Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kaku-uchi, Tokyo (角打)

Accidents will happen, especially in the current global climate. Bearing this in mind, we at EOITwJ try to remain open to happy accidents, especially when they involve the happy accident of finding a cheap yet tasty lunch locale in Greater Otemachi. Clearly this policy is going to result in some unhappy accidents as well; despite the occasional setback, we persevere.

Day 62 of the Great Otemachi Experiment (but who's counting?) saw Koala and me heading for a pre-planned lunch with our Communicative Colleagues. External parties are always a nice way of livening up the proceedings since they bring mildly different conversation topics (although it always comes back to work and culture!). For today's expedition, we headed south without clear direction, steered clear of Oazo since 臨時 had 'been there before' (if my dictionary serves, 臨時 is less poetic than 鈴寺, but somehow quite appropriate), and ended up in Salaryman Hell, under the tracks south of Eitai Dori.

Good and varied food are not abundant in those parts, but voluminous Japanese standards certainly are. High-calorie, multi-item teishoku places form the mainstays (like the recent Ikoi, a further branch of Kassen Ichiba and one of the numerous Nakau outlets). Inside our chosen establishment we found a large and spacious counter plus a separate area on the side with small, cramped tables filled with salarymen new and old. Just seconds after we squeezed in, the waitress was hovering for our order.

Kaku-uchi is really just teishoku, but there's nothing wrong with that. 臨時 and I both went for the combination swordfish cutlet + minced beef cutlet, which included a lot of cabbage, a little potato salad, a bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. Mitch (that's a pretty funny nickname, isn't it?) had the tempura eel rice bowl, and Koala had the 'beef pot', which looked like a bland sukiyai. Nobody said much one way or the other about the flavor, but three of four dentists finished everything on their plates. One could give KU a bit of credit for abnormal choices (I'm not sure that I've seen a swordfish option lately, nor eel for lunch at a non-eel restaurant), the quality was just about average, and the size was solid for Y800 or less (depends on the set).

People who noticed the funny writing technique above are invited to post comments, with correct posters receiving the questionable prize of a teishoku lunch with the EOITwJ team!

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