Tuesday 16 August 2016

Next up - Shimokitazawa Spicy Food Festival (激辛フェスティバル / Gekikara festival)

On Friday I went back to Shimokitazawa ready to hit up a couple of more places with sometime blog companion Tetsuya.  We had selected the 2 places we wanted to go during the day so we were ready to hit the ground running (most of the places do not have very large servings so it is completely possible to do more than one in a single session.  In fact I know someone who knocked over 4 in a couple of hours!).

First up was Ark Box (アークボックス) located on the north side of the station.

This was an easy choice as the dish here was a lamb dish.  Both Tetsuya and I love lamb so we made our way up the stairs in anticipation!  We opened the door and an older couple in their 50's greeted us.  We let them know we were here for their lamb and they set about their business.  Not long later it arrived.

One lamb chop, one piece of lamb steak together with some potato, stir fried capsicum and okra.  Barely a word was uttered for the next 10 minutes as we enjoyed our lamb in silence.  It seems to be that if a chef is eating in silence (Tetsuya was a chef back in the USA) then usually that is a good sign that they are enjoying their food!

This dish wasn't very spicy at all, but the flavour was sensational!  I was definitely glad we decided on this one.  1,000 for the food and the drink (that seems to be the standard price for all places) and we left quite satisfied.

Next we wandered over to the South side of the station where we found Art Reg cafe, an Italian restaurant usually, but today it was serving up spicy chicken wings.

The food arrived and it looked great!

What's that little dish of brown powder sitting there I hear you ask?  Well, I was wondering the same thing.  I stuck my finger into it and then into my mouth.  I soon realised I had made a bit of a mistake.  I looked up at my dining mate and warned him about it.  Not heeding my warning, he copied what I had done and 1 minute later was tearing up (well, he said he was sweating but I have never seen eyeballs sweat like that.....).

We finished it off and Tetsuya mentioned that he thought it was habanero powder which was confirmed by the waiter!  If you like your spice, definitely head to this place!

The chicken wings had been the spiciest of the 3 dishes I had tried at that point.  They didn't really make me work up a sweat, they just burned, for quite a while!  It was impressive!

Well, that's it for dishes 2 and 3.  I'm hoping to get 10 eaten and written up by the time it is all over.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below, especially if you have been to the festival yourself!  I'd love to hear from you.  Keep watching for the next update coming in the next couple of days!


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