Rose Du Sahara - African
Reviewed by Allan Miles
Address - Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-10-10, Tokyo Plaza Bldg 3.4F
Opening hours - 12:00 pm to 14:00pm and 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Telephone - 03-3379-6427
Menu - English and Japanese
I know that from the address you wouldn't think so, but Rose Du Sahara is just meters from Shinjuku station's south exit. At the station turn right. The restaurant is about in front of Citibank, on the opposite side of the street. In the same building there's a Spanish restaurant (Espana, see address in this site) and the Turkish Culture center.
Smoked Ostrich (delicious), alligator and kangaroo are some of the unusual dishes on the large menu. A la carte (800¥ - 1200¥ a dish, 2000¥ for rice dishes and pilafs) or set courses for 2 or more people. Sets go from 3000¥ to 4500¥. On Friday and Saturday there are sets for 2000¥ and 2500Y until 7pm. Beer and wine at usual prices. We choose the 3000¥ set. We were both hungry and it was enough. There were eight dishes and the smoked ostrich, the tuna/egg/cheese Brak and the tomato Moroccan soup were all delicious. Three of the other dishes were nice and two just ordinary.
I don't really know African cuisine but felt it was authentic. The decor is interesting and tasteful and the place has a nice atmosphere with friendly, efficient staff. All in all I thought it was rather nice and enjoyed my meal. You should definitely go at least once to see how you like it.
Rose du Sahara is in Minami Shinjuku on Koshu kaido (though it will have a Yoyogi address), a few doors before Frigo if you are coming from Shinjuku station.
Üsküdar - Turkish
Reviewed by Allan "Kiwi" Miles
Address - Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-35-1 Omiya Bldg 2F
Opening hours - 5pm to 11pm every day
Map - See directions
Telephone - 03-3354 9164
Menu - English and Japanese
Credit Cards – No
This is a small Turkish restaurant with nice food and reasonable prices. It seats 18 people and with a few Turkish knick knacks has a simple yet pleasant atmosphere. When full they seem disorganised and it all takes a little time to get served so go in a patient mood. I was rather hungry the first time I went and an appetizer (a delicious spinach yoghurt dip with pita), a main course (doner kebab) and a salad were enough (with a beer of course). This cost about 2700 yen. Turkish and Japanese beers, Raki and wine are available. The Turkish staff speak Japanese but rudimentary to no English. Sometimes there's a Japanese waitress.
Directions: Come out the south exit of JR Shinjuku station, turn left and walk along the footpath. (Don't go down the stairs just past Lumine.) Go downhill. On the left is another road below you. Just before these roads meet you can see Uskudar on the 2nd floor on your left. There is a red English sign and a Turkish flag. If you get to Meiji-dori you have gone a short block too far. 3 minutes from the South exit.
Bosphorus Hasan – Turkish *****
Address - Dai Ichi Tamaya Bdg 2 F, 3-6-11 Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours - Open every day from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Telephone - 03-3354-7947
Menu - In English and Japanese
Credit Cards - OK
Bosphorus Hasan and Asena, supposedly the best Turkish restaurant in town, are in my opinion, but not in that of people I know, an even match. Again in my opinion, they are not as good as Istanbul, the king here in Tokyo. Asena has that something extra which is so hard to find, but Bosphorus Hasan is bigger, cheaper, and almost as good. Their buttered rice, coffee, Doner Kebab are all excellent. Pide is less savory than at Asena, but good nonetheless. Try the vegetable appetizers ("Meze"). I liked the interior, much more comfortable than Asena's and nicely decorated. I am confident you will have a good meal there. Alas, here too they have belly dancers.
Web - www.bosphorushasan.com
Istanbul - Turkish *****
Address - Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-8-2 Cross Bdg B1
Opening hours - from Monday to Saturday from 11:00am to 12:00pm, and on Sundays and Holidays from 5:00am to 12:00pm
Telephone - 03-3225-4080
Menu - in English and Japanese
Credit Cards - OK
Strangely enough, until few years ago I had never been to Istanbul, one of the oldest and most famous Turkish restaurants in Tokyo. A pity, because it's very good, definitely the best Turkish restaurant I've tried so far. The Turkish manager, Elif, is very kind, portions are generous, Baklavas exceptional. In other words, go. You will like it. And be sure you order their Karisik Mezze (assorted vegetable appetizers, excellent idea for a vegetarians and carnivores alike) with Muhammara.
Some years later: I have come to the conclusion that Istanbul is the best Turkish restaurant in town. And I mean THE best, even though Elif is no longer there, and the cook is different. As we all know, the hallmark of a good restaurant is a constant quality and taste in spite of changes in the staff.
Where is good old Elif? She now has a restaurant of her own, called Izmir, in Asagaya