The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Chinese @ Cafe Eight, Tokyo

When Rob's collegue recommended this Chinese restaurant in Nishi Azabu (next to Roppongi Hills), I honestly thought that the main attraction of the place was the amusing inappropriate decor of breasts, buttocks and a phallic gong in the restaurant, and not the food itself (although they did say the food was pretty good). However, when Shan and Leigh gave their thumbs up for the food at Cafe Eight, I reconsidered my misgivings about this restaurant.

Certainly, the restaurant's interior makes one wonder about the choice for such decorations. I did take shots of said decor, but I think it's not very appropriate to post them on my blog. The service is as close to Chinese-style service as you can get in Japan - not much of the typical Japanese polite hospitality, more of the abrupt kind of service typical of not-so-high-class Chinese restaurants. That was fine by us since the food was so affordable! Cafe Eight's specialty is Peking duck (3680yen for a duck course), but since there were only the two of us, we didn't go for the course. As typical of Chinese restaurants' menu, there are a huge variety of dishes to choose from, with prices starting from as little as 200yen each.

With so much to choose from, but having no particular cravings or idea of what we felt like having, it took us awhile to choose a couple of dishes. We settled on Mapo Tofu (750yen) and Garlic Prawns (1280yen) to go with Chinese Bread (210yen) and some rice. We got the bread mostly because we were curious what they were (we were told by the waitress that it was "Chinese Naan"). The bread tasted just like the pancakes my mum used to make on some weekends for breakfast, which for some reason didn't taste like western-style pancakes. Perhaps it's because it doesn't contain baking powder, eggs or milk. The bread was good with the mapo tofu gravy and the garlic sauce. The mapo tofu was yummy, but quite oily. It was made with kinudofu (silken tofu) and a bit of pork mince which made it nicer than the one we had at Kakyoubei (it also wasn't as oily as Kakyoubei's). The garlic prawns were tasty and fresh but made for very messy eating - I went through so many serviettes!

Chinese Bread:

Mapo Tofu and Garlic Prawns:

Good, affordable, no-fuss authentic Chinese food.


  1. Re: hi!!
    sorry-that is from Daphne of More Than Words btw =)

  2. hi!!
    Thanks so much for dropping by my blog. Yours is awesome! I can't wait to read more of your experiences in Tokoyo...
    Isn't it interesting they have "chinese bread", it's like "singapore noodles"-except it never existed in Singapore!

  3. Re: hi!!
    Hi Daphne! Thanks for reading my blog :)
    So true about "Chinese bread" and "Singapore Noodles"! There are more of such examples but for some reason I can't think of any at the moment!!

  4. We should go together for the peking duck ... it's yummy! Maybe after your delivery!
    Shan xo

  5. That'd be great!! We haven't had good peking duck for a couple of years now.. since we came to Japan, actually..