Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jiyusan (じゆうさん) @ Eharacho, Tokyo

Cuisine: Soba
Charged Price: JPY2,000 per person without alcohol
Visited: 13 November 2015
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Value for money: 8/10
Services: 8/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Who knows "Soba" can be fabulously nice. Whilst people keep seeking and searching for high end sushi or sukiyaki, this little soba-specialised restaurant just out of Tokyo city centre offers such unforgettable soba: "Jiyusan". Apart from lovely soba, the atmosphere and services of this place are as equally great. Expect the warm welcome from owners, and quiet and peaceful ambient.

As it is out of city centre, arriving at Jiyusan can be a little tedious. What we did is taking a train from Ikebukuro to Higashi-Nagasaki (~ 5 minutes) and then followed by a short walk of around 10 mins. Trust me, it is not that difficult and worth a trip for dinner.

Jiyusan (じゆうさん) @ Eharacho, Tokyo

small but comfy restaurant

counter seats

When flipping through me here, we were not surprised the menu was all in Japanese. However, the owner was kind enough to recommend us to take Dinner Course which was priced at JPY2,000. This came into 3 parts. The first one was Soba on Bamboo for dipping - せいろ (9/10). Classic zaru soba that was well made. If you were Italian, you may say "al dente". Delicious indeed. Love the texture as well as well balanced dipping sauce.

Soba on Bamboo for dipping - せいろ

Then we were presented with a small bowl of Soba with Mackerel in Soup - 小さばにしんそば (8/10). This was mind refreshing. The soup was well made with flavour and a touch of tanginess. The saba (mackerel) was also tasty.

Soba with Mackerel in Soup - 小さばにしんそば

[soba water with remaining dipping sauce]

Lastly, the dessert was red bean jelly (8/10), I suppose. What a perfect way to end the course in classic Japanese style. Sweetness was well balanced. The flavour of red bean exploded deliciously. Soft on the texture. Love it.

Nothing much to say about this place, except "Must Visit".

dessert of red bean jelly

Jiyusan (じゆうさん) @ Eharacho, Tokyo
3-1-4 Eharacho
Tokyo 〒165-0023

Open Hours: Tue-Sun from 11:00am - 03:00pm for lunch and 05:30pm - 09:00pm for dinner
Tel: +81 (0) 3 3951 3397

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Domaine de Montille Volnay 1er Cru en Champans 2011

Date of Tasting: 16 October 2015
Wine Type: Red
Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 12.5%
Origin: Burgundy, France
Appellation: Volnay 1er Cru Controlee
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR90
Chubby Appreciation: 93/100
Critics' Opinion: ST - 91/100, BH - 92/100

Appearance: Light ruby.
Aroma: Perfume of flower field enhanced with red fruits. Minerality.
Palate: Medium touch on the palate. Silkily smooth. Strawberry stands out. Complex with persistent finish.

Looking for masculine new world, you might just forget this one. This is pure and cool in style. Classic and elegant. Personally, love this style. Structure wise, it should live its age well in my humble opinion. Enjoyable now but cannot imagine how it would develop during the next decade.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Patisserie Rosie @ Thong Lo, Bangkok - พาทิซเซอรี โรซี่ @ ทองหล่อ กรุงเทพฯ

Cuisine: Cafe / Patisserie
Charged Price: THB270 per person without alcohol
Visited: 14 February 2016
Food: 5/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Value for money: 3/10
Services: 5/10
Scale: [1=poor ---- 5=average/standard ---- 10=outstanding/exceptional]

Having heard about this goody-goody little patisserie for quite sometime but only had this chance to pay a visit. Patisserie Rosie is located in Soi Thong Lo 10, which connects Thong Lo to Ekkamai, but it gears more towards Ekkamai side (roughly opposite Arena 10). The little cafe is indeed little. It is just a small commercial building and can perhaps accommodate approx. 10 small tables max. Location wise, it might not be so convenient. Rather far from BTS Thong Lo Station and no parking lots available. If you do drive here, find somewhere to park along the road, else park at Arena 10.

What like about this place is its lovely decor. Many places love to keep their shops minimally in style. It is totally not my kind of thing. Maximalist decor is more of my liking. This place might not be that so maximalist but it at least gives that kind of feeling right from its entrance. Walking into the shop, after finding yourself a seat, you may take a look at sweet counter to choose your preference. Variety of sweet and pastry are presented there at the counter.

Patisserie Rosie at Thong Lo, Bangkok

Western decor little place

counter of sweet

choices of pastry

The range of pastry here are somewhat mixed. Some are those classic French pastry but some are kind of contemporary. For example Cherry Ripe (5/10) is in my humble opinion from the contemporary range. It comes in cherry shape. The fillings inside are cherry mousse at the first layer followed by layers of cherry compote, dark chocolate ganache, and sponge in the middle. This whole thing is then set on almond streusel. Lovely piece of dessert surely. But for the eyes only to me. The overall picture of this Cherry Ripe was ways too sweet for my palate. Things were missing here and there. Texture of ganache did not seem to go along well with others as well.

For the classic range, after glancing my eyes through the counter, I had spotted Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice-cream (6/10) which has always been one of my favourite so why not at all. The apple strudel itself was rather delicious. Smooth and lovely filling with rather nice wrapped pastry. I wouldn't mind having the strudel alone or with some pastry cream. However, the vanilla ice-cream, though it could be a perfect natural match, was not on par with strudel. It was icy and ice bits started to form. Perhaps it was not well made or kept at wrong temperature.

In overall, I am not that impressed with Pastisserie Rosie as rumour has. Nice decor and beautiful pastry in shapes but palate matter should be the first priority when talking about food in my view. Again, some may argue that there are other nice choices, especially having heard that chocolate range which the owner is specialised in. Well, let's see next time when we give this little place a visit about its chocolate thing.

Cherry Ripe (THB200)

Square cut of Cherry Ripe

Apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice-cream (THB280)

Patisserie Rosie @ Thonglor, Bangkok - พาทิซเซอรี โรซี่ @ ทองหล่อ กรุงเทพฯ
113/2 Soi Thong Lo 10
Sukhumvit 55 Road
Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana
Bangkok 10110

Open Hours: Tue - Sun from 12:00pm - 09:30pm
Tel: +66 (0) 92 542 9900

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Francois Mikulski Meursalt 1er Cru les Charmes 2007

Date of Tasting: 30 October 2015
Wine Type: White
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13%
Origin: Burgundy, France
Appellation: Meursault 1er Cru Controlee
Expect to Pay: ~ EUR70
Chubby Appreciation: 92/100
Critics' Opinion: WA - 92/100, WS - 89/100, BH - 92/100, CT - 88/100

Appearance: Pale yellow straw.
Aroma: White fruits, zest, honey, elderflower, mild spices and mineral.
Palate: Rich enough but accessible. Ripe citrus an white fruits. Tangy acidity. Mineral notes. Dry.

Not so rich as expected but structure was there. Dry notes with mineral surely. Accessible now but would indeed be fascinating to age further. Definitely a fine Meursault but in my humble opinion, something was missing there: sexiness or charm perhaps?

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