Wednesday, February 25, 2009

E'tavola, Otemachi

Much to the delight of colleagues, I still haven't been to the same place twice in Marunouchi for lunch. OK, I'm more delighted about this than anyone else. Most people think it's funny but a little...obsessive? Yup.

Today was a ladies-in-black lunch, as Ponkan, Ponyo and Koala were all in mourning due to the fact that it's only Tuesday (and some of us worked all weekend). Nevertheless we managed to get into a somewhat festive mood by getting out of the office at 11:30 and walking around for hours underground until finding our way to the Sankei building, wherein reside a French place and an italian place side by side. This review is the Italian place, you know.

Ponkan had been for lunch recently with Kuma kun, and pronounced it 'ordinary', so I was mildly surprised to find myself there. However it's quite nice looking, so was firmly on the list of places to try (and incidentally, the 17 people waiting to get in when we left also seem to agree).

The menu has 5 options for lunch. These were 1) natto, squid and seaweed (a classic Venetian recipe, I'm told) 2) bacon pumpkin cream 3) tomato something 4) broccoli pepperoncino 5) can't remember. Everything comes with a few side dishes: a little wedge of pita-like bread that's actually quite good; a few chick peas cooked in tomato sauce; some okala (which I actually mentioned a few days ago, the tofu byproduct made from the husks of beans that have been squeezed to produce soy milk which is then curdled to produce tofu); and a cup of chicken soup. The side are good! Large size pasta is free. This paragraph sounds like Seat's writing style.

So what did I have? Koala said "haha, you should have the natto", so I did, and supersized it. So healthy...It's really not that bad - I like the taste of natto, it's only the texture that gets me (and mixed with a raw egg and soy sauce and stirred so it gets more, and the seaweed fills out the flavor palette or something. The squid looked like it may have been (seasonal) firefly squid, but there was so little of that I can't reliably say.

We finished up, realized that there was no coffee and the staff pretty much wanted us out the door to make room for the next people, and left. A weird experience, this popular-place dining. I prefer to linger a bit, don't you? This could be better at dinner, since it's fairly stylish and subdued-lighting inside. Let me know if you go.

Ahh, the tabelog pictures are just what we ate...this is a place that doesn't change much.

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