Saturday, July 5, 2008

Monya, Roppongi

With 4 shops, does this qualify as a chain? Inside is pretty much the antithesis of ‘chain’ to me (and I guess most other foreigners), but I used to think that about all the ‘country-style’ places too (think Nishi-Azabu Gonpachi!). Anyway, if this is a chain, I love chain restaurants. Twice for dinner, once for lunch, and loved it every time. They specialize in fish, which they get in fresh from Toyama. This is supposed to be fresher than Tsukiji or something; I dunno, but they have an impressive array of interesting fishies on ice in a cooler that’s sorta built into the counter (to the extent that I sat next to it when I went for dinner; very up-close and personal with your fish. Oh, and for lunch you’re able to point to select what you want yaki-ed or sashi-ed.)

In my ignorant washoku world, this seems like creative cooking, and from the atmosphere it’s easy to see that they take it very very seriously. The best thing seems to be just ordering the basic course (Y6000 or so, good value) and seeing what shows up; I remember some nifty tofu variants (still a sucker for green peas tofu), great roasted takenoko with two colors of sauce (one miso, one green), and then lots of fish. Private rooms exist and are excellent if you can get one.

Monya (Roppongi) 紋屋  03 5447 1333

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