Saturday, April 28, 2018


Off we went for yakiniku (焼き肉) at Manpuku Aoyama (青山まんぷく) at Omotesando Hills. Many of us are fond of Manpuku at this particular location. This restaurant has number of outlets in Tokyo and west coast USA as well. The style of yakiniku is influenced by Korea and popularized in post-war Japan, so Korean dishes feature on most menus. This offers beef. I think there might be a token chicken dish somewhere, but I didn't notice it. I'll take beef any day over chicken. If you don't eat beef, don't bother coming here.

The good thing about having yakiniku at this restaurant is, they have sorted out the ventilation so that guests don't leave stinking of smoke and beef. The hair and jackets smelt okay. The servers change the grill often and it's such a pleasure grilling our food slowly, one piece at a time. Had loads of good sake. Chose those that aren't available in Singapore. The only issue is, the restaurants serve sake by the little cute carafe. Each 1400円-carafe holds about 150ml-180ml, which is easily drunk. We end up ordering at least three carafes each time. And that's for two persons. I have a rather large capacity for sake. 🍶🙃

Ordered sufficient vegetables to keep my stomach happy. At Manpuku Aoyama, the menu listed items in both English and Japanese. But I was confused by 'namul'. Wondered what 'namul' is, and finally googled for it. Haha. Spotted salted beef tongue and premium thick cut beef tongue. タン塩! Had to order those, just to taste it and tell the man about it! Heh. We had a table of four and they happily went to town with tons of meat. While these cuts were really tasty, I wasn't as interested in quaffing all beef; am also not interested in cuts of wagyu. I'll do yakiniku one time if I'm in Japan, and that's it. I tend to avoid yakiniku and Korean BBQ places in Singapore. I don't eat enough to justify my share in the final bill. I'll merrily foot the bill for sake, but I grimace at paying S$200 for beef that I don't particularly fancy, and I'd only have eaten less than S$50 of it. In this case, I was clear that I was paying for the experience, in good company, and because I'm in Tokyo.

The point of having dinner at this Manpuku in Aoyama-dori is also, after dinner, we simply crossed the road to have cocktails at the famed Radio Bar, and enjoyed the creations of its bartender Koji Ozaki who has been doing this for over four decades. Try not to get drunk at dinner and then talk too loud at the bar. You might be thrown out. Koji Ozaki is stickler about ambience and vibes. I love this bar because it's QUIET, and its おつまみ is exquisite; totally worth the cover charges. Radio's gimlet and a simple gin and tonic are out of this world.

Walking into Radio.

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