Monday, July 7, 2008

Fukahama, Monzennakacho (Fukagawa)

Right up on the list of ‘best surprises that month’ (maybe sometime around mid-late-05?) was this kaiseki-styled place that I wandered in to by myself after work. It’s really out-of-the-way – first because it’s in Monzennakacho, second because it’s actually almost 10 minutes from the station (going north, the boring direction), third because it’s down a small street that has no other shops. The have a little lit sign in the street, which is what enticed me to walk down that street in the first place. Really good value, with ~7 courses for ~Y5000 and surprisingly high quality, technique and creativity, in a traditionally-styled place that’s dead quiet and empty almost every time I go.

This may not actually be kaiseki, but I may not actually know. It follows a strict formula of starters, sashi, fish in clear soup, grilled fish, fried things, soba, fruit (or a version thereof), with the menu changing seasonally (though I think the seasonal menus may not change from year-to-year. I haven’t been THAT many times.). The tastiest thing to me is usually the clear soup (not the things in it), which is true and not at all meant to make me sound all sensitive and tuned-in to the true magnificence of Japanese cooking. The fried things are sometimes interesting (fish karaage is kinda cool when it’s not fugu) and seasonally accompanied by fried/popped rice grains still on the stalks. Cute.

Service is invariably performed by an oldish woman in kimono who’s cute in an elegant-but-scattered-and-motherly way (which is sensible since the chef is her son). Drinks are limited, e.g. sake comes in two types – hot and cold. Anyway, I think this is worth the trip from Hiroo for the food, especially given the price/quality ratio. Unfortunately it’s hard to arrive after 8 on weekdays (they’ll definitely rush the service by dropping the next course before you finish one) and they’re closed weekends.

深はま  You should go here   03-3641-5987

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