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sharing my thoughts on all things related to food.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Cucina Harita - Tokyo, Japan

Having had an awesome eating trip so far in Tokyo, I happily obliged when a friend made reservations and invited us here. 
menu - they don't give you the prices here, until the bill is served up

this no-price policy is due to the fact that they are quite happy to change portion sizes for each diner easily, but we still found it to be dishonest that they didn't at least put the prices for the different portions, which they often do in restaurants.

bread basket
the bread unfortunately looks better than it tasted

Baked tripe ¥2200
very tender tripe, good tomato sauce and a lot of cheese - can't really go wrong. 

tsubu shell ¥2100
Decent and fresh but not very memorable in taste

eggplant parmigiana
way too watery... they didn't dry it out/deep-fry properly - this was my friends favourite Italian dish and supposedly one of Cucina Hirata's signatures, so she was very disappointed

osso buco and bone marrow in white wine sauce ¥3600
tender meat, light sauce, but not really a hearty portion considering its a main

asparagus and sakura shrimp cream chittara ¥2400
The chittara was a bit over-cooked, the cream sauce with sakura shirmp was flavourful and light. 

sea urchin pasta ¥3900
My fried ordered this dish but I had a taste and didn't particularly like it. The uni wasn't fabulous nor generous in portion (for its price) which meant there was a lot more dry, buttery pasta. The pasta was a little too soft for my liking too - not al dente and forgettable. 
Given that uni is from Japan and many Japanese-Italian restaurants here serve uni pasta, I was hoping for something more satisfying but this sadly was not....

Service was also over-bearing - the waitress/waiters were very polite but they were too attentive to the point where they pushed us back into our seats when we wanted to get up to use the bathroom just because it was occupied.  The bill came to about ¥7500 for us with 2 courses each and no drinks. This was expensive considering the quality/portion of food.
I don't think I can recommend this place like the other places I've visited. 

Fast forward to a dish I made for friends on handover day featuring uni from Hokkaido. Now that's a healthy portion of uni, al dente spaghetti and sous vide egg! Inspired by my favourite dish at Robuchon HK. 

Service: ♥1/2 
Price: About ¥7,500 per person after tax 
Azabu-Juban, Tokyo

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