Friday, October 3, 2014

Tokyo Eats: Imahan at Ginza

For day 2 dinner in Tokyo, Hubby and I went through the exact same scenario.  Trying to find a restaurant by means of Google Maps, and getting lost along the way.  Sheesh.  But we found it anyway, thanks to a bunch of nice Japanese people and one not so nice one (who claimed he didn't know the place, which was just right in front of him, we later found out .  Boo!).  I've read great reviews online about this place, and when you say sukiyaki and wagyu in one sentence, I'm so there.  

Due to our predicament, we arrived late at Imahan.  Good thing we didn't make a reservation.  But since it was already 8:30PM, the one who greeted us asked if we could finish by 10PM, since that's the time they close.  An hour and a half?  Are you kidding me?  I could probably wolf down everything in 10 minutes if needed.

We were handed the menus right after we were seated.  And at first glance of the menus, both our eyebrows shot up.  We're not cheap people, but heck, this place is expensive.  But since we were already seated, and went through all that lost-in-Tokyo situation, we didn't want to find another restaurant to eat in.  Plus it was already late.  Might as well go with the flow.  We decided to just order one dish to share, then hit the fastfood or convenience store, should the order not be enough.  We did our ordering, and surprise, surprise, our server told us that the minimum orders are one dish per person.  (cue big, round shocked eyes and daydreams of a bleeding wallet.  LOL!)  Pfffffft.  Fine.  Two orders it is to save face.  Haha. 

First order came.  We had the Sukiyaki with High Quality Beef.

High Quality Beef
My initial reaction:  3pieces?!?

Your server will cook the Sukiyaki in front of you.

After cooking, the beef will be dipped in the egg yolk mixture, and handed to you for consumption.

After all the beef is gone, the vegetables will be cooked and served.  If you're curious why I still had a small chunk of beef on the side of my bowl, it's because I purposely did not eat it and saved it so that I can show you guys how pretty it is.  LOL.  But make no mistake about it.  Imahan's sukiyaki is entirely different from the sukiyaki we've all come to know here in the Philippines.  How?  Well first, you've seen the way it was served.  Piece by piece.  Second, you will not be provided with the soup.  As you can see from the photo above, there's barely a hint of soup, unlike here where there's plenty of it.  And third, fancy the glass noodles?  Yes they have it, but only a spoonful and not a strand more.  I guess you could say that I was surprised with how different the sukiyaki in Tokyo is compared to ours in Manila.  I'm not sure if this is really how the Japanese eat their sukiyaki, or just Imahan's version.  Does anyone know?  Please do comment below on the comments section :) 

And for the second order, we had the Shabu Shabu with Top Quality Beef.
Top Quality Beef
Initial reaction:  Hey, four slices instead of three!  (insert mental fist-pump).  Then comes the realization that this is actually more expensive than the High Quality Beef.  So it's kind of getting what you've paid for.  (but still freaking expensive!!!)

Again, not what we're used to.  For the Shabu Shabu, the meat is dipped in a pot of boiling water.  Yes, WATER, not soup.  So it's basically tasteless.  After cooking, each piece will be dipped in two different sauces (one sour and one creamy) then served.

This is is creamy sauce.  I think it's mayonnaise mixed with something else, but I'm not sure what.  After the meat is finished, the server will use the boiling water from which the meat was cooked in, put some in a small bowl, add pepper, and serve it as "soup".  One small bowl and no more.  And it still tasted like hot water.  That's it!  Dinner done.  Imagine my frustration.  Argh.

Ok, ok, so you guys might be wondering about how expensive this dinner was and why I was complaining nonstop about it on this post.  Well... I did the liberty of snapping a photo of our receipt.

Two orders = Y20,790.  Which roughly converts to Php 9106.  And it wasn't even a filling dinner.  $%&@*!!!  I guess you could say that this was the most expensive dinner for two Hubby and I ever had.  

So the verdict?  Yes, you could say that the wagyu was delicious.  Correction: extremely melt-in-your-mouth amazing.  That's what it is.  But for the price?  I think there are other restaurants in Tokyo that offer more value for money wagyu compared to what we had.  Heck, it's Japan!  This is a country where wagyu is as common as clouds on the sky.  So yes, it was good, but not that good to warrant the price.  4 out of 5 stars.

Imahan Ginza is at Kojun Building, 5F, 6-8-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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