Sunday, December 25, 2016

ANA Suite Lounge Haneda, Tokyo - Competent Food?

It's been a while since my last airport lounge writeup @ The Private Room more than a year ago. Thought I would end 2016 with one on the ANA Suite Lounge in Haneda Airport, which I utilised while flying F back from Tokyo to Singapore.

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The Place

The lounge is huge and on the left side as you walk in from the main entrance is where you get a view of the tarmac or hole yourself up in a single cubicle to do your work/watch Japanese channels/sleep. The full service dining room (only operational during meal times) is also located in this section.

On the right hand side from the main entrance is where the kitchen is located (anytime dining where you can order from a limited menu - see pictures below) with proper tables and chairs for eating. There are also limited buffet spreads in both sections.

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Buffet Spread

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Anytime Dining Menu

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Beef Burger & Simmered Beef Over Steamed Rice

The above 2 dishes were from the anytime dining menu and while the gyu don was respectably decent (more beef would be good though), the beef burger was average at best with the patty bland and a tad dry. Ditto the buns. I'll probably stick with the Japanese dishes next time round. 

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Akita Beef Round Steak

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Salt Grilled "Hamada" Rockfish Marinated in Soy based Sauce

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ANA Original Parfait "Minori no Tsuki"

The above 3 dishes were from the full service dining room menu (seasonal). The portion of beef was rather small and lacked the beefiness and marbling that I was looking for; I don't know if it was the grade of beef or the execution but it was a little disappointing, considering that Akita beef is rather respectable in Japan. The rockfish came across as palatable but no great shakes whilst the parfait (Minori no Tsuki is apparently a species of Maple native to Japan) proffered a sweet yet light ending to our meal.

Overall I think the ANA first class flights offer better dining quality onboard vis a vis their lounges.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: NA

Overall: 7.5/10

Address: Haneda Airport

Contact: NA

Opening Hours:

Near Gate 110: 5:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Near Gate 114: 6:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Kikuyo Shokudo (きくよ食堂), Hokkaido - Famous Seafood Place in Hakodate

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Less than a 10 minute walk from our hotel was the famed Hakodate morning market; bustling and filled with a wide array of fresh Hakodate produce and eateries selling seafood. One such popular eatery was Kikuyo Shokudo (started in 1956), which has 2 outlets in the rather compact market premises. We stumbled upon one of the outlets during one of our morning jaunts through the market and decided to stop for breakfast. 

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The Place & Menu

The place was neither big nor fancy but thankfully, there was an English menu available.

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Kani Don (¥1,480)

Japanese steamed rice covered with shredded Hokkaido crab; chilled, fresh and bursting with crustecean sweetness. What's not to like?

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Sanshu Okonomi Don (¥1,680)

You have a choice of 3 seafood items from the list and the wife chose grilled salmon flake, scallop and prawn and crab meat. She was clearly impressed. The sliced raw scallops were very fresh and sweet while the salmon flakes didn't come across as too fishy. In short, triple happiness in a bowl.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

10-11 Wakamatsucho Hakodate Hokkaido (北海道 函館市 若松町 10-11) - 支店
11-15 Wakamatsucho Hakodate Hokkaido (北海道 函館市 若松町 11-15) - 本店

Contact: 0138-23-2334 (支店)

Opening Hours: 5am to 2pm daily


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Tokachi Butadon Ippin (十勝豚丼いっぴん), Hokkaido - For The Grilled Pork Aficionado

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A friend recommended this to us while we were in Sapporo and since it was a very short walk from our hotel to Stellar Place @ Sapporo Station, we popped by to indulge in some apparently very delicious grilled pork.

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The English Menu

I like how the English menu is done up by hand; feels very personal and self explanatory. Only thing is that it seems to be missing a couple of items as compared to the Japanese menu (but I could be wrong as I don't really understand Japanese).

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This was the normal rice with 3 slices of pork. And it was indeed delicious. Tender meat glazed over with a mildly sweet sauce, coupled with charred bits and the ever addictive Japanese rice, this was one simple, yet seriously delicious bowl of grilled pork rice. On hindsight, I should have been greedy and doubled my pork.

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A small bowl of rice (2 slices pork) and a normal bowl of rice (3 slices pork) cost us to the tune of 1,943 JPY (~ SGD 25 at time of conversion), which was reasonable by Japan's standards and very worth it in my humble opinion. It was so good that I visited twice during my trip!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10 (a little cramp)
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Value for money: 8/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: Stellar Place Centre Sapporo 6F (〒060-0035 北海道札幌市中央区北5条西2丁目5 6階). Various other outlets in Sapporo.

Contact: 011-209-5298

Opening Hours: 11:00 to 23:00 (Last Order 22:30)