April 29, 2013

Popular Japanese hamburger chain

MOS BURGER (モスバーガー) is a popular Japanese hamburger chain which does business in Japan and Asia. We call it just as "MOS (モス)" and MOS is intermediate between cheep mega chains like MacDonald's and hamburger specialty shops whose burger is more than JPY1,000. MOS's shop is like a cozy cafe. Interior is light and clean.
Salad and clam chowder 
Mos cheese burger and onion ring and french fry 
MOS's burgers are from JPY320 to JPY500. They stick to "Japaneseness" and there are also "rice burgers" in their products. We can eat just-made hamburgers after ordering. Taste is generally gentle as food additive is not used. Their quality control on food security is high, and we can enjoy their products in relief. They use domestic ingredients and disclose the names of producers on each item. If you travel to Japan, you can try MOS as an experience in Japan! My rating is 2.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samamdeshita!

MOS BURGER (モスバーガー) http://www.mos.co.jp/index.php

Local sushi shop near Ryokan SAWANOYA in Yanaka

On a small street in Yanaka (谷中), I found a small sushi shop that I haven't entered yet. I also noticed only English menu is displayed in front of the shop. The shop is "Yaguruma (八車)" ran by an edokko sushi master. According to him, as Yaguruma is close to a Japanese-style ryokan called "Sawanoya(澤の屋)" which is popular among overseas travelers, he has opportunities to receive foreign customers.  Rather, there was no Japanese menu:)
Entrance of "Yaguruma"
Tuna rolled sushi 
Flatfish and tuna 
Flatfish, tuna and squid 
Sea urchin, scallop, salmon caviar and rolled egg
The shop is small, but very clean. Many sushi ingredients are well prepared in the show-case of the counter. If we order, the edokko master served sushi so quickly that we had to hurry eating (actually, edokko is famous as impatient...). The ingredients are not so bad, but sushi is a bit old-fashioned. Whether good or bad, the taste would be good on average. No specific feature.   

The most superior set at lunch time costs JPY2,800 per person.The price setting is normal. If you want to enjoy local atmosphere with classic sushi, you may choose this sushi shop. For better sushi, there might be other options...My rating is 2.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!      

April 28, 2013

Tofu izakaya in Shibuya

A drinking party was held at an izakaya whose specialty is tofu, soybean curd in Shibuya (渋谷). I visited this izakaya named "SORANO (空野)" for the first time in more than 5 years, but it is well maintained and still popular. Its Japanese modern architecture makes the atmosphere good. It might be suitable even for date. As tofu is healthy, women who care about weight might be happy.
Entrance of SORANO
Japanese-style private room 
Grilled tofu with sweet miso paste
Tofu is made just in front of us.
Just made tofu!
Grilled chicken 
Fried tofu 
Rice with dried tofu
Soy milk cheese cake 
In spite of the chain izakaya, dishes are moderately delicate and tasty.Grilled tofu with sweet miso paste was yummy. Demonstration of making tofu in front of us was also nice. But the portion was a bit small....you know, tofu itself is light that we cannot easily be full. Accordingly, even after eating a set meal, I couldn't be so much full. If you are big eater, you may need to go to a hamburger shop. 

Considering the price, we may have no choice. A set meal including all-you-can-drink costs JPY4,500 per person for two hours. Service by young staff is good. My rating is 2.7 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

April 22, 2013

Japanese curry named Indian curry

A famous Japanese curry chain of Osaka has a branch in TOKIA (トキア) in Marunouchi (丸の内) since eight years ago. The name is "Indian Curry (インディアンカレー)" and its symbol is an Indian man with a white turban and white beard.Maybe more than 60 years ago, when curry was just becoming a national food of Japan, the shop owner used the image of India which is the origin of curry. (But in reality, I think most Indian people don't put turban except Sikhs.)
Indian Curry in TOKIA 
Cabbage pickles 
Curry and rice!
The shop's name is Indian Curry, but they offer Japanese-style curry and rice. The curry uses beef, spices, various vegetables, and fruits. The taste is unique and different from ordinary Japanese curry. Sweet but very hot. The complex harmony can be addictive. We can't experience this specific taste other than here. In spite of this hot flavor, I could eat it up as it is delicious.

A curry and rice costs JPY730. Service is very quick. In few minutes, the meal is served. My rating is 3.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Indian Curry (インディアンカレー)  http://www.indiancurry.jp/

April 21, 2013

Soft pancake of bills Odaiba

When going for a drive, we tend to go Odaiba (お台場) because atmosphere is nice with the Tokyo Bay and there are many malls having large parking. The other day, I tried pancake of "bills (ビルズ)" at DECKS Tokyo beach (デックス東京ビーチ). Bills is a diner started in Sydney, whose pancake using ricotta cheese is very popular. There are four branches in/around Tokyo and there are always long queues for tasting the pancake.  
Rainbow Bridge 
DECKS Tokyo Beach 
Bills Odaiba 
Porgy carupaccio with avocado and grapefruit  
Fried pork with herbs and watermelon 
Bills' specialty "Ricotta pancake"
As I didn't want to wait, we visited around 22pm and easily enter without reservation. The interior is woody modern and nice lighting made the atmosphere good. Through the window, we can see the beautiful Rainbow Bridge. The selection of menu is not so wide.The price is approx. JPY1,500 for each dish. 

The taste was much better than expectation.They use fruits with dishes and the combination was very fresh and tasty. A main dish of fried pork with various herbs and watermelon was impressive. The taste of Juicy pork was well balanced with refreshing watermelon.  

Their specialty of "ricotta pancake" was definitely wonderful. Soft and airy texture. Rich taste with ricotta cheese. The balance of sweetness and saltiness was good, created by pancake, honey batter, maple syrup and banana. I am fully convinced for the long lines. My rating is 3.8 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

bills (ビルズ)  https://bills-jp.net/       
DECKS Tokyo beach (デックス東京ビーチ) http://www.odaiba-decks.com/

April 18, 2013

Nice Japanese lunch in an underground private room in Toranomon

As written repeatedly, Toranomon (虎ノ門)-Kasumigaseki (霞が関) is a barren area of good restaurants. In particular, we have few restaurants sophisticated enough for treating someone in a bit formal atmosphere. Against this, a Japanese restaurant called "Okiagari-Koboshi (起き上がり小法師)" is one of the better selections here. Though the restaurant is located underground in a building, it consists of only beautiful private rooms. Every female staff puts kimono. 
Entrance decorated with seasonal flowers
A private room in Okiagari-Koboshi
Shokado bento (dishes in a black-lacquered box) 
Rice, miso soup and pickles
Soy milk cheese cake
Dishes are delicate. The taste in reality is more than the above pictures:) Shokado-bendo (松花堂弁当), Japanese traditional bento in a black-lacquered box which contains several main- and side-dishes are JPY2,420 per person at lunch time. Each item such as s
ashimi, tempura, grilled fish, etc. was cooked carefully and differently so that we could enjoy at once. 

Service is on time and it is quite suitable for business lunch. Walls between private rooms might be thick. We can enjoy our conversation in a calm environment. Having such a short break during the work is quite refreshing that we can get energy for afternoon work. My rating is 3.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

(起き上がり小法師) http://r.gnavi.co.jp/p392100/

An elegant house French restaurant in Aoyama

A farewell party was held at a house French restaurant named "Manoir d' Inno (マノワールディノ) " in the silent residential area of Aoyama (青山). The house is a bit old semi-Japanese and western style building with a beautiful garden. The restaurant itself is very calm and relaxing. Maybe only matured adults visit. It's like a socializing place for (rich) adults. Behavior of service staff is also elegant. 
Gate of "Manoir d' Inno"
Mousse of broad beans with caviar
Jelly of seafood 
Grilled white fish with rich girolle sauce 
Grapefruit sorbet 
Grilled lamb with red wine sauce
Berry salad with passion fruit sauce 
Petite fours
Dishes are tasty as expected. Traditional and orthodox style of French dishes which use butter, rich cream, etc. These items are not good for health if we eat much daily, but it is also true they make the taste more delicious and give impact. A fish dish with girolle and cream sauce was superb. Good aroma of girolle and rich sauce were very impressive.

But the composition of dishes are well planned. After the heavy two main dishes, dessert was very light: berry salad with passion fruit sauce. The balance is nice and I didn't feel heavy stomach. I also enjoyed seeing beautiful plate of each dish. This high investment makes customers more pleasant. Dinner can be available from JPY8,400 and 10% service charge. My rating is 4 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Manoir d' Inno (マノワールディノ) http://www.manoirdinno.com/

April 17, 2013

Famous cake shop having security guard in Ueno-sakuragi

In Ueno-Sakuragi (上野桜木) whose meaning is "Ueno's cherry threes", there is a small but very famous cake shop called "Patissier Inamura Shozho(パティシェ イナムラショウゾウ)." Around the shop, there are many cherry tress as the name suggests. There are always long queues in front of the shop and security guards manage the lines. You would be surprised to see many people waiting suddenly in a calm resident area. 
Patissier Inamura Shozo 
Specialty "strawberry rolled cake"
Another specialty "Mont Blanc-Ueno Mountain "
"Momoka", cake of champagne and peach 
But everyone would understand the reason once you taste the cakes of Inamura Shozo. Perfect. Very sophisticated and delicious. His cakes are at higher level even compared to other famous cake shops. One of his specialty is strawberry rolled cake and the appearance is quite normal. But I can't find this impressive taste other than Inamura Shozo. 

Mr. Inamura's professionalism is also very impressive. In spite of his fame, whenever I go, he always still makes cakes with other staff. He could widen his business more, but he maintains only this shop and chocolate shop (see previous visit). Not so commercial. Also, the price is maintained reasonable at around JPY500. My rating is definitely perfect: 5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Patissier Inamura Shozho(パティシェ イナムラショウゾウ) http://www.inamura.jp/