Tokyo – Eating Italian food in Tsukiji

And finally, just for a change, an Italian restaurant…

Trattoria Tsukiji Paradiso (Intermediate B+), 6丁目-27-3 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045,

It would be hard for me to try to choose between Italian and Japanese seafood, so I’m not going to! Normally I only eat the food of the country I’m in but when I heard that Tsukiji had a good Italian restaurant I had to try it. I love seafood linguine which, along with the seafood risotto, is the house speciality.

Unfortunately it wasn’t very easy to get in. The waiter I met was a complete tyrant and unpleasant to such a point that I wondered if he was being racist towards me. Thankfully this was a rare experience for me when I lived in Japan but it did happen occasionally. Other Westerners have said as much about what must be the same waiter on various review forums but to be sure I read the Japanese reviews and they also mention a very rude waiter, so the jury is out for me.

Despite my very polite enquiries using his language, this waiter looked at the diary and told me they were fully booked up lunch and dinner for the foreseeable future and that there was no way I could get in. It turns out that reservations aren’t taken, or at least are very hard to make, but you can get in for lunch if you go early and wait a short while outside, which is what I did the very next day. A different, much nicer, waiter let me in and seated me. But guess who my table waiter was!? You should have seen his face! I was annoyingly nice to him the whole meal, except for a tiny tiff over his description of the wines but he actually mellowed towards me a bit when I spoke a bit of Italian to him. Not sure exactly what his problem was but he’s in the wrong job…

Anyway enough of him, I got what I wanted, the wonderful Linguine alla Paradiso (A) with cherry tomatoes, mussels and two kinds of clams. It was indistinguishable from anything I’d had from Campania which isn’t a surprise when you learn the chef trained in Sorrento.

To finish a Baba (a famous Neapolitan dessert) with cream, which again was just like the real thing (A).

Total cost with a good coffee and wine was Y6530, about £46; fairly good value given the quality.

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