Aroma-Fresca (アロマフレスカ )

最初の一皿。空豆のスフレ風オムレツ アロマフレスカ風。
From the 14,500yen dinner course.
Amuse is anago with a super-thin slice of potato chip on top.
Soramame(broad bean) souffle-style omelette. Fluffy omelette stuffed with lots of soramame. The sauce is a bit carbonara-ish. Very nice!
Hotaru-ika(tiny squid) in gratin style. There are white asparagus and karasumi(squid ink) risotto at the bottom.
Cold uni soup.
Akaza-ebi(langoustine) risotto. Delicious!
Chitarra with spring cabbage and Iberico pork. A bit yakisoba-ish(^^;;) but nice.
Hirasuzuki(a kind of seabass) “Al Sale”(encrusted in salt). Comes with grilled white asparagus and sansai(mountain vegetables) tempura. The soup has strong butter taste. I love this dish!
Citrus sorbet is so sour that my friend actually choked on it. ^^;;
Cotoletta with formaggio cheese stuffed inside. Takenoko(bamboo shoot) on the side is very sweet. Aka-nasu(a kind of aubergine) in a Cocotte that also comes with the main dish is unbelievably juicy and full of flavours…actually it left a deeper impression than the main dish itself(which is by no means bad, just a bit predictable).
Dessert is “eat as much as you like”(^^;;). There were altogether 5 choices and we ordered one of each to share(we were a group of 4). We liked the strawberry soup with cotton candy the most so we asked for one more of that too….
Can’t remember the exact names of the desserts…left pic is cheese pudding, right is chocolate mousse.
Mango pudding. Also petit fours and a selection of coffee and tea to choose from.

The food is of course good, and even though I am no wine expert, I must mention that this is one of the few Italian restaurants offering wine in glasses that I actually think is delicious and end up drinking more than I should.

Seriously I believe this restaurant(and its sister restaurant Casa Vinitalia) casts a “forget-the-time” spell on customers…The first time I visited, I missed the last train and had to crash at my friend’s place at the end. The second time I forgot the time again and had to dash to Azabu-Juban station with a full stomach and a blurry head in 5 mins(takes more than 10 mins to walk normally) to make the last train. And this time I specifically warned my friends beforehand: “Let’s watch the time and get our butt out of the restaurant before the last train.” I could NOT believe it when my friend took a look at her watch and announced that it was already midnight. I missed the last train again!!! Four hours, in a blink! Evil restaurants trying to hypnotize their customers with enchanting ambience should be banned. How nasty of them to offer free second helpings of desserts too. I ended up taking a taxi home…
Menu: 1, 2.

Aroma Fresca (アロマフレスカ)
Add: 1-7-31, Minami-azabu, Minato-ku
Tel: 03-5439-4010

Pizza Da Babbo (ピッツァ・ダ・バッボ)


Ishigarei carpaccio, 1470yen.
Breaded chicken breast cutlet with Rucola and fresh tomato, 1575yen.
White pizza with oyster and anchovy and spinach, 1575yen(S).
紅玉りんごの薪釜焼き バニラアイス添え アマレットの香り。
Grilled apple with vanilla ice-cream, 735yen.
Zuppa Inglese, 635yen.

The carpaccio is fresh but the portion is small for the price. The rest(including the pizza) is just so-so quality. Cutlet and pizza are super salty. Staff are friendly though. Shared between two people including drinks, about 4000yen each.

Menu(J): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Pizza Da Babbo
Add: 2-21-1 Ningyouchou, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
Tel: 03-3666-2777

Savoy (サヴォイ 麻布十番店)

A small pizza place with only 12 counter seats and a small table for 2.
Olive(525yen). Octopus and potato salad(840yen).
蜂の巣のトマト煮込み。ロール白菜のサルッシッチャ 鶏のブイヨン仕立て。
Trippa simmered with tomato(1050yen). Cabbage Salsiccia in chicken bouillon(945yen).

0802060069マルゲリータ(モッツァレッラ・バジリコ)。 マリナーラ(ニンニク・オレガノ)。
Margherita(Mozzarella and basil). Marinara(Garlic and oregano). Both are 1575yen.

There are only two kinds of pizza available even at dinner time, but the lack of optons doesn’t matter because the pizzas are just amazingly good. I am happy to just eat the wonderfully soft crust on its own. My friends prefer Margherita so we ordered a second of that but I love Marinara just as much.

On the other hand, from the prices of the appetizers, I just couldn’t believe how small the portions turned out to be. Even though they tasted good but they are still totally overpriced. The pizzas are reasonable in price though.

The espresso(with sugar already added) was recommended by the staff who said that it is “creamy”(without cream or milk added) and people who normally don’t like coffee will like it – it is probably good espresso but it is so disgustingly sweet that I gave up after one sip. They don’t have caffe latte or cappuccino, otherwise I would have asked for a cup of hot milk to dilute the “espresso syrup”.

3 of us shared all the food(we ordered 3 pizzas) plus drinks(about 2 glasses each), the bill was 4000yen per person. I will go back for the delicious pizzas but I will remember not to order too many appetizers. They do pizza lunch too so that is probably a good deal.
Menu: 1, 2.

Add: 3-10-1 Moto Azubu, Minato-ku

Cucina Siciliana Archimede (アルキメーデ@神泉)

Came here before(see tag) and left with the regret of not being able to finish everything cos it was just too much food. This time I skipped breakfast and lunch to prepare for this meal…very determined!!
Liver paste and pork rillette.
Turnip soup. 10 appetizers to share between 2 people.

Sardine roll and fish meat balls. Deep-fried little white fish.
サフランを練りこんだタリオリーニ 紅ズワイカニとあさり・ルーコラのソース。
Saffron tagliolini with red zuwai crab, clam and Rucola sauce.
Chocolate papprdelle with stewed venison sauce.
Pasta is homemade and al dente cooked. Both dishes are very good! Portion is for 2 people.
骨付き仔羊肉のハーブ風味のパン粉オーブン焼き じゃがいものロースト添え(骨付き250g)。
かくまさんの豚肉 脂身をはずした芯ロース肉のソテー 生ハムのせ 赤ピーマンのメッシーナ風(160g)。
My main dish: Oven-grilled lamb chop(250g including the bones) with herb and breadcrumbs, and roasted potatoes.
My friend’s: Pork loin(160g) Saute, with ham and bell pepper.
My lamb is the second item from the top of the main dish menu, which means it is second in terms of size. I was stuffed by the end but I finished it!! Phew!!
Marron mille-feuille and custard pudding.

Dinner course is 6000yen per person including dessert and coffee. Tax included and no service charge. Glass wine is 900yen. The price is very reasonable, especially for the amount of food you get. Quality-wise, it is a bit salty in taste but good in a home-cooked sort of way.

Menu(J): 1, 2, 3, 4.

Add: 2-8 Shinsencho, Shibuya-ku
Tel: 03-5489-6850

Ristorante Tanicha (タニーチャ)

The restaurant is supposed to be 10mins walk from Roppongi or Nogizaka station, but it is so much of a hideaway in a nondescript residential area that, even with the help of a map and direction instructions from the restaurant staff through the phone, it still took us 20 mins to find it. Quite surprised that this obscure little restaurant was filled with salarymen on a Friday evening.
From 5000yen dinner course. You can choose the appetizer, pasta, main dish and dessert from a large variety of choices – took us more than half an hour to decide!
Amuse-bouche: Ankimo terrine. It is like an izakaya snack, a bit bitter. Should have ordered beer instead of champagne.
Foie gras and pear saute, with raspberry vinegar(+600yen). I always end up ordering foie gras…but oh this is so good! The combination of sweet pear+foie gras+cheese is absolute heaven.
Sample of the handmade pasta available was brought to us to choose.
One mouthful of simple spaghetti with cheese. It was nice but I was very puzzled about what it was for…I can understand a simple pasta at the end of the course in case you are still hungry, but right after the appetizer? I later realised it was a good idea because the next pasta course was a looooooong wait…
Piping hot homemade bread.
カカオを打ち込んだカネロニ 野鹿のラグー。
Tanicha-style Agnolottini. It is filled with four kinds of meat – pork, beef, chicken and hare.
Cocoa Cannelloni rolled with Venison Ragu.
My friend and I chose different pasta and the staff split them into half to let us try them both, so the pics show half portion. Both are so good, so rich with complex flavours of meat, cheese and herb. I wish the portion were bigger though~ we were desperately trying to cut each piece of pasta into half so that we could enjoy it longer, while all I wanted to do was to stuff my face with a huge bowl of it….^^;;

0710050083金曜Special「タニーチャローストの日」料理。 チョコレートのスフレ。
Friday is Special “Tanicha Roast day”. Okinawa “AGU” pork roasted with herb. The madam brought the whole chuck to show us at the beginning. It tastes so much like Cantonese roasted pig apart from the herb. Served simple with mustard and green pepper. The skin is the hard crispy kind. 90% of my cut is pure fat though, with a little white meat near the bone. Dessert is Chocolate souffle. It doesn’t look like souffle but it is nice and light with chocolate sauce in the middle. It is hot from the oven.

Glass wine is 1200~1500yen. I had a glass of red and it was really nice. Plus a glass of Rose champagne(1000yen), extra charge for the foie gras, 10% service charge, my bill was about 9000yen. I would say it is a bit expensive, especially the portion is really tiny. But then the restaurant is in a posh area. The whole course took us 4 hours, even we were slow on deciding the menu, delivery of food was simply too slow. The madam actually apologised to us for the delay.

Menu(J): 1, 2, 3.
Ristorante Tanicha
Add: 1-5-16 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku
Tel: 03-5775-6050

La Saetta(ラ・サエッタ)

Have been here before(see tag), but didn’t get around to try their brown rice lunch and dessert.
玄米ランチプレート、¥1000。 沖縄産寿豚パラ肉と季節野菜のボッリートミスト、サルサヴェルデ添え(+¥200)。
Brown rice lunch plate: Okinawa pork belly and seasonal vegetables pot-au-feu with Salsa Verde. The pork is soft and very nice with the green sauce. Also came with Minestrone, curry-taste omelette and brown rice. Dessert is panna cotta made from milk, which is unfortunately a bit bland. Lunch includes a small cup of either coffee, Okinawa herb tea or Genmai-cha.
Beef belly meat and mushroon Ragu sauce with hotspring egg.
玄米ランチプレート: オーストリア産牛ホホ肉の白ワイン煮込み マッシュポテト添え、¥1000。
Salsiccia, caper, mushroom, white wine sauce.
Cow cheek simmered in white wine with mashed potato. Again brown rice lunch comes with Minestrone.
築地直送 エビと有機野菜のフリット タルタル添え、¥1000。
Prawn and organic vegetables fritter with Tartare sauce. I asked for the Minestrone to come together with meal so that I can eat the brown rice with the soup, which is much nicer.
Oyster and mushroom, in cream sauce with beans.
築地直送 魚介のトマトソース、¥1000。
Seafood tomato sauce.

Very very nice lunch at an excellent price. The portion is big enough to fill me up and the quality is high. My favourites are Okinawa pork belly and prawn fritter; though everything is good. Too bad they only do lunch during Tue-Fri. This place is a bit hard to find but well worth the effort if you are in the area. Walkable distance from Okachimachi/Ueno.
Menu(J): 1, 2.
061003 004.jpg061003 002.jpg
自家製サルシャチャ 有機野菜のペンネ トマトソース、1000円。
A really old visit. Penne with Salsiccia and organic vegetables in tomato sauce. Very good! Salsiccia is Italian sausage I think. The waitor said it is the pork meat before it is made into sausages. The vegetables are very fresh, just cooked so very crunchy. The tomato sauce is sweet. Portion is just right. Definitely going back to try their brown rice lunch sets. The location is so hidden in the confusing little streets that it took me a long time to find though~

La Saetta
Add: 1-3-5 Ueno, Taito-ku
Tel: 03-3832-1311

bis LA BETTOLA(ビス・ラ・ベットラ)

Grilled pork with salad.
新鮮なうにのスパゲッティ。 かにのリングイネ。
Spaghetti with sea urchin. Linguine with crab.
Cheese tart.

La Bettola is a very popular and high-profile Italian restaurant. The original shop is La Bettola da Ochiai where the main chef Ochiai is based in. He goes on TV a lot – gourmet shows, CM etc. Booking is almost impossible – apparently 2 months wait is the norm. This sister restaurant I went to is only a few minutes walk from the original shop and is easier to book because they only take bookings one week in advance. Still we were only allowed to stay for two hours before giving up our seats to the next round of customers.

Dinner course is 3360yen, where you can choose 3 plates from an extensive menu of appetizers and pastas. There is no “main dish” in the menu, but the pork I picked, which is supposed to be an “appetizer” and came first, was so huge that it was practically a main dish. The uni pasta is the chef’s specialty(available also in original restaurant) and it is to die for! I mopped every bit of the sweet and creamy uni sauce with bread. A must order! Dessert and coffee are not included in the course but they are inexpensive. The cheese cake I had was not too sweet and very good.

There are a few restaurants bearing the same name La Bettola. Make sure you only go to the original shop La Bettola da Ochi or bis LA BETTOLA. The other two branches (LA BETTOLA per tutti Nihonbashi and LA BETTOLA per tutti Nishi-Shinjuku) are not directly related to the original shop and definitely not as good.

Menu(J): 1, 2, 3, 4.

Add: 1-27-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tel: 03-3567-5657