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guest

Hello Saito-San. Hope you are doing well in Japan. Have you been to or heard of Chinese restaurant called Shinois? Would you recommend this restaurant and can you please suggest the best way to book it for non-Japanese tourist?

Thank you very much

3 days ago

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guest

Actually as an additional question to Saito-san since we are talking about Chinese restaurants, wondering if any Sichuan recommendation (looking for authentic taste)

about 3 hours ago

guest

Hi everyone, dow, did anyone just experience what I did on Omakase website just now for Amamoto? I literally saw zero slots open up, and I was waiting before it opened and clicked right away as soon as it became available to make reservation. I did it so quickly that there was no way zero dates would even show up as blue color to click on. I know this restaurant is very difficult reservation to make on Omakase however every time I would at least see many "blue" dates slots available to click (even if fail to make reservation in the end). However this time was something else, never seen it like this. If other people experienced the same as me today surely there are really a lot of people using "bots to secure these seats.

5 days ago

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guest

AFAIK, only a few (not all) of people living in Japan were able to secure their seats on Omakase.jp this round. I guess for now Amamoto just releases seats to certain people other than the general public, just like what Kabuto, Kimura or Takamitsu have been doing on Omakase.jp.

4 days ago
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guest

@guest why is that? Is it because of Coronavirus that they are not releasing seats to people outside Japan? Or is it another of many unfair reservation system from restaurants

4 days ago
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guest

Probably only releasing it to his regulars in view of the coronavirus situation. Makes no sense to open to public when the current situation is probably not going away anytime soon.

4 days ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

@guest 1 (3?) - "Hi everyone, dow, did anyone just..."

If I understand this... you clicked and saw zero seats available. You believe because you clicked it so fast, there's 0% chance you could have missed the blue dates. Are you sure you just weren't fast enough? Or am I misunderstanding something...
You didn't really describe what it was you "experienced", this "something else, never seen it like this." Was it a glitch/bug or error screen? I've seen lots of weird stuff before on that website.

Did you have to click the 'next' button on the calendar to get from April to July-September? Maybe by the time you got there, the seats were all gone.

I heard that in the past once, Amamoto would launch with no seats, but 10-15 minutes later, release a few seats at a time, and again later in increments.

...and yes, I do agree with guest 2 & 4, it seems likely that due to the situation, the safer way to ensure his restaurant is fully booked is to reduce the number of overseas reservations or new local customers, and call his closest friends himself.

In addition, there may be the case, that with the possibility of problems in getting supplies from Toyosu and all its shipping routes, along with other complications due to the crisis, he has considered temporarily closing during this time just to be safe. But this is just my own thought.

And I can feel your frustration, in only having 4 chances a year, and for many visitors a once in a life time trip (meaning 1 chance), to book a restaurant you've hyped yourself up on... and this happens. It sounds to me you've also done practice rounds in the past to prepare for this.
I do wish you luck next time, and thank you for getting our minds off this stress recently, and back onto normal restaurant talk.

3 days ago
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guest

I guess you need to keep refreshing. I don't know the exact algorythm, but doubt they put all the dates in blue from the get go.

From my shallow experience using Omakasae, more dates come in blue in the 5-10min window after the exact time reservations open. Also there's likely hundreds of people franktically pressing the refresh button, so you aren't alone.

If the reservations is full you won't be able to see the calendar. The button to choose dates will be greyed out. So you may have missed one of the blue date as menchiktasu mentioned.

about 13 hours ago

ChuToroZuke

Hi everyone,

A change.org petition was started in Japan over the weekend to have the government implement measures to prevent restaurants from going bankrupt

Please take the time to read and sign, it will not cost you a thing. Now is the time for those of us living overseas to do something. At the end of the day it will not be just the small neighborhood places but it will affect the fine dining places and Michelin restaurants alike that many of us travel across the world to. This affects the entire ecosystem of restaurants, supplies, distribution, and quite naturally sake, wine, champagne, beer etc.If things get out of hand and not kept under control, we could be seeing a worldwide disappearance of many restaurants. And perhaps all we will have left are the fast food chain restaurants. And I'm sure nobody want that to happen. As someone who made friends with some restaurant people and owners in Tokyo that I really care about, I too hope they can get through this if things get worse and there is a prolonged lockdown.

For those that do not speak Japanese, I used the Google Chrome built it translation for the contents which I have pasted entirely below after the link. Thanks so much, and your signature will help the entire restaurant industry across Japan, not just Tokyo. I really hope something can happen, but it's also our way of getting our voices heard.

https://bit.ly/2WZkqhX


"Call for measures to prevent restaurants from going bankrupt due to the new coronavirus"


Many restaurants have been hit by the new coronavirus, and it is expected that many stores will go bankrupt if they keep going out or refrain from corporate meals.

On the other hand, restaurants understand that it is necessary to stay out of the way to prevent the spread of infection, and they are unable to urge them to come to the store, so they endure silently.

In order to stop my favorite restaurants from disappearing from the city, I want to raise the voice of the food and beverage industry with the government and local governments. That requires your voice.

The rescue request is a fixed cost (rent) that must be paid even in the event of sales decrease or store closures and subsidies for employee salaries.

Gather many signatures from everyone who uses the restaurant, and from the food industry, and help to move the municipality.

In the future, we may make additional corrections to this content as we proceed with the petition. Because it is too late if we do not proceed quickly, the first step is to send it out. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

Founder:
HAJIME Hajime Yoneda,
Hideaki Matsuo,
Office musubi Yuko Suzuki

7 days ago

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Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

Will do, in fact I've already signed it, and will pass along to others.

Some might be interested in these as well, to get an idea better of what kind of petition efforts are being done out there:
https://www.change.org/p/mayors-governors-legislators-save-america-s-restaurants
https://www.change.org/p/ny-governor-andrew-cuomo-roar-relief-opportunity-for-all-restaurants

I hope you have enough sake stocked up at home @ChuToroZuke, to reduce the stress!

7 days ago
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guest

Somehow, restaurants are still quite packed, and the hard to book restaurants seem as hard to book as ever...

7 days ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

@guest
The tough to book counter places are probably reaching into their 'reserves', their list of loyal regulars they can reach out for help. Let's not forget, 8 seats is far easier to fill than 50 or 100. And these highly exclusive places take up a very small percentage of all restaurants in the city.

As far as the really big casual places with tables go, they might be busy now, but who knows if they implement a half room capacity policy.

I think the neighborhood mom n pop restaurants are the concern here. Some barely fill a decent amount of seats even during peak season, and that's only because they have good regular customers always coming. In reality, many are barely making enough to get by and make a living.

7 days ago
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ChuToroZuke

Doing good for now here at the moment, thank you for asking. I hope everyone is also healthy and well.

Should a lockdown come into place, Tokyo and other parts of Japan could be looking like California phase 2, lockdown where only essential businesses operate like restaurants, groceries, supermarkets, and services deemed critical to everyday life. And if social distancing measures are implemented, this could be small restaurants (or practically any establishment that also serves alcohol and bites from sake bars to izakaya etc) having to close completely because of small cramped spacing, and they will only be allowed to sell takeout and/or do deliveries, resulting in a large reduction of income. Japan would have to relax the rules like in California to allow sake (wine, beer, cocktails in closed containers, champagne etc only unopened bottles for all) to be purchased to go with food (although more difficult with sake since many bottles are 1.8 L).

Whatever will happen to the super hard to book small famous restaurants will depend on whether there is a lockdown or not (and also the severity of this 2nd outbreak). If there is also an interruption with the food distribution line, and if restaurants cannot get their ingredients such as seafood, then even they will be in big trouble. One has to think of it like a giant ecosystem....everyone is affected one way or another.

7 days ago
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Shi

Thanks for sharing the petition @ChuToroZuke I've definitely added my name to it and shared it with my friends. Wishing the best for everyone!

6 days ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

The change.org petition is doing pretty well I'd say! It's already well past its initial goal. What sort of steps would come next?

By the way, this seems like related news:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/31/business/economy-business/60-trillion-stimulus/

5 days ago

Menchikatsu

I've noted that some restaurants have started fundraising campaigns and relief efforts. In order to cover their overhead, expenses, employees, and keep them afloat during this difficult time. Some have been very quick about raising money very fast!

As per this article:
https://www.grubstreet.com/2020/03/coronavirus-restaurants-crowdfunding.html

Is there perhaps something similar being done in Japan, to help local restaurants?
Hope everything gets better soon.

17 days ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

For now, I haven't seen that kind of effort in Japan.
In Tokyo, people seem to be back out in town again with the cherry blossom season (for better or the worse), and I heard restaurants are starting to get more customers.
However, the infection could still get out of hand even now, so we still need to be careful...(I think people in Tokyo are not careful enough.)

14 days ago
Blackglasses1

Menchikatsu

I'm quite surprised at the scene in Tokyo, with so many large groups out. Either they've done an amazing job at suppressing the virus, or they're just not reporting it publicly. I hope things continue to improve.

At least it's good that restaurants were able to avoid closing down their dine-in. In the US, restaurants are struggling to stay alive in this period of time. Some are getting really creative with takeout, using delivery for the first time, or even selling their ingredients like a general store.

Be safe Saito-san! I hope localtaste, ChuToroZuke, and everyone else is hanging in there too.

12 days ago
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guest

"I'm quite surprised at the scene in Tokyo, with so many large groups out."

Yeah, I'm amazed (and disappointed) at the sheer stupidity.

11 days ago

guest

Hi Saito-san!
Any views on Sushi Umi (海味)?
Haven't found your review of this place.

26 days ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

I am not a fan of their militaristic and excessively energetic service, so I haven't gone back since I visited them a few years ago.
Nakamura-san, who used to be a master chef there, quit a while back, and now that he's gone, if you were to ask me if I would go as far as to visit them again after eliminating other good choices, I would be a reluctant.

26 days ago
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guest

Hello saito san, what about Sushi Ryujiro? Have you or anyone else been there? How would you recommend this place? Better than Umi when Nakamura San was there?

Thank you

24 days ago
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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

When I visited once and talked to Nakamura-san, he said that he is doing a lot of experimentation by changing the tuna supplier to "Yamayuki", the vinegar in the shari, and the soy sauce.
However, I would not say that the quality of the sushi has changed conspicuously from when he was at "Umi" and my feeling is that the consistent quality of the sushi has been maintained unchanged from "Umi".
If you can get a reservation, I think that it is worth visiting once.

24 days ago

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