Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kushinobo, Roppongi

Squarely in the category of 'places you've been to a lot of times in the last few years', Kushinobo offers up surprising value in battered and fried items. One challenge is that you have to be a Roppongi worker, or find some other way to get a Community Passport.

I guess Kushinobo is a pretty big and old chain (Osaka, 1950, now that I look). If you look at the web site, you'll what look like 20-30 year-old pictures of elaborate kushi platters. The shop on the 5th floor of Roppongi Hillz is quite new and attractive, with an interesting set of spaces including the counter and also an open 'balcony' area that overlooks some of the shopping / hotel areas of Hillz. I don't quite understand the wine coolers - some quite expensive wine and aged sake, but maybe this is what you're supposed to drink with deep-fried items? Something expensive so you can feel luxurious even though you won't be able to taste it?

The 'Hillz Lunch' is excellent value. I'm told that it's 8 kushi; it always feels like 10 to me. Comes with some tsukudani, pickles, your choice of rice (white with soup or else ochazuke, which is by far recommended) and of course the obligatory dish of raw vegetables including cabbage leaves. If you go at rush times, the service can be weird but the quality doesn't really suffer. If anything, it's faster, which is not really better for kushi. When you go late, things are relaxed and you get 1-2 kushi at a time so you can proceed through lunch at a normal pace. All the normal things are there: niku-piman, kabocha, buta negima, ebi, hotate, konnyaku dengaku (ish), a fish with tartar sauce (yesterday was salmon, which I thought was weird) and some other meat (yesterday was tsukune, which I thought was distinctly weird!). Hmmm, that's 8 kushi, so I guess it's true. Good quality, but you can leave feeling a little oily...what did you expect?

Excellent value if you can scare up a Community Passport and pay only Y1050.

Batter 'em up, fry 'em down.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorites! For dinner, they have a wide selection of Taiwanese teas as well, which I think helps you feel less oily after a meal of battered and fried stuff...