Who: Girlfriends and Me
When: Thursday Lunch
Wear: Roppongi Hills DayTime
Why: I was curious
Lately I have been dying to try this place. I actually have made my own vegetarian sushi (I am attaching a photograph of my own attempt) and it was terrific learning how to do this. One of my girlfriends is someone who actually doesn't like seafood/sushi, so how great is it to be able to have a "sushi" experience with someone who doesn't necessarily like fish?
The restaurant is located on the TV Asahi side of Kayakizaki and across from Armani boutique. It's a beautiful open space.
There is a Gaijin-friendly menu. We all opted for the most expensive lunch set (2500yen)/ no picture). The courses were all beautifully presented. Flavors and presentations were gorgeous. Despite being vegetarian, it was a TOTAL feast on the eyes as well as the palate. I'll be honest and say I kind of craved more, but intellectually, I knew the portion was enough. My advise would be to savour the meal. Don't rush. It really felt like eating works of art.
Who: Double Date Night
When: Saturday Night
Wear: Roppongi weeknight. There is a sign that reads: No sleeveless for men.
Why: Craving sushi
I love how this place is set back in almost a warehouse-type district. It is behind the Hard Rock and trust me, you would be better off skipping HR and just continuing on back to Fukuzushi. They offered course menu as well as ala cart. We all ordered the Ronji Set. The pictures show the courses for 4 persons consolidated onto platters for sharing. All the sashimi and nigiri was reall fresh. The scallop was delicate and sweet. I love miso that stares back at you. The atmosphere itself is a little dated/tired. I was surprised as the night went on that so many foreigners were here. The service was attentive.
After finishing the courses, they request that you move to the lounge area to have your dessert and coffee/tea.
I would definitely go back and recommend. The price is excellent as well as the quality of fish.
Who: 1)10-year-old boy 2)Girlfriend & Me (A couple of chic chicks)
When: 1)Sunday Brunch 2)Wednesday Lunch
Wear: Roppongi Hills Casual
Why: Her idea
1)I've been to Lauderdale before with my son for brunch. Whenever someone recommends Lauderdale, I find that person is usually a round-eye. No offense. This place is definitely a gaijin hot spot. Fantastic brunchYou can get a good brunch here. I always equate brunch with a platter full of food, so in that respect brunch was a little disappointing but probably better for me. What wasn't disappointing were the croissants. Sooo yummy. If you are living in the area and need a brunch fix, head over. You'll definitely see people you know.
2)Next trip, My girlfriend and myself. We got there at 11:30am and were asked if we had a reservation! I must admit I was very surprised to see the number of people eating already. Luckily, they were able to squeeze us in. Make reservations or get there early if you are dying to eat there. The other thing that annoyed us was we were both thinking about getting the salad set, and wouldn't you know? the salad is already out of stock....Hmmmm... Luckily, I was torn between that and the falafel pockets. My meal was fine. The set came with a pumpkin soup. I know the Japanese are supposed to have these extra sensitive delicate tastebuds, but I'm Korean, so when I order soup, coffee, practically any type of food in general, I expect it to be HOT. My falafel was yummy. Bread was soft and the flavors mixed well together. It was a little off-putting to be in the middle of our main course when we saw salads rolling out of the kitchen. Made me wonder if they were just reserving them for people with reservations or what, but I didn't appreciate it. Either way. Not nice.
Verdict: This city spoils you with its food and service and certainly creates a higher standard for a person. With the number of fantastic restaurants and cafes available in Tokyo, there are better options.
Who: 3 Girlfriends and Me!
When: Thursday Lunch
Wear: Nishi-Azabu Casual
Why: Brand new and looked healthy
So I walk by this place everyday and it's one of those locations where you blink and suddenly there's a new business. Well, the other day I walked by and suddenly I see a vegetable & fruit boutique. If you are familiar with the small grocery stands like Bikkuri, it's kind of the cleaned up, Gaijin-friendly version of that. I also noticed a couple tables (and I mean that literally.... 2) and a sectional with a coffee table. They actually serve food. Light fare like pasta of the day and salads. If I'm not mistaken, you can request more salad if you like. When I went, 3 of the 4 of us ordered the salad and I think we were all wishing we had ordered the pasta set when we saw our one friend get her meal. The set includes tea, but no coffee. Super Healthy! Lunch set 1000 yen.
I would say the food is pretty standard. I left craving dessert and feeling like I had earned it.
The high point of this place is the produce. It's beautifully presented, but not in that crazy Food Show kind of way. More like a Fresh Market (US Chain). The owner is very nice. They have an amazing selection of dried fruit (which I am addicted to).
The staff doesn't speak English too good (on purpose), BUT! for all the Radiation Moms out there, all the produce is labeled with Locations in ENGRISH. ;)
Verdict: Definitely go there for the store. Great location, prices are not Insane even for Nishi-Azabu, high quality. Stuff your face somewhere else.
Who: 5 Tennis Mates and me!
Wear: Tokyo Casual
When: Thursday LUNCH
Why: I am constantly passing by this very non-descript sign/restaurant. The smells of grilled fish were calling.
So I just finished a fantastic lunch with friends at Tahara. It's just a shingle outside a door across from the Chinese Embassy. It's one of those places that you tell yourself you'll check out but somehow the flashier places or "safer" places are where you end up. Today, I had 2 expats (myself and my global citizen friend Angela) and 4 Nihonjin.
This place is open for lunch.
It's a fantastic little find. Very intimiate dining space. Might not be easy for a large group, but we just took over their upstairs seating area. Downstairs is literally a counter with 6 stools and a 4-top.
If you like fish, intimacy, classic Japanese presentation and flavors, you will love this place. It's definitely a place I wouldn't expect a lot of gaijin. The miso was deliecious. I ordered the fried aji. It was fried to perfection and the serving was good size. I left feeling satisfied not full. Most of the sets come with miso,rice, pickles, Main selection and green tea/water. They also offered dishes with Cod, Salmon, and Mackerel. They only cook a certain number of dishes for freshness, so I would suggest going early.
I would definitely go back for more. It's just one of those restaurants where the food quality is high and you could very quickly become a "regular" of sorts. Plus, I like fish that tastes like fish.
Who: Double Date. Everyone at table was from US.
When: Saturday Evening 7:30 reservation
Why: I had already tried La Bisboccia (LB) and wanted to try the sister restaurant.
Everyone had told me that if I loved La Bisboccia then I had to check out Il Boccalone. It is supposed to be the lower-key, more rustic, less-expensive version of LB. The referrals were right. From the moment you see the big boar's head outside the front door, to walking in and feeling the cozy warmth of the old-style decor, you feel like you are walking into an Italian bistro in some lost town in Italy. It is definitely more casual and more relaxed. The food was still comforting and delicious. We started with fried calamari, grilled vegetables, and of course the risotto (with tableside finish in the big Parm Wheel). The only iffy selection would probably be the grilled vegetables. The mains ordered were: Fried seafood (mine!), gnocci, ravioli and another meat pasta. EVERYTHING was delicious and rich. We finished with the brownie and merengue cake.
Definitely would recommend this restaurant as a terrific place for good rustic Italian flavors and an intimate atmosphere. It was also "nice" that we were the only table of foreigners. Made us feel like we were in a locals place.
Who: Myself and Girlfriends
When: Friday Lunch
Wear: Casual or Tourist-y
Why: Friend's choice & who doesn't like Thai food?
I passed this place the first time I looked for it. It is sort of lost in it's own advertisement and it is one of those restaurants where the signs are on the street while the restaurant itself is "Chika Ikai" or 1 floor down. I always like walking down into restaurants because it makes me feel like I'm going somewhere secret. It's nice to see the kitchen through the glass as you get to the bottom. Beware of steps as you walk through.
The restaurant is surprisingly open considering you are in a basement. Staff is helpful and nice. Get there by noon because shortly after we arrived there was a long line up the stairs to the street. There is a terrific side items buffet. I would suggest checking that out before ordering so you aren't being redundant.
The food was good basement food. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone looking for a Thai fix. I definitely plan to return.
Who: Me and 4 other girlfriends
When: Thursday Lunch
Wear: Nice to Roppongi Hills Casual
Why: Lunch date
Nico provided really nice pictures so I didn't bother uploading any. I ended up ordering the cajun Swordfish burger. It came with a side of fries. The fries were "Meh..." but the burger was fantastic! Lots of red onion (which I shouldn't eat but did anyhow). I was so pleased to find just right level of spiciness in the burger. The bread was fine. My friends had salads and other "set" options and they all commented that their food was good.
I didn't understand the name Roti because it sounds so Indian to me, but then someone said it might be a derivation of "Rotisserie" and then I got it.
For standard American fusion food, I definitely recommend this place. Will probably try to check it out for Brunch given Nico's review. The only annoying was feeling like I was being nickel and yen'd to death. The "set" only included the main. To get a soup, or dessert, or coffee even cost extra. Most sets were 1000-1200 yen. Staff was nice.
Nothing to regret here. Would definitely recommend and revisit.
Allen Krissman is probably the best instructor in Tokyo. I am not sure where the location listed on this Sunnypages profile is, but I do know he teaches at:
The British Embassy
The American Compound
Tokyo American Club
I believe he trains probably the top female tennis players in Tokyo. His lessons are always cardiovascular and strategic. He is the consummate professional and extremely polite. Always considering the angle of the sun and his "sun-sensitive" clients.There are never more than 8 women on a court and often less. Because of Allen's relationships with so many different tennis groups he is also able to coordinate competitive round robin tournaments amongst his students to desire to have actual game play practice.
When I first came to Tokyo, I wasn't certain at all I would be able to maintain my game. Through Allen I have been able to maintain my fitness and improve my overall game.
As a note of warning, contacting Allen can be difficult. Do not take this personally. He is just extremely busy running programs all over the place. You have to stalk him a little bit, but it is definitely worth it to be part of one of his groups.
In previous reviews, they mention 6 floors. I was there yesterday and let me just say they've added 3 more to the building. I'll mention some other things about store. I love the fact that you never have to go outside to get inside. In August, in Tokyo, that's a plus in my book. Anything electronic is represented on some level (pun intended). The 9th floor is everything golf related including clothing and gear. The 3rd floor is nice because it is all about kids and video games and there is a good size arcade for kids to play on. They actually have 3 Dragon Ball Hero machines. Why do I care? I don't but I have a son who does and he was going to Hakuhinkan in the Ginza to play and they only have 1 and there was always a que. The emplyee are terrific and helpful.
I definitely agree that you could easily spend a whole day just looking/shopping through the building. It's definitely 1-stop shop and easy to access.
Who: Girlfriends & Me
When: Thursday Lunch
Wear: Casual- Casual Business
Why: My girlfriend Nghi recommended it for our weekly lunch date.
If you check through my reviews, you'll see, I'm a fan of Indian, and evidently their restaurants. I pretty much already have my default choices, but having just returned from the States, my girlfriends and I were itching to catch up and Nghi had tried Moti and she and her husband are hooked. We try a lot of food together so I'm always up for trying anything with her. I have actually been to Moti before in another life. I've been wanting to see if it is as I remembered. The interior is a little dark, but not so dark that one is suspicious of ingredients. It's dark in that Middle Eastern Tent kind of way. The service is mediocre. We were having to flag the waiter for refills on our water. The lunch sets are pretty good. I like that they include your option of beverages and you can have a lassi. You can select a curry and it will come out with a HUGE piece of nan or bowl of rice, some side crunchy vegetables. The nan is good. Nghi thinks it's the best, but I still think Priya in Hiroo has better nan although this nan may be healthier.
I ordered the healthy set which is a selection of 3 curries (see photo). They were all good, but what doesn't taste good when it's made from gee? My girlfriends ordered the chicken curry set and the other vegetable curry set. Everyone ate heartily. None of us were able to finish our nans which is saying something because we all have bug appetites.
The place filled up quickly. If you're in the neighborhood and looking for an Indian fix, go for it. It isn't spectacular but for being around as long as it has been, it must be dependable and consistent.
Who: Date night
When: Friday evening 6:00pm reservations
Why: Heard there was GREAT tempura here.
When I first round out we were going to a tempura restaurant, I'll admit, I worried I would need to starve a little to down all that deep-fry. No worries! The food is amazing and the set courses are a perfect balance of fry and dry. Of course there is tempura, but there is a wonderful balance in the other dishes of vinegary tomato, pickles, miso, and soft tofu. My date and I both ordered the middle course. Dishes were delivered at a good pace and servings were fine. Each course was a bite or two and delicious. Seating enables all diners to enjoy the mastery of the chefs and their assistants. Leave it to the Japanese to find high art over a boiling vat of oil. I don't think I saw 2 sentences pass between the master and his apprentice, but somehow they knew exactly what each was doing. It was a beautiful batter ballet. The clientele is always interesting along the Ginza, but in this restaurant you see them up close. We were there a little on the early side, but we were also able to catch different seatings. The couple's time and the ladies night out scene both made appearances. The windows are a perfect backdrop of the city and Tokyo Tower is a spectacular sight. Yes, it is a little pricey, but it is definitely worth it.
Who: 10 Year Old Boy & Myself
When: Tuesday around 3:00om
Why: Because we love High Tea!
High tea is a tradition I started with my son a few years ago to teach him some social civility. Some people are into The Royals, I'm into High Tea. I did some research and picked Ekki at the Four Seasons after reading some excellent reviews. I'm going to go out on a limb and just say this is probably the best high tea in Tokyo. Service is excellent as to be expected by a Four Seasons. Since I was with Chase, we opted to each have the basic High Tea set. The only difference between this and the premium was foie gras (which I like but I didn't think my 10 year old would) champagne and fancy popcorn.
One of the awesome aspects of this tea is it is free pour, so you can spend a leisurely afternoon drinking as much tea and coffee as you and your bladder can stand. Sodas are an extra charge.
Another thing that impressed me is when I made my reservation, I mentioned that I don't eat pig,cow, or chicken, so they accommodated me very nicely. I'm sure to some, that picture will either look like a lot of food or a little food. My son and I have very big appetites and let me just say we were not able to finish. We ate everything but our last scone. Everything was delicious.
If you are going to do a triple AAA guide to High Teas in Tokyo then make sure you hit this spot. However, if High Tea is a once in a while thing you are only going to do once then come HERE!
Who: Myself, Gentleman, & 10 year old boy
When: Sunday Brunch
Why: I wanted Brunch: Plain & Simple
I don't know where those last few reviewers were eating because I was just there and the food and service were terrific. The last "New York Brunch" I ate was at Bubby's in Tokyo and it was really over the top and a little too trendy for me. If I am doing brunch, I'm either in church clothes with my parents, or I'm recovering from something. This weekend found me still in the throes of bad jet lag so Sunday morning I felt like I wanted some comfort food.
We got there around noon and there was no wait.I ordered the North Pacific Benedict and the boy ordered fish and chips. My only gripe is the dishes didn't all come out together, but I have found this to be the case with other Japanese restaurants so I am inclined to think this is a cultural thing. They just bring out food as soon as it's ready and expect you to dig in. Ironically, my eggs benedict and the other eggs benedict came out about 5 minutes before the fish and chips, but I'm a sucker for setting an example so I waited for my son to be served. The food was hearty, and huge in portion. I'm a little embarassed to admit we cleared our plates like the good gaijin. No shame people. Just shovel. I'm not going to say this is a Michelin experience, but if you are looking for a good breakfast in a cozy environment I'd definitely try Suji's. I know I'll be back to try some other dishes.
PS: I don't remember being alarmed at the prices, but then again, I didn't pick up the bill. I passed a sign for their lunch set and it was advertised as 1000 yen for 3 courses, so nothing crazy there. I think the plates came out to 1500-1800 yen a plate. I wanted to order more, but thank goodness someone stopped me.
I'm only adding my rating for Natural house because it has been awhile and I was just there this week. This place is the Japanese version of Whole Foods and has a wonderful feel to it. Their prepared foods section is terrific and prices were not any crazier than Meidiya or other such supermarkets. I was expecting higher. There is an area if you feel like eating in the shop towards the back and adjacent to the front entry there is a juice bar. If you are in search of all things organic, definitely make this one of your stops.
Who: Girlfriend & Myself
When: Saturday Dinner
Wear: Casual/ Business-casual
Why: Yakitori place that isn't all about the chicken
Verdict: Planning to go back
A while ago, I gave up beef, chicken, and pork. I just assumed yakitori restaurants were no longer in my realm of options. Last night, my girlfriend and I were tossing ideas about where to have dinner and she suggested a yakitori restaurant: Kushimura. I was skeptical at first, but I do love food on a stick, so I said "let's go!" The restaurant is tucked back in an alley close to DonQuixote in Roppongi Crossing. It is incredibly intimate and cosy. It is a family run establishment and regulars are warmly welcome. I only took a partial menu photo, but the selection is refreshingly diverse and has something for everyone. I literally looked at the seafood section and said "1 of each please." It's a great place to go in lieu of the popular chick-drawing tapas restaurants.
Who: 2 girls and 3 guys (Ages 30's-50's)
When: Saturday Night from 10pm-1am
Wear: Anything goes
Why: You finished dinner and you want a place to have a drink and maybe dance
Verdict: Definitely an option for fun!
I had heard about Motown from a few different people who have lived here a while AND like to have a good time. If you are in your 20's is this your best option? Probably not. Maybe you should try Gas Panic. I didn't feel like the drinks were too expensive, but then again, I'm not in my 20's. If you are looking for a place where you won't feel like the oldest person in the room and you still want to shake your moneymaker open the door and come in! The music was overall very good. Mix of ages and nationalities. There was music I didn't recognize and music I did. The more I drank, the more I didn't care. Are there transvestites and hookers? News Bulletin: you are in Roppongi.
Who: 11 People
When: Saturday Dinner
Wear: Whatever you feel like
Why: I was invited to join this very special group
Verdict: If you love Italian and you love Japan you MUST try this restaurant.
DINNER is a set price of 10,000 yen per person. This price includes the food (as much as you would like) but PLEASE pace yourself. There are many courses. Drinks start with champagne and can end with Limoncello. The wines and champagne were not insignificant either. Did I mention? Please pace yourself eating AND drinking. There are only 11 seats around an L-Shaped counter. Chef Maeda San is amazing. You will feel like you are on an episode of Iron Chef. He is warm and so is his food. He is a maestro with all his ingredients and everything is cooked with such passion and attention. By the time courses were winding down I actually saw him pull out cigars for anyone who was interested. If you love food and dining out, make reservations ASAP. The night I was there, we had organized 11 people to sort of take over the restaurant. Imagine if you had a friend who happened to be an incredible chef. Imagine you stop by his home while he's cooking dinner. That's what Chef Maeda has done for you.
Who: My Girlfriend & Myself
When: Thursday Lunch
Why: Her idea, it's "organic" / veggie friendly
Verdict: Would definitely recommend and revisit
It was a beautiful day and I was in the mood for trying something new. My girlfriend and her husband are new vegetarian/juicing/organic enthusiasts and she had found this place and asked that I check it out with her. The restaurant is conveniently located just a couple blocks from the Omotesando station. the restaurant is located below street level, but still manages to be incredibly open and airy. I read the last review and I would not consider the store's selection as small or inadequate. The buffet itself was very tasty and comprehensive. They had some dessert options that you would have to pay separately for and the slices looked huge. I probably wouldn't come here for dinner, but it is definitely a terrific place for lunch if you feel like stuffing your face full of healthiness.
Who: 6 couples
When: Saturday Dinner
Wear: Dressy- business casual
Why: My friend made the reservation
Verdict: Would definitely go again!
I completely respect Dominic's assesment. I agree with just about everything. I got to go at night, and some of our party knew the Host and restaurant manager and it turned out to be a wonderful evening. My review may be a little biased, but overal I thought it was wonderful. It felt very much like a New York restaurant. It is beautifully decorated and the food was terrific. I'm sure knowing the staff helps, but our service was attentive without being annoying and the whole experience was positive to say the least.