Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Address: 東京都渋谷区神宮前１丁目１１−６ ラフォーレ 原宿２F GOOD MEAL MARKET. Located about a three-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Subway Station on the very popular Meiji Dori.
Map: Scroll down below.
Open from 11 am to 9 pm daily.
I’m always itching to try some good Mexican food, but the thought of going out of my way for "Australian" Mexican fare didn't seem worth my while. Luckily, while looking for a Cinnabon's on a recent Tokyo getaway, I found myself in Harajuku and just a few minutes away from the well-reviewed Guzman y Gomez (GYG). It’s hard not to miss with its blaring yellow-and-black sign.
GYG offers a selection of burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, etc., and with each of these you choose your own preferred filling.
The fillings are: grilled chicken, slow cooked beef, pan seared fish, sautéed vegetables, spicy grilled chicken, pulled pork chipotle, and grilled flank steak.
My better half decided upon a regular Burrito Bowl with the sautéed vegetables filling (800 yen), and I went with the two soft tacos dish (850 yen), one with the pulled pork chipotle and the other with the slow-cooked beef.
Upon her first few bites, my wife stated that she was surprised that the burrito bowl was rather flavorless, especially considering all the varied ingredients (vegetable black bean, rice, jack cheese, salsa, bell peppers, onion, mushroom, and guacamole). I tried a forkful and had to agree with her assessment ... just not a lot of taste to it.
I had a bit better luck with my tacos, but just a bit. The pulled pork chipotle was indeed spicy and flavorful, and the slow cooked beef was tender and delicious. But the downfall with both of these tacos, and I imagine all the other tacos, was that the tortillas were absolutely bland! The tortillas had no flavor whatsoever, which really brought down the overall taste of the taco. Had the tortilla had just a hint of flavor, the taco eating experience would have been much enhanced.
We also ordered a regular basket of tortilla chips with guacamole (500 yen). The tortilla chips were fresh, salty, and quite enjoyable, easily becoming the highlight of the meal. I regretted not buying the larger size as we could have easily gobbled up tons more. The accompanying guacamole was seasoned adequately but I've had better at Sendai's own Casa del Sol.
On the plus side, there were lots of tables and service was quick, with menus available in English, as well.
Guzman y Gomez originated in Australia, and if this Harajuku restaurant is truly representing the Australian Guzman y Gomez menu, then I feel sorry for Australians who think that this is authentic Mexican food.
The restaurant seemed very popular, and if you're in the area you might want to give it a try.
I probably won't be returning, even if I'm in the neighborhood. I would recommend Frijoles over Guzman y Gomez to satisfy your Mexican hankerings in Tokyo.