Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tatsumi, Monzennakacho (竜味、辰巳新道)

My friends, I believe this to be the first review of this establishment since the world began. Or at least in the 3 months since the place opened.

Located near the northern end of Tatsumi Shindo (picture shamelessly lifted from another blog), the charming, slightly decrepit, and frankly fairly daunting brick alley near the Monnaka Akafudado, Tatsumi is of a similar size to the other establishments in that environ (6 seats at the counter, with significant difficulty squeezing behind seated patrons to get to the inside). The difference here is that it's the fairly clear winner in the appearance sweepstakes. Tatsumi Shindo is crowded with tiny places that have frosted windows, or paper screens and no windows, and thus permit no view of the festivites inside. But one can often hear a bit of karaoke, or a lot of laughter. It's the kind of place that makes you want to over come the fear of opening the door and just jump in, but I've been very remiss in doing so (other than the sad sushi I had previously).
Thus we have 6 seats at a counter, about 20 menu items written on slips of paper overhead, and a bald master waiting expectantly for your order. Friendly guy, perhaps because I was the only customer up to that point on the night (other people arrived as I was leaving). He recommended a few things, some of which I took up. There was fresh tuna, with slices cut from halfway down the fish where the akami meets the toro - some incredible stuff there, especially the fatty side of the cuts, which was full of fatty, spicy flavor. A big, big bowl of mozuku酢 for health reasons, fresh and somehow not as slimy as it had a right to be. Red salmon harasu, deeply flavored and nicely crisped on the skin side, but not too fatty (which 丸禿さん said was due to the red-ness). Rounding out the evening was a mentai ochazuke, assembled with care and containing plenty of healthy seaweed. If I had any complaint on the night, it was that the mentai was pretty cheap - the low-class version comes in a plastic skin, doesn't it? This was it. Made me want to order some fancy Hokkaido mentai or something for New Year... Throughout dinner the master plied me with hojicha which he made in an individual pot, and he also passed over some pickles, サービス.
Tatsumi is a reasonably priced, reasonably tasty, and quite friendly. If you can get a seat (which I couldn't before tonight), it's worth your while.
Ahhhh, I had a 3643 phone number before I switched to Flets IP. 懐かしい!

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