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secret-japan
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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:27 pm Back to top

Asagaya





Y BLUE

Yamaneko-ken - French ****



B BLUE

Bistro La Sucree - French *****



T GREEN

Izmir - Turkish *****



P BLUE

Plik-kee-noo – Thai ****



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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:29 pm Back to top

Yamaneko-ken - French ****

Address - Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Asagaya 1-12-21
Opening hours - Open every day from 11:30 AM to 11 PM
Telephone - 03-3336-5445
Menu - In Japanese
Credit Cards - OK

I went to Yamaneko-ken with four friends after reading a positive review on the Daily Yomiuri (BTW, my thanks to the Epicures). The horrendous Laputa building, where Yamaneko-ken is, is very close to the station but not particularly easy to find, so that we had to ask for directions several times (read carefully the instructions at the end of this review).
The interior at Yamaneko-ken itself is nice enough, if not particularly interesting. I would recommend you to eat in the rather more relaxing open-air patio on the upper floor, very romantic in the evening because of the red city lights of Ogikubo.
The cook, who came to our table to talk to us, is a very young and interesting fellow with a wispy beard who told us that, even if the basis of his food is French, he likes to take liberties (the restaurant's business card even says that it serves Asagaya Ryori). Whatever it is, he does have all the necessary taste to make it work, and the results are heterodox but excellent.
The food was all equally good, from the appetizers to the dessert.
After ordering, to kill time we were given some excellent bread they make themselves with two differents, great spreads. Our seafood salads, all different, were exceptionally tasty and beautiful to see. Later we had some excellent grilled fish and, to close the meal, three slices of diffferent cakes.
The people at Yamaneko-ken obviously care about their work, and it shows in many small details, like the beautiful business card they give you when you leave. The cost? Just 3500 ~ 4000 yen with drinks. Yamaneko-ken is a good restaurant and I wish the guys there a lot of luck. I certainly got my money's worth.
Get out of the north exit of Asagaya station (Chuo line) and you will see a small square with two streets going to the left. Take the second. At the TOA Fitness Club, turn right and you will see the Laputa Building with Yamaneko-ken in front of you.




Bistro La Sucree - French *****

Address - Suginami-ku, Asagaya 4-6-29
Opening hours - Open lunch and dinner. Closed on Thursday
Telephone - 03-3330-5667
Menu - In Japanese and French
Credit Cards - OK

Bistro La Sucree is another one of those budget French mini-restaurants that for paltry sums manage to offer pretty decent food. In this case I will go even further, and say that their lunch is such a steal that it makes you wonder how these guys pay their bills. Start with a terrine maison with salad, for example, then have roast lamb with rice and vegetables, close with a delicious tarte au chocolat and you will have to pay just 1500 yen. The food is pretty standard, but lovely, and the atmosphere busy and unpretentious, perfect for a neighborhood restaurant like this one. A great place to go on days when you don't want to cook.
Directions : Go straight on Nakasugi Dori towards Waseda Dori, and after perhaps 300 meters you will find La Sucree on the left hand od the street.




Izmir - Turkish *****

Address - Tokyo-to, Suginami-ku, Asagaya-kita 2-13-2 Passage Asagaya Bldg 2 F
Opening hours - From 17:30 to 24:00, closed on Mondays
Telephone - 03-3310-4666
Menu - in English and Japanese
Credit Cards – OK

For a long time now Istanbul has been my favorite Turkish restaurants. Years ago the manager there was a woman called Elif, and she was one of the reasons I went to Istanbul. Efficient and kind, she was a gem. Then, all of a sudden, she disappeared.
I thought she had gotten tired of Tokyo and had gone back to Turkey. Too bad. But I was wrong. She now has a restaurant called Izmir in Asagaya, a few minutes from my house. Entering the place I didn't know she would be behind the counter, but when I saw her I knew I would have a good dinner. And so I did.
After the customary beer, we had mezze, doner kebab, a salad, Turkish pizza and more, and everything was predictably excellent. I cannot but recommend this restaurant, as good as any of its kind. Now Istanbul is no longer the only Turkish restaurant in Tokyo to serve Baklava. Since Turkish restaurants, like Thai restaurants, rarely have original items in their menus, I won't go into details: here too you will find few surprises.
Just one thing: don't forget to book. It's always packed.

web - www.asagaya-izmir.com




Plik-kee-noo – Thai ****

Address - Suginami-ku, Asagaya Kita 2-9-5
Opening hours - Closed on Tuesday. Open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Telephone - 03-3336-6414
Menu - in English and Japanese
Credit Cards - OK

Plik-khee-noo isn't particularly elegant or spacious, but my Thai friend Noiy says that the cook at Plik-khee-noo cooks like her mother. This comment should be a sufficient review. Remember however (1) to always book a table in advance and (2) do not go if you are desperately hungry. People at Plik-khee-noo are never in a hurry.

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