Roppongi Robataya, Roppongi, Tokyo
Before dining in new cities, seasoned diners do meticolous research and come up with a selection of must try restaurants. I didn’t and ended up wandering around Tokyo. I walked past an interesting place and decided to eat there, I was asked to come back in an hour later and got a seat Roppongi Robataya. Sometimes I just am a truly lucky bastard, this place was a big hit. The “kitchen” is a couple of barbeques on a pedestal, which is operated by two cooks sitting cross-legged, with dozens of vegetables, meats and fish strewn around them. The seats are organized like a horseshoe around the pedestal. There’s no menu and you just order by selecting whatever is available on display. Drinks and food are handed to you by the guys sitting on the pedestal by means of a large paddle. Sake flowing, chit-chat going, and when the waiter found out that the guys next to us are from Germany he smiles and says “Bundesliga”. Food is right up my alley. Grilled, simple food done right. My favourite were the Enoki mushrooms. The slender and soft mushrooms do really well on the grill and the coal aroma mixes well with the natural Enoki flavor. The strangest thing were the crabs. Small ones which one would eat whole. No flavor, almost no smell but a huge crunch were the deal. I didn’t quite understand why one would eat these. Prices are above average, a dinner for two cost roughly 250 CHF including sake and beer. I told this to a colleague who was there a couple of days later. He went for dinner with a hungry buddy and they racked up a bill of 550 CHF by ordering everything off the menu twice….