Chicken Butter Masara(Chicken curry with tomato flavour).
I LOVE this Indian restaurant in Jinbocho! I don’t usually crave Indian food but the curry and the naan here have me completely addicted. This restaurant was featured in a popular Japanese comic about gourmet food called Oishinbo which I haven’t read unfortunately. From the website, this restaurant seems to be under the same group as this and this Thai restaurant, both of which I tried long time ago and didn’t really like. The chef of this Indian restaurant in Akihabara used to work in Mandara, but the quality is nowhere near it.
Mandara is opened for lunch everyday of the week. Lunch B(Y1155) consists of one curry of your choice, naan, saffron rice, and fruits yogurt. Lunch A(Y1575) is Lunch B plus 1pc of Tandoori Chicken and 1pc of Sheekh Kebab. You can choose the spicy level. Level 1 and 2 aren’t hot enough so I always choose 3. I think I’ve tried all the curries available at lunch time. I can’t actually pick a favourite cos everything is so nice but the most famous one is Chicken Butter Masara.
Noorjahani(Chicken and Liver curry). Masala Chai, Y420.
Vegetable curry. Mini Sweet Lassi, Y210.
Shrimp Butter Masara(Shrimp with tomato flavour).
Mutton curry. I don’t really like the saffron rice here so I always mix it with the leftover curry after finishing the naan.
Sag Chicken Curry(Green spinach cooked with onion and spices).
Keema curry. Shrimp curry.
Dal Makahni(Curry with 3 kinds of beans).
Fish Curry(Sword fish).
Menu: lunch set, Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat01, Sat02, Sun01, Sun02, Sun03.
インドレストラン マンダラ (Mandara)
Add: B1, 2-17, Jinbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
Special pork filet cutlet(Toku-hire), Y2100.
I love this tonkatsu place! Very small hole-in-the-wall restaurant with only a big round table for 8(need to share with strangers), a small table for 2, and 4 counter seats. The nearest station is Awajicho but it’s not far to walk from Akihabara. I’ve only been here for lunch and it is usually packed especially on Saturday, but there is no crazy lines. The chef fries everything himself behind the counter so during busy lunch hour, you may have to wait for some 15-20 mins. Watching the chef at his work with a very serious expression will make you patient though. The staff(chef’s wife and daughters?) are very friendly, and no matter how busy the chef is, he will always say thank you when you leave. Just love this sincere attitude of Japanese.
Anyway, the most expensive menu is Toku-hire but I think it really is the best. The meat is lean but soft and tender. The set comes with rice(refillable), soup and pickled vegetables.
Special pork loin cutlet(Toku-rousu), Y2000.
Regular pork loin cutlet(Rousu), Y1500.
Toku-rousu is much nicer than Rousu so I think it is worth the Y500 difference, but Toku-rousu is not as good as Toku-hire. There is more fat in Rousu than in Hire and normally I will prefer the former because I like fat….but this place is an exception.
Hire Katsu-don, Y1700. Menchi-katsu, Y1000.
Kaki-fry(fried oyster), Y1400. Kuruma-ebi fry(3 pcs), Y1900.
Ebi-Shinjou-age(fried chopped prawn), Y1400.
Scallop croquette(cream inside), Y1400. Skewered pork and vegetable katsu, Y1300.
Rousu Katsu-don, Y1600. Love the katsu-don here.
You can order all the katsu by one piece. I ordered one kaki-fry(Y250), one bite-size Hire-katsu(Y250), one Ebi-shinjou(Y250) and one half-size menchi-katsu(Y300). For 400yen you can make it a set with rice and soup. Good idea if you want to try a bit of everything.
Menu(J) 1, 2.
とんかつ やまいち(Tonkatsu Yamaichi)
Add: 1-8-4, Sudacho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku
A restaurant in Arakicho(Yotsuya 3-chome) serving Kyoto cuisine. We tried the 10,000 yen Suppon Nabe course. Reservation in advance is necessary for dinner course. 8000yen and 15000yen are also available.
Sashimi: Shibi-toro(i.e. Binchou-Maguro) and Hirame. Portion is for 5.
Very delicious Kabura-mushi. Lots of ingredients including turnip, ginkgo, fish meat etc. Grilled Managastuo on right pic. Both are for one person.
Buri-daikon(simmered radish and yellowtail). Left pic shows portion for 5, divided for us by the staff.
Suppon Nabe(Japanese turtle hotpot). A whole nabe for one person. Suppon meat is all gelatin – supposed to make your skin smoother. It doesn’t look so appetizing but okay to eat(think fish head). The soup however is absolutely delicious. Very strong ginger taste. The staff recommended us to add garlic paste but my advice is to add a tiny bit and test the taste first, because it totally spoiled the soup for me…
After the nabe, came the the veggy and crab meat in ponzu, which I thought was strange to be served after the suppon nabe, but it did refresh our palette.
Ochazuke with hamo tsukudani. Nice but quite heavily seasoned with sansho. Hamo seems to famous in this place but hamo season was over when we went so probably that’s why the hamo came in tsukudani(preserved).
Dessert is melon and Warabi-mochi.
Due to lack of research, I was expecting kaiseki with fancy presentation but the food turned out to be quite home-style cooking feel. Still, taste was great and the portion was really big – I’d never been this stuffed after a Japanese course. We were a group of 5 and had the private room to ourselves so it was a very comfortable meal.
A la carte menu: 1, 2, 3.
京料理 八平 (Yahei)
Add: 3F, Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku (Yotsuya 3-chome)
Delicious homemade bread. Chicken mousse with chestnut soup.
Gobo(burdock root) soup with pan-fried fish.
Country pate, Comme d’habitude style.
Wild boar stewed in red wine. Comes with endives and white asparagus.
Banana and white chocolate souffle.
Love this little French restaurant in Ikejiri(one stop from Shibuya). Very tiny place with only 3 tables for 2(kinda cramped together), a few counter seats, and a table for 4 tugged at a corner. We had the 3500yen lunch course which includes 2 appetizers, main, dessert and coffee. I chose my main from the “gibier” menu so there was an additional charge of 1000yen(but it was totally worth it). More essential $$ details: there is no service charge, tax included, free refill of bread(you’ve got to ask though), free plain water(there is also a big list of mineral water), glass wine is 750~1100yen. The food was delicious and my friend was very impressed by the minimum amount of salt used – the usual unpleasant pangs of thirst didn’t follow.
Bought some scones from globe antiques which is nearby.
Add: 2-7-4 Ikejiri, Setagaya-ku
(Jan 15 2009)
I think this is the most expensive fried oyster set I ever tried. 3150yen including rice and soup. The oysters are MASSIVE and there are six of them, all perfectly fried and undeniably delicious….
(May 22 2008)
Took a friend to try this super expensive but also super delicious tonkatsu place. Had the standard “Katsu-retsu”. Also tried the “Anago Fry” for the first time – 3675yen is crazy(rice and miso soup not included) but they give you two big pieces and damn they just taste so good that you don’t regret paying(though I didn’t have to pay at the end hohoho).
(Sep 11 2007)
Couldn’t resist and went back to try “Ebi korokke”, i.e. Prawn croquette. With rice and miso soup, it is 3150yen also. Very expensive…but it is so delicious! Inside the perfectly-fried crust are corn cream and big chunks of prawns. Only two croquettes but they are quite big. Though I think the pork cutlet is of better value.
(Aug 09 2007)
Yoshoku restaurant established since 1905. I was a bit dazed when I saw the menu…a salad is 1050yen, deep-fried seafood is 3000~4000yen, cow tongue stew is 4200yen…good thing my target was katsu-retsu(i.e. tonkatsu) which is an affordable(relatively speaking) 2625yen. Rice and soup and pickles are an additional 525yen. Seriously, it never cease to amaze me how yoshoku sometimes can be so expensive and yet many people are so willing to pay. I mean you can have a full course French lunch with that amount of money. Anyway, the cutlet turned out to be quite delicious. ^^;;; Coating is thick but crispy. Apparently thick and floury coating is the traditional style for deep-fried things in Japan. I guess people in the past didn’t worry so much about calories. The pork is fried twice, first very slowly in low heat oil, and then a quick finish in very hot oil. It did take a long time for it to come. The pork is a thick huge piece, has very little fat, soft and tender, feels a bit sandy in the mouth and not the juicy kind but I like it a lot. Didn’t feel ill afterwards but apparently it is fried in lard….There is only a bottle of sauce on the table which I reckon is for the cutlet but I prefer eating it just with salt and mustard. Oh, I sat in the counter(only 4 seats) on the first floor and there was only a salaryman eating alone. He was drinking wine and eating a plate of something, and I overheard his bill was over 13,000yen…^^;; I found an English review here.
Menu(J) 1, 2.
ぽん多本家 (Ponta Honke)
Add: 3-23-3 Ueno, Taito-ku
Dinner at a Sri Lankan restaurant near Nakameguro.
Patis – Sri Lankan Samosa with minced chicken and potato. Vegetable Godamba Rotti. Cutlets – Sri Lankan croquette with fish.
Mutton curry. Fish curry.
Pol Sambola – shredded, lime, garlic, chilli etc. String hopper.
Cashew nuts curry. Egg Roti.
Kottu Roti. Plain Roti.
Absolutely delicious food. Chef is Sri Lankan. Spicy but not overly spicy that my tongue goes numb and can’t taste anything. Small restaurant busy with ever-coming customers throughout a Saturday night. Reasonably priced – 4 people share all the food plus a beer and a Masala chai each, about 3500yen per person. My favourites of the night: Pol Sambola, Cashew nuts curry, Kottu Roti. Don’t forget to print out the coupon from the homepage to get free Lassi.
Menu: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Ceylon Inn (セイロン・イン)
Add: 2-7-8, Kami-meguro, Meguro-ku