Friday, May 8, 2009

Barbacoa, Marunouchi

The Wondertable group contains far, far more restaurants than is probably good for anyone's health. I had no idea about this until I saw the spread of business cards under the counter at Barbacoa - the empire stretches from izakaya chain Roku Roku (Roppongi Hillz 5th floor, Shibuya near Parco, etc), shabu-ya Momo Paradise, Tokyo Bellini Cafe, Union Square Tokyo, Lawry's, the two brave new Roppongi Hillz specialist ventures Terres de Truffes and Obika Mozzarella Bar, Country Pancake House, Roast Chicken House, 17 other brands, and Barbacoa. At least they won't get lonely since they such a diverse and multicultural group of friends to play with.

Nothing wrong with Barbacoa though. Compared to the other churrascaria I've been to (which is only Tucano's, or the basement place in Roppongi) it's better-decorated, better-served, and altogether higher-end. This is reflected in the prices (Y5800 for dinner), but it might be quite worthwhile to try for dinner (everyone I know in Tokyo with some Brazilian ancestry is a big fan!). Certainly volume is not the issue at these places, but volume without quality is so...well, let's not dwell on that.

For lunch, there's no churrasco option (except weekends). Your basic choices are a selection of grilled meats (chicken, various steaks) that start at Y1600 and top out at Y3500. Add Y1000 for salad bar, or get just the salad bar for Y2,200. Just as a little funny on us for walking all the way down to Shin Maru 6th, we got the salad bar. This is a misnomer, since it includes plenty of rice, feijoada (the black beans and sausage), curry, fried chicken, grilled fish and desserts in addition to a normal salad bar and a bewildering selection of cooked vegetables and prepared salads. Quality was very high, for a salad bar, across all the items I tried. Including one drink of your choice (hot coffee is refillable, take note), this is not bad value for lunch as long as you're prepared to eat a ton of food.

Slug recommends it!
03-5224-5050

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