Merry Christmas 2010!!

Headed to Vancouver & Yellowknife tonight!!
A little early but wishing everybody a
Merry Christmas!!


A Mascara D 'O Pulecenella (Yokohama, Kanagawa)

I had dinner one night with a friend at a small boutique style
Italian Restaurant called A Mascara D 'O Pulecenella.

Antipasto: Tartara di Manzo
Raw beef marinated with
three different types of ingredients:
Basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Mushrooms.
You can taste the freshness of the beef
and it goes so well with the toast points.
I would definitely order this one again.

Carpaccio Di Pesce (北海道産 水蛸のカルパッチョ)
The white piece of meat you see in dbetween the two cubes
is the fresh Octopus Carpaccio from Hokkaido, Japan.
I really liked the cubed fresh vegetables mixed in
within the salad, and also the basil pesto dressing
which was perfect and not overpowering the taste of the fresh greens.

Pizze Mozzarella Ottima,
ottima meaning excellent quality.
Only 5 are made daily due to the small quantity
of the 100% handmade mozzarella cheese.
So simple but so good.
I love the thin crispy crust of their pizzas.

Everything was so good that we just had to order another pizza.
Funghi (旬のキノコ)
Mozzarella, Seasonal Mushrooms, Mushroom Paste, Parmigiano Reggiano.

Their menu changes seasonally which is great too.
Highly recommended when in Yokohama.


Doremi どれ味 (Ginza, Tokyo)

I happened to be in Tokyo for my birthday this year,
so we celebrated at Doremi of Tokyo (どれ味 of Tokyo)
known for their Teppanyaki.

It was one of the restaurants that I really looked forwards to,
because my sister always talks about how great it is.

My sister and her boyfriend are great friends with the
Owner/Chef Captain Hirano,
which was great because I love dining at places that
make you feel more involved and at a personal level with the chef or staff.
We were also able to sit at the counter seats
to watch him prepare every course for us.

It all began with the
NY-Style Pan-Fried Breaded Garlic Scallops.

Next up, Cod with ‘Saikyo’ Miso Doremi-Style.

Grilled Oysters sandwiched with pancake and grilled pork belly.
First time experiencing this very unique combination.

Doremi Hamburg, Doremi’s ‘One Spoon’ and Beef Fillet.
Each course was like eating a piece of art.

Doremi Monjya-Yaki.
The consistency actually reminded me of Risotto.

Acqua Pazza of Homard Lobster.

Fried Rice with chopped onions.
The stacked onions resemble a volcano,
especially when steam is coming out.
So neat.

Erupting Volcano.
The performance was pure entertainment.
Cooking is one thing, but entertaining your customers
while still maintaining the consistency of the taste of the food,
I felt, was just amazing.

My favorite course of the night:
Doremi style Okonomiyaki with stewed beef intestine,
topped with chopped green onions.

Owner/Chef Captain Hirano.
He has 3 restaurants in Tokyo and also a
Yakiniku restaurant in Honolulu.
He has a blog which he updates daily,
which I look forwards to reading.

Dessert: Pancakes covered with whipped cream
topped with baked coconut shavings.

Such a memorable Birthday...


Paris S'eveille (Jiyugaoka, Tokyo)

Another must visit when in Tokyo.
My favorite Patisserie Paris S'eveille (パリ・セヴェイユ).

When you walk into the small boutique store with about 20 seats,
there is a glass showcase displaying a variety of seasonal cakes.
Their cakes that consists chocolate are my absolute favorite,
you can never go wrong.
Not too sweet and goes so well with coffee.
Perfect for an afternoon tea time or just anytime.


Kotatsu (Azabu Jyuban, Tokyo)

Kotatsu was by far one of my favorite restaurants on my food tour in Japan.
The atmosphere, service, and most importantly the food.

Entrance. I love the warm lighting and the subtle sign on the top right.

Porcupine needles can be used as toothpicks. Cute!!

The little details were amazing.
Loved the open kitchen where you can see the personable
chefs preparing you great food.
Yakitori (skewers) were awesome.
Probably some of the best and most unique that I've had.

Kotatsu has their original Japanese Sake called "Mei".
It is polite to pour beers or sake for people in Japan.
You'll see it a lot at restaurants and bars.

Very rare to see the counter seats empty.
There are only about 8 counter seats and
20 seats total in the whole restaurant,
but good thing I got this shot on the left
because it wasn't empty for long!!

The middle was our absolute favorite.
It's Shark Fin pieces with Ume (Japanese plum) flavoring,
mixed with fresh Cucumbers and Okra on a base of thinly sliced Jellyfish.
I ate at this restaurant at least 4 times while I was in Japan,
but we always ordered it. Sometimes more than 1.

Grilled Sanma (Saury) which is in season in the fall,
and Fried Aji (Mackerel).
Both were so flavorful and prepared perfectly.