Monday, June 22, 2009

Osainotame, Tokyo (為御菜,東京駅キチンストリート)

Old-time food? Well, that's what the man said. You pay your money and you take your chances. I enjoyed this place, in a healthful and cleansing sort of way that seemed appropriate after a long weekend of eating.

In some way they're trying to recreate Edo food. I think. They also make you getcher shoes off, and sit on cushions, and put your feet in a little moat in the floor. It's dark and cosy, almost like a machiya would have been without electric lights. Things are classy, and the night prices reflect this - various bits and bobs of sashimi are a lot more than at a normal place (shime saba - Y1200. Discuss.)

Lunch has its ups and downs, price-wise. There's a daily set for Y1000, only 20 made, and then options at Y1200 and Y1600 (or up). The mid-level sets included the niku jaga, which I had, while the top flight included Y1600 worth of 'old fashioned omelette'. Not sure what that was, or why it was so good! The niku jaga was a real luxury version - the potatoes had been just steamed (I think), and then stewed for a long time. They were still firm, almost with a crunch, but deeply-flavored. The meat was also good quality, but somehow the whole thing tasted a bit more like sukiyaki. Maybe that's the old-fashioned way? All sets come with rice, soup, good hakusai pickles, and the best hijiki I can remember having - plump, fresh, juicy, sweet and delicious. I could eat that every day, with genmai.

When I was your age, son...
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