I’ve only been to Japan once. It was 2008 and I was going through some tough times. I decided the best way to deal with my problems was to fly from London to California and go to BlogHer (before it was overtaken by mommy bloggers) and then to keep flying and flying and flying and fly to Japan. I spent a week in Tokyo and I fell in love with everything. On the way back, I flew 12 hours from Tokyo to London. In a two-week period, I had flown all the way around the world. Me, in a silver tube in the sky. All the sky.
Now, all these years later, I can’t even remember what those tough times in 2008 were. But I remember that Tokyo was the answer. Tokyo and sushi and sake and patterns and wrapping paper and basements of department stores and French pastries. Many French pastries.
And it was the answer. I stayed at The Prince Park Tokyo and it was amazing. The toilet in my hotel room!! It was my first experience with Japanese toilets and my life has never been the same since. I had a good time at The Prince Park.
On my last night in Japan, I spent all of the remainder of my money on a slightly worn room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. Yes, I was all very “Lost in Translation.” (It was a nice hotel, but it really didn’t compare to the lightness of the Prince Park.) That night, I had drinks with an old British friend from my Munich ex-pat days at the bar all the way up at the top of the Park Hyatt. In the twinkling darkness of the bar, we talked about our magical Munich expat time. I am grateful to that summer.
So what I’m saying is…It doesn’t take a lot to get me emotional about anything Japan and Tokyo. I am easy when it comes to Japan and Tokyo. Very, very easy.
It doesn’t take much to get me excited about Japanese barbecue either. So when the very kind people at Kintan on High Holborn got in touch and asked me if I wanted to drop by with a friend, I was grateful. Because you see, I already owed my friend Natasa. So this was a way of paying her back. I said yes. But in hindsight, I didn’t really know what I was saying yes to. It sounded like a drink and a snack and I was happy for that. But no. It was a monster of a Japanese barbecue. Filet mignon, rib eye, short rib, skirt steak…plus prawns and scallops and halloumi cheese. All on the barbecue. Plus hot oiled seared salmon and tuna tartar on cubes of rice, fried, on the side. And edamame and noodles and salad and miso soup and did I mention the rib eye??? Oh yes, and mochi ice cream. MOCHI ICE CREAM. Stick a fork in me. I’m done.
Soo full. As stuffed as one these guys. A photo posted by Krista (@kristainlondon) on
Natasa and I did the best we could to clear our plates. We finished nearly everything but the noodles (low light of the meal) and some of the skirt steak. We made room for a sweet, sweet extra dessert from the sweet sweet proprietor, whom we can only wish we had met earlier. Because the only real downside to all this gratefulness and sweetness that I have for Kintan is that when we really needed service, staff were curiously absent. Empty dishes languished for ages. Water glasses went unfilled. I lost my napkin and there was no alcohol so I became cranky. But yet…Kintan is the type of place I want to go back to. On a Sunday afternoon, even on a desolate stretch of High Holborn, Kintan was full of Japanese families and their children. I love that sort of thing and I can only hope that next time Natasa and I return, we are with a group of eight or ten or twelve and can share the Japanese love. And be grateful for it.
The Verdict; Delicious fun for the entire family! But don’t over-order! Take your time! And book that trip to Japan with your family before it’s too late.
Big Bad Disclosure: I was a grateful guest of Kintan, along with my friend Natasa. I estimate our tab at about £110, before service. We tipped on the full amount, as you should.