If you haven’t heard of the “Oreno Italian”, “Oreno French”, aka “Oreno” series, you might be missing out on one of the most popular casual restaurant dinning sensations in Japan right now.
The concept of this restaurant is to serve top notch food with high quality ingredients for an incredible price. The lead chef and owner, Toshihiro Yamaura, used to work for a 3-star Michelin rated restaurant and then decided to open his own idea of serving beautiful and tasty food for an affordable price so he hired fellow talented chefs and got it started. What’s the catch? There’s a two hour time limit and you have to stand through your dinner. The restaurant is barely making money on the cost of the food itself, but by enforcing the time limits they can get through 4 rounds of service and serve 160 people in the restaurant per day. When standing and eating, people will naturally leave before their 2-hour time limit and the service keeps on schedule. There is a limited number of sit down tables but it’s incredibly difficult to make a reservation. I think the best way to make reservation is to just go to the restaurant and ask for one at the location itself but keep in mind that you can only make a reservation up to a month in advance.
On our trip, we got lucky and managed to secure a reservation at 18:15 for a table at the “Oreno Italian Jazz Ginza” location. There’s a 300yen Jazz surcharge but I thought it was well worth it. Loved the performer of the night!
Can you believe these prices?
– Parmesan Cheese (free)
– Amberjack Carpaccio (680yen)
– Prosciutto Ham (650yen)
– Special tomatoes from Shimanto (680yen) — yummm
– Orenchi no salad (580yen)
– Shrimp and Mushroom Ahijo (650yen)
– A whole lobster with saffron sauce (1480yen)
– Chef’s specialty, Cold Carbonara Spaghetti (880yen) — my fav
– Oven-ed Eggplant with Mozzarella Anchovy (580yen)
– Beef Truffle Foie Gras Mille-feuille (1180yen)
– Mango Esupuma (450yen) — mmmmm
– Tiramisu (450yen)
As you can see, we ate quite a bit for 4 people and it came out to around 3500yen each which is unbelievable… For this quality, quantity, and even a Jazz performance? No wonder it’s so popular and even makes the news. It’s not a place for a nice quiet dinner though since it feels like you are at a bar that is crowded, noisy, and where most people are standing while dining. But if you already have that expectation in mind, this unique experience can be both fun and deliciously affordable.
I haven’t had the opportunity to try the other “Oreno” series, but if you are interested in dining at this Italian Jazz location, I highly suggest you make reservations in advance. The time slots that are available for reservations are only for the sit-down tables and the available times are always the same (16:00~, 18:15~, 20:30~). They are also closed on Sundays.
This must be one of my longest posts ever… I guess I had too much to say.
PS: Although it’s written in Japanese, here’s a good article on Yahoo News on this restaurant.
Hours // Tuesday-Friday: 4 – 11:30pm, Saturday-Sunday: 3:30 – 11:30pm