Kokusai Street is a great place for tourists, however, for someone who has lived here long term it can be as fun as it is annoying. This is one of the reasons that I don’t often think of Kokusai Street when looking for a nice place to enjoy a sit down dinner. Yesterday, however, was an exception to the rule. You see this week is Mr OkiNinjaKitty’s birthday and his absolute favorite cake is sold in a small shop located on Kokusai Street. This year rather than going to the cake shop myself Mr OkiNinjaKitty requested that we go together and make a night of it. Sounds like fun!
After the cake was successfully retrieved it was time to look for a place to eat dinner. This is, at least in my opinion, a harder task than it might seem. Sure there are an overwhelming amount of restaurants on Kokusai Street but the actual selection is limited (especially if you’re not looking for a steak dinner) and some of the prices are just outrageous. We walked up and down the street being handed flyer after flyer, none of which catching our eye, until this one guy who not only had a flyer but the entire menu. A quick flip through and we knew this was it!
Then off across the street he flew with a flash instructing us to follow. About 3 minutes later there we were Hub. Since he had radioed in to the restaurant from his handy little head set we walked right in to a table which had already been set with an English menu for our convenience. Pretty great service if you ask me!.
We spent quite a bit of time looking at the menu because of it’s sheer size. There was so much to offer from tacos to seafood and everything in between. There was also an assortment of drinks both mixed and on tap. The only down side to the huge menu is that the English version did not have the same pictures which were in the Japanese version (common in restaurants throughout Japan).
Once we finally decided on what we wanted to eat we jingled the little bell on the table and over came out waiter. He was young, lively and very impressive in the way that he remembered our order without having to write it down. About 5 to 10 minutes later our first dish arrived.
This dish was labeled as Portuguese in the “World” section of the menu which featured various dishes from different parts of the world. The dish included some delicious beef seasoned to perfection, onions and a fried egg on rice which had some sort of sauce on it. Delicious! This particular dish was also served with two small plates so that it could be enjoyed family style.
Not long after we finished this dish we received our next dish, my personal favorite, fried squid. Fried squid is one of those dishes which is always enjoyable but sometimes it stands out above the crowd. These particular pieces of fried squid were absolutely fantastic! They were fried to absolute perfection making them crunchy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside.
The night continued on with some more foods which included some sort of sea snail with mushrooms served with an open flame. There was also a delicious pizza which had the lightest and most crunchy crust I have ever eaten.
The most notable aspect of this restaurant, aside from the fantastic food, is the price. The dishes averaged out at around ¥500 (as did the drinks) which made it easy to order a few different things without breaking the bank. The portion sizes were also the perfect size to enjoy a little bit of everything while not getting too filled up to finish everything you ordered. Another great characteristic of this restaurant was the timeliness of the service. Your food was brought out to you in waves without too many items hitting the table at once so you could enjoy everything while it was still fresh out of the oven or off the skillet. The show flow of food also made it very easy to enjoy yourself without having plates overwhelm the small table (another thing that happens too often at Japanese restaurants).
If you’re planning on visiting this restaurant I highly recommend looking for the signs and staff members available on Kokusai Street as they will direct you to the restaurant without any hassle. However, if you want to check out the directions to Hub you can find a map on the website.