Archive for the ‘Tokyo’ Category

WIFI in Japanese Taxis Denoted by DoCoMo Red Sticker – Tokyo

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

(image credit: DoCoMo Japan)

There are many ways to get around Tokyo, although for visitors taxis usually come at the bottom of that list. Drivers rarely speak English and, compared to the rest of the world, they’re quite expensive (about $8 to start, going way up from there). If you happen to land in one they are impeccably clean and sophisticated, that sophistication getting a boost now by DoCoMo. Eight hundred twenty impeccable black sedans for hire in Tokyo will be outfitted with WiFi, freely available to customers in the back seats. One hundred of the cars will even have Sony PSPs available in the rear as well, which is odd as most everyone in Tokyo has one. These specially equipped taxis can be identified by the red DoCoMo WiFi stickers on the doors, so don’t accept anything less, no matter how late you are for dinner in one of the many Michelin starred restaurants or late night ramen shops available in Tokyo.

Akihabara News

Akasaka Prince Hotel, Awaits Demolition – Tokyo

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Akasaka Prince Hotel, TokyoAkasaka Prince Hotel, Tokyo (image ©2010

The Akasaka Prince Hotel with its entire exterior faced with white Carrera marble was designed by award-winning architect Kenzo Tange, and is located in the heart of downtown Akasaka, one of the most important districts in metropolitan Tokyo. Guests staying at what is now named Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, formerly Akasaka Prince Hotel Tokyo, are offered the outstanding benefits of an unbeatable location, combined with impeccable accommodations inclusive of a wide range of amenities and facilities and an uncompromisingly high level of service. Unfortunately, the same fate that befell another beautiful Tokyo landmark, the Capital Tokyu a couple of years ago, will now strike the Akasaka Prince Hotel, and it will be another victim of so-called “urban improvement”.

In a city that is particularly known for its lack of available space, the 761 rooms of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, are all the more remarkable for the amount of space afforded, with the smallest room offering 252 square feet, larger than many studio apartments in this crowded city. Each room has been deliberately designed to be a corner room, and offers a spectacular view of downtown Tokyo.

A16 Tokyo

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010


A16  celebrated their 1st year anniversary of the opening of the Tokyo branch a few days ago. The San Francisco restaurant in the Marina district is offering a few dishes from the Tokyo branch for a limited time.



〒100-6901 東京都千代田区丸の内2-6-1 丸の内ブリックスクエア1F
JR東京駅 南口 徒歩5分
JR有楽町駅 国際フォーラム口 徒歩3分 (国際フォーラム前)
地下鉄千代田線二重橋前駅 1番出口 徒歩3分


不定休 (丸の内ブリックスクエアに準ずる)


•    チョットぐに追加
•    店舗トップ
•    メニュー
•    地図
•    口コミ
•    あとで見比べる
•    ケータイ・PCに送る
•    チョットぐに登録

2010年9月2日・3日・4日 3日間限定☆ オープン1周年記念スペシャルランチ&ディナー ご予約受付中!
•    オープン1周年記念スペシャルランチ&ディナー内容はコチラ!
•    チョットぐに追加
•    店舗トップ
•    メニュー
•    地図
•    口コミ
•    あとで見比べる
•    ケータイ・PCに送る
•    チョットぐに登録



DiningThe dining room

•    カリフォルニア
•    パスタ・ピザ
•    グリル料理
A16 基本情報


•    3,500円(通常平均)
•    4,000円(宴会平均)
•    1,300円(ランチ平均)

70人(着席時) 100人(立食時)
有 282台(共有)


携帯の電波が入る(ソフトバンク、NTT ドコモ、au) 英語メニューあり 英語を話せるスタッフがいる ソムリエがいる店 ワインセラーがある

TerraceThe terrace

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku – Tokyo

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Marugo Wine Bar, Shinjuku, Tokyo

東京都新宿区新宿3-7-5, Tokyo
Shinjuku 3-7-5. Open 5pm-2am daily.
Phone: 03-3350-4605
Opening Hours:  5pm-2am daily.
Prices: Moderate

It is a very small space so be prepared to squeeze-in and if you choose to do so you can enjoy meeting new acquaintances in a very short period of time. Tapas-style small plates of olives, various canapes, and cheeses are ¥500; duck liver pate is ¥700. There are pasta dishes and pizza and additional main course items available as well. Most of the wines are French selections with a great percentage of them being organic. Of course, the menu is in Japanese, although a few of the staff, when coaxed, speak a little English. They have opened another branch Marugo 2, offering Italian cooking and a wine list weighted more to Italian regional wines as well as French. Tel. 3356-1052.

Garçon de la Vigne – Hiroo, Tokyo

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Garcon de la Vigne, Hiroo, TokyoHiroo 5-7-11, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo
Tel. 3445-6626
Opening Hours: Noon-2pm, 6pm-2am, Closed Sunday
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Inexpensive – Moderate

Garçon de la Vigne is a small French restaurant and Wine Bar with emphasis on the regions of Burgundy including Beaujolais and some selections from the Loire Valley with many choices of “biological” wines (chemical free). There are prix-fixe lunches at very reasonable prices ranging from ¥1200-¥2800. Wine Bottle prices start at ¥4,900. The owner is a sommelier who worked in France in an organic vineyard.  He is very “organic” oriented, even going as far as purchasing only organic produce, that is bought on a contract basis from small growers from the countryside.

Selan Restaurant – Tokyo

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Selan Restaurant Tokyo (photo credit: selan-tokyo)2-1-19 Kita Aoyama, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 107
Tel. 03-3478-2200
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 6-9:30pm; Sun 11:30am-2:30pm and 6-8:30pm (last order)
Cuisine Italian
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

Selan is located on the road leading to the Tokyo Museum and Meiji-Jingu-Gaien Park with a large open-air terrace in the front. The interior of the restaurant is stark white and brutally modern but is mellowed by views from the many windows onto surrounding trees and the bustle of the large open kitchen.
The set lunch menu is a good choice here and offers a starter, main course, dessert and coffee or tea. Each course was attractively presented and neatly placed on the plate.
This place is popular with a young, affluent crowd and there is usually a wait for a table especially during lunch on the weekends or on holidays.
Californian or Italian wine selections are available by the glass at relatively reasonable prices.

Ristorante Massa – Tokyo

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Pictured above: our daughter, Akiko Grace Marshal on the shoulder of Chef Masahiko Kobe at Ristorante Massa, Tokyo

1-23-22 Ebisu
Tokyo, Japan
Tel. (81) 03-5793-3175
Nearest Station: Ebisu
Website: (Japanese)
Opening Hours: 11:30am to 3:00pm (last order 1:30) and 6:00pm to 11:00pm (last order 9:30), closed Wednesdays and the first Tuesday of each month
Credit Cards: Yes
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

Italian Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe,  also known as “The Italian Iron Chef”, opened his restaurant Massa in the year 2000 and due to his celebrity status it was an instant success. The menu at Massa changes daily and lunch is very popular, due to the small size of the restaurant booking is advisable. He was known as the “Prince of Pasta” when he was on TV and it is not a shock that his menu specializes in pasta.

He is one of Japan’s top chefs and by the age of 27 he had risen to be one of the top chefs at three-star Michelin Enoteca Pinchiorri, in Florence, Italy before being taken by the producer of “Iron Chef”.

The wine list is 100 percent Italian and has a good selection from most regions of the country.
There are two choices for dinner: the 6,000 course, and the 8,000 course. Both are among Tokyo’s greatest culinary bargains. Booking is essential: the ten tables are always full.

We were given an introduction to him by our friend, Chef Angelo Rottoli, Beccofino Restaurant, Bangkok, who was his roommate and they also worked together at Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence.

Jewel-Box Restaurants of Japan

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Pictured above is the Cover Page of an article I wrote for Wine & Dine Magazine featuring this photo of a Miko Girl in Kyoto. The shot was very difficult to obtain as these young girls, in training to be Geisha Girls, do not like to be photographed, though my Japanese wife was insistent on capturing this photo and had to chase her down the street to take it.

These restaurants represent, for the most part, owner/chef run places in hard-to-find narrow streets. Most are tiny, usually seating 20 or so customers on stools at a counter-bar and a possible table or two.
The quality of the cuisine and the amazing attention to the minutest detail could certainly not be accomplished in a restaurant serving a greater amount of people. Other restaurants included are serving certain specialties and are among the best of their class. About a third of the establishments originally included have gone out of business and have been eliminated from this update. Note: The magazine’s editor had space constrictions and severely edited the text.

Steak House Hama
7-2-10 Roppongi, Minata-ku, Tokyo
Tel. (03) 3403-1717
Opening Hours: Lunch Noon-2:30pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Very Expensive
(other branches around the city)

A handsome interior with highly lacquered chairs that are more suitable to a company board room. These steak restaurants serve high-quality produce at extremely expensive prices; they mainly cater to show biz personalities and business moguls on expense accounts.
Stainless steel flattop grills trimmed in brass and fine woods are a far cry from Benihana of Tokyo, the laughable chain of comical grill men that try to entertain the masses in the U.S. One steak is a minimum of $100, foie gras $40.00, rice with garlic a mere $12, a simple Macon Village White Burgundy $70.00 and corkage charge $50.00 a bottle. (expect that these prices may have doubled as these prices were valid a few years ago).

Le Recamier
2-3, Moto Azabu 3-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0046
Tel. (03) 3408-5044
Opening Hours: Lunch:11:30am-2pm; Dinner: 5:30pm-10pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

This restaurant is named after the time-honored hangout for journalists in Paris, on the quiet rue Recamier. A former chef now cooks seasonal specialties in Tokyo. The cuisine is top rate and the prices are well below other spots of the same caliber.

Queen Alice
3-2-3, Mooto-Azabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 106
Tel. (03) 3402 9039
Opening Hours: Lunch:11:30am-2pm; Dinner: 5:30pm-10pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate-Expensive

This Picturesque restaurant has several nicely appointed rooms, all are crammed with tables and chairs to the absolute maximum, to shift your chair even a few centimeters from the table you might restrict the movement of the waiters. A solarium tucked away at the back of the restaurant is pleasant enough, especially at lunch on a gloomy day. The praiseworthy French cuisine is complimented by a well-stocked wine cellar.

Cafe La Boheme
1 Fl. Kaneko Bldg. 7-11-4 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-Ku
Tel. (03) 3499-3377
Opening Hours: 11:30am-5am
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Moderate

Cafe La Boheme is one of eight moderately priced 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 $50. Salads, pasta and the special Japanese pastas are good. The restaurant in Aoyama is very nice-looking and draws and interesting crowd until 5am in the morning. I commend this restaurant chain for their efforts and I wish that every city in the world should aspire to have comparable restaurants open most of the day and night, serving good food and wine at reasonable prices.

Tel. (03) 31129 4129
Minato-Ku Moto Akasaka 1-5-25
Opening Hours: Lunch:11:30am-2pm; Dinner: 5:30pm-10pm
Credit Cards: MC, Visa
Prices: Very Expensive

A small, charming place serving Sukiyaki. Everything is cooked separately in front of you. An egg wash is made by painstakingly beating the whites with chopsticks while avoiding breaking the yolk that rests in the center. The resulting bowl is fluffy whites around a yellow yolk moon in the center where you dip the Sukiyaki. A difficult task, I can tell you, as I tried to do it and made a mess. There is a comfortable little bar if you wander down the little path that leads to the back of the restaurant.

Daini’s Table
6-3-14 Minami-Aoyama, Minata-Ku
Tel. (03) 3407-0363
Opening Hours: Lunch: 11:30am-2pm; Dinner: 5:30pm-10pm
Credit Cards: All Major
Prices: Expensive

This small space is decorated in tones of lacquered dark green and striking Chinese red. The bar is red and the tables green. Exquisite antique kimonos are inset into recessed spaces in the walls and are protected by glass. The kitchen of this small restaurant puts out quality Chinese cuisine in French-style courses rather than all at one time as is customarily Chinese.

La Maison du Chocolat – Paris

Monday, November 17th, 2008

La Maison du Chocolat is based in Paris, and its chocolates are consistantly recognized as some of the best in the world. Most chocolates are dipped rather than molded, producing a very thin chocolate cover that melts perfectly with the filling in the mouth. The most popular filling at La Maison du Chocolat is the ganache (a mix of dairy cream and chocolate), here it is elevated to a rare perfection of taste and texture. Ganaches are subtly flavored with the use of scented ingredients (almond, cinnamon, ginger, lemon, coffee, fennel…) that blend perfectly well with the taste of the chocolate. The chocolate base used is from the famous French producer Valrhona. As often, quality has its price about US$60 per pound.

The pastries offered at La Maison are also exceptionally well made, on a par with those made in the best patisseries in Paris. All have of course a powerful chocolate taste. Try for example the Bacchus (layers of chocolate cake and chocolate ganache), or the Andalousie (chocolate cake, with lemon zest cream and truffle mousse). For U.S. residents La Maison du Chocolat has a store at 30 Rockefeller Center (tel. 212 265-9404) as well as stores in Paris, London and Tokyo.

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.