Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Archive for the ‘Japanese Cuisine’ Category

Memory Lane for great yakitori in West Shinjuku

with 6 comments

Omoide Yokochō

Omoide Yokochō

Omoide Yokocho (or Memory Lane) is an old neighborhood of small yakitori joints that harkens back to days long past. It is located within the neon-lit skyscrapers of West Shinjuku.  Adjacent to the Uniqlo store near the Lumine Department Store, Omoide Yokocho’s days are numbered as it is beyond its shelf-life.  The area is ramshackle and its only of matter of time before it is torn down in the name of progress.  The option is to rehabilitate the area however no one except for some of the tenants is in favor of this.  Some of the Yakitori is quite good as the numbers of patrons indicate.

This area dates back to the US Occupation post World War II and has always been a favorite for good relatively well-priced food.

All photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24mm f/.4 lens.

Crowded and friendly.

Crowded and friendly.

Red lanterns everywhere.

Red lanterns everywhere.

Tight confines.

Tight confines.

Another joint.

Another joint.

Advertisements

Written by leolaksi

May 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Dining at the Ambassador Hotel, Tokyo Disneyland

with one comment

ambassadorfront

I’ve stayed at several of the Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea hotels, including the Ambassador, the MiraCosta and the Hilton.  Of the three, I prefer the Ambassador.  Although it’s the oldest, you never get the impression that its anything but top drawer.  The public areas, including the restaurants and the lobby, and the rooms are first-rate.  I have no complaints at all.

Although the MiraCosta is impressive with its faux-Italian decor and its direct private access to DisneySea, the Ambassador has a more impressive array of eating establishments.  Not only are there several on-premises restaurants, you’re just a 5 minute walk away from the Ikspiari Complex, what with its numerous restaurants including a fast food court.  Oh yeah, there’s also a supermarket.

From the MiraCosta and the Hilton, the Ikspiari is a train ride away.  Not all that inconvenient but nevertheless slightly more work.

FYI, you can also make your reservation at the Disneyland Resort Hotels online.

Photos taken with a Leica M8 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens.

ambassadorlobby

ambassadorhana

ambassadorchefmickey (1)

ambassadorticktock

Written by leolaksi

May 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

Photo-shoot at the entertainment zone near the Osaka Station

leave a comment »

Entrance to the entertainment complex

Entrance to the entertainment complex

A short distance from the main Osaka JR station and adjacent to the Higashiumeda subway station is an entertainment complex that runs for several blocks.  It is replete with many Japanese slot machine outlets, referred to as  pachinko parlors, that offer prizes that you later exchange for cash (because gambling is illegal).   But this area is not one-dimensional as there are many restaurants, bars, and other sorts of businesses that are popular afterhours activities in this area.

Pachinko parlor

Pachinko parlor

The area is well-lit and garish and for that reason is an interesting place to photograph.  I used a M8 with a Voightlander Heliar 15mm f/4.5 for all these photos.  It is an excellent choice as the depth of field at f/4.5 is .8 meters to infinity.  You don’t have to be concerned about focusing your lens and you can bring the camera to eye level and shoot quickly.  For this reason,  this lens is one of my favorites.

Loud and colorful

Loud and colorful

Restaurants too

Restaurants too

About three blocks in length

About three blocks in length

Time for a snack

Time for a snack

Written by leolaksi

February 10, 2009 at 6:37 am

Dinner at Iroha Japanese BBQ in Bangkok

with 6 comments

If you’ve never had Japanese BBQ, you are really missing a treat.  Each table at the restaurant has a charcoal grill built into the table and you can order up all kinds and meats, fish and vegatables that you can grill to your heart’s delight.  But I think the two best dishes are the Daikon Salad which is served with a Japanese style vinegarette and the cucumber stuffed with a small amount of pickled daikon.  It may sound weird but in fact they are both great.  Iroha is located on Soi 17 off of Thonglor Soi 13 one block from Thonglor.  See map at right side bar for location.

Finally, Japanese BBQ is “Yakiniku”.    I would suggest that you also try Korean BBQ from which Japanese BBQ is believed to be descended.

Start cooking

Start cooking

Written by leolaksi

November 15, 2008 at 8:00 pm

Roaming Bangkok – Zen Japanese Restaurant, Soi Thonglor at Soi 2

with 2 comments

One of my favorite Japanese restaurants on Thonglor is Zen.  Although the restaurant is not a high-end, I find the food quite good.  The menu is extensive, one of the largest I’ve seen.  The offerings run the gamut from the stereotypical sushi, tempura and teriyaki to other dishes that definitely have a local slant.  Like the  spicy seafood salad, a dish I consider one of their best.  And the prices are some of the lowest in Thailand.

The restaurant is located in the 55th Building which also houses several other Japanese restaurants, a Sizzler and a See Fah Chinese Restaurant.

Please come in

Please come in

Have a seat

Have a seat

Written by leolaksi

October 9, 2008 at 6:57 am

Yakiniku – Japanese BBQ interview

with 2 comments

A couple of months ago I was interviewed by US “Men’s Health” magazine re “Yakiniku” (Japanese BBQ).  Well glad to say that the short interview made it to print!  There is one typo.  The Japanese sauce is called “tare” not “pare”.

Living here in Bangkok we are lucky in that there is Yakiniku everywhere!  My favorite is Iroha off of Thonglor.

FYI, I also went to an all-you-can-eat Yakiniku restaurant in Vancouver Canada last Tuesday night and it was also very good.  Not at good as Iroha but not bad.

Written by leolaksi

October 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

Roaming Vancouver – Sushi on Robson St.

with 8 comments

Last ones in the restaurant

Last ones in the restaurant

Last night we ate at Tsunami Sushi at 1025 Robson in Vancouver.  I wasn’t expecting much when we got there.  We were very hungry and since it was Friday night, we didn’t have much choice.  The restaurant was completely filled, mainly with locals enjoying sushi, tempura and teriyaki.  The sushi was good.  Not the best I’ve had, but good.  I am partial to uni (sea urchin) and hotate (scallop) sushi and both were exceptional.   As both are locally supplied, they were also very fresh.  And cheap.  Uni (two pieces) for $4.25 Canadian and hotate for $2.95!  In most Asian cities, uni is between $12 and $25.

One last point, this restaurant is not a high-end restaurant.  It is an affordable family restaurant.

Around the corner

Around the corner

Written by leolaksi

September 27, 2008 at 8:36 pm