it will cost me an arm and a leg for a (western) breakfast spread like this in Asia. Well, I suppose if I want some chinese congee with 20 different condiments in Europe, that would be a lot dearer than what I would pay for back home. The coffee and bread here are delicious and the tripe dish (with chickpeas) was tummy-warmingly good. And you know, it doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of Cava to chase away the morning blues too – that was what some of the patrons, clad in their office-wear, did while devouring some moreish spanish tortilla (potatoes omelette).
I met some crazy people here when I popped into a bar for a late night drink. Those were unusually boisterous french tourists with local girls (read: PROs?) and they insisted that I take a picture with them before they left the bar. The lady behind the counter was very friendly once I started ordering my drinks and snacks in my broken Portuguese. I found out later that she was raised near the borders of Vinho Verde and I guess I must have reminded her of home. One of the servers topped up my glass (with more poorly made spanish tempranillo) when his boss was not looking and gave me a wink. I guess that grumpy looking boss of his must have given all of them a hard time at work that evening. Another one poured me a glass of moscatel from one of the old casks too. I suppose it helped that I didn’t look like another chinese tourist? Well, not like they would walk into a bar like this and order a huge serving of deep fried anchovies for a snack after midnight anyway.
Language is definitely a problem here if you don’t speak Japanese or Spanish. The servers forgot a couple of our orders, and got one completely wrong (they gave us a whole sushi platter instead of some a la carte sushi that we wanted?!). Anyway, food was well executed enough that I don’t mind coming back here to try other stuff. For Asian travellers who are familiar with Japanese cuisine, I’d say forget about the recommendations from the non-Japanese servers as the items recommended (the mixed vegetable tempura – pic not shown here, and the deep fried monkfish fillet) were more like localised version of the dishes. Don’t get me wrong – both dishes weren’t bad. In fact, the stir-fried vegetables lying beneath those monkfish fillets were really fresh and tasty. But the flavours were just a little salah for me. The Somen also had the same predicament but I guess the somewhat strong flavours will appeal to a lot of people, especially the locals. On a brighter note, I did love the sashimi platter, and it’s worth noting that their bonito tataki and horse mackerel were excellent, so much so my friend and I asked for an additional serving of the two sashimi to finish off the meal with some cold sake after the bottle of verdejo ran out. The ocha, which is brewed using proper tea leaves, I must add, was of good quality too. We stumbled out of the quaint restaurant completely STUFFED but happy.