Monday, November 24, 2014

35 Steps Bistro

A small izakaya near Shibuya was recommended by Tripadvisor. Since we would be in the area and needed dinner, we decided to ask our hotel concierge to make us a reservation.  It was off the main streets and relatively quiet but safe nonetheless.

Walking down 35 steps, we reached the entrance of the restaurant.  Do note that you have to take off our shoes before heading into the restaurant proper. 

Service was boisterous and friendly.  There was an English menu and we ordered from it. There weren't a lot of food but we could easily pick out a few dishes that would fill our tummies. 

Most of the dishes were quite good, more standing were the grilled shimesaba seared at your table and the tuna tartar with garlic butter toast. They were so good the Man kept trying to guess what was in the seasonings.  

The only "off" item was the tofu with honey. We found the honey to be overpowering and dominated all the flavors. We didn't order the house salad, but it was served to us anyway.

tuna tarta with garlic toast

tofu with honey and toast

aburi shimesaba

salad with crunchy topping
Address: 1-1 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture 150-0044, Japan
Telephone: +81 3-3770-9835

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Double Celebrations at The Chop House

So my mom and brother share the same birthday (thanks to c-sect) and we went to The Chop House at Vivocity on request of the mother's craving for steak. 

The restaurant was pretty empty on Sunday lunch time but that was good for we were a rowdy table of 7 with all sorta of requests. 

The mussels we ordered were fresh but unfortunately the wine sauce tasted pretty watered down with not much flavor and just extremely salty. 

The calamari was ok. It had a light coating of mealy batter. Not my favorite way of preparation.  

The grandma had a pork patty burger served with gherkins and tater tots. I didn't taste it but it looked a little dry but easily rectified with their beetroot chutney and caramelized onion jam (no pictures but please eat them! SO GOOD!)

Mom's Australian ribeye (200g) that was cooked to a perfect medium. 

I loved Dad's order of braised beef short ribs ($42/ serves 2). Extra points for already deboning the meat and there were 3 generous rib portions. As expected, the meat was fork tender and the capsicum sauce worked wonderfully well. There was generous portions of mozzarella cheese on top as well but I found this to be incompatible with the rest of the dish. 

The Man had their house burger with blue cheese, wanting to compare that against Park at Holland Village's version. It was also cooked well but the vote of choice remains with Park. 

We also ordered the chicken quesadilla and strip loin and lamb chops. All of us enjoyed this time of celebrating together. Lunch ended off with Awfully Chocolate's run with cherry chocolate fudge cake. The cake was so moist and bouncy in a good way. But the cherries could do with a extra boost of rum for I couldn't detect any except for an occasional hint. 

It was nice to have everyone at the table, especially my grandma. I don't spend enough time with them now that I've moved out. Ah, I need to prioritize!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tsukiji, I'll miss you when you are gone

Does anyone know the peripheral market will move alongside with the fish auction market? It will be too sad and so weird to visit Tokyo without the ubiquitous Tsukiji pitstop. 

Though many times for me to Tokyo and Tsukiji, this marked the first trip with the Man and I still managed to try a couple of new food stalls. 

First up, a maguro dealer which was totally a random find. You see, it is not a proper food stall per se, more like a maguro seller. But we chanced upon a man receiving a bowl similar to the picture below, with various cuts of tuna freshly sliced from a bigger piece. It was kinda funny how we saw the bowl, looked at each other and then with a knowing look, I asked the maguro seller "kore wa, ikura desuka?" ("how much was that bowl?"). 

¥1000 sealed the deal :)

It was a small bowl of sushi rice, topped with a sprinkle of toasted sesame and crispy nori. Then, the man proceeded to slice our tuna. There was generous portions of sliced tuna, akami and chutoro, topped by a generous dollop of minced tuna. 

We also on another occasion tried the ever popular ramen stall specializing in Chinese style shioyu ramen. ¥790(?) gave us generous portions of chashu, menma and negi. The hot soup was a comforting shield against the rainy morning coldness. 

Just a few stalls down is the one and ky Gyu don stall. Manned by a old obachan, we had to wait 20 mins while she cooked up a new batch. Finally, we got a regular beef bowl and added an egg. No words needed to describe this comfort dish I believe. 

What are your other favorite stalls at Tsukiji?