Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part V

Many more photos build-up and here we are at installment #5 of Tokyo Eats - Roppongi Area.

Back in late June, the Midtown building had a fun exhibition on daruma art.

In the vicinity of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, we found Hashida Honten on Keyakizaka 3rd floor, in the same building as the Roppongi Hills Residence B, I believe.

The shop was a great discovery in the late spring, some of the best udon we'd had in Tokyo, made in-house! We also love that the shop's well-hidden and was never crowded, at least not whenever we went.

We ate there a lot because both hubby and I are fans of udon. In fact, I prefer udon over both ramen and soba any day, and the udon there was chewy and perfect. They even had an English menu!

We took many of our friends, and each time we tried something new as well as our favorites. And they served sake with these!

Loved this tamago yaki (top left) which was fluffy and delicious and went really well with their homemade yuzukosho. Another item I really liked was bite-sized octopus deep fried with seaweed (top right). Super tender and flavorful. Though I should probably stop eating octopus...

Another specialty of the shop was shamo, or gamefowl in Japan. Which kind of explains why its meat was kind of tough and almost doesn't taste like chicken. Aside from the ethics of cockfighting, it wasn't my favorite, so I just stuck with the udon and other non-gamefowl things.

Hubby's favorite was the shamo udon with gamefowl meatballs in a bone broth (bottom left) and mine was kitsune udon (bottom right) in the good ol' dashi broth.

There were various toppings like onsen tamago, mentaiko, and tempura shrimp to add to the udon too.

And yes, the shop made their own desserts, like this brown sugar jelly which was delicious although a tad too sweet for my taste. The soy milk pudding was also delicious and nowhere nearly as sweet, so I stuck with this choice thereafter.

You know that documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which profiled the Michelin 3-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro (Ginza station exit C6, you're welcome)? Right next door to Hashida Honten is Jiro's younger son's sushi shop, itself a Michelin 2-starred establishment. No, hubby and I never tried. I don't like raw fish to begin with, so all that fancy deliciousness would be wasted on me.

On the other hand, before we went home hubby took his boss out to lunch at a high-end sushi shop in Ginza where the waitress was kimono-clad. No, it wasn't Jiro's, because you'd have to be the prime minister to get in there, but either way that lunch alone totally ruined sushi for hubby since, as in nothing has measured up to it so far.

Went to Hainan Jeefan Shokudo in Azabu Juban several more times because, well, the crab claws.

The stir fried noodles were delicious also, and the veggies were great.

Tried Grace once because hubby loves samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup).

The meal was decent, not the best Korean food I've had but then again, their specialty was samgyetang, which hubby really enjoyed.

Was wandering around Azabu Juban and stumbled onto Housenka, which we were game to try since we both love Korean food. Well, that decision turned out to be a mistake. Don't get me wrong, the food was fine, but the waitress was so ignorant, if not flagrantly racist, it ruined the entire dining experience.

The very moment we walked in and asked for a table for two, the young waitress looked hubby square in the eyes and said, and I quote, "韓国料理ですけど..." ("...But this is a Korean restaurant...?"). Erhhh, yes? We didn't come in looking for a pizza or a burger and fries, if that was what she was thinking.

Anyway, I was ready to walk out, but hubby was nice enough to reply, "ええ,韓国料理が好きです." ("Yes, I like Korean food."). The waitress then reluctantly, if not incredulously, sat us at a table and proceeded to fawn over his command of Japanese throughout the meal. The whole time, I was thinking to myself, lady, this is Azabu Juban, stop acting like you've never seen a blondy who could speak Japanese before! Then again who knows, may be it really was her first day in the big city and hubby was the first blondy she'd met who could speak Japanese. 

Funny enough, we could hear the same waitress speaking Mandarin to the kitchen staff, and that made me wonder what kind of chaos would ensue were hubby to start speaking Chinese to her also. Urgh. This is 2016, folks, and there are those who can and do speak both Chinese and Japanese as their second and third language with native fluency. Get over it.

The last straw that broke the camel's back was when I ordered a shaved ice for dessert, at which point our lovely waitress insisted that we get a bowl of cold noodles also. Huh? Did she not notice I just ordered dessert? We politely declined, but she wasn't going to take no for an answer. After several back and forths and her promising the moon that the cold noodles would be tiny, hubby was tired of dealing with her and said fine, we'll get just one.

And so they served us shaved ice for dessert and then brought out a gigantic bowl of cold noodles the size of a medium bowl of pho. We were incensed the waitress blatantly lied, not to mention the noodles were hard, not because they were cold but because they were actually under-cooked. So we choked down all the toppings but left the rest of the noodles untouched. Never went back there a second time.

Here's Amanoya, also in Azabu Juban. We actually tried going there three times, and each time they were either closed unexpectedly or the whole restaurant were rented out for parties. We didn't try a fourth time. Three were enough.

See my previous posts:
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part II
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part III
- Tokyo Eats - Roppongi area Part IV


Citrine said...

The correct way is to ask the lady to shut it (in Mandarin) but I suppose that would be too blunt/American?

Luckily this kind of thing never happened to me and the only double take the waittress gave me was "Are you sure you want that (it's for an extra person)?"

D. said...

Hi Citrine,

LOL, that would have been quite a scene to watch. Her head might explode from hearing my hubby speaks Mandarin xD

Sadly enough, things like this happened to us quite frequently. More often than not, people would just speak to me and totally ignore him when he's the one who can answer them (I can understand for the most parts but don't have enough vocab, or grammar, to reply politely).



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