Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cardenas Chinois

An introduction to an old favorite restaurant turned new favorite, Cardenas Chinois in the Hiroo/Ebisu area. Previously (on Desperate Housewives), it used to be a casual yet stylish hangout, where one ordered a la carte and paid for the waiters (and hence, yourselves) to look swanky. Today, it's a bargain, any-day-of-the-week, semi-posh dining experience with friends, with fam and for non-first-time dates. The only thing on the menu is their ¥3,900 course (plus tax), from which you pick a plate from each of the three categories: cold side dish, warm side dish, and entree. Let the menu unfold!

I chose the Chinese Chicken Salad, which was gigantic as well as delicious. No photo as yet I was unaware of the extremity of culinary delight-ness I had stumbled onto.

Second came my warm dish, mussles and clams steamed in sherry.

Notice how the photography starts here. Ding! Said Miss Ai's brain. Servings Iz Larg N Tastingz Gud. BTW, that plate's just my serving (one often wonders in Japan. One being myself.)

Hey, a little crab!

(I ate it, much to my companion's disgust)

Here I would like to mention you have unlimited access to their drink menu. Unlimited. Beer, nama-beer, bottled-beer, five types of red wine, just as many of white, sparkling wine, OJ, coke, tea... the list goes on for two pages. Literally, the drink menu was two pages. I had a crappy Syrah, but A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y they allow you to bring your own drinks should you wish. At least, I think I received a press release about that. Check with them before showing up with your vintage in tow, do not mention Miss Ai.

Regardless of the fact it was crap, it looks nice in the photo. (It was Yellowtail.)

My main was grilled lamb rubbed with herbs and spices--juicy, tender, savory and rich. Served atop garlic mashed potatoes.

For dessert, fresh fruit and gelato, slivers of brownie (I was not too crazy about their desserts, but nice presentation. Not worthy of photo, apparently/however).

And with decaf coffee. Decaf!!

Notice the crema. It tasted like it wasn't decaf, too!

So that was my nice Monday night dinner at Cardenas. Ninapod, wanna join me soon? And to all else--two enthusiastic thumbs UP!

Cardenas Chinois
5-22-3 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku
T/F 03-5447-1287

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