eat, a mixture of Indian, Arabic and Asian cuisines.  But I finally got a chance to try it out and it was definitely very good, perhaps just below the Moroccan House.


The lamb dish I had was bony, but I was informed up front and was able to pick my way around the bones.  The bread was really good, a bit thicker than the usual roti.  All in all, a great spot, and since Moroccan House doesn't open til later, really the best one for lunch.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Nu Asia

Location: Nu Asia


Rating: OK
Meal: Dinner
Price: 5.3  BHD
Payment: Credit cards accepted (most likely)
Dishes: Oyster sauce beef, rice, water
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Nu Asia advertises Indian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese cuisines.  That's a lot of cuisines!  "Trying too hard" is a phrase that would be true of this place.  It's nice enough of a spot to eat at, but I don't think I'm too anxious to get back.


I decided to go for some Chinese as it had been a while.  The oyster sauce beef looked ok, with some veggies in there.  You have to order rice separate.  For the price, the dish was just so so, not much flavor, a bit glutinous, the beef chewey.  I asked for some hot oil sauce or something and got tobasco sauce and some spiced vinegar, neither of which I like.  I ate a little and took the rest home for a meal over the weekend.  It's likely their Indian food is their strength, and I almost got the lamb shank curry, but I've had so much recently I felt like I should try something different.  Oh well!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Haifa Cafeteria

Location: Haifa Cafeteria


Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  2.700 BHD
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: 2 chicken shawarma, 2 meat shawarma, 1 falafel plate
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


Haifa Cafeteria's location is known among the Americans here as "Shawarma Alley".  There are 3 or 4 different restaurants here, but the one most people start at Haifa Cafeteria.  It's got a nice inside area that is air conditioned, which probably part of it.  When I say "nice" it's fairly clean and the flies aren't too annoying.  This is not fine dining, for that you can walk five minutes and have all the fancy expensive restaurants you want as this is Adliya.


My wife really wanted good shawarma before she went home to Japan, so we decided to take a taxi over to this area for some shisha and dinner.  The weather is finally getting nicer and the humidity is spotty depending on the day.  We were lucky and it was pleasant after the sun went down.

We ordered 2 chicken and 2 meat shawarma, and she also wanted falafel so we ordered a plate.  We each ate a half of a chicken and a meat shawarma and then switched.  That plus the falafel meant we were taking the other two shawarmas home.

The best part about the sharmas is the bread, which is closer to paratha style than pita.  They really are very good, but I think I prefer the chicken as the meat is a bit chewey.  Overall, very good.

Shawarma Xpress

Location: Shawarma Xpress

Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch
Price: 2.1 BHD
Payment: Cash only (probably)
Dishes: Beef shawarma, french fries, water
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


I was warned, but I had to try.  Shawarma Xpress is not very good at all.  Very bland textureless meat, tahini that was spiked with some sort of vinegar swamping all flavors.  It flattened all taste to nothing.  The water was fine.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bonchan

Location: Bonchan


Rating: Not great
Meal: Lunch
Price: 7.4 BHD
Payment: Cash only (probably)
Dishes: 6 piece chicken drumsticks, "kimchi" fries
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No



My wife and I reviewed several restaurants at the Juffair Mall food court.  Bonchan is a "korean" wings joint.  I went for a set of 6 drumsticks and the kimchi fries.  The drumsticks were weird...like chicken with a candy coating almost.  Didn't really care for them.  The kimchi fries were an abomination...no kimchi in sight, just fries with meat and some kind of salsa and mayo poured on top with some slices of jalapeno.  We threw it away. 



Pollo Campero

Location: Pollo Campero

Rating: Very good
Meal:  Lunch
Price:  2.300 BHD
Payment: Cash only (probably)
Dishes: Roasted chicken
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No



My wife and I reviewed several restaurants at the Juffair Mall food court.  Pollo Campero is a "latin chicken" restaurant.  It took quite a while to prepare the roasted chicken I ordered, but it was very good when it arrived.  Definitely a step above the other places we reviewed that day.  But I prefer Moroccan House overall.

Mexway

Location: Mexway

Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 2.8  BHD
Payment: Cash only (I think)
Dishes: Chicken quesadilla
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


My wife and I did a rapid review of several places at the Juffair Mall food court.  Mexway is a taco bellish place that lets you make your own burritos ala Chipotle's.  We got a chicken quesadilla for a rather spendy price.  We wanted to put guac on it, but it was scary expensive.  The food was just ok. 


Wanilly

Location: Wanilly
Rating: OK
Meal: Lunch
Price: 2  BHD
Payment: Cash only (I think)
Dishes:Nutella stuffed pancake
English Menu: Yes
Smoking: No


My wife and I decided to do a quick review of several places at the Juffair Mall food court.  Wanilly is a dessert place, which I usually don't review, but this was kind of for fun.  The stuffed nutella pancake looked tasty, so we ordered one.  It was very sweet of course, so I'm glad we could split it.