Butcher Brothers (Kanda) - What a great place! 4 of us ate like kings for Y12,000; that included loads of beer and a bottle of house red. Potato salad comes draped with a massive piece of bacon; bacon comes out more like a glowing bacon steak; smoked camembert with vegetables contains few vegetables and more bread to spread the gooey goodness on; skirt steak (comes with fries and a slice of tomato) was some great grill cooking. We had other dishes but I was in such a meat coma by that stage I could barely think straight. This place is sensational if you like to eat meat.
Sushi Kanesaka (Ginza) - In a word, disappointing. At Y12,000 including a couple of beers, I expected a lot more. The quality of the fish was fine and Kanesaka-san was a lovely and attentive host; however, it felt very much like a production line. My biggest gripe was the quality of the rice for my first few pieces. I found the rice too warm and almost gluey and mealy; it reminded me of sticky rice. The rice definitely improved as my meal progressed, however, that first piece really coloured my view. Highlights were the Ika and the Anago.
Sushi Iwa (Ginza) - I had a great 13 piece lunch here for roughly Y9,000. The fish was the next step above from Kanesaka, for me. The rice was probably a bit too heavily vinegared for me, however, the texture of the rice was superb. The icefish cured in cherry leaves, while not necessarily to my taste was an interesting piece and I was very pleased to try it. The Ika, Maguro, Anago and especially the Tomago were highlights. All the staff were attentive and spoke very good English .
Okame Zushi (Mita) - Every time that I am in Tokyo, I go to Okame and always have an excellent meal. While I don’t believe it is on any list of any sort; Okame in Mita is repeatedly a highlight for me. Owner, Nagatani-san, prepares interesting things for me to try including shirako in nori and then deep-fried in tempura, pressed sea cucumber stomach (sorry I have forgotten what it is called) and pieces of anago rolled in cucumber. The fish is fine and this for me was a much superior meal to Kanesaka and came out to roughly Y11,000 a head with lashings of beer.
The standing sushi bar (Shibuya) - Sorry, I forgot to write down it's name, but everyone knows what I am talking about. I love this place simply because it is so cheap and the sushi is better than anything you get in Australia. Our best sushi in Australia is roughly Y16,000 and then it's not very interesting or well executed. This place has greater variety and probably better executed pieces for a slap up meal for Y2,500. English menu for those of us who don't have enough language. Always fun!
Saru (Shibuya) - I had a friend drag me to this little European seafood place in Shibuya. It was a completely nice meal with no bad dishes or surprises. Squid in caper and garlic butter and tuna head steak with lotus root were all simply executed but delicious. They seem to sell a lot of applewood smoked pork for a seafood restaurant and I can understand why as it is quite tasty with mashed potato. They do carafes of wine at reasonable prices too. I think it was around Y16,000 for 3 of us. Would you go out of your way to eat there no… but if you stumble upon it, totally worth eating there.
Blacows (Ebisu) - I know there are a lot of arguments about burgers in Tokyo, but I love Blacows in Ebisu for burgers. I've been there a couple of times now and I rate it as the best burger I've had. I've tried a number of variations and they are all excellent. Just follow your heart and order what feels right on a burger for you. Y2-3,000 a head with a beer or two.
Tonki (Meguro) - Tonki is one of those places I've always meant to go to but failed on previous trips. This time I finally got there and I am so glad I did. For Y2,500 I had one of my favourite Japan experiences. Watching the (I assume) family work together to turn out fantastic tonkatsu was a highlight. The care, precision and consistency given to the tokatsu shows. A must go Tokyo eat for me.
Devilcraft (Kanda) - Pizza was pretty boring and flavourless for me but you're there for the beer and the beer selection was fantastic and unique. If you like your beer go.
Craftheads (Shibuya) - What a great bar. Amazing beer selection, including Hair of the Dog beers. In terms of food I ate some good sizzling oysters with mushrooms and their burger called a Juicy Lucy (a patty filled with blue vein cheese) which I am not sure worked except to burn my mouth but you can't complain about a burger. As above, of yu like beer go but with better food!