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Shiso Tree Cafe - An interesting 'Pasta' find inside J-Town!

Charles Yu Apr 27, 2011 06:19 PM

Based on fellow chowhounder skylineR33's recommendation, I head over to the above captioned eatery to try out their 'Japanese style' Italian Pasta. I was hoping to re-capture some fond memories I had in Tokyo a few years back, whence I experienced one of the best tasting pasta dish ever! A cherry tomatoes, Hokkaido king crab leg meat spaghetti in a basil-tomato sauce. IMO, sometimes the Japanese can come out with some delicious Italian pastas that would even make Italian cry!!

Although the menu of this cozy modern cafe does not feature anything as exotic as the dish I eluded to above, however there are enough interesting 'white/Tomato/cream' based varietals to tempt the palette.

The two of us ordered the ' Tarako' - Pasta with cod roe, garlic and shimeji mushrooms garnished with nori and shiso ( $10 ) and the ' Bolognese,Bacon, Sausage" - Pasta sauteed with bacon and Berkshire pork sausage topped with a Bolognese sauce made with a combination of Angus beef and Berkshire pork slow cooked for hours ( $12 ).

For $7 more we both ordered the 'set' which included a Shiso Tree house salad, Garlic toast, soup of the day ( cream of broccoli with gorgeous croutons ) and a slice of cake ( we chose the rare cheese cake and the chocolate mousse. Both very light and yummy ).

The pastas were pretty delicious and cooked just a touch over al-dente ( which I actually prefer ). The soup was piping hot and creamy, topped with some freshly baked 'killer' garlic croutons. The roasted seasame based Japanese dressing for the salad was very unique and tasty. Overall the meal was very satisfactory and the price very reasonable

I'm already planning my next trip there. This time ordering the pasta with 'Shiso white wine clam sauce' and the ' garlic shrimp, clams and tomato based sauce '.

  1. a
    ace123 Apr 27, 2011 07:38 PM

    Agreed that the food is outstanding there. It's the same owner of the bakery in J-Town. You can buy the cake from J-Town.

    1. s
      szw Apr 28, 2011 12:33 AM

      Sounds interesting! I'll probably check it out for lunch tomorrow.

      1. c
        childofthestorm Apr 28, 2011 01:31 PM

        Thanks for the tip, eating weird Japanese interpretations of pasta was one of the many food highlights of living in Osaka! I will definitely check this place out.

        1. p
          Pincus Apr 29, 2011 11:32 AM

          That Tarako sounds oddly yummy.

          1. Charles Yu Apr 30, 2011 06:42 PM

            Attached photos of the meal

            1. sumashi Jun 8, 2011 01:54 PM

              I found this deal for Shiso Tree Cafe:


              The funny thing is that the website link provided for Shiso Tree Cafe brings you to this thread LOL.
              I want to try that Tarako pasta, looks good!

              1. g
                gr8vacation Jun 13, 2011 10:03 AM

                I promised to bring the kids to try this "new" resto and I did last night. We absolutely loved it.

                We had tarako, spaghetti w/prosciutto and Romano cheese, and pasta with bolognese sauce, bacon and sausage. All our dishes were meticulously prepared. Very yummy. The lentil soup that's part of the set was so good, even the kids who aren't normally into soup loved it. We highly recommend it - six thumbs up.

                The place was nearly empty when we were there at around 6 pm on Sunday. I surely hope more people will find out about this place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: gr8vacation
                  chrisfernando100 Jun 17, 2011 08:33 AM

                  went there earlier this week for the first time....loved it.

                  my girl and i split the wafu salad with smoked salmon and salmon roe, the dressing was killer, we pretty much wiped the bowl clean trying to figure out what was in it, then we split the fries with bolognese sauce (had to try the sauce after reading about it) fries were good but the bolognese was awesome and perfectly seasoned. for the mains my girl had the special which was a spaghetti with scallops in tomato & basil sauce and i had the sukiyaki pasta with sliced ribeye, shimeji, oyster and king oyster mushrooms both were great although we both agreed that my dish was better. we skipped dessert cause we went to ju for a pre-appetizer appetizer but that's another story....

                  all in all, great spot, can't wait to go back.

                2. g
                  girlstar Jul 30, 2011 08:03 PM

                  Tried this tonight and had a very great meal and experience! I didn't know this type of Japanese food existed! We tried the special, Hokkaido scallops in a creamy rose sauce with clams - very tasty. We tried a wafu which was white wine sauce and clams. Will definitely go back to try more!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: girlstar
                    dogseatfree Aug 3, 2011 12:45 PM

                    Came here with a voucher. I liked it a lot except that everything, salad included, was way too salty, and I'm not afraid of salt. I will ask them to dial it down next time or provide sauce on the side when possible. Really liked it but just the salt!

                  2. s
                    suckfail Aug 17, 2011 10:37 AM

                    i was waiting for this place to come up, i went there very shortly after it opened.. i've eaten a lot of stuff in japan, and i loved popo la mama there (if you ever get a chance, go there http://www.popolamama.com/ ).. they have similar pasta options to what shiso tree cafe is trying to do.

                    i feel though, although the quality is certainly not bad at shiso tree cafe, they came in too soft. they catered too much to trying to not scare people off, and they missed the mark on the "weird" choices. if they pushed a bit more and went more authentic, i think they could be even better.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: suckfail
                      berbere Dec 26, 2012 10:04 AM

                      Has anybody tried this place recently? Reports on other blogs have suggested that quality has declined....

                      1. re: berbere
                        h3llbringer Jan 2, 2013 08:44 AM

                        Been there several times in the past few months, no complaints, the food is still delicious and the service is great.

                    2. a
                      Apple Oct 12, 2013 05:58 PM

                      Just bumping this thread...

                      Had dinner here tonight with the family and it was very nice! We arrived just around 6pm on a Saturday night, and there were only 2 tables occupied. By the time we left, there were several groups waiting for a seat. This place is not hurting for business.

                      We started with the okinomiyaki fries and smoke salmon appetizer followed by the shrimp okinomiyaki and unagi don pasta. The service was attentive and pleasant. The food was delicious. Especially the mains - the shrimp pasta was savoury with a hint of sweetness, the unagi was creamy, and bursting with flavour. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. We shared a black sesame crème brule. Very rich and nutty. Quite delicious and memorable.

                      Definitely will be back. Quality food, reasonable prices, prompt service.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Apple
                        Charles Yu Oct 12, 2013 07:07 PM

                        Glad to hear its still good!! Cutting down on gluten so haven't been for a while!!

                        1. re: Charles Yu
                          Apple Oct 13, 2013 06:02 PM

                          They had steak frites on the specials menu (house aged striploin) if you're gluten free. :)

                          1. re: Apple
                            Charles Yu Oct 14, 2013 08:54 PM

                            Wow! Nice to know they have steak frites! Do you by chance know if the steaks are 'charbroiled' or pan grilled? Is the dressing for the steak herbed butter or some sort of red wine reduction?

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              Apple Oct 19, 2013 11:50 AM

                              Unfortunately, I don't know. I don't recall the specific details except for the "house aged" bit. :)

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