Central Tokyo isn't a place for those on shoe-string budget. When you're in wards like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roponggi, Ginza or Harajuku, it isn't easy finding restaurants with inexpensive food... particularly when you're craving for the occasional steak. The area teems with high end shops and trendy boutiques.
I was in Harajuku, visiting the H.I.S. Tourist Information Center when I noticed the pictures of food offered in an oddly named restaurant called Grimm, accessible through a narrow stairway leading to a basement.
Grimm is what they call a Yoshoku, a Japanese-style western-influenced eatery. It is small, with only 7 tables. Each can sit 4 people. Due to the size of the restaurant, the place fills up easily. I had a 15-minute wait standing by the stairs before I was accommodated. The waiting staff was fast, but due to the volume of customers didn't have time for pleasantries. Food takes time so while you're waiting for your food, there's nothing much to do but fiddle with your phone. If you're dining solo, you'd have to share your table with others. Young locals mostly populate Grimm.
I ordered pork steak which came 15 minutes later. Like most Yoshoku set meals, this had rice, soup and salad. The plating looked messy with pork cutlets, butter, lemon, beans and corn. Despite the presentation, my meal was tasty. And since it just costs 850 yen (tax included) right in the heart of busy Harajuku, this was a steal. If you're in a budget, look no further.
Grimm's limited space provides a no-frills atmosphere of local color, like you're in the thick of Tokyo's underbelly. Consider that Harajuku is flanked by Shinjuku and Shibuya. If you're traveling solo, you feel this sumptuous disconnect inherent in Tokyo. Does that make sense?
Grimm is open daily from 5 PM onward.
|There's a stairway leading to the basement where Grimm is.|
|The street scene outside Grimm in Harajuku.|