Monday, October 20, 2008

Mantra, Ueno

Newsflash: The Ameyoko Center Building in Ueno (long, thin triangular one behond the Doraemon statue) has a big ethnic market in the basement. Fresh ethnic spices like lemongrass and cilantro, 'ethnic'-looking cuts of meet like pigs feet and fish heads, big bags of lentils, imported pre-mixed seasonings (e.g., rendang mix, just add beef). I've been to Okubo and Kinshicho, but this is clearly the place to go in comparison. I stocked up and then made dhal with Thai rice for dinner...

Mantra is across the street and has a lunch buffet with 4 curries, some rice, some naan, and some salad (with wakame...). At Y1300, it was OK value and I ate too much like I always do at buffets. The keema curry is clearly made with older mutton; it has a strong taste that makes some people want to exchange their bowl with their neighbor's! The 'vegetable' saag seemed to be all corn in addition to the spinach gloop. The chicken curry was decent. This was OK on the day, but no compelling reason to go back. Even if I made another trip to the market, I'd get kaisen don from one of the wacky semi-open places dotted around there.

Keep in mind that there are also lots of places to buy seafood, as well as a number of Korean specialty stores.

Nutz, I just realized that the same buffet is Y1000 on weekdays...
03-3835-0818

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