Finally got around to trying SPAGHeTEI, the Japanese take on spaghetti.
It's a small space that can get quite popular. Even so, seat spacing is really quite good, and you don't get a squashed-in feeling common to many places now.
Went on a Thursday night and there was just one frantic waitress on the floor.
English over the phone while making my reservation was also quite poor and my reservation ended up being scrambled from 8 persons to 8pm. Best to show up in person to make a reservation unless you're speaking Japanese.
Apparently you can't get a pot of tea here, but hot green tea is complimentary.
Of the spaghetti I tried, each has a very different character, so if you can, go in a small group and try various types. In the end I found the taste mediocre, but bonus points for interestingness and a lunchtime happy hour when you can get their most popular spaghetti at just under $10, plus other discounts.
Green Garlic Bread
- You get one piece per person for free of this once you've placed your order.
- The green part doesn't taste like anything at all.
- Tastes like butter plus something sweet melted in there. Sugar maybe.
Double Meat Sauce ($12) Our signature meat sauce with sliced beef topped with diced boiled egg.
- Of the ones I tried, this sweet sauce made it closest to a "normal" spaghetti. A safe choice but also boring as a result.
The Small Barayaki (-$1; on the left) isn't significantly less than the Large Barayaki (+$1; picture on the right), so super-sizing an order didn't seem worth it to me. However, downsizing to get it at $1 less generally just loses you some pasta, which isn't a bad idea. Doesn't look like a lot of meat/toppings lost.
Barayaki ($13) Pan fried beef and onions with barayaki sauce (teriyaki-like sauce).
- Some flavour to the noodles but not enough so that it's somewhat bland. You could try the spicy chili powder or parmesan available at the table if you run out of beef to accompany each bite.
- Quite sweet beef, tender and thinly sliced. The highlight of the dish and tasty.
Mentaiko ($13) Mentaiko (cod roe), shrimp, and assorted muchrooms topped with dried seaweed.
- The cod roe is extensively mixed into the noodles.
- For me, this was more interesting than tasty. Wouldn't order it again now that I've tried it.
- Texture has basically no sauce in the noodles.
Crème brûlée ($4.80)
- Sizable deep-dish portion for a low price, compared to crème brûlée you could get elsewhere.
- Tasted like a decently done crème brûlée. Nothing wrong here and price is excellent for portion.
Powder Snow Milk Syrup ($4.50)
- How the frozen milk is shaved makes it like powdery snow.
- Fun to eat and price is OK but toppings are quite boring.