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Honeymoon in Asia: SFO-NRT-TPE-HKT-BKK-HND, NRT-SFO (NH C, TG C)

Honeymoon in Asia: SFO-NRT-TPE-HKT-BKK-HND, NRT-SFO (NH C, TG C)

Old Jun 19, 13, 6:26 pm
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Honeymoon in Asia: SFO-NRT-TPE-HKT-BKK-HND, NRT-SFO (NH C, TG C)

My wife and I traveled for 15 days to Taipei, Phuket, and Tokyo for our honeymoon. Rather than spend the entire time on a beach, we opted mix things up a bit to avoid getting bored. The first leg of our trip was to Taiwan where we have family. We hosted a banquet to celebrate our wedding with our overseas relatives. The second leg of our trip was to Phuket, Thailand for some much-needed R&R. Finally, we flew to Tokyo to partake in good food and shopping.

I've divided the trip report into these parts.

Part 1 -- Overall Thoughts
Part 2 -- SFO-NRT-TPE (NH C)
Part 3 -- TPE-HKT (TG C)
Part 4 -- Trisara
Part 5 -- HKT-BKK-HND (TG C)
Part 6 -- Westin Tokyo
Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo (Chateau de Joel Robuchon, Kondo, Butagumi, Sawada, Kaikaya, ManRyu, RyuGin, Blacows)
Part 8 -- NRT-SFO (NH C)

Part 1 -- Overall Thoughts

Ideally, we only get one honeymoon. We wanted to make the most of it without paying through the nose. That's how we got introduced to the world of credit card bonuses, etc. We wanted to travel in luxury and comfort, and for the most part, we were successful.

We booked our flights using United miles. In total, we redeemed 285,000 miles for our business class tickets. Earning the points was relatively easy. My wife and I signed up for Chase Sapphire Preferred cards which generated 80,000 miles. I also signed up for the United Explorer card which netted another 50,000 miles. I opened a Fidelity account w/ $100K to get another 50,000 miles. That got us the miles we needed. We booked an open jaw round-trip ticket which covered all legs except for HKT-HND, and booked a one-way ticket to cover the remaining leg. We also combined our *wood points and redeemed 90,000 points for a 5-night stay at the Westin on the club level. If you book 4 nights, the 5th is free. The club level costs an extra 2,500 points a night (5th night is also free), but it's well worth it because you get free daily breakfast, which costs 3,600 yen (~$40). In all, we spent just shy of $8K on our honeymoon, with the bulk of our out-of-pocket costs coming from Trisara ($5K) and eating in Tokyo ($2K).

I was really looking forward to flying in a premium cabin on an international flight because it's a relatively rare experience for me. While I travel a lot in the U.S and almost always get upgraded, I don't travel internationally as often and clients won't pay for the the C class ticket. I've only gotten upgrades on international flights in two instances and those were both relatively short flights. I have only flown once on ANA (in economy) and never on Thai. Based on what I've read here, I expected ANA to be significantly better than Thai, but I was really surprised by Thai. There were a lot of aspects of my Thai flights that I liked better than ANA!

I was also looking forward to Trisara as I'd never stayed at a five-star resort before. It wasn't a complete let down, but in some ways I was disappointed by our stay there. I've stayed at Four Seasons and Ritz Carltons in the U.S. when traveling for business, and I expected Trisara to be on a different level. Part of my disappointment might have been related to the weather -- we had 1 day of sun (the first day), followed by a lot of rain -- but I think I have legitimate issues too. I'll go into more detail in the Trisara post below.

Prior to booking at Trisara, we were actually planning on going to Amanpulo in the Philippines, but we had a lackluster experience with customer service. We booked our stay at Aman in September 2012 and promptly notified them of our flights in and out of Manila. They told us no problem. A few weeks later, they told us that we would not make the inbound charter flight due to their flight schedule so we could fly the day before or stay a day in Manila. We could not leave Taiwan earlier, so we opted to cut the five-day stay to four days. Seven months pass. We get another e-mail telling us we would have to change our plans yet again due to the schedule of the charter flights leaving Aman. We would have to spend another meaningless day in Manila cutting that five-day trip to a mere three days. The way the entire sequence of events unfolded really upset us, so we switched to Trisara, which is easily accessible from the Phuket airport.

This was my third trip to Japan. I thought the Westin Tokyo was fantastic. I've read about it needing renovations, being in an inconvenient location, etc., but all of these comments seemed unfounded. I was impressed with just about every aspect of the hotel. I was also largely impressed by the food in Tokyo. I did not enjoy RyuGin, however. It did not seem to deserve three Michelin stars.

The subsequent parts will include a lot of pictures!

Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 2:20 pm
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Old Jun 19, 13, 6:32 pm
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Part 2 -- SFO-NRT-TPE (NH C)

Part 2 -- SFO-NRT-TPE (NH C)

We were both very excited to begin our honeymoon! I called the car service I typically use for business travel to pick us up. We rode in comfort to SFO in a nice Lincoln Towncar:



We stopped by the Silver Kris lounge at the International terminal. It was small, but quiet -- especially compared to the zoo that is the United Club. We must have arrived too late for breakfast as the trays for food were empty. I had some cheese and fruit.

Our 777-300ER parked at the gate:



Unfortunately, the plane had mechanical issues and we were parked at the gate for almost two hours. I passed the time by watching a movie and playing some games.

Legroom shot:



Being my first trip report, I was a little shy taking pictures in the cabin. It did not help that my crappy Blackberry camera makes a noisy fake-shutter sound when taking pictures. I later learned the trick of covering the speaker with my finger while taking pictures. It still does not help with the quality though!

Unfortunately, I didn't get any good shots of the staggered seating in business class. I would not have minded a wider seat in lieu of the privacy afforded by the staggered seating. It was a little narrow for my taste. Also, at 6'0, I barely fit when lying completely flat.

Here is a shot of the IFE.



The video selection was extremely limited. There were 50 movies listed, but many of the listings merely repeated movie selections in various languages. There weren't many movies either of us wanted to watch. I watched Forrest Gump, Jack the Giant Slayer, and the new Die Hard movie.

ANA provides a set of noise canceling headphones, which I found to be ineffective at reducing noise and very uncomfortable, as they sit directly on the ears instead of over them. After an hour, I went back to using my awesome set of Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 QuietPoint active noise-cancelling in-ear headphones. They also provide a set of slippers and a very comfy blanket and pillow.

For my meal, I chose the Japanese option. The FA was pretty insistent that I order the international option for some reason. She didn't even ask what I wanted and just said she recommended the international option for me. They were probably worried about not having enough for the Japanese passengers on the flight. Oh well.

The zensai consisting of vinegared rice rolled with salmon and lotus root, grilled squid with egg yolk, and salt-boiled green soybeans is on the bottom. The kobachi (deep-fried summer vegetables soaked in seafood stock) is in the upper right. The sunomono (grilled freshwater eel with sweet vinegar flavored with bonito shavings, kelp sugar and soy) is in the upper left.



For the next course, they served simmered red rockfish in soy-based sauce, along with steamed rice, miso soup and assorted Japanese pickles:



The meal was finished with vanilla ice cream and mango sherbet:



They also offered a light meal about an hour or two before landing in Tokyo. I opted again for the Japanese meal, which included spanish mackerel grilled in salt, simmered semi-dried daikon radish in soy-based sauce, simmered beans with syrup, steamed rice, miso soup and assorted Japanese pickles, and dessert:



We landed in Tokyo just in time for us to make our connecting flight. On the whole, the flight was enjoyable. I found the service to be much better than on U.S.-based carriers, but while courteous, I didn't find the FAs to be that welcoming.

The next leg of our flight was NRT-TPE. We had a 767. The seats were decent and business class was not crowded at all.



We got a great view of Mount Fuji.



The in-flight meal was pretty good. I opted for the international meal, consisting of chicken and foie gras pate with yellow peach, yuzu-citron marinated summer vegetables, sauteed Isaki, grunt fish and Provence-style summer vegetables, Graham bread, and lychee jelly and Champagne mousse.



A nice sunset at 34,000 feet.


Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 10:12 am
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Old Jun 19, 13, 6:33 pm
  #3  
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Part 3 -- TPE-HKT (TG C)

Part 3 -- TPE-HKT (TG C)

We had a lovely time in Taipei, but it was now time for the real honeymoon to begin in Phuket. We took a Thai Airways A330 to get to Phuket (via Hong Kong).

First, we went to the Royal Orchid lounge at TPE. I didn't take any pictures, but the lounge was not impressive -- basically a plain room filled with armchairs. There was not a large selection of food, basically your standard cold items with some steamed buns. The neighboring lounges looked much more inviting.

Here we are at the gate:



Another TG flight about to depart:



The seats were quite comfortable and compared favorably to the business class seats in ANA C on the 767.



The IFE was awesome compared to ANA. Very large movie selection, great set of games. Comfortable headset, although I still preferred to use my own in-ear set. I watched Zero Dark Thirty on the leg to HKG.





Here's the menu -- they would have a lot of food for us on all our TG flights!



The fruit and noodle meal was OK.



Thai has a great lounge in HKG. It's on the second level and has expansive views of the airport. Also they have a wide selection of hot foods. We enjoyed a short stay at the HKG lounge and headed back to the gate.



Smoked halibut on capiscum jelly:



Minced pork rice dish:



Fruit and cheese:



Lime cheesecake:



I really enjoyed my flights on TG to HKT. The FAs were very friendly and warm, the IFE was entertaining, and the food was good.

Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 10:32 am
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Old Jun 19, 13, 6:33 pm
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Part 4 -- Trisara

Part 4 -- Trisara

We were very excited to arrive in Phuket. The arrival area of the airport seemed a little dated. We were met at the bottom of the escalator by a representative of our VIP fast track service who escorted us through the priority immigration line. She brought us outside where our driver, Hot, was waiting for us with a Volvo XC90 SUV. Hot was very personable and engaged with us during the 20 minute drive to Trisara. Phuket seemed like a town that was torn between bleak poverty and vast wealth.

June is the start of the wet season in Phuket and we were worried about the weather. The weather in Phuket on our first day was fantastic. A storm had just blown through leaving warm and sunny weather. Because it is the wet season, Trisara has a special promotion. The rooms and villas are heavily discounted and there's a $200 per day credit for food, beverages, and spa services.

When we arrived, we were brought to the arrival lounge where the manager explained the amenities to us and gave us a tour before arranging for our things to be brought to our ocean view room. We opted for a room, rather than a villa. A room is basically half a villa, i.e., there is another adjourning room. Each room has a small infinity pool with great views of the ocean. The room itself is a bedroom/living room and a very large bathroom. The room is starting to show signs of wear. In particular, we had a silk padded wall covering that had significant water stains. Being Thailand, there were also a lot of bugs. I am typically very sensitive to bugs, but got used to them. My wife, however, did not.

We spent part of our first day wading in the pool. My wife went to the spa to get a haircut and I found my way to the beach, where I lounged. I was hoping for the attendant to come and offer me a drink, but I had to hunt him down to take my order.







We ate dinner at the bar, while watching the sunset.





On the whole, I thought the food at Trisara was very good. There are two places to eat -- the bar and the seafood restaurant. They served breakfast and lunch in the seafood restaurant, and dinner in both restaurants. The selection was fairly good and the food prices were moderate to slightly high. Had we stayed longer, we might have gotten a bit bored with the food.

Porridge for breakfast:



Poached egg with vegetable tart:



On Sundays, they have a jazz brunch. It is buffet style and the selections are very, very high quality. It was a free benefit for those visiting during the low season.



The band playing during brunch:



Seafood selection at brunch. The lobster was so fresh! Oysters (just out of the picture on the left) were amazing too.



The dessert table at brunch:



A lotus pond stocked with fish:



Mr. Millipede hanging out on a tree outside our room:



Duck curry (foreground) and Thai fish (background):



French toast:



Chinese dumplings for breakfast:



Poached eggs, sausage, and spinach:



A very fashionable hermit crab:



While it rained most of our trip, the weather cleared up slightly on our fourth day -- it was still cloudy, just no rain -- so we took a day trip to see Phuket. We took a private SUV from Trisara with a Trisara guide. He seemed a little disappointed we did not buy any souvenirs. But we were more interested in the sights.




Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 3:26 pm
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Old Jun 19, 13, 6:34 pm
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Part 5 -- HKT-BKK-HND (TG C)

Part 4 -- Trisara (continued)

The Pad Thai was amazing. I got it twice during our trip.



Avocado toast:



Poached eggs with mushroom, spinach, and tomato:



Chinese buns (pork and red bean):



Black truffle pizza:



Bread plate at the seafood restaurant:



My wife had this appetizer -- a kohlrabi something or other:



Rock lobster that was amazing:



Fish and chips:



A crab found its way inside the restaurant. It's like a cow walking into a butcher shop!



Scrambled eggs with sausage, hash browns, and spinach:



Chinese porridge:



I forgot to take some pictures of our meals, including the best burger I've ever had. It was a Wagyu burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and a lot of pickles. It came with perfectly salted fries. It was expensive though at ~$25. I also had a prosciutto and arugula pizza, which was great. Just picture the black truffle pizza above with some different toppings.

With the weather not cooperating, we spent a lot of time in our room, watching movies and playing board games. Trisara has a library stocked with these items in addition to books and magazines. We also booked daily spa visits. I got an oil massage, men's facial, and body scrub. My wife got a Thai massage, body scrub, haircut, and waxing. At the beginning of each spa visit, we were given a nice cup of cold hibiscus tea before being led into the spa rooms (each of them was a separate building). I generally liked my spa therapists, but some of them did not seem enthusiastic, but rather like they were going through the motions. I also got bored of listening to the same music over and over again. A little variety in the spa music would have been nice. My wife visited the gym once and said it was small but nice.

The service was generally pretty good, but there were some hiccups. Here are some other issues we had in addition to what I mentioned earlier about beach service. Our room had stopped up drains when we arrived and several other things weren't working. Maintenance fixed those issues on the first day. In order to get around the resort, you call for a buggy (basically a golf cart). On several occasions, we had to wait over 10 minutes before the buggy arrived. In some cases, we were standing there waiting in the rain (like idiots). In one case, I had to call and ask if they were still sending a buggy. Our rooms were cleaned once a day with turn down service in the evening. The timing of housekeeping could have been better. Half the time we were sitting outside waiting for them to finish, which was a little awkward. They weren't really that thorough cleaning the room either. My wife was given a welcome necklace made with flowers. It was crawling with bugs within a few hours so we hung it on a hook for the outdoor shower. It sat there for two days turning an awful brown color before we asked them to remove it. They also gave us a complementary bottle of champagne, which was nice. We only finished half the bottle, but instead of removing it, they let it sit out for several days before moving it to the refrigerator. (I don't think champagne keeps for that long, especially without a cork!)

Finally, we would have liked to see better beach maintenance. There was honestly a lot of trash on the private beach. If you walked to the ends, there would be a lot of bottles, plastic crap, etc. I understand the waves are high in the summer and a lot of junk can get washed ashore, but really Trisara needs to make more of an effort to keep their beach pristine.

Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 11:30 am
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Old Jun 19, 13, 6:34 pm
  #6  
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Parts 6-8 (Tokyo)

Part 5 -- HKT-BKK-HND (TG C)

After 5 days, it was time to leave Trisara. We visited the Royal Orchid lounge at HKT. This lounge was marginally better than the lounge at TPE. It was furnished better, but still fell short of the HKG lounge. Our first flight was a short hop to BKK on an A320. We were on the commuter version of Thai Airways, called Thai Smiles. Business class was basically economy seating but at the front. The FAs were very young and spunky.



They served a small meal on the 1 hour flight. The shrimp salad and dessert were pretty good, but the chicken penang sandwich was only borderline edible.



At BKK, we went to search for the Royal Orchid lounge, but came across the Royal Orchid Spa instead. They offer free 30 minute massages to passengers sitting in business class. I opted for a shoulder and back massage. It was a Thai chair massage, which was actually quite painful, as many Thai massages tend to be. The spa lounge itself is well appointed and comfortable. We did not have time to visit the Royal Orchid lounge, which is across the hall.










Our 747 is ready for boarding.



Seatguru told us that we would be sitting in the non-refurbished 747 so I was a little nervous. It turns out we got a refurbished plane with angle lie-flat seats. I thought the angle lie-flat was more than adequate given that I tend not to lie flat anyways, rather recline in a lounging position. We had the same great IFE as our earlier flight to HKT. Upon boarding, we were offered some very unique PDBs, including an iced tea made from tamarind and a violet juice. They were both quite good! During this flight, we also received a record number of hot towels, perhaps as many as 7!







Again, a lot of food on the menu for our flight.



Satay:



Foie gras and smoked salmon (I love FG!):



Stir-fried shredded pork (my selection) was only OK:



Simmered chicken thigh (my wife's selection) was only OK:



Fruit and cheese (getting full by now):



Raspberry mascarpone cake:


Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 11:46 am
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Old Jun 20, 13, 10:37 am
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Part 6 -- Westin Tokyo

Part 6 -- Westin Tokyo

We arrived at Haneda around 10:30 pm. We took the monorail and connected to the JR Yamanote line. We got off at Ebisu station and walked for about 10-15 minutes to get to the Westin. We were booked into a room on a club floor. They said they upgraded us to a room with a better view because it was our honeymoon -- we got a room on the top floor with city views. They also provided us with a complimentary bottle of champagne.

Our room was quite large for Tokyo:



Complimentary champagne set up for us:









The view from our room (the French building is actually Joel Robuchon, where we ate the second night):



The Westin is at the Yebisu Garden Place, which is basically a shopping center under the green dome. The JR train station is at the far end.





The executive club on the 17th floor. It seemed very new. Perhaps it has been renovated. They serve breakfast here, although the selection is limited compared to 1F. They also have happy hour here every evening.



We opted to eat breakfast downstairs for the most part. While I didn't take any pictures, the selection is very good and quality is high. I've also stayed at the ANA Intercontinental in Akasuka in the past and the breakfasts at the hotels are pretty similar, with a slight edge to ANA because of the vast selections available there. Had we not stayed on a club floor, however, we would not have paid the 3,600 yen to eat breakfast.

The outside of the Westin:



We did some obligatory sightseeing. My wife had never been to Japan, so we went to the Imperial palace, Ginza, and Roppongi Hills on the first day.




Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 1:08 pm
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Old Jun 20, 13, 10:38 am
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Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo

Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo (Kondo, RyuGin)

We love to eat; thus Tokyo was the perfect destination for us. We picked several restaurants to visit, many of which required reservations months in advance. Some of these restaurants were awarded Michelin stars (e.g., Robuchon, Kondo, Sawada, RyuGin), but many Japanese (and others) actually disdain the Michelin guide, and for good reason. We found that, for Tokyo, Tabelog rating was a better gauge. The Tabelog website, however, is only in Japanese. One of the challenges to eating in Tokyo is actually finding the restaurants. The address system in Tokyo is very convoluted so we had to print out maps and pictures in advance. For example, instead of 10 E. 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan, a Tokyo address would be something like 10-12-4 Midtown, Manhattan. You'd have to find the 4th region, 12th block, and building 10 -- or something to that effect.

Our first meal was lunch at Kondo. Kondo is a high-end tempura restaurant in the glitzy Ginza district. It's hidden away on the 9th floor of a small building. Despite having 2 Michelin stars, the lunch at Kondo was quite affordable. The lunch menu has two options a ~6,000 yen option that includes several fish, shrimp, and vegetable tempura, along with rice, miso soup, and fruit and a ~8,500 yen option that includes more options and fancier ingredients. We weren't super-hungry, so we opted for the smaller set. There aren't many seats at all in the restaurant -- around 10 if memory serves correctly -- so everyone has an intimate view of the chefs carefully preparing very fresh ingredients for frying. When we came in, two sous chefs were peeling and slicing live shrimp.

















Later in our trip, we went to RyuGin, a widely praised modern kaiseki style restaurant that was awarded three Michelin stars. This meal was a huge disappointment. I felt like most of the dishes lacked flavor. Some of them I just really didn't want to eat.

Fish ball, eel, shrimp -- was OK:



Wagyu over avocado -- best course of the night:



I can't remember what this dish was:



Charbroiled eel -- pretty good:



I think this is another eel dish they brought me in lieu of a whole fish dish that had a lot of bones:



Array of summer vegetables -- OK the flavor were too subtle to appreciate:



Variety of sashimi -- didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would because it lacked flavor:



Eel soup -- lacked flavor:



Sake souffle with ice cream -- pretty good, but not great:


Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 3:32 pm
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Old Jun 20, 13, 12:17 pm
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very nice! thanks for taking the time to share!
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Old Jun 20, 13, 12:53 pm
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Intersting TR, look forward the next ones.

Yeah, I understand ANA do not have redundant serving of meals so I guess they tried to
let you choose Int'l meal (you can find their strategy in the movie 'Happy Flight').

ANA's IFE has some decent selection of short films, but may not be of foreign passengers even with English subtitles.
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Old Jun 20, 13, 1:07 pm
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Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo

Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo (Sawada, Butagumi, Kaikaya, ManRyu, Blacows)

We were looking forward to Sawada, one of the top sushi restaurants in Tokyo. There are only six seats in the restaurant. Not only does Sawada have 2 Michelin stars, it is also highly ranked on Tabelog. Our lunch cost over $550, and that was the less expensive option that did not include appetizers. Sawada-san does not let customers take pictures, but this blog post by Chuckeats is pretty representative of our meal. http://www.chuckeats.com/2009/12/20/...ars-in-heaven/

We also ate at Butagumi, which is a tonkatsu restaurant. They offer a wide selection of pork types, most of which I'd never heard of. I opted for a filet of a type of black pig (kura bota) (shown on the bottom). My wife had a sirloin of another type of pig (shown on the top). The tonkatsu is served with rice, miso, and shredded cabbage.



That night, we ate at a small restaurant called Kaikaya. It's like an izakaya that specializes in seafood. We had several dishes, but they weren't really noteworthy.



I'm a huge fan of kuragoma ice cream (black sesame), and Kaikaya did not disappoint.



One day we didn't have any reservations for dinner and I was in the mood for ramen. So I went to the local ramen shop in Yebisu Garden Place called ManRyu. It's supposedly average, but I thought the ramen was excellent. You pay using a vending machine then get a ticket. I thought I took a picture of my bowl of ramen, but must not have because I can't find it now!

On our last day, I went to a burger joint called Blacows. They only serve wagyu burgers. I'd heard from someone on another forum (styleforum), that Blacows had the best burgers anywhere. Having had a great burger at Trisara, I wanted to test that theory.





The burger was good, but not better than Trisara's. Perhaps it was the toppings. I asked for a plain cheeseburger, but they put their own sauces on there. It might have been a fairer comparison if I had the same toppings. Trisara's burger came just the way I like it. I definitely liked the fries better at Trisara.

Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 2:20 pm
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Old Jun 20, 13, 1:19 pm
  #12  
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This is a great TR - My wife and I ate at Trisara while on out HM in HKT. The food was very good. Glad to see some other photos of the grounds though, we went at night.
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Old Jun 20, 13, 1:57 pm
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Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo (Chateau de Joel Robuchon)

Part 7 -- Eating in Tokyo (Chateau de Joel Robuchon)

We ate our first dinner at Chateau de Joel Robuchon, which is a three Michelin-star restaurant right next to the Westin. We opted for the 18-course tasting menu, which cost a staggering 36,000 yen per person.

I didn't manage to take pictures of every single course, but got most of them. I thought many of these dishes were fantastic, but got a little full towards the end so I felt a little rushed. The service was top notch.

Le menu:



Place setting:



The first course was cavier layered on a jelly of some sort with crab meat at the bottom -- this dish was absolutely amazing!



Next was sea urchin presented in three ways. This was also an awesome dish. A great way to start off a meal.



Corn soup:



Foie gras:



Crustacean prepared three ways:



Wagyu with spiny artichoke:



Scallop:



Gorgonzola emulsion:



Seasonal vegetables:



Dessert:



Petit fours:


Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 2:17 pm
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Old Jun 20, 13, 1:57 pm
  #14  
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Part 8 -- NRT-SFO (NH C)

Part 8 -- NRT-SFO (NH C)

Finally, we were heading back home. We hung out at the ANA lounge and did a little souvenir shopping too. The ANA lounge we went to was quite large and busy, but did not feel like the United Club zoo in SFO. There was a decent selection of food and drinks. I had a lot of beer, chicken meatballs, noodles, and rice crackers.

On this flight, we were back on a 777-300ER with staggered business class seating. We actually had the same exact seats as our SFO-NRT trip. I chose the International option because I like foie gras.

Olives, cheese, etc.:



Marlin and foie gras:



Beef was overcooked:



Dessert was so-so:



I did not mention this earlier in the TR, but during the Tokyo leg my wife got sick -- she was throwing up a lot. While this deeply affected our trip personally, I did not feel the need to mention her illness in the reviews of restaurants as her being sick was not a factor in the quality of food or service. On our flight back, she started getting sick after the meal service. She didn't really eat and just picked at the dessert.

On the plus side, when she started getting sick, the flight attendants took really good care of her. They reserved a bathroom for her, took her temperature throughout the flight, constantly checked on her, gave her hot water, and hot towels, etc. I was impressed with their level of concern.

On the negative side, they seemed a little hostile towards me. My wife needed me to be there for her and to get her help when she needed it. She did not want or need me to be escorting her to the bathroom, or holding her hair back, etc. Maybe the flight attendants thought I was not being as helpful as they thought I should be because they kept telling me I should help her when she gets up, etc. when my wife already told me in no uncertain terms that's not what she wanted. Anyways, I felt like they were trying to shame me in doing something that my wife did not want me to do for her. And not that I would have ordered anything, they did not even ask about the second meal service. I felt that they should have asked and let me turn them down instead of making the decision that I should not eat for me.

Anyways, it was a crummy way to end an otherwise great trip. Hope you all enjoyed the TR!

Last edited by walawala; Jun 20, 13 at 2:39 pm
walawala is offline  
Old Jun 21, 13, 2:04 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: YVR
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 213
Thanks for this nice trip report. I have similar observations about service on NH business class, don't know why many people rate their service style so high.
choupeo is offline  

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