IK found Gyu Katsu in her guide book. Fairly local place in Shibuya and we have heard good things about it. There’s alot of construction going on around the area so took us a bit longer to find. Gyu Katsu opens at 10 or 11am so we were the first ones there. after 20 mins, there was already a long queue. This only seats about 10 or 12 people max in a small basement. Here is the sign outside.
Obviously know what it is famous for. Similar to katsu chicken its just katsu beef. (Deep fried)
People queue even on the stairs to check this place out. Most of the customers are young students or overseas visitors and you could see why it is so popular. It is pretty cheap and good quality.
The menu is pretty straight forward. All they have is Gyu Katsu and pretty much nothing else. So you just choose which size set you want and whether you want to have taro or no taro on your rice.
They have all the cabbage ready for the customers.
What was interesting was this little small stone grill. You can grill your beef as it is pretty much medium rare inside a bit longer if you like it a bit more cooked. It gives a different texture and flavour.
For foreigners, they even teach you the ways to eat gyu katsu. You could have wasabi and soy sauce, horseradish or just with salt.
Here it is. I think ours were like 150g or so. We didn’t want to have too much as we usually like to have more than a few meals throughout the day.
I chose to have taro as well. you can have one more bowl of rice if you’re hungry. I heard a young man say a second BIG BOWL please and it was as requested mountain high.
It was delicious. Maybe i should order the 300g or whatever size up they had next. It was just enough but just so delicious and juicy and tender.
Tip : go there early!
Address : Address: 3-18-10 Shibuya | B1F Ono Bldg. 2-Gokan, Shibuya 150-0002, Tokyo Prefecture
We were pretty tired and didn’t want to venture out too far for a meal. So we went shopping and sightseeing till late and came back to eat around 8pm at St Regis’s own restaurant. I called to book this during the day at the downstairs Rue D’Or french restaurant. Usually Japanese have good French/Italian fusion cuisines.
Menu was an IPAD! thats interesting. im not sure whether i like this idea or not. I always think a piece of paper/menu is always better and special.
St Regis guests have a special menu which is slightly cheaper and better. This is today’s menu. I had to prompt them for this menu however.
I opted for the 3 course wine pairing for I think 3000 yen which was cheap.
Gotta have some bread in a French restaurant.
Next up was a sweet garlic galette with a salad of asparagus and plum tomato.
A bit of a soup next which was an chilli avocado soup with tortilla chips
Final dish was duck breast with lavender, fennel and peach puree. It was wonderfully presented. The chef was French and you can see the French cooking and presentation.
Before dinner, we saw a couple and the girl had some flowers as well. Anyway they eventually moved into the bar. Probably has dating her or was about to propose? Who knows. Quite funny seeing Japanese couples date. The interior had some Japanese painting (obviously of Osaka seeing the castle there) But there was also a touch of New York.
You cannot come to Japan without having one of their famous whiskys. Note some of the prices!
I had no choice but to order one! I’m sorry I even forgot what I had!
Bottom Line – Japanese can also do good Western Food. This place was quite worth it for the quality and being a St Regis guest, the special was a no brainer. I thought service was a bit lackluster maybe because we came late so everything seemed rush. They had waiters who had fairly good english so we were quite impressed
Tip – have the set menu if you’re staying at the hotel. You get a better price/menu.
It is a bit touristy, but we wanted to try this famous crab restaurant. You can’t book in the main store but the website does tell you how long it will take to wait if you put your name down. We were extremely lucky, we walked in and had a table! It was around 2-3pm mind you at this stage so maybe it wasn’t as busy. Located in Dotombori where you get all the eateries endless shopping district.
Here it is – the famous crab.
There were heaps on the menu so we ended up ordering 2 sets.
You get a good view of Dotombori.
Started off with some crab legs with a sourish sauce. The crab wasn’t the best as it was a little stuck in the shell. However it was more for the experience.
Then we had a raw sashimi version.
Crab Chawanmushi was next up.
Next was a crab rice. You have to wait for like 15 mins until it was ready.
A Baked crab dish.
This was a grilled crab leg with lemon.
How about a tempura version ?
You cannot go without crab sushi. Delicious.
Crab Miso Soup.
Here is the crab rice earlier. We were pretty friggin full as we ordered too much at this point, but crab rice is one of my favourite dishes in Japan. Amazing yum.
The only dish without crab – dessert! Vanilla ice cream with green tea.
Overall, not the best crab restaurant I thought, it was tasty and showed an array of different ways to cook crab. It was still pretty nice, although a bit touristy.
Rating : 14/20
Tip : go outside and buy the crab shell – you get all the innards and goodies which is grilled. You don’t have to line up for that either!
It was pouring heavily and the sushi place we wanted to go in Gion was closed this day. We wanted to have kyoto style sushi but no choice, we have to have something else.
Second option was to have kushiyaki and this place was on our list. Its located along this small alleyway which runs right along the Kamo River. We could have picked any place along this alley way;there were so many restaurants but thought I had to go here. We were sharing a small umbrella, feet were soaking wet, we thought to ourselves it better be worth it.
We finally got there and there were quite a few foreigners in here. We thought uh oh tourist trap. Not really!
We got a nice big table and we also asked them for an english menu just in case.
Here is a page of the menu with the usual kushiyaki goodies.
Alot of “gaijin” eating here. One thing I don’t like about some of these izakayas in Japan are that they let them smoke inside. Should follow most other countries and start banning them from doing that.
There are counter seats or table seats. I think there is also a second floor. Being on this floor means you can see the chefs show off their grilling skills.
Menu was quite extensive. We ended up getting a set and some other things as well.
This was part of the set with some asparagus, eggplant and some other goodies. I’ll just let the picture speak for themselves.
Some giblets, prawns, scallops and other stuff as well.
This was a dumpling with quail egg on top on a hot plate. Served with some soy sauce it was interesting, but not that memorable.
This ochazuke was really good. This has eel in it and IK just gobbled it up. quite refreshing on a rainy day like this.
Ochazuke is pretty much tea and rice with a few pickles. love it.
Some more kushiyaki from the set.
It’s a typical izakaya. busy, lively. We also had some insect roaming around on our table. The girls were staring at it and couldn’t help laughing. They managed to kill it for us so we could keep eating our kushiyaki. Pretty funny indeed.
Their english wasn’t so good but I was fine with my Japanese. But maybe we would have ordered other stuff if we were with a local.
Overall its good to try this stuff in Japan. But nothing memorable really
We went sightseeing all morning and our scheduled time for lunch was at 1:30pm. We were pretty excited to go to a 2 star Michelin restaurant – Roan Kikunoi Kiyamachi. This is not the main restaurant but apparently its just as good. It’s located around the gion district next to a bridge and it was quite easy to find.
The owner of the restaurant is Murata-san who is extremely famous in Japan apparently. the ANA meals on the flight are designed by him apparently.
My friend helped me book this restaurant and we didn’t get confirmed until a few days prior. There must have been a cancellation.
We got there at 1:30pm and there’s 10 kappo style seats and a few tatami seats (2 to be exact) for larger groups.
We were greeted by a lady and were led to our counter seats. We were shown the menu with english and also in Japanese.
Japanese menu here.
Everything seemed meticulous as all Japanese are. We had our drinks and I loved how you can interact with the chefs. Our first course was a sake which i forgot to take with a fragrance of shiso leaf to cleanse our palate.
This was our amuse – Fresh uni Tofu, light soy sauce gel with Wasabi and Wakame Seaweed. I love tofu and this was just perfect. the gel was a little thick and perfect with this type of spoon.
Our next appetizer (hassun) was the Tai and cucumber rolls, brook shrimp, octopus roe, Hamo (pike conger) sushi, ginger, small abalone, salad of fresh wheat gluten and Aouri (melon) with sesame sauce. Wow even the name itself was long. This was amazing as you can see.
All the chefs were working hard.
Next was some sashimi – Tai (red sea bream), Hamo (pike conger), curled cucumber, wasabi, ume sauce. This hamo was amazing. Had some flowers on top as well. You have the hamo with the plum sauce and tai with the soy sauce obviously.
Next was a soup dish. Tougan, shrimp dumpling, kidney bean, kinome herb sauce, ginger. Japanese kaiseki doesn’t usually have heavy flavours. This soup wasn’t salty, it was a little thick and delicious.
Next was using the same fish before, Hamo, cucumber, wakame salad. It must be cucumber season as alot of dishes had cucumber in it.
This was probably the dish of the day for me. Grilled miso-marinated flatfish with yuzu. It was PERFECTLY cooked, had a light flavour of miso and just melted in my mouth. delicious.
Also came with some Rice with Hamo, Japanese pickles and another soup Gobou soup. The chef here was getting the rice out.
The rice was infused with the hamo. The pickles married well to open up your appetite a bit even though the food wasn’t heavy at all.
Lastly we had a Yatsuhashi icrecream, warabi mochi which is quite famous in kyoto. IK loved mochi.
Once we were done, we were given some toothpicks which looked like they were hand cut.
We didn’t finish all the hamo rice and they asked if we would like to have this take away and make some onigiris for us – why not michelin star midnight snack!
It was an amazing choice to come here and I can see why the chef is so famous. His dishes were made to perfection – traditional and well executed. Lunch is cheaper than dinner so it was quite rushed but we didn’t mind that at all.
Tips : Ask your concierge of if you have friend to book for you.
I was highly impressed with our concierge at the Westin Miyako Hotel who helped us book Kinoe Yakiniku which my friend from Japan recommended. She printed out a map, helped make our reservation and made sure there was an english menu etc. This place was fairly close to the hotel, maybe 15 mins by public transport. It was in a residential area in the northern part of kyoto. Here it is.
They had huge barrels of Hakushu whiskys as well. hmmmm
The menu was a bit complicated. On the back of the page, there were some menus which you needed to book before. So we ended up getting 2 sets of Omi Beef and added yukke as well.
Ordered a tap beer to start.
Came with 3 sauces as well. The waiters are pretty good, they tell you which course is for which sauce.
An appetizer course with some beef and fat.
We specially ordered a serve of yukke as it seemed famous on the menu.
Then we were served with some salad with japanese dressing.
I loved the Japanese yakiniku, they don’t stick and they seemed easy to clean. There was no smoke and it filters back in. Started off with 2 pieces of omi beef.
We were a bit worried as we are usually used to huge portions. Here comes another 2 pieces.
Don’t forget some veggies as well. Corn and Zucchini.
This time with garlic chips. See the fat on the left? They used that to oil up the grill and sear this one. Wonderful.
This one is marinated which was also very nice.
Another dish of marinated beef.
Had some lettuce to wrap the beef up as well.
Also some asparagus, tomato and beans with some mayo and miso sauce.
Had to order a Hakushu High Ball which was delicious
This marinated beef he seared it for us and perfected it. Only 10 or so seconds each side and straight away melts in your mouth.
We also had a rice as well as there wasn’t much carbs. Funny enough portions looked small but it was enough for both of us.
Freshened up with some watermelon afterwards and some tea.
Japanese yakiniku was really good. I’m sure there are other places around but this was perfect. I recommend getting the most expensive set as it might not be enough for 2 people. Beef was good and couldn’t really complain. It was expensive but looking at the marbling of the beef, you are just in heaven.
Went to Perth during Easter and booked a winery restaurant a few weeks back. Was looking at Zomato and blogs where to go, and it seemed Leeuwin Estate was the best choice. It was a long trip, 3 hours by car and it was pouring (not typical Perth!).
Anyway, got there at 12 and decided to do the degustation since we drove all the way down. Plus it was $109 for the degustation which we felt was good value.
I didn’t do the wine pairing, but ordered the Art Series Chardonnay which was amazing.
So 4 x Degustation menu here we come. Bread and olives to start off.
This oyster was amazingly fresh from WA.
This dish was pretty damn good. Abalone with yuzu, mandarin oil and puffed rice. very fresh and delicious.
Nice to start off with fish and the crunch from the puff was good.
Next had some scallops next and this was very fresh. A squeeze of lime on the side made a big difference. The portions were very generous given its a degustation.
A classic main but oh so good. Black angus sirloin with mushroom. Cooked medium rare with cafe de paris on the top. What more can you ask for?
The dessert was an optional course for $9. Just had to go for it. It was a spiced apple tea cake and the sage ice cream worked really well. Apples were thinly sliced and delicious.
We also ordered another dessert off the menu to sample everything. Black sponge cake with miso caramel iceream and a bit of yuzu and nori. I liked the asian flavours and the ice cream was delicious. Probably would have been good with another texture to it.
We thought it was a delicious meal especially in Perth. One of the best degustation lunches we’ve had at a winery. Defiitely wan to come back. Lots of seafood and worth the price in my opinion
Rating : 15/20
Tips : try to stay a night or so. Expect 2-3 hours for lunch . Also do us a favour. have the degustation. You’ve come a long way for it!
On a roll with the exclusive “degustation only” restaurants. We visited Lume in December then six penny in Sydney and now ESP by Scott Pickett. We’ve been to their sister restaurant Estelle next door ages ago but we were definitely looking forward to this pre “Valentines” dinner. Situated in the busy hippy part of Northcote; it boasts other nice eateries like Merricote, Barry etc. I like the layout of this restaurant, theres tables and then there’s a bar area where you can see how the kitchen runs. It’s nicely done as the kitchen as a good view of what’s going on.
IK booked this place for me. Originally we wanted to invite friends for my big * 0 but they were fully booked. We had to finish by 8 pm tonight.
I also looked at the wine list and thought I’d go for a wine pairing instead. (sort of regretted after actually). So here we go.
Scott was barking orders at times and I like it as it really shows how dedicated you are as a chef and managing the restaurant.
Does this remind you of Baker’s Delight? Brings back the school days when you bring one of these for lunch. Those days are no more fortunately.
Don’t think that needed butter, but here we are anyway. Presented on a “log” so to speak.
There were a few snacks to start with. All were meticulously presented. First up some smoked wallaby & black rice. Nice and crunchy. Presented on some “aussie bark”.
Loved these puffs with avocado inside. Definitely skill making these puffs. The cod roe was also delicious. Perfect starter to the night.
Roaming around you see Josh Pelham (Head Chef) and all the other chefs doing certain dishes. There is definitely order in the kitchen.
Had a Gosser Champagne to start off my day.
Lychee and Mint for IK.
A maidera for our next course.
I love the use of interesting ingredients like saltbush. Not too salty, very nice dish/soup.
Apparently the knife was made especially for ESP.
Started losing track of what wines I had. But i think this was a pino gris
Kingfish is almost a must in most restaurants nowadays. Very refreshing.
The Sommelier said this wine has much more depth of flavour and quite young.
Served by Josh the head chef; i had my eye on the bug when the chef was pan searing it with butter. Lovely foam and some chickpeas to go with it. tasty.
Definitely needed a red for the next course.
Probably my favourite dish tonight. Simple ingredients that goes so well together but well executed. There’s some crisps, duck and the sauce was just heaven.
Scott to the left and Josh to the right. A nice ambience to the restaurant.
A palate cleanser tomato soup (cold) and 2 tomatoes. Nice indeed.
3 desserts to finish. Firstly we had Olive oil crunch was in nitrogen and sprinkled on top. I loved this dessert.
Had a Stout with my dessert. At this point I didn’t think the wine pairing was that great as it seemed little compared to other degustation restaurants i’ve been to.
Also had another stout for this dish. Wasn’t as good as the other 2 dishes. Again maybe another type of dessert wine would have been better.
Sherbert Bombs. Reminds me when I used those spoons that came with the packet, and you put it in your mouth, the burst and sourness and sweetness that goes with it. IK loved this one.
I thought the food was well executed. I don’t mind a quick meal at times, and they timed it to perfection. I thought the wine pairing was not as worth as the cost of it ($130 additional). Should have given a few more esp during the dessert dishes. I loved our Scott interacts with his customers and asks which dish they like the most. Definitely good technique with the dishes and not overly complicated like Lume where I think they still have some fine tuning to do. Definitely need to come back again some time and maybe have more time to enjoy the food.
Rating : 15.5/20
Click here to their contact page to make a reservation.
We’re always looking new places to eat and we’ve almost been everywhere in Sydney so it was time to google and see which restaurants were rated highly. Stumbled across six penny voted one of the best restaurants in 2015 in Sydney. We didn’t drive so we took public transport which is just a short walk from stanmore station. There were no trains when we were there, so they had some replacement buses.
Six Penny is located in the suburbs and it seemed like an old house renovated into a restaurant on a corner. As you enter, there is a homely feel about this place. Degustation restaurants seems to be the go nowadays. We went to Lume in South Melbourne recently and this was another one.
First course was some snacks.
Cucumbers with raspberry, Cheese and Tomato Gourgeres and pumpkin scallops.
Our final starter was parsnips with carmalised cream. Looks like a baby carrot!
Now I opted for the wine pairing as well as I didn’t have to drive for once! Our first course was – Kingfish with Zucchini & Black Garlic. A nice seafood dish to start with. This was paired with a glass of 2013 Jo Landron Muscadet Sèvre et Maine ‘Le Fief du Breil’, Loire Valley – France. The Sommelier explained each wine with knowledge. I was just nodding away and waiting for the next one each time.
Also had some bread which was sour dough with butter.
Paired with one of many wines tonight.
The second course was Steamed Potato with Oyster & Mushroom. Now, talking about potato, it really has some sort of reminence of Attica’s humble potato dish. This was tasty nevertheless.
Next up was Flathead with Nettles & Toasted Cream. Again another familiar dish similar to Attica’s fish dish wrapped in bark
Next up was the Kangaroo Consommé with Mussels & Nasturtium. Found it hard to focus and take photos as it was getting pretty dark. Finally fired away after many attempts.
There were many wines from different regions and areas.
Next up for something more traditional. Lamb Rack with Peas & Capers. Wasn’t anything to say wow but well cooked. Paired with 2014 CRFT ‘Chapel Valley Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills – S.A
Now time for dessert. Milk Curd & Honey to cleanse the palate. Just what we needed.
Next dessert was the Mascarpone Ice Cream with Rice Custard & Lime Jelly. Paired with 2011 Alois Kracher ‘Beerenauslese Cuvée’, Burgenland – Austria. Again decent dessert.
Last up was Mille-Feuille with Lemon Myrtle & Apple. We always love mille-feuille as it will show whether the chef’s pastry skills are good or not. Wasn’t the crunchiest and tastiest we’ve had for sure but ok. Paired with 2011 Domaine Rotier Gaillac Doux ‘Renaissance’, South West – France.
Overall, I like Six-Penny as it showcased alot of australian local produce. It was very similar to Attica’s flavours and concepts and it shows in their food. A nice little suburban fine dining restaurant which is worth a second visit some day.
Rating : 15/20
Dish of the day : Think the Kangaroo Consomme by a tad.
Tips : Have the wine pairing. Didn’t even have time to take pictures of them too!
We are in Sydney to chill out this weekend. Made a few restaurant reservations and wanted to try out a few new places as well. We have been to Billy Kwong’s restaurant a few times but never in their new location in darlinghurst. We had to weave through the strip clubs and bars to get to this place and you’d think what a strange location to have one of the most famous chef’s in Australia.
After walking for about 10 mins from Kingscross station, you get to Billy Kwong’s restaurant. The one in Surry Hills was small, which only fitted a handful of tables. You always wonder if they expand of have a second restaurant whether it will kick off or not. Kylie obviously had contingency plans and this was no exception. It was busy but the staff seemed extremely experienced and dealt with everything very well.
Kylie was in the kitchen with her hands free set on to bark orders if need be. She seemed commanding and calm throughout.
The menu is the same old, the cursive handwriting where you have to look twice to make out some of the specials. s usual the deep fried duck and orange and Davidsons plum is on the menu.
There is a long bar table which probably sits 30 odd people. If you’re lucky enough you get to see Kylie at work. They all have these headphones on, staff gliding through the restaurant keeping an eye on you. They seem extremely experienced and service was impeccable.
Needed a beer badly and the waiter recommended the in house beer only available at Billy Kwong. I asked is it a lager and he said it’s “in its league of its own”. It was a bit sour, but refreshing & a bit creamy.
We usually order this when we come the Billy Kwong’s restaurant. The tofu is soft and just the simplicity of flavours. I do think there was a bit too much sauce.
Probably our favourite go to dish each time we come. I think the portions were a bit bigger last time but we love the flavours. I stole the duck leg and IK wasn’t happy! Goes well with jasmine rice.
Chinese love to eat their fish whole. I loved these flavours. You could potentially eat the whole fish if you wanted. This time the portion of sauce was just right. Very addictive and perfect with rice.
We also had a dessert ; a pannacotta with ginger sauce. I thought it was average as you get the “skin” of the pannacotta. It needed to be wobblier, softer and smoother. I missed out taking the photo as we were pretty tired.
Overall, it was great to come back to Kylie’s restaurant. It was an essential move to grow and move into a larger premise. The quality was still there but maybe not as good as when we went to her previous restaurant.