Friday, December 4, 2009

Bourbon Street

Tokyo doesn't exactly have a plethora of down-home American southern cuisine options so sometimes you have to take what you can get. Which in this case means fairly decent executions of Louisiana cuisine, but at steep prices, and served by a nazi-ish chef/host who may disapprove of your order (when we asked for the gumbo and the jambalaya he sternly told us that we shouldn't do those dishes together, but we insisted) and for whom the adjective "brusque" is generous. Then again, it's kind of refreshing to encounter an opinionated, flamboyantly disapproving personality in Tokyo because it's so rare in this city where the default answer is always hai (yes). It's pretty audacious for anyone to say "no" directly, especially to a customer!

Southern fried chicken (an appetizer on the menu, but so large it could easily be an entree) with a delicious honey mustard dipping sauce

Cup of gumbo, with chunks of okra, chicken and what they call Andouille sausage but is more like a poor Japanese attempt at Andouille sausage (the sausage had a sort of sandy texture and lacked a robust smoky flavor)

Shrimp etoufee - gigantic prawns in a spicy herbed cream sauce (which was a little salty but otherwise very good)

Snapper le rouge - delicious, smoky grilled swordfish topped with a perfectly executed balsamic reduction and served with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables

Jambalaya, loaded with spices - the flavor is authentic but again, that wannabe Andouille sausage made an appearance

Food rating: *** and a half (some items were too salty, but loved the generous use of spices)
Bang for buck rating: 3 (very pricey for Southern food, but given the lack of alternatives in Tokyo, what can you do?)

The essentials:
Location: off a small side street across from Tokyo Midtown
Average price of meal for two: 10,000 yen (~$110)

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