The best kuchikomi (mouth communication) site I trust.

14 Dec
nabe2 Whenever I try out a new cosmetic brand or product, I never fail to check out this site to study how it is supported by actual users.

Same can be said to restaurants. Gurunavi is a well-known index site for restaurants and Izakaya with discount coupons, but it’s not the resources I trust when I choose the place to eat or drink.
That’s because Gurunavi only lists restaurants of which the owner agreed with paying for the advertisement cost to them. In other words, if there are small good restaurants but cannot afford paying Gurunavi for advertising, they can never be found in Gurunavi.
That’s why I do pay more attention to Tabelog. Even though it doesn’t offer discount coupons, it’s more reliable in a sense that we can reach true comments from “experienced” people.

I also like browsing Couponland, a free magazine to look for restaurants or beauty salons I may want to try but the other day it was totally my mistake that I didn’t double check at Tabelog after I found a nice hotpot restaurant from Couponland. Now I can see why I was unsatisfied with what we had, when I read the comments left for it at Tabelog. (You may understand what’s written, depending on your Japanese skills. But even without it, you can see it’s not very good from the numbers of stars!)

As you can see in the photos, I went out to eat a soy milk hotpot with a lump of chicken collagen in Shinjuku (this restaurant) with my husband the other day. That was only because the photo I found at a Couponland was tempting, as well as discount coupon, of course! I forgot to check the reputation of the restaurant at Tabelog, and this was a big mistake!

The problem was that the foods were not worth for the money we paid. Nowadays we can get things at reasonable prices with not bad quality, I feel I have paid much more than it deserved. The soy milk hotpot (tounyu nabe 豆乳鍋) was not bad, but total amount was too expensive for what we took. I never asked all-you-can-drink for 1500 yen per person, but they charged us by mistake. (I noticed their mistake when I paid money, so I didn’t pay this. If I include this amount, the sum will be something way too much!) I was disappointed at my selection, and that I missed checking at Tabelog.

If you have a chance to stay in Japan, be sure to check out the restaurant beforehand, and pick out the one you go to wisely, because there are millions restaurants and Izakaya in the city area. It’s not easy to choose the one you want to try. I’d browse Couponland to find a restaurant (Izakaya) I want to try out, check it out at Tabelog for reputation, and search it at Gurunavi and if they offer better discount than Couponland, I’ll use it. At a moment, I follow this way!

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The photo is a soy milk hotpot. Second photo is a lump of collagen. We boiled the pot, ate the meat and vegetables, and put rice onto the pot. This time we added grated cheese and butter with steamed rice to make it like Italian risotto. Winter season is the best time to try hotpot with collagen! When I make hotpot at home, I cannot prepare that much of collagen, but if I look for restaurants, there are many restaurants that offer hotpot with much collagen in this season. You know collagen will make our skin smooth! πŸ˜€ I was about to introduce a good restaurant at a “Travel and Eat-out in Japan” page…but not for this time. I’ll try other collagen hotpot cuisine some time again!

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12 Responses to “The best kuchikomi (mouth communication) site I trust.”

  1. Sparklewolfie December 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm #

    I love hotpot! Especially in winter πŸ™‚
    Too bad this one was not good 😦 When I went to Taiwan I loved to get hotpot! Except… it was summer and very hot… >.<

    • kirin December 15, 2009 at 12:33 am #

      Oh we never eat hotpot in summer…^ ^; But if I have a chance to go to Taiwan in winter, I'd love to try it there.

  2. walter December 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Ooh o.0 Thanks for the tip Kirin ! I need to remember that when I travel to Japan. It shows even in Japan you can find too expensive food that is not so good.
    I never ate collagen, but if It makes your skin smooth, I must give it a try πŸ™‚

    • kirin December 15, 2009 at 12:38 am #

      Collagen is very popular among women. Actually I was fascinated by the collagen when I decided the restaurant. (My eyes were caught by the lump of collagen solid, like the one in the photo.) But there are many other restaurants that offer collagen hotpot, I should try something else next time.

      Please bookmark it, for your trip to Japan! πŸ™‚

  3. Lisa December 14, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Fantastic recommendation! Am bookmarking the links you gave. This is really, really great! Even though I can often understand enough on sites like those to get by, it's not often I get the chance to discover their existence by myself! Really appreciate this gem, thank you so much! πŸ™‚

    • kirin December 15, 2009 at 12:43 am #

      I'm glad these links are helpful to you. Actually I was thinking if you might know them already…^ ^; Especially for those who study Japanese and plan to visit Japan in the future for long stay, it's interesting enough to browse the Tabelog or Gurunavi when they have time and list up the ones they may want to try. And I know you belong to those people! ^_^

  4. Hellolynn December 17, 2009 at 9:37 am #

    wow…the hotpot certainly looks so tempting. I had not ried hotpot with collagen before???!! Kirin, can i know when the lump of collagen is put into the hotpot, will it melt into the hot soup or u will eat it as a lump when its cooked?? just curious to find out ;d

    • kirin December 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you for asking this question. I always drop some important parts in my blogpost. I should've explained that in the post. First, there are too many ingredients in the pot, and so keep eating meat and vegetables when they get ready. When it gets less bulky, put the lump of collagen into the pot to melt it. The collagen will completely melt in the pot, and finally the steamed rice will absorb it so you don't waste a single drop of it! πŸ˜‰

  5. kelsey December 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks for the advice, esp. cosme and tabelog! I will have to check those out. I love Japanese cosme!!! Where I live, we don't have a Hot Pepper or Couponland tho. We only have a Berry mag, which isn't very good. But I like trying new places. Do you know bento.com? Sometimes I check there also.

    I love your blog btw!

    • kirin December 19, 2009 at 12:21 am #

      There are many informative websites, so don't worry, you can live without Hot Pepper or Couponland! ^ ^
      I didn't know bento.com, but it's good it's available in English, too!
      Thank you for your visit and comment here. πŸ™‚

  6. fran June 14, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    The photos looked so good though, and it wasn’t until I read your post that I found out it wasn’t as good as you hoped for unfortunately!

    While my partner and I were in Tokyo last year, we really wanted to find places with good food! We found some really good ones, but also went to many mediocre ones…because the pictures and ‘plastic foods’ looked so good D:

    thanks for the link to tabelog! My Japanese is limited but the star ratings help. I hope you do more posts like this, but more reviews on restaurants in Tokyo (and Osaka again if you can, because we’re planning to go again at the end of the year)!

    • kirin June 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

      LOL at "plastic foods looked so good"
      Yes, as you point out I have no posts under eat-out in Japan, which is because I thought my readers expect Japanese restaurants reviews, while I rarely eat out Japanese foods. I like western cuisine myself. Thus when I eat something Japanese, I do it at home. ^ ^;

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