David Chiddo's recs
Sixteen years in Japan and this is the best list he can come up with? Does he even know how to use chopsticks? He probably packs a passport to leave Minato-ku. Anyway...
...Had a totally uninspired dinner at "Keawjai" in Meguro a couple months ago, which bookends a totally uninspired dinner there a few years ago..."Roti" is an American bistro in Roppongi, 30 seconds from the station. You can drink wine and order in English- just like in California. Far out.... "Bourbon Street" been around for a while and everyone I know speaks well of it. Please post your impressions if you go...New York Grill. Yada, yada, yada. If you're there and going to splurge, why not Kozue?...."Ajanta" I walk by every time I'm back and keep forgetting to consider as an option. I promise, this summer I'll make it happen. What do you recommend?...I tune out when people start talking about Italian restaurants in Hiroo and then recommend National Azabu for shopping for produce. That's not chowhound, that's just lazy..."Sasagin" he sort of undersells considering it's one of the more outstanding nihonshu bars in the country and probably the world. Though I find the food menu hit and miss. Seems like some of the dishes they can get over-creative. But it's a great drinking experience...And speaking of drinking, I'll cop out and say that I still find myself from time to time in "Amrta" for the exact reasons he mentions. I wish they carried at least one brand of shochu though and phew, when I step out of the bar, if I hold my breath and run up the hill on Roppongi Dori, and away from N.Azabu crossing, I'll soon be in Shibuya-ku.
Good posting - thanks for pointing it out.
I thought it was a pretty decent list, actually. To be fair to David, "Alex" probably asked him his favorite restaurants, not recommendations for visiting chowhounds.
Fuku is possibly the best yakitori I've had, with great atmosphere and a good drinks list. I had no complaints with Bisboccia the one time I went there.
Elio has good food and drinks and service, but I think it's way overpriced. Also, the last time I was there, the staff gathered around a table to sing "Happy Birthday" not once, not twice, but four times. (At different tables.) I felt like I was at a children's restaurant, other than the Y13,000 per person price tag.
Bourbon Street has excellent food. Roti does a good job at what they do - American comfort food - although the wine list isn't quite the bargain it was several years ago. NY Grill isn't really about the food, so I'll refrain from comment. (As a special-occasion splurge though, it's certainly more fun and exciting than Kozue downstairs.)
I've always had great food at Keawjai, but with a menu that huge I suppose there might be some variation in quality. I usually order the chef's specials, which I've found to be a good practice in any Thai restaurant.
Sasagin is definitely one of the best sake bars in the world. Over they years the food has been hit and miss, but they seem to be good again recently. Service from the waitstaff has been consistently bad over the years, and I don't usually complain about service unless it's noticeably bad.
Ajanta does have great masala dosa, although it's not quite the happening place it was before the TBS (or was it NTV?) studios moved. I liked Amrta but I haven't been in quite awhile. El Vino closed last year, and Jiro has moved on to Old Vines in Nishi-Azabu.
Call me lazy, but I do a lot of my shopping at Nissin and National Azabu. I saw zucchini yesterday at Hanamasa (the discount chain that a lot of restaurants shop at) for Y600 for two; National Azabu usually has them for Y150.
I do wonder when the interview was done though. This would have been a good list of picks in 2002 or so. Maybe David is keeping his newer favorite spots to himself....
re: Robb S
Hello from New Zealand and speaking of the price of zucchini, as part of my weekly organic fruit & veg delivery, last night I took stock of 3 very large zucchini, dirt included, i.e freshly dug, refreshingly free of any plastic wrapping, for a total cost of Y80eqv ! Of course it's all relative to the season where one is living (summertime here) and ones income (avg salary here is around Y3mm). Majority of restaurants here in Christchurch, compared to Tokyo, are frankly rubbish and overpriced, home cooking is the way to go. On my annual secondment back to Tokyo I look forward to eating and being served so well. 8months to go and counting...