Category: Dining Diary  

Dining Diary

Eateries to keep your eye on

Jun 18, 2014 | No Comments | 2,295 views
Read more »

Bites

Eateries to keep your eye on

Apr 18, 2014 | No Comments | 2,633 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Baseball beef in Roppongi

Dec 22, 2011 | No Comments | 4,441 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Everything you wanted to know about tuna but were afraid to ask

Nov 11, 2011 | No Comments | 2,720 views
Read more »

Bites

Ample hot pots in Grannies' Harajuku

Nov 7, 2011 | No Comments | 1,133 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

DIY nabe in Barbie's dining room

Oct 28, 2011 | No Comments | 2,338 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

A taste of old Napoli in Azabu-Juban

Oct 13, 2011 | One Comment | 5,533 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Churrasco and samba at this newly-opened Brazilian BBQ

Sep 29, 2011 | No Comments | 3,666 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Eat some joints at this Kichijoji yakitori joint

Sep 16, 2011 | No Comments | 1,241 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Random notes from recent meals: the traditional start to our year-end pig-out season—dinner at the all-you-can-eat Compass restaurant in the Yokohama Bay Sheraton hotel—brought an unexpected twist. The newly renovated dining room now has an upscale appeal to match the Japanese-, Chinese- and Western-style buffet. Highlights include a roast beef carving station, a tempura counter ...

Jan 6, 2011 | No Comments | 2,887 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

From humble beginnings in Flushing, Queens, Joe’s Shanghai has risen to become one of New York’s favorite Chinese joints, with locations in Midtown and Chinatown. We’re willing to bet that fans of the line-around-the-block originals will barely recognize its new Tokyo incarnation. The cavernous basement space has been fully Ginza-fied, with cozy, secluded booths and ...

Dec 16, 2010 | No Comments | 2,307 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

One of the things our Hokkaido-bred friends complain about most is the lack of good jingisukan in Tokyo. But with the recent opening of Matsujin, the first Kanto branch of a longstanding Hokkaido favorite, they’ve now got at least one place to go for the real thing. Metropolis got a taste at a recent press ...

Nov 18, 2010 | No Comments | 2,152 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Heaping portions, low prices, fast delivery and no frills—God, how we love B-kyu gourmet. But cheap doesn’t have to mean tasteless, especially at Torikizoku, a popular yakitori joint with branches across Japan. Last month, a group of journalists were invited to sample the wares at the new Shibuya Bunkamura location. Torikizoku’s main selling point is ...

Oct 28, 2010 | No Comments | 3,728 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The problem with gelato—a divine variation on ice cream with less butterfat and sugar and a gooier texture—is that it’s almost impossible to get outside of Italy. Oh sure, shops all over the world call themselves gelaterias, but what they usually sell is plain old ice cream. We’d certainly never found the genuine article in ...

Sep 30, 2010 | No Comments | 1,879 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tasty though it may sometimes be, Japanese curry is so far removed from the real thing that we often have to bury our face in a plump naan and cry Madras tears. Thank goodness, then, for Hawkers. This compact eatery in the office town of Tamachi has a sparse but delicious lunchtime menu comprising Thai-style ...

Sep 16, 2010 | No Comments | 1,510 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When we heard that Il Mulino had finally added a lunch service, we thought, “Great, here’s our chance to snag a spot at one of Tokyo’s toughest tables.” No such luck. Arriving sans reservation for a birthday lunch in late July, we were turned away by the maitre d’ with barely a shrug of his ...

Sep 2, 2010 | No Comments | 1,782 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Ginza’s atmosphere of recession-proof extravagance is perfectly suited to our destination tonight: Itamae Sushi. This well-known chain has several locations around town, but the new shop is all about the mariage of sushi and champagne. The menu features a range of bottles starting from ¥790 a glass all the way up to the venerable Krug ...

Aug 19, 2010 | One Comment | 2,423 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

People tend to think of Korean restaurants as rather downmarket affairs—the kind of casual eateries where diners sip soju while meat sizzles on the grill. Newly opened Hanryu Bishoku bucks the trend. The sleek lines and modern design are typical of its upscale Nakameguro location, and the menu follows suit. Bishoku specializes in pancake-like chijimi ...

Jul 22, 2010 | No Comments | 1,299 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The lattes at Streamer Coffee Company look so good, you almost feel guilty about drinking them. Of course, we wouldn’t have expected anything less from Hiroshi Sawada, a veritable Botticelli of the barista world who won the prestigious Milrock Latte Art Competition in 2008. The Osaka native puts his skills to good use at this ...

Jul 8, 2010 | No Comments | 3,373 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Attimo can best be described as a restaurant hiding in plain sight. Located near Yokohama’s bustling Minato Mirai 21 district, it has all the elements that usually make a venue popular: nice view, scrumptious pan-Italian cuisine, and a luxuriant, spacious interior. Yet every time we’ve visited, the place has been less than half full. Oh ...

Jun 24, 2010 | No Comments | 1,279 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s always a pleasure to find a hidden gem in a part of the city bustling with overpriced and overrated restaurants. Not being big fans of Roppongi, we slipped onto a quieter street behind Meidi-ya and found ourselves in front of Pizzeria Baggio, a small but well-regarded restaurant that’s easy to miss if you’re not ...

Jun 10, 2010 | No Comments | 2,035 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

No matter how intensely foreigners despise horumon ryori—pork, chicken and beef innards, ranging from the brains to the buttocks—the Japanese can’t get enough of the stuff. The past few years have seen an explosion in the number of restaurants and pubs specializing in the chewy, knobby, gristly cuisine, which is served on skewers or grilled ...

May 27, 2010 | No Comments | 1,542 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

A word to the wise—there are some restaurants where you’re not guaranteed a seat even if you show up early on a Sunday night. Though Krung Siam had hardly any customers when we wandered in, the legions of “reserved” signs on the tables made us realize that we’d snagged the last unclaimed seats in the ...

May 20, 2010 | No Comments | 2,446 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

We expected an izakaya-like interior and well-rendered teishoku lunch sets at Yokohama’s Maruyasu (2F, 2-59 Hanasakicho, Nishi-ku; 045-263-3310), a traditional restaurant-bar between Sakuragicho station and Nogeyama Zoo. The ambient BGM and attractive Chinese waitresses, though, took us by surprise. Don’t miss the tekka-don, a rice bowl topped with marinated strips of tuna. Just up the ...

May 13, 2010 | No Comments | 1,116 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

After an exhausting afternoon trawling the record shops and used clothing stores of Shimokitazawa, Deli & Baking, Co provides a welcome respite—not to mention tasty food. With vast windows, a white, silver and pine interior, and a quaint wooden veranda out back, this spacious New York-style café attracts a young clientele and gently bustles with ...

May 6, 2010 | No Comments | 2,186 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s pretty unlikely that you’d ever stumble across Café Neuf by chance. Perched on the ninth floor of an apartment building by the train tracks in Ebisu, this French-style café hides away its treasures. Despite the location, nearly all nine tables were occupied when we stepped into the café on a rainy Thursday night. And ...

Apr 29, 2010 | No Comments | 2,042 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tokyo isn’t exactly short on Turkish restaurants, but most of them are guilty of a certain, shall we say, opportunistic price inflation. You won’t find any ¥800 hummus on the menu at Hisar, a homey Okubo eatery whose food is almost criminally good value. Though the kebab skewer at the entrance seems to signal a ...

Apr 22, 2010 | No Comments | 2,435 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Frequent visitors to Nishi-Azabu probably know Tetes as that Thai place across the street from Gonpachi. But as of last month, the restaurant has undergone a complete makeover, reinventing itself as an organic café serving up healthy meals and fair trade coffee. We dropped in for the opening reception and got a chance to sample ...

Apr 15, 2010 | No Comments | 1,928 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The cooking at Khazana is better than it needs to be: this Indian restaurant in Yokohama’s Queen’s Square shopping complex is the only curry shop within miles. Reasonably priced thali platters, nicely done tandoori meats, and not-too-toned-down curries all make for an authentic taste of the subcontinent. But the real delight is the weekend brunch, ...

Apr 8, 2010 | No Comments | 2,069 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Fact: restaurants that get introduced on TV shows, with big-time tarento gasping “Oishii!”, are guaranteed to be inundated with customers for weeks after. Another fact: the food doesn’t even have to be extraordinary. Casa Yoshida Pasta Bar is just such a place. Hidden in a narrow alley just off of fashionable Aoyama Dori, this eatery ...

Apr 1, 2010 | No Comments | 1,652 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Making friends with locals is a surefire way to have a good time in a new city. And there’s no better entrée into local drinking and dining culture than a visit to Sanjugoban. This Setagaya-ku eatery is a delight for both the palate and the spirit. Located just minutes from Sangenjaya station on the Denentoshi ...

Mar 25, 2010 | No Comments | 1,120 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tucked away on a back street in Toranomon is a charming bistro named Choro’s D, one of those small places that you discover by accident and then hope no one else finds about. The place looks like it was once a small home, with seating for 30 on the first floor and 20 on the ...

Mar 18, 2010 | No Comments | 2,174 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you’re looking for a sign that the recession is easing, take a ride up to Tokyo’s tallest skyscraper and dig the scene at Forty-Five. The Ladies who Lunch crowd has returned in full force, attracted, no doubt, by the fantastic midday deal. The ¥4,500 “Chef’s Table” includes all-you-can-eat appetizer and dessert buffets, with a ...

Mar 11, 2010 | No Comments | 1,873 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When a Chowhound user asked recently where to find the spiciest noodles in Tokyo, the resounding vote was for Mouko Tanmen Nakamoto. Sweet jaysus, those gourmand geeks were right. While dedicated spice heads should make the pilgrimage to the original shop in Kamiitabashi, which recently marked its tenth birthday and boasts a wider menu, Nakamoto ...

Mar 4, 2010 | No Comments | 2,730 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The hardest thing about eating out in Shimokitazawa is simply choosing where to go. With a diverse range of restaurants and cheap B-kyu eateries just waiting to be found, ending up with a mediocre meal is a major bummer. So we were psyched to discover Hiroki, a tiny joint tucked away in one of the ...

Feb 25, 2010 | No Comments | 2,186 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The great thing about being British is that wherever you go in the world, the food is always better. Still, there are times when only comfort food will do, and that’s where The Meguro Tavern’s Sunday Carvery comes in. Situated close to Meguro station, this family-run London-style pub is as authentic as they come—right down ...

Feb 18, 2010 | No Comments | 2,992 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

One of our favorite things about dining at the Kichiri izakaya chain is the atmosphere.  A visit to one of their taverns is all about elegance.  The food and drink, while prepared with care and artistry, are secondary to the overall experience—an acceptable trait in an upscale izakaya.  So when we found out that the ...

Feb 11, 2010 | No Comments | 1,896 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When you consider the fact that Jews have lived in Japan for 150 years, it’s odd to think that the only certified kosher eatery in all of Tokyo is a tiny falafel stand. Located in a barren Minami-Azabu neighborhood, ten minutes’ walk from Azabu-Juban station and close to Temple University, King Falafel doesn’t offer relaxed ...

Feb 4, 2010 | One Comment | 2,268 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Whoever said that “good things come to those who wait” is an ass. On Christmas Day 2008, the longest lines in our local depachika were at deli counter RF1 Sozai, which offers an array of dishes using locally sourced vegetables, meat and seafood. One particularly popular item was the terrine salad—lovely-looking cubes of gourmet terrine ...

Jan 28, 2010 | No Comments | 1,978 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Dalian prides itself on its dumplings—and with good reason. The gyoza here, whether boiled or fried, are among the best in town. Dalian’s two branches in Azabu-Juban and Chinatown also offer classy, tastefully designed interiors in neighborhoods where other restaurants pride themselves on being down-home. Lunch is a fine time to visit either location, with ...

Jan 21, 2010 | No Comments | 2,792 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“It’s good to have connections”. That’s the thought that crossed our minds as we slid improbably tender strips of Saga beef into our mouths at newly opened yakiniku restaurant Hachi Hachi. Thanks to direct shipments from their parent restaurant in Kyushu, the owners are able to offer cuts of wagyu at extremely low prices—kalbi goes ...

Jan 14, 2010 | No Comments | 3,609 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The whole idea of skewering your food and slapping it on a grill has become pretty much salaryman standard here in Japan—it’s the cheap stuff, fallback food to wash down with a glass of cold beer. But at Lo in Sangenjaya, owner Takahiro Todoroki has given the cuisine a gourmet makeover. At a recent press ...

Jan 7, 2010 | No Comments | 1,530 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

We were so impressed by a recent lunch at Chao Thai that we made sure to grab a meishi on the way out. Only then did we realize that this new restaurant in Yokohama’s Bay Quarter has a sister branch near our office in Shibuya—the same place that’s our go-to spot for a midday pad ...

Dec 24, 2009 | No Comments | 3,103 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Back when it first opened a couple of years ago, Dougenrou was so dead at lunchtime that we could get the whole place to ourselves. Judging from the capacity turnout on a recent visit, word has spread about this unassuming Szechuan eatery. And not without good reason: in the crowded Akasaka dining scene, it stands ...

Dec 17, 2009 | No Comments | 1,630 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

While on a mission to sample the ramen at the limited-edition restaurant Futomen Dou in Takadanobaba—a collaboration between renowned eateries from Fukuoka and Tokyo that, unfortunately, will be closed by the time you read this—we made a lucky discovery: Ooita Houraiken, a Tokyo branch of the famous Kyushu ramen shop. We sat at the counter (though ...

Dec 10, 2009 | No Comments | 1,553 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“Why didn’t we think of that?” is probably the first reaction of restaurateurs when they stumble across Uokushi. This casual eatery—whose name translates as “fish” and “skewer”—specializes in the hitherto uncharted territory of fresh, grilled seafood on sticks. We stopped by recently at the newly opened branch in Ningyocho (there’s also a shop in Kagurazaka), ...

Dec 3, 2009 | No Comments | 1,516 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When we first read about the opening of Shamorokku Sakaba, our interest was seriously piqued. A “shamrock” in Shimbashi? What’s up with that? Further investigation, however, revealed that shamorokku refers not to any sort of leprechaun cuisine, but to a special breed of free-range chicken from Aomori. This discovery may have temporarily dampened our excitement, ...

Nov 26, 2009 | No Comments | 1,483 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s not surprising that so many hotels in Tokyo have a Chinese restaurant. Long before yakiniku and pizza and became mainstream dishes in Japan, Chinese was the foreign food par excellence. And hotel restaurants specializing in the cuisine have, unsurprisingly, always represented a step above the ordinary in terms of quality, service, atmosphere and price. ...

Nov 19, 2009 | No Comments | 2,404 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Big, goopy burritos at a fair price in a great neighborhood—what’s not to love? Newly opened Frijoles in Azabu-Juban ticks all the boxes, and it also offers unexpected touches like housemade tortilla chips and four types of salsa. The food selection is limited, but in a good way: four varieties each of burritos (¥800-¥1,000), tacos ...

Nov 12, 2009 | 2 Comments | 4,128 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The good news is, we finally found a decent outdoor café to enjoy Tokyo’s mild autumn. The bad news? It’s not in Tokyo. Gooz is located in Yokohama’s Nippon Odori district, a sleepy neighborhood close to Yamashita Park, Chinatown and Yokohama Stadium. Opened in 2004, the café-deli is produced by conbini chain Three F, which ...

Nov 5, 2009 | One Comment | 2,634 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The opening of a new branch of Akira in Marunouchi reminded us that it had been ages since we visited the original location in Nakameguro. It turns out that both of these grilled-chicken eateries are perfectly suited to their neighborhoods. The new restaurant sits inside the tony Marunouchi Brick Square complex, with a gleaming interior ...

Oct 29, 2009 | No Comments | 2,020 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Hearth is a restaurant with a split personality. The basement features a dim glow and Asian resort décor, the sort of place where you expect to tuck into cheese fondue, stew and other hearty fare. Upstairs on the first floor, clean lines and soft white lighting give the impression of a spa serving low-calorie organic ...

Oct 22, 2009 | No Comments | 1,452 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s autumn in Chinatown, and the entire neighborhood is abuzz with one thing: Shanghai crabs. Posters advertising the freshwater specialty can be seen all over town, which means diners have no end of opportunity to enjoy the delicacy. At Rokuhokyo, though, the crabs are sourced direct from China, which means they’re on the menu through ...

Oct 15, 2009 | No Comments | 2,084 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you’re the type who believes a satisfying meal includes meat, seafood and lots of carbs, then you definitely don’t want to pay a visit to Vegematto. Opened in May, this tiny dining bar specializes in an array of steamed, dipped, simmered and raw organic vegetables, all sent directly from farms throughout Japan. Starting things ...

Oct 8, 2009 | No Comments | 3,072 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“I just opened this place because I couldn’t find good falafel in Tokyo,” says Eiji from behind the counter at Kuumba du Falafel. “If there was somewhere else that sold it, I’d close this immediately and go and eat there every day instead.” There’s still no sign outside his new eatery, which sits on the ...

Oct 1, 2009 | 2 Comments | 7,301 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Calvados is like mother’s milk for the true Norman. And lovers of this apple brandy worldwide are legion. The Japanese chapter of the Grand Ordre du Trou Normand, des Calvados, Cidres et Pommeau will hold its next fete on October 3 at Brasserie Paul Bocuse La Cave in Hiroo. Everyone is welcome. “The most important thing ...

Sep 24, 2009 | No Comments | 2,344 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Not too long ago, Yokohama’s Motomachi shopping street was considered one of the trendiest spots in Japan. With its quaint boutiques and European-themed restaurants, the cobblestoned boulevard gave locals a taste of Western-style leisure culture. Nowadays, when you can find a Gap outlet on every street corner, Motomachi seems increasingly fusty. As do its restaurants—inauthentic ...

Sep 17, 2009 | No Comments | 4,317 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The Nakameguro Grill officially opened just last week, but throughout the month of August, young staff were deployed outside to lure passersby with a nifty offer: a free glass of sparkling wine for anyone who agreed to sample the pre-open lunch menu. As if we needed a bribe to try a new spot—especially one right ...

Sep 10, 2009 | No Comments | 2,716 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Northside Asagaya is one of Tokyo’s hippest, most bohemian neighborhoods, but Fuji Lunch is definitely not hip. It’s blissfully unconcerned with trendiness. The plastic food displays in the front window have probably changed over the decades, but most everything else—the green vinyl stools, the tile floor, the faded turquoise faux-marble countertop, and the milky light ...

Sep 3, 2009 | No Comments | 2,499 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The newly opened Yokohama branch of popular Tribeca restaurant Bubby’s recreates the spirit—if not exactly the portion sizes—of an authentic American diner. Truck-stop fare like chiliburgers (¥1,000), macaroni & cheese (¥650), and meat loaf (¥2,600) share menu space with Caesar salads (¥750/¥1,300), eggs Benedict (¥1,000) and BLT sandwiches (¥950). But at Bubby’s, it’s the pies ...

Aug 28, 2009 | No Comments | 3,226 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The owners of Hanabi in Nakameguro are so confident you’ll enjoy your meal that they’re offering an eye-opening deal to repeat customers: bring the receipt from your first visit, and 40 percent of that total will be discounted from your next one. Located on the Meguro River and melding the flavors of Europe, Japan and ...

Aug 20, 2009 | No Comments | 1,872 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The Rigoletto chain of restaurants has been so successful with its tapas cuisine that operator Huge Co has opened a similar Japanese-style eatery at Roppongi Hills. Arata follows the same format as its sister restaurants (in Nakameguro, Kichijoji, Ginza and other locations), with an extensive menu, active kitchen and energetic staff. The ¥500 tapas dishes ...

Aug 20, 2009 | No Comments | 2,403 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Though eco-friendliness may not be the only thing on their minds, Gottsuo certainly follows the principle of mottainai. Nowhere else can you enjoy every single part of a fresh tuna than at this new izakaya, less than a minute walk from Gotanda station. With the concept that not a piece of the fish is to ...

Aug 13, 2009 | No Comments | 1,286 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Japan doesn’t necessarily share America’s passion for bargain hunting—often, the cachet of paying full price is worth more than saving money. But with the slumping economy, consumer society here is changing—check out the rise of outlet malls and big-box retailers. And that, we are told, was the reasoning behind Wine Sakaba, a new bar selling ...

Aug 6, 2009 | No Comments | 1,438 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Quick question: where’s the only place in Japan you can find three Michelin-starred restaurants under the same roof? If you answered The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, give yourself a pat on the head. A recent luncheon to celebrate the hotel’s starry achievements highlighted the particular charms of Sense (Cantonese), Signature (“French-inspired”) and Tapas Molecular Bar. First ...

Jul 30, 2009 | No Comments | 1,289 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

For hundreds of years, the Japanese tea ceremony has been centered around a frothy bowl of one of the bitterest teas you can imagine—matcha. As a new student to the art of sado, I’ve discovered the calm tension, and beauty, of a carefully prepared bowl of tea. The bitter tannins and caffeine of the emerald ...

Jul 23, 2009 | No Comments | 1,868 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

A pair of recently opened restaurants offer lip-smacking, Western-style comfort food on the cheap. First up is The Beat Diner, nestled under the Yamanote line tracks in Yurakucho. TBD lives up to its name with a lineup of six burgers and the atmosphere of a casual American eatery. The eponymous B.E.A.T. burger (¥1,400) has toppings ...

Jul 16, 2009 | No Comments | 2,399 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When it comes to eating out, our new favorite number is 14. That’s the amount of dishes in the “Happy Lunch” platter at Sui Roh in Yokohama’s Chinatown. And happy it certainly is: the menu runs the gamut of local Chinese favorites, from spicy shrimp in chili sauce to almond jelly for dessert. Standouts include ...

Jul 9, 2009 | No Comments | 1,296 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

At first glance, Kichijoji Teppanken appears to be your typical no-frills nightspot, full of off-duty salarymen indulging in beer and grilled meat. Yet even though the menu leans toward horumon (innards) and izakaya staples like buta-kimchi, closer inspection reveals a surprisingly fashion-forward approach to the usual teppan standbys. A recent press preview dinner started with ...

Jul 2, 2009 | No Comments | 1,504 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tokyo’s newest steakhouse, Gotham Grill, separates itself from the herd thanks to its dry-aged meat—and to prove it, there’s a side of beef aging away in a glassed-in cooler just inside the entrance. All the steaks are charcoal grilled, with cuts ranging from fillets (7oz, ¥3,150; 11oz, ¥4,830) to rib-eyes (11oz, ¥4,200; 21oz, ¥8,400), sirloins ...

Jun 25, 2009 | No Comments | 6,710 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Most vegetarians living in Tokyo will be familiar with the short-lived euphoria that’s experienced on discovering a new meat-free eatery—and the despair that kicks in as soon as you realize how much you’re going to have to pay for a meal that feels more like an appetizer. There are no such problems at Nagi Shokudo, ...

Jun 18, 2009 | No Comments | 2,048 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Don’t be surprised by the funky shape of the dumplings at Ko-un Gyoza Bo. Unlike the usual crescent-shaped globes of minced pork and vegetables, the teppan gyoza at this casual Chinese restaurant are flat tubes that arrive sizzling on a rectangular platter (¥320 for three; ¥500 for five). Located on the tenth floor of Yokohama’s ...

Jun 11, 2009 | No Comments | 1,641 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When compared to the big boys like Miyajima, Enoshima or Yakushima, the island of Awaji off the coast of Hyogo is relatively unknown. But if the people at Shima no Megumi to Kurae have anything to say about it, that won’t be the case for long. This newly opened Shibuya restaurant specializes in fish sourced ...

Jun 4, 2009 | No Comments | 1,467 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

In the mood for some French cuisine recently, I ventured out to Daniel Martin’s L’Espadon in Azabudai. Martin came to Japan in 1987 as the head chef at the prestigious Maxim’s De Paris in Ginza, and after teaching at the L’Cordon Blue in Daikanyama, opened this French restaurant and bar last October. Located in a discreet area ...

May 28, 2009 | No Comments | 2,454 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Yakitori grilled in a smoky stall under the tracks and washed down with mugs of draft beer is a wonderful thing, but humble chicken skewers have been elevated to another level of enjoyment at the newly-opened Yakitori et Vin Poussin in Roppongi. The decor is sleek, modern sushi bar-style with a long blond-wood counter and ...

May 21, 2009 | No Comments | 2,249 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

There’s nothing like the hot sizzle of some juicy red meat over lunch. Or at least that’s what we thought as we watched hot flames lick up at some thick strips of kalbi at Jojoen’s Shinagawa Prince Hotel press reception. This renowned nationwide chain is synonymous with classy yet reasonable yakiniku dining, and the new ...

May 14, 2009 | No Comments | 2,565 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

From the peppermint-scented oshibori to the soothing after-dinner ocha, our recent press dinner at Nishi Azabu’s One Garden was a lesson in Japanese omotenashi hospitality. The sister branch of an eatery near Shibuya’s Cerulean Tower, this newly opened restaurant dishes up Japanese delicacies heavy on the fish collagen—an extract that’s said to make skin plump ...

Apr 30, 2009 | No Comments | 1,265 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Lots of the pizza restaurants in Tokyo that “do it right” make the mistake of forgetting what pizza actually started off as: a peasant food. Higashi-Nakano’s Pizzeria GG has no truck with fanciness. This is pizza served like they do it in Naples: brisk, rustic and totally unpretentious. A diagram in the menu uses a ...

Apr 23, 2009 | No Comments | 2,007 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Gatemo Tabum claims to be the only Bhutanese eatery in the whole of Japan. And it certainly is tiny. The café only seats about 15 people, which leaves us loitering out on the street for a while when we head there on a Sunday evening. Fortunately, it’s worth the wait. Bhutan’s cuisine is like comfort ...

Apr 16, 2009 | No Comments | 1,438 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If spring is the season for fresh veggies and fresher fish, then Nakashima is the place to find them. The restaurant may be located on the dining floor of Ginza’s Inz shopping complex, but the atmosphere of subdued elegance will make you instantly forget it. This concept is reflected throughout the menu, which is full ...

Apr 9, 2009 | No Comments | 1,301 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Its pricy reputation notwithstanding, French food in Tokyo doesn’t have to be expensive—and you can even find low-cost meals that feature home-cooked country fare. A large group of us recently had just such a dinner at Ali-Bab, a charming red-roofed bistro in the middle of Akasaka. The ¥5,000 prix-fixe course is a good deal in ...

Apr 2, 2009 | No Comments | 1,846 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Hiasobi isn’t the only teppanyaki restaurant that does a fantastic lunch. When we first visited Sasashige in Nishi-Azabu shortly after its opening last spring, dinner was just about perfect. Spacious and stylish, the restaurant drew a fun crowd, and the creative menu was prepared by a France-trained chef. The only thing missing, we thought, was ...

Mar 26, 2009 | No Comments | 1,923 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Opened in 2006, the Bay Quarter shopping center is well positioned to take advantage of the explosive growth underway on the east side of Yokohama station. And with two dozen restaurants sprinkled among the retail stores, shoppers are certain to be well-fed. Options include buffet-style Chinese, home-style Korean and off-price Hawaiian, plus three Japanese noodle ...

Mar 19, 2009 | No Comments | 1,257 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Finding southern Italian cuisine made with top-quality ingredients in Tokyo is not difficult these days. But when that restaurant is in the student neighborhood of Takadanobaba, it’s a rare find indeed. Newly opened Il Cucchiaio di Angelo sits just a few minutes south of the station, past the pachinko parlors, noodle shops and karaoke rooms ...

Mar 12, 2009 | No Comments | 1,222 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It has been reported that the otaku of Tokyo have recently begun a (semi-forced) migration from the backstreets of Akihabara to their previous stomping grounds of Nakano Broadway. The shopping arcade is the home of the very first branch of Mandarake—that otaku mecca of used anime and manga paraphernalia—as well as a maid café and ...

Mar 5, 2009 | No Comments | 1,386 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Lots of Tokyo eateries claim to be unique, but Rera Cise is truly one-of-a-kind—it’s the city’s only authentic Ainu restaurant. Entering the “House of Wind” on a Nakano backstreet, we found ourselves in a homey, timbered haven whose extensive menu reflects the Ainu’s hunter-gatherer traditions. We started with a palate-cleansing salad of kitopiro (wild garlic) ...

Feb 26, 2009 | No Comments | 2,736 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The Japanese obsession with sundubu shows no sign of letting up, and we couldn’t be happier—the spicy Korean hotpot is the perfect winter warmer. To get your fix, stop by one of the nine local branches of the popular Tokyo Sundubu chain. We visited the location in Yokohama at the Queen’s East shopping center, whose ...

Feb 19, 2009 | No Comments | 1,703 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

For a once-in-a-lifetime dinner (a late Valentine’s Day or an early White Day, perhaps), get your loved one to Cuisine[s] Michel Troisgros in Shinjuku’s Hyatt Regency for the “Menu for the Love of Truffles.” We were invited to taste this ten-course dinner and it left us literally speechless. Every aspect of the meal—from the several ...

Feb 12, 2009 | No Comments | 1,028 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The Kanda area is not our usual stomping ground, but we were glad that we made the effort to check out Kantini, a newly opened neighborhood trattoria. This haven of Italian-meets-French delights, nestled in the basement of a nondescript building, is a master of disguise: the simple yet stylish table settings and minimal decor belie ...

Feb 5, 2009 | No Comments | 1,252 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

On a recent girls’ night out at Takiey, we caught up with Ken Takahashi, the cute young chef himself. Takahashi says he created his newly opened café-dining bar as a space where guests can hang out “as if they were at home—only maybe a little bit more delicious.” From the exposed brick walls to the ...

Jan 29, 2009 | No Comments | 1,077 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“So stylish it doesn’t seem like a yakiniku place.” That’s the slogan of Kogen, a new Korean grill in Yoyogi. One might well wonder what a yakiniku restaurant is doing in a neighborhood that has gradually become a haven for fashionistas, vegetarians and yoga-lovers, but the answer is clear after one look at Kogen’s minimalist ...

Jan 22, 2009 | No Comments | 1,399 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“Eat well for less” seems to be what everyone has in mind recently, and at Le Charbon, you can do just that. Located on Sakurada Dori just a couple minutes’ walk from Kamiyacho station, Le Charbon is easy to dismiss as “just another café”. One look at the menu, however, will dispel that notion. “Charbon” ...

Jan 15, 2009 | No Comments | 1,946 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Without doubt, the most popular restaurant in Roppongi’s Tokyo Midtown complex is pizzeria/trattoria Napule. Certified by the Margarita Regina Association for its authentic Neapolitan pizza, Napule is still drawing long lines for lunch even 18 months after Midtown’s opening—and forget about trying to get in for dinner without a reservation. Anyone who’s been to the ...

Jan 8, 2009 | No Comments | 2,593 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

“Our target customer base is very simple: everyone!” exclaims the website of the Eataly dining and shopping complex, which opened in September in Daikanyama. “Our visitors actively participate in a relaxed journey of discovery that brings them closer to an understanding of quality foods and beverages.” The claim sounds like hyperbolic PR speak, but after ...

Dec 25, 2008 | No Comments | 1,329 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Sands is not a typical name for a Spanish restaurant, but once you enter the second-floor eatery on a side street near Jiyugaoka station, the reason for it becomes clear: hundreds of small glass bottles decorate the walls, each filled with sand from locations in Spain or elsewhere in the Mediterranean. After inspecting the sands, ...

Dec 18, 2008 | No Comments | 1,675 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Opened in September, the Akasaka branch of Junkadelic has one thing that the Nakameguro original lacks: lunch. Luckily, everything else remains the same, from the rustic interior to the cantina vibe to the fantastic Mexican food. Though the midday menu is limited, it still offers a full lineup of a dozen options, all of which ...

Dec 11, 2008 | No Comments | 1,590 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Behind an unassuming wood-slatted door just steps from Ebisu station lies Ebisu Komachi. Jewelry-designer/owner Seki Kagumi’s influence is readily apparent in the restaurant’s elegant atmosphere and collagen-enhanced meals. We found seats at the long, sushi bar-style counter, and almost immediately fell into conversation with the friendly and chatty staff behind it. Only just recovered from ...

Dec 4, 2008 | No Comments | 1,735 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s hard to find a the perfect dining spot in hectic Shinjuku—or even just any open tables on a Saturday night—so we usually head to the same familiar chain izakaya. Wanting something different this time, we made reservations at Veggie Dining Me, which has only a few other branches around town. If the name catches ...

Nov 27, 2008 | No Comments | 1,221 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The refurbished Edge Building, located between Roppongi Hills and the Roppongi Tunnel, has recently unveiled several new nightspots. Up on the fourth floor, dining bar Console is a welcoming lounge with dim lighting and comfortable couches set around low tables. Check out the menus—they’re children’s books with the food list pasted inside (we got the ...

Nov 20, 2008 | No Comments | 1,205 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Whoever said that “life is about the journey, not the destination” obviously never made the trek to Shamaim. This humble hummus palace in the boondocks of Nerima is a half-hour from Roppongi on the Oedo line, or ten minutes from Ikebukuro on the Seibu line—but the trip can be excruciating if you know the feast ...

Nov 13, 2008 | No Comments | 1,232 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tokyo’s love affair with cigar smoking shows no signs of letting up—even as tobacco use in general faces increasing restrictions throughout the city. (One amusing aspect of the cigar trend is that even sports bars are stocking stogies these days.) With half a dozen locations in Tokyo, the Le Connaisseur chain offers both smokes and ...

Nov 6, 2008 | No Comments | 2,168 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When we visited the new Rigoletto Bar and Grill at Roppongi Hills a couple of months ago, we couldn’t help noticing the equally new Yasaiya Mei next door, specializing—as the name suggests—in vegetable cuisine. Our interest was piqued, so we made reservations for dinner. There is an à la carte menu, but since we were ...

Oct 30, 2008 | No Comments | 2,581 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

With food freshness and traceability very much in the news of late, our interest was piqued by a new restaurant in Ginza specializing in vegetables shipped directly from farms around Japan. We found Sumika on the eighth floor of the Duplex Building, a short walk from the heart of Ginza. The elevator doors opened to reveal ...

Oct 23, 2008 | No Comments | 1,279 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The 12-year-old Fummy’s Grill reopened last month after a complete revamping of both the interior and the menu. Those familiar with the old layout will be surprised to see the kitchen relocated to the opposite side of the room. The decor is now more earthy and airy, with wood-paneled walls and large glass windows that ...

Oct 16, 2008 | No Comments | 2,346 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The next time you’re in Odaiba and in the mood for some Aussie beef, stop by the recently opened Taronga in the Hotel Nikko. A few Aboriginal artifacts and some books on Australia at the entrance give this “grill and wine” restaurant a Down Under look, but the menu is more extensive than that. There ...

Oct 2, 2008 | No Comments | 1,735 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

We discovered Tengu Jelly! Samurai Ice Cream! in the most unusual fashion—as the starting point for a scavenger hunt organized by a group of performance artists. Following the map to Shimo-kitazawa’s north side, we were instantly smitten upon spotting the adorable red toadstool picnic table outside. We were further pleased to learn that this sweetshop ...

Sep 25, 2008 | No Comments | 1,516 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The champagne brunch at Ekki Bar & Grill is like an homage to the pleasures of leisurely midday dining. Chef James Viney’s innovative menu offers a choice of three prix fixe courses (“Modern,” “Contemporary” and “Abstract”) paired with Veuve Clique Champagne by the glass or as part of a nomihodai deal. Each course starts with ...

Sep 18, 2008 | No Comments | 1,213 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When superstar chef Roy Yamaguchi invites you to dinner, you should jump at the chance. That’s the lesson we learned last month after receiving a press invitation for an evening of food and music at Roy’s Tokyo Bar & Grill. The master chef was in attendance at his elegant Roppongi Hills restaurant, as was Hawaiian ...

Sep 11, 2008 | No Comments | 3,424 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Everyone loves a good beer and a full-body massage. Maybe the only thing better than indulging in such luxury is indulging in a cow that has enjoyed a similar luxury. Wagyu beef is renowned the world over for it’s flavor, tenderness and texture, which is derived from a life of pampering that most of us ...

Sep 4, 2008 | No Comments | 3,081 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Our summertime infatuation with chilled soba has led us to a pair of oyaji-friendly spots on opposite ends of town. Shinshuya sits across the street from Hachiko in Dogenzaka 2-chome, among the winding alleys lined with pachinko parlors and smutty DVD shops. We’re enamored of the oyako-don combo, which costs just ¥580 and which offers ...

Aug 28, 2008 | No Comments | 1,436 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Combining elements of Malaysian, Indonesian and Chinese cooking, Singaporean cuisine is still fairly uncommon in Tokyo. So we were excited when Singapore Seafood Republic open recently in Shinagawa, right in front of the station on the terrace of the Hotel Pacific. This new eatery is operated by the same folks behind the well-regarded Nirvana NY ...

Aug 21, 2008 | No Comments | 2,408 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tucked away in a corner of the basement floor of Tokyo Midtown is Baker Bounce, an American diner that looks like it’s been transplanted straight from a California beachside town. Considering all the swanky restaurants in the Midtown complex, Baker Bounce—no, it’s not a bakery—almost seems out of place. It only has ten tables for ...

Aug 14, 2008 | No Comments | 1,680 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

It’s not often that one wanders around Tokyo, scratching at the head, muttering under the breath, “If only there were some ramen shops around…” More often than not we find ourselves immersed in a veritable sea of soupy noodles, pork bellies and various floaty, sliced green bits. With such a range of options, it’s refreshing ...

Jul 31, 2008 | No Comments | 1,041 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Dhaba India calls to mind our grad school days, when painfully long study sessions were fuelled by three things: caffeine, Marlboro reds and dosa from the South Indian place around the corner. An oblong crepe stuffed with spiced potatoes and other fillings, dosas are the quintessential Asian comfort food. And at Dhaba India in Kyobashi, ...

Jul 24, 2008 | No Comments | 2,066 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Our first visit to Hei Fung Terrace certainly won’t be our last—the Cantonese restaurant at The Peninsula Tokyo hotel serves up some of the best Chinese food in the city. Perfect for a date or special occasion, the basic prix fixe lunch is a six-course feast of supreme freshness and quality (¥4,280). Although we had ...

Jul 10, 2008 | No Comments | 1,597 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Next time you visit the urban wonderland of Harumi Triton and are in the mood for some Mediterranean cuisine, try the newly opened Totto! Del ManMa, which offers a mix of Spanish and Italian fare. The tapas trend seems to be spreading in Tokyo recently, and no wonder—with an extensive menu of meats, seafood, pasta ...

Jul 3, 2008 | No Comments | 1,286 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The stunning AO Building, which has already transformed the Aoyama skyline and which will house a bevy of shops, salons and restaurants, is still months away from completion. Until then, visitors to Tokyo’s most stylish neighborhood will have to content themselves with nearby dining options like Oval Plaza, located just up the road near UN ...

Jun 26, 2008 | No Comments | 1,309 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tigers fans, go home! That’s what we thought during an early-spring visit to Yokohama’s Chinatown. On a lovely Saturday night, the streets were thronged with Hanshin fans celebrating their man Tomoaki Kanemoto’s 2,000th career hit—and the Tigers’ victory over the BayStars. We sought relief from the out-of-town crowds by ducking down an alley and into ...

Jun 19, 2008 | No Comments | 1,120 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Hiro Shinkawa’s Huge Corporation, which runs the stunning Dazzle in Ginza’s Mikimoto Bldg., has just debuted Rigoletto Bar and Grill in Roppongi Hills. Beautifully designed and featuring an international menu, this place is destined to be successful. Along with our aperitif, we ordered a few “Piccolo Tapas” (garlic toast and caponata; ¥300) and regular tapas ...

Jun 12, 2008 | One Comment | 5,501 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Though located in the heart of Shin-Okubo’s Korea Town, Saishoku Kenbi serves up not Seoul food, but soul food, . This restaurant is housed on the grounds of a vegetarian “church” boasting miniature (the size of a car) and not-so-miniature (the size of a house) statues of the happy Buddha. And though Buddhism warns against ...

May 29, 2008 | No Comments | 2,088 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Billing itself as a home-style Korean restaurant using all-natural, high-quality ingredients, newly opened Sosonje was definitely a place we were excited to visit. We realized we were in for a sophisticated treat when we entered the dining room, which is bathed in neutral colors and filled with modern but natural-looking decor. Stretching out on the ...

May 22, 2008 | No Comments | 1,137 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Kushiage is not one of the most famous Japanese dishes, nor is it very popular in the Kanto area. Originating from Kansai, these skewered, breaded, then deep-fried morsels nevertheless make a very interesting meal, giving a new taste with practically every bite. Kushinobo used to be located in Hiroo, and we dined there every few ...

May 15, 2008 | No Comments | 4,251 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Mention a country’s cuisine, and some image usually comes to mind. But in the case of Peru, most Tokyoites will be at a loss to think of a single dish. So it is something of an adventure to visit Miraflores, one of the few (if not the only) Peruvian restaurants in Tokyo, tucked away in ...

May 8, 2008 | No Comments | 1,331 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Alan Richman courts controversy. When the noted food writer visited New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, he hardly minced words: “[It] was always a three-day stubble of a city, and now, courtesy of Katrina, it’s more like five.” But the notoriously tough critic had nary a negative adjective for Seirinkan, a pizza parlor in Nakameguro he ...

May 1, 2008 | No Comments | 2,689 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you have been looking for somewhere to enjoy a casual, reasonably priced French dinner, try Au Chapon Fin, nestled in a quiet neighborhood between Shibuya and Daikanyama. Owner-chef Koji Morita (who has won numerous culinary awards) renovated a 50-year-old, two-story house to open the restaurant in 2001, and since then, it has been popular ...

Apr 24, 2008 | No Comments | 1,117 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The new champagne brunch at the Ritz-Carlton’s Hinokizaka restaurant, which received a coveted star in this year’s inaugural Michelin Tokyo guide, offers the perfect way to ease into a Saturday morning. Featuring free-flowing Taittinger Rosé and an exquisite kaiseki meal, this sky-high dining experience is sure to impress dates, out-of-town visitors, and even champagne-loving business ...

Apr 10, 2008 | No Comments | 2,195 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

For many people, kaiseki ryori is the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine: a large number of courses, each meticulously prepared and beautifully presented, which together cover the full range of sashimi, vegetables, meat, soup, and rice. The drawback is that eating in a silent tatami mat room where a kimono-clad waitress enters every few minutes with ...

Apr 3, 2008 | No Comments | 990 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Thanks in some part to the Okinawan diet, Japan leads the world in life expectancy. To get your own taste of island cuisine, head to Yanbaru in Shinjuku. The owners certainly didn’t spend their money on décor, as the interior has unsteady sliding doors and wobbly wooden stools and tables. But with the two floors ...

Mar 27, 2008 | No Comments | 1,861 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Brought to Japan by Chinese Zen Buddhists over 700 years ago, the cuisine known as shojin ryori hasn’t changed much since. The food is simple, seasonal and, to put it in 21st-century terms, “cruelty-free.” Meals regularly cost upwards of ¥10,000-¥15,000 per person, so when we heard that a well-established restaurant in the shadow of Otori ...

Mar 20, 2008 | No Comments | 1,190 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tokyoites breathed a collective sigh of happiness last week when the Biz Tower complex—that mammoth construction project which for years had been blighting Akasaka—finally made its debut. And the wait, many will agree, was worth it. The mixed-use center features some 40 shops and restaurants spread out in a pleasingly modern space that’s heavy on ...

Mar 13, 2008 | No Comments | 1,077 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Chances are you’ve never passed through the intersection of Meiji Dori and Shokuan Dori, which lies near the Oedo line’s Higashi-Shinjuku station. But if you did, you probably noticed the large red climbing wall. The façade seems strikingly out of place, which is one reason that crowds are drawn into the attached restaurant, Power Dining ...

Mar 6, 2008 | No Comments | 1,264 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you find yourself in Shinjuku craving authentic Neapolitan pizza or perfectly prepared pasta dishes, head to Claudia, a homey Italian restaurant in the Sanchome district. Over the past few years, Claudia has won a loyal customer base thanks to its romantic atmosphere and reasonably priced fare. So when we visited on a recent Friday ...

Feb 28, 2008 | No Comments | 1,846 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

What is a “California grill”? That’s the question that came to mind when my companion suggested that we go to California Grill Yoshi, and with a bit of skepticism, we arrived at the restaurant on the second floor of a building in a small alley in Azabu-Juban. On entering, the friendliness of the staff and ...

Feb 21, 2008 | No Comments | 1,678 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Looking for a quick bite after a day of breaking the bank in Ginza? Head under the train tracks to the Yurakucho Denki Building, which has a basement food court full of good eats at a bargain. Tokyo Vin Vin (inexplicably written as “ban ban” in katakana), serves up Italian standards, with a few standouts ...

Feb 14, 2008 | No Comments | 1,100 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

The top-notch Italian food at Buco di Muro comes with something extra: an unbeatable view of the Sakuragicho waterfront area. Yokohama’s signature Ferris wheel, the Cosmo World amusement park, and yakatabune dinner boats can all be seen from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious deck. But first you’ll have to tear your attention away from ...

Feb 7, 2008 | No Comments | 1,416 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Christmas dinner at Beacon was our favorite gift of the holiday season. Though fewer foreigners were in the crowd than usual—chef David Chiddo’s “urban chophouse” in Aoyama draws one of the city’s most exciting mixed scenes, but most expats had apparently split town for X-mas—the restaurant had a mellow buzz that went well with the ...

Jan 24, 2008 | No Comments | 1,184 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

With the recent publication of the Michelin Guide, the rest of the world now knows what we’ve known for a long time—Tokyo is the best city on the planet for good eats. And there’s no finer way to sample Tokyo’s gourmet cuisine than by learning to cook it yourself. You can do exactly that at ...

Jan 17, 2008 | No Comments | 1,608 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Shibuya’s yakiniku restaurants have the reputation of being rowdy all-you-can-eat hangouts where youngsters chug pitchers of beer and where strong odors stain your clothes. Well, the classy Igane will gladly overthrow those conceptions. This restaurant provides authentic Korean with a twist, and excellent service makes the ¥300 table charge worth paying. Igane’s unique doughnut-shaped grill ...

Jan 10, 2008 | No Comments | 1,131 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you can resist temptation long enough to pass by all the other inviting restaurants in Yokohama’s Lumine department store, an excellent meal awaits at Chin Mabodofu. Nestled in a far corner on the depato’s sixth floor, past such fantastic eateries as Agio (Italian) and Keawjal (Thai), Chin specializes in the spicy tofu-and-beef dish that ...

Dec 27, 2007 | No Comments | 1,133 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you’re looking for an excellent Italian dinner on the opposite side of the Yamanote line, head to Rigoletto Kitchen, which is nestled among the zillions of restaurants and bars in the backstreets of Ginza and Shimbashi. As the name suggests, Rigoletto comprises a cavernous dining area surrounding an open kitchen. The counter is definitely ...

Dec 20, 2007 | One Comment | 1,754 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

When a colleague suggested we go for lunch at “Flamingo,” my first thoughts were of a certain “nighttime” venue of the same name across from Tokyo Midtown. I soon realized that he probably had a different establishment in mind, and he did: Omotesando’s Flamingo Café, located just off Kotto Dori in the quiet Glassaria Aoyama ...

Dec 13, 2007 | No Comments | 1,854 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Ever find yourself staring at the madness of Shibuya crossing with someone you just met at Hachiko, wondering where to go for a chat? Despite many years exploring the rolling concrete hills of Shibuya, even we sometimes find it tough to locate a quiet, comfortable place near the station to grab a bite and a ...

Dec 6, 2007 | No Comments | 1,413 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Since Tokyo Midtown opened in March, it’s been a chore to get into many of the restaurants—especially Union Square Tokyo. Well, things are settling down (apparently, everyone is heading over to the Shin-Maru Building now), so Union Square is worth a visit. Seating 164, this is the sister restaurant of the famous, Zagat-approved Union Square ...

Nov 29, 2007 | No Comments | 1,144 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

There are very few Tokyo restaurants you can count on for reliably rude service. Of these select few, Chinese Café Eight takes the proverbial cake. Don’t be fooled by the cheery website, which promises customers will be “welcomed by a warm and hospitable atmosphere that will leave you with lasting memories of your visit.” At ...

Nov 22, 2007 | No Comments | 2,918 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Nestled in a small side street in the Jimbocho used-bookstore area is newly opened tofu restaurant Fu, whose low-key exterior covered with wooden shutters fits the shitamachi neighborhood perfectly. The modern, renovated interior has shoes-off horigotatsu (built-in) tatami seating, and we scooched into a small shared table to start our press dinner. First up was ...

Nov 15, 2007 | No Comments | 1,018 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Pizza Express is a dominant force on the British dining scene. With over 300 locations throughout the UK, the pizza and pasta restaurant offers a combination of good food, stylish design and low prices. Open since 1999, the popular Tokyo branch (in the building next to Gap in Harajuku) has been serving up brick-oven pies, ...

Nov 8, 2007 | No Comments | 1,083 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Tucked away in a side street near Gaienmae Station is Girolamo Panzetta’s cozy Italian restaurant, Giromondo. Opened earlier this year, the eatery offers mainly Neapolitan and regional specialties, prepared under the watchful eye of Chef Mario. Lunch course menus range from ¥1,575 to ¥3,675, but dinner is a more relaxing option. If the ¥7,000 course ...

Nov 1, 2007 | No Comments | 1,332 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

If you can’t book a table at new Ginza restaurant Orvieto (see “Word of Mouth,” p.43), head across the neighborhood to recently opened Pin, where you’ll also find well-rendered European fare served up in an elegant setting. During a recent press dinner, we enjoyed a multi-course feast that began with a “one-spoon” amuse bouche of ...

Oct 25, 2007 | No Comments | 959 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Who said organic vegetables were expensive in Japan? We recently happened upon two amazingly affordable buffet restaurants, both featuring dozens of organic dishes. The catch? They’re a little off the beaten track of Average Joe Gaijin. Mother’s (aka Fujisan no Yasai Juku) in Jimbocho, just north of the Imperial Palace, puts out a truly delicious ...

Oct 18, 2007 | No Comments | 1,192 views
Read more »

Dining Diary

Fast becoming the in-spot of Hibiya is The Lobby at the new Peninsula hotel. The all-day-dining restaurant is especially popular for afternoon tea (from 2:30pm), when it serves the Peninsula’s increasingly famous scones. Since the hotel opened on September 1, long lines have been a common sight in the foyer because The Lobby doesn’t take ...

Oct 11, 2007 | No Comments | 959 views
Read more »

International Dance School in Meguro
Japan/Ukraine Joint Ballet Concert in December
Reserve your winter break flight tickets!
Lots of deals in Nov & Dec too!
Ebisu Best Color International Hair Salon
Cut: ¥5,940~, Highlights: ¥8,650, -20% off first visit
Search Guesthouse at OAKHOUSE
120 Locations, 2050 Rooms. Click more info!
Sharehouses located all over Tokyo.
Luxurious accommodation at affordable prices.
Serviced Apartments Azabu Court
Daily, weekly, monthly extended stay studios/suites
Friendly Female English Speaking Dentist
Pediatric, orthodontic and cosmetic treatments
TOHTO GUEST HOUSE
Accommodation in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba
Car Accident & Other Legal Problems
Legal advice from English speaking attorney-at-law
REAL ESTATE in Tokyo - Rent & Sale
Best source for expat housing, office, investment
Tokyo Furnished Apartments
No Key money, deposit, agent fee, guarantor!