Tokyo Food Page
Karashi/
Shirokanedai:
Teppanyaki
₯5423-5424
€Data
Karashi is a com-
fortable neighbor-
hood spot that spe-
cializes in both
teppanyaki and okon-
omiyaki. It's an odd
combination - even
though both styles
of cooking use the
same type of grill,
Japanese teppanyaki
steaks are usually
served in upscale
settings like fancy
hotel restaurants,
while okonomiyaki
dishes (those savory
pancakes that are so
popular in Kansai)
are found in far
more humble sur-
roundings. The res-
taurant Karashi
falls between these
two extremes - it's
comfortably ap-
pointed and the food
is good, but you
don't have to worry
about the exorbitant
expense of a typical
Japanese steak
house.

At first glance it
seems more like a
bar than a restau-
rant here (and in
fact there's a late-
night bar upstairs
in the same build-
ing, under the same
management). There's
a nice low-key at-
mosphere and a crowd
of neighborhood
regulars. Most of
the seating is at a
big counter that
wraps around the
grill area, where
the chefs are hard
at work chopping and
sauteeing. (There
are a few tables
that may work better
for groups, but most
customers prefer the
entertainment and
interaction at the
counter.)

The menu is large
but not very compli-
cated - sauteed
seasonal vegetables,
sauteed seasonal
fish and shellfish,
steaks and okonomiy-
aki - almost every-
thing straight off
the grill. The focus
is more on good-
quality ingredients
rather than dazzling
recipes, so the
excellent grilled
salmon for example
is served with just
a bit of lemon, a
sprig of dill and a
dollop of tartar
sauce. Japanese beef
steaks come with
toasted garlic
chips, some bean
sprouts and a
Japanese-style ponzu
dipping sauce. Erin-
gi mushrooms come
with a perfunctory
dab of mustard.

There are a few
creative touches
though, and one
highlight is the
"risotto harumaki" -
rice and a rather
sharp cheese stuffed
into a spring roll
wrapper and deep-
fried, somewhat
reminiscent of fried
Italian rice balls.
The salads are nice-
ly constructed (with
surprise ingredients
like fish roe), and
the okonomiyaki is
especially light and
fluffy, with a
pleasingly crispy
crust.

The prix-fixe din-
ners are a good way
to sample a range of
the dishes here; for
example the 4700-yen
steak dinner also
includes starters,
grilled starters,
grilled seafood,
salad and dessert.
There are also
seafood-centered and
okonomiyaki-centered
options, or you can
splurge on lobster
and foie gras if
you're in the mood.
You'll find some
not-bad Chilean wine
in the Y3000 yen
vicinity, and sever-
al French choices in
the 6-10,000 yen
range, but the well-
chosen sake list is
probably a better
bet for the food
here.

The shop also does a
very nice weekend
lunch service.
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Minato-ku, Shirok-
anedai 3-19-5. [from
Shiroganedai station
walk down Meguro-
dori (towards Megu-
ro) about 5 minutes;
Karashi is on the
left about a block
before the overhead
highway ]
 Open 5:30-11pm.
Closed Mondays.
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