Monday, August 20, 2007

Red Steak House

August 19, 2007 : Red Steak House

World Porters is one of the furthest shopping malls from Sakuragicho Station. With a large movie theater, many shops and restaurants, the distance from the station does not stop many locals and tourists from visiting this mall.

A couple of months ago, the first floor was renovated and some new restaurants were added. A shabu-shabu restaurant, a Starbucks, a Cold Stone Creamery, a dorayaki store and a steak house.

We decided to try this steak house to see how their hamburgs were. Since I have an absolutely favorite hamburg restaurant called Hungry Tiger, it is very hard to find another restaurant that fulfills my hamburg craving as much as Hungry Tiger. However, since both of the Hungry Tiger restaurants in my area have since moved to more suburban locations, I have had to venture out to try to find a suitable alternative.

The entrance to Red Steak House

Salad and soup from the salad/soup bar

After looking through the menu, I decided on the Cheese Hamburg and my mom decided to try the Japanese style hamburg. The salad/soup bar was extra but we both wanted a little bit of salad so we added that onto our lunch. The salad/soup set also comes with either bread or rice and I wanted rice while my mom decided on bread.

The salad bar was simple with your basic salad offerings - lettuce, seaweed, potato salad, yogurt, fruit and some salad toppings like bacon bits, onion, croutons and cheese.

The soup bar consisted of two soups: corn potage and onion soup. Since I love corn potage, I had a cup of the corn potage, while my mom tried the onion soup. Both were good and perfect on the side the hamburg dish.

Cheese hamburg



Wafu oroshi hamburg (Japanese style hamburg)

The hamburgs were soft and juicy and had the home-made, hand-kneaded feel to it, unlike many restaurant who use machine-kneaded hamburgs.

The hamburg came with a side of demiglase sauce which is always quite perfect on hamburgs.

While Hungry Tiger finishes off their hamburg by splitting the hamburg in half and frying the meat on the hot stone plate, Red Steak House`s hamburg was already cooked and simply rested on the warm stone plate.

The hamburg was good and would serve as an okay alternative to my favorite Hungry Tiger but never a substitute.

Red Steak House
World Porters 1st Floor
2-2-1 Shinko, Nakaku

Shakeys Yokohama

August 18, 2007 : Shakeys (Yokohama)

While many of the local area Shakeys have gone away, the one by Yokohama station still operates their lunch buffet, both on weekdays and on the weekends.
This day, we went for their weekend buffet which is a few hundred yen more than their weekday buffet but we had a coupon for a free small drink from Gurunavi so we didn`t care too much. Plus, I think the price difference is really only 200yen or so.

The entrance to Shakeys with the price posted on their sign

The first thing you do when you get inside the restaurant is pay. This makes it much easier for eaters to just leave once they finish eating, which I think makes for a faster turnaround.. but I`m not sure. They handed us a drink coupon to redeem at the drink counter and we saw that there was already a line forming at the pizza buffet line. It was a little before 11:30 so the restaurant itself wasn`t that crowded but as we sat down, we noticed more and more people coming in through the door.

My favorite mo-jo potatoes and salad

Salami pizza, seafood pizza, japanese style seafood pizza topped with nori, beef pizza

Shrimp and mushroom pizza, double cheese pizza,
custard and banana pizza (dessert pizza), pasta and mo-jo potatoes

What I absolutely love about the Shakey`s in Japan is the fact that you can eat as much pizza as you like and they have a superb selection of all different kinds of pizza toppings! While I love Shakeys in general, the pizzas that you see on this buffet line vary from regular salami, sausages, mushroom and veggies to tom-yum-goong, kimchi, and dessert pizzas like custard and peaches, banana chocolate!!! I also like the fact that the pieces are small enough that you can have several different kinds of pizza!

My favorite was the double cheese pizza and the seafood pizza =)

Price: 1,134 yen (holiday/weekend price)

Shakeys (Yokohama)
Marufuji Bldg B1
1-11-1 Minami Saiwai
Nishiku, Yokohama

Friday, August 17, 2007

Akasaka Square Dining

August 17, 2007 : Akasaka Square Dining

Inside the Akasaka Excel Tokyu Hotel, there is a buffet restaurant called the Akasaka Square Dining. The restaurant is split into two different areas where the first area is more of a cafe and the back area is where they serve their popular weekday lunch buffet. While I also like their strawberry dessert buffet served in the cafe area of Akasaka Square Dining, today we tried out their weekday lunch buffet.

The entrance to Akasaka Square Dining

Ikura-don, taraba crab, fried kushiage, hamburg and pasta

The buffet has two separate seating times - one at 11:30am and the other at 1:30pm. We made reservations for the first one and arrived a little early but they led us to our table and asked us to wait until the finished setting up the buffet line. When the food was ready, the servers went around to each of the tables and told them that the food was ready.

The buffet line included fried kushiage (shrimp, vegetable and potatoes), curry, pasta, pickled vegetables, fried fish, italian hamburg and their specials : taraba crab, ikura (salmon eggs) and negitoro (mixture of toro and onion) don and their steak don (rice bowl). They also had a small area with some simple salad items as well.

The view from our table (of busy Akasaka)

crab miso soup

steak-don (bowl)

Each table had a pair of kitchen scissors to make it easier for diners to eat their large taraba crab legs! They also had crab forks available for use as well which made it much easier to eat these large crab legs!
Out of all of the dishes, my absolute favorite was the steak. Just barely cooked on the outside, the meat was perfect. There was almost no need to chew! It just kinda melted in my mouth.

After finishing our dishes, we moved onto dessert. Here too, they did not dissapoint. They had at least 5 or 6 different cakes, 2 or 3 jellies, soft serve ice cream and various fruit. My favorite was the strawberry cake and their strawberry jelly.

The buffet also included coffee, English tea or Japanese tea.

Soft serve ice cream, strawberry jelly and strawberry cake


strawberry shortcake (after all of the strawberries had been eaten!)
and a fruit tart

While the buffet line does not necessarily provide the same variety as some of the other hotel buffets, I think that each item is of very high quality and for the price, what a bargain!

Lunch buffet: 1980yen per person (weekdays only, reservations highly recommended)

Akasaka Square Dining
Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu 3rd Floor
2-14-3, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel (81) 3-3580-2311