Apart from Hakata Tenshin, C recommended that we visit Hakushu, a teppanyaki place, located close to the Shibuya subway station. It was an excellent recommendation, because the food was so good and affordable.
TBH and I are not fond of teppanyaki, having tried a number of teppanyaki places in Singapore. We find that food cooked over a teppanyaki loses its natural flavours, and everything tastes the same after a while, with no distinctive tastes. Garlicky. Or salty. Or garlicky and salty. I also dislike having to smell like teppanyaki after the meal.
C convinced me that Hakushu isn’t your typical Singapore teppanyaki restaurant. At Hakushu, very fresh and good quality food is cooked simply over a teppanyaki with only a hint of seasoning. You get to taste the natural and subtle flavours of the food.
We managed to find our way to Hakushu from the Shibuya Station. Hakushu is no fancy restaurant. Just a humble eatery run by an elderly lady and her son.
On the day of our visit, we were the first customers and were given a seat at the teppanyaki counter. The teppanyaki chef and I struggled to make ourselves understood to each other. I struggled to understand his native Japanese – he speaks so fast! While he struggled to understand my barely adequate and mostly incomprehensible Japanese. Zenzen wakarimasen.
We ordered the Kobe beef set each. We were so excited. Because that was the first time that the two of us were going to be eating Kobe beef. We have heard so much about how good it is and we were finally going to get a taste of it.
We started our meal with nasu, tamanegi, kabocha. The lightly grilled vegetables were very sweet and delicious.
Followed by grilled Kobe beef. Look at the marbling of the beef! My mouth was watering while watching the old lady cook the beef over the teppanyaki. Each set contained one piece of Kobe beef, and she cooked one piece first, sliced it, and distributed the meat between the both of us.
And we ate two slices of the beef!
I took a bite. Like they say – one has to experience before they can understand. I never understood the meaning of “meat melting in your mouth”. Now I do. I fully comprehend what it means to have meat so well-marbled, it literally melts in my mouth.
The cooked meat was placed on a slice of bread which soaked up the juices of the beef. At the end of the meal, the chef sliced the bread into small squares, grilled them lightly with butter and served them to us. You can imagine just how delicious the bread tasted.
By the time we consumed two fatty and high-caloric slices of Kobe beef, we were stuffed full of food up to our noses. But the husband decided that he could not leave the place until he has tried the squid.
So we ordered the squid as well.
I am sorry, Kobe Beef-san, but the squid beat you hands down. No matter how famous you are, and cost an arm and a leg to eat, the humble sotong trimphed over you. We loved the squid. Okay, I am not food blogger, and cannot find ten food adjectives to describe how wonderful the flavour of the squid was. Just take it from me that it was mind-blowing good.
My memory isn’t very dependable these days, so I am going to write down the directions for getting to Hakushu. We are definitely going back there (plus Hakata Tenshin, plus Tenmasa) again the next time we visit Tokyo.
Exit from the West or South Exit of the Shibuya JR Station. Walk along the overhead bridge outside the station exit, keeping to the left fork of the bridge. At the end of the bridge, there are several staircases (three, I think) leading down the bridge. Take the centre staircase – once you are down the bridge, you should see a bookshop right in front of you. Walk past the bookshop, up the road and turn right at the first turning. Walk towards Shibuya Granbell Hotel and Hakushu is located in an alley opposite the hotel. Look for the signage showing the Chinese name of Hakushu, 白秋, in the alleyway.
This is the main entrance of Hakushu.