It was a Sunday afternoon and I wandered around the side streets of Ginza, not knowing what I wanted to eat -- but knowing what I didn't want to eat.
And sacrilegious as it may sound, and the Japanese embassy may revoke my visa for saying this,
but at this particular moment in time, I knew I didn't want to eat Japanese food.
Fortunately, Ginza has many international cafes, trattorias, bistros -- you name it, you can find it.
In Ginza 2 chome, I stumbled on Stein Haus, a German beer garden that also serves hearty German fare.
Stein Haus is on the 8th floor of Ginza Velvia. The building itself houses a lot of froufrou trendy boutiques and shops. The restaurants on the 7th and 8th floors all had long queues this Sunday afternoon -- making me think that these young Tokyo-ites had just woken up and were sitting down to a very late lunch.
I ordered a glass of a premium German draught beer called Franziskaner Weissbier, which was golden and cloudier than the normal Japanese beer. It was slightly pleasantly sour and had a fruity and a bit of a spicy undertone. Much heavier than Asahi or Kirin but still very easy on the throat.
Stein Haus offers a number of high quality German beers and I was very happy with my choice.
A side dish of piping hot truffled fries arrived right after the beer did -- I had to exercise extreme restraint to keep from finishing the entire plate.
Please don't think I ate this all by myself. My colleague and I ordered a sausage platter good for two with three different kinds of sausages, a generous slice of ham, roasted potatoes and a very good sauerkraut that wouldn't be out of place at the Oktoberfest.
Hot grilled sausages and beer -- Ach mein Gott, sehr gut!
On top of the fries and the roasted potatoes, we ordered the bread plate -- warm soft pretzels and slices of sourdough bread -- these certainly upped the carbohydrate count.
I was so tempted to take two pieces of bread to make a sausage sandwich but didn't want to raise the stylish eyebrows of the hip young diners beside me.
Tomorrow I promise to go back to sushi and sashimi but for now -- Prost!
Danke, Stein Haus.