[Japan Series] Day 3: Ippudo Ginza 一風堂 銀座店

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

On Day 3, we trained to the Ginza district, which is home to one of Japan’s most expensive real estate. Here, you will find all your luxury retail stores, department stores, and fancy restaurants and cafes. Although I wasn’t expecting to purchase anything here, it is always fun to walk around and see the beautiful stores.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

There are your luxury stores here, but you can also find a huge Uniqlo store which has 12 floors! Uniqlo offers much more affordable prices and is perfect for every day wear.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

We didn’t spend too much time in department stores, but instead found Ginza Place, which actually opened in 2016, so was very new to us. Inside, it has a Nissan showroom, Sony showroom, and a few eateries.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

I am not a car person, but S is. However, I actually thought the Nissan showroom was really cool. They have some very futuristic cars including this one. I mean, how beautiful is this wooden interior? Other than cars, upstairs, we got to try the virtual reality headset, which was pretty cool. The Sony showroom also showcased many of their newest products. Worth stopping by if you’re interested in cars and to cool from the heat!

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

For lunch, there weren’t too many options in the area since many are on the pricier end and we didn’t want to splurge too much. I suggested we try Ippudo Ramen. The restaurant is now a chain and has stores internationally (although none in Vancouver). Both of us haven’t tried it, so this was a great opportunity! The Ippudo Ginza location is located in an alleyway off the main street and can be a bit hidden. When we arrived, there was a short line up, but luckily there are a few chairs for us to wait outside.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

We waited around 15 minutes and got our seat at the bar right in front of the chefs. The interior is quite modern actually and the seating is rather comfortable. The table has some side dishes that go well with your ramen. My favourite was the spicy bean sprouts. So addicting!

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Gyoza

We ordered Gyozas to share and they came with a small dollop of spicy chili paste. The gyozas were small but packed with flavour and pan fried to a beautiful golden brown. Crispy on the outside and juicy inside.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Shiromaru Classic – Special

I believe there are only 4 ramens to choose from. S and I ended up both having the Shiromaru Classic. This is their original tonkotsu ramen since their inception, so I had to see what it’s all about. The broth is cooked for over 18 hours and left to mature for 24 hours to extract the savoury taste of pork. It is served with homemade Hakata-style thin and straight noodles, cha-shu, black fungus and green onion. For 790 yen, you can get this basic bowl of ramen. However, we chose the Special which costs 1,020 yea and includes a soft boiled egg and a few sheets of seaweed. The ramen was good, but S and I both agreed we enjoyed Ichiran more. The broth is much lighter but still packed with a savoury pork flavour. My favourite was the egg though as it was cooked perfectly with the yolk spilling out. Not so sure if I would come back again in Japan again though since I thought it was quite comparable to some of the other ramen spots in Vancouver. Or maybe I’m just biased towards Ichiran!

After lunch, we walked around Ginza a bit more and began our long walk towards the Tsukiji Fish Market. To be continued…

Address: 4-10-3 Ginza | 1F Central Bldg., Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo Prefecture

Advertisements

[Japan Series] Day 2 Cont’d: Conveyor Belt Sushi at Numazuko Shinjuku

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Conveyor sushi belt restaurants are usually not that good, but are always fun to try out. I did some searching on Google and found Numazuko in the Shinjuku area was highly rated. However, when we went for an early dinner, there were no line ups and the inside was not busy. Guess that should’ve been a sign already…

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Anyways, we sat down, and were given a menu of which I think you can order directly from or you can choose the plates from the conveyor belt. Honestly, looking at the dishes that went by round after round, nothing really spoke to me. The other problem was that there weren’t that many other diners, so I felt that the sushi might have been sitting around for a while.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The plates are colour coded, which essentially tells you the price. I believe they start at 90 yen, but many of the sushi with fish cost up to 520 yen, which isn’t super cheap for a convey belt restaurant. Each plate comes with two pieces.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

After some slim pickings, I settled for the scallops and some salmon and tuna. Honestly, I didn’t think the seafood was very fresh and that we have much higher quality in Vancouver. It was quite disappointing, and I’m not sure why this spot is so highly rated. Perhaps if seafood is not readily available in your city, then this may be quite good, but compared to Vancouver sushi, this was below average. Wouldn’t recommend for Vancouver locals.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

After a disappointing night, we walked around the busy Shinjuku and enjoyed the night lights. I love how the streets of Tokyo are always so busy even late at night.

Address: 3-34-16 Shinjuku | 1F Ikeda Plaza Bldg, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture

[Japan Series] Day 2: A day in Shinjuku 新宿 – Ichiran 一蘭 and Wa Pasta

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

The next morning, we decided to take it slow and just walk around the streets of the Shinjuku neighbourhood. First things first – breakfast! There are many options and fancy bakeries in our neighbourhood, but trying to stick on a budget, we decided to go to Family Mart to just grab some quick snacks. I absolutely love the Family Marts and 7-Elevens in Asia. There are so many choices to choose from! My all time favourite are the onigiris. I ended up having these each morning. They are usually under 150 yen, so under CAD$2.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Shinjuku station is known as the world’s busiest railway station and home to the business and entertainment district. On a weekday morning, it wasn’t too busy as most locals were at work. Of course, it is still much more busy than the streets of Vancouver though! We decided to check out many of the famous Japanese department stores (because there is always so much to see even if we can’t afford it!) and also admire the tall buildings and towers in the area.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Getting close to lunch time, I suggested we check out Ichiran 一蘭, one of my favourite ramen spots in Japan. It is a chain restaurant, but I don’t care, because I absolutely love their ramen! If you’ve had Danbo Ramen in Vancouver and like it, then I’m pretty sure you will enjoy Ichiran. We went to the Shinjuku location, but there are Ichiran stores in almost every district.

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Even though we went to the restaurant before the peak lunch time, there was already a line up, and it didn’t stop after. Once you get closer into the store, there is a ticket machine, where you purchase your ticket for your ramen. This is really common in Japan, and I absolutely love it, as you don’t need to worry about payment after. The hostess can help you out if you have some trouble with the Japanese menu, but usually you can sort of figure it out. Then you are taken down closer to the seating area, where you will see a light up board that shows which seats are available. It’s super high tech like that! The hostess will also give you a piece of paper so you can fill out your specifications of the ramen you ordered.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The seating here is perfect for single diners as there are dividers separating each diner. However, you can easily close the divider so you can see your friend! This location only has 19 seats, but ramen is quick, so the turnover is usually within 30 minutes for each diner.

 

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Here is the ordering menu once you have purchased your ramen ticket. I like how they have an english version now, so no need to worry if you can’t read any Japanese. Here is my order! Once you are ready, you click the button on your table and hand your sheet along with your ticket you purchased to the person behind your table. I believe the ramen is 790 yen, and the soft boiled egg is at an additional cost.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com
Once you’ve handed in your order sheet and ticket, the person will pull the blind down. You basically won’t ever see the people behind the blinds during your whole visit. I love this intimacy so you can just enjoy your food. There are also cups on the side, green tea powder, and a tap for hot water so you can make your own green tea. I ordered the marinated soft boil egg, and this comes with the shell and a packet of salt. You will have to peel your own egg, but it’s worth it!

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

As you can see, the egg yolk in Japan is almost orange! Quite different from what I’m used to. The egg yolk is not really runny here, but more of a medium creamy texture. I still find it great with the ramen! You can also dip it with some salt to eat on its own.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Here is my order of ramen. The broth is rich and flavourful, and the noodles are thin and firm, just the way I like it. The selling point here is the spicy sauce, which is not numbing spicy, but extremely flavourful instead. Even if you don’t like spicy, like S, he still really enjoyed the broth on its own.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

S paid extra to purchase the extra chashu ticket. However, we were quite disappointed with this and the amount you get. I would skip this next time. Even the chashu that comes with the ramen already is not anything exciting. They are not known for the chashu, but rather the broth, spicy sauce, and noodles. Definitely would skip the extra meat next time.

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

After lunch, we continued to wander the streets of Shinjuku. We ended up inside Mylord, a trendy department store with 7 floors of shopping and 3 floors or restaurants. As our feet were getting tired, we decided to stop by a cafe to cool down and rest our feet. We ended up at Wa Pasta, which I can’t seem to find the restaurant name anymore. So not sure if the name changed, or if it no longer exists. I got the Yuzu and Orange Pudding which was creamy smooth and perfect with the citrus.

 

DSCF by SophiaHo on 500px.com

S got the Hazelnut Chocolate Cream Puff. Sweet and beautifully presented, perfect for those who love chocolate.

Overall, a cute cafe with both pastas and desserts to choose from. Mylord has so many options to choose from, so is a great place to stop by after shopping.

Ichiran (Shinjuku Central East Entrance location)

Address: 3-34-11 Shinjuku | Peace Bldg B1F, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture

Mylord Shinjuku

Address: Mylord, 1 Chome-1-3 Nishishinjuku, 新宿区 Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

[Japan Seires] Day 1: Marugame Seimen Shinjuku Gyoenmae, Tokyo

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

Almost a year later… I’m finally getting to my Japan travel posts. Last September, S and I did a 3 week vacation in Japan. Our first stop was in Tokyo and we booked an Airbnb in the Shinjuku area. Accommodation in Japan is expensive, so I highly recommend using Airbnb if you want to save some money. Hotels are obviously covenient, but can cost almost twice as much each night.

Our Airbnb host, Yopey, had a nice flat nearby Shinjukugyoenmae station. The station is 2 stations away from Shinjuku station, and around a 10-15 minute walk from the busy Shinjuku area. It is a residential neighbourhood, so not noisy at all. However, because it is a bit further away, we found that it was not as convenient, as we always had to walk at least 10 minutes after a long day or take the extra stations back. However, you definitely can save some money by living a little further away. The flat was also much larger than I expected for Japan, and everything was clean and modern. From past experiences, I would recommend staying in the Shibuya area if you enjoy shopping and the young lifestyle. Shinjuku felt more like a business district and shops were more high end.

From the Narita airport, it takes roughly an hour to get to the city center. Therefore, I actually recommend flying into the Haneda airport, if possible, as it is only 30 minutes or so away. However, most airlines fly into Narita and it is also usually cheaper as it’s their main international airport.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

By the time we got to our Airbnb, it was already around 8pm. And by the time we settled in, it was getting late. We decided to walk around the neighbourhood to find some quick eats. We ended up finding Marugame Seimen, which I later learned is a chain restaurant, known for quick, value and decent quality udon.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

You get to choose cold or hot udon, and you just let the chef know. I think there are more options, but clearly I couldn’t read all of the menu. The chef was very accommodating even though we spoke English. He then gives you your udon and you move down the line to the tempura station, where you can choose already prepared tempura to add to your udon. Then, the cashier will add up what you’ve got on your tray and you pay.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

S got a hot udon. They also provide a station where you can add green onion and tempura batter on top.

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

For myself, I got the cold udon, which comes with a light soy dipping sauce. We were both surprised with the quality of the udon for such a quick convenient shop and low price. The udon itself is below CAD$5 and was extremely chewy!

 

DSCF by ukijojo on 500px.com

The tempura though, is quite average. The batter is rather thick and the oil is old from reusing it. The tempura is also lukewarm as it has been sitting around. I would probably skip the tempura next time, but you sort of want something to go with your udon, hence people will still purchase it.

Overall, the spot is great if you need a quick cheap meal. We found lots of locals here, many of which were businessmen who had just gotten off work.

 

Address: 1-4-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo Prefecture

Ajishou

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Ajishou opened up earlier this year at the new Garden City mall. The interior is surprisingly very nice inside with a very modern look and a long sushi bar on one side. I heard that their lunch menu is quite affordable, so decided to give it a try. You can order a la carte, but they also have a lot of combos that range from $10 – $15. The dinner menu is much more expensive.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Many of their lunch combos, like the one I got comes with miso soup. This was quite average and wasn’t anything special.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Rainbow Chirashi Combo

I chose the Rainbow Chirashi Combo which comes with a Japanese salad, tempura, a chirashi-don, and some orange slices. The set was $12.50 and I thought it looked like a lot of food, but I was actually still hungry after. The chirashi-don is super small. And when I say small, I mean the amount of rice given was so little, that it left me hungry. You would think that they would give you more rice since it’s cheap, but I thought the ratio of sashimi to rice was really odd. There was salmon, tuna, hamachi, hokigai, ebi, avocado and tamago. The fact that they gave cooked shrimp instead of shrimp sashimi was slightly disappointing. The quality of the sashimi itself was average. It was fresh and not bad, but nothing to get excited about. Salad was typical with the usual Japanese dressing. As for the tempura, they actually give you two prawns, a squash, and yam. Batter was too thick, so reminded me of all you can eat tempura.

IMG by ukijojo on 500px.com

Ajishou Special Sushi Combo A

S got the Ajishou Special Sushi Combo A for $10.75. The set comes with dynamite roll, California roll, and cucumber roll. As you can see, the sushi is not very well constructed. The dynamite roll was cut too thinly so all the filling fell out. Even the California started to fall apart. Everything was just a mess and these are super simple rolls!

Overall, S and I were quite disappointed with Ajishou. The prices would be reasonable if they could execute with their quality and construction of the sushi. However, given there are so many other sushi restaurants in Vancouver to choose from, I don’t think I would be returning.

Pros:
– Ambiance is nice

Cons:
– Rolls fall apart easily
– Expensive for average quality, especially a la carte

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 2.5

Ajishou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taishoken

1.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Taishoken has been around for many years now, but for some reason or another, I never visited the restaurant. Possibly because its in Chinatown and I don’t go to that area that often. We arrived after work and were surprised to see a line up but luckily the wait was only around 15 minutes.

 

2.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

They have around 6 options for ramen, but they are well known for their tsukemen, or dipping ramen.

 

3.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pork Gyoza

You can add $3.50 to get a side with your ramen, so we got the Pork Gyoza. With a very nice char and crispy edges, these reminded me of the ones we had in Japan.

 

4.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Tonkotsu

S got the Tonkotsu which comes with 2 slices of pork chashu, bamboo shoots, seaweed, green onion and a soft boiled egg. The broth is a mix of pork and chicken. The broth is much thicker than what we are normally used to, so I thought it was bit oily although it was very flavourful.

 

5.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Tsukemen

For myself, I had to get what they are famous for, which is the Tsukemen. You can choose between, original, spicy or garlic miso. You also have the option to choose cold or warm noodles. I went for the original broth with cold noodles. The noodles come separately from the broth, so that you can dip the noodles into the broth each time you eat. The rich shoyu pork and chicken broth is topped with 2 slices of chashu, green onion, seaweed, bamboo shoots and a soft boiled egg.  The noodles are much firmer and thicker, but they are meant to be this way so that the thick broth sticks to the noodles. I really enjoyed the broth, but the problem I had was that the broth got cold very quickly. However, I saw some other guests ask for a hot stone to put under the bowl, so perhaps that could solve the problem. You can choose between lean or fatty pork as well, and of course I got the latter. I liked how the pork is a bit charred so it gives a smoky flavour. The fatty pork melts in your mouth, so I would definitely get that again. The egg was a bit of a disappointment though as it was not runny.

Overall, I can see why people line up for Taishoken. I would recommend getting the Tsukemen, but I think the Tonkotsu was nothing too special compared to the other ramen shops in Vancouver. Prices are pretty reasonable and service was typical to other ramen shops.

Pros:
– Good for tsukemen
– Cha-shu is nicely charred and melts in your mouth

Cons:
– Seating is a bit cramped and not very comfortable
– Broths can be a bit greasy

Price Range: $10-15

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 2 Overall: 3

Taishoken Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maruyama

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Maruyama opened last year in East Vancouver by Chef Yoshiyo Maruyama who previously worked at Blue Water Cafe as the raw bar chef.

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

The restaurant was is small but the simple black and wooden decor makes the space look very elegant. There are only 4 seats at the sushi bar if you want to watch the chef in action. It would be best to make reservations ahead of time to secure a spot.

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Maruyama is famous for their omakase tasting menu which features one of the more affordable prices in Vancouver. You can also order a-la-carte and their fish is supposed to be shipped from Japan daily.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

They also have homemade udon, tempura and various appetizers. The restaurant is fully licensed for liquor so they have some good options of sake, beer, and wine.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Goma-ae

We decided to go with the $40 tasting menu as you get to try a bit of everything. This five course menu is pretty good value, as it includes 5 pieces of nigiri. This starts off with a Spinach Goma-ae Salad, with peanut sauce and freshly roasted black sesame. One of my favourite appetizers at Japanese restaurants.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

5-Piece Nigiri

Next up was the 5-Piece Nigiri set which was what we really came for. The omakase set will change daily depending on what type of fish is fresh. That night, our omakase included: Bin Toro (albacore tuna belly), Warasa (wild yellowtail), Houbou (red gurnard), Hirame (flounder), and Isaki (threeline grunt). I had not heard of many of these fish, but they all tasted fresh and there were none that I disliked. My favourite was the toro as it was very fatty and the flounder which had a buttery texture and melted in my mouth. Interesting that the chef features mostly white fish in his omakase though as it would have been nice to have a mix. When you place your order, you will be asked whether you want wasabi or not in your sushi.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Cold Udon

Next up were their homemade udons. You can choose between hot or cold. Half of our table got the cold and the other half hot. The Cold Udon comes with a separate sesame base sauce with you can then pour onto the noodles. The noodles come with green onion, cucumber, seaweed, egg, and assorted mushrooms. I really liked their handmade noodles as they had a nice chew. They sort of remind me of the ones at Kinome.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Hot Udon

The Hot Udon comes with assorted mushrooms, wakame, tempura bits and a dashi broth. Both the cold and hot udon are special in their own way and I would highly suggest to try both.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Jumbo Prawn Tempura

A perfect pair with your udon is the Jumbo Prawn Tempura which comes with a small zucchini tempura as well. The prawn was large and bouncy but I did think that the batter could be a little thinner.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Matcha Ice Cream

To end your meal, the tasting menu finishes with a Matcha Ice Cream with a side of sweet red bean paste.

 

n by ukijojo on 500px.com

Overall, we thought that the Maruyama $40 omakase menu was a pretty good deal given we were all full and got the chance to try a variety of their dishes. However, if you are looking to only eat nigiri sushi, then you can try their nigiri-only omakase which goes for $35, $60, or $75 depending on the number of pieces you get and how premium the fish is. They also have some pretty good lunch deals, so I will definitely be back again.

Pros:
– $40 omakase tasting menu is pretty good value
– Handmade noodles were solid

Cons:
– If you order a-la-carte, the prices can be pretty steep

Price Range: $40 (omakase tasting menu)

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 4 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 3.5 Overall: 4

Maruyama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raw Bar at the Lobby Lounge (at Fairmont Pacific Rim)

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Torched Wagyu Beef Salad; Bloody Mary

Back in December, I took S out for her birthday at the Raw Bar at the Lobby Lounge located inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim. In the winter months, they had a five-course cocktail brunch for $42 per person with the cocktail pairing for an additional $28.

For the first course, there are two selections, so of course we got one of each. I chose the Torched Wagyu Beef Salad which comes with red onion, sake-beet puree, scallion-ginger emulsion, nori chips and miso creme fraiche. The wagyu beef was tender and melted in my mouth! The only complaint was that the beef was served cold, but I guess since it is a salad, the rest of the ingredients are cold.

The cocktail pairing was a Bloody Mary with vodka, lemon, tomato juice, sriracha, horseradish, salt, and pepper. I normally don’t like Bloody Marys but I actually quite enjoyed this one as the spice level was just right.

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Red Tuna Tataki

S got the Red Tuna Tataki  with yusuf cosh vinaigrette, soy glee, daikon, and micro greens. This was beautifully presented and the tatami was seared just enough while keeping the centre a beautiful pink.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Light- Zaiten

The tuna tataki was paired with a Light-Zaiten which consisted of gin, organic green tea, dry vermouth, rosemary, cucumber and lime. This was a light and refreshing drink which paired well with the fresh tuna.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Signature Bacon and Sable Miso

The second course was the same for everyone which was the Signature Bacon and Sable Miso. This soup featured bacon dashi, house-cured sablefish, ginger and scallions. This is definitely a gourmet miso soup and we both really enjoyed it. The bacon bits with the sablefish was absolutely delicious and paired so well together! I only wish this came out piping hot as it was served warm rather than hot.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Beer Makes Miso Happy

The miso soup was paired with Beer Makes Miso Happy which we thought would be beer at first, but it was served in a tall cocktail glass. Turns out it consists of Grand Marnier, wheat beer, ginger, and lemon. The ginger flavour was very strong so if you’re not a beer drinker, you can still enjoy this. Love how they put puns in their menu names by the way!

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Wild Salmon Motoyaki “Benny”

For the third course, S chose the Wild Salmon Motoyaki “Benny”. This is their take on an eggs Benedict as it’s not what you would usually see. It came with a poached egg, sweet milk bread, inure, miso hollandaise and avocado. Unfortunately, the egg rolled off and broke once our server placed it down. However, S really enjoyed the dish and the twist from the traditional.

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Kurobuta Pork Kakuni

For myself, I had the Kurobuta Pork Kakuni, which feature braised pork belly, 62 degrees egg, sweet soy broth, daikon, carrot, potato, and tamanishiki rice served on the side. The pork was very tender with the fatness bringing some richness to the dish. The soy broth was delicious with the rice and the egg was poached perfectly with the yolk oozing out. By this course, we were starting to get full, so the rice itself makes this course even more filling.

 

o by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Pepe Le Pew; Pork ‘N’ Cider

The cocktail pairing for the salmon benny was the Pepe Le Pew, which featured a Lillet rose, sherry, and sparkling brut. This was definitely sweeter but I enjoyed the fizz from the sparkling brut. The cocktail pairing for the pork belly was the Pork ‘N’ Cider which featured Lonetree cider, sweet vermouth and sherry. The sherry paired really well with the pork although I found the drink on the sweeter side.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Sushi Omakase; Sparkling Junmai Sake

The fourth course was the Sushi Omakase, which featured a spicy tuna maki, temari sushi topped with crab meat, halo sushi topped with cured saba, and salmon and tuna nigiri. Honestly, this was one of the courses I was excited for, but I felt that the sushi left me disappointed. The presentation was not as nice as I expected, and the fish was cut sort of choppy. The seafood is oceanwise here, which is a plus, but I just didn’t find the fish very fresh. As for the pairing, this came with Sparkling Junmai Sake, which I really enjoyed. It can be quite strong for some though.

 

[] by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Yakult Shooter; Wakayama Beach

For dessert, the five course meal ended with a Yakult Shooter, which featured plum glee, pear, matcha green tea, black sesame powder and yusuf pearls served in oyster shells. This was visually beautiful to look at, but S and I both agreed we were confused with the flavours and ultimately did not enjoy it. Something was just off about it. This came with the Wakayama Beach which featured gin, yuzu, basil, coconut water, and ginger. The drink was a refreshing drink to finish off the meal, although we were quite buzzed after the 5 drinks!

As it was S’s birthday, I mentioned to the server the special occasion hoping to get a message written on our dessert, but they ended up giving us a delicious plate of truffles on the house which I thought was very sweet.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the five course brunch and would highly recommend getting it with the cocktail pairings. You get quite a lot of food and will be stuffed at the end and given its reasonable price, I think it’s a pretty good deal. I did have some issues with service, since I made the reservations a month in advance through email and had received confirmation. Yet, when I arrived, they told me there was no such reservation. Quite disappointed with that given they are such a large hotel, but luckily since it was a snow day, the restaurant was not very busy. Our server also did not tell us what our drinks were each time she placed them down, which would be expected at hotel restaurant. However, the ambiance of the restaurant is A+ since it has amazing natural light coming in and the simplicity of white tables and chairs with the orange chopsticks makes the setting visually appealing. I will be back again if they have other set menus in the future!

Pros:
– Cocktail pairings are on point with overall good food
– Ambiance and plating is visually beautiful

Cons:
– Service was a miss for us

Price Range: $50-80

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 5 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 3.5

RawBar at The Lobby Lounge - Fairmont Pacific Rim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato