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“What a waste of money!”
Review of Shibumi Ramenya - CLOSED

Shibumi Ramenya
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: Closed
Reviewed 20 May 2013

We love Japanese food--especially Tempura and yakitori. This place failed on both counts; only two of the four dishes we ordered would qualify as "good".

For starters, there was actually a sign on the entrance door announcing that (paraphrased) "This is a fragrance-free restaurant; please refrain from wearing cologne or perfume". What the heck were we supposed to do? Go back to our hotel and take a shower? The gall / the absurdity!

We ordered their signature dishes of shrimp and vegetable tempura. The batter on the shrimp was just too thick--not at all like real Japanese tempura. And the vegetables were horrible! They were grossly under cooked; they should have been al dente, but were hard, almost uncooked, and very difficult to distinguish. The batter, again, was just too thick--more like pancake batter than the delicate batter used by real tempura chefs.

We ordered mushrooms; they were good. We ordered yakitori chicken; it, too, was slightly under cooked, and the flavor was just OK.

We were told that the "chef" was closing his restaurant and moving it to Seattle. Good luck on that. As poor as this place was, he'll never, ever make it in a town known for its Asian food. There are at least two other tempura restaurants in Santa Fe, and we wish we'd found them. They'd HAVE to be better than this place!

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Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (20)
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2 - 6 of 20 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2013

I was looking forward to dining at Shibumi tonight. I was taking my daughter out to dinner and a play to celebrate her first week at a new job.

I had been to Shibumi once before and enjoyed the food. Tonight I made a special visit to the bank to get cash for the meal as the restaurant does not take checks or credit cards. But, I made the mistake of putting on some essential oil when I combed my hair and put on lipstick before going into the restaurant. I forgot that they had a fragrance free policy though it is well stated on their website, on reservation confirmations and on the front door.

Actually, I appreciate their fragrance free policy as I too am sensitive to perfume and do not wear it, only essential oils occasionally. There's another restaurant in Santa Fe that also has a fragrance free policy because the owner is so sensitive that she can become debilitated from the scent of perfume. At that restaurant, if you don't pass the "sniff test" at the hostess desk, you are seated in a back room away from the sensitive owner, but you are seated and served.

When I first entered Shibumi tonight, I was immediately told that this was a fragrance free restaurant. I had requested the counter, but was told that we could not sit there because of my fragrance. Instead we were seated in the back room. I went to the bathroom to attempt to wash off the scent and then joined my daughter at our table.

The waiter took our drink order and came back to show us the specials. Before we could order, another gentleman, the man who had first greeted us at the door, came in to profusely apologize but to tell us to leave. By this time almost a half hour had elapsed. I actually did not understand that this is what he had said and continued to think about ordering. I thought he was apologizing for insulting me when we first came in. But, no, he was actually asking us to leave.

The people at the table next to us, who considered themselves banished to the back room [there was no other patrons in the restaurant at the time] because they had children, told us that the fragrance free policy of Shibumi was not because any of the staff were sensitive to perfume, but because the chef believed that fragrance interfered with the scent of the food.

It was humiliating to be asked to leave a restaurant and a drag to try to find another on a Friday night and in time to make the play. I certainly will never go back to Shubumi again. It's not good enough to forgive its pretentiousness and its chef-centric philosophy offers no recourse for well-meaning customers, and therefore, no actual customer service.

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Thank Peggy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2013

But then why should I greedily keep this place a secret. Try a noodle bowl, the salmon croquettes and the tempura shrimp, for sure. Then ask the wait person about the specials. Easy walking from any location around the Plaza, just behind the El Dorado Hotel.

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2  Thank altitude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2013

This is not a "typical" Japanese restaurant - no sushi bar. The dishes are served as small plates, so a group can enjoy a variety of menu items. My only complaint was that my eyes were bigger than my stomach & I could not finish the giant bowl of noodles.

Thank GinaKelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2013 via mobile

My husband and I were blown away by Shibumi's excellent food. I can't wait to go back and try other items on their great menu. I literally sat there and wanted to try EVERYTHING! The Spicy Gyoza Dumplings were excellent, the grilled pork belly and eggplant was unforgettable and the pork ramen was to die for. I had the saki flight so that I could try three different types of saki (they were all superb). I had no room for dessert, so I need to go back! I highly recommend this restaurant!

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Thank Helen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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