August 11, 2014

Relaxing chain cafe specializing egg dishes

When I went shopping to Kinshicho (錦糸町) to buy baby items with family, I found a chain cafe named "Salon Tamago to Watashi (サロン 卵と私)" in TERMINA, a shopping mall attached to the JR Kinshicho Station. "Tamago to Watashi" means "egg and I" (strange name...:)) and this restaurant offers dishes using egg such as omelette, pancake, souffle, etc. Though I hadn't expected at all, the dishes were good! 
"Salon Tamago to Watashi"
Inside
Souffle pancake
cafe
Baked souffle rice omelette 
Their specialty is souffle or pancake and omelette using souffle. Both of the souffle-typed pancake(JPY530) and rice omelette(JPY1,030) were light like mousse and melted in the mouth shortly. Very favorable texture. The taste was stably good as a chain cafe. Particularly, combination of the hot pancake and whipped cream, butter and maple syrup was superb! 

Their sofa seats are cozy and relaxing. The price is inexpensive. The dishes were nice. I'd like to visit again when I have chance. For having a short break, this cafe featuring egg dishes might be a good option. My rating is 3.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Salon Tamago to Watashi (サロン 卵と私)

August 10, 2014

Famous tendon (tempura bowl) since 1887 in Asakusa

Just besides the Senso-ji Temple (浅草寺) in Asakusa (浅草), there is a famous tendon (tempura bowl) restaurant named "Daikokuya (大黒家)" which has started since 1887. Daikokuya itself is like a sightseeing spot which gathers many tourists because of the long history and the fame. People always make a long queue. When I went there on weekend, 20 people were still waiting around 3 o'clock (the below photo was taken around 4pm, between lunch and dinner. Few people were waiting.)
Daikokuya
Basic tendon
Most people ordered basic tendon at JPY1,550, rice topped with tempura of a prawn, a white fish and a mixed vegetable. The feature of their tempura is being deep-fried only by rich sesame oil and strong flavor sauce over tempura. This is good and distinctive. On the other hand, their old fashioned  tempura is non-crispy deep fry batter which I found it less tasty. Tempura served by professional should be always crispy! The taste is not bad, but the texture is not good. 126 years ago, it might be very tasty. It is beautiful to maintain their traditions, but at the same time, innovation is also necessary for the next 100 years. My rating is 2.3 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Daikokuya (大黒家) http://www.tempura.co.jp/  

August 7, 2014

A fully booked small French restaurant in Kagurazaka

In the residential area of Kagurazaka (神楽坂), there is a small French restaurant which it is difficult to make a reservation. That is "L'Atlas (ラトラス)", which has obtained one Michelin star before and whose chef and manager improved their skill at "Tour d' Argent Tokyo." To realize their ideal dishes and service, they opened L'Atlas. Indeed, they succeeded creating sophisticated classical modern dishes. 
L'Atlas
Main dining
Cake of three different styles of foie gras
Mousse of homarus and cauliflower with consomme jelly and caviar 
Roasted whit fish with bouillabaisse sauce
Bread
Sorbet 
Grilled canard
Grilled lamb
Glass mont blanc
Camomile tea and petits fours
At the lunch time, they offer only two fixed courses at JPY5,700 and 8,500. Both of which are same number of plates and the difference is quality of used ingredients (the above photos are of JPY5,700). The set meal consists of chef's recommendations (no options) and it makes cost-effective despite they use foie gras, caviar, homarus, etc. 

The set meal was well balanced with light modern two starters and two classical main dishes (fish and meat). Every plate was delicious. In particular, a cake of foie gras and mousse of homarus and cauliflower were impressive. You can't imagine that you can have such high-grade dishes at such a small restaurant. 

Another feature of L'Atlas is big-portion. Big-eater man could be satisfied. Even so, you can't be getting tired as each dish has different taste. Their service is casual (not so elegant) but no shortcomings. Their only minus point might be narrow space between tables. Next tables are so close that I easily heard conversation of other tables. Yet, unless you have a secret talk, it might be ok. My rating is 4.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

L'Atlas (ラトラス) http://www.latlas.jp/index.html   

August 2, 2014

Standard sushi chain from Tsukiji

I used to eat sushi when I was pregnant. Eating much big fish like tuna frequently is not suitable in terms of mercury, but adequate amount in proper interval is advisable cause it is proved EPA and DHA contained in fish are good for inside baby. For having sushi casually, chain restaurant is recommended. "TSUKIJI SUSHIKO (築地すし好)" is a sushi chain originally from Tsukiji, the world biggest fish market town. Their branches are around Tokyo. 
TSUKIJI SUSHIKO
Inside
Sushi!
Clam miso soup
Sushi!!
Interior of SUSHIKO is clean and bright. Menu is easy to understand with photos. Price setting is adequate and we don't have to worry. Sushi set is available from JPY1,000. Every chef and staff are well trained and service-oriented. Their sushi itself is good! Delicious enough. Definitely, not impressive one like prestige restaurant, but much more tasty and sophisticated than go-round-sushi restaurant. To taste sushi daily, this kind of chain restaurant is quite useful. My rating is 3.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

TSUKIJI SUSHIKO (築地すし好) http://www.tsukiji-sushiko.com/

July 26, 2014

Nice Okonomiyaki-chain from Osaka

Okonomiyaki, a Japanese pancake containing a lot of ingredients, is a popular B-grade gourmet which everyone likes. I haven't ever met someone (either Japanese or not) who don't like okonomiyaki. One of the popular chain restaurants is "BOTEJYU (ぼてぢゅう)", which started in Osaka in 1946 and nowadays has 82 branches in Japan and other countries. We can taste okonomiyaki in a stylish interior (B-grade gourmet restaurants are not always like this).
BOTEJYU
Inside
Beer (I don't drink!)
Orthodox okonomiyaki
"Akashiyaki"
"Modernyaki"
Their orthodox okonomiyaki is quite on average, but the most tasty one is "modernyaki" which contains fried noodle and beef snew with much sliced long green onion. I saw a popular gourmet TV show gave it 5 score in 5. It is convincing! BOTEJYU also offers other dishes making of flour. One of the recommending dishes is "akashiyaki", different type of takoyaki (soft octopus rolls) dipping into clear soup. I liked it very much. Akashiyaki is popular in west Japan, but we can't taste it everywhere in east Japan.

Each dish costs around JPY1000. As B-grade gourmet, it might be a little bit expensive, but considering the atmosphere, it might be acceptable. Actually, we usually cook okonomiyaki at home, and the evaluation might be a bit sever (it means whoever cooks, it is at least tasty!). My rating for BOTEJYU is 3.3 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

BOTEJYU (ぼてぢゅう) http://www.botejyu.co.jp/group/

July 24, 2014

Fresh cakes of a fruit shop since 1902

Here, it is said that mother who does breastfeeding should not take much milk products such as cheese, fresh cream, etc. cause these clog her milk lines. But I can't give up cakes using much fresh cream at all! I already controlled myself for 10 months for baby's health and weight control. So, I've allowed myself to taste cakes with care. The below fresh cakes which my sister bought to me are of Kazan (果山), a fruit shop in Tokyo since 1902.
Shortcake
Strawberry bavarois 
In spite of their long history, Kazan is not so famous as Senbikiya. Since we have many such historical companies all around Japan, this humble shop may not be so prominent. But their simple cakes using fresh cream and seasonal fruits are not bad. Simpleness is the best. As the taste is light, I ate up in a second:) 

Their main shop is located in Ningyocho (人形町), and other branches are in Takashimaya department stores (高島屋) in Kanto area (関東地方). My rating is 3.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!    

Kazan (果山) http://www.fruit-kazan.com/index.html  

July 23, 2014

Reasonable oyster restaurant in Ueno

Just in front of the JR Ueno Station (上野駅) and next to the Ueno 3153 (see the previous visit), a restaurant complex named "Ueno no Mori Sakura Terrace (上野の森さくらテラス)" opened in the end of April 2014. Among many restaurants, we tried "Oyster Table (オイスターテーブル)" with baby. As the atmosphere is casual, baby is accepted.
Oyster Table in Ueno no Mori Sakura Terrace
Inside
Raw oysters
Salad
Caprese salad with avocado dip 
Deep-fried and grilled oysters
Oyster gratin
Spaghetti with osyter and dried mullet roe
Pineapple ice cream
It was a nice finding as an oyster lover! In spite of the reasonable price, the quality of oyster and the taste of dishes were good. You can enjoy different kind of oyster dishes casually (so far, oyster bars were generally stylish for date). Raw oyster was the best, but crispy deep-fried oyster and creamy gratin were also very tasty. Even ice cream including set meal was very nice.

Lunch is available from JPY980. The above set meal we ordered was JPY3,980 for two persons. One piece of additional raw oyster costs JPY300 at lunch time. Reasonable! (But a friend said dinner was not so value for money. Lunch might be better.) Staff was cheerful and kind. My rating is 3.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

Oyster Table (オイスターテーブル) http://r.gnavi.co.jp/b3ax902r0000/