When I first described what tonkatsu means to the Beau, he wasn’t very enthusiastic about going to Butagumi, he finally relented because I really really wanted to try it especially since every Tokyo food blog says that you can’t leave Tokyo without trying them. So the poor man allowed himself to be dragged there even though he really does not want to eat pork. Like at all. Luckily for him, they had a great selection of starters that he managed to fashion a decent meal out of.
as for me, I got to eat Tonkatsu! And man! Am I Glad I dragged him there. It was delicious! The meat was so tender and the outer part so crispy! We even got a rose beer to accompany the meal.
The tonkatsu comes in a set meal with starters and soup. I think we stressed them out quite a bit when we said we only wanted one order of tonkatsu but instead of throwing us out they allowed the beau to pick his starters. Having devoured mine, I wish we had gone ahead and just ordered two sets of tonkatsu with different cuts and I could have eaten BOTH of them!
It wasn’t the most difficult place to find but it wasn’t the easiest either but here is the best description I can give for finding it:
Butagumi is closest to Roponggi station. We took the Tokyo metro subway, got out and turned to the left downhill and passed by the expo located across the street on the left from us and kept walking until we saw a Koban (police station) crossed that Street towards a restaurant called TeTas. There is a parking lot with really fancy cars under the bridge while crossing the road. After you are on the same street and facing TeTas turn to your left and walk down to the nearest Street that turns in. Turn in by turning right. You will then see a bit kinda of a fork road. If you look up you will see a cute building with a crescent moon. That’s Butagumi.
On a wet rainy Thursday in Tokyo, we decided, with an umbrella between the two of us, that sushi was a must. A few clicks on Google suggested that Umegaoka Sushi NoMidori was the place to go. That and it was only a block away from the coffee house where we were taking refuge.
When we got there, it appears we were not the only ones with the same idea. There was a line but no dry waiting place. To get a table you have to use this automated machine outside the restaurant. Which was cool because you could get a number with English instructions but the waiting screen letting you know who they are calling was in Japanese. And there were three boxes with three different numbers so it was a bit difficult to figure out which number referred to what.
Minor gripe aside, we didn’t actually wait that long. We were seated rather quickly and ordered promptly from their menu which had pictures. The Beau really really wanted mackerel so he ordered the whole row of it. The waitress tried to talk us out of it by pointing to the mackerel piece but the Beau insisted. We ate a lot of mackerel that day. Also, the sushi here is huge. I’ve gotten so used to small little sushi pieces that it was a bit surprising to see such huge sushi. I had to unbutton my trousers by the time we were done. I ordered a set that included eel. Mine had more variety. But I definitely was not able to finish it all up.
From what I can tell, its a pretty popular spot with the tourists and locals alike. No big surprise since its so close to the Ginza strip. They don’t accept credit cards. Only cash or debit. The photos are a nice touch especially for those of us who only know how to say “Ohio!”. We pretty much survived the entire vacation by pointing at pictures of food. Sometimes we got lucky. And sometimes we did not. I would say we were about even in this case.
Anyway, it was a fun meal. I got to take lots of pictures and at least be able to say that we actually found a restaurant that has been recommended on all the blogs I’ve been reading up on prior to the trip. Which basically means I can say some of the homework I had done prior to this trip was worth it. And it sort of made up for the fact that our trip to Disney Sea was cancelled due to rain. And that the Alice in Wonderland cafe was also closed for lunch.
Most times when I’m on holiday, I always end up with a splurge meal. You know, a meal that is probably slightly out of budget but feels like it’s a meal that’s worth the extravagance because #yolo ? Sometimes it happens because I’m completely out of cash and most times a splurge restaurant is fancy enough to accept credit cards. Sometimes it’s because it’s the last day of vacation and well, why not?
So for our splurge meal in Tokyo, we wandered down Ginza and found a place that looked pretty classy.I was a bit wary at first because I didn’t have wifi and couldn’t check out the reviews but the Beau thought it looked good. Plus they had Wagyu beef! Which means he might get away without having to eat any gizzards. He was quite excited.
So for our first course we ordered some calamari, which was pretty good. Then we has to figure out the Wagyu beef part. So there were three different cuts. Lean, moderate and fatty. I ordered the moderately fatty one while the Beau chose the fatty version. Each cut had to be at least 150gm. So we ordered 150gm of each cut. The Beau didn’t think the meat was going to be enough and ordered a risotto as well. But illbbe honest, the meat was thick. And succulent. And by the time we were done, I had to unbutton the top of my jeans. In short, the meal was excellent. And well worth the splurge!