Thursday, May 7, 2009

Uoriki, Otemachi (魚力)

Just a few work days to go until we change the name of the blog and explore some classic options from an altogether different, more traditional yet somehow still exciting out for it. Until then, every day brings a new Otemachi budget lunch destination!

What with the rain and all today, it seemed like a good idea to stay more or less covered. I'm still embarassed at the lack of checks off the list of restaurants in the Otemachi Building, so we headed down there to find a place without a line. As it turns out, the dregs of Golden Week have probably limited attendance for lunch, so we didn't have any trouble. (On the other hand, the train was as smashed-in as ever this morning. If you've never experienced the Tozai line around 8 AM, please continue to avoid it. There aren't any guys to push you in like on JR; Metro has gone with the alternate approach of 8 uniformed guards to hector you as you enter the platform by saying "The train is very crowded. Don't try to get on at this end. Move along.")

One reason for the paucity of reviews on Otemachi Biru places is that they all look ordinary. It only took a few weeks of Otemachi lunching before we got tired of that 'ha ha, we're real salarymen now!' factor and realized that the places frequented by salarymen were pretty crap. Crappy sushi isn't usually a good thing, but I secretly suspect that Ponkan was craving something more Japanese, having only recently come back from Bali. And they had a table, so there we were!

There are an odd number of undifferentiated lunch sets here. There's 'seasonal nigiri' (Y990) and 'special nigiri' (Y1000), soy-sauce tuna, various other standards, and a slightly-interesting daily special of sawara stewed in tomato sauce. The special nigiri was pretty good value, honestly - 12 pieces, including some good varieties of fish and not just cheap stuff. The really odd thing was that the fish was quite decent - Ponkan and I nervously broached the concept after we finished eating..."It was, errr..." "Yeah..." "Not too bad, right?!" Not too bad. One negative factor - I suspect the rice was machine made - it had a strange shape and fell apart much too easily (although you'd expect a machine to get the density right, wouldn't you?). Soup featured a very light miso and three lonely little clams.

In any event, you shouldn't let anyone tell you that there aren't good sushi places around Otemachi. At least, you shouldn't let them say all the sushi places are bad.

Wow, a LOT of stores. Significant numbers in places like Tachikawa and Kokubunji, if that's of any help to ya.

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