I found Restaurante Grill Iguacu quite by chance. It was recommended to me by the concierge at the Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier Hotel I was staying at a few minutes’ walk away. The concierge actually got it wrong. I had asked him to find me a Japanese steak house; somewhere I could sample some Kobe beef Japanese style. Iguacu turned out to be a Brazilian steakhouse. I found it quite easily from my hotel, which indecently, is only a 2-minute walk from Gaienmae Subway Station.
Okay, so I get there, walk up the stairs and am greeted by this bubbly young girl in fluent English, a scarcity in Tokyo. The restaurant is half full, there’s a hint of delicious steakhouse smell of seared meat in the air and there’s this beautifully mellow Brazilian music playing in the back ground – magic. Yet, for some still unfathomable reason, I choose to leave to find what I was originally looking for – Japanese Kobe. So I walk back down the street towards the station to find a basement restaurant I had seen with pictures of steak plastered all over its entrance. I find it, go in, look around and walk straight back out. Japanese Kobe will just have to wait for some other time. Tonight I’m having Brazilian beef.
On walking back in to Iguacu, I was treated as warmly as a returning regular – the staff actually cheered. I was seated at the bar where their Peruvian bartender George took over, quickly pouring me a generous glass of their house red and then taking me through their menu. He recommended the Ribeye, I nodded and whispered medium rare and off he went to see Brazilian Chef Elton about my order. So, within minutes of walking back in, I was seated, at the bar (my favourite place), glass of wine in hand, order already taken, swaying to these smooth jazzy tunes thinking, I am so happy I came back. That’s when I met Lava; DJ, composer, producer, musician, artist and very cool dude. He looks at me over the music studio he has built around himself and goes, you made a good decision coming back; the food here is good, the service, ambiance and music are also really good.
And so it was. My steak was good, not great because it was cooked a little more than the dark pink medium rare I like, but nice sear on the outside, juicy on the inside good. By the time it arrived I had made a new BFF in DJ Lava and the red wine and his amazing music had me in happy-smiley-dreamy mode. Service was excellent; everything I could have asked for, genuinely warm, friendly, attentive and fast. Prices were very good too for Tokyo – my steak and a couple of glasses of their house red cost around $50, pretty damn good for the size and quality of steak…and um, the number of glasses of wine. I have absolutely no reservations in recommending this lovely little restaurant.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.