I’m not crazy about seafood. I don’t eat cheese or milk-based foods. And I don’t like most beans. But I love a great meal!!! Since living here in Sendai I’ve come across a number of restaurants, bakeries, and assorted other eateries that are perfect for me and my pickiness.
My aim with this blog is twofold:
1) to help others like me (and normal people, too) find satisfying meals,
2) for others to help me by suggesting new places that I might like.
Address: 仙台市青葉区一番町4-2-12. Located on Ichibancho between Hirose-dori and Jozen-ji dori about 50 meters from the Disney Store.
Map: Scroll down to the bottom.
Open: Lunch: 11:30 am to 3 pm. Dinner: 6 pm to 10:30 pm. Closed Mondays.
I revisited Chao on a recent cold winter day for lunch. My wife and I walked into an empty restaurant and I was a bit concerned that business was not booming.
I ordered the same thing I had the last time (chicken pho set with spring rolls), but because it was lunch time the price was a bit cheaper, only 980 円. My wife ordered the same as I, quite frankly, because there wasn’t a lot of options available.
Chicken Pho with the fixins
I don’t know what it was about today’s visit that made it seem better than before, but that’s what it seemed like. The harumaki really tasted great, and the flavorful pho warmed the cockles of my heart on this chilly day!
Not only were my spirits lifted by the savory soup, but while eating, the restaurant slowly starting filling up with other shivering, starving citizens of Sendai.
The lunch set came with jasmine tea or coffee. Again, I asked if they had Vietnamese coffee and sadly the answer was again “No.” Spirits slightly squashed.
This winter if you’re cockles are freezing, step on in to Chao’s for some appetizing cockle-warming!
Today I (almost) got my fill of the melt-in-your-mouth Happy Happy melon pan! I went twice. First, just to get a melon pan to tide me over till lunch time. Then I went back later in the day for another half dozen to enjoy at home.
Each time I had to wait in line behind eight or so people. Today they were offering two types of pan. They had the traditional なつかしのバターメロンパン,which I love, and also a melon pan with black sesame seeds on it. I didn’t want to try it (I’m picky that way), but if you give that one a try please let me know how it is. Tomorrow, instead of the sesame seed version, they’ll be offering a cocoa melon pan.
Their sign stated that they won’t be back until March of next year so get’em while they’re hot!
Location: In front of Daiei Department Store on Chuo-dori.
Map: Click on the "Location" link at the bottom.
Open: This Friday thru Sunday, December 9th thru the 11th! (For a more recent post, please click HERE.)
Straight out-of-the-oven melon pan!!! Orgasmic! Well, pretty close. I have a certain 懐かしい feeling towards melon pan, as it is almost exactly the same as pan de huevo, a type of Mexican sweet bread that I grew up.
Unfortunately, the Happy Happy Melon Pan Truck only comes once every two or three months. I check the Happy-Happy website quite often and when I see that they’ll be in town, I’ll make excuses for having to go downtown just so that I can swing by and pickup a few hot melon pans. However, they tend to lose a bit of scrumptiousness once you get them home. Re-heating them in a microwave yields terrible results. But I found that three minutes in a toaster oven usually does the trick. Just be careful as any longer may burn the top part of the bread.
I’ve posted a picture of pan de huevo from a Mexican panderia in Southern California, because I don’t have any photos from Happy Happy. I won’t be able to make it downtown until Saturday, but I’ll post a photo of the real melon pan afterwards. If there’s any pan left.
Address: 宮城県仙台市青葉区国分町3-1-1 第一生命黒ビルB1. Located on Jozen-ji Dori across from the new Sukiya gyudon restaurant. Follow Ichibancho towards Jozen-ji Dori. Cross the street going towards City Hall. Look for a staircase that leads down to a basement, on the same side as the Kotodai-koen subway station entrance. It’s right next to some housing company (Sekusi House or Daiwa House, I forgot).
Map: Scroll down to the bottom.
Open USUALLY from 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm everyday, but since the owner is also the chef, sometimes the place is closed for no apparent reason.
Cover charge: 600 円/person.
Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s difficult to find authentic ethnic food in Japan. Brunenheim’s dishes definitely slant towards the German palate, but I never ate food like this when I lived in West Berlin. That being said, this food tastes GREAT!!!
A shot of apple wine and a small appetizer of shrimp and tomato in a tasty dressing are brought to your table immediately upon being seated.
Because I’m a picky eater I usually order the same side dishes every time I dine here. I start off with the Brunenheim salad (ブルネン風サラダ ) which is a green salad with slices of red and yellow bell peppers sprinkled with a tangy Chinese salad dressing.
Next is the always-pleasing garlic toast with caraway seeds! But my favorite are the German potatoes ( ジャーマンポテト ) which are baked and lined with bacon bits. These are so sensational that I’ll sometimes order a second helping!
For the main course I’ve tried a few of the different chicken dishes, like the chicken with mustard sauce (チキングリルのマスタードソース). But for some reason they put mayonnaise on it, which I really didn’t care for (because I’m a picky eater). Recently I went with the chicken in wine sauce (チキンのワイン煮込み) and was very pleased with this selection. The wine sauce had a tartness to it that I quite enjoyed, plus the portions were rather sizable.
Years ago, they did serve a delicious wienerschnitzel. But since the limitations on imports of American beef were imposed, this dish is no longer available. I’m hoping that with the current troubles concerning the safety of Japan’s domestic beef that veal will once again be allowed to be imported.
Also, they serve glüwein: hot spiced red wine. This is just like West Berlin and my wife loves it! I highly recommend it.
This restaurant is just a little pricier than others on this list. A typical dinner for two is roughly 6000 円,and that’s not a course meal. But I definitely think you’ll enjoy this restaurant! Auf wiedersehen!