Friday, September 11, 2009

Nanbantei 南蛮亭

September 2009

Great yakitori place that we found on Guru-navi in Shinjuku. They have several restaurants in Tokyo, and on the larger end of a yakitori place.

Started with some 'premier' draft beers and appetizers like sesame dressing salad, chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken), tomato salad, and chicken yukke (sashimi). We ordered a ridiculous amount of yakitori. I think the most popular were the asparagus wrapped in pork, the amazing steaks with wasabi sauce, and the tebasaki (wings). Vegetables are quite good. I've had better tsukune (chicken meatballs). I love sunagimo (gizzards).

Hint: no more than eight to ten skewers per person, and remember orders come in pairs.

English menus with a few staff that speak if needed .
Few minutes walk from JR Shinjuku station or Marunouchi line Shinjuku-sanchome station

〒160-0022 東京都新宿区新宿3-28-7 キーストンB1

Tori-hide 鶏ひで

September 2009

This is my aunt's family's 'go-to' yakitori place in Akabane, and it is fabulous. Never been disappointed and have been there many times over the years.


〒115-0045 東京都北区赤羽2-4-4 西村ビル1F

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Black Pig 黒豚家

May 2009

Korean BBQ place next to COEX. It's apparently new and huge (two story), with complex ventilation systems at each table. Delicious and seemed business/tourist friendly. Yum.


Si Gul Jip

May 2009

Work dinner at Korean restaurant in Gangnam near COEX. Typical banchan (side dishes), pajun and meats, but what I loved was the dondon-ju (unfiltered soju), my favorite Korean drink!

568-7513, 7514

Hakka Ye Ye 客家爺爺

Hong Kong
May 2009

Great Chinese food restaurant from the Hakka region in the heart of Central. Nice place on the second floor of Parekh House building with trendy but cozy interior.

Food was great --
Limited alcohol, we had beer. Very reasonable too (250 HKD I think)

2/F, Parekh House, 63 Wyndham St, Central, Hong Kong
+852 2537 7060

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Orange Tree

Hong Kong
May 2009

Dinner with GSBers at a lovely Dutch place in Central, right off of the escalator a little above Caine Road. It is a fairly small place, feels very European (no tap water for example) and very cozy. Probably 10-15 tables, and it opens out to the street.

We started with mussels with garlic and light cream sauce for an appetizer. The seasonal white asparagus looked good too. Pandu had the "bitter ballen", fried beef balls that you dip in Dijon mustard, yum.

I had the steak tartare with salad and side of garlic sauteed mushrooms (switched out fries). Steak had anchovy and some onions on top, and some diced onions and I think pepper mixed in as well. The steak was great, I mean what a great way to have raw beef, great flavor and really soft. The chef said their signature is a lamb puff pastry, and Rai says he goes just to get that dish.

Wonderful Dutch chef/owner, Pieter Onderwater (love the name, it was on his chef jacket). He also gave the ladies a gift of battry operated pepper grinder.

17 Shelley St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2838 9352


Hong Kong
May 2009

Saturday late brunch at great little restaurant. Norweigian Ben = two poaches eggs on smoked salmon atop potato hash with dill and Hollandaise.

No.41 Yik Yam Street, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Tel: 2838-2689


Hong Kong
May 2009

Metropol's dining hall is above the Admiralty MTR Station (4F). It is an enormous dim sum restaurant, but with both carts and a buffet center to order from. Delicious and reasonable and every kind of dim sum you could want.

Samy's Curry House

Samy's is my favoriate Indian food in the world. I have only been to Bangalore for one week so perhaps I need another India visit to try more food, but Samy's is damn good.

Samy's is located on Dempsey Road way on the end of one of the forks at Block 25. I have sat at their covered outdoor tables each time I go (more of a sidewalk) though alot of room inside as well.

Since I typically don't know the names of anything, I go inside first and point at all of the dishes that I want. Typically I get the dried mutton, masala chicken, and sometimes fish (they have fish head curry, yummmm) and then ask for some naan. They lay a banana leaf on the table in front of you, spoon a huge mountain of biryani rice, the yummy chips that I don't know the name of, and then the food comes. I also like the lime juice, it's a bit sweet but so good in the Singapore heat eating Indian food.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Check out this cool Yelp tool!

Bambuddha Lounge

February 2009

We found Bambuddha Lounge online when we searched last minute for a pre-ballet dinner reservation in the area. It's unmarked and in the beginning of a shady neighborhood, so make sure you know where it is (the staff told us that as long as we weren't "bright shiny objects that looked like crack" the people on the streets shouldn't bother us...)

When I met my friend, there were about five patrons in the whole big place. Granted it was 6pm, but it didn't fill up too much more in two hours. Friendly, but average, service.

We ordered the shrimp over papaya salad and the tuna tartare appetizers while we waited for our third to arrive. Both standard Asian fusion fare, if not a bit bland. Had a nice bottle of South African chardonnay. We shared a skirt steak and scallop entrees, of which steak was a little too flavored and scallops were good. The drunken noodle and bok choy sides were good.

Looks like there is a lounge/club scene as well, and it might be a cool space half full, but not sure I have a reason to come back. Final bill ~$45 per person.

601 Eddy Streetat (between Larkin St & Polk St), San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 885-5088

BIN 38

February 2009

I had a lovely pre-movie dinner at Bin 38. It was totally packed at 8pm on a Saturday, with every table booked and a gaggles of yuppie Marina folks around the bar. Our table was out in the front by the bar, so I didn't see the rest of the place.

We had a good bottle of Rioja (well, two between three of us), and then several courses of food to share. The winter crudites were small but refreshing, and the spinach artichoke bruschetta were great. Good crab and citrus salad. Love roasted cauliflower and broccoli (did not love the random patron from the bar who kept asking us about it), and lamb meatballs were pretty good. Not huge portions all around.

It was a bit loud, but a fun girls dinner. Final tab ~$70 per person.

3232 Scott St (between Chestnut St & Lombard St), San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 567-3838

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hey Cupcake!

February 2009

YUM. I don't even like cupcakes, but YUM. The Double Dose, with chocolate bottom and top, was amazing. And they sell cartons of 2% milk. Which I also don't like but was really good call with the cupcakes. Oh and did I mention it's sold out of a trailer?

1600 South Congress, Austin, TX 78704

Amy's Ice Cream

February 2009

Huge fan. Had Amy's three times over the course of the weekend - at the airport when I landed (Mexican vanilla with cookie dough), at the South Congress shop (some strawberry neopolitan one), and at the airport on my way out (again the Mexican vanilla with cookie dough).


Cissi's Market

February 2009

We came across Cissi's when Jo spotted the enormous flourescent letters on top of the building that read WINE BAR. Turns out Cissi's is also a great gourmet market, bar, and cafe, with super nice people. We sat outside on the street with a bottle of wine, but the folks inside looked like they had some pretty amazing meals too. I'd go here a lot if I lived in Austin.

1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 225-0521

Bess Bistro on Pecan

February 2009

This was our big birthday dinner, at Sandra Bullock's restaurant Bess. I actually don't remember enough about it because the drinks were free flowing, but we had yummy shrimp appetizers with the most amazing sauce that we sopped dry with bread. I had a great rare filet.

500 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 477-2377


February 2009

By far my favorite restaurant in Austin. We went down to West 2nd Street for Saturday brunch, and it was amazing.

Started with some of the best bloody mary's we have had (and we drinks lots of bloodys). Appetizers of deviled eggs, fried green tomatoes on a bed of some goodness (amazing), and wild boar spare ribs, followed by a brisket and jalapeno sausage link sandwich with a side of mac and cheese. I mean really, does life get any better?

Super cute place, and their upstairs area has live music at night!

401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 494-1500

San Jose Hotel Lounge

February 2009
So maybe this is more bar than restaurant, since they only have small snacks like seasoned edamame and nuts. Super cute outdoor space in "SoCo" neighborhood in Austin. Only beer and wine, but they have some interesting drinks like a cava with bay leaf and some fruit infused champagne.

A little chilly but they have heat lamps for nighttime, which is key.

1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 804-2418

South Congress Cafe

February 2009

Nice and reasonable restaurant in the "SoCo" neighborhood in Austin. We showed up around 9pm and had about a 30 minute wait, but the staff was nice and we perched at their bar area, which is actually pretty big (looked like some were eating there too). Our group of six got a cute corner booth.

We weren't super hungry but were pretty happy with the small plates and appetizers. I had the special beef chili (yum) and a blackened beef dish with horseradish hash. We had several drinks, and wine. Amazingly our final bill was about $22 per person, not bad at all

1600 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
(512) 447-3905