Today, I attended a farewell dinner for a friend at Chiharu, a relatively new Japanese restaurant in Brookline. The restaurant ambience is soothing and pleasant, befitting its name, Chiharu (千春) which encompasses the meaning of a thousand springs.
The restaurant was pretty quiet for a Friday evening so we didn't have to wait at all to be seated. We had a male waiter serve us and his attentive service made us feel at home. In fact, he was very eager to answer our questions about the menu and was not shy at all to recommend his favorites.
After some deliberation, we each ended up ordering different items on the menu : ramen, Teishoku set meal and sushi rolls. Before our dishes were served, the waiter laid out a beautiful set of sakura-decorated sushi dish/chopstick for each of us. This set complemented our dishes which were later served with a really pretty presentation.
I was feeling a bit cold on this chilly night and was glad to warm up with my Miso Ramen. I won't say this is the best-tasting ramen I have tried in Greater Boston but most definitely the prettiest bowl of Ramen I've been served here.
My friend ordered a Teriyaki Eel set which came with miso soup, salad and rice. I tried a bit of her eel and it was yummy - the texture was soft and cooked just right.
Another friend ordered a Super Dynamite Roll and Torched Yellowtail Roll, under the recommendation of our server. She looked pleased with her order so this is definitely on my list to try on my next trip 🙂
We had an interesting after-meal experience there too. A couple minutes after we left the restaurant, we spotted the waiter running after us with the bill tightly clutched in his hands. My immediate thought was that we had tipped less than required but was surprised when he said we had tipped him too much (we apparently double-tipped!). It seemed he had rushed out of the restaurant without putting on a winter jacket (it was sub-zero that night) just so we can reduce the tips for him. We were very impressed by his honesty. I think his small act of kindness will go a long way to help Chiharu build a regular customer base.
This was a pretty pleasant dining experience. I'll likely return one day to try other things on the menu!