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Carne Station: Super value and great food in Tokyo
I had read about Carne Station prior to my trip to Tokyo in October '06.
This was my third trip to Tokyo, and each time I go I become more comfortable getting around, and picking up a few key phrases and words along the way.
I LOVE this city, BUT...........
As usual for me, I seem to always be on a budget, but am a food snob. What a curse to have!
I have found some great and inexpensive kaiten (sushi-go-round) places, and some amazing pork noodle spots, but it's always nice to expand your horizons!
I had been to an all-you can-eat Korean BBQ place about 10 years prior in Singapore which was
fantastic, and I was hoping Carne Station could come close.
I was NOT disappointed! Wow, for about $15 U.S. at lunch, not only do you have all you can eat (in 90 minutes) but you can have all you can drink alcohol as well! Several different tap beers from around the world, plus I saw wine, sake and possibly hard liquor.
You serve yourself from a refrigerated area where you load up your plate with various meats and veggies and head back to your table where you prepare it on the grill. A small salad/dessert bar and some soup and appetizers were also there! This place is very spacious and we felt no pressure to leave as our time limit expired! As with a lot of places in Tokyo, it took a while to find Carne Station, it's in the lower level of a building, but once we got close there were signs in enough English to let us know we hit the Jackpot!
Carne Station: If you like meat....
come here for dinner. For 3000-en for 90 minutes during dinner, you get a grand selection of meats, sushi, and cocktails. My favorite place to eat in Tokyo overall. I typically make a trek here at least once a month. Really it's a wonderful place to take your friends with the alcohol and all-you-can-eat tabehodai style. Also, the interior is quite huge for a restaurant in Tokyo.
Two high points is that they have a self-serve alcohol bar where you can grab anything from beer to lime sour (think of an alcoholic sprite) and a bar. The bar portion is killer because you can order any type of drink which is already included on the tab.
A few things for foreigners: 1) you can ask the waiters to change your grill if it becomes too dirty; 2) going towards the 9 pm mark typically allows you to extend your stay even if you hit the 90 minute mark; 3) it gets very smokey in here for obvious reasons; 4) they serve some fruits which is hard to get cheap in Tokyo.
Favorite Dish: kalbi beef - get the one that is spiced. you can add the tare (sweet, dark sauce) to add flavor. Also, try it with the lettuce leaves; don't know the name, but it's korean style.
Carne Station: All you can eat & drink in Ginza!
Carne Station is a restaurant located on the edge of Ginza and is a fantastic value in often overpriced Tokyo. It is an all-you-can-eat yakiniku or, as these places are called in the U.S., Korean BBQ establishment. Lunch costs around Y1000 and dinner around Y3000 for all you can eat AND DRINK. Food is picked up cafeteria style and self-grilled at the table. Many cuts of meat (beef, chicken, etc) and vegetables are in abundance. There's gyouza and shumai (dim sum) and a decent salad bar and dessert to boot.
The variety of free drinks are astounding. Beer, sake, wine, and hard liquor are all included. Of course soft drinks, coffee and tea are available as well.
Be careful, though. I took my buddy here on his last night in Tokyo and after several double black russians he was feeling pretty good. In fact, I barely got him packed and to the airport the next day.
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