Friday, April 6, 2007

29. Restaurant Review: Wine Cafe Tambourin

Tambourin is definitely one of my favorite places in the Shimokitazawa area. It is away from the station, so it is mostly a 'locals' hangout. But, that shouldn't stop you from taking the short walk to get there.

The interior is all earth tones, with grey walls accented by wine related photos. There are 5 tables and an L-shaped bar with 5 stools. The front wall is all windows, overlooking the street. When the weather is nice, those windows slide open, creating a partially 'outdoor' cafe.

I've eaten lunch here a couple of times and I can definitely recommend the pizzas and salads. The pizzas are Italian style, thin crust. You can choose from 'Simple Cheese', Margarita, eggplant and anchovy, choriso sausage, and 'nama' ham. The salads are a perfect combination of healthy and delicious. Try the nuts and herbs Caesar salad, 'nama' ham and bacon green salad, or the avocado, shrimp, and boiled vegetable salad.

Mostly, though, my husband and I come here to have a drink with some light appetizers. Tambourin specializes in Japanese wines. Don't let that scare you off. I have never been very impressed with Japanese wines, but the owners of Tambourin take great pride in selecting Japan's best. I always have the house red, and it really tasty (and it is served properly, at room temperature). The appetizers are all fantastic, our favorite (with the wine) is the assorted cheese plate. Most people come here for dinner, and there are many tasty options.

The service is excellent. The menu is only in Japanese. Over half is in katakana, so it is not hard to figure out most items if you just sound them out.

Address: Daizawa 4-41-7, a 10 minute walk from the South exit of Shimokitazawa Station straight down Chazawa dori (a little bit past the elementary school).
Phone: 03-5430-1266

Hours of Operation: 11:30 - 26:00 (Sundays and holidays until 24:00). Closed on Monday.