割烹 とよだ (Kappo Toyoda)
Add: 1-12-4, Muromachi, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
(Sep 2, 2008)
From the 4500yen yakitori dinner course.
Sasami(breast). Grilled with salt. Raw inside. Very good!
Momo(thigh). Grilled with “tare” sauce.
Edamame. What is with all that salt?!
Aigamo(duck). With salt.
Cucumber with miso. Quail egg with salt.
Tsukune with tare sauce. Negima(thigh and leek) with salt.
Teba(wing) with salt. Very good!
Sunagimo(gizzard) with salt.
Instead of liver, which is included in the course but one of us can’t eat, we had chicken skin, again either with tare sauce or with salt.
The quality of chicken is good and everything is grilled perfectly. You get so much food for 4500 yen – each yakitori skewer is quite big and there are 9 of them in the course excluding the veggy. Though I really think they make everything too salty, especially for people like me who can’t drink that much. Also the course is really just yakitori after yakitori and I did get a bit tired towards the end. I wish there were some rice/noodles at the end. In retrospect, we really should’ve ordered plain rice to eat with the yakitori. Having said that I do like the food here.
Dinner menu(J) here.
(Oct 31, 2008)
Came back for lunch. Yakitori rice bowl, Y1050. It is nice too but I think for lunch, Isehiro(which is right next door to Eiichi) is better.
Add: 1-5-1, Kyoubashi, Chuo-ku
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
From 5000yen lunch course. Cold appetizer with unagi, cucumber, tomato and vinegar jelly. Shinjou(grounded fish meat) in clear soup.
Maguro and Suzuki sashimi. Grilled Ayu.
Takiawase(simmered) of Nishin(cured herring), aubergine and komatsuna. Rice cooked with sweet corn.
Peach pudding. Yuzu jelly and Kyobancha tea.
I love every dish in the course! From the sweet tomato in the appetizer to the last piece of yuzu jelly and Kyobancha tea served at the end, everything is satisfying. No-frills, no creative fusion whatver, just solid good quality washoku. The atmosphere is quite casual at lunch. We sat at the counter and watched the chef at work and got served by the good-looking female staff in kimono. Definitely a place I will feel comfortable to take friends from overseas to try traditional washoku.
銀座とよだ (Ginza Toyoda)
Add: 2F, Ginza 7-5-4, Chuo-ku
Wafu(Japanese-style) spaghetti shop. I crave this kind of spaghetti from time to time but as a friend who can cook put it, “you can make it easily at home”. Well I can’t…^^;; The food is pretty good – spaghetti is never overcooked and the ingredients are used generously. Only one complaint is that it is certainly always too salty for me(except the ones with tomato sauce). But after a few times of tolerating the excessive saltiness, I asked the staff, who are all very friendly, if they could make it with less salt, and my request was met with no fuss.
Located in an office area, this shop opens all day on weekdays, only lunch time on Saturday and holidays, and is closed on Sunday. At whatever odd hour you go on weekdays, there are always some salarymen and OLs eating there.
Oyster and mushroom in cream sauce.
Aojiso, tarako, uni(sea urchin) and ika(squid), butter flavour.
Aubergine and meat sauce. Hokkaido salmon and spinach, white sauce.
Bacon and spring onion peperoncino.
Mixed ingredients(prawn, clam, bacon, onion, bell pepper, mushroom), chilli and tomato sauce.
Salad spaghetti with bacon. Sauce for it is a bit like warm thousand island dressing with mustard. Surprisingly nice actually.
Clam, basil, butter and cheese and garlic sauce.
Squid ink spaghetti.
Prawn, green asparagus, tomato cream.
Bacon, egg and spinach, carbonara.
Umi no sachi: prawn, clam, scallop, octopus, squid and wakame, soy sauce flavour.
Green asparagus, bacon, shimeji mushroom, soy sauce and butter flavour.
Add: 2-2-8 Horidome-cho, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
A friend recommended this little soba place in the middle of an office area. There is always a long queue at lunch hour.
Aimori(soba+udon). Soba is thick and hard type, while udon is soft and springy type. Both are homemade and are very good. Eat with a light dipping sauce, and also spring onion, wasabi, shiso, grated radish and grated ginger. Kenchin-jiru with lots of root vegetables in it.
Very cooling Hiyamugi. Though I ended up ordering a small portion of hot Kenchin-jiru.
Kenchin-soba. Hot soba in Kenchin-jiru.
Five-colour soba. Hot soba with kamaboko, aubergine tempura, quail egg, shiitake mushroom and leek.
Tororo Aimori: soba and udon with grated yam and quail egg.
In general, I like the soba more than the udon, and menu that are served cold are better than the hot ones. The staff are very friendly and the atmosphere is warm.
Lunch menu(J): 1, 2.
Add: 3-1-4 Higashi Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku
94-year-old tea shop specialised in Houjicha. You can smell the tea being roasted from blocks away. First floor sells tea and second floor is a cafe.
Sakura Anmitsu(spring menu). The anko(bean paste), kanten, shiratama(rice flour dumplings), even the syrup are all sakura pink! While the taste is just a normal anmitsu(^^;;;), it sure looks pretty.
Tokujo parfait. It has 3 scoops of ice-cream in vanilla, houjicha and matcha flavour. Shiratama are in matcha and houjicha flavours too.
Take-out houjicha softcream from the first floor.
Speical houjicha Kakigori. It is nice but there is not quite enough ice-cream and anko to finish the big bowl of ice so I asked for an extra scoop of ice-cream and the friendly staff didn’t charge me for that!
Very good value set that includes any parfait of your choice, mitarashi dango and kusa-dango(made with a green herb yomogi) and also green tea. While I was hesitating which parfait to get, the staff suggested the biggest Tokujo parfait with a wink(^^;;). The two skewered dango are very very good.
Houjicha Anmitsu. Kanten, shiratama, anko, ice-cream are all hojicha flavour.
Hojicha Parfait. Two scoops of ice-cream in vanilla and hojicha flavour.
Kuri(chestnut) zenzai with grilled mochi. This is pretty normal.
Five-colour Kohagi(small ohagi) is just so-so.