Saturday, April 22, 2017

En - Santa Clara

Pork shabu salad
This was referred to me by a Japanese coworker. So we decided to go there on a Friday evening. We got there around 6:30 and it was pretty full already. It was a good thing that we made reservation.

Our table was at the corner where most of the bigger tables were. The place wasn't very big and most of the tables catered towards smaller crowds.

This restaurant was labeled as Japanese tapas restaurant. Their menu was pretty big but most of the items were sort of small. Some of the dishes only had 2-3 pieces on it so we need to order more to cater to our bigger group.

The first two orders we got were salad. They were pretty similar in a way in terms of protein toppings and dressing. One salad with grilled pork belly and the other with boiled pork. The dressing was more salty with a bit sweetness and not so much tanginess. It's different compared to most of salad dressing I know which normally is a combination of some sort of vinegar/lemon, oil and salty ingredient like salt/soy sauce.

The next dish we got was the creamy croquet which I think only had 3 in a dish so we ordered 2 of that. There's not much taste to the creamy portion of the croquet. I am not sure if that's how it supposed to taste like. I am comparing it to the Indonesian version of croquet that I grew up eating so this one for me was disappointing.
Scallop creamy croquettes (should be 3 pieces in a plate)

We also had a dish of garlicky beef - garlic steak small bite. I didn't try it because I was too late to get to it and the whole dish was cleaned up. I heard it was pretty garlicky. So if you like garlic you may want to get this.

We ordered 2 types of fried chicken - tori nanban which was fried chicken marinated in sauce served with tartar sauce. And then the good old fashioned tori karaage (chicken karaage) which was fried boneless chicken quite regular to ramen joints. Fried chicken always hit the spot for majority of audience. These two orders were the same.
Tori karaage - regular chicken karaage (fried boneless chicken)

Tori nanban - fried marinated chicken with tartar sauce
Soy sauce yakisoba - stir fry noodle with vegetables

The next dish that came out was buta kimchee (stir fry pork with kimchee) which was okay. Then the soy sauce yakisoba which turned out better than expected. Our last order turned out to be longer than expected though it was posted on menu as taking time to prepare. So we were served edamame on the house.

Fried eggplant with miso and cheese was so cheesy that I couldn't taste the eggplant. But if you like cheese you may want to order this though allow some time for it to arrive.

All in all a good place for a big group of people to hang out and try different dishes. The dishes range between $10-$15. We didn't order any alcoholic drinks so I couldn't comment on that.

3450 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 246-0011