Have you ever hankered, Gentle Reader, after a Spanish fling? An Iberian tryst, robust and energetic, yet never crossing over the chasm to romance? The Knights of the Tokyo Darkside group recently sallied forth to Sabado Sabadete in Shirokanedai for just such an opportunity, and came away both satiated and entertained.
Your Humble Correspondent first visited this unassuming establishment for a tasting of some magnificent Spanish Rioja wine with the effervescent Eric from Wine Prosperite. A grand evening it was, with plenty of good campesino food and a splendid performance by the Chef and Master with drinking beer out of a ceremonial decanter. Said chef, Gentle Reader, models himself on Salvadore Dali and has a penchant for those silly little red hats. But he is a jewellery designer by vocation, so perhaps forgiveness is more virtuous than aspersion.
So back we went with the Darkside, and filled this small restaurant. A good selection of Iberico cold meats and filling salads, along with Catalan meatballs (and achingly good quaffables from dear Eric!). Paella is prepared in a massive dish in the center of the small kitchen, and presented to the assembled multitude - at which point the performance begins. I'm told Sabado Sabadete uses beer and soda water instead of the customary red wine out of deference to its guests' attire, but the raucous hand-clapping and rambunctious challenges make this a quaint yet engaging exercise taking this aging rake back to his university drinking game days.
The point of Sabado Sabadete is its atmosphere and energy, and it is a welcome alternative in the fuss and bother that is European dining in Tokyo. This is a venue that excites with its broad smile and deep bosom of friendship, but is never going to get too committed. In short, Gentle Reader, it is a flirtation best visited on occasion and never with serious intentions.
Take your friends in some numbers rather than anyone you're trying to impress, and leave everything up to M. Dali. It will be light on the wallet and on the mind. And if someone steals into your group when the free beer is passing around in the decanter, you should smile knowingly and toast your Humble Correspondent's complete lack of pride.
Sabado Sabadete: 2nd Floor, Genteel Shirokanedai, 5-3-2 Shirokanedai, Minato Ward. t: 03-3445-9353
Rating: Food: 6/10; Wine: 7/10; Service: 6/10; Ambiance: 8/10; Price: 7/10. Total: 34/50