Friday, January 30, 2009

Aji-Ichii, Otemachi (櫟)

Cleverly exploiting the advantages of Otemachi (The Underground City) to avoid pissing rain and the general malaise on the streets, Lin-ji and I migrated through the long, marbled halls of the Otemachi building, finding no open seats in restaurants, but only lines of hopeful patrons longer even than this sentence. We ended up confused and under the First Square building, home to some recommended places (which also featured lines).

Ichii did not have a line, but I surmise this is because of price rather than quality. The weekly sets (your choice of 'Grilled' or 'Boiled') for Y1660 are pretty reasonable given the quantity and quality, but still a bit much at face value, while the other sets are Y3000+. Given my usual proclivities as well as LJ's intractable insistence that it's her shout, yet again, I didn't mind.

The setting is modern-traditional, by which I mean stucco or block walls, concrete floors, some artfully-placed bamboo, a room of tatami with horikotatsu, food on high laquered trays, and good variety in the tableware. The food is quite nice. My Grilled set included a shaki-shaki daikon salad with fresh nori, a bowl of very properly-cooked nimono, a tofu hamburger, soup (again heavy on the nori and tofu), rice and pickles. LJ's Boiled set replaced the nimono with some fried chicken (ささみフライ, not 唐揚げ) and the tofu burger with a piece of snapper.

I'm starting to think that the first few weeks of crappy lunches were more a result of going to obviously crappy places. Life is good! Hooray for Otemachi!

Maybe not quite that much...

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