Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cul de Sac, Kanda

I set out for Kanda with the express intention of going to Cul de Sac. I didn't know that was the name at the time, but since it opened a few months ago I've been meaning to go.

Paris would be better, but maybe not this time of year, and it's far away.

As the name implies, it's at the end of, it's not, actually. It's in that little u-shaped alley that also houses Kanda's Ramen Jiro, and Byakuran, and Hongokutei, and a bunch of other little, dirty places.

On the way, I stopped to buy a magazine and ended up getting this year's Tokyo Calendar Restaurant Spectacular. There's one issue every year where they have capsule reviews of 500 or so places, and at certain points those guides have been like a roadmap to me. The funny part isthat I flipped it open, saw a great looking bistro place, and realized that it was exactly the place I had left the office to head for. So head I did.

Aaaaaand here's what it's like inside. You really have to be careful with Tokyo Calendar - their photography is awesome. Whatever you see in the picture, step your expectations down a bit, and if you'd still be excited to find that when you got to a place, try it.

I dunno, just kind atmospheric.

I don't like to complain about restaurants...well, that's obviously not true. But I don't like to complain about service, and it's so rare that service in Japan gives one anything to complain about. But the waiter here was downright brusque. I mean, the cheek of that man! And the chef gave me a look when I walked in that could have offended me if I was more easily offended.

There's only one course for lunch, and it started with this potato soup (I'm eschewing all foreign vocabulary today) that was surprisingly good - a real taste, and lovely rich creaminess.  Come to think of it, that was probably because it was heavily dosed with cream. No shame in that, and hard to go wrong.

So the service...I was but halfway through the soup, trying to read my magazine, when the pork came. I know I shouldn't complain (and the course is Y900 or 1000, so even less so), but I was trying to relax.

Good pork. You can tell that they just got some shoulders and roasted them up, that's how they can make lunch so cheap. But what the hey, it was good pork. Not sure about the balsamic sauce, kinda odd with it.

And the chiffon cake was light, and had a bit of flavor, but I've forgotten what, and the coffee was very competent. So I guess this sounds like a mixed review, but it was a great value (and looks to be that way for dinner also), and could be just the thing for your next lunch.

Just wear a thick skin, OK?

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