This was one of my must-go places, however, we didn’t manage to visit them on our previous trip because we were still in the midst of figuring out how to use the Japanese train system. Now that we are more experienced, coupled with the fact that this is just located TWO train stations away from where our hotel was.
We went on a Saturday afternoon and while we were keeping a look out on the place with google map, I turned to look at across the bridge and saw this:Okay. *Turns off google map* and joined the queue. Yes this is IT. The queue to go into Red Rock. We were quite encouraged by the length because we’ve seen worse, such as that at Shake Shack. Boy, were we SO, SO, SO WRONG.
THREE hours was what it took us in the particularly cold afternoon to get into the little space. 2 hours in, the staff came out to tell us that they’ve ran out of rice and beef, and we had to wait for another 30 minutes for it to be ready. We ended up queueing for another 1 hour before we were let in.
Before entering the shop, you’ll have to order your food through the vending machine like most Japanese places. There are english names to them, so it should be quite okay. In case you’re not too sure what is what, the one with the mountainous beef is called the ROAST BEEF BOWL (option 1 and 2 on the machine).
It is a really small space as you can see, and it could get quite cramped at the bar table. We were lucky to be assigned to a booth seat. One of the few that was available. The prepping station cum kitchen takes center stage at Red Rock.I took this picture just to show HOW SMALL the place was. That’s all to it to Red Rock.You could see the handsome chefs prepping your beef bowls and slapping beef slices on top of rice, and adding sauces to the bowl.
The menu is available in the restaurant as well, even though you have to get your ticket from the vending machine. This is for additional ala carte orders – which came in handy for us…DO NOTE THAT THEIR “SET” does not mean it comes with drinks and miso soup or such. It just means they are being placed separately from the rice, as you can see above.
1. Roast Beef Bowl (LARGE) – ¥1150, ~S$13.90 Okay, honestly this looks more monstrous in pictures than in real life. I actually mistook this for a small bowl because it looked SO HUGE in pictures. This was quite sick looking but was not as mountainous as I thought it would be.
Red Rock serves their Roast beef rare but it isn’t scarily bloody, as they’ve marinated with their house special sauce and the mixture of the yogurt and the sauce just tastes HEAVENLY, even on the rice itself. This was THE best beef bowl I ever had, not just because of the quantity and quality of the beef served, but the flavors in the bowl were just ON POINT.
Even my mum who was not a fan of beef agreed to another plate of rare beef because it tasted SO GOOD.
2. Roast Beef (Regular – ¥950, S$12)
How is it possible for this plate of goodness to just cost S$12?! NEVER IN SINGAPORE. The same seasoning, marinate and yogurt were used for this plate of beef. I CANNOT. Just look at this. LOOK. Even the veggies tasted good with the beef and marinate. GOSH. BRING ME BACK THERE NOW.
3. Sliced Beef Steak (¥950, S$12) This is what it is. Sliced beef steak. The same marinate is used here for the sliced steak, oh gosh, this was juicy and succulent beyond words. A little on the really raw side, but not to the extent of being bloody. What I call a perfect rare – just look look at the centre. Each slice is perfectly rare, and this was one truly amazing steak. Taste wise, it boils down to personal preference really, but my mother and I preferred the Roast Beef as it was more flavorful, and had a easier to chew texture as compared to the steak!
While the 3 hour wait was a horrendous torture, especially during the chilly season, this meal was so good, it made us forget about how bad the queue made us feel. The BEST beef bowl I’ve ever had, I even almost finished the rice on the bowl. Pro tip: wrap the HUGE SLICE OF beef around a clump of rice and stuff it all in your mouth, because only chopsticks are provided and this is an easy way to get all the rice in your mouth, and to savor everything in one bite. THE MARINATE AND SAUCE IS DAMN SHIOK TOO.
It might a little out of the way for some, but this is just on the JR line along with Harajuku, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro, pretty accessible I’d say!
How to get there?
3-11-14 Takada, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Daily, 11.30am to 12am