Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kurosawa, Roppongi

Man, I really feel like I wrote this before. We've all been to Kurosawa, right? Shifting set of lunch options anchored by soba as well as buta-don, slightly interesting and slightly expensive dinners? Sure, we've all been.

This is the Roppongi Kurosawa. It does that sorta 'country Japanese' ambience quite well, managing to feel homey and a touch rustic while also being clean. The counter is quite nice for some reason, and I'm a sucker for places where the chefs display their knives on racks behind the counter. Having the fish cooler at the end of the counter is good too; the first time I went for lunch there was a live squid in a bag of water. Cute and tasty!

Lunch food: your choice of soba, varying prices but a bit steep - supposed to reflect the highest-quality ingredients as discussed on the web site, but I found the soba quite ordinary in the past. Definitely prefer Honmura An. Or your choice of buta-don - comes in colors - I think white, black or red. Only had this once, and found it quite ordinary. Today's grilled set (炙り膳, I need to practice so I remember these) was aji, which was on the small and bony side, but decent once you got a bit of meat off, as well as good rice, decent soup and really lame pickles.

One time I went for lunch and the chef was making sushi for another customer - I ordered it up too. This was seared mackerel pressed sushi (炙り鯖棒鮨) which was fantastic - a whole flame-seared saba fillet, coated with wasabi and sesame seeds, applied to a brick of rice and sliced into 8, with a slice of sudachi between each slice of sushi. Only had this one time - too fancy, I can't believe they were making it for lunch, and I went back for dinner specifically to eat it. I also have a soft spot for the dinner because they have tori-wasa (I've said it before and I'll say it again, nothing like raw chicken with green horseradish to kindle the flame of love!). I have a bit harder heart when it comes to the Y800 'tomato salad', which turns out to be a single small tomato, peeled, surrounded by sliced green onion. This illustrates the dichotomy of Kurosawa for me - some good stuff, but not all of it, and you'll be a touch surprised at the end.

I'm getting converted to Tabelog now that I understand the scoring. Next step, reading the comments...
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