Day 3 Tokyo 2018 Dinner at TY Bis
Day 3 Tokyo 2018 Dinner at TY Bis
Thanks for dropping by!!
Many of the tower buildings around Shiodome (and Tokyo in general) have restaurants on the top floors. Caretta is one such building and it houses my dining destination for tonight. I have a feeling I have eaten here before, but it would have been way back in 2008, so memory is a bit fuzzy and I wasn’t blogging back then.
However, I decided I wanted to eat somewhere with a view and this restaurant certainly satisfied that wish. The front desk girl did however put a slight dampener on my first impression. I felt that had I been Japanese or other Asian I may have got a better response. For a restaurant that does get a lot of tourists, the lack of English was very off putting( as can be seen on reviews they get online). I was only able to sit at the bar, which considering the number of empty seats by the window was slightly disappointing, it was also a smoking area. I am willing to put up with it if needed.
After perusing the menu it took a while to be noticed by some one to have my order taken. Good thing I am not a pro reviewer. I chose a sashimi plate, asparagus and Shimanto pork jeon pancakes, Fukushima Prefecture Aizujidori local chicken, Sake lees cheesecake with ice cream. Drinks started with Alamos Extra Brut Sparkling(Mendoza, Argentina), Koshu Suntory Japan Premium(Yamanashi,Japan), and with dessert Hibiki 17 year old( I know, again with the Hibiki).
Out first was a plate of appetisers, pickled turnip, spinach and ?, small miso with a pork meat ball in it.
Out next was the asparagus and Shimanto pork jeon pancake and the Aizujidori chicken, which came with a bowl of freshly ground sansho pepper. The chicken comes from Aizu and has a strong flavoured, darker meat. The cut was thigh with the skin on, sprinkled with a little sansho it was delicious. The pork came from the area around the Shimanto River which is in Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku Island,(google is my friend!).
Next was the sashimi, which was so good it didn’t have a fishy flavour. I know one was tuna but the others nobody stopped to tell me.
Dessert, well lets just say it was smaller than expected and quite unusual, holiday time things should be a bit unusual. Interesting flavour the two pieces were about 2cm square and that high. There was more ice cream than cheesecake. I know Japanese desserts aren’t usually big but this was a little disappointing. What should have been the star of the dish was upstaged by the support act. The Hibiki 17 Year Old was again fabulous!! So smooth and luscious, coating the mouth well. Perfect!
Then it was time to head back to the hotel picking up a night cap of sparkling sake(ok I thought it was a Japanese sparkling wine….must learn more Japanese!!!). Pull cap on it so didn’t need a corkscrew, good bubble, pours cloudy, almost looks like cloudy ammonia but tastes and smells a whole lot better. Dassai Sparkling 50.
Thus ends my first real dining experience for this trip. If I had to give a rating it would be 3.5 out of 5.
Thanks for dropping by and stay tuned for tomorrows adventures, (if it doesn’t rain).
While the idea of and early arrival is good in theory, the hours before check in to your hotel can be very long.
This year is the first time I have flown in to Haneda airport, in the past it has always beeen Narita. I was a bit worried about getting in to Shiodome from Haneda but truth be told it was super easy. Hop the monorail to Hamatsucho, short walk to Daimon Toei Oedo Subway station then Next stop Shiodome. Which meant I was at the hotel just around 630am.
Seeing as I had so much time, I jumped on the Yamanote line to Nippori, had a coffee and snack at a Tullys, then decided to check out Yanaka. I only spent and hour there but will need to go back for more exploring. It is currently Ajisai(hydrangea) season and I was amazed to see some different varieties in the street gardens.
I walked back to Nippori and its famous Fabric Street. A whole street. With 100 shops selling everything you could need for sewing. As I was too busy looking at shops I only got one photo. You could do a lot of damage to your purse here if you sew.
After 3 hours it was time to give the feet a rest and head back towards the hotel for lunch prior to official check in. I found a little theme restaurant called Kaiju Sakaba, (monster bar)based on amonster from Japanese TV shows. Think Ultraman and similar shows from the late ‘60’s and the ‘70’s. Delicious lunch and cute monsters.
Then back to the hotel where my room was ready. After a six hour nap, (I know right naps are short, but I only had about 2-3 hours sleep on the plane), I needed dinner. A quick walk to Ginza, where I enjoyed a Hibiki 17 year old whisky before grabbing a couple of items at a conbini for a light dinner, plus a little something for a night cap.
And that wraps my first day in Tokyo.
Thanks for dropping by!!
Monday was my last day of work before moving. I was keeping an eye on all the travel and airline sites watching airfares to Tokyo. Wednesday I was able to get a price I was happy with so bit the bullet and booked myself for a couple of days away.
This trip I flew JAL. Good flight and service. I shed a few happy tears as we landed, bit silly but Tokyo is one of my happy places. Very quick through immigration and customs, around half an hour, which was a pleasant experience for a change. Bought my ticket for the Airport Limousine Bus which got me to the Mitsui Garden Ginza Premier hotel and then a short walk to where I am staying. Nice weather with a temperature of 32C when we landed.
This trip I am staying right in the heart of Ginza. A small hotel, Sotetsu Fresa Inn, two blocks back from the main street but still close to Shimbashi station. In fact I dare say it may be a shorter walk than from Shiodome. The room is small by western standards but for one person it is adequate and very comfortable.
After checking in it was time for a walk and dinner. I felt like tempura so headed to a regular restaurant I go to, Ginza Tenkuni. Only a 5 minute walk from the hotel so very handy.
Perusing the menu I decided on a tempura don set. 2 tempura ebi(prawns), tempura whiting, tempura renkon(lotus root), tempura nasu(eggplant) and kakiage(small pieces of squid cooked in tempura batter) served on rice with sauce then poured over. This was accompanied by miso soup and pickles. A cup of hot green tea was also bought out. I ordered a glass of plum sake/umueshu on the rocks. This one wasn’t too sweet and was quite refreshing.
Funny how I am not keen on miso soup back in Australia, but when I am in Tokyo I love it! This one was nice and dark with lots of flavour
After my delicious dinner, I took a walk around some regular spots in Ginza checking prices at the bottle shops, deciding what to get to take home. Quite surprised to see one of my favourite Japanese Whiskey’s not available at all. No Yamazaki anywhere! And the Hibiki limited to 1 per person.
A glass of Chassagne Montrachet at Ginza Felice, then back to the air conditioned comfort of my room.
Tomorrow I am contemplating Meiji Jingu and Yaskuni Jinja or a trip out to Omiya. Will decide over breakfast.
Catch you next time!
Our venue for dinner was Auberge d’Onex, located in the suburb of Onex on the southern side of Geneva. Nestled amongst a lush garden, Auberge d’Onex is housed in the building that was originally the clubhouse of the first golf club in Geneva. Cuisine is Italian and the owner/maître d’ is a very vivacious host.
Auberge d’Onex is a homely and cosy restaurant, dark wood exposed beams on the ceiling, floral curtains, white clothed tables with comfortable wooden chairs.
Red wine was the drink of the night, a lovely 3 year old Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico.
Baskets of bread were dotted around the table with some fantastic olive oil to dip it in. Antipasti was served from platters and included, grilled asparagus, grilled witlof, burrata cheese, artichokes, sausage, salamis, whitebait, grilled eggplant. My favourite had to be the burrata cheese, so creamy and soft. Servings were quite generous.
Main was a large whole fish that the staff bought out on a trolley and served to us with some caponata. Not being much of a fish eater I had veal scallopine.
Before dessert bowls of peaches, plums, grapes, fresh dates, kiwi berries and small mangoes, were placed on the table.
We had a choice of 6 desserts served from the dessert trolley. We were also offered grappa and house made Limoncello with dessert. I chose meringata and promptly forgot to take a photo, while Mr. CA4G had the tiramisu.
After a fabulous dinner it was back to the hotel for our final sleep in Geneva.
After visiting Maison Cailler it was time to head to the hill town of Gruyères where we were to have dinner. Located in the Canton of Fribourg, in the foothills of Mont Moléson, the town is perched atop an 82metre hill. It was quite interesting to see snow on the nearby mountains even though it was the end of summer. The country side around the town was stunning, so green and lush.
It is a fascinating old town with many of the buildings being beautifully maintained in their original style. Cobble stone streets make for an interesting walk and not a walk I would want to attempt in high heels.
The largest building in the town is Chateau de Gruyères (castle) built between 1270 and 1282 and now home to a museum covering 800 years of architecture, art history and culture of the region.
Chateau St Germain, the second castle within the town, was acquired by the artist H.R. Giger and now houses the H.R. Giger Museum and the Giger Café/Bar. Sadly time did not allow for a visit to either museum, which gives us a reason for a return trip to do so.
Gruyères is of course the area where that fabulous cheese of the same name comes from. Given that we were in Gruyères, it was only natural that dinner would be fondue. Our restaurant was Café – Restaurant des Remparts which, like many buildings in the town, is built in to the external wall of the town.
The outer walls of the town are situated on the edges of the hill and thus give amazing views out over the surrounding countryside. We were fortunate that the clouds parted and we were able to enjoy the view with a little sun before it set.
The interior of the restaurant is very traditional Swiss style. Lots of wood, red and white, lace and very homely touches. The ladies who served us were dressed fairly traditionally as well.
An entrée of salad and platters of cold meats with pickled onions and cornichons was presented first, shortly followed by fondue of vacherin and Gruyère cheese.
While we usually have 2 or 3 fondues a year at home, it was a revelation to have it in Switzerland. Steamed chat potatoes are served along with bread cubes. The fondue itself was thick, cheesy and creamy and totally delicious. I think I will be searching for Vacherin cheese next winter to replace the Emmentaler I normally use in our fondue.
All that cheesy goodness was followed by a dessert of wonderful fresh berries, topped with luscious, thick Gruyères cream. The cream was served at the table by the waitress who came around with a wooden bowl that the cream had been set in and the scooped out with a paddle shaped spoon. I asked for just a little and was served around 1/3 of a cup. Very naughty but sooo good!!
Walking outside after dinner it was lovely to see the town lit up in the twilight.
Day 3 was a very long day and we returned to the hotel around 1030. It was however a very fascinating and fantastic day full of interesting things to see, learn and enjoy.
Day 3 saw us with an extra early start. We had a 2 ½ hour drive to the dial factory, Cadrans Flückiger at St Imier in the Canton of Jura. Under grey skies and a light shower we boarded our bus and headed out of Geneva along the lake. Once we were out of the city we drove through beautiful green countryside with the occasional rainbow.
Cadrans Flückiger S.A. is a subsidiary company of Patek Philippe. They specialize in the manufacture and finishing of dials. Not only do they make dials for Patek Philippe, they also do dials for companies such as Audemars Piguet and IWC, among others. It was fascinating to learn that a dial can have anywhere from 40 to 70 processes applied to it and can take up to 3 months to make.
Dial enamelling and guilloché engraving are also carried out at Cadrans Flückiger and we were fortunate to be able to see the artisans working at both techniques. Enameling is very pretty but the amount of work involved explains why the pricing can be quite a bit more for an enamel dial watch. The engraving studio also had several guilloché machines dating back to the 1800’s still being used.
Lunch was at the Hotel Beau Rivage Neuchatel,a hotel we stayed at several years ago. Not associated with the Beau Rivage Geneva, this stately hotel is also situated by a lake, Lake Neuchatel to be precise. It was nice to return even if for a little while.
Memories of our dinner on our last visit had us anticipating the wonderful lunch that awaited us.
The wild mushrooms in puff pastry were very tasty and the freshness of the mushrooms was evident in the level of flavor.
Main course was a simple prepared chicken supreme, with vegetables and a chorizo cream sauce. The sauce had a nice spiciness to it.
Dessert was an apple tart tatin, beautifully presented and very delicious!
After lunch we had time for a quick walk outside.
After our fantastic lunch it was back on to the bus. Our next destination was a visit to the chocolate factory of Maison Cailler, located in the town of Broc, situated in the mountains of the La Gruyere region. Now part of the Nestle Group, Maison Cailler was founded in the early 1800’s by Francois-Lois Cailler. Over the next 100 or so years the manufacturing of chocolate was perfected with the ultimate secret to creaminess being the use of condensed milk made with the high quality milk from the cows of the region.
We took part in a tour of the factory which started with a series of rooms, each depicting a different period in the history of chocolate. From the Aztecs to the Conquisatadors, the arrival of chocolate in Europe, right up to the founding of Maison Cailler and the 20th century. Very interesting and well presented.
After the history rooms you start in to the factory proper. Glass walls separate the factory from the tour area where displays and samples of ingredients are arranged. An audio device is given to each tour member at the start and when held to an icon at each display, you learn more about the ingredients and where they are from. There is also information on the farmers/growers and their locations in the world.
And of course you can’t finish a chocolate factory tour without trying some freshly made chocolate. There were around a dozen samples to taste. Thankfully I only tried 4 which was quite sufficient.
We also had time for a bit of chocolate retail therapy.
This ends part 1 of Day 3 part two will see us head to the historic for town of Gruyeres for dinner.
Two days before our departure for Geneva we received an invitation to the A.Lange & Söhne 2015 Novelty Tour. This event to be held at Quay in the Rocks, was organized by Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne.
The day of the event was an early taste of summer with temperatures in the mid 30’s. As a matter of fact the first few days of October have been more like summer than spring, but can’t complain better a bit of heat than cold.
We were a little disappointed when we arrived at Circular Quay to see a cruise ship docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Thankfully we soon learnt that it was due for departure around the same time as the event started.
As the boat backed out from the dock, the sun set giving a brilliant display of light over the Opera House.
The dinner was held in the Tower room of Quay which comfortably seated the 30 of us. Mr. Wilhelm Schmid, CEO of A. Lange & Söhne was able to make the long flight down under to be with us for the evening, Mr Eric van der Griend, managing director of Watches of Switzerland was our host for the evening.
Scattered around the perimeter of the room were several display boxes with the novelties for 2015.
Butter was artfully presented, beats the standard square, triangle or round presentation.
Mr. CA4G chose the raw smoked Blackmoore wagyu, horseradish, soured cream, fermented rye crisps and raw funghi. Quay has a delightfully, unique way of preparing and presenting food. Mr. CA4G was suitably impressed with his entrée and the flavours in it.
I contemplated the Marron dish but wasn’t too sure about Dory caviar. I opted instead to have the vegetarian entrée of spring ewe’s milk curd, broad beans, caper and freekah crumb, apple, nasturtium and purslane. Very tasty and perfect for a hot day. I have never tried purslane before but enjoyed the flavour, contemplating adding it to my herb garden.
For his main Mr. CA4G again went for beef this time choosing the roasted grass fed beef fillet, morel cream, braised mushroom, roasted ancient grains caught the eye of Mr. CA4G. A nice tall fillet topped with all the extras. His only comments were about the great flavor and the tenderness of the meat.
I have been wanting to try the pork jowl ever since I saw it on the menu when looking at Quay’s website. I was delighted to see it on our menu for the evening. Smoked and confit pig jowl, scallops, shiitake, Jerusalem artichoke crackling. The meat was so tender, the scallopswere a perfect complement to the sweetness of the pork, nice bit of earthy mushroom flavor and the Jerusalem artichoke crackling was pleasing both visually and flavor wise.
Of course we had some sides to share, mixed leaf salad, super creamy potato puree and lovely fresh beans.
For our final course, both of us chose one of Quay’s signature desserts, Quay’s seven texture Valrhona chocolate cake. Yes the one that has appeared on MasterChef. So rich and tasty.
Cheese was also bought out for the tables to share, sadly we ate it before we could take a photo. They were very nice cheeses and smelt amazing!
Looking back towards the city from the tower room. Sydney is so sparkly at night.
Yes I did get to try on a fancy watch or two. Two very elegant watches in white and rose gold with mother of pearl dial.
We would like to thank Watches of Switzerland and A. Lange & Söhne for inviting us to be a part of this very special and fun evening.