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Jan 29, 2012 03:23 PM

Uni Spaghetti or similar

Any Tokyo recommendations for uni spaghetti? I vaguely recall people raving about a particular Italian restaurant's version, but I cannot find the reference any longer. Ideally, it wouldn't be any more than Y2000, and the restaurant would be around Shinjuku, Ginza, or Marunouchi. It would be even better if it were available for lunch.

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  1. We used to go here occasionally on our way back home from the station when we wanted something easy - never had the uni spaghetti, although I know that it (and some even stranger cousins) was on the menu. Not in your listed areas though.

    1. This one is outside of your areas, but does great uni pasta when it's on the menu: Guccina in Komazawa Daigaku. The guy running it is also a wine fiend and virtually none of his good wines are on the menu. Very Japanese: he tests your wine knowledge and devotion to wine, and if you pass starts offering you top wines at shop prices or even lower (while the wines on the menu have standard mark-ups) because he finds it vulgar to make profit off a genuine wine lover's passion. Only in Japan. As for the uni pasta, he opened two great wines to match with it (a Fiano and a Falanghina) which we did not order and did not have to pay for - he just thought they went better with the pasta than the bottle of wine we had on the table so he just opened those wines free of charge. Incredible.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Asomaniac

        I also had some great uni pasta at Ristorante Honda in Kita-Aoyama. Their uni pasta dish may actually have been even better than Guccina's.

      2. considering uni is usually an expensive ingredient, can you really get a good uni pasta for under Y2000?

        3 Replies
        1. re: killersmile

          Well, at Ristorante Honda, you can get a whole 3-course lunch including coffee that may include the uni pasta for 3,000 yen, so it can be done.

            1. re: killersmile

              Second what Uncle Yabai said - the uni pasta was part of the course (the only part of the meal that really impressed us; the rest was OK, but the uni pasta was outstanding).

        2. Thanks for the suggestions! Dan and Guccina are both possibilities since each is about a 15-minute train ride from Shinjuku. Dan is a little more convenient, but looking at their menu (on tabelog), they don't have just uni, but either tarako uni, uni ikura (which is definitely a possibility), or uni ika. It's still an option, though! Plus it's close to a FLW-inspired church that I'd like to see.

          I'd love to try Guccina, but there doesn't seem to be a la carte, just set courses, so uni pasta does not seem guaranteed. I couldn't find an a la carte menu on the website, and I think the pasta course is just whatever pasta they have that day. Am I wrong in my impression? I'd love to go if I find out they have a la carte (I'm definitely not a wine connoisseur--in fact, I rarely drink. Would that lessen my experience there?)

          I'd love to try Ristorante Honda, but alas, it is out of my price range. On the website, uni pasta was only an option on the dinner prix fixe, and it carried an upcharge. I didn't see any a la carte options on their website, either.

          Ultimately, I'll have to see what time (and my budget) will allow once I'm there. Hopefully I'll get to at least one place to fulfill my craving!

          9 Replies
          1. re: prasantrin

            Guccina may only have a set menu - unfortunately I don't know as I always turn up with a big appetite so it had never occurred to me to try and order anything other than the set menu (you can choose what courses you want within the set menu so I was never limited in my choices).

            1. re: Asomaniac

              p.s. - why not just give Guccina a ring and ask?

              1. re: Asomaniac

                My plan is to do that after I've arrived in Tokyo. :-)

                I will have to see if I can fit one of these places into my schedule, and then if I can make it work, I'll give one a call for more information and/or a reservation. Right now Dan seems to be the most practical choice in terms of location, but also because they seem like a more homely place where reservations are likely not required. That will make it easier on my schedule (so many people to see in such little time!).

                1. re: prasantrin

                  Yes, Ristorante Honda uses to have on its lunch menu the 'uni pasta' with tomato sauce base.. but as i passed by, they do not have it anymore on the menu, but only a la carte (dinner menu), unfortunately at price of the market...
                  After the Ristorante Della Collina, in Ebisu, has a 'uni pasta' dish at 1800.-yens, or an 'awabi kimo pasta(prior one day reservation necessary)' for 2400.-yens, but haven`t tried it, base is also with tomato base...
                  Mid-February i fancy trying the pasta at Il Bulgari.. They have a lunch menu at 5000yens, and if the speciality of 'uni and carrot sauce' is available... it will be a crime zone ^^ !

                  1. re: Ninisix

                    please do report back on II Bulgari, ninisix! would love to see if that's an option for my trip in march, together with guccina and dan!

                    1. re: akated

                      Yes, I definitely will.. I am difficult on pasta also, so.. 

                      1. re: Ninisix

                        "Il Bulgari Il Restaurante" was good, even if i could'nt have 'uni(sea urchin)'. It has been a long time since i didn't have such great great 'ragout' italian sauce. The starter with squid involtini with daikon and radicchio was so full of south flavor, that i decided for a supplement of home made ravioli with ricotta and nanohana sauce. The pasta was quite more than the 90gr i had at Ristorante Honda, but i don't take it bad, as Ristorante Honda does great work on pasta that are home made... And i usually prefer that work on pasta with simple sauce, for exemple tomato working well with uni. Ahh, uni..
                        I still have my preference of Il Bulgari, since for me it taste more Italian, and contrast is the Japanese vegetable used, such as nanohana, daikon,... Another plus in that Il Bulgari building is in center Ginza, in front of the other concept Cartier or Chanel building ! Bill came at 7000yens, 700yens more than the 2900+supplement for uni at Restaurante HOnda.. 
                        I will come back on summer to have the sea urchin ! After check, the chef is Italian.. No wonder !

            2. re: prasantrin

              We never needed a reservation for Dan. Yes it is that type of more informal place.

              Out of curiousity can provide some more details on the FLW-inspired church? I am neither particularly religious nor an architecture fan, nor do I wish to get off topic, but this is my former 'hood so I am curious.

              1. re: kamiosaki

                Thanks for the information! Dan is on the opposite side of the station and about a 5-minute walk from St. Anselm's Catholic Church. At least it is according to google maps.

            3. The uni-spaghetti that does it for me and has never been surpassed, is served at a place called Hachi-uta in Shibuya. Go to RobbS website You can locate the restaurant there and download the map, which you will need. No lunch, but mamma mia, what a uni-spaghetti.

              4 Replies
              1. re: hblnk

                hmmm... tabelog indicates that the shop is closed. does anyone know that this is correct?


                1. re: akated

                  I thought I had posted the same thing yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared! The restaurant is no longer on the main website, either. Shibuya is a good location for me, so it would be a great choice!

                  1. re: akated

                    According to the staff at Gomaya (their nearby sister restaurant), Hachiuta is gone, replaced by a cafe.

                    1. re: Robb S

                      That is very bad news, very bad.