As the “Hotel Nikko”:http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/163417 eating options looked formal and expensive and so we explored restaurant options in the shopping centre that was actually below the hotel. Out of the four on offer, we plumped for “The Olive Oil Kitchen”:http://theoliveoilkitchen.com/ and made a reservation for 7.30pm. The helpful person gave us an English menu to take away which had lots of pictures.
We needn’t have booked as the place wasn’t busy. Unfortunately the person we’d booked the table with, and who’d had good English, wasn’t around so we struggled a little with our order. Bread, oil and balsamic vinegar were immediately presented at the table.
The Spanish menu featured tapas and paella and we decided to go for a selection of the former choosing tortilla, patatas bravas, smoked salmon carpaccio and jalapeno and cheese frito (the star dish).
Under the heading ‘Prosciutto and Salami’ were two options: an assorted ham plate (¥800) and prosciutto di parma (¥1,450). Rather confusingly a picture of what looked like the assorted ham was labelled prosciutto. We chose the cheaper option but appeared to be served the prosciutto. The waiter’s English was as good as my Japanese so we had a difficult exchange where we both just kept pointing at the menu and probably raising our voices. Eventually I signalled for him to take it away. Roy thinks that he was possibly trying to tell us that he didn’t have the cheaper dish but was letting us have the more expensive one at the same price. But we will never know.
We then ordered a further tapas of pate de campagne and asked for more bread (we’d only have four thin crisp slices) and was told it would be another ¥200 which whilst not a lot, did seem petty.
At the bottom of the menu it pointed out ‘a cover charge of ¥350 (£2.30) per person will be requested of all guest (sic) after 17.30pm. Tipping is not needed.’ The latter sentence wasn’t really required as Japan it a non tipping culture – in fact you’re advised not to as it can cause confusion and embarrassment.
There was also a number of what they called ‘party menus’ which were probably good value if you were hungry. For example for ¥2,500 (£16) you could have pama hum (sic), today’s promotion, home smoked salmon, ajillo prawns in hot oil, patatas bravas, pasta of your choice and bread and oil.
We wisely decided not to indulge in the all you can drink beer, wine and cocktails for ¥2,000.
Not the best night out we had in Japan but not the worst and what we did eat was tasty.