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Entries in SHIRO (1)

Friday
May042012

SHIRO Japanese Restaurant

SHIRO Japanese Restaurant

3 Gates Pond Road
Berlin, MA 01503

(978) 562 – 6771

This blog has covered everything from high end pricy steakhouses, to drive-thrus.  And while we may not always agree, we always try to have fun!

FUN was the operative word when dining at SHIRO Japanese Restaurant on a recent Saturday night.  I had no idea where this restaurant was located, and immediately headed off to the Solomon Pond Mall area.  Gina, the voice in my GPS, stopped just short of a cattle prod to convince me I really wanted Rt 495, and to get off at Rt 62.  SHIRO is literally on the corner of Rt 62 and Gates Pond Road.

A personal note:  My friends telling me about SHIRO said it was a restaurant in a house, where the owner lived upstairs.  While I’ve been to other restaurants with on premises owners, my friends are funsters…and so I made up an entire scenario in my mind.  As in Tokyo, I was expecting a traditional Japanese tatami seating area (and went with “good socks” so I could respectfully remove my shoes, comfortable pants, etc.) so I could dine sitting on the tatami mat.  Suffice to say I made the whole thing up for no reason.

Yes, SHIRO Japanese Restaurant is in a big old house, with a gravel parking lot.  Each room has been outfitted with “American height” tables and chairs.  While there are some Japanese decorating elements, this place does not scream anything more than “eclectic.”

Arriving for a 6:00 reservation, we were quickly seated in one of the rooms.  Our casually dressed waiter was very knowledgeable of all things SHIRO…sharing the owner Yoshiko is almost 90, and her son does the cooking.  The restaurant was established in 1976, before the interstate (495) came through.

My friends are great “sharers”, making an evening at a Japanese restaurant very enjoyable.  Everything ordered becomes community property, be it the hot Sake, the plum wine (declared the best in the area), or the entrees. 

We started with green mussels, kaki fry and shumai.  The baked green mussels are served on a shell, and were delectable.  I am not generally and oyster lover and the deep fried oyster in the kaki fry proved the adage ‘anything fried is good’.  The steamed shrimp dumplings were very tasty, and quickly disappeared.

Between the appetizers and the next round, a “Sara Moon” was ordered.  Sara Moon is an iced cocktail native to SHIRO, created with Sake and Plum wine.  Again, this was a shared beverage among the adults.  The Sara Moon took me to a warm beach, watching the sunset, Jimmy Buffett playing softly in the background, and generally enjoying life.  In this particular fantasy, I am able to walk home and not drive, as the sake/plum wine combo could be lethal after a couple!

Back at SHIRO, the entrees are being served.

The Avocado salad was a huge hit, with a fellow diner declaring she could drink the dressing.  Our waiter was coy when asked what went into it…indicating vegetables, some sake, etc. (all secret.) 

We ordered an entrée negimaki, a sirloin rolled with scallions and broiled.  The entrée gave the table some miso soup, rice, noodles, bean sprouts and dessert; we felt this was quite affordable at $21.

Not settling on a single entrée for four adults, we also had some maki sushi, including the very pastel Cherry Blossom and Autumn Roll.

Desert was ice cream:  green tea, ginger, and red bean.  We appreciated the flavors and textures of each and were unable to come to consensus on the “best one.”

The only thing possibly making for a more enjoyable evening would be a Lazy Susan for the table, and we spied one at a large table as we were leaving.

For four adults, including drinks, the tab was one hundred bucks.  Not bad for a night out, and certainly explaining why a large number of young people were patronizing the restaurant, reminding me of the clientele of a college town restaurant…

In summary, convenient, very good, and best enjoyed with a group of sharers…SHIRO Japanese Restaurant will get a return visit.

Hours

  • Tuesday - Sunday          5:00 PM to 10:00 PM     
  • Closed Monday

SHIRO Japanese Restaurant gets a GREEN LIGHT…go and enjoy.

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money