enigmatic's Reviews

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  • Outback: Shibuya (American / Shibuya)
  • 2008/11/09
  • A tucked-away location but worth the walk from the station. The interior of the restaurant is far classier than the chain's American locations and has the feel of a classy winery restaurant. While they do have an impressive wine collection, the feature that pushes this restaurant from good to very good is certainly the size of the beers. The mugs approach a liter in size, making you wonder if forgoing a meal in favor of another brew is a good idea. But don't totally abandon the menu - it's delicious. The steaks are fabulous, the never-ending warm bread with honey butter is nearly divine and highly addictive, the chicken is as good as the steak, and there are even vegetarian options. English speaking friendly staff makes it a welcome stop after struggling to be understood in yet another ramen shop.
  • Kanichahan no Mise (Chinese / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/30
  • I have this theory that anything fried must be good. Just varying degrees of good. Well, as far as crab fried rice is concerned, it is definitely on the fabulous end of "good". And you know you're not the only one who thinks it's good when a generic drop-in counter shop stays busy all day long. I mean, this stuff is so good nobody has to dress it up or advertise it. Everyone just knows that it rocks. I highly recommend this place if you're in the area and need something fast.
  • Maruara-Watanabe (Japanese Goods / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/30
  • I stumbled into this store for the first time just a couple of weeks ago. I have to say, it is the perfect place to stop in and pick up gifts before heading home for the holidays. It's also a great place to take out of town guests so they can do all their shopping for friends back home. They've got generic souvenirs like keychains and postcards, but they've also got sandals, bags made of kimono-style fabric, aprons emblazoned with the names of different brands of sake, and yukata.

    The ladies who work in the store are originally from the Kyoto area and provide you with a lot of gift options indicative of that area. They are also extremely friendly and helpful.
  • koots green tea (Japanese Sweets & Cafes / Harajuku)
  • 2009/01/30
  • This cafe can basically be summarized as a Japanese style tea house with a western twist with organic products. A Starbucks for tea, if you will.

    They have loose organic teas (but they don't sell it bulk...I would totally buy it if they did) and they also have more western-y treats like matcha smoothies. The location is quiet even when it's pretty full.
  • Delifrance (Bakery / Akasaka)
  • 2009/01/30
  • Typical Japanese bakery chain located all over Tokyo, but this particular chain has more of the things I like than most other bakery chains. The quiche is fabulous, the chocolate chip muffins are heavenly, and the fruit smoothies are almost as good as a smoothie from Baskin & Robbins. They make fresh stuff all day long, but just be wary of the pre-made sandwiches...that thing you think is mayo probably has a healthy dose of horseradish.
  • Dean and Deluca: Shinagawa (Groceries/Supermarkets / Shinagawa)
  • 2009/01/29
  • Dean & Deluca...one of the things I do like about this place is that all of their products are base-line natural. Take the lemonade for example...no concentrate...actual lemons, natural mineral and sparkling water, with a bit of gum syrup. Even though it's a little pricey, it is definitely well worth it. And let's be honest, if you've made the trip out to the immigration office you deserve to give yourself a treat on the way back home.
  • Bar Piano (Bars / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/29
  • Yet another one of those places in Tokyo that makes you feel like you've just been teleported to an alternate reality. Classic "germanic" decor sometimes feels more like a cross between garage-sale chic and a bordello. But the staff is delightful and it's all in good fun. Honestly, the atmosphere is a welcome change from the inside of most places. Drinks are a bit pricey, but you are pretty much paying for the environment (but isn't that always the case?)
  • Amrta (Bars / Hiroo)
  • 2009/01/29
  • I've only been here once before on a weekday when the bill was being covered by the company expense account, so I have absolutely no idea how much anything cost. And the place was pretty much empty. But the music is great, the decor and atmosphere are wonderful, and the staff is awesome. Everyone seems just genuinely happy to be there and the vibe was really chill (again, could be because it was a Thursday). If you're in the area, it's worth a trip down the stairs into the basement.
  • 82 Ale House (Bars / Shinagawa)
  • 2009/01/29
  • This place is pretty close to one of the Temple University buildings so it is frequented by a quite a few students. But the place is nice, the staff is friendly, and the imported beers are cold. Oh, and the fish and chips is rockin'. But probably the most interesting feature of this place is the built in mechanism for knowing when you've had too many drinks. The bathrooms are down in the basement at the bottom of a very steep flight of stairs. If you're too drunk to get back up them, then you're done for the night.
  • Cafe 246 (Bookstores / Akasaka)
  • 2009/01/29
  • Yummy chicken tenders and creative choices on the menu. It's always really loud, except at lunch time, of course. They have an outdoor patio area, perfect for evening beers in spring and summer. They've also got computers for you to use if you simply HAVE to check your email.
  • astral lamp (Cocktail Lounges / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/29
  • Aside from the really cool name of this place, it is a nice little hole-in-the-wall location with friendly staff, and good food. It just has the feeling of being your nice little local place...cozy and welcoming. As with many spots like this, though, you really can't take a large group.
  • Hakone (Landmarks & Historical Places / Machida)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Like some other places close to Tokyo, this is a site that books up fast. But if you manage to get a last minute trip through a travel agency like JTB you can score some really rockin' deals. The onsens in this area are fabulous and you can enjoy the quirky onsens that keep Japan in the news globally: the red wine, green tea, and coffee baths you sometimes hear of are located in this area. Beautiful of Mt. Fuji from here as well.
  • Tokyo International Forum (Landmarks & Historical Places / Tokyo Station)
  • 2009/01/28
  • There isn't much you can say about a convention space. I mean, it's basically a big box with ever-changing contents. The sections of the building set up for their architectural beauty are a lovely sight to behold. But the real reason to head over here is for the food trucks that magically materialize during lunch time. Every day there is something different, but there are usually at least a dozen choices. Get there early, as most places run out of food. It really is that good.
  • Omotesando Hills (Landmarks & Historical Places / Harajuku)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Very luxurious. Shopping, fashion, night life... the same basic ingredients for any popular spot in Tokyo. But this one is special because all the stuff is really expensive. Trust me. That makes it better. All of the beautiful people everywhere make this a visually pleasing experience, too. Store displays are more like art so you can at least appreciate the gorgeous things the stores know you'll never be able to afford in your wildest dreams.
  • Imperial Palace (Landmarks & Historical Places / Jimbocho)
  • 2009/01/28
  • What is there to say...it's a big wall. With a moat. A moat that recently had a naked European man with a saggy bum in it. There are a couple of beautiful swans living in the moat, but the gardens are probably the best part. It is one of very few places in all of Tokyo you can just lay out on the grass and read a book. The city scape from this location is quite nice, too. The security guards don't have much as far as a sense of humor goes, though, so don't push it. And watch yourself in the early morning and the evening...the trail around the palace is thick with joggers.
  • Omoide Yokocho: Shinjuku (Landmarks & Historical Places / Shinjuku)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Crammed one on top of the other, the little local places serving everyone's favorite grilled meat on a stick will make you feel like you've stepped out of modern Tokyo and into some mythical parallel dimension of exactly what people who have never been here expect Japan to be. Friendly staff, don't expect any service whatsoever in English. Take the Japanese friend assigned to you upon processing through customs and have them help you order.
  • Tokyo Midtown (Landmarks & Historical Places / Roppongi)
  • 2009/01/28
  • It's taller than Roppongi Hills by a couple of meters. Who says size doesn't matter? While they may not have the city night view (the top floors are obscenely expensive condos, not tourist attractions), they do have some great bars/restaurants in the area. It's only a night spot if you like taking walks in the park or having a relaxing glass of wine at a restaurant. The only club-like atmosphere you'll find is at A-971 (which is choc full of depressed finance people, these days). Luxury shopping and the same basic amenities you find in Roppongi Hills, minus the theater.
  • Roppongi Hills (Landmarks & Historical Places / Roppongi)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Wonderful dreamscape. Every single time I go there I feel like I'm in Disneyland. Everything is immaculate. It feels so space-age. Wonderful restaurants. Good museum. Beautiful view, especially at night. Great luxury shopping as well as affordable boutiques. Oh, and the movie theater is pretty nice, too. If you have a chance, definitely check out the premier seating. Enjoy a beer with your movie and recline. Not your average theater. Because of the large numbers of foreigners who flock to this capitalist mecca, virtually all staff speak English.
  • Le Baron de Paris (Dance Clubs / Nightclubs / Omotesando, Aoyama)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Definitely the "it" place. Draws a good crowd of wonderful people who just want to have a good time. No nonsense, just good vibes and great tunes. A good place to spot the underground crew and maybe even get invited to a private party. Make sure you are a VIP. Better to know somebody who knows somebody if you're going to go here.
  • El Cafe Latino (Dance Clubs / Nightclubs / Roppongi)
  • 2009/01/28
  • Wonderful dance experience. Friendly staff and environment. I really really enjoyed being able to actually dance on the dance floor. Plenty of people but not too crowded and definitely a place to work up a sweat. Lively and entertaining with a good international crowd. The cover is a bit steep, but if you consider that it is for an entire evening of entertainment, it really isn't too bad.
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