Goya champur and bacon spaghetti.
For the uninitiated, that's Okinawa's national food — bitter melon stir-fried with scrambled egg — cross-bred with Italy's. With bacon thrown in the mix for some added umami saltiness. Chalk that one up to the Italian side too; to be Okinawan it would have had to be spam.
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, it tasted pretty good. But there again, I'm a major fan of the sharply bitter flavor of goya (a.k.a. niga-uri in standard Japanese). Which is just as well because it's reputed to be wonderfully good for you in the heat of summer.
As dessert, a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of raspberry coulis and a cuppa on the side. All in all, a nice little lunch.
And where was this culinary miscegenation to be found? At Tabela, the comfortably scruffy, student-style, pan-cultural little restaurant attached to the Uplink Factory/Gallery/Market event space/arts cinema.
If you're not familiar with it, here are a few snaps of the dining room…
and the excellent verandah (even at this muggiest time of year).
These were the lunch specials the other day: Moroccan chicken; kheema curry (using quality chicken); Moroccan-style vegetable couscous; plus the above-mentioned spag.
And here are some of the things they have on a regular basis.
And influential too. It was after Uplink Factory (and Tabela) moved to this current location that other interesting and non-mainstream shops, cafes and restaurants began opening up on this same street.
It's just a short stroll from Tokyu Honten on the edge of Shibuya