Chiang Mai - Thai *****
Address - Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-6-10
Opening hours - Every day from 11:30 to 11:00 pm, last order at 10 pm
Telephone - 03-3580-0456 or 03-3503-3060
Menu - In Japanese and English, with pictures
Credit Cards - OK
I have been to literally hundreds of Thai restaurants, and found them to be almost always equivalent in quality, that is to say good or very good. In Chiang Mai's case I cannot but congratulate myself once more for the accuracy of my judgment.
This was one of the first Thai restaurants to open in Tokyo and, as a matter of fact, I had been trying to go there for many years, and finally managed to some time ago, the time I went to Hibiya to see Miyazaki Hayao's excellent full-length animation "Spirited Away".
A small room in the basement of a building, Chiang Mai has a very rich menu which includes some uncommon dishes, Tom Kha Gai, for example, and that alone makes it worth a visit. Thai restaurants are not all that common in Ginza or Yurakucho either and this is one more plus.
There were four of us, all hungry, so we ordered a great amount of food: fried rice, sate, sautéed shrimps, green curry and the like, most dishes being priced between 1000 and 1300 yen. To drink we of course had Singh Ha, the dangerous Thai beer. Everything was both excellent to eat and a delight to look at.
I was saying that almost all Thai restaurants serve the same food. If originality is not their forte, quality and reliability certainly is, and Chiang Mai is a case in point. Here you will have what you expect from a good Thai restaurant, and at a more reasonable price than at most other restaurants in this area: four thousand yen should be sufficient.
Siam - Thai ****
Shibuya, Ginza and Yurakucho
Ginza : Chuo-ku, Ginza 5-8-17, World Town Bldg 8F
Yurakucho : Chuo-ku, Ginza-Nishi 3-1, Ginza INZ #1, 2F
Shibuya : Shibuya-ku, Jinnan 1-15-8, B1F
Opening hours - 11:30 am to 11:30 pm
Ginza : 03-3572-4101
Yurakucho : 03-3563-3106
Shibuya : 03-3770-0550
Menu - In Japanese and English
Credit Cards - OK
A Thai restaurant in Shibuya I trust is Siam. I used to be a very frequent customer of their Akasaka Mitsuke branch, which was very original in that it was the Thai equivalent of a Japanese Akachochin: you could eat lots of small dishes meant to accompany drink more than to feed you. I liked that. But it closed, so now I go to the Shibuya branch, reliable and reasonably priced. The food is the same we already know, nothing original or anything. From Hachiko, go ahead towards Harajuku and take the second street to the left, the one going up to the Olympic Pool and NHK. Walk on the right side of the street and, after the donut shop (I don't remember the name, but it's not important), start keeping your eyes open because your goal is near. There is a branch also in Ginza and one in Yurakucho, but I have never been there.
Scorpione Stazione - Italian
Reviewed by Marcel van Amerlsvoort
Address - 1F Infoss Cafe Bldg., 3-8-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0005
Opening hours - 11:30 to 23:00
Telephone - 03-5219-1610
Menu - In Japanese and Italian
Credit Cards - Yes
I was just out with some students yesterday and we ended up at an Italian place in Yurakucho called Scorpione Stazione. It thought it was interesting. We had pasta (big broken up lasagna noodles, you know) with mushrooms and walnut sauce, and tagliatelle with saffron and peppers. Both were very interesting and very good. We also had the most German-looking Italian dish I've ever had: sausage in potatoes, cabbage and beans (very northern Italian?). To end, we had very nice cappucinos and a great cheese plate, maybe the best I've had in Tokyo, real cheese, seven types, all good. The antipasto misto was also very good, nine things, all very different and very interesting. Each was too small to share so we had to go for one each, so I can't say much about the taste of all, though my two were excellent. The staff was friendly and efficient and there was at least one Italian cooking in the kitchen. Five people, two bottles of wine, 22000. Apparently it's run by a fairly large corporation called the Kiwa group. They have a site, but it only has a small map for Scorpione. I was surprised to see how many restaurants they run.
This isn't really a proper review. To be honest, I didn't really get a good look at the menu or the wine list. But I was very impressed with the place and I thought you might be interested.