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  1. Chote Chitr is closed until March 25th which has put my Bangkok trip in a disarray since I had planned at least a couple of meals there. 45 mins in a cab to get there and to find it that it is closed for the week I am there, talk about disappointing. Anyway, since I can;t make it, any suggestions as to the "second" best place in a similar category? Want to focus on sea-food.
  2. Finaly managed to get over to Gordon Ramsey at the Conrad Hotel in the Shiodome Complex/area. Felt like half the taxi-ride was in the complex in itself. Hotel Lobby on the 28th floor together with the restaurants, very stylish. My wife and myself ordered the 8-course prestige menu. Substitutions were ok, although I only made one. A summary of what we had Canape: Toasts with Foie Gras and Cream Cheese Spreads Good way to start the evening while deciding what to order. Ameuse Bouche: Melon Soup With Crab Very nice, the melon soup and the crab meat was a perfect match. Mosaic of Foie Gras Foise Gras with Duck-Meat linings. Very good quality FG, but i still found this dish somewhat boring. Lobster Ravioli Disappointment. The pasta and the lobster meat were both of good quality, but somehow this dish did not deliver and felt very bland. John Dory with Sea Urchin Risotto A very nicely dish, enjoyed it a lot. The risotto in itself without the fish was also an experience in itself and the match with the Fish was perfect. Wagyu with Mushroom Ragout The meat and the mushroom matched each other very well, but I was somewhat disappointed in this dish. The Wagyu was of average quality (for being Wagyu, far better than most beef in other words) and having tasted other creations of Wagyu in international restaurants in Tokyo I have come to expect more. Cheese Plate Around 20 cheeses on the trolley, selected around 12-13 tasting bits. Lovely First Dessert (I forgot what it was) A bland dessert, don't even remember what was served. Basil Creme Brulee Very nice dessert, the basil flavor did not overwhelm this dessert and was perfectly balanced. Petit Fours: Finished off the meal with a selection of 4 types of homemade chocolates and cookies. Service was competent and the sommeliers suggestions were good. All-in-all, an uneven meal. Some very good dishes mixed with some disappointments and I did expect more from the restaurant. I might visit the restaurant again since I believe that it has yet to make full use of the local produce available and has an unfilled potential.
  3. Definitely cuts from different parts of the tuna. I don't think it was from different types of tuna, but in all earnest I did not ask that explicitly. I did ask them if the tuna had been frozen and they said no, it had been caught in the waters outside of Japan and thus I assumed that all the toros was from the same variety of tuna.
  4. Had lunch at Jiro Sushi today with my wife at the original location in ginza. Seated at the counter we both decided to order the Omakase, what other choices are there? The meal consisted of hamachi, 4 different kinds of toros, anago, ika, himo, iikura, tamago, aji, kohada, a few types of clam, kuruma ebi(boiled) and uni + 3 or 4 more dishes that I can not recall at the moment. The standouts were clearly the aji, the uni from hokkaido (I ordered one more, it was the best Uni that I have ever had) and the toros (another repeat). The chefs said that they had problems getting good Toro this winter since the waters were to warm and the tunas were not getting fatty enough but I did not notice. The tunas had never been frozen and and there was a remarkable difference in taste from tuna that had been frozen. The damage: 55,000 Yen for two including repeats. Was it worth it? As a one off, definitely yes, this was clearly super sushi. I probably would not do this too frequently though since I do consider a place like Miyako Sushi to offer sushi that is almost as good at a cost that is significantly lower.
  5. Looking for a recommendation for a modern/contemporary Chinese restaurant in HK. I'll be staying on the Island and prefer a place there, but I can always hop over to Kowloon if necessary. I prefer something a little bit more modern and I'm not particulary interested in the Shark Fin/Birds Next type of dishes. Price is not a major issue but focus is on food. Also, a recommendation for a Sichuan restaurant would be most appreciated.
  6. The bad news on the cell-phone was that tonights dinner was cancelled. The good news was that I was just outside Isetan and the decision was made to spend the money on "depachika" food and see how well I could eat. The objective: Can you have a Gourmet meal on pre-prepared depachika food. Besides pouring the prepared sauces no other preparation was to be allowed. No microwaves, no cutting, no slicing. After an hour wandering around Isetan the meal consisted of Hokkaido Uni 1,000 Yen Fugu Sashimi 2,800 Yen Hon-Maguro Chu-toro Sashimi 1,200 Yen Hirame Sashimi 1,100 Yen Grilled Fall Mushrooms 1,500 Yen Matsuzaka Sirloin Roast Beef with Grilled Sweet Onion 5,000 Yen Fruit-Cream Pastry 400 Yen 4 pices of Truffle Chocolate 1,200 Yen Tulleys Espresso 300 Yen Total (for one person) 14,500 Yen (Excluding Wine and Beer) (or around US$130) The "review" Started out with the Hokkaido UNI and it was superb. I could have had this in any high-class restaurant and I would have been pleased with it. Served with an artisanal Dai-ginjo sake from Kyushu that was a perfect compliment The Fugu Sashimi was up next. As always, more of a cultural than culinary experience. Served with the same sake. Next I had the chu-toro and the Hirame Sashimi. Served with Yona-Yona Ale, one of Japans best microbrews. Good quality fish, but due to the fact that it was pre-cut the quality suffered somewhat, something it shared with the Fugu. Still, in any other country than Japan this would have been considered outstanding Sashimi and the beer was a better match than any of the standard Japanese brews would have been. Fall grilled mushroms. OK, of all the dishes this was the one that suffered most from not being served "fresh". The Matsuzaka Sirloin Roast Beef. Fresh roasted and I asked them to make fresh slices for me. Beautifully marbled, very tasty, wonderful. Served with a 1999 Ornellaia that was a perfect compliment to this dish. Dessert was up next. The fruit cream-pastry and the 4 truffle chocolates were wonderful and I would not have complained if served the same at a high-class restaurant. Served with a 1994 Taylors port. Finished the meal with a Tulleys Espresso brought in fresh from next door, served with a 25 year Old Lagavulin Whiskey. The whiskey was superb and the espresso was OK. The "verdict". Best "Obento"/"Bachelor" meal I have ever had. Besides the mush-room which clearly suffered from not being fresh, every other dish would not have been out of place in a good restaurant. I would also probably cut the sashimi myself next time, not a lot of extra work with improved taste (but for this time I wanted to be a "purist").
  7. Katsukura is a chain and they have a branch in Roppongi Hills(I have not tried it). Maisen also has a branch in RH but it is a take-out place and I would not recommend it(go to the main branch in Omote Sando). Katsukubo Wako also has a branch in RH.
  8. You might also give Katsukura in the Shinjuku Takashimaya building restaurant complex a try. Katsuyoshi in the Ebisu Garden Place complex is also very good, although I would personally rate Maisen and Katsukura slightly higher. When ordering at these places, please make sure that you order the highest grade of Pork available(Kurobuta pork). The highest grade comes in both "Fire" and "Rosu" and it will cost you around 3,000 Yen and it is usually indicated clearly on the menu. I personally prefer Fire to Rosu, but my suggestion is that you try both cuts, especially if you are two or more eating since the pork will be served cut on a plate and you can easily share. I would pass on Wako for the best Tonkatsu, it does not compare to Maisen or Katsukura in my opinion. One place that has been recommended to me but I have not been able to try is Enraku, 6-22-7 Shinbashi
  9. The price of Wagyu, including Kobe Beef, varies depending on the cut and the lanel. One can have Shabu-Shabu/Sukiyaki cuts from around 35-40 USD up to more than 500 USD/pound for the most expensive cuts and labels. When I have guests from overseas and I want to treat them to the worlds best beef I usually get cuts from a butcher of Kagoshima or Saga beef that costs me around 200-250 USD/pound. I have never heard anyone say anything but "This is the best steak I have ever had". The reason why you can not get Wagyu from Japan is because it is currently illegal to import it to the US. When I had people visiting me in the US from Japan I was always tempted to ask them to bring some. I couldn't agree more. I have tried Wagyu on a few occassions in the US both from retailers and in restaurants and it always makes me disappointed. In terms of flavor, marbling and tenderness US Wagyu just doesn't compare with the beef you can find in Japan.
  10. My neighbourhood Mexican Fonda De La Madraguda in Jingumae was quite good( and several mexican people that I knew recommended it as the best mexican in town). That's a few years back though.
  11. No wonder you were exhausted. I'm impressed by your effort and I think you managed to see the top food halls in Tokyo in two days. Happy you liked it
  12. THanks for the info. When I was buying mangoes in Japana the ones from Mexico were always labelled "Mexican Mangoes" and the one from Okinawa were labelled "Apple Mangoes", I actually thought that they were two differend kinds of mangoes. The ones from Okinawa used to be hard to find, but they were the most delicious.
  13. Sinbad

    Beer with sushi

    but apparently Kirin is made to the exact same standards in LA by Anheuser-Busch as it is in Japan by Kirin, to an anal retentive exactitude, right down to the classical music that is played in the factory to calm the yeast. FWIW I like Kirin Ichiban a lot, its a solid japanese-style lager. I find almost all Japanese beers undrinkable. It might just be me, but thye just dont have the balance, or citrusy hops notes I want. That's because you get most likely only have had the crap that is being produced by the major 4 (Kirin, Asahi, Suntory and Sapporo). There are actually quite a few nice Japanese microbrews out there, my favourite is a beer called Yona-Yona that has a very refreshing taste and it works well with most Japanese foods. I have a personal boycot on the major 4, I plain refuse to drink it (OK, on occasion I will but it is rare). I went to a microbrewery event in Japan last year, and there were some really nice beer there that I wish were available in the US. OK, it was not Belgium, but to judge Japan on the major four is like judging the US on Bud, MGD and Coors.
  14. Sinbad

    Beer with sushi

    For something different you could try Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, a beer made with rice in an attempt to get sake-like flavors. Works well with Sushi, and better than the standard Japanese brews (and it is available in the US).
  15. Sinbad

    Nathan's Famous

    Be interesting to see if they will make it. There was an Ameican Style hot-dog chain in Tokyo a few years back (I think it was called Chicago ....) that closed after a couple of years. Burger King also closed in Japan, and all attempts at mexican fast food has also failed. The likelyhood of survival is propably dependent on their ability to localize the menu.
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