December 28, 2014

Aging Aussie beef restaurant at Nikko Tokyo in Odaiba

Australian steak restaurant "Taronga (タロンガ)" in Hotel Nikko Tokyo (ホテル日航東京) is a nice restaurant for date with baby. Outside, there is the illuminated Rainbow bridge just in front, and inside, there is lighting of candles in each table. Beautiful and romantic atmosphere. Service is also elegant as a hotel. 
Rainbow bridge in Odaiba
Taronga in Hotel Nikko Tokyo
Australian sparkling wine
Carupaccio of porgy
Sautee of homard 
Grilled salmon
Australian chardonnay
Steak (14 days aging beef)
Steak (30 days aging beef)
Variety of steak sauce
Selection of Australian wine is good. Light tasting of starter and fish dishes are good like modern cuisine. And the taste of the most important steak is delicious...but not impressive. I like lean Aussie beef different from wagyu beef, but at this time, the taste of beef itself was less impact. Unfortunately, potential of Aussie beef was not maximized. (When I tasted their beef in Australia, more tasty!) The above set meal (starter, fish, steak, dessert and coffee) costs JPY6,000 excluding tax and service charge. My rating is 3.6 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Old fashioned cakes loved by a postwar thinker in Honkomagome

Just in front of the Komagome hospital in Honkomagome (本駒込), there is an old cake shop named "Sthorer (ストレル)" whose history is since 1958. Their nostalgic atmosphere is cool. Price setting is also cool. One piece of cake is around JPY400. In the shop, signature of Yoshimoto Takaaki (吉本隆明), a thinker who had a huge influence on the new left wing in the postwar era is decorated. The thinker allegedly lived neighborhood and loved the cakes of Sthorer.
Moca roll
Chocolate cake
Mont blanc
But the taste was...just old fashioned. In principle, I like traditional and old things with history, but this old style was...just old. It seemed they didn't use good quality of cream, chocolate, etc. and the taste became less tasty... I wish such a shop could continue business for the next 50 years, but to do so, some kind of efforts of renovation might be necessary. My rating is 2.0 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! 

Sthorer (ストレル)

December 27, 2014

Fresh tasty tart from Kobe

"A la campagne (ア・ラ・カンパーニュ)" is a fresh tart chain originally from Kobe (神戸). Their shop is so cute and lovely that girls cannot pass! Variety of fresh tart are like jewels. They've expanded their business around Tokyo and, for instance, you can try their tarts at "atre Akihabara (アトレ秋葉原)", "atre Meguro (アトレ目黒)," etc. 
Walnut tart
Fruits tart 
Their tart costs around JPY700 per peice (not cheap!), but worth for it! Not only their popular fruits tart, but also walnut tart was impressive. Balance of bitter cocoa tart and filling of fresh chocolate cream including chopped nut was very nice. Even so..., compared to similar tart shop of "Qu'il fait bon (see the previous post)", "A la campagne" may lose ("Qu'il fait bon" is nearly perfect!). My rating is 3.9 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita! (but I wonder why the names of good tart shops in Japan are French....).    

A la campagne (ア・ラ・カンパーニュ)

Casual sushi restaurant at Akihabara UDX

If you face difficulty to find a restaurant other than fast foods in Akihabara (秋葉原), I recommend you to go "Akihabara UDX (秋葉原UDX)", a complex building directly connecting to the JR Akihabara Station. There are variety of reasonable restaurants and you can find at least a favorite one. Moreover, most of their restaurants welcome babies:)  
"Sushi Gen" in Akihabara UDX
Various styles of tuna sushi (JPY1,580)
Assorted sushi (JPY2,400)
"Sushi Gen (すし源)" is a casual sushi restaurant located on the 3rd floor whose lunch is available from JPY750 (reasonable ones are sushi bowl). Definitely, you should not expect sophisticated taste like of expensive restaurants, but you could be satisfied with their sushi. Good enough for daily lunch. Much better than the ones of sushi-go-round restaurants. My rating is 3.2 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Akihabara UDX (秋葉原UDX)

Beautiful...but a bit disappointing French restaurant in Ginza

Even though word of mouth of a restaurant is good on the web,  we can't judge if it is true until we actually open the door of the restaurant. The other day, I tried a French restaurant named "l'art et la maniere (ラールエラマニエール)" in Ginza (銀座) seeing the word of mouth on the internet, but it was unfortunately a bit disappointing.      
Stairs to "l'art et la maniere"
Main dining room
Variety of butter
Starter using sweetfish
Poiree of porgy
Message plate
Dessert (strawberry parfait) 
Dessert (chocolate cake and mango pudding)
The above set meal costs JPY4,000. In fact, dishes were not so bad. Delicate to some extent. However, I'm sorry to say but it did not meet my expectation of the price. Nearly no choice of dishes, small portion, no distinctive dishes, immature service, etc. Though presentation was beautiful, it was regrettable. Or my expectation had been much higher because of the good word of mouth...(so sorry!!). The atmosphere seemed no longer an elegant  restaurant but a casual cafe where people chatting. My rating is 2.9 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

l'art et la maniere (ラールエラマニエール)    

December 19, 2014

Sophisticated Chisene dishes at Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku

Since Shinjuku (新宿), one of the mega cities in Tokyo where the Tokyo Metropolitan Government locates has few good restaurants except chains, I tend to go to restaurants in hotels there. On one weekend when we went to Shinjyuku to see furniture, we had good Chinese dishes at "Hisuikyu (翡翠宮)" in Hyatt Regency (ハイアット・リージェンシー, see the previous post). 
"Hisuikyu" at Hyatt Regency
Dining room
Hot-and sour soup
Shanghai crab dumpling
Assorted main dishes
Fried rice
Almond jelly 
Taste, service and space...everything was sophisticated. A lunch set meal at JPY4,100 (the above photos) was reasonable for the quality. Popular dishes such as Beijing duck, Shrimps with mayonnaise are included. My rating is 4.3 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!