Restaurants & Bars

Tokyo Trip report 2015

silverlim | Mar 3, 201506:03 PM     2

Mizutani--7th visit for lunch. Master was really grumpy that day but sushi fortunately did not suffer. His senior apprentice is not around and two new apprentice is helping out. Highlight of the meal is mirugai and kohada with oboro. The latter is a brand new combination for us even in mizutani as we could not recall him doing so in the past and it turn out really good and refreshing. We ask for 2 more supplement infact. The tamagoyaki had return to the usual version and pale in comparison to our last visit in Dec.

Miyaha-3rd visit for lunch. Still very good, particular stand out piece is the chutoro , uni, anago, mekaimaguro and hamaguri. Lunch value is better compare to the dinner and the place is still pack with japanese client. We were served by another chef and with the three visit so far, we had conclude the taisho ( master chef) that only served at night made the best nigiri among the three.

Haschiguchi-3rd visit dinner. Not as good as our last 2 visit. I like his otsumami better than the nigiri this time around. In particular, he served us a mixed bowl of chopped toro, kohada, uni , sesame and rice. The mirugai is the best on this trip, it was really crunchy ( not sure if I use the right word to describe) and taste so fresh.

Yakitori Ogawa--1st visit, we ordered the tasting menu, which include 3 meat skewer and 1 vegetable skewer ( shisito). I liked the vegetable skewer better than the meat skewer which include heart, tsukune and sasara. Overall ok but pale in comparison to Toriki.

Kiyota-2nd visit for lunch. Lunch is served by the 4th generation chef rather than 3rd generation chef whom only served at dinner. Lunch is much more cheaper though compare to dinner in term of cost ~18k yen but the quality of the nigiri is not as good as our last dinner visit. The highlight is however kohada ( true traditional edomae style) and according to the chef, it took 3 day to prepare the fish. Other highlight is the shirouo and hirame. The tuna which is suppose the specialty here is unfortunately not as good compare to our last visit and pale in comparison to sushi Oono we had later on despite it comes from Wakayama.

Oono-1st visit, dinner, I would rate it the best sushi experience we had on this trip. We were the only guest during the entire time we were there so there might help. It's a really small sushi ya with the chef and a helper. The nigiri has nice balance with the shari and the neta. The toro is surprisingly the best on this trip and it was also came from wakayama but it was night and day difference compare to the one we had at Kiyota. We had no doubt asked for supplement toro pieces. The otsumami here also stand out in particular the chawan mushi which i have to admit is the best I had so far ( better than Namba) , tako, kekani and awabi. The meal has a nice flow without dragging and we still able to interact with the chef. Overall would surely return . Case in point, there is another Oono restaurant ( in Kanji) just a block away from the real sushi Oono which we first stumbled into and had mistaken it was the same restaurant.

Ishikawa--3rd visit. It was not as good compared to our last 2 visit. It was to heavy on the seasoning side to the point, some food turn out to be oily and salty. I was very disappointed but the two foreign guest from LA sitting beside us kept yelping how great their food was and I was truly puzzled by it. I was hoping to get redemption from the rice course which is rice cooked with scallop but again was disappointed.

Tokami-2nd visit, lunch. My previous impression still stand for this place. What it really shine in here is the maguro especially the maguro maki but the rest is just so so. I only ordered the nigiri set this time around and not particular impressed with the shari.

Seizan--1st visit, dinner. The chef is very young and really talented. The kaiseki here is consider top notch for the value but the cooking method is still as not refine as the league like Matsukawa. The highlight of the meal is the shirako with lotus root mochi as well pork meat wrapped with bamboo shoot which is the best meat dish I had in this tirp. The hamaguri soup and anago sushi however isn't appetizing. I would rate this better than ishikawa and with time, the chef would surely become the next bright star in kaiseki ryori like the like of Matsukawa san. Interestingly, it is the kaiseki that I have been too with an open kitchen.

Toriki-- 1st visit. Best yakitori we had so far in tokyo albeit we hadn't tried torishki yet which is really hard to get in. We initially just started with 3 skewer but ended up adding 4 more skewer each. The highlight is the chicken salad, coccin, tsukune, tebayaki , and quail eggs. It was so flavorful and once again reminded me what chicken taste like it should. Would surely return on our future visit.

Matsukawa--5th visit. It's our regular go to kaiseki place in Tokyo. Food is as good as before but nothing really stand out since a few of the dishes is the same we had before in our previous visit. I must say that there is so far no kaiseki place does clear soup better than Matsukawa san and I am a die hard fan for his clear soup. As per usual, the rice course remain the same but the dish before the rice course also contain rice but added karasumi and grilled vegetable. Again lunch course has better value compare to dinner.

Umi--1st visit. Dinner. It's the longest sushi eating experience I had ever had in tokyo. It lasted for 31/2 hour. The chef is very passionate about putting on a show and entertain his guest. The entire kitchen team is "shouting" all the time which could be off putting for some. There is ton of pieces being served and the style is very similiar to sushi sho but nigiri pieces is actually bigger than sho. The variety of fish is diverse but quality might not be the best . Particular highlight is the fresh oyster ( kaki) in a shell, tokyo bay maguro, tora fugu shirako and akagai. It's a highly regarded restaurant among the HKer and Taiwanese as 90% of the clientele there were from either Hong Kong or Taiwan. It was an interesting experience but not sure we would return as I found the sushi meal was being dragged too far long because of the "acting".

Aria di Tacubo--1st visit. Lunch. The kitchen is very accommodating and agree to serve our lunch course in an hour which usually take 2hr to complete. The meals is really great overall as good as our last meal in la barrique. The ingredient here is simple and i find the grilled dish here fare better than their pasta versus the opposite is true for la barrique. Nothing to fault about except the amuse bouche of cauliflower soup is fairly bland and did not match well with the shrimp. It's a great value for 5k yen per person that consist of 6 course.

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