Monday, July 7, 2008

Michiba , Ginza

Those with Iron Chef fetishes will be well-served here despite the absence of Roku-chan himself from the kitchen (I can call him that because I saw a documentary on him one time and his 80-year old older sisters were calling him ‘Roku-chan’). The three times I’ve been have all ranged from impressive to extraordinary (maybe declining in impact after the initial amazement, so enjoy your first go).
The food manages to combine perfectionist technique with Japanese flavors and ingredients to create something…well, certainly not revolutionary, but at least unexpected, interesting and delicious. We all know what dashi tastes like, right? At this point it’s about making the best dashi and cooking things in it at just the right temperature for just the right time. One dish stands out in my mind from the last time I went (Summer 2007) – a small, whole, fried ayu with a little knot of somen, in a dish of strong dashi (maybe tsuyu. It’s been a while.) That kinda summed it up for me – all traditional stuff, mildly surprising combinations, and done perfectly. Oh, and disgusting to my foreign companions since it was a whole fish!
I would ask to sit at the counter if I went again; the table atmosphere is a little stuffy to me in that way that ‘refined’ and ‘classy’ Ginza restaurants can be when they haven’t been updated for a while. The clientele was of a certain age and sophistication (other than me), so that atmosphere may be part of what keeps them coming back.
Again, recommended, but possibly not for a fourth visit!
http://www.michiba.com 813-5537-6300

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