Payment: Cash only
Dishes: Whale tongue, "bacon" and tempura
English Menu: No
|Potato salad, why?!|
Ren is located in a back corner up against the road that leads up to the local shrine and buddhist temples (which has a big sign saying No US Forces permitted up here!). I wasn't sure what to expect inside, but the signs on the outside indicated on thing for sure: expensive food! So strike one against whale meat: if it's expensive and not mind-blowing, I probably won't be eating any more.
|"Bacon" on the left, tongue on the right|
It's an izakaya, so they started me off with an unasked for dish of potato salad. Man I hate potato salad. Oh well. The first two orders arrived, minuscule slices of whale sashimi. The tongue was mostly fat, quite oily tasting, with a small amount of meat on the edge. The "bacon" was yellowish looking and a bit bland. All of the sashimi was very cold, I assume because it is kept frozen. Whale meat, as I understand it, comes in via some very questionable channels, so the distribution is pretty much all frozen. I was glad when the tempura style dish arrived, again very small, and I found it pretty tasty. The meat was very dark and had a rich flavor.
Well, that's it for my whale meat adventure. I wasn't about to kill my wallet further on something that was only so so, and while I appreciate the friendliness of the place, they don't have anything that will likely draw me back, unless a friend or visitor begs me to show them the "whale meat" restaurant someday.