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XEX Omae

7-21-19 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0032, Japan

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XEX Omae is a teppanyaki restaurant in Roppongi. Y's Tabel Corporation owns this restaurant and has 19 restaurants across Japan. The place had a name change to Omae XEX in May 2009. Takeshi Omae is the head chef, and was previously an executive chef at Restaurant Tableaux and Morimoto Restaurant XEX. It serves mainly rotisserie and charcoal grill style food, but there is a choice of teppanyaki or sushi, with separate counters for each.

As ever in Japan the entrance is tricky to find, down a side street near a flyover. At the ground floor is a bar and reception area, with the restaurant downstairs; there are two large teppanyaki grills, with seats arrayed around each, plus a few additional tables.

There was an a la carte menu (something of a rarity in Japan) as well as a range of set menus. To begin there were vegetable crudités, offered with a warm crab dip. These included bell pepper, sweet potato, cucumber, radish and tomato on a bed of lettuce. This is difficult to score, but certainly the vegetables were of good quality. A further nibble was a little dish of warm mashed potato with horseradish and a little cheese: enjoyable comfort food (14/20). Spicy tuna roll was pleasant, though admittedly the tuna was not of the same quality as at a specialist sushi restaurant in Tokyo (14/20).

The main courses were lobster (for my wife) and beef (for myself) both grilled on the steel teppanyaki plate. The lobster was tender and had good flavour, served with black pepper and sesame sauce (14/20). The beef was served with garlic slivers, a grilled onion and a couple of dipping sauces, the meat cooked to order. I ordered a sirloin with limited marbling, but you could have Kobe beef at a higher price (15/20). This was followed by fried rice, as is traditional in Japan.

The bill came to ¥30,645 (£101 a head), with beer to drink. The waiting staff were charming and spoke quite good English. This was an enjoyable experience and I would happily return. 

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