Little Donkey

Overall taste: 7.25/10 | 2017 | 505 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

We only ordered from their raw bar menu (scroll down for menus) and the ingredients they used were extremely fresh! However, we felt that the seasonings and sauces were overpowering. We’re more of a purist when it comes to raw seafood.

If you’ve never tried raw scallops, uni or ikura, for, example, this is definitely a good place to start since their seasoning completely covers the fishy taste. Also, we tried barnacles for the first time today! Read on to find out more.

Adult chocolate milk – old monk rum, chocolate, milk, cinnamon ($11) [This was extremely watered-down and definitely needs more rum, chocolate and milk. Look at the amount of ice.]
Brewed awakening – rum, amaro di angostura, maple, cold brew ($13) [We don’t particularly like our drinks to be strong, but we felt that the alcohol content of this drink was insufficient. It tasted like sweet coffee and if you concentrate hard enough, you may be able to convince yourself that this is a cocktail.]
Ikura – wasabi, garlic soy ($18) [Ikura in itself is extremely, extremely salty. It’s hard to describe the taste but it tastes like the ocean, is fishy, and has a little salmon flavour. Each egg is surrounded by a transparent sac and the contents burst into your mouth with each bite. The texture is similar to a runny yolk. What boggled us the most is that they would serve ikura with soy sauce that’s even saltier than the already salty ikura. We could barely taste the ikura, and we’re not sure if there was any wasabi in it]
King crab – louis dressing ($19) [This was good, but not worth the price in our opinion.]
Percebes (goose barnacles)  – old bay mayo ($19) [We’re so excited to introduce goose barnacles to you! Out server told us this was very hard to acquire. It’s like a combination of geoduck sashimi and surf clam in terms of taste and texture. We both loved it!]
Tuna poke – gochujang, pickled bean sprouts ($14) [This was pretty good, except I think they should correct their menu description to “non-spicy gochujang”.]
Scallop crudo – umeboshi, shiso, beech mushroom ($16) [We love the taste of raw scallops, but you can barely taste it here because the sauce was so sour.]
Santa Barbara uni – dashi, yuzu, chicharron ($19) [Santa Barbara uni is one of best uni in the world. It’s more buttery than Maine uni. It’s sweeter and less fishy than Hokkaido uni. Unfortunately, you can barely appreciate how good this uni was with their sour and salty sauce.]


Click menus to enlarge.


Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2017 | 10 Bosworth St, Boston, MA 02108

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We found another great french/italian restaurant and we’re so excited to share it with everyone!

We went to Marliave on Dine Out Boston Week, but the prices listed below are based on their regular pricing. Scroll down for menus and parking options.

Oysters – choice of oysters from Duxbury, Wellfleet, Hollands Landing & Pleasant Bay ($3 each, but $1 each between 4-6pm & 9-10pm) [As you can tell from the picture, none of the oysters was plump. One of the oysters Jeff ate had gone bad and he had to spit it out. We wouldn’t spend $3 for these oysters but $1 is pretty cheap. Just make sure to order it during the listed times.]
+++Duck liver ravioli – sweet-n-sour onions, brown butter, capers ($12) [Omg omg omg, this was fabulous! Okay, before you order it and tell us how much you hated this, we’ve to tell you that this isn’t for everyone. However, if you like that earthy, bitter and rich taste of liver, you need to get this!]
+++ Beef carpaccio – ribeye, arugula, aioli, reggiano, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil ($14) [We L O V E D this. Raw beef is very mild in flavour and can be easily overpowered by strong seasoning. The seasoning here was simple, which brought out the taste of the paper-thin beef. If you’ve tried making your own beef carpaccio, you’d know that $14 is a small price to pay for the amount of pounding you have to do.]
+++ Wellington – medium rare beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, foie gras, pastry crust, red wine sauce ($37) [Do you like croissant, beef, and foie gras? Imagine having everything in a dish! This is another amazing course from Marliave, but the foie gras portion was tiny. There was only one small spoonful in there, and Lynn ate it assuming there would be more, only to leave Jeff in misery for the rest of the night….]
 – – – Tuna – pan seared rare, fregula, baby kale, red wine reduction ($32) [It’s not obvious from the picture, but these tuna slices were extremely thick and lacked flavour. Jeff was not a fan of this dish, but Lynn liked the fregula with red wine reduction.]
Pudding – butterscotch, whipped cream, candied ginger  ($9) [Lynn found it to be too sweet but still enjoyable while Jeff loved it.]
Box of truffles – house prepared premium chocolate, cocoa powder ($7) [These were good, high quality truffles. We like that they didn’t have hard chocolate shells. We both enjoyed their chocolate hazelnut but found their dark chocolate to be too bitter.]

Click menus to enlarge.

Parking: It’s impossible to find parking here. You have 3 options: (1) Uber/public transport (2) Ruth steak house valet parking for $21 (3) Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking for $28. The Marliave restaurant receptionist suggested that we use the Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking and incorrectly quoted us the price of $19.


Overall taste: 8/10 | 2017 | 354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We feel that we’d give Menton a higher rating if we ordered from their regular menu instead of their Dine Out Boston menu. This review is based on their 2017 Dine Out Boston selection only (see menu below). We went for their 3 course menu for $35pp.

Yellowfin tuna crudo – eggplant, za’atar, olive [What distinguishes this from other dishes is their amazing accompaniments. We loved the eggplant and the sauce around it. The seared tuna itself was kind of average.]
– – –  Chicory salad – trufflle, parmigiano, focaccia [We love truffle and focaccia, so when this come out, we were extremely disappointed. There was barely any taste of truffle oil. The focaccia, while beautiful, wasn’t that tasty and was way too thin. We never liked spring mix but this spring mix was more bitter than usual.]
+++ Prime beef ribeye – malt, salsify, pearl onion [Again, where is the ribeye cap?! Do people in Boston not like the best part of ribeye? Apart from that, this was our favourite dish. The beef was lightly seasoned, allowing us to enjoy the full flavour of the meat. The accompaniments were extremely enjoyable as well.]
Cappelletti – parsnip, almond, pancetta [We like that the pasta wrap was more firm than usual. We didn’t like bacon bits around it; they were very tough and dry.]
Apple spice cake – sultana, cinnamon, walnut [This was very average.]
Chocolate praline tart – blood orange, hazelnut, espresso [Jeff is not a fan. He thinks that the coffee flavor was too strong. Lynn likes it since she’s a coffee fan.]
Assorted mini macaroons  (complimentary) [Aren’t they the cutest?!]

Click to enlarge menus.


Ginza Sushi Marui (銀座寿司処 まる伊)

Overall taste: 8.75/10 | 2016 | 3 104 0061, 3 Chome-8-16 Ginza, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0061, Japan

We love this place! This is located in Ginza and we waited around 30 minutes to get in. They provide an English menu so it’s perfect for tourists. We found this better than the food we had in Tsukiji fish market. That being said, we didn’t try any of the famous restaurants in Tsukiji that would have taken hours of wait to get in.

Tokusen Nigiri – assorted special sushi, 16 pieces (Yen 1,800) [This is so good. When people tell you the sushi they had in Japan was much better than the ones they tried anywhere else, they’re telling the truth. The rice tasted a lot better and the proportion was just right. And look at how well-marbled the tuna was (top left)!]
Dukeana chirashi-zushi – assorted lean tuna and coger eel (anago) on rice (Yen 1,500) [This is the first time we both tried anago. It’s similar to unagi but the meat tasted slightly sweeter and the texture was more fish-like.]

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

Overall taste: 7.75/10 | 2017 | 412 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

This place was really crowded when we were there on Sunday for brunch. We’ve also read reviews where people had to wait 1.5 hours for seats during dinner, so be sure to make reservations ahead of time!

+++ Brewed awakening – vanilla vodka / rumchata / kahlua / cinnamon-nutmeg cold brew ($11) [We really liked this drink and would come back just for it! It was sweet and creamy with mild coffee and alcohol flavour.]
Sea bass ceviche – pickled papaya / roasted habanero and agave / passion fruit / salsa verde ($12) [We thought that this was too sweet and tasted very much like a dessert. Lynn liked to eat the sea bass with the salsa verde, which was savory. Jeff wasn’t a fan of it as it had cilantro.]
+++ Tuna crudo tostada – aji amarillo leche de tigre / avocado / lime crema / pickled serrano peppers ($14) [The tuna was fresh and  had the right amount of seasoning.]
– – – Carne asada – painted hills flank steak / chimichurri / pico / green mole / queso fresco / avocado ($12) [The steak was tough and dry. It was also too charred for our liking.]
+++ Baja fried fish – charred jalapeno and pineapple aioli / pickled cabbage / avocado ($12) [This was great! The fish was well-fried and went really well their pickled cabbage and aioli.]
Fried chicken and waffles – jalapeno cornbread waffle / chile maple butter sauce ($14) [Brunch only. We mainly ordered this because we’ve never had chicken and waffles.. haha. We don’t have a comparison but we think it’s pretty good. The chicken could have less batter though. This was a generous serving for $14.]

Tsukiji Fish Market

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2016 | 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

If you visit Tokyo, you must go to Tsukiji Fish Market. We only went to the outside market of Tsukiji; it was really crowded even on a weekday. There were lots of small restaurants and stalls selling mouth-watering food (sushi, ramen, snacks, desserts). Definitely come on an empty stomach!

Note: This Tsukiji location will close and be moved to Toyosu sometime in 2017/2018.

For some of the food we got, we attached a picture of the stall next to it since we can’t read Japanese.

Tuna, ikura and uni don (900 yen) [The portion was smaller than we expected. We really loved the sushi rice and the freshness of their ingredients] 

Sushi shaped candy [We didn’t try this but we thought they were incredibly cute!]

Tamago (100 yen) [Look at the size of that tamago! This was on the sweet side but we liked that it was incredibly fluffy.]

Matcha soft-serve (300 to 400 yen) [It was summer when we visited and this was perfect for a hot day! Good matcha flavour and not too sweet]
Grilled scallops topped with crab and uni, then torched [We don’t remember the price of this. This was pretty good, all the ingredients were fresh but the uni tasted a little fishy]
Grilled unagi (600 yen) [This tasted quite similar to regular frozen unagi]

Saltie Girl

Overall taste: 8.75/10 | 2017 | 281 Dartmouth St, Boston, MA 02116

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

This is our favourite restaurant is Boston so far!

+++ Pineapple – elyx, yuzu, lemongrass, citrus soda (for two, $21) [We thought lemongrass would give it a weird taste, but it’s extremely subtle. We really like it but if you prefer your alcohol strong, this is not for you]
Ahi tuna poke – soy / sesame / ginger / togarashi / coconut rice ($22) [It’s good, but it’s something we can make ourselves at home]
+++ Uni benedict toast – sunny side up quail egg / hollandaise / brioche ($18) [This is really good; everything from the brioche, hollandaise sauce, quail egg to uni. If would have been better if they use Santa Barbara uni (which they sell separately) instead of Maine uni. I wonder if we could request that and pay more for it]
– – – Tuna carpaccio – pickled hon-shimeji mushrooms / house ponzu / fresh herbs ($18) [This is okay, but it’s something you can get in a lot of Japanese restaurants. We also found the ponzu sauce to be overpowering.]
Torched salmon belly – avocado / cucumber / green apple / miso glaze ($16) [We actually couldn’t taste the miso glaze. The sauce they used tasted more like unagi sauce. They burnt the salmon skin and the top layer of avocado intentionally to give it a smokey taste. Jeff really likes it but Lynn is not a fan of the charcoal taste.] 
+++ Hand-chopped dry aged steak tartare – truffle aioli / buttered brioche / quail egg / parmesan ($16) [We mentioned before that we’re big fans of steak tartare and this is the best we’ve had in Boston. This dish is the main reason we gave such a high rating to this restaurant]

Love Art Sushi

Overall Taste: 6.5 | 2017 | 1 Haviland St, Boston, MA 02115

We were invited for their complimentary tasting event, but we try to stay as objective as we can. They are still having a soft opening now, and their grand opening will be in a few weeks.

We thought that the sushi rice was too bland; it almost tasted like white rice with no added vinegar, salt, or sugar. The raw fish was at room-temperature and that really bothered us as it should be cool (sashimis are usually removed from the fridge just prior to serving).

However, we like the flexibility of being able to choose your own combination of toppings, mix-ins, and sauce. We also liked their Japanese matcha latte and Taro tea, which were creamy and not overly sweet (bottomlesss house drinks for $3.06).

Pictured above: Large bowl ($6.12). Toppings – tuna, salmon, masago, avocado (+$1.65 each). Complimentary mix-ins – scallions, roasted garlic, red onion. Sauce: creamy garlic. (Total price: $12.72)

Large bowl ($6.12). Toppings – salmon, spicy tuna, masago (+$1.65 each). Complimentary mix-ins: scallions, roasted garlic, shiitaki. Sauce: unagi eel sauce. Flame seared at no additional charge. (Total price: $11.07) [They definitely did not sear it for long enough. The sauce on top was warm but the fish was still completely raw]


Precinct Kitchen + Bar

Overall taste: 7.5 | 2016 | 154 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

This was our to-go spot for $1 oysters (between 4-6pm), but they no longer have this deal. They have also modified their menu ever since we went. We don’t think we’ll come back to this restaurant since some of our favourite items are no longer available. We will indicate below which items are no longer in their current menu.

Oysters – blue point [replaced by beau soleil], kayama bay, powder point, malpeque (used to be $1 each between 4-6. now $3 each). [Their oysters are really fresh, but now that it’s $3 each, we don’t think it’s worth it]
+++Steak tartar – capers, shallots, cornichons, cage-free egg yolk, toasted croutons ($15) [This is one of our favourite items, but it is no longer in their menu]
Tuna cruda – grilled hearts of palm, garlic chilli paste, green onion, lime, sea salt ($14) [The garlic chilli paste reminds me a lot of Chinese chilli oil, so it’s definitely a unique combination]
+++Jumbo lump crab slider – with cajun, remoulade [no longer available]. Maine lobster slider – with citrus, tarragon, mayo [no longer available]

Wild mushroom flatbread – roasted garlic, reading spring brook farm cheese ($16)

– – – Pan seared black cod – garlic and herb puree, pan fried new potato ($29) [The fish was waaaay over-cooked and we didn’t enjoy it at all. However, the potatoes and puree were excellent; finished every drop of it]
+++ Flourless chocolate lava cake – with a farm berry coulis ($10) [This is soooo good! You can’t tell it’s flourless at all. If you like your chocolate cake thick and heavy, this is for you.]

Row 34

Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2016 | 383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

Pictured above: Tuna crudo – black garlic, avocado ($15) [I saw a picture of this on yelp before going and I thought the white parts were fat. I love highly marbled tuna (e.g. blue fin toro) and is disappointed to find that this is actually extremely lean tuna. However, it is well seasoned with large grains of salt, avocado, oil, deep fried garlic and I would still recommend it!]

IMG_20170118_154054_950 (1).jpg
Tuna Tartare – sesame, cucumber ($15) [in terms of taste, I prefer their tuna crudo more, but this has so much more tuna for the same price.]
+++ Warm buttered lobster roll – slaw & chips ($27) [this is my favourite dish, and I’d come back just for it’s lobster roll!]

Pan roasted bluefish – eggplant, summer beans ($26)