Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taruzen, Marunouchi (たる善, 新丸5階)

My friends, not eating a lot of meat has several strange effects on a person. The main one that I always notice is a powerful craving for meat, and over the past few days it's been no exception. After a big beef-oriented Saturday night, I didn't eat much protein for a couple days, and yesterday just had to break down and have sushi for lunch and dinner.

I guess there's not a sushi place on every corner in Japan, but there IS a place in every major building. I checked quickly and found that both Maru and Shin Maru have nice looking sushi places (and by nice I mean "not the budget places in the basement, and not the overpriced places on the 30+ floors", though Maru has a place up there whose sushi lunches start from Y5000. More power to you if that's your thing.). Shin Maru is closer, and somehow, I dunno, newer, so that got the nod.

Feels weird to go to the 5th floor of Shin maru for lunch - such a different world! Kinda busy and bustling in a very pleasant non-officey way, and chock full of great-looking restaurants (which are mainly Y1800 and over for lunch, be warned). Taruzen is around the back, and they have several Y1000 lunch sets - nigiri, kaisendon, and Women's (3 nigiri, nimono, rice). It's quite spare and modern, but was packed when we got there at 12 so felt a little loud and restless. I admit to some poor feeling when I saw that some of the fish was pre-sliced, but I assume this is a lunch-only thing. I don't think they have a whole ton of branches, and the head store is in Sapporo.

After briefly flirting with the extensive and more expensive menu options (several other sets at Y1900, some at Y2500-3000, some at Y5000+), Ponkan and I settled, surprise surprise, on the Y1000 nigiri. This was about 8 nigiri plus soup, and good value at that. The ikura were good-quality, the akami was in the surprisingly-good class, the shrimps were fresh and minimally slimy (although it's a raw shrimp, you've gotta expect some of that), and the egg was nicely fuwa-fuwa. The only complaints I can raise are that the size of each piece was too big (a high-class problem to have, certainly), and the buri was a bit off. Maybe it's just too late in the season so the buri tastes fishy? That's a joke. haha.

Right, please go about your business. If you're craving sushi for lunch, Y1000 at Taruzen will be well spent (better then the Sushi Sei outlet in the Nippon Building that I went to a few weeks ago).

Better bury the buri.

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