Put yo’ hands up and stand up for Shimada, because this is what you literally have to do when you dine at this FANTASTIC hidden gem ( I somehow managed to find you, my precioussss). This precious is a gourmet standing only restaurant, opened by Hiroshi Shimada who once worked at the 3-star rated Azabu Yukimura. Shimada-san was intent on sharing the mind-blowing joys of fiiiine cuisine minus the mind-numbing pain of wallet hemorrhaging…hence the birth of this standing-only joint in ritzy Ginza which serves such amazing food at a third or less of the usual cost.
I stumbled upon a delicious (non-food) little surprise when entering the restaurant – they actually have one small sit-down table which we managed to snag!
We were given a huge old school menu board to pick to our heart’s content mmmm…but since our eating skills trumped our reading skills big time, the choice was so clear. GO OMAKASE BEBEH!
Let the oh-oh-oh-mah-kase get rolling:
Potato salad: 5 words – not your average potato salad. It was oh-so creamy (you are welcome, says the mayo). And smooth, with pickles lending a delightful little crunch with each mouthful.
Squid salad: The nicely done squid tossed with fresh crunchy veges in a dashi-like stock was another nice opener.
Crab croquette: There was collective squealing (ok mostly from the piglets’ side) when this came to the table, because EVERYBODY HAD THEIR OWN CROQUETTE yespleasethankyouverymuch. There was also collective sighs of yes, yes oh yessss (from everybody this time) with the first bite, because hotdamn this was one hot creamy croquette filled with lots of lusciously delicious crab meat on the inside, and a crisp golden coating on the outside. We discovered the orange roe-like looking thing sitting atop the salad was carrot pickles, which added a nice tangy twist.
Avocado with hotate salad: It was sublime, and I forgot to take the pic urgh. ANYWAY imagine tender scallops tossed with chunks of creamy avocado and slices of wobbly century eggs in a tangy wasabi sauce. I’m not even an avocado advocate, but I couldn’t help cleaning up this entire dish because the burst of flavours…so much winnnn!
Salt-grilled Shishamo: It was a pretty tough act to follow post deliciously stellar performance of the croquette and hotate, and the shishamo which came next…unfortunately fell flat (and arrived flat). The bitter tasting head and upper body didn’t quite help it stage a coup d’etat :(
Fritters with prawns and vege: Arrived delightfully crisp and not greasy soggy. It was like having a little fried golden ball of juicy sweet shrimps and crunchy root-like vegetable bits, studded with specks of coriander.
Tori sukiyaki: This isn’t your usual sweet suspect mirin-laced sukiyaki, no siree. This chicken sukiyaki baby came with subtle kick-ass ma-la spices infused into the sweet sauce, and it was a delightful blend of sweet and very slightly tongue-numbing spiciness. The chicken was grilled to tender, juicy perfection and the baby mochi pieces tossed in provided a nice sticky bed to coat ’em sauce. Add in onions cooked to translucent firmness, and you’ve got sweet sweet heaven in a big bowl!
Wagyu beef with asparagus: When asked whether we would prefer soba or wagyu beef to end this sublime meal, it was a unanimous give.us.wagyu.now prease! And it did not disappoint. The beef was seared to pink perfection, and the delicious drippings made a nice charred-buttery coating for the seared asparagus. This, is how asparagus should be cooked mmm…
A fitting conclusion to this glorious meal: pic from an Asian taking a pic of Asians taking pics of food :)
Dinner came up to a very reasonable 3,900 JPY per person, even with drinks! Winning food at winning prices, this one’s a keeper for sure. I’ll be coming right back into your arms Shimada, even if I’ve to stand for it!
Wherefore art thou?