Seoul eats: Buncha time at Tang

Buncha meat

Tang (땅), a 5 mins walk down the road from the Ritz Carlton in Seoul, does a kickass Vietnamese-Korean fusion. Billing themselves as an Asian dining place, their signature dish is buncha – a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and vermicelli.

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We were transfixed by Tang’s version of buncha, which was fresh, delicious and grilled to perfection. The pork was grilled just nicely to seal in its delicious sweet taste and retain its fatty tenderness (plus points for not being too oily till death becomes it!). The vermicelli came with THE MOST AMAZING dipping sauce – a combination of piquant fish sauce, tangy citrus and a slice of lemon to add even more citrus-y goodness. Dipping the noodles into this crack sauce, followed by a mouthful of crispy salad, and rounding it off with juicy slices of pork is the most amazing combination of sweet, tangy, salty tastes. Ever.

Buncha fried rice

We gave the green fried rice with prawn a try, which turned out a little bland. The saving grace was the juicy little prawns, which burst into fresh succulent flavours with each mouthful (but not enough to save the overall meh-ness of the fried rice).

We ended up paying 54,000 KRW for 3 buncha sets (which came with soft drinks) and the fried rice. A little on the high-end for quick one-dish meals, but it’s refreshingly delicious, and the decor is clean and cozy.

Buncha decor

Apparently they’ve outlets across Tokyo, London, New York, Shanghai. Give it a try if you happen to swing by those cities,. Remember to stick to their specialty buncha for some Vietnamese-Korean goodnessand you’ll leave a happy foodie :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou?

Tang (땅) (Turn left when you exit the Ritz-Carlton, and keep walking down the main road for 5 mins. You’ll pass by Bandi (a huge nail salon), and Tang is right after that)

1F Yonwoo Bldg
601-1 Yeoksam-dong
Gangnam-gu

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Les Bouchons: Steak frites magnifque

Steak

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When the tagline on its menu board reads “Roi du steak frites” (king of steak and fries), you know Les Bouchons has got some pretty serious steak chops :) They’ve gotten me so hooked that Les Bouchons immediately comes to mind when I’m in Singapore and a steak craving comes up.

This super cozy French bistro has a very short and simple menu (big plus as I get pretty overwhelmed when I’ve to scroll through a bazillion options). Steak frites is the highlight, and they also provide seafood and lamb options for non moo moo eaters. To go with the mains, they’ve got a pretty awesome range of Frenchy starters, ranging from bone marrow (sinfully delicious!) to buttery, garlic infused tender escargots.

I usually zoom in on the steak frites option (rib-eye trumps tenderloin IMHO), which comes with a generous garden salad strongly flavoured with mustard and pepper yummmm. The steak comes beautifully sizzled with a generous slab of garlic butter sitting atop, waiting to be generously slathered over the meat AND fries…

What’s awesome about Les Bouchons is the various mustards and sauces they provide to go with the steak. I usually spread a heapful of thick French mustard on top of the steak, and the combination of mustard + warm garlic butter + juicy tender meat is incredible!

Another big bonus is the free flow of their thick, hand-cut fries which are fried to golden perfection. I usually let it sit for awhile so that it gets infused with all the deliciousness from the garlic butter and meat juices #godIlovefries

The steak frites portions here are hearty and generous (I struggle to finish my portion every time, and I’ve a separate tummy for steak!) and very reasonably priced at less than SGD 50.

This French bistro doesn’t sit many, so always best to make a reservation in advance. They’ve two branches – one at Ann Siang, another one at Robertson Quay. My favourite is the Ann Siang branch, which somehow manages to add a little more French deliciousness to the whole fare :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? Ann Siang branch map here (~10 mins walk from Tanjung Pagar MRT station)

Les Bouchons
7 Ann Siang Rd,
Singapore 069689

East Ocean: Dim sum treasures

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Tokyo’s an amazing food paradise, but good dim sum places are a little hard to come by (Le Parc in Ebisu is pretty ok, but lacks a little of that oomph). However, at the current base in Singapore, dim sum joints are plentiful and I said yes yes yes!!! to Molly’s suggestion to dim sum at East Ocean along the  Orchard belt this weekend!

The queue at East Ocean gets pretty insane on weekends, and even those with a reservation have to wait a good amount of time for their table upon arrival! Service is horrendous here (worse than the usual mediocre service you get in Singapore restaurants), and we literally had to grab hold of someone to hand over our order sheet :(

But all was forgiven, when these bundle of steaming hot dim sum joys started to fill up the table!

Cha siu sou

Char siu sou (bbq pork pastry): The buttery pastry was baked to a crisp, golden perfection. However, the bbq pork flavours were a little too subtle and ended up being overwhelmed by the rich pastry…

Egg tart

Dan tat (egg tarts): Darn these tarts were freakin’ legit. Each bite of the golden layers of flaky pastry was complemented by not-too sweet egg custard done to wobbly perfection.

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Ham sui kok (fried crescent dumplings): So the party trick at East Ocean – their creative spin on dumplings in the shape of cute animals! The ham sui kok we ordered came in the shape of elephants, with bean sprouts for tusks and an almond sliver poking out of its mouth :) It wasn’t love at first bite however, as the dumpling’s skin was too thick and gooey and the meat filling was meh…

Lao sha bao

Lau sha bao (salted custard buns): I judge how good a lau sha bao is, depending on how the salted custard filling oozes out when the bun is bitten into..and this lau sha bao passed the test beautifully! Golden rivers of savoury custard flowed silkily out of the fluffy bun, and it was totes delicious!

Siu mai

Siu mai (pork dumplings): The siu mai was fresh, and chunks of succulent prawns were mixed into this for added juicy sweetness

Steamed radish cake

Steamed radish cake: THIS was my personal favourite! The radish cake was steamed to delicate firmness, and the strips of radish within provided a nice light crunch with each mouthful of the sweet soy sauce and chopped spring onions mmm-mmm

Yam spring rolls

Yam spring rolls: Nice crunchy addition (not too greasy) to the spread with julienned veggies and yam tucked into it.

Zha liang

Zhar leong (dough fritters wrapped in rice paper): Super stoked to see this on the menu, as not many dim sum joints serve this! This was unfortunately so-so, as the dough fritters weren’t quite crisp and left a slightly greasy aftertaste, and the rice paper wrap was a tad too thick *sadness*

Bumblebee

Bumble bee custard dumpling: Part 2 of the animal series we ordered!. This bumble bee came with strips of seaweed for stripes, almond slivers for wings, and radish bits for eyes :) The custard was a little clumpy and gooey, but ok as a sweet ending palate cleanser.

We were pretty stuffed from this dim sum feast (this was all I had for the entire day, and I’m still full!) and paid a pretty reasonable SGD 27 per person for the meal. Prices start from ~$5 for a basket of dumplings, and gets steeper for fancier morsels like dumplings in superior soup.

Next time I swing by here, I’m going to check out their Teochew dishes (cold crabs, supreme combination platter a.k.a. “Poon Choy” anybody??). Judging by the sights and smells from nearby tables devouring their dishes, they look real promising!

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? 5th Floor of Takashimaya department store along Orchard Road

East Ocean Teochew Restaurant
391 Orchard Road
#05-08/09 Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238872

Bondi Cafe: Breezy brunch

Acai

Deliciously healthy acai bowl

Just a 3 minute walk from Hiroo station, Bondi Cafe is an easy breezy place to pop by for a lazy brunch on the weekend. The vibe is very relaxed and chilled out, with a cozy warm wooden feel about it. It’s very family and kids and doggie friendly too – there were a bunch of strollers with babies AND miniature doggies poppin’ out, taking in the sights and sounds of Hiroo’s side streets.

Bondi 1

Bondi serves bites which are light and come in dainty Japanese portions. I had a go at their healthy acai bowl, which came with a heapful of crunchy granolas, freshly cut banana and strawberry slices and acai berries slush. It was deliciously refreshing, like having a berry gelato with crunchy twist from the granolas.

Bondi 2

Jay had the French Toast, which came with a nicely caramelised crust and a dollop of cream with fresh fruits. It was done Japanese style, dense and moist, like an eggy bread pudding. It was good and not tooth-achingly sahweeet, but not quite my fav as I prefer mine done crisp and fluffylicious!

The fare they dish up at Bondi isn’t anything to go nuts over, but it’s a convenient go-to place for usual brunch pleasers such as pancakes, eggs, sandwiches, and light bites like soups and pastas. Oh, not forgetting a ton of healthy and colourful salad options for those on a health-kick or paying the price of a binge-fest :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? Map here (they have another branch at Yoyogi as well!)

Bondi Cafe
5-15-9 Minamiazabu,
Minato, Tokyo 106-0047, Japan

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Esquina: Tap that tapas

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This Spanish gem tucked away by a corner in Singapore’s quaint Chinatown area had me wistfully sighing Ti Amoooo at first bite. Under the guidance of Michelin star chef Jason Atherton (protégé of Hell’s Kitchen godfather Gordon Ramsay), Esquina has managed to beautifully blend delicious morsels of legit tapas (LOVE that the portions aren’t minuscule) with a super fun and gregarious atmosphere. What’s also cool is that everyone’s seated by the counter facing the open kitchen with an awesome view of the deliciousness sizzling and cooking by the stoves!

We ordered a bunch of tapas, and pretty much everything we had was scrumptious and authentic yay!

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Crispy baby squid in black ink aioli

Tapas balls

Ham croquetas

These piping hot little ham balls split open to reveal a gooey, delicious mixture of ham, cream and cheese. One croquette per person was just the right amount, as it felt like biting into a ball of carbonara which explodes into an artery-clogging but totes delicious buttery bath…

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Grilled romaine, truffle honey, manchego, black olives

So we got this as a feeble attempt to be healthy at a tapas bar, and OH BOY IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST ROMAINES I’VE EVER HAD! Each Romain was lovingly grilled to crisp-edgy perfection, and the flecks of savoury manchego and chopped olive bits were the perfect foil to the Romain’s sweetness. So, so good that it just kept ending up on my plate, even though I had enough Romain during lunch to make me run away from veggies for the rest of the day.

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Grilled pork secreto with miso glazed apple puree, hazelnut, apple salad, crispy skin

THIS. OMG this grilled pork is probably THE best grilled pork I’ve had ever. Pork is one tough MOFO to cook, and the guys at Esquina cracked it (literally). The pork was grilled to juicy perfection, with a crisp outer layer which sealed in all the delicious juices from the cooking. The crispy skin and chopped walnuts added a nice crunchy twist to each bit of porky perfection mmmmmm….

We also had another porky dish – Spiced pig cheek, roast belly, sweet & sour onion, chorizo crumbs (pictured at top of the blog) which was ok, but definitely couldn’t fill the ginormous delicious shoes left by its grilled pork predecessor.

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Blueberry ice-cream – on the house if you get dessert… and so we did :)

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Charred pineapple & lime salad, basil sorbet, coconut lime jelly – nice palate cleanser after the awesome tapas fest!

Prices are a little steep at this joint (starters, meat, dessert and drinks can come up to ~SGD 80 per person), but for the quality and authenticity it’s worth coming back to for sure :) It’s a pain that they don’t take reservations (as place is pretty small), so swing by before 7pm to grab a seat and have some deliciously legit Spanish tapas in Singapore!

Here’s a short clip of the place, it was crazyyy packed on a week night!

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? Map here (~11 min walk from Tanjung Pagar MRT station)

Esquina Tapas Bar
16 Jiak Chuan Rd,
Singapore 089267

Golden Spoon: Spoonfuls of crabby delish

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After checking off Chili Crabs from must-eat list while in Singapore, we trooped to Kirsten and Jon’s regular haunt Golden Spoon in Tiong Bahru, Singapore’s hipster enclave, for more crabby yum fun times. What got us super stoked about Golden Spoon is that one of their specialties is none other than Crab bihun (vermicelli)! Never tried it, but the thought of succulent crabs tossed with noodles in a rich seafood broth got us all excited uhh huhhhh!

What we found out upon arrival: there was a recent change of owners, and the original guys have moved to East Coast. The place still served most of the original dishes, albeit in a more formal Chinese dinner style environment. We were on a crab roll, and ended up getting crab bihun, black pepper crab and ginger scallion crabs (THERE CAN NEVER BE TOO MUCH CRAB!). Coffee spare ribs, homemade tofu and sambal kangkung also made the rounds to feed 7 hangry people.

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Black pepper Sri Lankan crabs which provided a fiery kick

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Ginger scallion Sri Lankan crabs which were piled in a complex delicious mess of claws, shells, ginger and scallions

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Semi spicy sambal kangkung

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Sticky tender coffee-coated ribs topped with crunchy sesame seeds

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Homemade tofu in sweet and sour tangy sauce, topped with crunchy cucumber strips and pork floss!

Give us all the crabby delights now!

Oh hello crab babies!

We had an awesome time cracking every single crab shell open to reveal firm chunks of succulent crab meat bathed in the most delicious of sauces. My personal favourite was the crab bihun (surprise surprise :)) – not just cause of the luscious bites of Sri Lankan crab meat, but also the coarse vermicelli which soaked up the rich seafood broth so nicely. Each spoonful of bihun in broth topped with scallions and scallops was simply amazinggggg, and I had ehm 4 bowls because this was just how deliciously addictive it was!

The bill came up to ~$70 per person, which was pretty reasonable given the generous portions of crab we devoured (and we had 3 desserts on the house thrown in – sago cream, herbal jelly, glutinous rice with ice cream yayyyy). Was told that one of their house desserts worth a try is mantou (steamed buns) drizzled with thick swirls of condensed milk….will need to save room for that next time up!

Can’t wait to check out the original owners’ new joint in East Coast for another round of comfort crab and homestyle dishes. Apparently they do a better version of crab bihun!!! Guess heaven IS a place on Earth…or maybe along East Coast Road :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? Map here (It’s ~10min walk from the Tiong Bahru MRT station)

De Classic Golden Spoon
62 Seng Poh Lane,
Singapore 160062

Jaan: Très superb

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When I first moved to Singapore years ago, Jaan (under the helm of then rockstar chef Andre Chiang) was one of THE places foodies needed to pay their respects at. But thanks to my procrastination, chef Andre packed his bags to set up his own shop before I could step foot into the holy food shrine that is Jaan *CRIES*. All is not lost however, as fellow piglet Sonsons was in town recently and we decided to give Jaan a little piglets visit after reading all the rave reviews of the revamped Jaan under current chef Julien Royer.

Upon arrival at The Swissotel hotel, we were whisked to the 70F where Jaan discreetly sits and proceeded to have one of the most epic lunches. Ever. Definitely comparable to our numero uno Narisawa in Tokyo, but with chotto less creative flourishes…

We decided on their 3-course menu, instead of the 5-course which beckoned oh so temptingly…Thank god we did, because loooookie what awesome amuse bouches came to say Hi!

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Pissaladiere, goats cheese, Spanish anchovy – tasted like fluffy choux pastry stuffed with cheese and anchovy mmmm

Hummus

“Saint-Flour” lentils hummus and cereal crackers – the homemade hummus came with a twist of ground chestnuts, which lent a sweet blend to the spread

Soup

Wild mushroom tea, Cep Sabayon, Lovage, Walnuts – essentially a rich buttery foam with sprinkles of crunchy walnuts… WANT MOAR!

Not forgetting the other 2 delicious bites (pic right at the top): Smoked unagi, konbu, finger lime AND Pastilla, chicken and coriander. Such delicious food foreplay… and it’s the gift which keeps on giving because next up came a delicious bread basket filled with choices of baguettes, walnut rolls, truffle rolls…WANT. EVERYTHING (and took everything…)

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Jaan’s Garden: I opted for this starter as penance for my meat fest last weekend in Bali. This rainbow vegetable compilation came with a handful of wild herbs, nut bits and spices. The vegetables were delectably sweet and crunchy, but the dollop of yoghurt-y dressing was a tad too heavy and the milky taste didn’t quite sit nicely with the rest of the Garden…

Eggs

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55′ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg: Sonsons’ starter. The smoked rattes potatoes and chorizo iberico arrived in a glass swirling with puffs of smoke. After we were done ooh-ing and aah-ing and taking a gazillion pics, the nice waitress proceeded to crack the rosemary smoked organic eggs into this, so that you get mouthfuls of runny golden wobbliness mixed with buttery mash and savoury ham bits with each bite…

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We both picked the buffalo ricotta ravioli for our mains. The violet artichokes, iberico ham and chives melded lusciously together with the ricotta cheese to give a burst of velvety deliciousness with each morsel mmmm…

Brie is hard to resist. Brie with truffle centre? No is not an answer!

Brie is hard to resist. Brie with truffle centre? No is not an option!

Jaan, you make us totes happy!

Jaan, you make the piglets totes happy!

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Mara Des Bois Strawberry – chilled rhubarb soup with strawberry, marshmellows and basil sorbet. Perfect palate cleanser after a delish meal

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Light lemon curd with cherry, verbena, elderflower bits and ice kwimmmm

Just when we thought it was time to bid adieu to Jaan, delicious petit fours (compliments of the house) swung by in the form of crackling sorbet pops, yuzu marshmellows, cookies and luscious cream-filled chocolate-pops! *Piglets do a victory wiggle*

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Our lunch menu which they graciously printed for us..service par excellence indeed!

Our lunch menu which they graciously printed for us..service par excellence indeed!

Pretty breathtaking view of the marina from Jaan

Pretty breathtaking view of Singapore from Jaan’s windows

For $68 ++ , this scrumptious 3-course meal (which includes deliciously decadent amuse bouches and petit fours) is a pretty good deal considering how ludicrous fine dining prices can get in Singapore. The ambience is quiet and intimate without being intimidating (there were only 4-5 tables when we were there, and felt like we had very own private room by the window!), and service is gracious and friendly. We waddled out with Jaan food babies, stuffed and extremely satisfied..before digging into a chili crab dinner mere hours later hehehe

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou? Map here

Jaan Restaurant
Swissotel The Stamford Singapore,
Stamford Road,
Singapore 178882

Abura Soba: Toss it like it’s hot

Abura

I discovered ramen in Tokyo doesn’t always translate to firm, chewy noodles simmering in a delicious soup base brimming with robust porky/ fish flavours which never fail to recreate the most epic dreams of your first ramen crush. Rather, it can take the equally delicious form of noodles tossed in a wonderfully spicy sauce which give an addictive zing with each bite. This, is essentially what makes us so dangerously addicted to Abura Soba.

At Abura Soba (translated literally as “oil noodles”), the noodles are served dry with a spicy, oily base at the bottom and chilli flakes thrown in for that extra kick. But wait, it gets better because you can add vinegar, chilli oil, pepper, chilli paste and a mound of chopped spring onions to the mix (it sounds way better than the description here, trust me!). Toss the noodles well in this spicy piquant mix along with the strips of seaweed and bamboo shoots. Coat the fatty marbled pork strips evenly with this mixture. Take a bite of the mixed noodles + melt-in-your-mouth pork strips + slivers of seaweed + a crushed handful of spring onions, and babyyy you’ve just walked into another form of ramen heaven!

Sauces

Abura soba with all the condiments ready to dive into the hot mess

Insider tip: Get the karai (spicy) miso ramen when ordering, as it elevates your abura soba experience to a whole different devilishly spicy level (WHICH I ONLY DISCOVERED AFTER A YEAR OF RELIGIOUSLY EATING AT ABURA SOBA!). Apparently you can also get an order of mayonaise to go with your spicy miso ramen for that extra layer of smoothness on top of the spiciness coating your ramen.

Signing off with a video of me making a hot mess of my abura soba. Super fun and delicious, and feels as though I made my own meal :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou?

So, Abura Soba has branches all over Tokyo (yup, Japan proves that chain restaurants can actually be delicious!). Best to do a quick Google search for the Abura Soba branch nearest you. I usually go to the branch at Hiroo which is smack in the middle of the Hiroo main shopping street, and walk off the deliciously addictive noodle carnage after…

Chomoranma: Kickass dan dan mein

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Spicy dan dan mein party going on

First time I stepped foot into Chomoranma – then known among us as chubby gyoza spicy dan dan mein place – there was no turning back. I thought I knew my dan dan mein, but dayummm these guys at Chomoranma own it. The broth is a kickass concoction chock full of Sichuan peppercorns and fiery red chillies, with a hint of sweet miso to temper all that heat *foooh*. Throw in thick juicy beansprouts, spring onions, and minced meat into the mix, coupled with a spoonful of chewy fat yellow noodles, and you’ll be singing the dan dan mein anthem.

Their party trick is *wait for it*…the different levels of spiciness. The beginners level a.k.a ddm for wussies comes in a mild white/ black pepper broth, and is a perfect palate opener for your tastebuds to climb to the next level of spiciness.

Black white pepper ddm

They up the ante next, with actual spicy dan dan mien (opening pic of post) which leaves a tingly spicy after taste from all that extra peppercorns tossed in.

The ultimate test, hold on tight to your tummies, is their super spicy dan dan mien which comes in a bowl filled to the brim with glistening whole red chillies which bury all the noodles. The broth is an angry deep red, and it’ll leave angry deep red marks on your tummy if you dare bravely consume it – vouched for from a friend’s first-hand account! It’s so spicy that it immediately leaves a numbing sensation on the first bite/ slurp. Not really an enjoyable experience, but do give it a try if you dare :)

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Here’s Brando the brave eating THAT ultimate spicy ddm, and emerging unscathed…

Besides dan dan mein, this place serves the chubbiest gyozas I’ve ever come across, and normal-sized gyozas with delicious fillings/ toppings such as ma-po and yuzu. The crisp, juicy dumplings go perfectly well with the spicy noodles, and I’m a total fan of double dippin’ it into the deliciously flavourful broth :)

Gyoza

Oh! They also serve the crunchiest and juiciest karaage which comes with a generous handful of spring onions, deep fried garlic, and a drizzle of soy sauce for that extra kick.

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In short, Chomoranma (which reads as Mt Everest in Japanese) is the perfect place to drop by post work for great spicy dan dan mein, juicy karaage and chubby gyozas in a fun and cozy izakaya setting. They are very reasonably priced too – a full meal inclusive of drinks never seems to cross the 2,000 JPY mark! Come eat, drink and be merry here, and go for round 2 at the numerous awesome bars scattered throughout Ebisu, like bar Tram or Trench :)

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou?

Map: here

Address:
Chomoranma
4丁目-9-5
Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo

Oreno Italian: officially obsessed

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Cold spaghetti carbonara – house specialty at Oreno Italian

Oreno. 2 syllables, infinite amounts of eating pleasure guaranteed. What started out as a “Hey, let’s go check out this Oreno Italian joint where you stand, eat and listen to jazz” has turned into a full-blown love affair with the Oreno chains. Along with some of the munch bunch, I ended up paying not one but TWO visits to the Oreno chains in one week. And uhmmm maybe a visit the week before….

I guess we’re pretty obsessed with Oreno joints! But where else can you find a place where the chefs hail from Michelin-starred restaurants and vow to continue serving delectable delicacies at a fraction of the price at fancy pants places? The fact that it’s a standing joint (although there are very few tiny sitting booths available) is a totes small price to pay, as the solid wine list they have ensures that you are well sloshed enough so that you don’t feel the ache in your legs while standing :)

The first time we hit Oreno Italian in Ginze 8-chome, it turned out to be an unplanned epic night out. We were greeted with complimentary parmesan cheese to start the night.

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Some jazz to entertain us throughout the meal (not too sure if this is the only joint which has a jazz band performing), with lots of unsolicited sing-and-jig-along from us…

Oreno jazz

Let the feast began! We pretty much ordered half the menu, but everything disappeared miraculously as soon as they were placed in front of us because EVERYTHING WAS SO DAMN DELICIOUS WHAT IS THIS SORCERY

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WHOLE lobster with saffron sauce. Gone in 60 secs

Beef Truffle Foie Gras Mille-feuille mmmmmm

Beef Truffle Foie Gras Mille-feuille mmmmmm

Truffle pizza with wobbly yolk

Truffle pizza with wobbly yolk (if you’re a raw egg fan, this will drive you crazy)

Rice

Foie gras risotto. Rich and melt in your mouth, but not quite all that

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Shrimps in garlic oil. So good that we wished it came with baguettes to mop up the garlic oil!

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Wagyu beef cheeks with cous cous and green beans. So tender it literally fell apart when poked with a fork…

Wine makes the world go round :)

Wine makes the world go round and round and round

Everything was polished off with Mango Esupuma and creamy layers of tiramisu in a glass. And maybe another bottle of wine :)

Total damage from wallowing in mouthfuls of succulent lobsters, tender wagyu beef cheeks, melt-in-your-mouth foie gras and truffles, crusty pizza, al dente pasta, creamy heavenly desserts and almost a bottle of wine per person: a very, very reasonable 4,800 JPY per person!

It does get a little tight, crammed and noisy in Oreno Italian (it’s a standing joint after all), but hey we still had tons of fun wining and dining hehe

So what I found out on my second visit to Oreno: Ore-no in Japanese means “My” – in a super macho way (i.e. only guys say it). That revelation pretty much started the “Let’s speak like Gori-macho dudes” shindig, with everyone round the table going”MAJI YABE” (it’s the shiz yo) in praise of the deliciousness that is Oreno!

BTW en route back to Ginza station, we excitedly counted 4 Oreno chains within the Ginza vicinity – Oreno Italian (*2), Oreno French, Oreno kappo (high end traditional Japanese)! Apparently there’s also Oreno Yakiniku (top-of-the-range grilled A5-grade wagyū beef) and Oreno Yakitori somewhere in Tokyo – I MUST HUNT YOU DOWN VERY SOON MY LOVELIES.

Heads up though that the Oreno queue is horrendous (ranges from 45 mins to 2 hours, seriously) and reservations are close to impossible. But all is not lost and I would definitely queue to eat at Oreno again. Just remember to grab a few cans from a nearby konbeni, have lots of swigs and laughs with your dinner friends, and before you know it, a friendly server will appear in a jiffy and usher you inside with the magic words “Taihen omatase shimashita, dozo….”

–Sulsuls

Wherefore art thou?

Locations: Do a quick Google Search for the Oreno chains throughout Tokyo. Safe bet is to start the search in Ginza, where you can easily shift to another Oreno joint with a relatively shorter queue :)