I was in charge of organizing a birthday party a while back, but I couldn't decide where we should hold the great event. I knew that we had to feed about 20 people, so I had to find a restaurant that could not only fit that number of people, but could serve that many people efficiently. It's one thing to have enough room for 20 people and quite a different thing to be able to bring all the food out at once.
I have a friend who has a friend who is a chef. At first, we decided to go to the chef's restaurant, but his place was already booked up on the night that we wanted to go. However, the chef recommended an Italian restaurant called Winds Garden. I had never heard of it, but a peek at the website (http://www.windsgarden.com/) told me that this place was worth a try. I made a reservation for 22 people and hoped that everything would work out on the day of the party.
As it turned out, Winds Garden is not just a good restaurant, it is one of the best restaurants I have been to in Tsukuba (and I have been to quite a few of them!). There is a range of dinner courses available for prices from 1650 yen for pasta, risotto, or lasagna to 3200 yen for a special fish AND meat dinner, and they all include appetizers, salad, the main dish, a dessert, and tea or coffee to finish. For the birthday party, we all ordered a course with our own choice of main dish (at varying prices, but generally in the 2000 yen range). We also ordered some wine with our meal. The total for the evening came to 2500 yen per person, which is an extremely good deal.
The food was excellent. Aussie beef steaks, pork, lasagna, and paella dishes were big hits with our group. And the food came out pretty much all at once, so we didn't have the awkward situation of one or two people watching hungrily as the rest of us chowed down on our food. I should also mention that we were given our own room off to the side of the main room, so we could have fun without disturbing the other guests.
A few days later, I went with another group for a lunch party. Same great food and impeccable service. We had a group of 16 this time. The food came out all together and we decided that the lunch menu was just as yummy as the dinner menu. The lunch course includes a salad, main dish, dessert, and drink. The drinks are in a nice, tall glass and you can choose from various kinds of juice, tea, and coffee.
The restaurant has a player piano in the middle of the main room. It is set on automatic for much of the time, but apparently they have live piano performances on Fridays from 8pm. And on the last Friday of the month, they have a piano and saxophone session dinner. I'm sure that would make for a nice evening out with your significant other!
Winds Garden, which was established in June 2005, is owned and operated by the Koshikawa family. The father, Ryoichi, served as our maitre d'. He surprised us with his excellent English when we weren't sure about how to read some of the menu items. His son and two other children also work in the restaurant. I think it is safe to say that I will be visiting the Koshikawa family again soon!
I guess it makes sense to trust the recommendation of a chef!
Winds Garden is located at Matsushiro 1-3-6, just north of Tsuchiura Gakuensen. From Tsukuba Center, drive west on Tsuchiura Gakuensen, past LaLa Garden. When you see a Mercedes dealer on the left, turn right. The restaurant is located on the north east corner of the next intersection.
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