Apparently this is the only washoku restaurant in Tokyo specialised in “Ayu”(English article on Ayu here). Everything is from the 15,750yen omakase course, which is only available in summer when Ayu is in season. The restaurant is almost fully booked for August when I called up a week ago. I was quite surprised when I walked through the door…I was expecting a nicer environment(considering the price of the menu), but the place turned out to be very small and kinda shabby – basically like an old family-owned cheapy izakaya. We sat on a tatami around a tiny table which is very cramp – my friend maintained an unrelenting frown throughout the entire dinner and rolled her eyes whenever the drunk salarymen right behind her were getting too loud. ^^;;; But luckily no one smoked(the place is likely non-smoking) and the staff are very very friendly.
Appetizer. Grilled ayu in clear dashi. Winter melon at the bottom. Delicious! Good dashi is always a good sign.
Ayu sashimi. Grilled Ayu with salt. You are supposed to eat the whole fish including the internal organs and bones. The bones I can handle but the internal organs are just too bitter for me. My Japanese friends are used to this way of eating fish so they have no problems with it.
Aubergine and uruka(“ovaries, spermary and other internal organs preserved in salt”). Comes with a small bowl of rice that you eat the leftover sauce with. This is also slightly bitter but the sweet miso makes it much easier to eat. I like it very much(a bit of bitterness is fine!).
“Bitter uruka”. Seriously it is really really bitter! I almost died trying to finish it (ToT). Apparently it has been fermented for one year ….The deep-fried roll of uruka miso and ayu is not so bitter – very good. The madam said the crispy skin is made from “udon”(flour and water).
Grilled Ayu simmered in a nice broth with raddish. Vinegar-pickled ayu in Konbu dashi.
Rice cooked with Ayu – this is so good! I wish I could ask for another bowl. Dessert is sweetened green sour plum and grated ice.
It is definitely an interesting experience to try so many different ways of preparing Ayu. People who love the taste of Ayu will sure enjoy this place. For me, once is absolutely enough. ^^;;;
Add: 4-17-5 Shinbashi, Minato-ku