京料理 八平 (Yahei)

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)
Tel: 03-3341-3990

鈴なり (Suzunari)

A fantastic Japanese restaurant that I’m so happy I decided to give it a try. The chef was trained in the famous Kaiseki restaurant “Nadaman”, but “Suzunari” is very casual and reasonably priced – the cheapest dinner course starts from 4500yen. We opted for the 6000yen course and were all very surprised by the large number of dishes served to us as well as the high quality of each dish. The value for money is truly amazing! Since there were so many courses, I think we spent more than 3 hours(close to 4 probably…) there, but we didn’t feel like we had to wait between courses cos the timing of delivery was perfect.
We printed out a coupon from “Hotpepper” and got the Shijimi clam in soy sauce for free(one per table). Ohitashi(boiled vegetables dish) starts the dinner course. All the pics show portion for one person.
Hirame sashimi. Raw oyster.
Assorted appetizer: Baigai(Japanese ivory shell), Persimmon Shiraae(tofu dressing), squid Shiokara, Ankimo etc.
Tamaji-mushi(just Chawanmushi) with fresh sea urchin and shark fin.
Assorted sashimi. Grilled duck and fish in tare sauce.
Tai Shabu. The soup is delicious enough to enjoy on its own and adding the fatty fish is…heaven!!

Matsutake mushroom rice. Almond pudding.

The restaurant is very small and gets booked up very quickly. I tried calling 1-2 days in advance and it was always fully booked – at least one week in advance is necessary to secure a table. The restaurant is near Yotsuya Sanchome – the location is central enough but there is nothing much around other than office buildings and I’ve only come here a few times in the past for dinners. The small alleys leading to the restaurant are quite hidden and accomodate many intriguing(in fact slightly scary) restaurants – we got curious and ventured into one after dinner and found out it was a bar. Before dinner, I also didn’t forget to drop by the famous Wakaba to take out some taiyaki. Not my favourite kind of taiyaki but it is not bad.

鈴なり (Suzunari)
Add: 7, Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku
Tel: 03-3350-1178

Sucre Sale (スクレ・サレ)

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060909 015.jpg1890円のランチ: 海老とタコのマリネ、自家製豚バラ塩漬け肉のカ リカリ焼き マスタードソース、プルーンタルト。
Marinated prawn and octopus salad. Grilled salted belly pork with mustard sauce. Prune tart. The belly pork was so fatty but very juicy and good. The salad and dessert were fixed for the course and both were a bit boring…This place was supposed to be big portion and cheap but I thought the portion and the price were pretty normal. Also….the waitor is a very scary character!! Bald and not smiling and not very polite…and he was staring at us while we were having our salad which made me so uneasy, especially my friend who had never been to a French restaurant in Japan and she was pretty nervous because of him. Luckily more customers came and filled up the place later and we forgot about him. ^^;;
Sucre Sale

Fruit Parlor Fukunaga(フルーツパーラー フクナガ)

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060826 012.jpgフルーツサンド(ハーフ)とコーヒーのセット、600円。
Fruit sandwich and peach parfait. The sandwich is just sliced fruits with whipped cream, the bread is not toasted(I wish it was). When I went I was the only customer and the owner was talkative and gave me a lecture about how you should eat the skin of peaches and not peel it away and waste all the nutrients in it…so my peach parfait came without having the skin peeled and I had to do it myself secretly, hiding the skin in tissue paper… ^^;; While I ate, two more loner customers came in and one girl seemed to be familar with the owner and she ordered the peach parfait too. When the owner started to give the same lecture, she said, “I WANT THE SKIN PEELED, JUST DO IT!” ^^;;; The parfait was okay…peach sorbet and vanilla ice-cream underneath.

Cherry parfait.

Salsa Cabana (サルサ・カバナ)

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スパイシーチキン エンチラーダ、900円。
Spicy chicken Enchiladas. Hmm….the chicken tasted suspiciously like canned food, the green tomato sauce was too sour(supposed to be sour?), the corn tortilla was hard(supposed to be hard?), plus it was not ovened enough so not hot…just like my friend said about this place, the taste is very fastfood…while the price is not.
Salsa Cabana

岩井食堂 (Iwai Shokudou)

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Sardine with olive oil. Oven tomato(some rare type of tomato apparently) and cheese with garlic. Both are very good.
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Some French bred chicken, grilled with herb. A bit normal.
Uni pasta. Not spaghetti but thicker type, probably linguine, cooked just right, but the uni cream sauce had not much uni taste…
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“Broken heart pasta”, just Lasagne with corn beef instead of minced meat, and not grilled.
Prawn tomato sauce risotto. The prawn was a bit bitter…

060822 007.jpgA small restaurant with only counter seats. The chef is famous for being rude and noisy. ^^;; But since we were prepared, we were not too shocked. Still a bit nervous when ordering or asking for recommendations. He and his wife both smoked while cooking, which was something I had never experienced in Japan, even in cheap places. Because of the open kitchen+counter seats, all our clothes stank oily afterwards. 3 of us shared all the food and opened 2 bottles of wine, came up to 5000yen per person, quite cheap! But really, once is enough. ^^;;

Maison Cache-Cache(メゾン カシュカシュ)

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Today’s appetizer: duck Pate.
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Sticky rice and wild rice wrapped in anago(eel), curry sauce.
(My choice)Roasted pork confit.
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(My choice)Pineapple creme d’anjou.
Crepe with kirsch ice-cream and warm honeyed American cherry.
I was expecting a tiny bistro, but this place turned out to be quite spacious and comfortable, the atmosphere was lovely too. As my friend pointed out, most of the customers were girls. Dinner course is only 3600yen, so cheap!
Maison Cache-Cache