Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beccaccia, Minami Aoyama

I still remember the first time I felt really abused at a restaurant in Tokyo. It was at Stefano's in Kagurazaka, a few years ago. I loved the food - hearty, delicious Northern Italian from the Veneto region - but hated the bread charge, service charge, non-included tax, and the fact that we were refused tap water. I love the Japanese system whereby everything is included in the price, and it pains me when the bill isn't what I expect. Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy.

Beccaccia wasn't quite so bad - only bread and service; I also should have seen it coming. But why do so many restaurants have service charges these days?

This is a semi-secluded basement place, but near Creations de Narisawa, and quite close to the restaurant block in Minami Aoyama (e.g., l'Oasina). It probably seats only 10, and there were three staff. The staff were very nice, speaking some English to us, explaining the pastas, etc.

Food-wise, there were 6 fresh pastas! This is crazy. Three with egg, in various widths (cf tagliolini), one ravioli, and two fresher egg-less pastas. After a nice bitter-salty plate of roasted radicchio with parmesan (Y1600 plus service), I had the pici with fresh porcini. This was a production - I sort of knew how to make pici, but got to watch the chef do it. He started with a block of pasta dough, cut off a thin strip, and then rolled the strip by hand on a well-floured board. This means that every strand of pasta I subsequently ate was hand-rolled shortly before being boiled and covered with sauce of fresh porcini. Interesting texture - very smooth and stretchy. The porcini were decent; I'm not sure what great ones taste like, but these were decent.

That's pretty much it, other than the mixed cheese plate (special order, cheerfully received, Y1800 plus service). Food that I ate was good, beef being eaten at the table down the way looked very well-prepared, wine list had many sensibly-priced bottles that we avoided (since I'm taking Bjorn's lead on the 炭酸水). Service was good. I just couldn't fathom why it came out a touch over Y10,000 for some lettuce, a pasta, and a cheese plate (sorry BD). Actually I can fathom it using my itemized bill, but I'd prefer to be grumpy!

Never again. I'm cooking this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Jon. Surf over to my newest blog