Well this is how it went: we were going to go to a restaurant recommended by a friend of hers, that was meant to have really great nasi goreng. But when we got there we didn't really like the look of the place, plus there was no nasi goreng evident on the menu stuck to the wall. So we thought, well lets go to Stanley Market, the popular pan-Asian place near here (we don't talk like that, this is just an efficient summary of events, with added colour, for spice). But Stanley Market is popular, so when we got there they could only seat us at this tiny, tiny table and the smoke was so thick that it positively stung the eyes, so we thought: fuck it, let's just go somewhere we always go, and left.
But on the way there, in the drizzle we spotted a couple of weird restaurant things wedged down an improbably narrow alley, so we went to one of those instead and it was really, really good.
Cous Cous is in Odori, South 2, West 5, hidden down a dark alley and yes, they serve cous cous. That might not sound so exciting, but really - the dearth of cous cous in Japan has been a constant puzzlement to me. What!? They have rice so they don't need cous cous? Well, y'know, blasphemous as it may be I prefer cous cous, lovely little cloud dust that it is.
The place was great, small and welcoming and intimate, and while we had to wait a while for our food, I can imagine that's because they're making everything back there to order, in a pretty cramped little kitchen so I didn't begrudge it for a moment. Plus they had this great Shel Silverstein book to read while we were waiting, and when the food came (we shared the above lamb curry and cous cous, a sea food chijimi - korean pancake - and great tuna & avocado maki sushi) it was all delicious, satisfying and unpretentious. Which is kinda what I look for in a restaurant.
Pretty cheap too, so if you're downtown and don't mind a little searchin' I recommend the place. My map might (no promises) help.