There’s nothing better than finding that one restaurant or bar or café that you just know is going to become your regular after-work spot. Everyone has their own criteria for what makes them go, ‘Ah, this is the place.' For us, it was the succulent, garlic-oil-drenched Shrimp Ajillo served with bread for dipping (because, damn, that sauce is moreish), the casual seating at the wooden counter that wraps around the open kitchen, and the fact that co-owner Yui Shirako welcomed us at the door with such warmth that made us think Cedros could be our new place.
Yui opened Cedros in September 2014 together with his brother Lui, who is the chef at the helm of the restaurant’s American-style seafood menu. The brothers, who have been based in Tokyo for around a decade now, grew up in San Diego and drew inspiration from halcyon days spent hanging out at Cedros Ave in Solana Beach when planning the menu and decor. They wanted to create the type of atmosphere and cuisine that would appeal to Westerners, so their menu includes dishes such as Tuna Tartar with Melba Toast, Mediterranean Couscous and Lobster Risotto.
After the shrimp starter, we ordered the Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri – it was served atop a strip of juicy aubergine, topped with avocado and watercress salad, and surrounded by splashes of chimichurri. At ¥2,800, it’s not the cheapest mid-week dinner option, but for the delicious play of flavours and the quality of the ingredients, we would say it’s worth it. It’s not often you can’t stop thinking about a meal you’ve had the night before, but those garlicky shrimps and that spicy tuna will do it. The menu changes seasonally and they offer daily specials, so you’ll also never get bored of the offerings.
If Cedros is to become your after-work spot, it doesn’t have to break the bank. The idea here is as much about top quality cuisine as it is about just hanging out. There’s a standing bar in the centre of the restaurant where you can sip on a Japanese craft beer or glass of wine (all their wines come from either Australia or New Zealand). And the fact that the restaurant is tucked away in a quiet courtyard just off Daikanyama’s main drag means you’ll feel more like you’re ‘just popping round to visit the Shirako brothers’ rather than fighting for space in a crammed city pub.
Update: Cedros is now open for lunch too. Read our review of their lunch menu here.
1-32-3-D Tradgard Daikanyama, Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku
|Opening hours:||Brunch: 11am-3pm (last orders 2pm) Sat, dinner: 6pm-10pm Mon-Sat (closed Sun & pub hols)|
|Transport:||Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko line), Ebisu Station (Yamanote, Saikyo, Shonan-Shinjuku, Hibiya lines)|