The second day’s activities exhausted us by lunch time, so it was a nice break to sit down for a three course Italian meal at Faro. Faro is on the 10th floor of the Shiseido building in Ginza, not to be confused with Faro Slow Time which is on the 9th floor. We made the mistake of going to the 9th floor and were seated at Faro Slow Time. After getting situated in the comfy chairs, the maître d’ came to tell us that our reservation was for the restaurant upstairs!
We got used to making mistakes and getting lost at this point, so we bowed our apologies and found our table at Faro, nicely surprised that our reservations were for the higher-end of the two! Our cousin Elisha, being fluent in Japanese, graciously took care of our reservations in Tokyo. (Thanks Elisha!)
Okay, so onto the food and service at Faro. We each ordered the Porto lunch which included appetizer, pasta, dessert, and coffee for a steal of ￥2,800! This deal is only good for weekdays, but I highly recommended fine dining for lunch since dinners easily cost 2-3x as much.
To start, we had octopus and grain salad topped with yuzu foam and a mixed shellfish salad topped with uni and citrus dressing. Both were very clean and fresh in taste, and we liked how the seafood was enhanced with light use of citrus and not much else.
The pastas we chose were a creamy fettuccine topped with roasted corn and shrimp ravioli with tomato and basil. Every dish was simple, but elegantly done. Pastas were perfectly al dente and fresh ingredients stood out on their own. People questioned why we chose to eat Italian in Tokyo, and it’s because we knew it would be good. I read that Faro offers an uni pasta in certain seasons, but I didn’t see it on the menu. Otherwise I would have loved to try it and see how it compared to Marea’s.
And the best part about lunch was dessert. When it came time for dessert, our server rolled the dessert trolley over to us and asked what we’d like. It’s not advertised, but you can choose as many as you’d like! We were shy and only chose two each, but afterward I saw our server cut a piece of every dessert for another customer. But each piece was tiny, so the benefit of choosing fewer pieces meant we had larger serving sizes. We slowly enjoyed our choices with finely pulled espresso (passionfruit/raspberry cake, rum cake, raspberry meringue cake, and flan), and decided lunch at Faro was very relaxing with just the right amount of service and attention.
After more shopping and more walking, we decided to search for a ramen place in Shibuya that would be open for dinner, and not surprisingly, we got lost. We actually found the place by chance, and it was the big picture sign of ramen that tipped us off. Based on a Google Street View image, I was looking for a large sign, but there was none! They removed the sign I was looking for! I read about it being behind the police station, but even Google Maps couldn’t help us because I was fixed on that one landmark. Defeated by the streets of Tokyo again.
When we tried to go in (this was around 5:30PM), we were told it be another 30 minutes before they open for dinner. Sigh. So we walked around some more, being careful not to stray too far. When we finally sat down and ordered our chashu miso ramen and chashu shoyu tsukemen with tamago, we were famished with a hunger only noodles could satisfy.
The ramen was great. It was better than ramen in New York, but like I said about Sushi Daiwa, not orders of magnitude better. And the tsukemen was also great. The noodles were definitely some of the best noodle I’ve ever had, but I thought the shoyu sauce was very salty. I’m not a tsukemen connoisseur, so maybe that’s how the dipping sauce usually tastes, but it was extremely salty for me.
Of course I’d recommend visiting this place as it’s talked about on many forums and blogs. But I’d also recommend visiting a variety of ramen places to experience the subtleties of different styles of broths, noodles, toppings. If only we had stayed a few more days…
10F Shiseido Bldg
8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku