Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bikini Tapa

I often wax poetic about how brilliant (just brilliant!) Spain is, and so much of that has to do with its simply amazing and amazingly simple cuisine. I've spent about 5-10 days out of every year for the last several years in Spain (most often in Barcelona), and the other 355-360 days looking for restaurants that replicate the unique joie de vivre and deliciousness that are characteristic of eating out in Spain.

I've searched high and low and found that a truly authentic Spanish meal can only really be had in Spain (the experience isn't just about the food, but savoring each bite, each moment shared with friends, enjoying life!). BUT - there are experiences that come close.

At Bikini Tapa, the mood is boisterous and convivial. The iberico jamon is shaved directly off the pork leg sitting on the counter. The cava is bubbly and refreshing. And the pintxos (Basque-style tapas), tapas and paellas are well-executed. If you take a swig of tinto (red wine) and close your eyes, for a second, it feels like you're in Barcelona. Except that you're on the fourth floor of a shopping center in Shibuya.

Boquerones (anchovies in olive oil) and pimientos de padron with sea salt

Typical pintxo - various meat/seafood toppings on a slice of crusty bread, often with a healthy dose of mayonnaise, speared with a toothpick

Grilled vegetables

Gambas al ajillo

Crema Catalana - Catalunya's version of creme brulee

Food rating: *** and a half
Bang for buck rating: 4

The essentials:
Location: 4F, Mark City, Shibuya
Average price of dinner for two (with drinks): 8000 yen (~$90)

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