Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review on Kashiwa Yakiniku Crows Nest

I don't like reviewing restaurants on this blog and prefer to do review on Trip Advisor, however, I couldn't find this restaurant on Trip Advisor :( But I really really really want to share my experience!!!! So, I have no choice but to do it here :((

Okay, firstly I didn't take any photos when I was there. I'm really not a food photo taker. Every time my friends take photos of our meals, whether shared of not, and I have to wait for them to finish before digging in, I'd be like "are you done yet??? no?? quickkkkk". Long story short, I can't stand having food in front of my eyes that I can't eat. So, please go to their website for their menu and photos: kashiwa.zashiki.com

I've always loved coming here to have barbeque. Of course I smell like smokes when I finish, but I don't care!! My tummy and mouth are happy, that's all that matters :) I love their ox tongue, beef ribs and yukke.

It's a very small Japanese BBQ restaurant. They have maybe 5 or 7 big tables, which guests have to share with strangers most of the time. You better book if you want to come for dinner, coz even if you book, you would still need to queue a bit. It's a quick turnaround restaurant, not a place where you can hang out after you finish your meal. So expect your BBQ grill be taken off your table, and your bill delivered to you right after you finish.

The food however, is usually excellent. The meat is tender, and the marinate is tasty. They have 2 kinds of marinate base, salt based and miso based. I'd suggest to order the salt based, they are my favourite :) I think with the salt based marinate, you can taste the meat flavour, rather than drown the meat flavour with other flavour. Oh and their yukke is great too, though the size is small. But it's what you would expect with that price, so no surprise there.

Service is good and fast. As expected from a quick turnaround restaurant.

Okay, I've kept the review as unbiased as I can. That's the justice I want to give them as that's what I usually get when I visited Kashiwa. However, my review for my visit last Saturday was not as good as I usually get.

First, I'm used to sharing table with strangers, nothing new. However, I have noticed on my last few visits that they squeeze more and more people into a table. The size of their tables in my opinion, fit 7 people if you want to give them plenty of space to move around, If you want to fit as many people in but still reasonable, I'd say 10 people. Their tables are pushed to the wall on one side, so only 3 sides usable - 2 long sides which fit 4 normal/skinny people each, and 1 short side which fit 2 skinny people. On one occasion, I remember squeezing 11 people AT LEAST in one table. 2 of them were XL size guys. Imagine having those many people on a table, and they are not a group of customers. Each group orders different sets of food. Where do we put the plates of food? Remember it's a BBQ restaurant? We have to cook first right? You get the idea.

Last Saturday, our table was shared among 9 people. Not too many. I personally didn't complain. 5 people in my group (3 small girls, 2 XL guys), and 4 people in the stranger group (2 small girls, 2 L guys). I sat on the long side with my XL guy, and 2 Small strangers. So 3 Small and 1 XL. Opposite to me, 2 L strangers and my XL guy. On the short end, my group's 2 small girls. The strangers group came after us, and straight after they sat, the 2 girls next to me started complaining about space and asked me to move a bit. I already sat right next to my friend's butt, I could only move my purse to my back which they said it was alright. But then, those 2 girls complained to the staff saying the table is too cramped. Do you know what the staff did? He asked me and my friend IF WE CAN MOVE A BIT! God! He actually HAD the nerve to ask us that??? From whichever way you look at it, they are 2 skinny girls occupying half of my side, and I was with my friend who was BIG! (sorry my friend, i don't like saying you're big...) I'm not a patient person, and being asked TWICE in a night is one too many for me, but my friend is a very patient guy, and he answered this "I'm already sitting at the edge. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?". And that staff only said to the other group "Sorry, they can't". What the... blaming it back to us. And I thought Japanese customer service is good. I should have complained to them in the first place so we were not the bad guys, Gee!

Okay, the food was still okay that night, but not that great. The beef ribs were not as tender as usual, and the yukke (both of the yukke we ordered) was lack of seasoning. I almost couldn't taste the sesame oil flavour.

Now, would I go back there? Yes I would. BUT, I won't be as eager as I used to be. Let say someone said to me on Saturday, "Let's have dinner at Kashiwa!". Instead of saying Yes straight away like usual, I might say "Umm.. they're busy on Saturday, we can go there on weekdays when it's not that busy. Let's just go to other restaurant tonight." And will we actually go on weekdays? I don't think so. We all have office jobs and have to work during weekdays, so really, the chance of us going to have BBQ on weekdays is almost 0. So the month after, 1 of us might suggest Kashiwa again, and that time, we might actually go, since we haven't actually gone since last time we planned it. So our frequency going there will decrease by half at least.

They really should think again about their idea of getting as many people in as possible. I get the idea of eat and leave, but not being squeezed to cook and then eat. You don't know how many times that skinny girl's ponytail poked my face every time she turned around, and how many times her elbow almost hit my face when she was cooking her meat -_-"

Hope next time I visit them again, it's a better experience than this.

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