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Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Hong Kong, China
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Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Just finished dinner at Kanda.....two of us, bill came to 58000 yen....and we were so disappointed. Made reservations in March....two months ahead and turns out....wasnt close to any of the other one star or two star ones we had tried in past two years.

does anyone know if it is supposed to be really good still or we are right....not that spectacular and definitely not worth this price.

We were in Esaki....and by far it was so much better in food quality, creativity, variety, and taste.

Just curious if anyone has tried Kanda recently.

Thanks.

London, United...
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1. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

That's over GBP 450..!! You must have overdone it on the alcohol mate. Food on its own shouldn't be that pricey.

Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

nope....just course dinner is 25000 yen plus 10% service charge. two people. and we ordered hot tea. dont know if that costed any thing. oh...hubby ordered one beer.

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3. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Thanks for your interesting comments. No, I haven't tried Kanda but read other's reviews that made it seem less than perfect.

I had an 'ordinary' experience last year at a 3 star sushi place (not Sukiyabashi Jiro) where the older female hostess welcomed us with all the hospitality of a Stalinist camp overseer. Sure the Master was a little gruff that doesn't bother me, he gradually warmed slightly & cracked a smile but the sushi was just 'ok' nothing special. I was there with Japanese people & they were really, really disappointed too. And we'd had the most 'out of this world' sushi & lovely service elsewhere that week at a no star place.

I have had spectacular Kaiseki at 2, 1 and no star restaurants. So now I am very circumspect about the whole Michelin rating system. Can't trust it. No wonder there's a whole anti-Michelin movement going on in Japan's restaurant world. Some places are so over-rated even Japanese people are saying that publicly and that's unusual. My husband uses Japanese reviews for research, but look, Michelin is a handy guide if you have nothing else to use I suppose.

This is an interesting article it also mentions Kanda

nytimes.com/2008/…

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4. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Yeah that'd be right re: price

In Japan (like nearly every other developed nation) high end places charge super high end prices

I recall the sushi place the bill was written on a bit of paper, (traditionally they don't itemise the bill) it came to about the same amount as your bill, they accepted cash only. We didn't drink all that much.

Look if it's for an exceptional meal experience I don't mind paying - some people spend a lot of money on Disneyland, going skiing, buying brand names, or sleeping in 5 Star western style beds that stuff leaves me cold. We budget & plan our trip to go try restaurants and ryokans when travelling in Japan. Mostly my experiences have been very good except for one over-rated ryokan and the sushi place in Ginza.

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5. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Interesting article. But not recent ...

I think the Michelin Guide is good for having a bunch of restaurants to search through that has a minimum standard. However 1-3 stars is really not very useful in my opinion

Sushi Iwa is one star. But having eaten there twice in one year....both times were spectacular. Compared to the bunch of sushi places with two and three stars.....we tried many of them.None of them comparable to One star Sushi Iwa.

Sushi Kanesaka....we were there yesterday. Totally boring. very fine fresh sushi and sashimi....we ate these thousands of times. The sushi chef's skill was very good but it is expected standard I think in a restaurant asking for such prices. Wasnt terrible....was very good. but I wouldnt go there again. Very typical items and way of serving the sashimi and sushi.

Tokyo, Japan
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6. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

25,000 yen dinner per person is not so rare at a proper restaurant near Roppongi Hills. I'm sorry that you were so disappointed. I hope you'll be lucky to find good food somewhere else cheaper.

Food is relative, and it depends much on personal taste and conditions of the day. The Japanese tabelog reviews also point out that satisfaction fluctuates with this restaurant: sometimes great but other times unimpressive. It's also true that the Michelin guide is after all a foreign guide so not many locals trust what they say. Sometimes the guides spoil the restaurant. Sometimes your tastes don't go well with the chef's taste. The best punishment you can do to them is not going back.

r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1307/A130701/13005439/

By the way, I had a great Sanuki udon bowl today, with a large 2-persons portion of udon, a kitsune, and chikuwa-tempura, for about 800 yen. The noodle was so sleek, yet so chewy and firm. Yes, it's just a udon, but it is so different from what you'd eat at normal udon/soba stands at JR stations. The service is always a bit sloppy there, as it's directly operated by the udon supplier.

r.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A131001/13100374/

Edited: 12 May 2012, 17:06
Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

We eat in many places ....One soba place in Ueno....550 yen..best we ever ate.....

Sanda....all beef (different parts of wagyu beef/cow) dinner. We were soooo amazed at the taste, and creativity. Most shocking was the reasonable price per person for a set course. Definitely will return next time.

Kanda....we ate nothing tonight that justifies charging that price.white asparagus with melon, flounder sashimi....four thin pieces......one with a long piece of BONE in it ! (this was totally unacceptable ! bone in sashimi ?) One piece of Snapper sushi, hairy crab ball with broad bean mixed in , Vegetables, beef tendeloin, ayu fish, one grill piece of mackerel , tofu in soup, claypot rice with clams,turtle soup, mango jelly, and ice cream.

we felt totally ripped off.

Edited: 12 May 2012, 17:24
Tokyo, Japan
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8. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

A Japanese person who dined at Kanda wrote that Michelin guide's 1-3 star difference mean almost nothing, that with language skills (Kanda chef was in France), wine, and modern interior, you'd be on their list.

I think value-for-money and proper customer service is also a factor in satisfaction. Sushi is just sushi, after all, it developed as fast food, Edo-Tokyo style. We don't want to be bossed around by arrogant chefs. We don't want surprising performances or flashy rolls.

Tabelog isn't always reliable, but I wonder whether the top rankers of sushi restaurant in Tokyo according to them (random visitors, like tripadvisor) are listed in Michelin's guide.

r.tabelog.com/tokyo/0/0/lst/…

Edited: 12 May 2012, 17:33
SF
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9. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

My take on Michelin is, like NT Times article says, it is a marketing ploy to make money by selling their Guide because it's popularity & the bottom line are declining.

It is not just Japan doubting but in US, too.

From my experience I don't listen to others anymore, especially those newly affluent & opinionated people. I found so many don't know what they are talking about and their opinions are often influenced by other people. A herd mentality & also by the feeling that higher the price, the better it must be.

In US, I don't go to any celebrity chef restaurants after sampling a few.

The presumed high expectations are bound to fail sooner or later where as if you don't expect much, then you might get more nice surprises at much lower prices.

There are so many good places in Japan (& other countries).

If I am paying, I want to be surprised more often than disappointed.

Also there are some very high end private restaurants that corporations cater to for their business guests. For example, in Kyoto we were taken to a restaurant but didn't look like one from outside. We were in one of a few private rooms that had beautifully manicured & lighted Japanese garden view with a koi carp pond & bamboo forest in the back. We had a fantastic Kaiseki dinner served by a personal detail oriented room server in kimono. These places are not on the Guide list anyway and not even many Japanese know about them.

BTW:If you go to Yanagawa, Fukuoka in Kyushu, there is a restaurant for the mass similar but larger setting. http://www.ohana.co.jp/e/index.html

The same approach for hotels, too. My family used to stay at Mandarin Oriental at Bangkok in the older section but with a huge discount. The newer section is like any other hotels, no charm. I don't use any high end hotels in Tokyo which are big, flashy(ugly to my taste), all concrete & oftern inconveniently located.

Different people have different tastes & value for money approaches.

I hope you will have a better experience next time.

Edited: 12 May 2012, 21:31
Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Disappointing dinner at Three Star Michelin restaurant KANDA

Finding a bone in sashimi is unacceptable in any restaurant - How disappointing for you.

There's been a persception for some time that the Michelin guide for Japan isn't quite up to standard when compared to say, various parts of Europe. But I'd agree that Michelin isn't necessarily THE guide to go by - we've has sub par meals in California before despite being Michelin rated.

I'd rather go by the opinions and reviews of other foodies. While it can be hit and miss, it's worked generally well for me so far across the world.

For sashimi and sushi and what some 3 star places charge - well, I'd rather fly to hokkaido and eat up big there :)

Appreciated your feedback!