Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bekku Tonkatsu @ Jasmine City, Bangkok - เบคคุ ทงคัทสึ @ จัสมินซิตี้ กรุงเทพฯ

Cuisine: Japanese (Tonkatsu)
Charged Price: THB300 per person without alcohol
Visited: 12 February 2016
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Value for money: 4/10
Services: 5/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Rumour was around (good or bad, it is not the matter) a few years back when Bekku, which was situated at Thonglor, was shutted down. Now it has returned at the new location on the basement floor of Jasmine City on Sukhumvit Road. This new store at Jasmine City is much bigger than the old place. Things are kept in minimal concept. What's good about this new location is convenience and Japanese are around.

p.s. Notice the Son Goku at the front of the store and you won't miss the place.

Bekku Tonkatsu @ Jasmine City

store front with Son Goku

ordinary simple decor

Nothing much about the concept of this place really except another specialty in deep-fried pork cutlet. The procedure for katsu dishes here starts with choosing your choice of meat and then followed by side dishes set, which is refillable, as desired. You may also opt for rice only at the price of THB50 per person. In my humble opinion, THB50 for rice is obviously expensive.

As with other tonkatsu joints, you may start with milling your sesame before adding in tonkatsu sauce. Now you are ready to go. For us, we had a chance to try Pork Tenderloin with Daikon Sauce (6/10). I have to say my expectation was higher than this (at least it was). Pork was tender. However, I felt then it could be crispier with more juiciness and flavour. The daikon sauce is like ponzu sauce with lots of grated daikon. The other dish we tried is Katsu Don (6/10). Not bad but not great. The overall flavour was ok. Nevertheless, seasoning such as onion, egg, and etc. could be much more to enhance flavour. Otherwise, it is an enjoyable one.

If you were to ask me about this place. I gotta say it is ok but don't just waste your time travelling all the way here just to taste it like me. In case you are around the place, it might not harm you just to experience it.

milling sesame

pouring in the sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Daikon Sauce (THB290)

zooming in a bit more

Katsu Don (THB220)

Bekku Tonkatsu @ Jasmine City, Bangkok - เบคคุ ทงคัทสึ @ จัสมินซิตี้ กรุงเทพฯ
Floor B1, Jasmine City
2 Soi Sukhumvit 23
Sukhumvit Road
Khlong Toey Nuea, Wattana
Bangkok 10110

Open Hours: Mon-Sat from 11:00am - 02:00pm for lunch and from 05:00pm - 10:00pm for dinner

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yalumba The Octavius 2004

Date of Tasting: 14 November 2015
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 100% Shiraz
Alcohol: 14.5%
Origin: Barossa, Australia
Appellation: Barossa Valley
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR70
Chubby Appreciation: 94/100
Critics' Opinion: WA - 96/100, WE - 94/100, ST - 93/100, WS - 92/100, JR - 17.5/20, DC - 17.5/20, CT - 92/100

Appearance: Dark inky purple.
Aroma: Peppery, blueberry and raspberry. Mild eucalyptus and chocolate.
Palate: Velvety big boy but fine and smooth. Well structured. Long to the end. Concentrated fruits in the form of liqueur like. 

Pretty much adore this new world shiraz. It was big but also in the possession of elegance. I didn't feel much of the oozy chewy Australian shiraz here but fine yet powerful one. Such a privilege to enjoy this Yalumba now. Nice piece of rib eye and you are done.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sushi Tokami (鮨とかみ) @ Ginza, Tokyo

Cuisine: Sushi
Charged Price: JPY10,800 per person without alcohol
Visited: 13 November 2015
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Services: 9/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Hiroyuki Sato of Sushi Tokami is, in my humble opinion, a non-ordinary sushi master at his age. Not so much fancy for his almost flawless execution but things could be just so ozzzzz.'s umami in Japanese, I guess. This tiny sushi bar, of 8 seats, on basement floor of Seiwa Silver Building in Ginza is defitely an extraordinary one with future.

Sushi Tokami (鮨とかみ) @ Ginza, Tokyo

Seiwa Silver Buidling

where great sushi are prepared!!!

the energetic Hiroyuki Sato at his work

look like a delicious roll

The very first to arrive was Oyster Boiled with Daikon (7/10). It might not be standing out for this cold appetiser but surely enjoyable. Then the very first nigiri was Hirame (平目) - Flounder (8/10) which was fresh and possessed the right chewiness texture. Just only the overwhelmed fragrance of wasabi that was irritating. Sumi Ika (墨いか) - Cuttlefish (9/10) on the other hand was tender but with texture. Nice explosion of flavour without fishy saltiness.

Oyster Boiled with Daikon

Hirame (平目) - Flounder

Sumi Ika (墨いか) - Cuttlefish

After that, Baby Snapper (8/10) was brought on. Not sure whether I got the name right. What I heard was Katsuo (鰹) which usually means bonito but it was baby snapper for this incidence. Not a big deal though. Nevertheless, rather on the side of sourness piece of Akami Zuke (赤身漬け) - Marinated Red Tuna (9/10) came in rich taste and melted-in-mouth texture. Afther that, the perfect piece of Chu Toro (中とろ) - Medium Fatty Tuna (10/10) arrived in style. It just melted right away leaving so much of flavour behind.

Baby Snapper???

Akami Zuke (赤身漬け) - Marinated Red Tuna

Chu Toro (中とろ) - Medium Fatty Tuna

Moving on to kind of marinated sushi, Kohada (小鰭) - Gizzard Shad (9/10) at this instance was well made with excellent quality. Kuruma Ebi (車海老) - Tiger Prawn (10/10) was surely one of the very best alongside Sushi Saito and Sushi Mizutani. Nonetheless, Kisu (鱚) - Silver Whiting (8/10) which was just an oridnary fish, somehow presented itself rather ok. Sawara (鰆) - Spanish Mackerel (9/10) showed lime aroma with almost perfect mind-blowing texture.

Kohada (小鰭) - Gizzard Shad

Kuruma Ebi (車海老) - Tiger Prawn

Kisu (鱚) - Silver Whiting

Sawara (鰆) - Spanish Mackerel

The very last range began with Saba (鯖) - Mackerel (9/10) which was so sweet, so smooth and so without sea breeze aroma. A kind of shell, Hamaguri (蛤) - Clam (10/10), was the next one. It came with a kind of rather sweet sauce. Crisp, fresh, bouncy, and balance. Ikura (いくら) - Salmon Roe (10/10) which is one of my all time favourite had come just before the smoothy Anago (穴子) - Sea Eel (10/10) arrived. 

Saba (鯖) - Mackerel

Hamaguri (蛤) - Clam

Ikura (いくら) - Salmon Roe

Anago (穴子) - Sea Eel

As in other sushi restaurant, the Hand-rolled Tuna (10/10) and Sweet Omelette (9/10) came to be the finish items. The maki was at the very level of satisfaction. On the other hand, the sweet omelette was excellent too. It was just the texture that still cannot beat Sushi Mizutani. But the burnt caramel on top layer was definitely gorgeous. Surely look forward to the next visit at Sushi Tokami. Cheers guys!!!!!!!!!

hand rolled tuna

sweet omelette

miso soup with egg

Sushi Tokami (鮨とかみ) @ Ginza, Tokyo
Floor B1, Ginza Seiwa Silver Building (銀座誠和シルバービル)
8-2-10 Ginza
Tokyo 〒104-0061

Open Hours: Mon-Sat from 12:00pm - 02:30pm for lunch and 05:30pm - 10:00pm for dinner
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3571 6005

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Vallegrande 2011

Date of Tasting: 6 September 2015
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 100% Nebbiolo
Alcohol: 14.5%
Origin: Treiso, Italy
Appellation: Barbaresco DOCG
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR30
Chubby Appreciation: 92/100
Critics' Opinion: AG - 91/100, JS - 92/100, JR - 16.5/20

Appearance: Bright garnet.
Aroma: Spice, red fruits, cherry, and dried flowers.
Palate: Medium-full character with bright acidity. Smooth but yet showing some power and warmth. Dry but silky tannins. Cherry notes. Freshness is the key.

Looking for good QPR nebbiolo based wine, this is one for you from Barbaresco. This lovely wine would likely be developing during the next 10 years. But why wait??? It is enjoyable now. Serving at the right temperature would surely be one of the key. Love the smoothness and its elegant of traditional style. Sexy perfume!!! Bring me some nice tenderloin or good quality parmesan and yeah.......Salute!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sukiyaki Ishibashi (鋤焼いし橋) @ Sotokanda, Tokyo

Cuisine: Sukiyaki
Charged Price: JPY14,000 per person without alcohol
Visited: 11 November 2015
Food: 9/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Services: 10/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Sukiyaki, in my opinion, is a kind of Japanese dish that has put together many things in a meal: delicacy, tradition, joy, and even companion. It is definitely delicious which is full of umami sense from each bite. However, it is never just a quick quick meal then off you go like ramen or don nor lining up on a counter to be served with sushi individually. Sukiyaki is fun and is always good for family and friend gathering, and even business talk.

Ishibashi near Suehirocho Station is one of the magnificent in its category. Long history with almost 150 years. It is also situated in the traditional house which is indeed rare for such developed city like Tokyo. What I really like about this cozy place, apart from the taste, is the service and privacy. All rooms are private. So it is not a matter how many of you are visiting, you all get your own room.

Sukiyaki Ishibashi (鋤焼いし橋) @ Sotokanda, Tokyo

traditional private dining room

my pot is ready (^.^)

chopsticks are also ready!!!!

While waiting for Nakai (waitress) to prepare for sukiyaki, appetisers were served. The first one was steamed daikon which was so soft and sweet. Then it was a small portion of grilled salmon and ginkgo. So delicate and tasty.

appetiser 1: daikon

appetiser 2: salmon + ginkgo

At Sukiyaki Ishibashi, you do not have to do anything with the sukiyaki. Your job is only to eat. Nakai has her role in preparing, cooking, and serving. I believe there are choices of beef grade to be chosen. The one for our meal was from Kyushu Miyazaki. Just by looking, ones can tell this would be heavenly melting in mouth.

Nakai would firstly start with oiling the pan with beef fat before pouring in some of warishita sauce. The serving came in 4 rounds: 1) beef only, 2) beef with kombu and vegetable, 3) beef with mushrooms and onion, and 4) beef with kombu and vegetable. Of course, the delicious way of having sukiyaki is to dip with fresh raw egg. The combination of fat flavour from beef, its delicacy, the sweet and salty warishita, and fatty texture of yolk is just undeniable.

sukiyaki set

bird's eye view

1st round with beef only

subsequent rounds with vegetable and side dishes

a small bowl of heaven

To end the course, we also had ojiya which is rice cooked with the remaining sauce and egg. This was enjoyable and a good experience. Not at all the amazing one but good enough. I believe how rich the flavour would be, depend on the amount of remaining sauce though. Anyway, it was at satisfaction along with condiment.

Well, Sukiyaki Ishibashi is sure one with long history and its history tells you well how delicate and perfect this place is. Personally, I love this place and would not hesitate to return at all. Look forward to next trip here even so.

baked rice with egg in action

it is now ready

classic carb dish to end the meal

Sukiyaki Ishibashi (鋤焼いし橋) @ Sotokanda, Tokyo
3-6-8 Sotokanda
Tokyo 〒101-0021

Open Hours: Mon-Fri from 05:00pm - 08:30pm (last order) for dinner
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3251 3580
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