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katchan's Reviews ( 5 Stars )

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  • Vegetable Sushi Potager (Sushi / Roppongi)
  • 2012/10/22
  • 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.

    Go for it!
  • Krissman's International Tennis School (Classes-Others / Shimokitazawa)
  • 2012/09/03
  • 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.
  • Kondo (Tempura / Ginza)
  • 2012/08/26
  • Who: Date night
    When: Friday evening 6:00pm reservations
    Wear: Nice
    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.
  • Ekki Bar & Grill, Four Seasons Hotel (Bars / Tokyo Station)
  • 2012/08/22
  • Who: 10 Year Old Boy & Myself
    When: Tuesday around 3:00om
    Wear: Dressy
    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!
  • Ristorante Amoroso (Italian / Kagurazaka)
  • 2012/04/15
  • 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.
  • Morimoto XEX (Sushi / Roppongi)
  • 2012/01/22
  • Who: Business partner and Wives
    What: Vegetarian Course & Comparison Course
    Wear: Nice Business
    When: Dinner Saturday night
    Why: Our guests were in town for one night. They requested Japanese food. We though going to Iron Chef Morimoto's would be a fun experience.
    Verdict: Would totally go again.

    Just got back from dinner. It is a rainy night and as the cab pulled up to the restaurant, the hostess came out with a large umbrella to walk us in. The interior of the restaurant is beautiful. We were escorted downstairs and sat in the Teppanyaki area. It is wonderful to watch the chefs doing what they do best. Each course was fantastic and beautifully presented. I was worried about serving size, but I definitely did not leave hungry. Dessert is not included in the menu and if you would like dessert they ask that you do this in the upstairs bar room. Definitely the gaijin element, but I figure they gotta eat too.
  • Kidzania (Amusement Parks / Tsukiji)
  • 2012/01/18
  • Who: Myself, 10 year old son, his friend
    When: Wednesday, their school holiday. NOT national holiday
    Wear: If you can avoid dragging a jacket around leave it behind. You are indoors entire time.If you have one of those lanyard things that can carry ID and money that is helpful for he kids. TIP: go to the bank and enroll for a "credit card" and they will give you a wallet for free.
    Verdict: Loved it! Planning to go back. Not sure why it says Tsukiji, but this was in Toyosu.

    I have never been to this place and had no idea what to expect. This is the ultimate in Make-Believe play and total fantasy immersion. The organization is terrific. Even if there are waits, you can go to the pavilion you want to experience and "reserve" a time to come back. There are places to eat within the town as well as signing up to make pizzas or hamburgers and eating that way. There is even a juice bar! The time goes quickly. On the second level there is a parents lounge where you can chill to get away from it or just hide.

    Parents get in free. I would suggest reserving tickets online. Not sure if you could walk-in, but on the weekends they are booked out for months.
  • Pointage (Italian / Azabu-juban)
  • 2012/01/07
  • A local Japanese friend first introduced me to Pointage and I have thanked her everytime I have seen her since. It is definitely a local favorite. Given its small alley-way location, you would have to be in the know to go. Despite it's seemingly erratic schedule, devotees line up to dine in (probably has seating for less than 15 people)or pick up bread to take away. The breads are interesting and FRESH. I almost hate to review it this well because it is so popular are yummy. I finally convinced my husband and son to have lunch there and we ended up getting one of the very few tables available. I don't know why the profile says English menu available because we did not have one. The staff is not fluent, but between hand signs and slow talking we were able to order. My husband and I had quiche and soup and my son ordered a few things from behind the display cases. The lunch is very affordable and delicious. The staff is as nice as they can be during a rush, but are nicer when it slows down. Try Pointage and try everything.

  • Gompachi: Nishi-azabu (Izakaya / Hiroo)
  • 2011/12/18
  • I was just here on a Thursday night with a bunch of girlfriends (8). I can definitely say it is good for groups. We had a great time. Service was good, food was excellent. They are known for their soba so I ordered some and it was good. We ended up ordering lots of drinks and lots of plates to share. I don't know if it was because we were girls or what, but we ate and drank to our fill and the bill was quite reasonable in the end. Definitely a gaijin hangout. The other thing I liked about the restaurant was the ambiance. A lot of restaurants in Tokyo are super refined and polished and you can feel like you are in New York, Paris or Vegas, but this place had a vibe all its own and was very manly feeling. Definitely worth trying.I have also been told that you get better sushi if you sit upstairs. At one point we wanted to order more dragon rolls and the waiter had to tell us that because they were so busy it wasn't possible. At this point, we had had enough to drink that it didn't matter, but if you are thinking you might want a lot of sushi, then I would suggest sitting upstairs.
  • Cicada (Mediterranean / Hiroo)
  • 2011/12/13
  • After dining at Cicada, I am assuming my friends and I have earned our Desperate Housewives Point Card. What else is there to say about a terrific restaurant? Whether you are new to town or a veteran or craving good food, Cicada should be on your short list for eats. Don't miss the hummus or the tagine if it's on the menu!
  • Mamegen (Japanese Sweets / Azabu-juban)
  • 2011/12/13
  • I was told this was a VERY famous establishment for seasoned snacks, senbei, etc. Once I arrived and sampled I understood why. The store itself is always busy. I don't know why there is a lunch and dinner price in the overview because it is a shop not a restaurant. There is a lot to choose from, and if you look around there are color coded charts letting you know which snacks are spicy, sweet, savory, etc... There is a window in the front where you can see the man deep frying the shio okaki (and to quote my son, "can't go back to potato chips").Of course they offer samples because it is snack cocaine. Thank God I have to bicycle my way to the shop because otherwise, I think I would have to start shopping for the piano box to bury myself in. The gift boxes are lovely gifts and snacks for home. I also love that you feel like a real insider shopping there.
  • essence k (Massage / Azabu-juban)
  • 2011/12/13
  • I'm not the type of person who enjoys a "spa massage". I am probably more of a masochist when it comes to massage and have been lucky to have been treated by great massage therapists in the States. My doctor referred me to Kay after I went to see him for muscle relaxers since my back and shoulders were all in knots from so many life-style changes. I cannot over-emphasize how awesome Kay is. She is a consummate professional and is extremely good at what she does. If you are like me and need someone who is willing to go deep into the muscle you will not be disappointed. I love how she gives you hot tea or hot water and some dried fruit afterwards. I am continuing to see her for maintenance and have introduced my son to her for his own baseball aches. No regrets. Also, her English is PERFECT.
  • Eat more Greens (Vegetarian & Healthy / Azabu-juban)
  • 2011/12/13
  • I've been twice for lunch and I love it! I usually go with girlfriends and we all enjoy our dishes thoroughly. It's also the first place I've been to where they actually serve brown rice! Love it. The lunch set is very good and creative. You never miss the flesh factor. Whenever I feel like having a healthy satisfying meal, Eat More Greens does not disappoint.
  • Horii (Soba / Azabu-juban)
  • 2011/12/13
  • I was first brought here by Expats who had been living here for a while. I am forever grateful for this introduction. The soba here is excellent cold or hot. The side dishes are delicious as well.This is my "Go To" soba restaurant. You are greeted with a loud Irasshiamase! often by the owner. The atmosphere is bustling. Service is prompt and polite and the atmosphere is cozy. There is seating at tables (no shoes please) and then there is a large table in the middle of the restaurant (bar-type seating). There is an English menu also. I wouldn't say the English is great, but definitely ok.If you are looking for a very good soba experience look no further.