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All Reviews by mr.zaatar

7 Review(s).

89-1 Sanjo-dori, Ohashi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Lovely 6-course vegan meal

27 Jun 2014

I visited Choice for dinner in Jan. 2014 after seeing it recommended by Miyoko Schinner and I had a wonderful time. It is a bit tricky to find--I was sure that it was on the other side of the street and stood looking around until I looked to the other side of the street and saw the lively green signage and plants through the front window. It was not busy so I was seated immediately.

The server was professional. I don't speak Japanese and she was a bit nervous to speak in English but she did great explaining everything. We both had a couple of laughs at each others language flubs!

First was a fruity enzyme tonic and some assorted pickles. Next was a very nice salad of tomatoes, radishes, persimmons, and homemade mozzarella cheese (from Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook). Next was a silky squash soup with soy milk foam. Then a brown rice and green vegetables risotto with more homemade cashew cheeses. The entree was a tempeh and root vegetable kebob with soy glaze and a creamy sauce. Finally, dessert was a plate of assorted treats: panna cotta, blueberry cake, poached apples, ice cream, and a fresh and dehydrated fruit compote. During the meal I was acquainted with Dr. Suzuki, the proprietor. She was a very pleasant lady and I chatted with her a bit about veganism and even vegan cheese-making.

The meal was light and satisfying. It is not heavily seasoned or spiced cuisine but it is delicious. The food presentation was also on point. The restaurant is very clean and has a nice window between the dining room and the kitchen through which you can see the chefs preparing the meals. My only regret is not having enough time to come back for lunch! I really wanted to but timing didn't work out. I will definitely go back and eat at Choice when I return to Kyoto. It was very memorable!
Updated from previous review on Thursday June 26, 2014

10 Shelley Street, Soho, Hong Kong Island, China

An unpleasant dinner

19 Jul 2014

I had dinner here one night and it was not a pleasant experience. I arrived at 8:35 and was seated immediately. I ordered a fresh apple juice and the Capital V vegan pizza. Both were clear and utter misses.

First of all, a 1/4 of the juice glass was foam and it had an off flavor. I'm assuming they had just juiced celery because that's all my apple juice tasted like.

Then the "pizza." First of all, it is not a pizza. The only way to describe it is laughable. It is a sloppy cracker dough with toppings. It had tomatoes, onions, pesto and vegan goat cheese. A simple google search would render a better cheese recipe than the one they use. The pesto on top wasn't bad, though. If you must go there, don't order this pizza.

Also, the restaurant closes at 10pm, but I found it odd that at 9:09pm the server started going around to every single table, including mine, and telling the patrons that the kitchen would be closing in 15 minutes and if you wanted a dessert you would have to place your order right now.
I honestly doubt they are selling many desserts with this amateurish behavior. Considering that their dessert menu consists of cakes, breads, and cookies that are most certainly pre-made, I don't see the need for prompting the diners that the kitchen is closing. It felt like nothing more than a means to nudge the diners out well before closing time.

And it worked on me, I quickly finished my cracker with toppings and left very hungry.





G/F, KS Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island, China

Go for the tea

19 Jul 2014

This little tea house is in a lovely park setting and the interior is well appointed with tea pots and accessories adorning the walls.

I ordered a pot of tieguanyin tea that was lovely. I wanted to order some dim sum but my server said that both my first two menu choices were unavailable so I decided to try the shiitake and yuba skin stew instead. Big mistake. It was all very one note: salty. I've had yuba before but in this dish the textures were very challenging...everything was squishy and spongy.

I also had the black sesame balls in jasmine syrup and they were just ok, nothing spectacular.

I would definitely go back, but only for the tea.

92 Wellington St, Central District, Hong Kong Island, China

Great lunch wraps

19 Jul 2014

I visited Mana for lunch twice during my stay in HK and enjoyed the food thoroughly. Both times I had a 'make your own' Flat, their version of a wrap. You can choose what ingredients go into it. I did hummus, zaatar, olives, arugula, mint, avocado, tomatoes, etc. The flatbreads are great and the fillings are fresh and tasty. They also have fresh pressed juices that are good.

One thing about the place though...It gets really busy at lunchtime and it is so incredibly narrow that it is uncomfortable. If you are not familiar with the menu, you have to go near the cash register to see the menu boards. But there is usually a long line and barely any room to navigate through. Seating is limited as well. Both times I went, there was nowhere else to sit other than the stools against the wall opposite the deli case/register. Not the most comfortable place to sit, and constantly have to lean in so people can get around you.

538-6 Shijyo Agaru Shinkyougoku Nakanocho Nakagyoku, Kyoto, Japan

Not bad, not great

27 Jun 2014

I went here for lunch one day on my last trip to Kyoto. It is located in a cool area with other restaurants and little shops--right off of Teramachi-dori. I used my phone GPS to help locate.

I had the burger set lunch which was a burger with french fries and a side salad. The burger was good, I did enjoy the texture and taste. The fries were also good and the salad was average. Overall I did enjoy it and would go back.

The place is a bit small and dimly-lit inside. One thing I didn't like was that there was hardly any ventilation, so the whole restaurant room smelled strongly of fried food--the kind that stays in your clothes after you exit the place. Not that big of a deal.

Visited Jan 2014

309 Saikachicho, Kyoto, Japan

Decent place for dinner

19 Jul 2014

I had dinner here one night and, on the whole, it was enjoyable. The place is interestingly decorated with natural wood slabs as tables. The service is no frills until you ring the little bell for attention.

I ordered the fish burger and it was nice, crisp, and tasty. I could have done with less of the tarter sauce, but it did taste good. The fries on the side were fantastic. They were a bit thicker cut and well seasoned.

For dessert I had the banana caramel pizza and that was a mistake. I should have known better but it just sounded so weird I had to try it. It was just so bland tasting. It is served with a dollop of whipped topping (reminded me of Healthy Top) in the center that melted immediately and pooled onto the pizza. I also had a chai tea which was average.

67-7 Kitashirakawa Oiwakecho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Charming little vegan cafe

27 Jun 2014

I visited a bunch of vegan restaurants in Kyoto on my last visit but this one felt like a place I would hang out at all the time if I lived in Kyoto. It has a nice cozy mom-and-pop feel to it.

The menu is limited (not a bad thing). I went for lunch and of the 5 options, I chose the kuruma fu sandwich, a wheat gluten ring that is breaded in panko and served crispy with lettuce, tomato, and a special sauce. Rather than being aggressive, it was seasoned with a delicate touch. The kuruma fu burger came with a beautiful little side salad of greens, raw beets, and radishes dressed with a tangy dressing and a few pieces of a egg-like tofu and vegetable omelette.
Everything was really delicious and well-seasoned.
I finished my lunch off with the goma (black sesame seed paste) latte. Oh wow was that amazing! I highly recommend it. Also, the presentation and the foamed soy milk latte art is outstanding!

As is mentioned in the other reviews, the owners speak fluent English and the menu is in both English and Japanese. I chatted a little with one of the young owners and she was super friendly. As I was getting ready to pay, I saw her taking out some muffins from the oven and I just had to have some. I bought one matcha and one fig muffin and took them with me for later that night. They were superb!

If you are heading to the Silver Pavilion (Ginkauji)--and you should since it's amazing--stop by Tosca. It's only a little walk down the same road as the temple.

Visited Jan 2014

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