Mastersteak guest round

2 11 2009

The Mastersteak competition went global recently. The entrant was Souhonke Komatsuan, in the restaurant floors in Takashimaya Times Square in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is first and foremost a soba noodle restaurant. We had the beef fillet special set, which came with zaru soba and accompaniments, a steak served in a bamboo bento — on rice with grilled shishito (Japanese chilli, but not hot), and a little salad.

Given that it doesn”t meet even one of the criteria (Monday or Tuesday nights. Walking distance from the city. Total cost of meal no more than $16), it’s probably not eligible. But here it is anyway.

Pros:

  • atmosphere: as you’d expect from a washoku restaurant in a fairly classy department store – quiet, random acts of bamboo, lots of obachans slurping gently, great view of the lights of Shinjuku.
  • quality: excellent. The soba was perfectly al dente, the tsuyu delicious and the steak beautifully tender and tasty.
  • convenience: I had grown extremely hungry after an evening of hunting down the best bento box in the adjoining Tokyu Hands. Up two floors and voila! food.
  • service: good, if a little patronising. If I’m sitting there ordering from a menu which is written entirely in Japanese, I probably speak it, dontchathink?
  • presentation: lovely. See the blurry picture below.

Cons:

  • beer: on a whim we ordered some sort of special Yebisu beer. It was tinny and bloaty.
  • cost: well, it was in Takashimaya. We knew what we were in for. Having said that, it was about $25 each in total, so really not too bad.
  • location: probably a little difficult to get to on a regular basis.

Verdict: Memorable but unlikely to be repeated.

Here’s a blurry picture:

Mmmm, steaky

Clockwise from top: soba, salad, steaky bento goodness, tsuyu, dipping bowl and wasabi and spring onions for tsuyu. They also gave us hot tea to drink the tsuyu with. Yum.

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