Archive for the ‘Tokyo’ Category

La Boheme – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

1f Kaneko Bldg. 7-11-4 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-Ku
Tel. 3499-3377
Hours: 11:30 am – 5:00 am
Credit Cards
Prices: Inexpensive

One of eight inexpensive little bistros located around Tokyo. The cooking is quite good considering the prices that are dirt-cheap by Tokyo standards. Two can dine here with a carafe of white and a carafe of red wine for about ¥7,000. Salads, pastas and the special Japanese pastas are good. The restaurant in Aoyama is quite nice looking and draws an interesting crowd until 5am in the morning. I commend this restaurant chain for their efforts. Every city in the world should aspire to have a comparable restaurant open most of the day and night, serving good food and wine at reasonable prices.

Komagata Dojo – Tokyo

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Tel 3842 4001
Taito-ku, Komagata 1-7-12
Open 11:30am-10:00pm
Credit Cards
Prices: Expensive (due to the rarity of the specialties)

This restaurant is an institution and it stays open all day without a break until 10pm. The two items they specialize in, whale and small fresh-water eel are now so rare that prices have kept escalating over the years.

It opened its doors in 1776 the same year America gained its independence. While they have a menu with some classic Japanese dishes most everyone comes to eat the white part of the whale, with plenty of burdock root and green onions displayed in side-dishes, which you may add to the steaming pot in the center of the table, and Dojo, which is a small fresh-water eel found in the rice fields. In my two visits over the years I have never seen anyone order anything else but these two items.

In the main dining room on ground level everyone is seated on the floor downstairs offers some table seating, however.

Bistrot de la Cité – Tokyo

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Tel. 03-3406-5475
Tojyo Bldg. 4-2-10, Nishiazabu, Minato-Ku
Credit cards: All Major
Prices: Food: Moderate-High, Wine: Very Expensive

The small dining room with its handful of tables is attractively decorated and makes you feel immediately comfortable. It is too bad for the restaurant, and especially cruel for the customer, that the menu is quite good for what it is—bistro cooking and quite frankly, somewhat overpriced, but all the wines worth drinking are outrageously overpriced.

If you feel like having dinner and drinking very little this is the place for you, if on the other hand, you wish to have more than a couple of glasses of wine you had better head elsewhere, which is exactly what we did; paid the bill and left, after finishing the first course, for another restaurant.

France Chubo Kaeriyama – Tokyo

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Akasaka Emerald Bld., 2A
2-8-13 Akasaka Hinatoku
Tokyo, 107-0052 Japan
Tel. 03-3583-5610
Credit cards: All Major

Dining Room

France Chubo Kaeriyama is a hidden treasure situated in a fairly typical Japanese
restaurant space, accessed by climbing up a tiny circular staircase from street level. It seats only about 25 persons and serves unswerving and marvelous classic French cuisine. Reservations are highly advised.
The chef/owner is Koji Kaeriyama, who previously worked in
various French restaurants in Tokyo, owned a restaurant in
Paris, and also did a stint working in a few restaurants in
Los Angeles before realizing his dream to open his own
restaurant in Tokyo.

A few of the items listed on the à la carte menu are:
Terrine of foie gras. jellied rabbit terrine, assiette de charcutrie

Duck confit with white beans, Beef cheek braised with red wine sauce

There are two prix fixe menus for lunch ¥1800 and ¥2500
Below are listed some typical lunch starters:
Pork terrine, seasonal fried river fish, minestrone with gobo root and white and brown beans, onion tart.
Main course: Tranche of Halibut coated with five kinds of crispy rice,
Beef cheek in red wine demi-glace sauce, pork with tomato flavored veal stock.
Dessert: floating island, fresh strawberries diced with mint and served with vanilla ice cream.

He receives organically raised pork from Hokkaido and visits the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo most mornings and the produce he uses is always top quality as well as being fresh. This charming restaurant is definitely worth a visit as it is run with loving care.

Kitchen 5 – Tokyo, Japan UPDATE

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Facade Kitchen 54-2-15, Nishiazabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel. 03-3409-8835
Closed Sun, Mon, Holidays
Open 18:00-21:45 last order
No Credit Cards
Price: Moderate

Nothing has changed too much in thirteen years since I last wrote about this interesting restaurant for Wine & Dine Magazine (see original post). It is still operated by Mrs. Kobayashi who makes twenty different starters and twenty main courses set out tapas style on platters.

Counter DisplayAside from a few modernizations and upgrades the one thing that has drastically changed is that the cat, whose name is Michelangelo, who used to sleep on a pile of supplies now has his own bed and is nineteen years old. Many grammar-school children, who are not allowed to keep pets of their own for one reason or another, stop by in the morning to play with him.

All Nippon Airways

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I always try to fly ANA when traveling because that allows for a stop-over in Tokyo, as I enjoy Japan immensely, although it would be more agreeable if it were less expensive. When the exchange rate is favorable to the dollar it makes it more affordable to dine there but as it is now in 2008, almost on par, it is difficult and yet it could be worse; I have experienced that as well in the past.

In my opinion, ANA is the best Japanese airline and one of the top Asian airlines, they are now considered to be the best as far as service is concerned in the world.

I realized that the airlines have been hit hard by rising fuel prices and I commend ANA for keeping their quality as best they can.

All Logos, designs are copyrighted and are the property of
All Nippon Airways.

P.G.A. Pub Cardinal Akasaka – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Akaska Biztower 1F (Akasaka Sacas),
5-3-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-4:00am;
Sun 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:00pm
Tel. 03-5545-7767
Prices: Moderate

Kitchen - P.G.A. PubI just wandered into this place in the newly opened development in Akasaka. It seemed as if it would be a good spot to wait for my next appointment. It lived up to all of that, and I stayed for more than one glass of a very pleasant house white wine called Biancello del Metauro ¥800 and few small dishes. The tapas menu ranges from ¥500 to 1600, small dishes such as: Caprese on a toothpick ¥700, Galycian style octopus ¥800, Mixed peas salad ¥500, Russian potato salad ¥500.

Hidemi Sugino, Pâtissier – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Kyobashi daiei bldg., 1F, 3-6-17, Kyobashi, chuo-ku, Tokyo Japan 104-0031
Tel 03-3538-6780 Fax 03-3564-5010

Hidemi is the top pâtissier in Tokyo at the moment, and believe me, once you have tasted one of his little works-of-art you will immediately know why. The stock is usually sold out before noon for take out items, as he makes a limited number of pastries and when they are gone – they’re gone.

His pricing is not that much more than other shops and considering the incredible quality the prices are more than fair.

Closed every Monday and sometimes Tuesday depending on . . . well, on

Taimeiken – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Branches around Tokyo
Prices: Inexpensive

Open Kitchen
Hayashi RiceServing Yoshoku (Japanese style Western Food)

Any of these places are good to have a quick bite. There is the main store and in addition many satellite branches around Tokyo (go to website for addresses).
Hayashi rice, hamburger steak, omu-raisu (rice filled omelettes) are a few of their specialties.

Aux Bacchanales Brasserie – Tokyo

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Tel. 03-5276-3422
Street level New Otani Hotel

Facade in Sakura Season Zinc BarThis venerable French Brasserie is a Tokyo institution and I have patronized it for many years going back to when it was located in Harajuku to its present location in Akasaka and overall I like it and keep coming back for more. In all good faith, I must mention straight away that although I enjoy the place for its attempt at replicating a true French brasserie, it does not have brasserie prices.
Granted, its prime location must command a huge annual lease fee and this is Tokyo, although I must caution if you have dinner at the restaurant at night it is exceedingly difficult to spend less than ¥15,000 – ¥20,000 per person and this is a brasserie not a top restaurant. The other small quibble I have is the wine list, which is very brief and outrageously priced and the house wine is so mediocre that you are almost forced to order a bottle; this makes it difficult for a person say, to have a glass of white wine with one course and maybe another glass or bottle with the second course. If however, you drink beer (they have an large selection) and sit in the cafe section you will find this an enjoyable experience and prices will not be too dear.

It is a bar, cafe, and restaurant, and as such, they have designated different menus for each category. It has an outdoor terrace that has a lot of action during the afternoon and early evening.
The style and decor is strictly French Brasserie with many different beers on tap. Generally, as it is a brasserie, the establishment serves throughout the day until closing without a break between lunch and dinner. Aux Bacchanales serves up the expected brasserie fare such as:

Les Entrées

Rillettes de porc 1260
Terrine de foie gras 2520
Saumon mariné 1800
Escargots à la bourguignone 1900
Moules marínières 1600
Asperges Blanches sauce Hollandaise 3200
Soupe à l’oignon 1250
Soupe de poisson 1600

Les Poissons

Homard grillé (demi) 3600
St. Jacques grillée sauce tapenade 2600
Daurade grillée sauce beurre blanc 2700

Les Viandes

Steak tartare 1980
Confit de canard 2470
Choucroute garnie 2600
Cous Cous d’agneau avec merguez 2730