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.
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…
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
WHOLE lobster with saffron sauce. Gone in 60 secs
Beef Truffle Foie Gras Mille-feuille mmmmmm
Truffle pizza with wobbly yolk (if you’re a raw egg fan, this will drive you crazy)
Foie gras risotto. Rich and melt in your mouth, but not quite all that
Shrimps in garlic oil. So good that we wished it came with baguettes to mop up the garlic oil!
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 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….”
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 :)