Tokyo Food Page
šEl Pulpo/
Kagurazaka: Spanish
₯3269-6088
€Data
Tapas bars and res-
taurants are popping
up all over Tokyo
these days, but El
Pulpo may be the
only place that
bills itself as a
"marisqueria" - a
Spanish restaurant
specializing in
seafood. The food
here is fantastic,
using fresh seafood
that's delivered
directly from Odawa-
ra in Kanagawa Pre-
fecture. The dining
area is small and
homey, with orange-
colored walls and a
friendly, bustling
atmosphere that
seemed like some-
thing you'd find in
a Spanish port town.


A recent meal
started with two of
this restaurant's
specialties - the
sea urchin pudding
and the fried sea-
food platter with
shrimps, sardines
and scallops. The
pudding, served in
shells, has a sensu-
al flavor and a
creamy texture that
should appeal even
to those who aren't
fond of eating sea
urchin raw. Another
unusual dish is the
marinated mackerel
served with a
gazpacho-style
sauce. The flavor of
the fish is comple-
mented by the sour
and sweet tomato
flavors of the
sauce, all of which
go very nicely with
a glass of Spanish
cava (sparkling
wine).

Also recommended is
the boiled white-
bait, mixed with egg
yolk and served on a
French baguette like
a fish version of
steak tartare. The
result was very
tasty, and we were
surprised that such
a bland-tasting fish
could make such a
powerful impression.
We finished up with
arroz meloso with
squid ink. This is a
creamy rice dish
that's closer to
Japanese okayu than
it is to risotto,
and the aromas of
the stewed garlic
and squid ink were a
very appealing com-
bination.

There's more than
just seafood at El
Pulpo, and in the
autumn we highly
recommend the sea-
sonal mushrooms with
pancetta. There are
also traditional
Spanish omelettes,
served in huge por-
tions, and excellent
Jamon Serrano, dis-
played proudly on
the counter. And you
can discover unusual
Spanish cheeses that
aren't found very
often in Tokyo.

The wine list is
mostly Spanish,
ranging from Y2800
to Y15,000 per bot-
tle. Budget around
Y5000-6000 per per-
son for dinner. The
dining room can fill
up even on week-
nights, so reserva-
tions are strongly
advised.
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Shinjuku-ku, Kagu-
razaka 4-3, Miyazaki
Bldg 1F. [from Iida-
bashi station exit
B3 walk up the hill
past Gojuban Chinese
restaurant, then
turn right; El Pulpo
is on the left]
 Open 6pm-2am.
Closed Sundays.
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