There are some nights out you’ll never forget: our dinner at Wainosuke, Tokyo is one of them.
After our day trip to Nikko and a decent curry lunch, we wandered aimlessly looking for a simple dinner as we were still quite full. We spied a downstairs bar with a sign saying ‘Japanese Taste Italian Restaurant’. Intrigued we went inside to be told there was no English menu. Undeterred we sat at one of the last remaining tables as the place was packed full of business men having a good time.
The interior wouldn’t have looked out of place in a London wine bar with huge displays of wines on offer. We couldn’t believe the prices with some less than £6 a bottle: an absolute bargain. We settled on a red and a white between the four of us.
The next door table had appetising nibbles, so we ordered a plate to share: they turned out to be chicken dumplings with a rather good, but taramasalata-pink, dipping sauce.
A Burmese waiter helping us with the menu explaining the various sections: pizza, salad, pork, beef etc. Once again we decided to share and plumped for a margarita pizza, which had an extremely thin crisp base. It was only saucer sized and so delicious, we ordered a second, this time with ham. This was followed by beef carpaccio which arrived draped over a mound of well dressed, peppery rocket. A thick slice of gammon looked pretty unappealing until it was cut into lardon-sized pieces which, when dipped in wholegrain mustard, were delicious.
Bearing in mind the cheapness of the wine, we decided to have a couple more bottles and Nigel went up to the shelves to choose something different. A lady began chatting to him: from behind, she appeared to be rather a dolly bird In a short, tight skirt. When she turned round we realised she was older than we first thought and assumed she was a member of staff helping him out. We discovered she was a guest at a neighbouring table when she sent over a dish of warm soft, monkey nuts.
We decided to thank her and sent Roy over with a name card which he presented in the formal Japanese way with two hands and 35 degree bow as we’d learned on our Japanese etiquette course. The table thought it highly amusing and began waving frantically to us. We assumed they were impressed with our command of how things should be done. However, said lady appeared to think Roy was chatting her up and returned to the table with him: I then pointed out he was my husband. We’re not quite sure whether she was mad, drunk or both! However, undeterred she remained at our table despite her friends trying to get her to leave with them.
Rather foolishly ordered another bottle of wine and Debbie managed to tip our waiter £30 instead of £3 (when tipping in Japan is not even required). We expect all his children are now being privately educated.
I probably don’t need to tell you we were the last to leave as the restaurant was cleared around us.