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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GAIENMAE: Kurara Izakaya... In the shadows of Oracle lies boredom. Please don't enter!

One problem about having an office in Gaienmae is the lack of restaurants... and those that do exist have a monopoly on anyone who needs to dine... In the case of Kurara Izakaya (serves Kyushu Food) they are using every bit of bare minimum standards in their food and presentation.  If you can see sliver of building in the background of this pic its Oracle's Tokyo HQ.

We ordered edamame, kimchee, umi-budo, mini-gyoza, fried chicken, chicken wings "tebasaki", salad with ginger, cheese platter and closed with the pictured Yaki-Ramen (used ramen instead of soba).  And honestly everything was supermarket quality and so uninteresting.  Its rare to have everything taste so very mediocre in Japan but this place hit a home run in that area.

We only reserved this spot because it was a few minutes from the office.  But honestly never again.
Oh the food and drinks were priced higher than similar Izakaya's.

And so I leave you with a very nice Porsche 911 RS GT2?  If anything this Aoyama area has alot of posh exotic car spottings.  Oh! If you want to check out the only Tesla dealership in Tokyo its around the corner.

Restaurant: Kurara Kyushu Izakaya Aoyama Branch
Address J: 東京都港区北青山2-7-25 神宮外苑ビル
Address E: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Kita Aoyama 2-7-25

九州料理, 九楽々, 青山店, 博多もつ鍋,  薩摩軍鶏, 神宮餃子, 外苑前, Japan, Japanese, foodie, beer, sake, gyoza, lumix lx5, nabe, motsu,

Friday, July 25, 2014

AKASAKA: Umaya... this classy izakaya was packed on a Tues night! Everything delicious~

A team dinner with co-workers and I was soooooo glad to hit up Akasaka... a town known for little hidden old skool gems and one was Umaya for sure~.

Entered to a very internationally diverse crowed... a little English here, business Japanese there and even an table with elderly Japanese ladies.  A full house on a Tuesday evening. wow~

Most of our selections were Yakitori based but the menu has a very nice mix of everything. Japan has the freshest of fresh eggs and this Tsukune is a must!

Sake can go upwards of 1,350yen for a small cup... lots of premium selections.

Beers are 1,000yen... Guinness, August Beer

We close out with Ramen...

...and fish..

... and giant Shiitake Mushrooms... 

1,800yen deluxe dessert platter... great balance of fruits and ice cream.

The service here was attentive and perfect... If you are in the mood to be fully satisfied with each and every order then this place is a must.  For the 5 of us it came out to 45,000yen so its a bit pricey... an alternative would definitely be Kushi Wakamaru in Nakameguro at a fraction of the cost.

Restaurant: Umaya Akasaka Branch
Address J:  東京都港区赤坂4-2-32
Address E: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Akasaka 4-2-23

Canon s100, Foodie, Japan, Japanese, Tokyo, Akasaka Mitsuke, shabu shabu, 赤坂うまや, 居酒屋. 焼鳥, しゃぶしゃぶ, izakaya, tokyobelly, yelp,

TOKYO BIG SIGHT: Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen Junya... they did a switcharoooo... another sad ramen adventure.

I was stuck at Tokyo Big Sight for a 3 day IFF event and really really didn't want to hit up this food court but having not eating all day I just had to eat something... and well... regrets.

At Tokyo Big Sight we are all funneled into this food court that has soooo many neat selections but according to a few co-workers the food is so incredibly ho-hum and expensive.

These were my Ramen Chefs... i started tearing up... they looked like part-timers working at any average food court... no pride... just in it for the hourly pay.

Little remote buzzer rings when your food is done.

What I ordered vs...

What I thought I ordered! Ugh... how can they do this to us~.

The soup seemed so watered down... the "atsumori" noodles I ordered were not hot but luke warm... eewww... it just didn't work.

The few toppings inside the soup... hmm... instant ramen?  My friend mentioned that they might be using the 150yen 7-11 Instant Tsukemen.  

If it wasn't for the free Blue Moon beer last night I'd probably be extremely sad for paying 850yen when I could have easily gone home and ordered my neighborhood Sakurdai Ramen Jiro for 650yen.  If you are from a foreign country visiting 
or just a few days then sure give Junya a try but if no then DON'T GOOOOO!!! For any regular Tokyo ramen goer this place is the bottom of the barrel for Tsukemen.

I leave you with a nice Porsche spotting.

Restaurant: Tokyo Tonkotsu Ramen Junya
Address J: 東京都江東区有明3-11-1 東京ビッグサイト会議棟 1F
Address E: Tokyo, Koto-ku, Ariake 3-11-1

Japan, Tokyo, foodie, canon s100, IFF, events, food court, udon, sushi, bowl,  潤や,
ラーメン,つけ麺, 国際展示場正門, 東京ビッグサイト, tokyobelly,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

SHIINAMACHI: A little local sushi spot filled with very friendly regulars... sushi starts from

I've always feared this tiny local neighborhood sushi spots because I've entered a few with no price lists and for some reason no matter how much I order (for 2) it always comes out to 15,000 yen. But this day I was invited to join my friends weekly watering hole in Shiinamachi

Akami (Tuna) starts at 70yen each.

Prices were so incredibly reasonable.  And I learned from a regular sitting next to me that the fish at these tiny sushi spots are alive... they are not frozen like many of the kaiten-sushi (conveyor belt sushi).  

Toro 150yen each.

Think this sushi set here was 700yen or so. So many items!

I will leave it up to you to find the place but is very Japanese with a big regular's following.  If you find it be very polite and smile... after the regulars start drinking you'll be invited into the conversation.