Archive for April, 2008

Le Bouchon – Bangkok

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

37/17 Patpong soi 2, Surawongse Road,
Bangkok 10500
Tel. 02-234-9109
Credit Cards: AE, MC, V
Open for Lunch and Dinner Noon-midnight, Mon-Sat; 7pm-midnight, Sun
Prices: Moderate

The Dining roomLe Bouchon restaurant is located in the heart of Patpong, the famous entertainment area in Bangkok.
It is located in a one floor shop-house with a large bar, small dining room, and an even smaller kitchen and toilet.

Seerge behind the BarThe amicable owner, Serge Martiani, is usually at the bar and you may have a chat with him. It has been very popular over the last ten years especially with the French crowd, and the main draw is not the menu but the real bistro feel of the place, it seems that everyone feels comfortable here and I would advise advance booking, due to the popularity and limited seating. You can always eat at the bar, if you can find a spot to squeeze in.

During a recent lunch and after looking at the very extensive blackboard menus, which are propped-up in front of you by the friendly tri-lingual waitresses, I chose to start with what turned out to be a very fresh tomato salad drizzled with vanilla scented, olive oil and sprinkled with pink peppercorns from Madagascar, and my dining companion ordered lentil soup for the first course. I followed with lamb shank with white beans while my friend had duck confit. It was all washed down with a good bottle of red Cahor wine.
This was followed by a couple of eau-de-vie Poire William to finish.

Indigo – Bangkok

Saturday, April 26th, 2008


Open: Daily from 11:30 lunch dinner 5:30pm
6 Convent Road
Bangkok, 10500
Tel: 02-235-3268
Owner: Alain Le Roy
Credit Cards: All major cards
Prices: Moderate

A couple of minutes walk from the BTS Saladaeng station and hidden at the end of a small soi off Soi Convent directly across from Molly Malone’s Irish Bar you will find this delightful French restaurant in a converted Thai house. It has a large bar with French doors that open out onto a courtyard where umbrella covered tables make a nice place to be seated in good weather. Snoopy the resident bartender is a friendly sort who is willing to entertain you with some magical tricks or prepare an excellent cocktail, he performs both equally well. The bar is a meeting place for French ex patriots and others who are informed enough to find this obscure location in the first place.

P4040047Khun Nok (Snoopy)P4050004Bigorneax


In season they import fresh oysters, bigorneax, bulots and shrimp from France. Overall, I really like the place and I always feel comfortable having a drink at the bar or a dinner in the dining room with friends. The rooms are laid out well, with tables not too far apart to kill energy levels and not too close that you feel that you are almost sitting in your neighbor’s lap.

The cooking tends to vary from good to acceptable depending on, I have not figured out exactly what, during the reign of several chefs over quite a few years.

Oysters from France

Brasserie Figaro – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

3-10 First Bldg., 1F
Tel 3499-6786
Credit Cards
Prices: Moderate

The word Brasserie is probably the most misunderstood and misused term in current-usage by the restaurant trade. This little place has no similarity to a brasserie whatsoever and more aptly put it is a cafe-pâtissière. With that minor bit of business put behind, the key here is the informal approach used in the cooking and serving of the customarily adequate food.

A cute cafe, with a good view of street traffic through large plate glass windows, although, the constant reverberating sounds of Edith Piaf can be irritating.

La Boheme – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

1f Kaneko Bldg. 7-11-4 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-Ku
Tel. 3499-3377
Hours: 11:30 am – 5:00 am
Credit Cards
Prices: Inexpensive

One of eight inexpensive little bistros located around Tokyo. The cooking is quite good considering the prices that are dirt-cheap by Tokyo standards. Two can dine here with a carafe of white and a carafe of red wine for about ¥7,000. Salads, pastas and the special Japanese pastas are good. The restaurant in Aoyama is quite nice looking and draws an interesting crowd until 5am in the morning. I commend this restaurant chain for their efforts. Every city in the world should aspire to have a comparable restaurant open most of the day and night, serving good food and wine at reasonable prices.

Komagata Dojo – Tokyo

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Tel 3842 4001
Taito-ku, Komagata 1-7-12
Open 11:30am-10:00pm
Credit Cards
Prices: Expensive (due to the rarity of the specialties)

This restaurant is an institution and it stays open all day without a break until 10pm. The two items they specialize in, whale and small fresh-water eel are now so rare that prices have kept escalating over the years.

It opened its doors in 1776 the same year America gained its independence. While they have a menu with some classic Japanese dishes most everyone comes to eat the white part of the whale, with plenty of burdock root and green onions displayed in side-dishes, which you may add to the steaming pot in the center of the table, and Dojo, which is a small fresh-water eel found in the rice fields. In my two visits over the years I have never seen anyone order anything else but these two items.

In the main dining room on ground level everyone is seated on the floor downstairs offers some table seating, however.

Bistrot de la Cité – Tokyo

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Tel. 03-3406-5475
Tojyo Bldg. 4-2-10, Nishiazabu, Minato-Ku
Credit cards: All Major
Prices: Food: Moderate-High, Wine: Very Expensive

The small dining room with its handful of tables is attractively decorated and makes you feel immediately comfortable. It is too bad for the restaurant, and especially cruel for the customer, that the menu is quite good for what it is—bistro cooking and quite frankly, somewhat overpriced, but all the wines worth drinking are outrageously overpriced.

If you feel like having dinner and drinking very little this is the place for you, if on the other hand, you wish to have more than a couple of glasses of wine you had better head elsewhere, which is exactly what we did; paid the bill and left, after finishing the first course, for another restaurant.

France Chubo Kaeriyama – Tokyo

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Akasaka Emerald Bld., 2A
2-8-13 Akasaka Hinatoku
Tokyo, 107-0052 Japan
Tel. 03-3583-5610
Credit cards: All Major

Dining Room

France Chubo Kaeriyama is a hidden treasure situated in a fairly typical Japanese
restaurant space, accessed by climbing up a tiny circular staircase from street level. It seats only about 25 persons and serves unswerving and marvelous classic French cuisine. Reservations are highly advised.
The chef/owner is Koji Kaeriyama, who previously worked in
various French restaurants in Tokyo, owned a restaurant in
Paris, and also did a stint working in a few restaurants in
Los Angeles before realizing his dream to open his own
restaurant in Tokyo.

A few of the items listed on the à la carte menu are:
Terrine of foie gras. jellied rabbit terrine, assiette de charcutrie

Duck confit with white beans, Beef cheek braised with red wine sauce

There are two prix fixe menus for lunch ¥1800 and ¥2500
Below are listed some typical lunch starters:
Pork terrine, seasonal fried river fish, minestrone with gobo root and white and brown beans, onion tart.
Main course: Tranche of Halibut coated with five kinds of crispy rice,
Beef cheek in red wine demi-glace sauce, pork with tomato flavored veal stock.
Dessert: floating island, fresh strawberries diced with mint and served with vanilla ice cream.

He receives organically raised pork from Hokkaido and visits the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo most mornings and the produce he uses is always top quality as well as being fresh. This charming restaurant is definitely worth a visit as it is run with loving care.

Kitchen 5 – Tokyo, Japan UPDATE

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Facade Kitchen 54-2-15, Nishiazabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
Tel. 03-3409-8835
Closed Sun, Mon, Holidays
Open 18:00-21:45 last order
No Credit Cards
Price: Moderate

Nothing has changed too much in thirteen years since I last wrote about this interesting restaurant for Wine & Dine Magazine (see original post). It is still operated by Mrs. Kobayashi who makes twenty different starters and twenty main courses set out tapas style on platters.

Counter DisplayAside from a few modernizations and upgrades the one thing that has drastically changed is that the cat, whose name is Michelangelo, who used to sleep on a pile of supplies now has his own bed and is nineteen years old. Many grammar-school children, who are not allowed to keep pets of their own for one reason or another, stop by in the morning to play with him.

All Nippon Airways

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

I always try to fly ANA when traveling because that allows for a stop-over in Tokyo, as I enjoy Japan immensely, although it would be more agreeable if it were less expensive. When the exchange rate is favorable to the dollar it makes it more affordable to dine there but as it is now in 2008, almost on par, it is difficult and yet it could be worse; I have experienced that as well in the past.

In my opinion, ANA is the best Japanese airline and one of the top Asian airlines, they are now considered to be the best as far as service is concerned in the world.

I realized that the airlines have been hit hard by rising fuel prices and I commend ANA for keeping their quality as best they can.

All Logos, designs are copyrighted and are the property of
All Nippon Airways.

P.G.A. Pub Cardinal Akasaka – Tokyo

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Akaska Biztower 1F (Akasaka Sacas),
5-3-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-4:00am;
Sun 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:00pm
Tel. 03-5545-7767
Prices: Moderate

Kitchen - P.G.A. PubI just wandered into this place in the newly opened development in Akasaka. It seemed as if it would be a good spot to wait for my next appointment. It lived up to all of that, and I stayed for more than one glass of a very pleasant house white wine called Biancello del Metauro ¥800 and few small dishes. The tapas menu ranges from ¥500 to 1600, small dishes such as: Caprese on a toothpick ¥700, Galycian style octopus ¥800, Mixed peas salad ¥500, Russian potato salad ¥500.