October 31, 2013

Modern Chinese restaurant in Kanda-sudacho

Though I've heard a good reputation of "Kanda Yun-rin (神田雲林)" through the media and words of mouth on the web for years, I haven't had chance to visit so far cause whenever I made a call, the restaurant was always occupied. But finally, I tasted Yun-rin's dishes and confirmed the reputation is very true. Kanda Yun-rin is a Chinese restaurant run by a Japanese chef, which is located in Kanda-sudacho (神田須田町) near Matsuya, a long-established soba restaurant (see previous visit).
Kanda Yun-rin
Assorted starter
Fried shrimp with tomato sauce
Fried spring roll
Shaoxing wine (10 years, 5 years and new one)
Rraised pork belly
Noodle with shark's fin soup
Almond jelly and fruits with syrup
On weekend, there are three ranges of lunch set meal; JPY1,890, JPY3,200 and JPY5,000 (we ordered the middle one). The set meal (JPY3,200) comprises an assorted starter, three dishes, a noodle/fried rice and a dessert. The composition was good; different taste and different texture of each dish. Most of all, the taste was...wonderful! Each dish was more than expectation! Even an ordinary starter of steamed chicken was very delicious. Usually, I don' t like it so much, but the soft chicken with spicy and profound sauce was surprising. 

A dish of fried shrimp was with sauce of tomato and basil. The sauce looked like an Italian cuisine, but the taste was definitely Chinese! Combination with crispy fried shrimp was dainty. I took my hat off to the chef. And the most impressive dish was a raised pork belly. The meat itself is very soft as if melted in the mouth. The tasting is juicy and salty-sweet. The balance was ideal! (but Chinese people may not think so as Chinese star anise is not used much considering Japanese preference).

The portion was also enough. You can definitely be satisfied. I understood the popularity of this small but high level restaurant. Worth for visiting. My rating is 4.5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Kanda Yun-rin (神田雲林) http://www.kandayunrin.com/

October 24, 2013

Tasty hamburger in Sendagi

Along the Dangozaka (団子坂), just near the Sendagi (千駄木) metro station, there is a small hamburger shop named "Rainbow Kitchen (レインボーキッチン)." The atmosphere is like an old american diner, which might be suitable for tasting hamburger:) I visited the shop after a long interval, and I found the taste became much better than before! 
Exterior of "Rainbow Kitchen"
Avocado burger
Bacon cheese burger 
First, they may changed bread. The new bread seems hand-made by a bakery. The soft and dainty bread functions well as a basis of hamburger. The hamburg steak itself is very juicy and delicious. The steak is made of Japanese beef only. The use of seasoning was also good. (though the tasting of avocado burger is a bit light.) 

Curled french fry might be their feature. Its light and crispy texture is addictive. The price of a burger with french fry and pickles is from JPY900 to 1,400. Recommendable burger other than big chains' burgers. My rating is 3.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

October 1, 2013

Kaiseki bento like a treasure box at Kikunoi Akasaka

Kikunoi (菊乃井), one of the big names of Japanese ryotei, is located in Kyoto. They have run ryotei for 100 years providing delicious Japanese kaiseki meal and sophisticated service. When I was a university student, I visited the ryotei. Even for such a young first-time customer, they provided good service and dishes and I have kept it as a wonderful memory. Now, Kikunoi has a branch in Akasaka (赤坂), Tokyo where you can enjoy their essence without going Kyoto. One day, I visited Akasaka branch with my sister.
Gate for Kikunoi Akasaka
Counter seats
Japanese sake and iced roasted green tea
Kaiseki bento
Clear soup with shrimp cake
rice with porgy flakes
Sesame pudding with bean ice cream
Even at lunch time, their kaiseki set meal is JPY10,500 (expensive!). But if you choose kaiseki bento, semi-prepared meal, the price is JPY5,250. Though all customers other than us tasted the kaiseki set meal, we tried the bento. As a result, it was more than enough! Kaiseki bento contained in a Japanese lacqer box was like a treasure box! Around eight different dishes are prepared in each small box, and each taste and texture was different and very tasty. 

In addition, dellicate sashimi, clear soup with shrimp cake, and rice with porgy flakes were served. All of which were very delicious.  As the whole portion was much more than seeing the above pictures, we could be fully satisfied. Service is good. There was no waiter and waitress, but young chefs under training took care of customers. Some of them were not so used to providing elegant service, but their do-it-all-the-way attitude was favorable.When leaving the Kikunoi, a master chef kindly saw us off until the gate and chatting with him was nice. 

As a first step to Kikunoi, why don't you try the kaiseki bento at lunch? If you go Kikunoi Akasaka at night, only kaikeki set meals are available at JPY15,750, 18,900 or 21,000 excluding service charge. Lunch is much reasonable. My rating is 4.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Kikunoi (菊乃井) http://kikunoi.jp/