Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

Sushi House

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The FoodLover and friends had enough pho after playing golf in prvious weeks. This time we tried Sushi House in Alameda. This was a popular place for those who wanted to have decent sushi at reasonable price. Business was so good we had to wait for a table even at 3pm.

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This Sushi House Boat was big enough to feed four hungry golfers. In addition, we also had some tempura and soup.

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Sushi House
2375 Shoreline Dr.
Alameda, CA 94501
Tel: +1-510-865-0999

Kenta Ramen (Foster City) – by Wallace

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Today Wallace and his co-workers (Andrew and Anthony) had a lunch at the Kenta Ramen in Foster City.  It is a little ramen place located in the Beach Park Plaza facing the inner bay and San Mateo Bridge.  We ordered three different kinds of ramen: Tonkotsu Ramen (milky pork soup), Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce soup) and Shiro Ramen (salt soup).  They all come with sliced chashu and egg.  The chashu was tender and the egg tasted good!  We also had the Chicken Karaage as appetizer.  Overall the ramen lunch was satisfatory.  In our next trip, we may try their grilled items and Okonomiyaki (Japanese Style Pancake).

Note: It closes on Monday.

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Kenta Ramen
1495 Beach Park Blvd., Foster City, CA 94404
Tel: +1-650-212-2883

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Heaven and Earth 天與地

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The FoodLovers had two Japanese lunches in three days.

Sushi Sam’s Edomata is a popular sushi joint in San Mateo. We got there at around 1pm and the place was still pretty full. Sushi and Sashima looked great and service was good. The only problem was that most of the fish pieces were marinated with super strong lemon taste. That might be the preferred taste of regular customers there; or the chef was trying to hide something with lemon juice. The fat part of the Toro was pretty smooth and oily but the meaty part was a little tougher than what Miss FoodLover and I would enjoy. Carving skill of the chef obviously has plenty of room for improvement.

Cantonese like the FoodLover would feel very much at home there because all the servers could speak fluent Cantonese. This is a perfect sushi place for those trendy eaters who don’t really like sushi.

20130108 Sushi Sam B20130108 Sushi Sam C20130108 Sushi Sam A20130108 Sushi Sam D20130108 Sushi Sam E20130108 Sushi Sam F20130108 Sushi Sam G

A couple days later we had lunch at Sushi Kei in Millbrae which was highly recommended by Wallace. The sushi and sashimi there looked pretty bland and ordinary so we were plesently surprised when we started to taste them. Ginger was appetizing. The fish pieces were fresh and professionally prepared in a very traditional way. That’s what I like. When I have sushi, I want to enjoy the taste of the fish, not lemon juice.

There was only one Japanese lady running around to serve the 10-20 customers, so you might not want to go there during busy hours. Your patience will be rewarded with delicious traditional sushi though. The FoodLover will definitely go back to Sushi Kei again.

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So what does “Heaven and Earth” have anything to do with these restaurants? Sushi Sam’s will do well in heaven because God and the angels can appreciate the beautiful presentation of the dishes without having to tolerate the terrible taste. They don’t need to eat, right?

Sushi Kei is a place for us humans on earth who want to enjoy good tasting food.

Sushi Sam’s Edomata
218 E.3rd Ave. San Mateo, CA94401-4015
Tel: +1-650-344-0888

Sushi Kei
407 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030
Tel: +1-650-692-0100

Kaiseki for Lunch only? Xenri No Tsuki 千里名月

Friday, April 6th, 2012

After shooting some video and pictures at Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street, the FoodLover wandered along Nanjing Road looking for dinner idea. There was a sign in front of Ciro’s Plaza (仙樂斯廣場) advertising the special Kaiseki lunch offered by Xenri No Tsuki 千里名月. That sounded good to the FoodLover as he had not tried Kaiseki (懷石料理) in Shanghai yet.

The dining room was elegantly decorated and was quiet because there were only a couple of parties at 7:30pm in this business district. To the FoodLover’s surprise, the waitress said that they only served Kaiseki at lunch time, not for dinner. That was strange as Kaiseki by definition was a multi-course traditional Japanese dinner. That was indication that this restaurant was not Japanese operated.

The FoodLover ordered an over-priced Sashimi combination that looked good. The chef had spent a lot time putting the pieces together in a good-looking presentation. The only problem was that it tasted BAD. Service in this place was even worse than the food. After finishing whatever was served, nobody came to clear the table even though two waitresses were chatting up front and a waiter was meditating nearby. The FoodLover ran out of patience and stood up to leave hoping that nobody would stop him. No such luck. The waiter came by to ask what he could do. When the FoodLover asked why nobody was paying an attention to his table, he heard the most ridiculous reply imaginable. The waiter said that they were short-staffed. The FoodLover wondered how many servers would be needed to take care of the only one customer in the restaurant at that time. Three were obviously not enough according to this waiter.

Even if you find yourself standing at the intersection of West Nanjing Road and North Huangpi Road and really have a craving for Japanese food, avoid this miserable 謀人寺.

Xenri No Tsuki New Kaiseki Cuisine 千里名月
Units 309-311, 388 Nanjing Road West, Ciro’s Plaza, Shanghai, China 20003
Tel: +86-21-3331-7213

What pictures did the FoodLover take before this disappointing dinner. Here they are.

Everybody had camera in hand.

Saxophonist on balcony.


More sharing.

She needed help.

Interesting "belt".

The correct way to carry your bags in crowded place - in front.

Disappointing Sushi – Sakae Sushi

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

The FoodLover has not updated this blog for a while simply because he has not eaten out lately.

Mrs. FoodLover had to do some shopping in Burlingame so we took the opportunity to try Sakae Sushi over there. I am glad that we went there not because the food was good. I am happy to be able to warn my friends not to go there. The sushi set looked good but the fish was tasteless. Shrimp was tough and Uni was not even fresh.

Cooked dishes were OK. Shrimp Tempura was fresh and not oily. Chicken Teriyaki was tender.

The waitress was pleasant but she was the only server in the whole place. Expect slow service.

Sakae Sushi
243 California Dr., Burlingame, CA 94010
Tel: +1-650-348-4064

Grill Better Than Sushi – Yuzu Sushi & Grill

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The FoodLover had a pretty good dinner at Yuzu Sushi & Grill two months ago and wanted to go back again for the sushi. This time we ordered Chef’s Choice Super Sashimi and Super Sushi. To my disappointment, the fish this time wasn’t as good. The pieces of fish were simply too large and too thick. Texture was soft and mushy. Ms. FoodLover thought that the chef didn’t slice the fish as well as better chefs.

While the raw fish wasn’t as good as we expected, the Stone Bowl Seafood Crispy Rice with Seaweed Tea Broth was superb. Crispy rice was served in a hot stone bowl and tea broth was then poured on top of the rice at our table. I didn’t care too much for the seafood but the rice with broth was delicious.

Yuzu Sushi & Grill
54 W. 37th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403
Tel: +1-650-358-0298

Shanghai at Night 夜上海

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

If you are bored and don’t know what to do in Shanghai at night on a Sunday, try walk down Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street. You may like it so much that you join them for the action.

In case you are disappointed not to see food on this post, this was what I had before shooting all those happy people with my mobile phone.

Restaurant Mitsunobu

Friday, November 4th, 2011

The FoodLovers happened to be next to the old Kaygetsu at lunch time and decided to try the new Restaurant Mitsunobu that took its place. The sushi bar was still there but the sushi chef was gone. I had no choice but to order sashimi. Fortunately, they still offered my favorite Masumi Nanago. Mrs. FoodLover had tempura.

Tempura looked fine and tasted good. It was not oily at all. Sashimi was disappointing though. Uni was not very fresh and maguro was a little watery. There was no excuse for such mediocrity at that price. The young chef at the bar had a lot to learn about handling raw fish.


Restaurant Mitsunobu
325 Sharon Park Dr., Suite A-2, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tel: +1-650-234-1084

Wrong Sake – Sushi Tomi

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

The FoodLover brought along a driver to Sushi Tomi in Mountain View so that he could drink as much sake as he wanted while tasting raw fish. After ordering my sushi, I asked to see the sake menu. The waitress said they didn’t have a sake menu but she would show me what they had. She did. She came back with four bottles of cold sake. None of them looked familiar and I casually picked one that was marked “Junmai” (真米) meaning it was pure rice wine without additional distilled alcohol.

Unlike all the sake I had had before, this sake was pretty cloudy (see picture below). It was sweet too. It did not have the crispiness that could bring out fish flavor of sushi. The sushi looked good and I could only imagine how good it would have been had I ordered the right sake.

After I got home, I had a chance to look up what “Nigori” was. Following is quoted from Wikipedia:

“Nigori or nigorizake (濁り酒) is a variety of sake, an alcoholic beverage produced from rice, its name translates roughly to “cloudy” due to its appearance. It is about 14~17% alcohol by volume.

Normal sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process, however nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a far cloudier drink.

Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Before serving, the bottle must be shaken properly to mix the sediments with the sake, to obtain the full range of flavor and its “signature look”. It is advised that it be served well-chilled, storing it in an ice bucket to keep it from warming up between servings. It is also recommended, as with most sakes, to consume the entire bottle once opened as it begins to oxidize, altering its flavor.”

I had myself to blame for picking the wrong sake but the waitress should not have brought this one after I ordered sushi. Well, it was not all bad. I learned something about sake. Now I know what kind of sake to order with spicy food.

Sushi Tomi
635 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94040
Tel: +1-650-968-3227

Authentic Sushi Joint – Yuzu Sushi & Grill

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

After Kaygetsu closed its doors early this month, the FoodLvoer had been looking for a replacement for high quality sushi. Rosita wanted to treat Josephine to a Japanese dinner and asked me to find a good restaurant. I turned to Yelp for help and found Yuzu Sushi & Grill, a small joint in San Mateo known for its authentic Japanese seafood.

If you want to have the feeling of small restaurants in Japanese, this is it. There are fewer than 30 seats including the half dozen stools around the sushi bar.

We wanted to try both raw and cooked items there and ordered the seafood dinner. While we were waiting for the food, we saw “Magaru Bone Marrow” on the wall menu and couldn’t resist. This was an interesting appetizer but the jelly-like stuff was a little bland. Deep-fried Flounder Fillet was crispy and 香口 outside and tender inside. Wished I had a beer.

The sushi and sashimi was still a little bit below those prepared by Toshi-san of Kaygetsu but close. Yuzu is likely to be my preferred sushi joint from now on. My only regret was that I had to drive and couldn’t have a sake to bring out the flavor of fish. Sake would also tame the fishy taste of uni. Will bring a driver next time. The head of Kanpachi was delicious and had more meat than you would imagine.

Grilled Kanpachi tasted good too. Just don’t eat too much. It felt a little bit oily when I tried to finish the whole piece.

I will definitely go back again. If you want to try, make sure you call to reserve a table. I had a 6:30pm reservation and there was a party at our table before we arrived. Another party was waiting for our table when we left at 7:45pm.

Yuzu Sushi & Grill
54 W. 37th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403
Tel: +1-650-358-0298