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Monday, September 20, 2010

MARUNOUCHI: Mango Tree Tokyo (2,700yen Thai Lunch Buffet)

Marunouchi... 35th Floor... Amazing View... what could possibly go wrong?  Well if the food sucks then everything loses its luster.  I've been to Mango Tree in Marunouchi several times over the years but keep forgetting how unsatisfying the place is... anyways this will be my last visit.

Made sure I went to the buffet table a few times to try everything they had... was just hoping for something delicious out there somewhere.  I'd have to say the best part of the meal was...  

...this little green jiggly dessert.  Honestly how can you possibly go wrong with Thai Food...what were the Thai Chefs doing in the Kitchen?  All show and no go?  I think the only way to actually overcome Mango Tree's bland, unappetizing food was to eat just enough to break even but even that was a task.  

Another dessert.. hmm...

The overpriced Chang Beer was the nail in the coffin... but can't leave out we both had stomach ache's a few hours after the meal.  If you want to enjoy a lunch Buffet skip Mango Tree and hit up Bangkok Kitchen in Marounouchi... won't have the 35F view but you can always go up and enjoy the Marunouchi Building view for free. 

SHOP: Mango Tree Marunouchi (35F of Marunouchi Building).
Address J: 東京都千代田区丸の内2-4-1 丸の内ビルディング 35F
Address E: Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-4-1, Marunouchi Building 35F

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SHINAGAWA: Higomon's Kumamoto Ramen (RAMEN ALLEY!)

If you are ever at Shinagawa Station and hungry for ramen you must check out Ramen Alley.  There are Six different ramen shop serving a wide range of pork, chicken and fish based soups.  

We headed to Higomon's Kumamoto Ramen thats so so very lowly ranked on my favorite foodie site with a mere 2.99 score.  But...!

Ramen started at only 650yen and it was well worth the price.  This was a pork soup base that has a nice smelly Kumamoto flavor.  I prefer it to fish~.

You can add any of the three toppings for some added flavor... went with the fresh garlic.

This says "Nama Nin-niku"... fresh garlic.

Interior was very comfortable... didn't have the long lines a few other shops had.

SHOP: Shinatatsu.... aka "Ramen Alley"
LOCATION: Shinagawa
Address J: 東京都港区高輪3-26-20
Address E:  Tokyo, Minato-ku, Takanawa 3-26-20 (Exit out of Shinagawa station from the Price Hotel Side, take a left and walk along the train tracks... you'll hit the Ramen shops located directly under the tracks).

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

SHINJUKU: Beer and Cafe BERG... hidden gem at Food Pocket in Shinjuku Station "Lumine East"

We were in Shinjuku for the TOPSHOP opening reception but wanted to be fashionably late.  So where to grab a light drink/meal in Shinjuku?  I'm not one to randomly enter a restaurant because I'd rather spend the same money on something tasty.  Checked the trusty Foodie Website and we came across BERG that had a great ranking of 3.69.

Took a peek inside and noticed quite a few smokers...hmmm... wasn't in the mood to smell like a chimney before the party.  But our choices were few and pressed for time.

System is you pay for your food first then take it to a table much like a cafeteria.  The food started at only a few hundred yen... so so reasonable.  And draft beer was only 300yen.

They sold beer tickets.  3000yen for 10 and get one extra.

Small non-smoking section?  Great!

3 beers and 5 plates of food for about 3,000yen.  Everything was excellent for the price.

We are going to have to try the White Sausages next time.

This is the perfect place to start off the evening or even to hit up after a long days work.  Staff was extremely friendly and food was so reasonable.  Here are some photo's of the Food and Interior and Exterior.  I'd highly recommend giving this place a try if you are ever in Shinjuku.

Address J: 東京都新宿区新宿3-38-1 ルミネエスト新宿 SHUN/KAN B1F
Address E:  Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-38-1.  Lumine East Department Store B1F.

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SHINJUKU: Shiddique Indian Restaurant.... Shocking 500yen Curry!

You just can't miss the Huge 500yen Curry sign of Siddique Indian Curry in Shinjuku.  But my lure into this establishment was the strategically placed Indian fellow down the street at the major crossing... he handed me a tiny coupon for 500yen Curry plus a free drink of my choice.  Hmm.... It was dinner time and why not?

With coupon in Hand I entered Siddique... 

Asked the giant waiter what Curries were for 500yen... It was the Chicken "Kawa" Curry and Butter Dal Curry... the other choices ranged up to 1,000yen+ from what I remember.  

The Photo of the chicken looked pretty good... seemed a bit stir fried in Curry and I expected something very flavorful.  But the interesting part was yet to come... Does anyone know what the word "Kawa" or kanji "皮" means in Japanese... I mean you shouldn't even have to know this in an INDIAN Restaurant right?!?

My free Mango Lassi arrived... perfect thickness and veeeery good.

And so arrives my soupy curry... hmm... ok, maybe its tasty.  I dug around a bit for the chicken but I couldn't find it.... not even one piece!  Wait... when I order "Kawa" at a yakitori spot its usually chicken skin... CHICKEN SKIN CURRY!?  Really, is this for real?  This was so wacky to me... 

Notice the wonderful mushy pieces of chicken skin... yup, nicely boiled and all mushy.  Anyways while I was trying to enjoy my meal I heard alot of other Japanese people ordering the same thing.  Chicken skin here, Chicken skin there, the stuff was a huge hit... cause its hella cheap right?  YES!  Anyways the Nan bread sucked monkey balls... I don't know what kind of wheat/flour they used but it was like a loaf of bread that was microwaved and that quickly hardened... hmm... loved the square cubes of butter slowly melting on my Nan.

Honestly the strange chicken skin was freakishly addictive... it was like eating something gross but you just couldn't stop yourself from trying just a little more.  Anyways I highly suggest you run far away from the Chicken Skin Curry as you can and use that 500yen for a nice bowl of ramen at Hakata Tenjin Ramen in Shinjuku.  I won't be back!

Restaurant: Shiddique Indian Restaurant in Shinjuku
Address J: 東京都新宿区西新宿7-10-20
Address E: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 7-10-20

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