鳥田むら本店 (Toritamura Honten)

A friend took us to this tiny yakitori place near Isetan Shinjuku. Never passed these alleys before and was surprised to see so many old but interesting-looking eateries around.
We ordered the yakitori course plus many additional orders.
Tori-sashi – raw chicken. Ume Tataki – raw chicken with sour plum.
Nikomi – Chicken giblet stew. Doesn’t smell at all, very good! Right pic is soft bone.
More yakitori. Can’t remember what they are…but all are good!
Chicken salad. Grilled vegetables.
Pickles. Tori zosui – chicken soup rice.

Food is good, price is cheap – with a few drinks it was about 4000yen per person. The chef(40 something?) and the owner(60 something?) are both very kakkoi…^^;;;
Menu(J): 1, 2.

鳥田むら本店 (Toritamura Honten)
Add: 3-11-2, Shinjuku
Tel: 03-3356-7955

OSTU (オストゥ 代々木公園)

Dinner at a newly opened Italian restaurant next to Yoyogi Park. Prefix dinner course is available but we wanted to try this place’s specialty Piemonte cuisines so 3 of us shared the dishes from the a la carte menu. We had to split the food by ourselves.
Amuse: Egg and shirasu(whitebait). Very good bread.
短角牛のタルタル バルミジャーノがけ、¥1700。 2色のトマトテリーヌ、¥1500。
Shorthorn beef Tartare with Parmesan cheese and summer truffle. After reading a number of reviews praising this dish, I was really looking forward to try it; we ordered two portions to share so we didn’t have to fight over it. Didn’t disappoint at all. Absolutely delicious!
Terrine of tomato in two colours. Sweet and refreshing. Very good too.
Cappellini of karasumi. Himm a bit tasteless.
Spaghetti with Tsubugai Shellfish and radish. Not much impression except the radish makes it taste a bit Japanese.
仔羊のロニョーネと万願寺とうがらし入り トマトソース和えのカバテッリ、¥1700。
Cavatelli with lamb rognone(kidney), chilli and tomato sauce. The pasta was nice but the kidney stank too much that we all couldn’t quite stomach it. Normally I am okay with innards but the smell in this one was too strong.
Traditional Piemontese “Agnolotti del Plin”. This is the best pasta of the night. The filling is made from three kinds of meat. Amazingly the texture of the filling is soft and fluffy. A must try!
ビゴール豚肩ロース肉のグリル ドライトマトとケッパーのオイルソース、¥3800。
Grilled Bigorre pork loin with dried tomato and caper in oil sauce. Simple dish but the pork is juicy and layered with right amount of fat which I like.
ヘーゼルナッツ入りの暖かいトルタ、¥900。自家製ヨーグルトのプリン マンゴーソース、¥800。
Warm Tortino of Hazelnut. Very good!
Homemade yogurt pudding in mango sauce. Also Lemon Granita not in picture.

Overall the food is good, though the pasta menu is a bit hit or miss. I wish the female staff had smiled a little as the restaurant was far from busy that night, but she gave us what we needed. We had 1 glass of spumante, 2 glasses of white wine, 2 bottles of mineral water, also coffee at the end, total was about 8000yen per person.

Menu: 1, 2, 3.

OSTU (オストゥ 代々木公園)
Add: 5-67-6, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku
Tel: 03-5454-8700

0808090004On the same week I had dinner at another Italian restaurant called “Incanto”. Taking photos of the food used to be okay(saw in other blogs) but is no longer allowed – it is written in the menu saying that it is an effort to keep a nice ambience. Though the table next to us was having a birthday celebration and they kept using flash taking photos of themselves. ^^;;; The menu is extensive with cuisines from all regions of Italy. We were all a little overwelmed by the sheer number of choices, so we decided to try the 8500yen omakase(chef’s course) but with a special request to have the horse meat option as our main dish. The course includes an amuse, two appetizers, two pasta, main dish, dessert and coffee. The amuse is quite a big one with three items: a small cup of really spicy Gazpacho, sweet corn on a chou, gorgonzola and walnut paste. First appetizer is ma-aji (very fatty fish) carpaccio with a light orange sauce, and second appetizer is perfectly baked anago pie in a delicious (slightly sour) sauce. First pasta course is “Agnolotti del Plin” – I just had this dish in “Ostu”!! Such luck that they included this dish in the course. Incanto’s version is also very nice, with summer truffle sprinkled on top which gives a really nice aroma(much better than the summer truffle I had in “Ostu”), but the sauce is a bit sour for me and the texture is not as unique as the one in “Ostu”. Second pasta is short pasta in a spicy ragu of maguro, olive and tomato. The taste is great but my friends and I all wished that they hadn’t made it so spicy! It really would have been perfect without the chilli. Later I read in some other blogs that also mentioned about the food being spicy…so we were not just unlucky but it is the chef’s style. The main dish was horse belly meat, horse heart, and horse meat sausage. There is no sauce but the soft tender meat is seasoned with honey and herb and is really good. Dessert is a nice cassata in mango sauce. The sommelier chose a bottle of amazing red wine(no memory of the name…my friend only remembered “Bio, 2002, 8200yen”) which smells wonderful and goes well with the horse meat. I had a glass of spumante, 4 of us shared a bottle of wine, the total was about 13,000yen per person – very reasonable considering the high quality of food, the great choice of wine, and the warm service. Just need to remember to ask for “no chilli”.
Front of the restaurant: 1, 2.

Incanto (インカント)
Add: 2F, 4-12-2, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku
Tel: 03-3473-0567

New York Grill (Park Hyatt Tokyo)

Came back for the holiday lunch buffet(see tag for the last visit). Appetizers are great as ever.
オーストラリア産牛リブアイのグリル 根セロリのレムラード 牛テールのソース。
岩手産豚ロースのグリル クラッシュポテトとキャベツ マスタードソース。
Main courses are chosen from the menu and are served when you are done with appetizers. I had the Grilled Australian Rib eye beef in ox-tail sauce, with celery root in remoulade sauce on the side. My friend had Grilled pork loin, mashed potato and cabbage in mustard sauce. While the main dishes aren’t as good as the appetizers, they are fairly decent.

0805240050Desserts from the buffet. A glass of champagne is also included.
New York Grill

C’est la Vie! Nagano (セラヴィナガノ)


0712110019A friend – who used to work in this restaurant and is now helping out as part-time – organised this dinner for us to try out the chef’s special menu. Shellfish gratin, avocado and crab mousse, and terrine. Baked shellfish and ham and cheese pie. Duck and foie gras and truffle in Cassis sauce. And my favourite dessert “Coup”.

The value is amazing in this little restaurant. The regular dinner course is 2730yen which includes an appetizer, a main dish and coffee/tea. Dessert is an extra 525yen. Lunch is even cheaper, 1260yen for appetizer+main+coffee. The location is quite convenient too – a bit hard to spot but it is less than 10mins walk from Shinjuku station. My friend said that the chef is less interested in making money than providing his customers with cheap and good food. Seriously the price is set so low that I can’t help but worry about its survival.

Dinner menu(J): 1, 2.
Lunch menu(J):1, 2.

C’est la Vie! Nagano
Add: B1, 2-8-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Tel: 03-3350-7610

Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros (キュイジーヌ[S] ミッシェル・トロワグロ)

French restaurant inside the Hotel Hyatt Regency. Check out the English review here.
Very high-quality snacks!
Amuse-bouche is green peas soup with mango and some citrus fruit jelly in it.
Homemade bread is basil, bacon and one I forgot.
トマトのジュレ、マスカルポーネ オリーブとレザンのラビオリ仕立て。
Tomato jelly with two kinds of ravioli – mascarpone ravioli, olive and raisin ravioli.
Madara(Pacific cod) with grilled leek and maitake mushroom in mustard sauce. The sauce is made from beef stock and katsuobushi. A bit sour.
Challans Duck with fig cooked in Banyuls wine, potato souffle with Fourme d’Ambert cheese and wasabi. We had to add the duck sauce ourselves.
Yogurt mousse and orange. Chocolate tarte with coffee cream inside. Ice-cream is caramel and anise flavour.
High-quality petit fours!
I have heard about this place for a long time and everyone warned me that the food is not “classic French” but more modern Japanese-French fusion kind of cuisine. The fish is definitely very Japanese, while the rest are light tasting and use quite a bit of herbs. I like the food alright but am not crazy about it. The environment is elegant, and the service, though a bit formal, is very professional. Somehow there are menus for 7500yen and 10,000yen course, but the cheapest 5000yen has no menu which makes it a bit embarassing to order…
Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros

味ちゃん 2号店 (Korean Kitchen Macchan 2)


Samgyeopsal(Pork belly).
Janbodeji karubi(Pork karubi).

Yukkejan Kuppa(Rice and vegetables in spicy soup). Potato chijimi(Korean pancake) – it reminds me of hash brown!

Some friends took me to this popular Korean BBQ place in Shinokubo, which is like a Korean town with many eateries and shops. We went to the branch which is right next to the original shop. We booked in advance so didn’t have to wait. And thank god for that – look at all those people without reservations waiting outside! There is a time limit of two hours, which is more than enough to stuff our faces with yummy food. Everything we ordered was so nice, but the best was definitely the pork belly. It was surprisingly not that greasy, just like my friends assured me before we went. The hot plate is slanted so all the oil drips down into a bowl. You are not supposed to grill the meat yourself – the staff will do everything for you. The lettuce and other green veggy are for wrapping the meat, and you can have as many servings as you want. Service is not like smiley or friendly but they are efficient and you get what you want quickly, like water and extra servings of veggy. Most importantly this place is cheap!! We ate like pigs, and including drinks it was only about 2700yen per person. Definitely want to go back again.
味ちゃん 2号店 (Korean Kitchen Macchan 2)
Add: 2-32-3, Okubo, Shinjuku-ku
Tel: 03-5272-3022

New York Grill (Park Hyatt Tokyo)

Weekend brunch buffet, 6200yen. Includes a glass of sparkling wine.
Salmon mousse and other appetizer from the buffet.
More appetizers.
You get a variety of main dishes to choose from. I had the roasted Australian baby lamb, with spicy minced lamb meat. The meat was very tender and perfectly cooked but it was just simple grilled lamb that I got tired of it after finishing one slice(there were three thick slices!) I wish there were some sauce or spice to go with it.
I thought I didn’t have space for desserts…but I was wrong. Three of us clean-swept the dessert bar.
The restaurant is on the 52th floor of Park Hyatt. Too bad it was raining that day otherwise the view would be stunning.
I’m not a big fan of buffet but this place is nice! Food is good, and the atmosphere is relaxing. If you don’t order extra drinks, your bill will be less than 7000yen.
New York Grill (English review here)