99% Food, 1% Skin

Category archives: Japanese

Eating Out in Queen Anne

How does a friendly Northwest neighborhood business street look like?

One can experience that when you step on the Upper Queen Anne stretch of Queen Anne Avenue North.

Quiet, friendly, prosperous with many eateries and shops.

Starts off with southern-most Cederberg Tea House to Chocolopolis, I found myself at Susahi Samurai next.

wp_20161121_16_19_32_pro

wp_20161121_16_13_00_pro wp_20161121_16_13_07_pro

Happy Hour starts at 4pm, with sushi set at great price, small varieties of rolls, and discounted drinks.

wp_20161121_16_21_54_pro

Top: Samurai roll — Bottom: Happy Hour sushi set

The 12-piece sushi set was only $12, and came with the salmon, smoked salmon, tuna, escolar, shrimp and albacore.

Fish slices were on the thin end with ok freshness.

I wanted to try the Samurai roll even though it was not on the Happy Hour menu.

Flavor was good overall with baked seafood on top of salmon roll, unfortunately the top baked seafood was burnt.

wp_20161121_16_49_39_pro

The seafood poke had good chili sauce/soy/sesame flavor, tossed with salad greens, seafood was mostly tuna and squid.

Tuna was very sloppily chopped and tendinous.

The tendon was very hard to chew; it looked like there was an attempt to cut them but it was not successful at the end.

wp_20161121_16_27_33_pro

I liked the crunchy salmon rolls.

Chopped salmon roll with tempura bits on the outside, topped with spicy mayo.

Perfect amount of mayo, fish and crunch.

wp_20161121_16_51_28_pro

The negitan roll looked interesting on paper.

A yellow tail and green onion roll, fried, and topped with eel sauce.

Unfortunately, I could not say I was a fan of it.

The rolls were soggy and not crunchy, and the fish flavor was drowned by rice.

I would much rather go back to my usual spot, Ginza, for sushi.

Continue North on Queen Anne Avenue North, there is Trader Joe’s, Cupcake Royale, Menchie’s and my favorite coffee place, Storyville.

Right besides Storyville, is Bounty Kitchen.

A simple, airy restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, with simple, healthy, local and organic food.

wp_20160921_11_54_33_pro

Bounty Kitchen offers toasts, soups, salads, sandwiches, and “great bowl of goodness”!!

We had a soba bowl and their Havana Libre bowl, both were delicious, and truly lived up to the name of “great bowl of goodness”.

Bounty kitchen did a fantastic job with textures: the raw vegetables, such as spinach and arugula gave the crunchy texture in my Libre bowl while the sweet potatoes and avocado were soft, and black rice provided the chewiness.

wp_20160921_12_08_10_pro

Full of flavors such as citrus and cilantro, garlic, onion, tomatoes from the sofrito, each bite was packed with texture and strong addictive flavors.

wp_20160921_12_08_34_pro

Soba noodle in the soba bowl was cooked perfected, tossed with carrot, napa cabbage, lettuce, bean sprouts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, finished off with a miso dressing.

The chicken was Draper Valley’s all natural salt and pepper roasted chicken, tender and tasty.

Their menu consists of plenty vegan/vegetarian options as well.

There are still so many places I want to check out around the neighborhood — Grappa, a Mediterranean restaurant, and Eden Hill, a fancy set course dinner spot, to name a few.

More trips to Queen Anne to come!

Sushi Samurai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ramen Versus

The ramen wave in Seattle is still going strong, after Santouka, second Kukai, Arashi and Jin Ya, two other ramen stores opened their doors on the east side.

Ramen Bushi-do is in Issaquah.

WP_20160716_12_20_27_Pro

I was super excited with this place because the menu looked interesting.

The dish I was dying to try was the fish tsukeman.

Broth was very strong in bonito flavor, noodle was nice and thick.

WP_20160716_12_42_24_Pro

The other attractive-looking dish was the salmon cold noodle.

WP_20160716_12_46_29_Pro

Noodle was good, flavor was ok.

I had mechanical issue with the dish: why were the salmon and vegetables diced?

With every bite, the diced ingredient fell through the gaps of the noodle; then, I had to pick up the diced vegetables from the plate.

I would prefer the vegetables to be julienned, and perhaps salmon in larger chunks.

It looked great on presentation, but difficult to eat.

On the appetizers, gomae did not have enough sesame flavor and was too wet.

9_1_2016 10_21_37

The “appetizer” of marinated bean sprouts were ok.

Chicken karaage was fried nice and crisp, but it came with a Chinese salt and pepper dipping sauce for Chinese steamed salted chicken, not Japanese at all.

We opted for the low sodium version of the Tonkotsu ramen which, perhaps was a mistake.

WP_20160716_12_44_05_Pro

The  sodium level was just right for our taste, but the flavor was weak.

There was the thickness from the collagen of the bone broth, but without flavor, a little strange.

By comparison to Ramen Bushi-do, Yoshi Ramen in Bellevue had a much smaller menu.

WP_20160724_15_09_57_Pro

On the first visit, I had the yuzu ramen with chicken soup.

It had a fragrant grapefruit/citrus flavor in a light chicken broth, very delightful.

WP_20160724_15_23_33_Pro

Their #1 noodle was the Jiro noodle with pork, and tons of bean sprouts.

The broth had a deep, garlicky flavor, little salty but still good.

Pork was tender, and noodle had the perfect chewy texture.

WP_20160724_15_23_43_Pro

A note on their noodle, they were not the typical ramen noodle: a lot thicker, almost like Chinese noodle, and I absolutely found the bouncy texture enjoyable.

Some people online did not like their broth because it was not thick.

It did not bother me one bit.

Being Chinese, I like brothy soup, and Ramen Yoshi’s broth was right down my alley.

Ramen Yoshi’s shining star was their mazenmen.

WP_20160724_15_23_49_Pro

Dan Dan, spicy flavor with ground pork, delicious and addictive.

For appetizers, chicken karaage was fried very well, and marinated flavorfully with lots of garlic, exactly how I like them.

The fried squid was also very good, tender and crisp.

WP_20160724_15_21_06_Pro WP_20160724_15_20_17_Pro

I am partial to Ramen Yoshi in this round of ramen versus.

Ramen Bushi-Do Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WP_20151219_17_48_24_Pro

Kingyo

With the great experience I had at Hapa in Vancouver, next on the list is Kingyo.

First impression was not great.

The phone reservation left me feeling very unwelcome, as if I was given a giant favor for my table reservation when I was the one bringing in business?

In a nutshell, Kingyo has a 2-hour dining policy; instead of sharing that nicely over the phone, the staff was rude.

Needless to say, felt like the food really needed to be very good for me to return.

First up, salmon carpaccio.

WP_20151219_17_50_05_Pro

Fresh, nicely textured Sockeye salmon, with fried garlic chips and crunchy sprouts; similar to sister restaurant Suika, there was too much sauce (actually a tasty pesto soy dressing) which covered the great quality ingredient. Continue reading →

Sushi Kappo Tamura

Sushi Kappo Tamura has been a staple in Seattle’s sushi scene for a very long time.

Their primary focus was to serve fresh and seasonal local food in the restaurant.

Although not a truly sustainable sushi restaurant, Sushi Kappo Tamura has tried to educate through listing sustainable fish options in their menu.

We went there long time ago, and found their prices quite high, and had not returned — until recently that I found out they do brunch on the weekend!

I always love Japanese breakfast: with congee, pickled vegetables, simple grilled fish, stew meat or vegetables, a complete, delicious and satisfying meal; I was looking for something like that in Kappo Tamura.

Brunch menu was simple with gozen, sushi combinations and a noodle.

The choice was obvious for me, and my sister.

I went for the Hiru Gozen with braised Wagyu beef and sashimi, and she went for Asa Gozen with grilled salmon.

DH stuck with his favorite, sushi combination.

When food arrived, the Hiru Gozen was presented beautifully. Continue reading →