Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tateshina Soba, Otemachi

You've been taught that business cards are of vital import in Japanese business life, right? I thought so. Now ponder what it means when a restaurant doesn't have a card to give you, and in fact the very request sends the staff off in peals of laughter. I think it's supposed to mean they're too casual and down-to-earth to bother with those stuffy formalities. But I like the more alternate and more sinister explanation that it means they don't even take enough pride in their cooking to have a card.

Another danger sign in this direction is pre-payment. Have you run into these restaurants that make you pay and receive a slip at the counter that you give to the waitress? I think it indicates an unseemly focus on the money. I would consider exemptions from this rule for ramen, obviously.

Well, Tateshina was OK considering all these signs. For Y900 you get the mini-soba set, which includes a donburi and The don has about 6 choices - curry, ebi fry, oyako, katsu, etc. I had a katsu, which was nice - the meat was good and soft, and the eggs were cooked pretty dry. The soba was the cold-in-soup variety (I can never remember the names for the different varieties of soba) with tanuki (I CAN, however, remember the names of the different fried bits that go in them) and wakame. It was too soft and didn't have much flavor, which is too bad for a supposed soba specialist - but maybe that's why they don't give out business cards!

The Tour is already through Stage 5 and is shaping up to be pretty great this year!

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